Samsung stands out in the world of consumer electronics.
They are one of the pioneers in the world of smartphones and LED TVs. But they also make refrigerators, air conditioners, dyers, and yes, even robotic vacuums.
Recently bought their robot vacuum cleaner – R9040. And when I found out, I asked him if I could borrow it for a week to test it out.
And here we are with the review.
The PowerBot R9040 is the mid-level alternative that costs $550.
For Alexa users, this is a good option because it is certified to be compatible with it.
It’s one of the reasons why my brother bought it. But is this product better than its competitors like Neato, Roomba or Xiaomi? Let’s find out.
Quick look at the features
- Samsung claims this device has 10x more power than the “leading brand of robotic suction”
- WiFi connection
- Optical mapping and a full view sensor help determine the optimal path and avoid obstacles
- CycloneForce design prevents fine dust from clogging the filter
- EasyPass’s large wheels help you navigate obstacles
- The large size brush (12.24″ wide) helps clean pet hair with less tangles
- LED control panel
- Compatible with Alexa
- 1 year warranty
- Wide cleaning path allows more ground coverage
- Big Dirt Box
- The washable filter saves you money because you don’t have to buy filters regularly
- Easy-to-read control panel
- WiFi connection and smartphone app allow you to control this robot remotely
- Cyclonic filtration does a good job keeping the filter clean for longer
- very expensive
- Mobility is not as advanced as its competitors – Roomba, Neato, Xiaomi and Dyson
- It will run until the battery power runs low
- Too tall – over 5″
- Not great for carpet
What do you expect from an Alexa compatible robot vacuum?
When I first saw this void, it was huge. Bigger than any robot I’ve ever tested. It is taller than Jisiwei and wider than Xiaomi.
This is good and tiring. Good because the wide cleaning path means it will cover a larger area. Bad because it doesn’t fit into tight spaces and definitely won’t go under a lot of furniture.
To give you a glimpse of what to expect from this bot, watch this video…
In the middle of the robot you will find the engine and dirt box. It’s a big reason why this bot is so big.
The trash can is one of the biggest bins in the industry and will hold a lot of dirt. Easy to dwarf dirt boxes from other brands.
Inside it is a cyclone filter that keeps fine dust away from the filter side.
The filter itself is washable but Samsung did not specify if it is a HEPA filter or not.
It also has a fully LED interface with 3 buttons on the button. Since it uses a bright LED, it is clear and shows all information about the robot from battery status, WiFi to error code.
As for the error codes, you will have to refer to the manual to find out what went wrong and how to fix it.
View from the bottom
To see how big this robot is, you have to flip it over.
It needs 6 wheels to support its massive structure.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the lack of a side brush hampers it somewhat when cleaning corners.
Cleaning weak edges
In a number of the cleaning tests I’ve done, it didn’t clean the edges as well as the ILIFE robots I tested.
If you look at the sides of the motorized brush, you’ll find a gap – one inch on the left and half an inch on the right.
This means that it will miss the areas on the edge completely. This is a big reason why Neato should add a side brush in the BotVac series even with the whisk bar close to the edge.
But it has a wide motorized brush that measures 12.24 inches. It’s almost like a Neato brush.
The wide brush helps cover more ground in fewer strokes.
Samsung says this robot has a “FullView Visionary Sensor” that creates a perfect cleaning path. To demonstrate this feature, watch this video…
At first glance, you might think it has similar navigation to the Roomba 980 – a predictable back-and-forth style.
It’s definitely an improvement over the Roomba 800 and 700 series. But it lacks the SLAM algorithm so it lacks intelligence and will run until the battery runs out.
WiFi and Smartphone App
This is one of the few bot cleaning tools that have WiFi connection and a smartphone app at the moment.
Connecting the app and the bot is a fairly straightforward process.
Look for the “Samsung Smart Home” app. The next step will be to sign up for a free account and then log in.
Note that you can use the Samsung app on many other Samsung devices not just this bot so if you are a loyal customer this is a plus.
After logging in, search for “robot vacuum” in the list and have the remote control ready to make the virtual connection.
When the app detects the bot, it’s time to connect to your home WiFi, enter the password and the rest is self-explanatory.
You cannot use the app without the router.
In terms of features, the app is very free. Allows you to start/stop the bot, schedule and check battery status. That’s about it. The bot’s location will not appear or if the container is full.
From a brand like Samsung Knows Electronics, this is a disappointment to be honest.
For now, I’ve only tested this robot on bare ground and the performance is decent but not great. Not having a side brush hurts it a bit when cleaning the corners because there are gaps on both sides.
If you watched on my first cleaning test, I was able to clean about 46 out of the 50 grams of dirt I scattered on the floor.
Subsequent tests yielded the same results with administering or ingesting a few grams.
One thing I noticed was that it had a slight tendency to plow through dirt because it has two wheels in front of the motorized brush. But it would only be a problem cleaning large clumps of dirt like this.
After running the bot for about an hour, it did a pretty decent job.
One of the biggest difficulties of this robot is cleaning the corners and edges because it doesn’t have any side brush.
Daily cleaning should not be a problem.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to test this on the carpet, but based on the reviews I’ve read, I’ll have a hard time brushing the fine powder onto the carpet.
Another issue is not to get past the black carpet. If your house has black carpeting or parts of it that are black, this robot will not pass over those areas.
This is due to the shelf sensors. If he sees anything black he will stop, then back up and go in another direction.
|Battery Type||lithium ion|
|charger type||charging base|
|the show length||60 minutes|
|net weight (with battery)||9.9 EGP|
|Purchase Weight||15.7 EGP|
|an offer||14 7/8 inches|
|Height||5 5/16 inch|
|bin full indicator||
|Cleaning sessions per week||7|
|brush cleaning tools||
|Accessories included||Charing Station
Where can I buy this?
You can buy this on Amazon for less than $550 and it will be eligible for 2-day shipping if you join Prime. Amazon also offers extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.
Buying this directly from Samsung would cost around $100 MORE.
At first glance, the PowerBot R9040 looks impressive with its camera-based navigation system and ultra-wide motorized brush that dwarfs the competition. But when you delve deeper, there are a few flaws that prevent it from competing against the likes of Roomba and Neato.
Why Samsung lags behind Roomba and Neato
The first would be navigation. When I saw Visionary Mapping, I expected it to be as smart as the Roomba 980 but it isn’t. Although it is better than the ILIFE series and Roomba 800 series in that it has a more predictable pattern, it will work until the battery is low.
This bot does not have a SLAM algorithm so it does not have any internal saved map. So she doesn’t know which areas she has cleaned and not cleaned.
It has slightly better mobility compared to the Roomba 860 but is more expensive.
long for robot vacuum
Plus it’s over 5″ which means it will struggle under a lot of furniture. This is a must for any robot vacuum because it goes where most rolls or even cans can’t. It’s also a big reason why the Dyson 360 Eye didn’t perform as well as they had hoped.
However, it does have an adequately sized box and a washable filter. So you don’t need to empty this often and it’s easy to empty.
The lack of a side brush also hurts it when cleaning corners because the motorized brush has gaps on both sides.
The app is not as good as I hope
The app is also a disappointment. It has only basic functions – checking battery status, schedule, manual control of the robot and turning it on / off.
Xiaomi has a much better and $150 cheaper app.
At $500, it’s hard to recommend this product with other cheaper options available like Xiaomi and ILIFE. If you don’t mind spending more, I’d choose the Roomba 960 at $200 or the BotVac D5 at about the same price.
Both will have better performance and last longer.