Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to test a number of robotic vacuums from GearBest. Of the (approximately) 20 bots I tested, Xiaomi was my favourite.
It’s one of their bestselling products featuring technology and performance to challenge the giants, Roomba and Neato.
Samsung has been a leader in consumer electronics — cell phones, air conditioning units, washing machines, you name it, Samsung has a product for it.
But not many people know that they make robotic vacuums.
The PowerBot R9040 is an earlier variant that uses a camera for navigation.
My brother is a fan of Samsung. When I found out he had bought this, I immediately texted him and asked if I could borrow it for a week.
This is part of the result of those tests.
The immediate difference you will notice is the color. The Samsung comes in a matte black color with blue accents. Xiaomi has an all white color.
The Samsung PowerBot has the same D-shape as the Neato but this is where the similarities end.
Samsung is taller and wider than Xiaomi due to the design of the product. The middle part is where the engine and container sit.
Unlike most other robot cleaners that use a paper element filter, Samsung uses cyclonic filtration with a washable filter at the end.
The basket is one of the largest with a capacity of 0.7 liters which contributes to its massive size.
You won’t be able to pick this robot with one hand unlike ILIFE.
Xiaomi is much shorter, at just 3.15 inches in height. Compare that to a 5-5/16 Samsung, it’s similar to David and Goliath in terms of height.
Being shorter in this case is good because it will allow her to reach under the furniture more. Xiaomi is also about an inch narrower, so it will fight tight spaces better.
View from the bottom
Flip both over and this is where you’ll see the size is really different. Everything in Samsung is bigger – brush and motorized wheels. It also has more wheels – 6 total if you include the two wheels in front of the brush.
Both of these robots have cliff sensors on the front that keep them from falling off areas like stairs. The downside of shelf sensors is that they will not be able to clean dark-colored floors. If you have a black carpet, these robots will not pass over it.
One big difference is the presence of a side brush in Xiaomi.
Another difference is the width of the motorized brush. Samsung literally dwarfs the Xiaomi brush.
Both have a similar bristle and mop type design that works well on pet hair.
It’s very close to the rim but there is an inch gap on the left side. Not having a side brush hurts it in terms of cleaning the edges.
When I first saw the PowerBot, I thought it had similar navigation to the Roomba 980 because it has a camera but I was wrong.
Even with the camera, it wasn’t as smart as the Roomba. Yes, he walks in a predictable cleaning pattern but isn’t smart enough to know which areas he has cleaned.
You’ll notice that it runs in a predictable back-and-forth pattern and covers a large area.
The expected cleaning pattern appears to be effective, but it is not. In many of the cleaning tests I’ve done, it took me as long (almost an hour) to clean the same amount of dirt as it would take ILIFE 20 minutes to do so.
So navigation is not a good excuse for the price difference between these two products but that’s for another article.
Another potential downside to a camera-based system is that it needs lighting to function. In conditions of complete darkness, this robot will have trouble tracking its location.
Xiaomi uses a completely different approach. Instead of using a camera, it has a laser-guided sensor similar to the Neato BotVac. In addition to this laser-guided system, it has a SLAM algorithm that helps it track its position.
This is the same technology found in Google’s self-driving car, so it’s high tech.
Navigating it is simple, the first thing it will do is clean up the edges and then move towards the middle and do it twice. Make sure to update your software to get this feature.
This product is an exact clone of Neato BotVac but looks a lot different with its round shape and very narrow brush.
If you have watched the video above, you probably know how these two robots compare to each other.
In each of the cleaning tests, I scattered 50g of dirt containing oats, dust, strength and hair.
And the results are very close.
Here is a previous picture of the Samsung cleaning test…
And that’s what I did after about an hour of cleaning. Despite the expected cleaning pattern, it was not effective.
If there’s one thing I’ve struggled with cleaning up the edges it’s because it lacks a side brush. You will see in the last two pictures above that there is a lot of dirt left.
In terms of performance, it did a very good job, cleaning 45 out of 50 grams. But it is very ineffective in doing so takes nearly an hour.
Xiaomi is more efficient. Let’s first take a look at some video footage…
Here is a screenshot.
It’s more efficient than Samsung thanks to its laser-guided sensor and SLAM algorithm. The laser-guided sensor helps detect obstacles in its path and draw the layout of the room.
It doesn’t have the acoustic sensors that detect dirt on the Roomba 980 but it “remembers” the areas it’s been through thanks to SLAM software.
Out of the box this bot will only roam the room once so you buy this bot make sure to upgrade the software through the app.
Upgrading the app will give you access to a better navigation system that goes through the room twice and picks up more dirt.
The navigation software also allows for cleaning multiple rooms with little risk of never going home.
Xiaomi comes with a non-washable HEPA paper element filter. Samsung does not have a HEPA filter but it is washable. So that somehow compensates for the lack of filtration.
The Samsung container is also easy to empty while the Xiaomi has tighter crevices which make emptying it more difficult.
|xiaomi||Samsung PowerBot R9040|
|Dirt Capacity (Dry)||0.45 liters||0.7 liters|
|the show length||2.5 hours.||60 minutes|
|Net weight||8.4 lbs.||9.9 lbs.|
|an offer||13.58 lbs.||14 7/8 lbs.|
|Height||3.15 inches||5 5/16 in.|
|Accessories included||charging base
brush cleaning tool
CN . plug
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Where can I buy these bots?
The Samsung PowerBot R9040 is more expensive and you’ll get the best deal on Amazon.
Xiaomi is also available on Amazon but it will be more expensive.
To wrap it up
The bottom line is that Xiaomi is a better product overall. If you compare the spec sheet, Xiaomi has better navigation, better app, smaller size and more efficient cleaning robot.
Samsung looked promising, but given the time spent testing and knowing its quirks, it didn’t live up to the hype and lacked some features that could have made it more competitive against the bigger brands.
Even with the camera, it was less efficient than ILIFE which costs much less. The app was also a disappointment because it was bug-free. It pales in comparison to the Xiaomi app which has a lot of features. The only features are scheduling, RC control and letting you operate the bot remotely but that’s about it.
It won’t tell you battery status and won’t allow scheduling multiple times a day which is a big trick to me. If Xiaomi can make it happen, a bigger company like Samsung spending millions on research and development should have at least the same features.
And with a price difference of nearly $300 between these two, I’d go with Xiaomi any time of the day.
Another thing holding Samsung back is size. It measures 5 5/16 inches in length which is more than 2 inches longer than Xiaomi’s. This size prevents it from sliding under a lot of furniture. Obviously if the furniture under your house has a lot of clearance.
The only reason I would consider buying a Samsung PowerBot is brand loyalty and Alexa compatibility.
But there are better Alexa-compatible products like the BotVac Connected and Roomba 980.