Buy Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid
When you think of robot vacuum cleaners, you probably think of Roomba. I recently tested the Roomba j7+, and though its cleaning power wasn’t amazing, I was impressed by the way its AI learned over time though. But Roomba is far from the only brand out there. So what can you get if you look to one of the lesser-known brands?
I tested the RoboVac X8 Hybrid from Eufy, which is not only a robotic vacuum cleaner, but a robotic mop, too. Eufy also sells the RoboVac X8, which is only a vacuum cleaner, and according to the specs is otherwise identical.
What’s in the box?
The Robovac X8 Hybrid comes with a charging dock and cable, plus a plastic mat designed for catching drips after mopping. You also get a water tank and mopping cloths, plus a replacement side brush and filter, and cable ties to keep wires out of the way.
On the EufyHome app, you can find a countdown timer that will tell you how long until you need to replace each part or clean the sensors. However, like many features of the app, this is buried quite deep and is not easy to find. (It’s labelled as ‘Accessory Services’ and can be found by clicking on the device, and then going into its settings.)
Setting up the RoboVac X8 Hybrid
Using the Quick Start Guide, the set-up process isn’t tricky. However, there are some important details missing from the guide that I didn’t discover until I was troubleshooting later on. While the Quick Start Guide just asks for a certain amount of space around the charging base, the full instruction guide further recommends that it should be placed on a hard, level surface – not on carpet.
Since ‘recommend’ makes it sound optional, I set the X8 Hybrid up on carpet anyway, and quickly discovered that it couldn’t find its way back to the dock after it finished cleaning. I would have to return it manually after every use. It was only after some Googling that I found an answer to a user’s question that explained that this can happen if the base is on a carpeted floor.
There’s another big reason that the base shouldn’t be on carpet: the X8 Hybrid can’t stop mopping while the mop is attached. You can set ‘no mop’ zones on the app, and it won’t go into these areas while it’s mopping, but you can’t set one around the dock. This means that either your dock has to be on a floor you want mopped, or the RoboVac will mop your carpet.
This turned out to be a big problem for me. I live in a flat with carpet in the majority of the rooms, and lino in the kitchen and bathroom. Sadly, my kitchen isn’t big enough to have a space for the dock with one metre unblocked on either side and two metres directly in front – and the only plug sockets are at counter-height. It seems like it should be such a small, fixable issue, but there just isn’t anywhere in my flat where I can keep the RoboVac.
I ended up taking it to my parents’ house to test there instead. Their kitchen, also the biggest room with hard flooring, is much larger than mine, so I could find a spot for the charging base. They also didn’t have floor-level charging sockets, so I had to settle for an extension cord hanging over the edge of the counter.
Using the RoboVac X8 Hybrid
Once I got the RoboVac set up the second time, it worked much more smoothly. (Side note: when I set it up this time, I noticed another thing that isn’t mentioned in the instructions. There are sticky pads on the underside of the base and drip tray to stick them down and stop them from sliding around as the RoboVac docks. Another reason why carpet isn’t ideal.) With the dock on the hard floor, the X8 can find its way back to the dock consistently, with the only problems arising if it gets stuck.
The next hurdle is the app. The basic functions on the app are easy enough to use – sending the X8 to clean, changing the suction power, returning it to charge – but anything more than that can get fiddly. I often found it unnecessarily awkward to find certain settings within the menus, and even after a few weeks of using it, I was still discovering new features.
As for creating maps, in theory, that’s simple enough to do. However, if you move the RoboVac at any point during mapping – for example, if it gets stuck – then it won’t save the map or will even delete an existing one. Again, this isn’t in the instructions, and I only found it out through the support pages on Eufy’s website. That said, once I managed to get multiple maps set up, they worked without an issue. While the app guessed where the room divisions were, it was easy enough for me to edit them and give each room a name.
With the maps set up, it was then incredibly simple to send the X8 to clean any area, either by room or spot. Adding ‘no go’ zones was also simple, and it stuck to them well. You can buy separate boundary strips to provide a physical barrier, but I’m not sure these are necessary. The RoboVac also avoided falling down the stairs, despite the warning in the manual that it might struggle with this on carpeted floors.
Despite all the set-up difficulties, I was pleased with the vacuuming. The suction is powerful, and leaves the carpets looking clean, fresh and bright. This is an especially impressive feat given that my parents have a black labrador; it rarely left any of his fur visible.
The bin needs emptying after every use. I didn’t realise at first how quickly its bin would fill up, and the RoboVac won’t notify you if it’s full, but just keep on cleaning. If your house is below a certain size, this shouldn’t be a problem, but I did occasionally find that it would overfill on a single lap (particularly if the dog had shed a lot of fur), and start to drop clumps of dust back onto the carpet.
Mopping with the RoboVac X8 Hybrid
It’s easy to convert the X8 Hybrid into its mopping mode: all you need to do is attach the water tank and a wet mopping pad, and it will do the rest. However, that’s the best I can say for its mopping.
All it seemed to do was make the floor slightly damp. It used a tiny fraction of the water in its tank – so little that I wasn’t sure whether any was actually coming out of the tank, or whether it was just from the wet cloth. It didn’t make any visible difference to the floor.
You can add cleaning fluid, which presumably would help, but only Eufy’s own branded one, which is sold separately.
The RoboVac X8 Hybrid is a good robotic vacuum cleaner with an awkward app. Its suction is powerful, and it systematically covers the entire floor by first tracing the outer edge and then zig-zagging back and forth in straight lines. It isn’t great at avoiding obstacles, and has been known to pick up an entire laptop charging cable and carry it along. But if you’re fastidious about keeping the floor tidy (and use the provided cable ties), this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
However, I would recommend saving £50 and getting the RoboVac X8 without the mopping module instead. Without the mop, you may be able to get away with having the dock on a carpeted floor, and you’re not missing much cleaning power.
iRobot Roomba S9 Plus
If you don’t mind how much you are spending on your new robot vacuum, this option from Roomba will be a fantastic way to go. It offers a lot more power and has some smarts that mean it can track and layout your house much better.
Along with this, it works to hoover up most crumbs, dust and general rubbish you may end up with, and as an extra feature, it also comes with voice control.
- Buy now from Amazon (£1499)
Eufy RoboVac 15c
Another affordable robot vacuum from Eufy, the RoboVac 15c is all about getting you a robot vacuum at the lowest price. This model can often be purchased for under £200, and while it isn’t as powerful as some other models, it is an absolute steal for that price.
It does a good job at picking up small crumbs and dirt from hardwood floors and kitchen tiles, but it can struggle with certain carpets.