Bottom line: The Neato Botvac D7 is an impressive cleaner that can suck up pet fur, dust, and other small debris. It's a bit expensive, especially since it doesn't include some common features like mopping. However, it can still get around well enough and leaves perfect vacuum lines on your carpet.
- Up to 120 minutes of run time
- Powerful suction
- Multiple floor mapping
- Intuitive app
- Zone cleaning
- Can create no-go lines
- Cleans in orderly lines
- Great customer service
- Doesn't manuever as well as other vacuums
- There is no mop
- Gets stuck relatively often
There are literally hundreds of robot vacuums on the market right now. Considering that they are a relatively expensive buy, it's not the easiest thing for the average consumer to compare them against each other. That being the case, it's hard to really know which devices will actually be good for your home. That's why I'm so keen on reviewing as many robot vacuums as I can.
I tested the the Neato Botvac D7 for three weeks. During that time I was able to see both this unit's powerful cleaning capabilities as well as its weak areas. It doesn't have as many features as some other vacuums out there, but it is a powerful cleaning machine. Here's my full review of the Neato Botvac D7 robot vacuum.
Neato Botvac D7 What I like
Within the Neato Botvac D7's box I found the vacuum, a charging dock, a brush-cleaning tool, three filters (one of them is installed in the vacuum for this picture), and a magnetic strip. After three weeks of testing the D7 and the items included in the box, I've gotten a pretty good idea for how this robot vacuum handles my floors. Here are the things that I like about it.
Powerful suction and easy cleaning Great for pet homes
Every time I run this vacuum it pulls up tons of fine dust and debris from my carpets. It also does a great job picking up after my messy corgi and tabby by sucking up balls of fur, dry dog food, and kitty litter. The bin is decently sized and easy to remove, which is good since it fills to the brim with fur after every cleaning session. But that's what you should expect in a pet home. If you don't have pets then you likely won't need to empty the dustbin this often.
The main brush and side brush are also easy to remove and clean, so I can quickly cut off any hair that's wrapped around the bristles. This unit also comes with a brush-cleaning tool that has a razor on one end and a comb on the other. However, the razor's curved design makes it so I can't reach the hair that wraps around the crevices on the ends of the brush. I definitely had to pull out my own pair of scissors to remove the hair in those areas. If the razor was straight instead of curved, it would have been more helpful. But it's still easy enough to clean the brushes when you need to.
Mapping capabilities Multi-level and convenient
The Neato Botvac D7 has mapping abilities, which means that it can outline a home and then create a view of the flooring within the included app. After instructing the unit to create a map of my home, I was able to use the app to set up no-go zones or to tell the unit to clean a specific area of my house. I was also happy to find that this unit can remember more than one map since I have an upstairs and a downstairs. That way I was able to create no-go zones for each level and the unit didn't get lost if I moved it from one floor to the next.
One thing that I love about these smarter units is that they clean my floors in an organized fashion instead of bouncing every which way and missing large sections of my house. The D7 begins by outlining a room and then vacuums back and forth within that outline until the entire area has been cleaned. It then moves on to another area and repeats this process. This also leaves perfect vacuum lines, which makes my home look extra clean.
Intuitive app Helpful features and simple design
The app is very easy to navigate so I was able to find and use the tools I was looking for really quickly. In addition to letting me set up no-go zones and cleaning zones, the D7 also has spot cleaning. This feature is great for messy areas because it makes the unit go over a certain location a few times before finishing up. That way I can specifically instruct it to clean the area around the dog door where my corgi tracks in a bunch of dirt every day. One minor thing that I love is that the app regularly reminds you to empty out the dustbin and filter, which is something I haven't seen as much with other robot vacuums.
The app even has a setting that allows you to manually control the unit using remote controls. This lets you manuever the D7 somewhere without having to pick it up. This is a great feature for anyone who might be physically unable to move the unit on their own.
Excellent customer service Helpful and kind
Initially after receiving the D7 in the mail, the unit only ran twice before it developed an error and wouldn't run anymore. I contacted customer service via live chat to see how well Neato would respond to my complication. I didn't have to wait long before a very curteous and friendly representative came on the line and helped walk me through a few troubleshooting steps. After a quick exchange, he not only determined that I needed a new side brush and a new main brush but also explained that he'd be sending these replacements to me for free. After replacing the brushes, the unit has been able to run for several weeks without developing that same error.
Based off of this interaction, I'd say that Neato has one of the best customer service practices of any of the robot vacuum companies I've dealt with. Hopefully you won't have any problems that leads to dealing with Neato's customer service, but if you do, you'll likely be well taken care of.
Neato Botvac D7 What I don't like
While this is a powerful vacuum, it's far from being the very best. Here are the things I didn't like about the Neato Botvac D7.
It's expensive And doesn't include as many features
The D7 is definitely a powerful cleaner. As I said before, it does an amazing job sucking up pet fur, kitty litter, and other debris from my floors. However, it is a bit expensive compared to other vacuums of the same caliber and doesn't offer as many features. For example, the D7 is solely a vacuum and doesn't have a mopping function like many of its competitors.
For some perspective, let's take a look at a few other vacuums out there. The Roborock S5 (opens in new tab) is very comparable. It leaves perfect vacuum lines, has mopping capabilities, maps your floors to the app, lets you set up no-go zones, and also has powerful suction. However, it only costs $600 compared to the Neato Botvac D7's $800 price tag.
For $800 you can easily purchase a vacuum with far more impressive features, like the Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI, which includes a camera and smart object recognition to better identify and avoid obstacles in your home. The bottom line here is that you could easily save a few hundred dollars and purchase another reliable vacuum out there with more advanced tech instead of getting this one.
Gets caught on things More often than other vacuums I've tested
I have a few different robot vacuums in my home. In my experience, I've found that any of my robot vacuums will suck something up or get caught on things everyone once in a while. That being the case, it's always important to pick up cables and small items from around your house before staring a robot vacuum. During my time testing the D7, the unit got caught on something somewhat regularly.
I'd find that it sucked in a cable that the other vacuums had left alone or that it pulled in a corner of a blanket and had stopped working. You could argue that this might mean that it has more powerful suction. But either way, it was annoying how many times I had to rescue the unit. I never fully trusted it and always felt like I had to keep an eye on it while it ran, which kind of negates the convenience of having a robot vacuum.
Manueverability The "D" shape can scuff sideboards
Something that sets Neato's robot vacuums apart from most others on the market is the unique "D"-shaped casing since most other vacuums out there are round. While this shape allows the D7 to reach further into corners it also makes it so that the unit is more likely to bump into a wall or your furniture when moving around. Now, the unit can tell when one of its corners bumps into something and then backs away in order to avoid hitting that obstacle again. However, the flat side with its square edges can still cause some minor damages in the process.
The D7's motor has a lot of power, which helps the wheels overcome obstacles like wires or small toys. However, this also makes it aggresively bump into my walls whenever it seems to be caught on something. It even left several scuff marks on my white sideboards in the process. This damage wasn't permanent as a quick scrub with a magic eraser removed the markings, but it was inconvenient.
Now after a few runs, I did discover that there was an Extra Care setting under Navigation Mode, which made it so that the unit was far gentler than it had been before. I just wish this had been the default setting instead of needing me to switch it on. Once the Extra Care setting was in place, the unit manuevered around my house much better and didn't leave any more markings anywhere.
Neato Botvac D7 Should you buy it?
The Neato Botvac D7 is a powerful cleaner that does an excellent job of sucking up fur, dirt, and small items like pet food. I honestly felt like my floors were a lot cleaner after every cleaning session. However, I will say that there are other robot vacuums out there that don't cost as much and are more convenient than this one.
This unit got stuck more often than other similar-level robot vacuums I've tested, which made it so I had to babysit it whenever it ran. While the "D" shape does allow the device to better clean corners, it also makes it so that the unit is more likely to hit your walls when trying to manuever around obstacles (unless you turn on the Extra Care setting).
3.5 out of 5
If you're interested in this unit and can find it on sale somewhere, it isn't a bad option for you. Just note that it can be a little aggressive when trying to manuever around your home and it doesn't have the ability to mop your hard floors. But it's definitely not a bad option given that it can map multiple levels in your home, allows you to set no-go zones, has powerful suction, vacuums in an orderly fashion, and that Neato Botvac offers excellent customer service.
Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.
Do not get a Neato! I've had the D7 since it has come out and it's had to be replaced twice already,both times was the lidar going bad. Customer service is pretty much non existent now. There have been no updates and the vacum just feels sub par compared to other offerings on the market. I can't tell you how many times my neato just stops in the middle of the floor or just doesn't go out because of "Map issues" where nothing changes. If you can find a D7 on the cheap then it may be worth it but I would reccomend checking out other brands on the market.
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