Eufy RoboVac X8 review: A brilliant app but it’s no deep cleaner
Eufy may be best known for producing affordable robot vacuum cleaners that do a great job despite their low price, but the Eufy RoboVac X8 might change all that. It would be unfair to suggest that it’s an expensive robot vacuum – at £449, it’s still cheaper than many of the robot vacuums you might find from big-name rivals.
However, it’s the first Eufy robot we’ve looked at that’s a bit more aware of its surroundings, with laser room mapping and a brilliant app that lifts it well above previous models.
Eufy RoboVac X8 review: What do you get for the money?
The RoboVac X8’s main attraction is its laser room mapping. When you set the robot off, it immediately gets a measure of the space it’s in, its laser scanner helping it seek out a suitable area to start cleaning. In conjunction with its app (available for iOS or Android), it provides complete control over where, when and how your robot cleans, going above and beyond what you can do even with some more expensive robots.
The downside is that the main sensor sits in a turret on the top of the robot. This extends 19mm above the main body of the unit, giving the X8 an overall height of 98mm. Eufy’s cheaper models, which don’t have this extra sensor, are better at slipping under even quite low furniture, whereas the X8’s protruding eye can get caught by a low shelf on a coffee table or TV stand and stop it from getting underneath.
The other thing notable about the Eufy Robovac X8 is its twin turbines: two vacuum motors that Eufy rates at 2,000Pa each. Eufy claims this makes it better at cleaning than a robot with a single motor, and that it can pack more dust into its 0.6l collection bin because it’s sucked in harder and compacted.
As per usual, the robot itself is accompanied by a charging station, which plugs into a wall socket, and a replacement side brush and filter.
Eufy RoboVac X8 review: What is it like to use?
While it sounds like laser room mapping is something that just helps a robot navigate around your house, it actually revolutionises the way you can use the RoboVac X8. Previous Eufy models built up a map as they moved around using infrared sensors and by bumping into things.
They created a rough map that showed you where the device had cleaned but it wasn’t detailed enough to let you mark out no-go areas or break your floorplan down into individual rooms for more sophisticated cleaning routines.
The Eufy Robovac X8 still bumbles around, using its bumper to knock into obstacles, and it’s nothing like as gentle on your furniture as the, which takes great care in avoiding objects. However, it does build up an accurate picture of your walls and doorways, and saves them in the app.
This means you can then go into the app, name the rooms it’s discovered, divide large spaces into sub-rooms, which is great for open plan areas, and guide the X8 to the particular areas that need cleaning at a particular time. Other robots with laser scanning can perform the same tricks but Eufy’s app feels more refined than most and does it particularly well.
The map is built up on the first clean, after which you can choose to have the robot clean the entire area automatically, or you can clean individual rooms. You can select a zone to clean by simply dragging a rectangle over the map, or drop a pin on the map to perform a 1.5m2. spot clean.
Handily, the app can store up to three maps. To map a second area, such as a second storey of your home, just place the robot somewhere it won’t recognise and set it off. A new map will be created and, as long as the clean isn’t interrupted, you can save it and set up rooms and no-go areas as before. Naturally, you can also use the app to set up schedules, control the robot remotely, and configure it to work with Google Assistant and Alexa for voice control.
Emptying the robot is a simple matter of removing the bin from the back, opening the lid and tipping it out. The only slight annoyance here is the lack of a mesh over the filter. Some robots, including the, have a layer over the top of the concertina paper filter to stop a certain amount of fluff embedding itself in the folds. The Eufy doesn’t have this, and its strong suction drags fluff right in. As a result, every time I’ve emptied the bin during testing I’ve needed to get the supplied brush and poke out significant amounts of fluff build-up.
Eufy RoboVac X8 review: Is it good at finding its way around?
Considering it’s showering its surroundings with laser beams, the Eufy RoboVac X8 still uses its bumper to get as close as possible to obstructions before turning away from them. I didn’t see it hit anything with any particular force but if you have antique furniture that needs treating more carefully, theis a better bet.
I didn’t experience any problems with the RoboVac finding its way around my house or getting stuck, however. It performed a full clean of 57m2 in 52 minutes, which is fast and efficient.
With the app breaking down the floorplan into rooms and areas, it’s no bother to send it off for a quick whizz around your home’s hardest working locations. Likewise, setting no-go areas worked like a dream, so you don’t need to worry about it getting tangled up in cables or disturbing pet dishes.
Eufy RoboVac X8 review: How well does it clean?
I can’t fault the Eufy Robovac X8 on its general cleaning power, as I found it left rooms looking spick and span. However, if there’s one thing it isn’t particularly good at, it’s getting into corners. The edge brush is positioned so that it will brush the skirting board on the side as it passes but it isn’t not long enough or positioned far forward enough to get right into corners.
For a thorough test I also put the robot through our usual assault course of cleaning tasks to directly compare its abilities with other vacuums we’ve reviewed. Here it didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped.
In our fine particle test, where we deliberately spill 50g of flour on different types of flooring, the X8 was disappointing, collecting 39g from hard floor but only 21g from carpet. Theand the both performed better, collecting more than 40g on each surface.
It was better at cleaning up larger particles, gathering 46g of rice from hard floor and 42g from carpet. However, in both tests, the edge brush scattered a lot of rice before it got anywhere near the intake port, with much of it propelled around the floor and beyond the reach of even a second spot clean. Surprisingly, it isn’t that much different to the cleaning ability of the, which is £100 cheaper.
Some of the problem here is with the way the vacuum tackles its spot cleans. When you guide the robot to the space that needs cleaning and set it off, it moves around a little, with its edge brush spinning, to get its bearings. Next it finds the perimeter of its cleaning area and does a complete lap. Lastly it covers the area inside the perimeter in zigzag lines, methodically covering the area but only keeping the edge brush away from its leading edge for half the time.
Compare this to the superlative spot cleaning of the, which immediately turns its brush away from the mess, moves to the outside edge of its cleaning area, then cautiously circles its way into the centre. This way, any mess that might be catapulted away by the brush is gathered by the intake port first.
Eufy RoboVac X8 review: Should I buy it?
There are two aspects to the Eufy RoboVac X8. On the one hand it has one of the best apps we’ve seen on a robot vacuum. It’s well designed and simple to operate, providing the tools you need to take complete control of your cleaning. It did a terrific job of cleaning rooms, on the whole, and if you spot mess that needs a quick cleanup as you go about your day, you can whip out the app and get the X8 on the job without unnecessary faff.
However, in our tests the RoboVac X8 wasn’t as good at coping with serious spillages as some of its rivals. Although we wouldn’t recommend any robot vacuum cleaner as a first responder to a dropped bag of flour, it’s not desperately reassuring that the X8 can’t prevent its edge brush scattering as it cleans.
For a better cleaning experience, I’d recommend the, which has a unique shape that can get right into the corners of your room. It also performed very well in our pickup tests and is more gentle around furniture. The downside is that it’s significantly slower, the app isn’t nearly as easy to set up and use and, at £649 it’s more expensive. The is also an efficient cleaner but, at £799, that’s heading towards being twice the price of the Eufy.
For a similar ability to clean for a lot less money, we’d recommend looking further down Eufy’s product catalogue. The £339doesn’t have the advanced mapping of the X8 but it performed just as well in our tests.