I’ve heard much commentary about robot vacuums over the last year or so, everything from they cost too much to they don’t do a thorough job. Well, I can’t do much about the cost of the devices, but I got the chance to review the eufy Clean X9 Pro.
The X9 Pro delivers both vacuum and mopping capabilities in a single device, which is now becoming more commonplace in the sector. This in itself presents some design challenges, which eufy has done a great job of addressing with this unit.
Partially because of space — the two small, carbon-based life forms that live in my house take up a lot of it — and partially to provide more of a challenge to the unit; it’s been installed for the past few weeks at my mother-in-law’s house. Sandie has a floor plan that would challenge any robot vac with a mix of floor types, multiple areas of the home segmented by sliding doors, and a few areas with little space between furnishings.
Unboxing, Features and Setup
The unit itself is straightforward to unpack, with the components segmented within the packaging. Having two people carry the whole package is ideal because it’s an awkward size, not due to the weight. Before acquiring one, you’ll need to consider the floor space needed. It’s not a case of having a space just wide enough (about 43cm x 43cm and 45 cm high); you’ll need around half a meter clearance on either side and 1.5 meters in front of the device for the mapping to make sense of the space and for the machine to return to the dock when cleaning is complete.
The vac unit itself presents well, and when you flip it over, one of the main party tricks is obvious. The dual rotating mops spin at a decent speed with about a kilogram of pressure on them during mopping operations, in theory removing even reasonably stubborn marks and stains. This addresses one of the main issues I’ve personally had and seen with devices like this that also mop; they’re good for maintaining the cleanliness of your floors, but not cleaning them.
This is complemented by the auto-clean station being ready to change the dirty water, clean the mop and dry it with warm air to avoid odours and unhealthy growth of bacteria. In this, you’ll have two water tanks, one for dirty and one for clean water; while it can sit there for a while, to avoid bad smells, it’s best to empty the dirty water every couple of days.
The vacuum function is very much as expected from a robot vacuum, it sucks, but in a good way. The X9 Pro has 5,500 Pa of suction
The App: Simple and intuitive
Something that speaks volumes to me about the app’s simplicity is how little input I had into setting up the X9 Pro. That’s not to say that there’s a lack others with technical capabilities in the house, just that it was simple and well-guided in terms of the initial setup. Probably the only issue I saw during setup was that the device (for functional reasons) requires connection via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. For most networks, it’s pretty simple to either disable 5Ghz or separate the two, so don’t fret over that minor detail.
The app also provides access to all of the features of the device, including:
- Mapping the house
- Setting up cleaning zones
- Triggering ad-hoc or scheduled cleaning options for single rooms or whole home
- Notifications of any maintenance needed
This is also where you’ll find the pathway to connecting your eufy Clean device to your preferred — Google or Alexa — smart assistant. But the app is very good and if you don’t yet have smart speakers, you don’t need them.
Before your first run, I’d recommend that you do a quick run around and pick up anything you can. Get chairs off the floor and any other obstructions out of the way to give the best map possible on the first run. It’s got Lidar so if anything is left out on subsequent runs, the X9 Pro will avoid it. Once you’ve done your pick-up, you can run quick mapping or start the first clean to map your home within the app. Either way, you’ll end up with an accurate scale map, including the location of the docking station.
If you’re not happy that the mapping is entirely accurate, you can re-run the process. If you want to segment the rooms of your home differently to how the AI has done it, you can do so, and you can also tag areas with names that mean something to you, for mopping, vacuuming or areas that you outright don’t want it to go.
Daily Use: The pros and cons
So, on the surface, you’re looking at a dual function (vacuum and mopping)
One thing that became evident quickly with a vacuum designed like this one, and the cleaning station being focused on mopping, is the lack of space in the dust bin. In fact, in an average to large-sized home with dominantly carpeted floors, if you’re running this more than every couple of days, you’ll be emptying it at least once a week and possibly more.
Slightly smaller water tanks and an auto-emptying dust bin would have been a better mix in my eyes, but if you’ve got a lot of hard (tiles, slate or floorboards) that need mopping regularly, this is probably better for you. That being said, after discussing with Sandie, a small kitchen area that was mopped used about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the dirty water tank. So, the combination of the actual floor cleaning plus the mop self-cleaning process does use a reasonable amount of water. I feel this would last a “normal” sized home with a reasonable split of hard and soft floors around a week if you run the device every couple of days while everyone is out.
Something I thought was useful was the notification light on the dock, letting you know that the water needed some attention, whether that was more clean water required, dirty water being emptied or both. Yeah, there are notifications through the app, but I get more than enough notifications, so I tend to dismiss a reasonable number without further thought.
The cleaning setup is highly customisable with options to set water usage, suction pressure and customise this for each room. You may wish to have more water use and greater suction for a better, regular clean in high traffic areas, but only a lighter option in bedrooms for instance.
A failing of the design of robot vacuums in general are the lacking capability to step up or down more than a couple of centimetres. Even in my house, where the level changes are relatively minor, some vacs struggle to make the step. If you’ve got a home that’s been renovated with a step, is multi-story or has more than a couple of centimeters level change; you’ll still need to do your own regular cleaning.
Another is the physical shape of the device which prevents it from getting into corners easily. The rotating sweeper does pull a lot of dirt and dust away from the edge and corner of the room, however it’s not a perfect solution.
The cleaning results
Compared to a few others I’ve seen and used, I feel this is far more effective for mopping. Others, albeit slightly older models, tend to just run one or two sweeps of the mop over the floor. The dual rotating (180RPM) mop heads and roughly 1 kilogram of download pressure result in a quality of clean that I’ve only seen from one other brand previously at a much higher cost.
Given the dual function and due to some previous experiences, I had some concerns that the medium pile carpet at Sandie’s place might result in some dampness if on the path between the kitchen and base station. Well that was stress that wasn’t needed, because the lift on the mops is sufficient to keep the carpets dry and; more importantly, my mother-in-law happy!
Well, mostly at least…
While the X9 Pro does a solid job of cleaning the carpets and mopping the hard floors, none of it is perfect. There’s still a small area (about 4cm wide) that doesn’t get mopped right next to the cupboards in the kitchen. Now, this wouldn’t be too big of a deal in a walkway etc, but in a kitchen where food can be dropped etc, this could be a bit of a problem longer term.
It’s fair to say that the vacuuming is effective, with the variable suction and after a couple of cleans at full power; the amount of pick up from a clean noticeably reduced. So you can reduce the suction, save power and reduce noise unless you need that deep clean again.
Conclusion: The eufy clean X9 Pro is a great option in an increasingly crowded space
The review set up, testing and general notes were largely completed by Sandie with little input — aside from a few prompting questions — from myself or Jo. The mapping is remarkably accurate, the controls within the app are pretty good, although re-mapping small areas could be easier, and if you leave something laying about that wasn’t there when the room was mapped; the Time of Flight sensors allow the X9 Pro to avoid collision and the end result is a good clean.
Sandie noted that the kit itself is pretty imposing and she’s glad there was assistance (Jo and her sister helped a bit with direction) with the initial app installation and setup of the device.
Because the X9 Pro has something of a focus on hard floors and mopping, there’s a bit of an issue in a house with soft floors. That is, that the vacuum dust bin isn’t particularly large; so if you’re looking for a vacuum that can go a couple of weeks without being emptied, this probably isn’t the one for you. For a home that has animals that shed, or long haired humans, you’re likely to find this needs emptying every time you clean.
What was interesting as an observer to this testing, was seeing the mindset shift from:
- What isn’t it doing?
- What could I do better?
- I need to follow and observe it
To one of more trust in the device, the results and satisfaction that it’s doing a good job of maintaining the cleanliness of the home.
This has very much been my thoughts on robot vacuums for some time, that until they can close doors, vacuum behind them and get all the way to the edge of a room for both sweeping and mopping; they’re supplementary to maintain, vs deep cleaning your home.
At $1,499.00 it’s nowhere near the most expensive on the market, and it does a lot for that price. It’s well worth looking at if you’ve got a lot of tiled floors for the mopping capacity, but if your house is dominated by carpets then there are other models with auto-empty stations that will possibly serve you better.