The idea of a robot that does your household chores for you having a “budget option” is kind of crazy. But here we are in 2019, and here I am, evaluating the Bagotte BG600 as just such a device.
And if the idea of a “budget robot vacuum cleaner” seems odd, at least the reality is pretty okay. You shouldn’t expect a robot vacuum to completely replace your regular cleaning duties. (Remember, if you can only buy one vacuum, don’t buy a robot.) But as a relatively cheap way to program and automate light cleaning, the BG600 works.
Robots Can Be Entry-Level Now
The BG600 gives you a pretty basic set of features. Set it up, press the button, and it will clean in an automated way until all the whole floor space has been covered, or until its dirt reservoir is full, or until the battery runs out—whichever comes first. It doesn’t do live mapping, it doesn’t do smartphone or smart home control. An infrared remote is about as complex as it gets.
The robot can seek out its base station to return home for charging, and it can recognize magnetic strips (the package comes with six feet of strip, though there’s no adhesive on the back). You can command it to do spot cleaning in a spiral motion, but you’ll have to either physically pick it up or wait until it gets to the right spot . . . and with its small reservoir and limited suction power, at that point, you might as well pull out the full-sized vacuum and do it yourself.
But what the design sets out to do, it does competently. Despite a brush width of only 5.75 inches, it’ll get quite a lot of dust and pet hair out of my haggard carpets, saving me the need to vacuum if I haven’t had any big messes lately. For the limited utility of a robot vacuum, that’s a win.
It also looks pretty good, for something that can’t help but look like a giant hockey puck. Tempered glass on the top is stylish, even if it gets dusty (and it will), and the prominent button makes it easy to see the different colors of the status light.
It Gets the (Small) Job Done
The manual claims that the BG600’s battery can go for about 100 minutes, and my testing bears that out. When it doesn’t get jammed by some piece of debris—which is fairly infrequent, thanks to dual rotating clearance brushes—it’ll go for the full runtime without complaint.
It’ll pack in quite a lot of dust and dog hair into its reservoir, too—something that these robots sometimes have trouble with, detecting a “full” space when it can still be compacted. Emptying things out is easy and doesn’t require you to open any slots or flip the vacuum over. Just pull the trap out when it’s docked, push the same button to open the reservoir on its hinges, and empty it into the trash can.
The brush does seem more prone than usual to catching strings and other detritus, but it’s easy enough to pop out and clean manually. The same can be said for the sweeping brushes . . . but the bristles seem particularly prone to being disturbed in a way that can’t easily be fixed. The package comes with two spares, but I predict users will be going through them unusually quickly.
The only other quibble I have is with the charging base. It’s so lightweight that the robot tends to push it around if it doesn’t mount perfectly, resulting in it spending a lot of time (and battery power) getting mounted. You might need to weight it down or tape it to the floor.
Value Lags Behind
Bagotte asks for $220 for the BG600 (or the upgraded 1600Pa, which adds only about 7 percent extra power for the same price), which is a lot when you can get the entry-level Roomba 600 and its smartphone/smart home integration for $50 more.
If you can find the BG600 or the 1600Pa on sale—which happens pretty regularly—it’s a relatively good value for its basic features. If you can’t, a more expensive robot, or a cheaper wireless stick vacuum, are better picks.
Here’s What We Like
- Relatively inexpensive
- Simple to set up and activate
- Large reservoir
And What We Don't
- Lacks app or smarthome functions
- Base slides around
- Very narrow brush