by Andrew Heinzman on
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Having spent my summer trying out the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S, I looked forward to trying out the next model—the eufy RoboVac 30C. It promises to rectify the few complaints I had with the earlier model. Metaphorically revving up the suction power, I took it for a spin.
With a list price of $269, the eufy RoboVac 30C is a small price bump from the $229 asking price of the eufy RoboVac 11S. On the surface, it seems like a very similar unit to its predecessor. However, it comes with some neat new features.
Namely, more powerful suction (1500Pa compared to 1300Pa), boundary strips, cable ties, and (most importantly) smartphone app connectivity and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Here’s my experience with the new and better RoboVac.
Like its predecessor, the eufy RoboVac 30C takes mere minutes to set up. Its packaging is still fairly uninspired looking, but it’s well arranged. A quick start guide puts you through your paces but, essentially, you slot in the two brush components, plug it into the charger, and stick a couple of batteries into the remote. Not that you’re entirely dependent on the remote now but hey, options are useful, right?
Poke around in the box and you’ll notice a few added extras. There’s 13 foot of magnetic boundary strips, for instance, along with a few cable ties. You don’t have to go straight into utilizing these but I’d recommend it. One of the key issues with any robotic vacuum cleaner is they’re frequently a little too keen and liable to get themselves into a bind. Whether that’s by making a beeline for your charging cables or by trying to head to an area of the house that you don’t want them to go to, they love to get into trouble. Kind of like a really helpful toddler.
It’s important to robot-proof your home so stick the eufy RoboVac 30C on the charger and spend a little time planning out your route. I set up boundary strips between my living space and what I’ll politely call the junk room that would be too tricky for the RoboVac to negotiate safely. I also tied up some pesky charging cables with the cable ties, which was a job that was long overdue anyhow.
New to the eufy RoboVac 30C, there’s also the matter of setting up the EufyHome smartphone app. It’s another step that really doesn’t take long. The app guides you each step of the way. If you’re used to setting up gadgets over Wi-Fi, it’s a breeze but even if you’re not, it’s hardly much hassle to figure out due to the app’s clear instructions.
Overall setup should only take you about 30 minutes in total, and that includes arranging boundary strips and so forth. Oh, and do expect it to attract fingerprints like, well, the eufy RoboVac 11S did before it. You can brush the dust off easily enough, but fingerprints are like something out of CSI.
The downstairs of my home remains like it did while I used the eufy RoboVac 30C’s predecessor — the 11S. It’s not exactly the dream setup for a robotic vacuum cleaner. Both my living rooms have short carpets, but they also have quite thick mats strewn around. As a fairly typical old British house, the hallway is a narrow corridor (but has hardwood flooring at least), and I couldn’t blame a robotic vacuum cleaner for being less than keen with negotiating such areas. Oh, and of course there’s the cat that loves to shed fur whenever possible.
Predictably, the eufy RoboVac 30C goes above and beyond what the 11S provided—understandably so given it’s roughly the same unit, only more powerful. It’s still just as thin too, so it easily slotted underneath things like my shoe rack which is always an area I find I don’t remember to clean manually very often.
As before, there’s the option to leave the RoboVac on Auto, figuring things out for itself. Alternatively, you can use Spot Clean for an extra energetic boost of power, or Edge Clean for dealing with the edges of each room. There’s a Quick Clean mode too which simply focuses on one room for 30 minutes before heading back home. In the case of my home, none of the rooms really need a thorough 30 minutes of vacuuming because they’re just not big enough, but it’s a neat touch for larger homes.
The RoboVac 11S’s remote wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It was old fashioned but it did the job well. You could use it to initiate various modes, as well as schedule it to start at a certain time of day. However, it lacked a few extra features that only a smartphone app could provide, as well as lacked the convenience of being able to do everything via your phone.
The eufy RoboVac 30C’s EufyHome app is a good upgrade for an already competent robotic vacuum cleaner. Through it, you can control the robot like a remote control car, no matter where you are. I used it briefly while sitting in a coffee shop away from home. The only thing was I wished I had a camera hooked up so I could see how the cat reacted to this vacuum cleaner bursting to life in a quiet home.
It also means if you hear it start up and you’re right in the middle of something and don’t want to be disturbed, you can hit the home button and it heads back to base and leaves you alone.
Somehow “lost” your robot in the house? A “find my robot” feature sends out an audio alert so you can track it down. It’s also possible to set up a weekly schedule so you can have it start at different times of the day, depending on which day of the week it is. You can also toggle them off easily enough, such as when you want to be undisturbed on a Sunday.
There’s also the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. It’s of relatively limited utility (unless you’re really keen to talk to your vacuum cleaner) but for those times you really want to stop the vacuum but your hands are full of groceries or the like, it could prove to be quiet useful. Otherwise, there’s just not much to say to a robotic vacuum.
You still can’t see exactly where the vacuum cleaner has been via a mapping function though, but I guess that’s hardly an essential if the room still looks great at the end of a session. More crucially for people who own relatively small homes (like me), you can’t set a time limit for the RoboVac to head back to base. It’s still down to the battery life of the cleaner or opting to switch to the QuickClean mode which lasts 30 minutes.
For the most part, though, the features here are far more useful than before.
It feels a little like nitpicking to complain about the eufy RoboVac 30C. It’s a noticeable upgrade from the 11S and a clearly useful addition to your home. However, well, it lacks a few minor details that other robotic vacuum cleaners provide. For instance, it still repeatedly drives over the same area of the room even when it completed that action seconds ago. It’s not quite smart enough to learn where it’s already tackled, leading it to seem a little inefficient.
As before, I’d advise not hanging around and watching your robotic vacuum cleaner. It ruins all the magic and makes you question its logic. It does a surprisingly good job bouncing over thick mats, but it does love to bump into the sides of things and “learn” the hard way, only to forget seconds later. That’s why boundary strips are worth setting up. It means your eufy RoboVac 30C will look so much smarter than simply leaving it to its own devices.
Also, it’s still not exceptionally quiet, although it is quieter than my regular Dyson. If you’re trying to hold a conversation or you’re watching TV, it’s distracting. That’s another reason why it’s worthwhile setting things up so that the eufy RoboVac 30C runs while you’re out of the house. Something that the new app greatly facilitates.
The eufy RoboVac 11S was already a pretty good robotic vacuum cleaner but the additions that come with the eufy RoboVac 30C has propelled it towards being a far superior option. Sure, there’s still a few bits and pieces I’d have liked to have seen (mapping and IFTTT support, mostly), but they’re relatively minor things in the grand scheme of things.
No one actually needs to know every inch their robotic vacuum cleaner has negotiated while they’ve been out. You simply want to walk into a room and think “hey, that looks good and clean.” The increased suction power of the eufy RoboVac 30C means that becomes an easy reality.
Just don’t watch it as it bangs into things. Like most robotic vacuum cleaners, it’s better just to assume that what the eufy RoboVac 30C does is magic, and reap the rewards afterward. Like me, you’re going to really appreciate not having to vacuum manually again.
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