New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

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New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 24th, 2017, 3:09 pm

I'm in the market to pick up a Neato Botvac. I am undecided between the D5 Connected and the Botvac Connected model. I understand that the Botvac Connected is billed as the top of the line Neato, but I have also read that the D5 Connected is built on a newer platform that has design changes intended to increase it's longevity compared to the original Connected model. Of the two, which is most recommended on this forum if I'm looking for a solid navigation based robot vacuum from Neato? Any help or information would be appreciated, thanks!
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 24th, 2017, 4:35 pm

A Neato Robotics person mentioned here a more advanced WiFi radio system in the D5, if that is what interests you. A lot of problems are reported with WiFi in all brands with that feature, though no specific problem stands out; WiFi is a complicated system, connection problems etc. Details of the smartphone App supplied could be considered for any differences.
Usually the latest models have any tweaks and fixes they have found, in construction, components, etc. Yet these can also be marginal, and it is common with electronics to find bargains in older models when new ones are introduced. Specifications should be examined in detail for issues of interest to each particular customer. What models are available in stores where they can be returned can also be of interest. Attention should be given to the battery and its eventual replacement, as the types of batteries have changed over time, now lithium etc.
The latest model will also include the newest firmware, and the makers are not in the habit of delivering new software features to older models, if only to pay for the programming work. Common with digital electronics generally.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby vic7767 » March 24th, 2017, 4:38 pm

Both the Connected and D3, D5 models have the improved Lidar units. What is removed from the D3 and D5 models is the LCD User Interface, that was a weak point for failure in some earlier models.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 24th, 2017, 4:44 pm

vic7767 wrote:Both the Connected and D3, D5 models have the improved Lidar units. What is removed from the D3 and D5 models is the LCD User Interface, that was a weak point for failure in some earlier models.

So in your opinion is the D5 Connected a better robot than the Botvac Connected if you were purchasing brand new today?
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby vic7767 » March 24th, 2017, 6:21 pm

I don't have the D5 but I do have the D3. I prefer the D3 since there is one less hardware component to worry about (LCD UI)
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 24th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Company comparison chart https://www.neatorobotics.com/compare-robot-vacuums/
The D5 has a larger battery than the D3 for longer run time, important in certain uses. Batteries last according to the number of charging cycles, so a plus for larger spaces -- depending on costs of the battery...
Neato models always consist of bundles with various numbers of accessories, filters, different brushes etc. Notably here the D3 omits the mag strip boundary markers, not cheap -- but not always needed, so more flexible deals now.
D3 is listed Sold Out at Best Buy in the U.S.
Filters are a cost of using Neato robots (compared to Samsung and Dyson with washable filters, cyclone extraction).
The original Connected is $100 more than the newer D5, and the D3 is $200 less, for the omitted LCD panel and less accessories (only the plain filter is included, not recommended, clogs quickly; but you would be buying packs of replacement filters anyway...).

There is something to getting the smallest bundle and buying accessories separately to suit, but the larger D5 battery needs consideration. Battery types are programmed in software, so it is not clear the larger battery could be used in the D3, company advice would be needed. Anyone know? (Even when a battery is compatible, the software may not use extra capacity.)

[edit] Most of the LCD failures reported are for the older XV line with a different display component, but who knows? Neato lidars are all subject to wear in belts and motor brushes -- compared to solid state camera guidance in other brands, at higher prices... Neato Robotics itself does not sell replacement parts retail, though many standard parts have been identified available from general supply -- thanks to users alone.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby calypso » March 25th, 2017, 9:38 am

The D5 is newer tech. Buy the D5.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 25th, 2017, 7:52 pm

I see that a difference between the D5 and the Botvac Connected is the Eco/Turbo mode functionality. Does the Botvac Connected have more suction power than the D5 or vice versa?
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 25th, 2017, 8:38 pm

They do not tell you such details and few users are interested in measurements like I have made, and I do not have these models. One way to guess is to compare the size of the battery, watt hours and mah, with the specified run time, to guess how much power the robot can use (I do not have the battery specs myself). This could suggest a more powerful motor in some case. However, the Botvac made a big improvement in fan efficiency over the older XV models, with more suction for the same power, to support the wider intake. I tend to think they have not changed this mechanical aspect of the Botvac after the original Connected model. I think that was mentioned as a little improvement over the other Botvacs. It is not easy to engineer improvements in this, without much larger batteries and power. It also does not matter so much since the work is really done by the brush in these low power machines compared to regular vacuums with kilowatt power.

Also it would seem odd to introduce a new top of the line model with less performance than older models; maybe in newer low-end models, but not the most expensive. It certainly is confusing with so many models.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 25th, 2017, 10:52 pm

glnc222 wrote:They do not tell you such details and few users are interested in measurements like I have made, and I do not have these models. One way to guess is to compare the size of the battery, watt hours and mah, with the specified run time, to guess how much power the robot can use (I do not have the battery specs myself). This could suggest a more powerful motor in some case. However, the Botvac made a big improvement in fan efficiency over the older XV models, with more suction for the same power, to support the wider intake. I tend to think they have not changed this mechanical aspect of the Botvac after the original Connected model. I think that was mentioned as a little improvement over the other Botvacs. It is not easy to engineer improvements in this, without much larger batteries and power. It also does not matter so much since the work is really done by the brush in these low power machines compared to regular vacuums with kilowatt power.

Also it would seem odd to introduce a new top of the line model with less performance than older models; maybe in newer low-end models, but not the most expensive. It certainly is confusing with so many models.

I understand what you're saying, but I was under the impression that even though the Botvac Connected is the older Botvac it is still top of their product line with the D5 & D3 Connected slotted below. Is that not the case?
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 26th, 2017, 3:21 am

The comparison chart mentioned above shows the original Connected has an IR remote control, and eco/turbo mode not listed for the D5, as well as a second brush included in the bundle, all of which adds to price -- those bundles... Brush types can be issues with pet owners. I did not care for Neato bristle brushes on my particular carpet, pulling out fibers, but supposedly better to collect pet hair -- which must be cleaned from the bristles. They have decided to expand the offerings with a cheaper model without those extra features, but with some improvements in WiFi it seems (which one would think supplants IR remotes -- especially as the WiFi software acquires more features; the remote can be preferred by users not so enamored of smartphone apps, dependent on a router or even a remote server running). There is always tinkering with circuit boards over time as digital electronics advances rapidly.

I am not sure about the "Eco" mode in that this can be a low power mode for noise reduction which does not clean as well, or is not so good on carpet. Or check whether they have automated switching these modes with more advanced control in the D5? Check the sales literature in detail, whatever is new in D5. Low power mode can still be good on hard floors and would increase run time for larger area coverage. It depends on how it is intended to be used. Some customers are especially interested in low noise and running at night while asleep (the Samsung Powerbot's are extremely quiet in this respect, and compared to Neato's I have owned).

Others may have more info. So what brought your attention to Neato Robotics brand? Would you be getting a service contract or extended warranty? Is this your first robot?
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 26th, 2017, 11:19 am

glnc222 wrote:The comparison chart mentioned above shows the original Connected has an IR remote control, and eco/turbo mode not listed for the D5, as well as a second brush included in the bundle, all of which adds to price -- those bundles... Brush types can be issues with pet owners. I did not care for Neato bristle brushes on my particular carpet, pulling out fibers, but supposedly better to collect pet hair -- which must be cleaned from the bristles. They have decided to expand the offerings with a cheaper model without those extra features, but with some improvements in WiFi it seems (which one would think supplants IR remotes -- especially as the WiFi software acquires more features; the remote can be preferred by users not so enamored of smartphone apps, dependent on a router or even a remote server running). There is always tinkering with circuit boards over time as digital electronics advances rapidly.

I am not sure about the "Eco" mode in that this can be a low power mode for noise reduction which does not clean as well, or is not so good on carpet. Or check whether they have automated switching these modes with more advanced control in the D5? Check the sales literature in detail, whatever is new in D5. Low power mode can still be good on hard floors and would increase run time for larger area coverage. It depends on how it is intended to be used. Some customers are especially interested in low noise and running at night while asleep (the Samsung Powerbot's are extremely quiet in this respect, and compared to Neato's I have owned).

Others may have more info. So what brought your attention to Neato Robotics brand? Would you be getting a service contract or extended warranty? Is this your first robot?

I had a Eufy Robovac 11 that I tested for a month in my apartment to get an idea of if a robot vacuum would work for me or if they were more of a novelty. After robot proofing my apartment a bit I had the Eufy working on a daily scheduled cleaning. I had some trouble with it sometimes timing out searching for the base and decided I would like to spend a bit more on a robot vacuum that had smarter navigation for my actual purchase.

I'm not too keen on the ~$1000 range of robot vacuums, but from my research it seemed like ~$500-$600 was a feature sweet spot for what I am looking for. This narrowed me down to the Roomba 960, Neato Botvac Connected, Neato Botvac D5 Connected, and Xiaomi Mi robot. I considered the Xiaomi as a really nice bargain for the features, but I'm turned off by the inability to cost effectively return it for warranty and unknown longevity of the hardware at this point. The Roomba 960 is still in the running, but would cost me more than what I've been able to find the Botvac Connected and D5 Connected for online. The lowest pricing being the Botvac Connected at around ~$530 and D5 Connected ~$570. Do you have an opinion on the Roomba 960 vs Botvac Connected models?

I had not put a lot of thought into extended warranty/service contracts. Are you talking about SquareTrade type stuff? I've never really purchased that kind of thing for any appliances in the past. Is it common for you guys to purchase these for robot vacuums?
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby vic7767 » March 26th, 2017, 12:01 pm

When diving into the robotic vacuum environment it is a good idea to become familiar with troubleshooting, repair, tools and equipment necessary to keep the robot performing. The robots are not turnkey hardware products yet. Do your research, customer feedback, Google info and user groups will be helpful in making your product choice.

IMHO, the NeatoRobotics Neato and now Botvac models are popular and priced competitively but have some replacement / maintenance issues. Invest in a small compact air compressor, a set of tools both hardware and software for the vendor of your choice. Check for replacement parts and accessory availability to help make your choice.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 26th, 2017, 2:42 pm

The WiFi features of the newest robot models come at a substantial increase in price. The older Botvac-D (with improved brush bearing) should be considered if simply upgrading to a guided navigation robot.
The older Botvac's are even cheaper and without pets the bearing is not so much a problem, and the bot can be easily modified to take the new brush (voiding the warranty -- only one year anyway). The older NiMh battery is inexpensive now, and can last one to two years depending on intensity of usage.

If guided navigation is not of interest then the iRobot products are more durable and reliable than Neato Robotics. But even iRobot has gone to camera guidance in the most advanced Roomba 980.

In terms of value personally I would consider Samsung,com's current factory direct sale of the base model at $400 delivered, where shipping of these heavy items can be expensive. With both solid state durable camera guidance etc. (no lidars to break) more advanced than Neato's, previously much more expensive, and the most durable construction observed (no repairs requests posted, boring for forums, major electronics supplier -- and never need filters -- but is not a HEPA filter if you are into that, and at cost of a large but long lasting battery).

The Xiamoi Mi is not ready for U.S. distribution, chinese language only, direct shipment from China only. Of interest to robot hobbyists and enthusiasts. German programmers have translated the smartphone app.
I am concerned with reports of deteriorated warranty service from Neato Robotics, outsourced to a service company, stories posted here. How Xiaomi could ever be repaired is a question.

There are issues with robots handling particular furniture and flooring up to personal taste and circumstance, pets etc., so can direct customers to certain brands which satisfy their interests (much detail in the various forums and threads here). The robots are not perfect and you sort of choose which problem to live with. Is there a need to fit underneath low furniture etc. (nothing fits under mine, so I ignore it -- others make it an issue). They cannot be used with some carpets etc. I would need photos of a space to give detailed advice.
The most advanced model at lower prices from Samsung, the lower height VR7000, will not be available for several months in the U.S., but could be worth waiting for.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » March 26th, 2017, 11:34 pm

I've watched videos and read a lot of reviews on the current generation Samsung Powerbots and it appears that their navigation isn't on par with irobot and Neato. Like you said, their new generation coming out has a lot of hardware changes and hopefully improved navigation.

I have gone through this forum and gotten the general impression that the Neato botvacs have some longevity issues with the lidar units and in general less robust construction than some competing manufacturers. I'm taking a really hard look at the Roomba 960 right now. It's in the price range that I'm willing to spend, has fixed camera based SLAM navigation, and solid construction from an established manufacturer. My only fear is that the 980/960 are long in the tooth and as soon as I decide to pull the trigger something newer, better, and cheaper will be announced. Good ol' analysis paralysis.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » March 27th, 2017, 1:51 am

My Powerbot navigates perfectly in the apt and handles everything better than the Botvac did, so I do not know what they are talking about. I have not seen those references. Similar navigation is used by Roomba 980, Dyson, and LG. For a small apt though, you do not need the higher capacity of the Powerbot except to clean faster (disregarding its other advantages, necessary here for the carpeting). The cheap one also does not have scheduling or mag strip boundaries and another $150 is needed for the lowest model with that.
[edit] Also I did have to modify the Powerbot bumper to work effectively -- should have emphasized that. No such need with the Roomba 960. Neato's can require mods for over-head pinch situations.

I see some used Roomba 960's under $600 at Amazon Warehouse Deals, Amazon fulfillment terms, and with that brand maybe ok second hand. Generous return policy -- Amazon... These are often returned, "open box" items virtually new. Roomba's round shape and center intake does have some advantages in maneuvering, well shown in the Spanish reviewer's videos on Youtube testing different models with a pretty demanding setup (and with camera instead of Xiaomi's obsolete lidar, though more expensive).

The real competition for the Neato, though, is the new 7000 Samsung model clearly designed for that purpose, not yet available. Xiaomi could expand distribution at some point, no telling when; it takes a substantial investment and acquiring dealership agreements with retailers. There is an alternate English app though from a user.

The former Roomba designer here, third_deg, is slowly starting his own company, still filing patents. iRobot has changed, divesting its original defense contractor business and now a consumer products company. No telling what may come from that. They had half the market but the competition is growing. A lot of investment seems to be going into fancier smartphone apps, home automation integration and such. Voice control with Amazon and Google gadgets. It seems cleaning the floor is no longer enough, and there is quite a demand, backed with purchasing power, for convenience software.
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby Shazb0t » April 1st, 2017, 11:21 am

I ended up purchasing a Roomba 980. Got it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond with the 20% off coupon. I've ran it a few times and it works really well! Just curious about the noises it makes, I made a thread in the iRobot section. Thanks for your guys help!
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby 3kgt » April 14th, 2017, 3:31 pm

Will burrow this topic since i have same questions!

Have u guys found any Hardware changes between D5 conected vs Connected
Its 6990 kr vs 5400 kr in Sweden.
Eco mode is bullshit. App is not so important for me.
So the question is Suction power/battery. ?

I would love to buy and try a new Samsung VR700 but that seem to take a while untill it here. and my Botvac 75 is Once again broken 3 weeks after a repair shop fix. this time its the damn sensors again
One other problem with Samsung robots are Much more expensive price + few internet store have them in Sweden, most popular are neato and irobot. Only avalible Samsung one is a less powerfull VR20J9020UG wich cost 5000 kr. but with a 30 min run
Love robot vacums :)
Today: Neato Botvac 70E
Tested: Neato XV-14,15, Signature pro & Irobot 521,581, 630,650,780 + 2 Samsung modells + XV-25 + Scooba 230
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2017, 5:21 pm

On Samsung's with 30/60/90 run time options I would not use the 30 minute double power max mode as I suspect it wears out the expensive battery faster, and does not really clean a lot better -- nonlinear factors consume the power.
You may be able to get the new 7000's direct through Samsung website for your region. Distribution is ramping up just now. What presence they have in Sweden I do not know. Just not enough demand to be everywhere.
Amazon ships internationally from the U.S. if you want to pay the shipping. Maybe Germany, you would have to check.

The only Botvac hardware info I have seen mentions more advanced WiFi radio capable of multiple AP logins on the D5 mentioned by Neato reps. The main difference from the D3 is the full size standard battery for long run time and larger area coverage, besides all those little features and extra accessories, and the D3 can use the larger standard replacement battery. Model/bundle comparison chart company website https://www.neatorobotics.com/compare-robot-vacuums/
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Re: New Neato Botvac Purchase Help

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2017, 8:10 pm

Hello 3kgt:
The Swedish Samsung site lists only one Powerbot 9040 but shows three dealers in Stockholm.
http://www.samsung.com/se/storelocator/?modelCode=VR20J9040WG/EE&categorySubTypeCode=23040300&latitude=&longitude=
You could ask them what is happening and see what else those dealers carry. This model is on sale at the U.S. website $499, probably in response to new models -- clearance as they say. Continue in the Samsung forum.
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