Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

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Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

Postby Bocks » July 17th, 2017, 4:11 pm

First some History:
I am a self-proclaimed Robot Vacuum geek. Back when I saw the original Roomba in 2002 I was hooked. I have had at least one model out of every series Roomba created going back to 2003 (Original, Elite, Discovery, Red, Sage, 570, 535, 560, 650, 790 and lastly the 980). I have been loyal to iRobot and their Roombas only having strayed for a brief period with the Neato XV series units (but quickly went back) so my knowledge and experience with the iRobot line is vast.
I purchased a Roomba 980 in Jan of 2016 as a replacement for my Roomba 790 as the only robotic vacuum in our house. While I was impressed with the mapping ability, the runtime of the Li-Ion battery and the Aero-Force extractors in terms of maintenance, I have been bothered by what I feel as less effective cleaning from the vastly more expensive 980 compared to my previous Roomba’s. I have a yellow lab and three kids in our house so there is no shortage of hair, dirt, crumbs, etc. to go around. My main gripe with the 980 and what caused me to look at alternative robotic vacuums was its poor performance in picking up my yellow labs hair off our hardwood floors as well as its inability to fully navigate our entire main floor without becoming stuck on our area rugs or under the furniture. The answer to this for me was having SIX Virtual walls throughout the house blocking various trouble spots for the 980. The virtual walls work great but the batteries run down or one of the kids move them and then the Roomba gets into someplace it shouldn’t and gets stuck. Coming home to a frequently stuck $900 vacuum robot that does not get all the dog hair was the last straw.
Upon doing weeks of research, I found the Neato Connected and the Samsung PowerBot line of units. Having been less than impressed with Neato products (reliability, performance, design, etc.) in the past and having good luck with the Samsung appliances and TV’s I figured I would give them a try.
R9250 Review:
I purchased a BotVac R9250 last week and have run it 15 + times since (have spent hours watching how it operates, learning how it works and following up on its cleaning effectiveness) and I must say I am impressed with its build quality, cleaning ability, navigation and design.
The R9250 looks like it has an actual vacuum head attached to a giant motor and dustbin and is HEAVY compared to any Roomba unit I have owned.
In the many cleaning jobs, I have run since I got it, it is yet to be stuck and cleans my floors better than any Roomba I have had before. I can turn the PowerBot on and it will clean our entire first floor in a single charge (1,500sqft, all hard surface mostly hardwood floors, with large shag area rugs and some tile in the entryway). The spinning brush on the PowerBot is 12” wide (nearly double what the Roomba’s is) and does an excellent job on the floors picking up pet hair and fine dust that the Roomba 980 would miss. On Carpet it leaves nice lines and a good clean floor. In the past, the Roomba’s with the brushes required a decent amount of maintenance to remove the hair and fibers that would wrap around them. The Powerbot does get some hair on the brush but the way the brush is designed, it is much easier to get the hair and fibers off compared to the Roomba’s.
The waste bin is HUGE a .7L and is easy to empty and can be submerged / rinsed with water. This always bothered me with the Roomba’s because the motor was part of the waste bin and was tough to keep really clean.
The R9250 has Wi-Fi Capability and uses the Samsung Smart Home app. The configuration process is easy and once connected you can control the basics of the unit from the app. The biggest missing thing on the App is there is no history or map of what the unit cleaned. The app is basic and not very polished but it gets the job done. It is lagging behind the 980 in terms of functionality and polish.

Overall, I am impressed with Samsung’s entry in this space and after nearly 15 years with iRobot Roomba’s I have jumped ship and moved on. Will see how reliable the Samsung unit is and how easily I can get replacement parts if / when needed but so far I am glad I made a change.
Thanks,
Lance
Bocks
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Re: Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

Postby glnc222 » July 17th, 2017, 8:23 pm

A nice touch I find is the display icon for filter clogging, which really works. If you see this, dust, usually visible, has built up on the surface of the sponge filter cutting air flow. Vacuuming may restore operation though washing is the standard. I backwash filters holding against the faucet. Squeezing out water with a towel and placing under a fan will dry it in an hour. Never buy filters again (you will need the money for the $175 large battery -- which might last 600 cycles or more, no one has reached yet -- lithium advantage).
It looks like this indicator is missing on the 7000 series (by the manual), perhaps because of the smaller bin likely emptied before the filter clogs.

The Neato Botvac has a similar sized large bin, but not the larger four inch wheels and wider brush.

One thing added on the 7000 seems to be automatic hard floor/carpet detection and fan control. I am dubious of the Max fan power setting, finding little cleaning improvement (apart from automatic engagement with the dirt detector), and observed some wear on the battery (though I had experimented with over-powered usage omitting the limiting cyclone system, maybe over loading).

The dirt detector really works, with some sensor in the intake, being observed going off at certain spots usually against walls, on occaision. Makes a nice impression.

One annoying feature of Samsung is shutting down the unit in the event of an error, with no delay allowed for manually resuming the current operation with the house map. A matter of software details. Shutting down helps preserve the battery (the computer loads it even without motors), and Neato robots were known to severely drain the battery if left unattended, though they could be resumed. Refinements should be possible.
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Re: Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

Postby glnc222 » July 17th, 2017, 9:41 pm

Surprising Amazon Wharehouse Deals has "used like new" units R9250 as low as $475, while new ones are in stock at Amazon and Best Buy U.S. at $799. They have not been distributed for very long to make a lot of wear.
The "select a room" feature in the more expensive 9350 is somewhat dubious from reports. Needs work and more manual editing features.

[edit] The surplus of returned 9000 bots might coincide with the recent introduction of the new, lower height 7000 models, with a lot of returns to trade over by recent customers. In that case the bargains may not last.
Last edited by glnc222 on July 19th, 2017, 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

Postby glnc222 » July 19th, 2017, 3:16 pm

Another difference on the more expensive 9350 is flexible rim wheels increasing traction when climbing thresholds, increasing the specified height handled from 1.5 to 2.0 centimeters. I once saw these wheels, with visible fan like blade spokes, on a cheaper model months ago, which disappeared -- possibly a marketing field test only. Unless they have also vanished from newer 9350's, manufacturing cost issues. The company makes so many varied models seeming to be equipped with substantial production facilities for experiments, owning the factories instead of contracting out.

I base this on observing wheel traction is a problem on the edges of height transitions where bots are tilted so weight does not fall at the angle needed against the edge, and slipping occurs. Many thresholds are beveled forming ramps limiting problems, but still an issue for some customers. See the 9000 thread for details of investigations.
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Re: Samsung PowerBot R9250 Review / Thoughts

Postby michaelm » Today, 12:51 am

Just picked up the r9250 and the first try was a success.

I am having trouble with the wifi connection on Android however. How do you do a hard reset to the robot as mine was 'nearly new' from Amazon.

Initially I could see the AP access point on my phone but now I can't. It asked me for AP name and password but I could not type in the AP name and the search did not find my wifi network.


Any suggestions?
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