Why do reviews for Samsung PowerBots vary so much?

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Why do reviews for Samsung PowerBots vary so much?

Postby kgthreee » April 27th, 2018, 9:41 pm

I can’t make sense of the reviews I see for Samsung PowerBots. Consumer Reports likes the Samsung PowerBots… but The Wirecutter and Tom’s Guide says it’s more likely to get stuck on cords and fringe than others and less able to get itself out. Any ideas on why the reviews seem to be all over the place?

More importantly, do the Samsung PowerBots perform more consistently with the mods suggested on this forum? I’m looking for something:
* Reliable and low-maintenance
* Don’t have to babysit it
* Can deal with pet hair, preferably with brushes that don’t get tangled
* Efficient cleaning pattern (we have a small place but a lot of doorways, so I’m not confident that a random pattern vac will work well in our space)
* Mid-range price at most (no more than $600 at Bed Bath and Beyond so it’s $480 and can be returned)
* Decent filtration (I’m allergic to my cat and don’t want a haze of dander in the air)

We have a 750sf house which is about two thirds low-to-medium pile wall to wall carpeting and one third linoleum. We have a long-haired cat.

I like the PowerBot’s reputation for reliability, HEPA filter, and cleaning pattern, but I’m concerned that I’d have to babysit it. I’m also considering the Roomba 960 (seems great except for filtration) and whatever Neato Botvac fits my price range (though I’m concerned about their reliability).

Thank you, wise robot users!
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Re: Why do reviews for Samsung PowerBots vary so much?

Postby glnc222 » April 29th, 2018, 7:05 pm

Commercial reviews of vacuum robots are limited in the kind of tests they perform. For example, they would not notice how Neato robots got stuck on flared pedestal bar stools. They do not make engineering measurements of technical factors like suction and tire traction. There are also Youtube reviews some of which are critical and point out certain weaknesses. That is the point, that there are weaknesses which may only apply to certain furniture and flooring.

I have not tested the newer, low profile 7000 Samsung's but have had excellent experience with the larger, 9000 series, but only with the technical mods I have posted here -- for my particular furniture details, floor lamp bases etc. In some ways the 7000 series may require less. I used older Roomba's, original Neato's and Botvac before adopting the Powerbot -- for a unique situation where new carpet was installed and I wanted a more powerful unit for carpet cleaning (these bots are mainly sweepers for hard floors, unlike full size vacuums invented for carpet cleaning, with many times the electrical power). I made measurements to show the Powerbot actually cleaned the carpet at least when used frequently.

I have never observed the powerbot having a problem with doorways, compared to the other situations I addressed which got it stuck sometimes. The particular mod to disable to wheel extension sensor (holding in the wheels), is fairly easy, compared to electrical work etc., and seems to explain most of the trap situations. The 9000 series has larger 4 in. wheels which may make this problem unique to this model, compared to the typical 3 in. wheels on the 7000's.

My powerbot has run close to 400 times with no electronic failures, as expected from the company's main business making electronic components used by all other mfg.s of appliances. They have a strong incentive for quality control for reputation selling TV's and phones. And they have the resources from the size. I just notice the other brands are filled with hobbyists repairing the electronics, which however entertaining, I wanted to avoid -- in favor of performance enhancing mods...
The battery is expensive but might run as much as 600 cycles -- all the newer (and more expensive) bots now have lithium batteries with much longer life than the older NiMh models, after years of gradual improvements.
With Samsung's quality electronics a long term service contract might not be needed as much as some other brands (such as Geek Squad warranties at Best Buy, Walmart warranties etc.).

The R7070 mentioned at Bed & Bath has an all blade, pet hair cutting brush, compared to the combo bristle/blade brush on other models, which might be available separately now, not sure. It has been reported that this hair cutting feature does not work on fluffy cat hair, but is better than nothing. The blade brush will not accumulate hair like bristle brushes requiring cleaning. There was some R7065 model forthcoming which had the combo instead of hair cutting brush -- maybe of interest for hard floors, with the bristles.

I do not think the Samsung filter is a HEPA filter. Instead it is a washable sponge filter saving a lot of cost in the short lived filters in all these vacuum robots. It has a centrifuge extraction similar to Dyson (who might have a more fine filter). HEPA filters in these robots will clog quickly and require more expense. For allergies free standing room HEPA filtering such as Whirlpool might be of interest, as well as finer allergy type furnace, HVAC filters (in hardware stores, 3M filtrete various grades -- good material to make your own filters for the other brand robots cheaper).

I have no visible wear on the Samsung washable filter near 400 runs, but cleaned only once every dozen or more runs due to the large 9000 series bin -- and just not that much dirt here. The 7000 low profile is accomplished by squishing the shape down making a smaller capacity bin; the 9000 will not fit under as much furniture. You can vacuum the filter besides washing it every time.
The 9000 series has an indicator for filter clogging missing on the 7000, maybe because with the smaller bin, it is expected to be emptied before that is a problem (which can occur before the large bin gets filled).

The latest wrinkle in the industry is marking virtual space boundaries on the computer screen in place of using mag strips etc. (included in the R7070), and Samsung has yet to match this innovation.

The only way to know whether it will work in your environment is to try it out with a return privilege in the store policy. Bed & Bath promotions are a very good bargain.
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Re: Why do reviews for Samsung PowerBots vary so much?

Postby n0oxy » July 9th, 2018, 5:40 pm

I've seen the same thing on Amazon, I was actually considering getting the Samsung 9350 which is supposed to be the top of the line model, but many users have had nothing but problems with it. Of course, on sites like Amazon, you're always going to see good and bad reviews, but there seems to be more negative than positive reviews for the Samsung models.
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