Keeping up with the Jones’ isn’t as easy as it may have been a few decades ago. If you are on a tighter budget but still want to have a home that is more autonomous than your neighbors, then you know the idea behind bargain hunting.
Saving money and still getting a product that can do as well as its high-end competitor can be simple. You just have to know where to look. When it comes to robotic vacuums, one name stands above the rest: iRobot’s Roomba line. Saving money on a Roomba means you will have to look at older models with modern upgrades. The Roomba 690 is just that model.
But can you save even more and still get the same quality? Ecovacs wants you to believe you can. The Deebot M80 Pro is an all-in-one robot vacuum designed to be a cost-effective alternative to the Roomba. How does it compare?
In this article, I will compare each brand’s most popular robot vacuum to each other and discuss the pros, cons, features, and options for each. I will also answer your most popular questions and tell you which robot vacuum is a better bang for your buck.
If you aren’t interested in the run down the Roomba 690 is still the winner, but barely.
- 1 The Differences in the Models
- 2 What Do They Have In Common?
- 3 Comparison Chart
- 4 Feature and Options Details
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 What We Like About the M80 Pro
- 7 What We Like About the Roomba 690
- 8 That’s a Wrap
The Differences in the Models
In the budget-friendly robot vacuum market, some features are added or removed to gain your attention. Here are the major differences between the two robots.
- The M80 Pro uses a 5-stage cleaning mode where the Roomba uses a 3-stage cleaning mode.
- Battery life of the M80 is a maximum of 110 minutes, while the Roomba 690 is a maximum of 120 minutes.
- The M80 Pro has an optional wet/dry mopping mode; the Roomba 690 does not mop at all.
- The Roomba 690 has dirt detection sensors; the M80 Pro does not.
- The M80 Pro has no height adjustments; the Roomba 690 adjusts to different floor heights.
- The M80 Pro comes with a remote control and mobile app; the Roomba 690 relies solely on WiFi mobile app.
What Do They Have In Common?
Anytime you have competitors creating similar devices, they will share commonalities in their features. What do these two have in common?
- Anti-drop and anti-collision sensors are on both models.
- Each makes use of a mobile app for control. (Note the difference that the M80 Pro has a remote control as well.)
- The M80 Pro and the Roomba 690 will clean any floor surface.
- Both models make use of side brushes to clean edges and corners.
- Each of the robots will return to the dock when their batteries get low to auto-charge.
- The Roomba 690 and the M80 Pro have voice control with Amazon Alexa.
- Each of the vacuums has spot cleaning abilities.
- Both versions use a high-efficiency filter for controlling allergens and dust particles.
The side-by-side chart to show you at a glance what features are available on each robot vacuum.
There are some great Roomba deals on Amazon today:
- $50 off on the Roomba i3
- Pros: brushless rollers, smart navigation, good basic vacuum, good price
- Cons: no "keep out zones" feature found on higher end Roombas
- $289 off on the Roomba i7 <-- hot deal
- Pros: efficient cleaning, logical navigation
- Cons: no front camera for obstacle avoidance, no auto-empty
- $200 off on the Roomba j7
- Pros: front camera for obstacle avoidance, best "bang for your buck"
- Cons: no auto-empty
- $200 off on the Roomba j7+
- Pros: obstacle avoidance, auto-emptying
- Cons: none
- $200 off on the Roomba s9+
- Pros: strongest suction, wider brushrolls, improved corner cleaning, auto-emptying
- Cons: price
Or see all current robot vacuum deals
|Roomba 690||EcoVac M80 Pro|
|Battery Life||120 minutes||110 minutes|
|Mobile App Control||Yes||Yes|
|Cleaning Stages||3 stages||5 stages (when mopping)|
|Dirt Detection Sensors||Yes||No|
|Virtual Barrier||1 included||No|
|Price||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
Feature and Options Details
The more prominent features and options need more than just a chart to learn about them. Here, I will try to explain each one in greater detail.
1. Wet/Dry Mopping
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The Roomba 690 is a robotic vacuum that does not have mopping abilities. The Deebot M80 Pro on the other hand, does. There is a detachable mopping head that is attached to the bottom rear of the machine that will mop the floor as it goes along.
There is a removable wet/dry reservoir that you will fill with water and attach to the bottom of the robot under the dustbin. As the robot moves across the floor, the vacuum will sweep and clean the floor while the water reservoir drops water that the cleaning pad then mops up.
The attachment tank and pad remind me of a Swiffer Wet, it is basically just a pad that runs along the floor. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up and program. However, the actual cleaning left a little to be desired.
If the floor is big enough, the pad will stop soaking up much of the water and will leave streaks. If you decide to mop, you shouldn’t leave the robot alone. Also, you will need to remove the water tank and mop pad before allowing the robot to return to the charging dock.
Bottom Line: The Deebot M80 Pro wins. The Roomba doesn’t mop at all, so having the ability is a bonus.
2. Batteries and Charging
The Roomba 690 is the only 600 series robot vacuum to come with lithium-ion batteries. The rest of the series utilizes the less efficient Nickle Metal Hydride batteries. The M80 Pro also makes use of lithium-ion batteries.
Both robots will have a relatively short recharge time. From dead, the M80 Pro will take about 2 hours to charge fully. The Roomba will recharge in about an hour and a half.
The Roomba also has a longer run time. This is under optimal conditions as well, but the Roomba will run for about 120 minutes where the M80 Pro offers 110 minutes. The 10 minutes may not seem like much of a difference, however when auto-recharging it could be the difference maker.
Each of the robots has been reported to have difficulties finding the charging dock when the battery runs low. The M80 Pro can take up to 12 minutes to find the charging station depending on how many obstacles are in the way and the path it has to take. There have been people stating they have come home and found the robot dead in the middle of the floor.
The Roomba 690 can also have difficulties finding the charging station. Usually, the robot will come close and just have trouble getting on the dock itself. However, that extra 10 minutes of run time will allow it to find the dock more often.
Bottom Line: The Roomba 690 wins this round. With a faster charge time and longer run time, the robot is more efficient.
3. Spot Cleaning Mode
Both of the combatants today offer spot cleaning mode. The M80 Pro will take a cue from the mobile app or the remote control to start a spot clean based on the area you specify. When you do this the robot will move to the spot and make a circle around the area and then a second circle, slightly larger.
The spot clean is more intense and done with a slower pass. The entire process will take about four minutes.
The Roomba 690 will also take its spot cleaning cue from the mobile app. The Roomba, similarly will, move to the spot and make a circle pass. The difference here is that the Roomba will continuously move in circles gradually getting larger until the dirt detection sensors indicate the spot is clean.
This process can take anywhere from two to seven minutes depending on the density of the mess.
Bottom Line: The Roomba wins but only just slightly. Both machines do a good job spot cleaning; the Roomba is just better at making sure the area is clean.
4. Cleaning Stages
The Roomba 690 has a three-stage cleaning cycle. The edge brushes will move dirt, dust, and debris from the edges to the center of the vacuum path. The second stage is the counter-rotating bristle brush extractors loosening and lifting dust and debris from the floor.
The final stage for the Roomba 690 is the high-efficiency motor suctioning all of the debris into the collection bin. This cleaning method is used for all floor types and will clean hardwood, tile, carpet, rugs and more.
The Deebot M80 Pro has a five-stage cleaning cycle. The first three stages are the same of that of the Roomba 690. The fourth and fifth stages are optional. When the mopping attachment is on, the fourth stage is to lay the water, and the fifth is to mop it up with the mopping head.
When the mopping attachment is removed, the five-stage cleaning is down to three, just like the Roomba.
Bottom Line: The M80 Pro wins. With the extra two stages and ability to mop and dry the advantage is clear.
The Deebot M80 Pro uses two types of sensors. The first is the drop sensors that prevent the robot from falling down stairs or off ledges. These sensors detect drops, and anything over three inches is avoided.
The second set of sensors are in the body of the robot and are touch sensors that prevent the vacuum from hitting obstacles and items around your home. If the robot does come in contact (which happens often), it is very good at backing up and going around.
Smaller items like thin chair legs and table legs will often be clipped. However, the speed of the robot and the rubber edge prevent damage, and the robot does back up immediately to go around.
The Roomba 690 also has drop detection sensors on the bottom that prevent the robotic vacuum from going off ledges or falling down stairs. Likewise, it also has touch sensors around the robot to help prevent collisions and better navigation.
What the Roomba does have in addition though is a dirt detection sensor. This is a small sensor near the extractors that senses when the area the vacuum is in has been cleared of all debris.
No one (outside of Roomba) really knows how it works, but it does. Running an M80 Pro over an area of heavy debris, followed by a Roomba will result in more dirt in the Roomba’s collection tray.
This is not to say the M80 Pro doesn’t do a good job cleaning, but in heavily soiled areas you may need to schedule a second pass through.
Bottom Line: The Roomba 690 wins. The dirt detection sensors do make a huge difference in cleaning.
6. Mobile Apps and Remote Controls
The Roomba 690 has a very intuitive and user-friendly mobile app that is used to remotely control the robot. In the app, you can synchronize your robot to the network, set and remove schedules, and even name your robot. You can also call for spot cleans and start, stop or pause cleaning cycles.
The Deebot M80 Pro also makes use of a mobile app for all of the same features the Roomba does. I did notice the mobile app is easy to use but takes a little longer to learn than the iRobot app does.
The M80 Pro also has a standard remote control that will do everything the mobile app will except be able to be used from more than about fifteen feet away from the robot. If you don’t need to start a cleaning mode while you are out of the house, the remote will work just fine and doesn’t rely on WiFi connectivity.
Bottom Line: The Deebot M80 Pro wins. The use of the standard remote means you can still control the robot remotely even if the internet is down.
I want to touch on maintenance real quick. It is important that you stay up on the maintenance of these two models. Unlike other robotic vacuums, specifically the Roomba 800 and 900 series, these two models use bristle brush rotating bars.
These bars, like a standard upright vacuum, will become tangled with debris, long hairs, pet fur, and strings. You will need to check the machines regularly and keep the brushes and bristles clean.
Each model has extractors that are easily removed. Cleaning and the entire maintenance mode will take between fifteen and twenty minutes for both.
Cleaning the dustbin is also important. If it gets full the vacuums will both keep going. However, they won’t be as effective. The M80 Pro has a larger collection bin and will need to be emptied less, but you should still check it quite regularly.
Bottom Line: This round is a tie. Maintenance is maintenance, and you can’t get away from it.
Frequently Asked Questions
You have the questions; I have the answers. Here are the most common ones:
Q. Will these models clean multiple rooms?
A. Yes. They will map and clean the entire area you have to clean (one level only). I believe this question stems from the Roomba 800 and 900 series claiming they have “entire level cleaning” ability.
What this means is that the vacuum will clean an entire level without being restarted in the event it has to recharge. With the Roomba 690 and the Deebot M80 Pro, if it doesn’t finish and needs a recharge, you will have to tell the robot to start the cleaning again using the app, remote or push button.
Q. Will it pick up pet hair?
A. Absolutely! Both models do an excellent job with all types of pet hair. However, I need to restate, that if you have a home with a lot of shedding you will need to be vigilant in your maintenance. Pet hair, human hair, and strings will all be picked up, but are easily tangled in the brushes of the extractor bars.
Q. Can I add floor cleaner to the reservoir?
A. This is about the M80 Pro only as the Roomba doesn’t have the mop option. The recommendation from EcoVac is to use water only. However, you can use a heavily diluted cleaner. If you do so, please note that you will most likely void any warranty as the cleaner can clog the reservoir.
Keep an eye on the functionality of the water release and ensure the machine operates well. Clean the reservoir completely after each use if you decide to do this. Note that I, as well as the manufacturer do not recommend doing this.
Q. Will the M80 avoid my carpets when it is in mopping mode?
A. No. The manufacturers recommend that you take your rugs and fold the edges under to activate the bump sensors on the side of the robot to keep it from going over the rugs. For carpet though, it will just keep on going.
If you have a threshold, you will need to block it from going over the carpet manually. You can make a physical barrier on the edge of the carpeted floor.
Q. How do I stop the robot from accessing a certain area?
A. This is tricky. If you use the Deebot M80 Pro, you will have to monitor the robot closely. There is currently no method to prevent the robot from entering or exiting a specific area. You can walk along and keep your foot down when it tried to leave the area. You can also create a physical barricade, close doors, etc. to prevent the robot from going where you don’t want it.
If, however, you have the Roomba 690 you will receive a virtual wall barrier. This is a device you can set that will send out an infrared signal that will prevent the robot from entering or exiting a room. You can also set it up as a radius to surround such things as flower pots, or pet food dishes to prevent collisions.
Q. Will they both clean any floor type?
A. The short answer is yes. Both are rated for all floor types. However, this is slightly misleading on the part of the Deebot M80 Pro.
This model is rated to clean carpets. However, it is not recommended or suitable for use on high pile carpet. Shag carpeting and other high pile carpets can very easily get snagged and tangled in the extractors.
If you have high pile carpeting, you should keep a very close eye on the M80 Pro.
Q. Will it clean multiple floors?
A. Both models will clean any floor you put them on. However, these robots have wheels, not legs, so they will not ascend or descend stairs. If you want to clean a separate floor, you will have to manually carry the machine up or down stairs and let it do its job.
The Roomba 690 has a carrying handle just for this use.
What We Like About the M80 Pro
- The ability to vacuum and mop in one unit.
- Mobile app and remote control.
- Auto charging when the battery gets low.
- Five stage cleaning cycle.
What We Like About the Roomba 690
- Mobile app control allows cleaning from anywhere.
- Virtual wall barrier allows area exclusion.
- Quick charge lithium-ion batteries.
- Dirt detection sensors.
That’s a Wrap
When you are looking to add a robotic vacuum to your smart home, and you are on a budget, you may be wary of the top contender iRobot series of Roomba vacuums.
If you have heard of the competition in EcoVac with its Deebot series, then you may be curious as to how it compares. Those on a tight budget may like the ability to have a cost-effective robot that will also mop while it vacuums.
The downside is that the mopping doesn’t work all that well and will not replace your weekly cleaning cycle. The vacuum, on the other hand, does a really good job for the cost and will help keep your place clean between your regular deep cleaning.
The Roomba 690 has had a major price drop with the release of the 900 series, and for the advanced robotics, sensors, virtual barrier and dirt detection sensors, the extra cost over the M80 Pro is well worth the features and better clean that you will get.
Both models will clean your floors well, and if you are not in need of a wet/dry mop or have high pile carpeting, the Deebot M80 Pro may be a good option for you. For my money and my opinion though, the Roomba 690 is worth every penny more you will pay, which isn’t an awful lot to be fair.