Samsung throws its hat in the home robotic vacuum market and introduces the POWERbot series. With the Samsung name behind the vacuum and the features list the economic robots look amazing and full of potential. With the POWERbot R7040 on the market, should we take a second look?
This article does just that. I will dive deep inside and explain the good, bad and ugly of this impressive-on-paper machine. I will tell you about all of the features and options, what you can expect and I will give you alternative options in case this one isn’t a good fit for you.
- 1 Who Is The POWERbot R7040 For?
- 2 Who Is The POWERbot R7040 Not For?
- 3 Dimensions, Features and Options
- 4 Specifications Table
- 5 Alternatives and Other Options
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 In Conclusion
- 8 Summary
Who Is The POWERbot R7040 For?
The Samsung R7040 could be a good fit for you if:
- You have mainly hard floors with no throw rugs or fringe.
- Your floor plan is open without a lot of furniture or obstacles.
- You want to have the ability to control remotely, through an app or with your voice.
- You have a tighter budget and need to save some money.
Who Is The POWERbot R7040 Not For?
Not every robotic vacuum is for everyone. The Samsung R7040 might not be the best fit for you if:
- Your home has a lot of carpet, rugs or throws with fringe.
- You require more control over schedules and programming.
- Your floor plan is expansive or heavily cluttered with furniture.
- You don’t want to clean up before your vacuum cleans up.
- You need a way to control where the vacuum can and cannot go.
Dimensions, Features and Options
In this section, I want to take some time to get into the details of the features and options of the Samsung POWERbot R7040, so you have a better idea what to expect.
The Battery Needs a Serious Upgrade
The Samsung POWERbot R7040 is the second in the series just after the POWERbot R7010. One of the largest let downs of the R7010 was the battery life and charge time. Samsung made improvements with the R7040. However, the battery wasn’t one of them.
The lithium-ion battery pack is an improvement over the Nickel-Metal Hydride type. However, the same 2400mAh battery pack in the R7010 makes its return in the R7040. While it isn’t the best battery on the market, it could be worse. Barely.
The runtime is stated as 60 minutes per charge and a recharge time of just over three hours. With the previous model, you could expect an average of 30 minutes running between charges. However, in the R7040 the motor has been improved to be more powerful, which in turn, drains the battery even faster.
Under even optimal conditions, which you will never be able to replicate in your home, the average runtime is about 20 to 25 minutes. What this means to you is that the robot will cover about 800 square foot of hard flooring before needing to recharge.
The good news is that the POWERbot R7040 will return to the docking station when the battery level is low and recharge itself. Further, it will resume from where it left off after the battery is charged fully again.
All in all, it will complete the job, it just might take a lot longer than you want. Improving the battery would help this machine a lot.
The POWERbot R7040, and all of the POWERbot line has an excellent navigation system. The primary navigation method is with a 120-degree side angle camera. The camera will scan the ceiling, finding corners, fans and lighting to aid in positioning.
The ceiling type or height doesn’t matter. Flat and low or arched and cathedral style makes no difference to the mapping. Using the information from the camera, the robot will know where to go and where it has been. It then uses bump sensors to avoid obstacles such as furniture, table legs, etc.
Here is where the machine fails. The bump sensors work, but a little too late. In other models, the machines will sense the obstacle and slow the robot down, either avoiding the object entirely or making contact light enough not to cause damage.
However, the R7040 doesn’t seem to respond to the bump sensors all the time and it will collide with furniture and walls to the point of causing damage to the robot itself. This is a major flaw and as of this writing hasn’t been addressed by Samsung for this particular model.
Most of the other vacuums in the line up don’t seem to have as many problems with collisions as the R7040. The other sensors, the drop sensors, do an excellent job of keeping the robot from falling down stairs or off ledges.
It may be little consolation though if you find yourself kicking the vacuum down the stairs because it knocked over the end table again.
Higher Power Suction Actually Kind of Sucks
The motor power and suction are greatly improved over the previous model. In combination with the edge clean and brush bar, this sounds like an exciting upgrade. However, it tends to cause more problems than it solves.
If you have throw rugs, rugs with fringe you will need to pick them up out of the way before the POWERbot R7040 can run over them. More often than not, the robot will hit a corner of the rug, suck it up and drag it through the rest of the house as it tries to clean.
This is an obvious problem. With three modes you can control the level of power. However, the lowest setting won’t actually clean carpet very well at all. Medium will work, but it will take fringe and lighter rugs around like its personal blanket.
When you switch to high speeds, or when this happens automatically as the robot adjusts to the different floor types, the brush bars will actually end up spreading dirt and debris by kicking it out before it can be suctioned up.
The end result is a full collection bin and a floor that appears dirtier than when it started. This, of course, is on rugs and carpeting.
On hard flooring, the robot does a lot better job. With the edge clean technology, the baseboards and corners of your space will look great and stay clean. The main issue though, is that the robot tends to linger along the edges more than anywhere else in the home.
The less carpet you have, the cleaner your floors will be. Having to keep the robot in the normal, or middle, setting will result in a quieter experience but a possible mess when it’s all said and done.
For the money, there are better options for carpet on the market that won’t leave a mess or drag your rugs around the home.
You Now Have Control Options Other Than Push Buttons
With the baseline model, the POWERbot did away with all but local controls. There was no wireless communications and no remote control. The R7040 addresses both of these issues by shipping with a remote control and allowing you to download a mobile app for wireless control.
The good news is that the remote control works pretty well. You can’t pinpoint a cleaning spot, but you can set a schedule of sorts, start, stop and pause a cleaning cycle and force dock the robot to recharge.
With the wireless option, you can download the Samsung mobile app and sync your robot to your home network. Using the mobile app, you will have the same controls as the remote, with added benefits. You will get a map of the areas cleaned as well as a battery level indicator.
The bad news is, for all of Samsung’s glory in the mobile phone department, the app is lacking and fairly unreliable. However, there is a third option: Voice control.
Because you can pair the robot with your home network, you can also integrate Alexa skills for use with Amazon Alexa devices. This is also true for Google Home and because Samsung owns the SmartTHings hub, it works with that natively as well.
The voice controls are simple and offer the same basic controls as the remote, but at least you don’t have to dig in the couch cushions to find it first.
When all else fails, and it will, from time to time, there is always the local controls on the robot itself. You can do all of the programming, cleaning and scheduling right on the robot without the aid of a remote device or your voice. But, where is the fun in that?
Maintenance Is A Breeze, As Long As You Have An Extra Hour
As with any object with moving pieces, motors and fans, you will need to have a regular maintenance session with the robot. The filter and collection bin should be cleaned regularly.
The collection bin is quite small and is actually one of the smallest on the market and 0.3 liters. You will need to empty it out after every cleaning cycle. The filter is nothing fancy. It will block most airborne particles from returning to your home, but it is not allergenic nor HEPA certified.
It is, however, machine washable, reusable and easy to remove and replace. Unlike the brush bar and suction chamber.
The brush bar has bristles, and if you have used a vacuum of any type in the last 30 years, you know how tangled these types of bars can become with string and hair and carpet fibers. The main problem here is that like most upright vacuums; the brush bar is not easily removed.
This is a problem when you want to detangle the mess or get access to the suction chamber that can easily become clogged with debris. Doing weekly maintenance is recommended, and should take you about an hour to complete. If you don’t have an hour a week to dedicate to maintaining your robot, you may want to look for a model that is easier to keep up with.
I have made you a visually stunning chart to see all of the features and options of the robot vacuum, so take a look:
|Samsung POWERbot R7040
|Battery Charge Time
|Battery Drain Time
|Up to 60 minutes
|Visual, acoustic, infrared
|Entire Level Cleaning
|Brush Bar, Edge plate
Alternatives and Other Options
If you have made it this far and feel that maybe the Samsung POWERbot R7040 is not a good fit for you, here are a few other options you can consider.
If you want to keep the cost down but have an exceptionally clean on any floor type, the Roomba 690 is a decent option. It has the same wireless communications, mobile app controls and voice controls. The app is one of the best on the market, and the voice commands work flawlessly.
The Roomba won’t boast high powered motors. Instead, it just cleans your floors. It also won’t take your throw rugs for a ride or spray dirt behind it as it chugs along. You will lose the automatic resume ability after a recharge, however.
Eufy 11 Plus
I keep coming back to the Eufy 11 Plus as a decent low-cost alternative. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and will not compete for the top spot over Roomba, but this little vacuum does its job and doesn’t complain very much.
If you are looking to spend a little more for performance but don’t want to shell out iRobot prices for a top of the line Roomba, the Eufy 11 Plus could be your answer. It has everything you need and really only lacks in navigation and efficiency compared to the Roomba line. The HEPA filtration is a bonus.
If you are looking for the same functionality, a similar price tag and similar performance (albeit a better carpet cleaning) The Shark RV750 might be worth taking a look at. You will have the mobile app and voice controls and the same level of hard floor cleaning as you get with the POWERbot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allow me a moment to answer a few of the more common questions that crop up about the Samsung POWERbot R7040.
Q. How does it handle pet hair, my dogs shed a lot?
A. It will do pretty well picking up the hair and threads and strings. You will have to keep an eye on the brush bar for tangles and the suction tubes will need to be cleaned out on a more regular basis. However, as for the collection, especially along the baseboards and in corners, it will do quite well.
Q. The POWERbots have large wheels, will it climb from hard flooring to carpet?
A. Yes, for the most part, the POWERbot line doesn’t have many issues going from one-floor type to the other. However, that being said, the R7040 is known to hit height changes at weird angles and may get turned away the first few attempts.Eventually, it will make it up onto the carpet though and as long as the rugs don’t get bunched up, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Q. How does it do navigating the house, will it get all the areas?
A. It will, for the most part. The cleaning pattern is pretty random, verging on sporadic. It will run from one room to the other and back again over and over until it feels it has covered all of the areas. In most cases though, there will be spots that are missed. It doesn’t clean in straight or parallel lines as you would cleaning yourself. As such there will be spots that don’t get touched. The next cleaning cycle seems to get these spots and miss others. If you run it every day you should notice that all of your floors are fully covered, just don’t expect it in one go.
The Samsung POWERbot R7040 is an upgrade from the R7010. However, the improvements actually seem to make the cleaning worse. While the navigation and mapping are quite good, and arguably one of the best, the actual clean needs improvement.
If you have a lot of carpets it will take quite a while to clean, as well as constant recharging. The higher powered motor has a tendency to spray dirt and debris behind it instead of collecting it all. That being said, hard flooring and edges and corners are cleaned quite well.
The voice controls work once you are able to get them set up and pairing with the mobile app can be a tedious and frustrating process. When all is said and done, the best you can hope for is an affordable entry into the robotic vacuum world. However, you would be better off picking a similar style and price range from a different brand.
If you are looking for a bare-bones robot vacuum, they don’t come much more bare than the Samsung POWERbot R7010. While navigation and mapping are excellent, it leaves a lot to be desired on carpets. With higher maintenance than other similar robots, the POWERbot R7010 may not be the most exciting option.
What I Like
- The R7010 is an inexpensive option for entry-level robot vacuums.
- Set up can’t be any easier.
- No complicated controls to get in the way of a simple cleaning cycle.
What I Don’t Like
- No remote operation, either infrared or wireless.
- Doesn’t clean as well as other robots on carpet.
- Small collection bin needs to be emptied more often.