Design/ building quality - 9
Suction power - 10
Battery - 10
Sound level - 8
Usability - 8
Price - 10
How can a company make a young family with a lot of hectic around happy? Simple, send out a robot vacuum cleaner! With two small kids and a cat around it’s a relieve to let a robot do the daily work while you can focus on your daily hectic moments and tasks. CECT-Shop has send us the Xiaomi Mi Robot for review and we were very happy to test this one out. Is it the solution for a young family or hardworker? Let’s find out.
CECT-Shop sent out the Mi Robot very carefully. The original box of the Mi Robot was placed in an extra box for protection which was tightly taped. The original Xiaomi box is a plain simple brown box with the Mi Robot illustrated on it and the necessary information about the device. Opening the box we found the Mi Robot and its parts perfectly packed. The robot itself was protected with a plastic bag and foam parts, while the charging station was protected by a plastic bag and was placed in a separated box. The assembling of the Robot is easy and can be followed by the manual despite it’s in Chinese.
The total package includes next to the robot and charging station, sidebrushes, a filter, a big orange brush, a Chinese manual, a CN cable which was provide with an EU plug by CECT-Shop and small comb to clean the filter.
Design and building quality
When removing the robot from the packaging we noticed how heavy the Mi Robot is. At first glance, the Mi Robot feels really well built, although it’s expected that the white shining bumper parts will retains traces of use in the future. The wheels are also very solid and are rolling smoothly.
The additional parts that can be replaced are the side brush, filter and the large brush. Fortunately CECT-Shop is offering these spareparts in their eshop, which is unique because we have found no other (big) eshop who does offer this to its international customers.
In design, the Mi Robot is pleasing for the eyes, it’s modern and even a bit futuristic. The Mi Robot is a circular white vacuum robot with diameter of just 34,5 cm, a height of 9,6cm and weighs 3.8kg. With it’s size it can easily clean under couches and tables, also the size helps with finding a spot the place your robot.
This is our first vacuumrobot that we review and by the lack of vacuum experience we can’t tell you immediately if the specifications of the Mi Robot are great. So, we went on informative journey on the net to compare the specifications of the Mi Robot against other brands. During our journey we found out that the Mi Robot has a great suction rating compared to other popular brandmodels like the Botvac Connected and the iRobot Roomba 980 which are sold for a lot more money than the Mi Robot.
The Mi Robot is filled with sensors to do its job. According to Xiaomi, the Mi Robot has 12 sensors on board each with its own functionality. What I know is that the device has 12 sensors, like a LDS Sensor (Laser Distance Sensor) which makes a digital map in detail in order to determine distances, a wall sensor which ensures the unit remains about one centimeter from the wall, a dustbin sensor to notify you on a full bin, a collision and ultrasonic sensor to avoid objects, an Electronic Compass Cliff sensor which avoids the robot to fall down the stairs and some other sensors that are less interesting to talk about.
The MiHome app
The MiHome app is a very feature rich app but also a very hard to understand app if you don’t know Chinese. Next to controlling the Mi Robot you can almost control every Xiaomi device with it and you can program it for home automation purposes. In this review we will only talk about the Mi Robot part of course.
Installing the Mi Robot into the app is very simple. When starting the first time you have to connect the unit to your WiFi network. You see everything step by step on your smartphone. First, you will connect your smartphone to the Mi Robot and choose your Wi-Fi network and type your wifi password. After that your smartphone will be connected back to your wifi and you are ready. Please note that you must choose China mainland as your location otherwise you won’t get any connection and you get a timeout (you can always reset your robot by long pressing the button below the cover for a couple of seconds so you can try the setupwizard again).
Like said earlier, the app is in Chinese. There a various ways to translate and use it and we found the following options very useful. First of all the translation of Mad NZ of the blog Crunchit who took the time to translate the app in the following video:
Another way is the translate the app by yourself. This needs some skills but it’s a way to get an other language. You can follow the German guide here, a translation of the plugin (which will be updated also with an update) can be found here.
When opening the app (you can make a shortcode to the robot functionality in the Mi Home app within the Mi Home app) you will see on the homescreen a digital map which is created by the Mi Robot itself. This can be very useful to follow your device from a distance. The device can be controlled from everywhere, the only things you need is your smart device and internet (wifi, cellular data). During the vacuum process you can follow the device almost realtime on the app and you will get notified when it’s done.
The app gives you next to the regular operation (we will explain these in the next part of this review) the ability to schedule your cleaning. You can setup when you want to Mi Robot to start automatically at specific times. It’s your own local time, so no need to calculate the China timezone, some setups for the fan and notfications, you can get an overview of your cleaning history, see the lifetime of the replacable parts, manual remote control and view the product explanation.
Operation and vacuum test
Turning on the device is done via the Mi Home app manually which is available on Android and IOS, scheduled or on the device itself. Like said before the original app is in Chinese language only but the 3 buttons on the homescreen are easy to understand and control the Mi Robot.
On the app you have an on /off button and a home button. When pressing the long on the on/off button the device will completely turn off while pressing short you can start or stop the unit. With the home button you can send the unit back to the charging station.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot vacuum uses the algorithm SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping Algorithm). Based on the data received by the unit, it calculates the most efficient route to vacuum the floor. In this way, the robot can “see” where walls or objects are. When starting the robot it first scans the room, then goes along the sides and makes a delineation of around 15m². After that it starts to vacuum in horizontal lines on the surface follow by the rest. The livingroom, kitchen and hallway were divided in 3 parts in total with a net surface of 22 m2 and tooks 21-26 minutes for the robot to clean.
While cleaning the robot feels with its bumper where it is and avoids table legs in this way for example. During the test the Mi Robot produces 61-70db of noise depending on the vacuumpower you have chosen. A lot less than our normal vacuum cleaner.
Although the robot is doing its job very well, it is recommended to clean up the big messy parts first and possible (small) toys.
Of course the device needs to be cleaned also, the Mi Home app tells you when it needs to be cleaned. On top of the Mi Robot is a cover that can be opened, immediately you will see the container in which has all the dirt. Just remove the container and through to dirt into your dustbin. If the filter is too dirty you will be notified by the app too, you can always check the status of your spareparts in the app at any time. This also covers the side brush and the big orange brush. If needed you can use the included comb to clean the parts. Also a tip to check the brushes and wheels for long dust hairs, these can run your Mi Robot less smoother.
The lifetime of the spareparts are really good. Our robot has been scheduled to vacuum after breakfast and lunch while the kids are going school. After more than a month of use the status of the parts are: filter: 93%, side brush: 95% and the main brush: 96%.
As said earlier, what a relieve to have the Xiaomi Mi Robot around. We have scheduled the robot to operate after breakfast and lunch while mom is bringing the kids to school. When she comes back the floor of the livingroom, kitchen and hallway are clean which gives mom more time to do things for her own. Once a week, we use the normal vacuum cleaner to clean the parts where the Mi Robot did not come.
The vacuum robot has a great suction power with a more than acceptable dirt capacity and sound level. A big side effect for us is that this robot is more energy friendly than our normal vacuum cleaner which takes 2000 watts continuously while using. The Mi Robot only needs some energy to load it’s battery which has just an awesome lifetime by the way.
The downside is the app which is in Chinese, fortunately you will get used to it because you mostly just use three buttons to operate. If need more explanation there is always the mentioned video to help you out. Despite the language barrier, it’s certainly not a reason to skip the Mi Robot.
Overall the Xiaomi Mi Robot is a must buy. At CECT-Shop you can buy the Mi Robot for just $ 307.18/ €289 which is a great price value compared to more expensive brands who do the same or even less than the Xiaomi Mi Robot. CECT-Shop is also your partner for ordering the spareparts when they are needed to be replaced.