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Deebot 500 Review

You will agree with me that the high-end robot vacuums are damn expensive with the latest model going up to $100. But fortunately, there are hundreds of cheaper models, but not all offer value for money.
In this review, we look at the ECOVACS Deebot 500 robot vacuum that will set you back around $250 only.

About ECOVACS

ECOVACS is among the most successful Chinese robot vacuum brands. It has distanced itself from the cheap Chinese models that are unreliable and less durable.

The brand is best known for its Deebot N79s model, which was once the best selling robot vacuum on Amazon. The Deebot 500 borrows a lot from the Deebot N79s, only that the new 500 series has much to offer.

Deebot 500Budget Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

DEEBOT 500
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When shopping for the Deebot 500, you might be confused by two similar models – the Deebot 501 and Deebot 502. Well, here’s the deal.

The De Deebot 500, 501, and 502 are all similar except for the colors. The 500 is black, 501 is white, and the 502 is dark gray.

Pros
  • Affordability – Some models go up to $1000, and beyond yet the $250 Deebot 500 offers almost the same features and performance.
  • Versatile cleaning – This robot vacuum cleans tile, hardwood, linoleum, and vinyl floors alongside pet hair, and kitty litter.
  • Extra accessories – The Deebot 500 series comes with four extra brushes and two filters.
  • Smart home ready – The Deebot 500 boasts Wi-Fi connectivity for app operation, as well as Alexa, and Google Assistant compatibility.
Cons
  • No HEPA filtration – The Deebot 500 comes with HEPA-style filters which offer a not-so-impressive performance when it comes to capturing allergens.
  • Average performance on carpets – While it has Max mode, it isn’t powerful enough to handle high pile carpets, rugs, and shag.

Now that we know a thing or two about the Deebot 500, it’s time we get to the more in-depth discussion – analyzing all the important aspects that make up the ideal robot vacuum.

So, without further ado, let’s get to business.

1. Design and dimensions

Robot vacuums come in different designs and dimensions. In the market, you will find both round-shaped and D-shaped robot vacuums as well. There are also compact models, while others aren’t as compact.

The Deebot 500 is a round-shaped robot vacuum with a 12.9-inch diameter and stands at just 3-inches. The slim design means that it can get under household fittings with low ground clearance, for example, the sofas, kickstands, and beds. As for weight, the Deebot 500 checked in at 7.28 lbs.

2. Cleaning Performance

Whether you are buying an upright vacuum, canister, handheld, or robot vacuum, the cleaning performance is by far the most important consideration. Several aspects need critical assessment here and one by one, we will look at them.

  • Cleaning orientation – Deebot 500 has been designed for sweeping and vacuuming.
    As for specialization, it is recommended for bare floors, like hardwood and tile as well as the low pile carpets. This vacuum also does a great job picking up pet hair and kitty litter, but unfortunately, it’s not the best for allergy sufferers.

    We will find out more about this during our cleaning tests presentation later on in this article.

  • Cleaning modes – A good vacuum cleaner should have several cleaning modes for customized cleaning.

    The ECOVACS 500 comes with three cleaning modes; Auto, Edge, and Spot mode. As the names suggest, Auto is the general cleaning mode, Edge is for cleaning the wall edges and Spot if for cleaning dirt concentrated on one area on your floor.

    There’s also Schedule mode, and this allows you to set your preferred cleaning times throughout the week. The robot will then embark on cleaning once the preset times reach.

  • Suction – The motor, a crucial component of vacuums, is responsible for generating suction power/vacuum power. It also determines the speed and efficiency.

    While the motors are calibrated in terms of their power wattage, a robot vacuums performance is gauged in Pascals. The Deebot 500 delivers around 800Pa to 1000Pa. In normal mode, the suction is around 800Pa, but when Max mode is activated, it is stepped up to 1000Pa.

    Another important aspect when discussing a vacuums motor is operation noise. With high-performance motors come higher operation noise. The Deebot 500 produces an average of 56dB when in normal mode and 60dB when Max mode is activated.

  • Brush system – There are two brush systems; primary and secondary brush. The former is for agitating and picking up dirt while the latter sweeps the sides of the robot vacuum.

    Deebot 500 has a primary brush underneath though it is not as wide. The spiral bristle design makes it great for picking up both short and long hairs. We also like the idea of fitting two side brushes instead of one, as many robot vacuums do.

  • Filtration – When it comes to filtration, there are two things involved. First is the quality of filters used and second, the bin capacity.

This robot vacuum, just like the rest of the Deebot models, uses HEPA-style filters. While they are efficient, they don’t filter down to 0.3 microns so much of the minute allergens like pollen will still be left in the atmosphere.

But we are glad this vacuum has a large dirt bin. The 0.52L capacity is enough to hold a busy household’s dirt; from the pet hair and kitty litter to cereals and other dirt. Unfortunately, there is no full bin indicator like the Roombas.

3. Cleaning Tests

As is our tradition, we strive to ensure our readers have a clear picture of how the models we test performed. We also did the same with Deebot 500 in a two-bedroom apartment with partial hardwood, tile, and a high pile carpet.

We used the common household dirt, including Cheerios, sand, rice, sugar, flour, kitty litter, and long Chihuahua hair. Below are our test results;

Deebot 500 performance on bare floors

Deebot 500 performance on bare floors
On the hardwood and tile, the robot vacuum remained on the normal mode and picked up most of the dirt very well. The only problem was the few patches of flour left behind, but in a few more passes, all dirt was gone.

Deebot 500 performance on low pile carpets

Deebot 500 performance on low pile carpets
On low pile carpets, the Deebot 500 was somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to picking up the small dirt like flour and sugar. Several patches of flour remained behind even after several patches, but all sugar and other dirt were cleared.

Deebot 500 performance on high pile carpets

Deebot 500 performance on high pile carpets
Here, the Max mode was activated but still, the power wasn’t enough to flush out the small dirt particles, including flour, that had crept inside the carpet pile. Only the Cheerios was picked up satisfactorily.

As you can see, the Deebot 500 is a great vacuum for bare floors only, and maybe low pile carpets. But when it comes to the medium pile, high pile and shags and rugs, you might want to get a more powerful vacuum, maybe in the Deebot OZMO range.

4. Deebot 500 battery and runtime

An important consideration when buying a robot vacuums is battery performance. Some of the aspects you need to consider are battery technology, capacity, runtime, and power management options.

The Deebot 500 boasts a rechargeable NiMH battery. With a 3000mAh capacity, you can rely on it to clean large apartments entirely on a single charge. The vacuum has an impressive 110 minutes runtime when in normal power mode and around 90 minutes when high power mode is activated.

Regarding power management, this robot will go to the charging base once it detects low power levels. Make sure you place the charging dock at an easily accessible position. You don’t want it to hassle its way to the dock when it’s on low charge. The recharge time is around three to four hours, but unfortunately, there is no resume function.

Important

Overall, Deebot 500 is a great vacuum as far as battery performance is concerned. It has enough power to cover up to 1292 ft2 / 120 m2. It has higher capacity and runtime that expensive models like Roomba i7, 890 and Dyson 360 Eye, just to mention a few.

5. Navigation and floor mapping

Robot vacuums operate independently, courtesy of navigation and floor mapping systems. Navigation is about how the robot moves around your house while floor mapping is how it plans its cleaning pattern.

When it comes to navigation, the Deebot 500 is based on a SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) navigation system. Well, this is not the best technology so far as advanced models have VSLAM navigation systems which use sensors and a camera.

The Deebot 500 relies on the sensors only for navigation. It includes anti-drop sensors as well as obstacle detection sensors.

When it comes to floor mapping, it is unfortunate that ECOVACS still relies on the old system. It doesn’t have a methodical cleaning pattern. We placed it in an empty room and noted how it moved around – randomly, but it managed to cover the entire room. In large apartments, it will, however, miss a few spots.

Boundary marking is also proving to be a worthy feature. Some models use digital boundary marking systems, while others have physical markets. The Deebot 500 works with boundary strips, which are a bit cumbersome to work with. But it isn’t bad for such a cheap robot vacuum.

6. Smart connectivity

In today’s smart home age, you want a robot vacuum that can connect to your other smart home devices, and that is exactly what Deebot 500 offers.

It features 2.4GHz Wi-Fi for easy syncing with voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. It is also compatible with smart hubs like Wink 2 Hub and SmartThings. The highlight is the Smartphone app compatibility, which allows you to control and monitor your robot remotely.

Should you buy the Deebot 500?

Now, we have come to the end of this ECOVACS Deebot 500 review. The big question is, should you buy the Deebot 500 or it’s just another cheap robot vacuum?

  • As you have seen, this vacuum offers excellent cleaning performance, but on bare floors only. You can rely on it if you have tile, hardwood, vinyl, linoleum, and maybe low pile carpets.
  • It is also a great idea if you are a smart home enthusiast.
  • This robot vacuum also boasts excellent runtime, enough to complete the cleaning on just one charge.
Attention

On the downside, you can’t rely on the Deebot 500 if you have a large apartment, with high traffic. The navigation system is somewhat behind in time. Also, it doesn’t clean the high pile carpets thoroughly.

verdict

But considering the affordability, the Deebot 500 is excellent value for money. At least it packs all the features you’d want from a robot vacuum except for raw cleaning power.

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