Gadgetoid

gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]

-adjective

1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

eufy X10 Pro Omni Robot Vacuum & Mop Reviewed

The last robot vacuum cleaner I reviewed was the eufy X8 Hybrid in December 2022, and before that was the Samsung SR8855 way, way back in 2010.

Despite 12 years between them, the X8 didn’t feel far removed from the Samsung. But the X10? It feels new, different, better. In fact the Eufy X10 Pro Omni (Eufy is a sister brand of Anker if you’ve somehow never heard of them) feels like it’s advanced more in two years than its predecessor did in 12. Part of this is almost certainly down to the X10 Pro Omni being rather more ambitious in scope, considerably larger and equipped with an oh so controversial front-facing camera. That said the Samsung had a physical two position on-off switch so you could really truly be sure when it’s off- ah, those were simpler times!

Two children from an overhead perspective looking at a closed cardboard box on a wooden floor. On the box is written “Eufy X10 Pro Omni.”

Can’t keep anything secret from these nerds 🤣

(He’s wearing a pirate costume)

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While the X8 Hybrid was a great vacuum, its mopping functionality left more than a little to be desired. It was- I noted at the time– closer to a gentle wipe with a damp cloth than an effective mop. And to get this gentle wipe you’d need to fill up a tiny water chamber on a removable mop pad that you’d then have to clean and dry yourself. Suffice to say the mop accessories of the X8 got chucked into a box somewhere and never came out once I finished testing.

Eventually I picked up a cheap floor cleaner from Amazon Warehouse. It’s bulky, unwieldy and noisy but it pulled up bucket after bucket of filthy water from our long-neglected kitchen floor.

The X10 Pro Omni – supplied to me free-of-charge by Eufy for this review – is a different story. It’s quiet, compact and automatic. Rather than the high maintenance but feeble wipe of the X8, it includes two rotating mop pads which raise and lower as needed to more thoroughly clean hard floors and avoid carpets. It’s not scrub-with-a-steam-mop thorough, but it’s enough to keep dust and grime build up at bay. It also has a knack of picking up just enough extra dirt that the floors look noticeably cleaner. This is in part due to the “Edge-Hugging” mopping which trades speed for a more thorough clean by making the robot do a little wiggle around the room edges, tucking its mop pads – which are mounted at the rear – right up against the skirting.

A robotic vacuum cleaner on a dusty wooden floor with a patterned rug in the background. There are noticeable water marks on the floor where it has been mopped.

Some mopping appears to have occurred

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While edge-hug mopping is ostensibly slow, who wants speed when they’re not actually doing the cleaning themselves? That’s got to be the chief benefit of handing work over to a robot, it’s tireless and diligent and doesn’t mind cleaning once, twice, three times or perpetually. If you’ve seen WALL-E you probably get the idea.

Anyway, I’ve got ahead of myself-

The X10 Pro Omni is another hybrid robot vacuum cleaner and mop. It comes with a frankly enormous base-station which includes removable compartments for clean water, dirty water and the dust/debris that it can vacuum out of the robot. It’s about the size of a small waste bin, and roughly the shape and appearance of one too – ours anyway – and you’ll need to consider placement much more than you might a smaller machine.

The Robot

The robot itself is your standard round-puck affair, with two wheels, a front caster, and one of those feeble little spinny brushes that gets into crevices. It has two very noticeable mop pads underneath its rear. They’re big, occupying about a third to a half of its underside, and will raise and lower as needed so it’s not trundling around mopping carpets.

The actual vacuum cleaner part seems to take up an alarmingly small amount of the underside, but this doesn’t seem to affect cleaning much. It’s offset to one side, but it’s also set quite far forward – especially in contrast to the X8 Hybrid which has the vacuum almost directly between the wheels. In practice this should allow the X10 to get into trickier crevices, since it can pivot around its centre of rotation and sweep the vacuum cleaner around in an arc. It also gives the underside a very convincing goofy face.

An upside-down robotic vacuum cleaner on a wooden floor. The arrangement of mop pads and vacuum aperture give the impression of a face. A white paper moustache has been cut out and laid over the serial number.

Monsieur Robo Vac at your service!

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The vacuum includes an anti-tangle blade, which looks like half a pair of pinking shears (or as D calls them: “Zig-zag Scissors’). The idea, I guess, is that long strands of hair get chopped up and vacuumed rather than wrapped around the brush. So far so good, though a little bit of hair had wrapped around one of the extreme ends of the brush. We’re a household full of long-hair so I’m forever rescuing vacuum brushes from frankly shocking amounts of the stuff. The X8 Hybrid brush was so tangled, in fact, the hair had squashed parts of it out of shape.

Close-up of a RoboVac brush cover with a serrated metal edge for avoiding hair tangles. Lots of dust and dirt visible.
Close-up of a vacuum cleaner brush roll with a small amount of tangled hair right at one end.

The anti tangle edge seems to mostly work. Believe me the brush not looking like Cousin It by now is definitely something 🤣

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Access to the robot’s internal dust collector is via a lift-up lid on the top. This reveals the “dustbin”, which is removable via a lift-up handle. The inlet to the dustbin has a little one-way valve flap, so you don’t accidentally tip out dust if you lift up the robot. There are also two other flaps which are presumably how the base-station vacuums out the contents. Inside the dustbin is a filter which will need periodically replacing, though I noticed it had been improved to include a fine-mesh pre-filter to avoid larger dust getting rammed into the pleated particulate filter.

A black dustbin compartment for a robotic vacuum cleaner on a wooden table.
A dusty and lint-covered HEPA filter being held by a person, showing a lump of dust stuck to it.

The dustbin compartment lifts out of the robot for charging the filter, and you might need to occasionally dislodge dust clumps (guess some moisture got in here) but otherwise it’ll empty itself!

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This is awesome, because the X8 Hybrid has a bare, pleated filter which gets rammed full of dust and takes some effort to clean. The pre-filter didn’t completely stop dust sticking, however, when I opened it up there was a patch of dust approximately in the middle so I ran an empty cycle. Upon opening it again the stubborn patch was still there, and I needed to dislodge it with my finger before it would finally get vacuumed out. As automatic as the X10 is, you will still need to perform some basic cleaning and service tasks. Fortunately the dustbin- if it gets too grubby- seems like it would wash quite easily with soapy water.

The Base Station

The base station will automatically empty the robot. This is done by a more conventional vacuum cleaner built entirely into the base.

Close-up view of a black plastic fan guard on a piece of electronic equipment, with a hole above it where dust and dirt would be drawn in. Dust particles are noticeable on the surfaces. It’s the inside of a vacuum dust compartment in a RoboVac base station.

There’s a vacuum cleaner to vacuum clean the vacuum cleaner… have we… advanced too far?

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It uses cube-shaped bags which are inserted via a cardboard pull-tab that pulls out and seals them closed when they’re removed. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the base’s vacuum cleaner sounds like a vacuum cleaner- every bit as loud and obnoxious as your typical corded cleaner. The saving grace is that this cacophony of sound lasts only 30 seconds. Unfortunately if you’re looking to avoid loud vacuum cleaner sounds altogether (if your pets, your kids or you don’t like them) then spurious 30 second rackets might even be a worse proposition.

A robot vacuum cleaner base station with the dust compartment open. Inside is a cube-shaped, stitched dust bag with a cardboard pull tab at the back.

I was surprised to find bags, and at almost £4 each they’re a little painful! Very very convenient though, every time I empty our cyclonic vacuum I wonder- did we take a step backwards? And pine for a Henry.

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There are two removable tanks, which pull upwards and lift off the base (so be careful about positioning it under anything too low) and let you either pour them away (in the case of the dirty) or fill with cold water under your kitchen sink tap (for clean). The tanks have rather larger latching doors on the top and aren’t super easy for a small child to remove and cause havoc with. The only handle is the lid, though, and filling the cold water in the sink while holding it by the lid feels a little unwieldy.

Close-up of the a dusty inside of a robot vacuum cleaner base station. It’s  a complicated confusion of metal charging contacts, a slightly drippy sticky out water supply, some very bobbly plastic things, and something that looks like a comb for some reason.

There’s a whole mad assembly inside the base station for injecting water, cleaning and drying the mop pads and vacuuming out dust. It’s… quite complex!

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The robot’s little nesting place is an absolute confusion of things, including a tray with bumps for agitating and cleaning the mop pads, a pipe for feeding water to the robot, charging contacts and the vacuum interface for emptying. All that complexity makes me a little nervous, but if it goes wrong it wouldn’t even be the second flood I’ve dealt with downstairs.

The App

Since I already had the X8 Hybrid set up in Eufy’s “Eufy Clean” app, I expected things to be quite similar. In some ways they are, but each vacuum has its own very distinct and quite different section in the app. It’s almost as if they are two separate apps collected into one and as such the two vacuums don’t share the same mapping data, or even the same interface.

Most of the main view of the X10 Omni app is taken over by the map, a relatively accurate (at least hopefully) floor plan of the rooms that the robot has traversed and mapped with its spinny LiDAR (you can use a laser to measure distances to things, and if you spin that around and measure enough distances you’ve now got a good idea where all the walls are). The map serves as a means for communicating the robots status- an icon denotes where the base station is located, and little speech-bubble style statuses will appear above the robot to tell you when it’s washing or drying the mop and so on.

Dual-lens camera system with the text

The all-seeing eye of your completely autonomous household appliance…

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The map will also show you detected obstacles. On the front of the X10 Omni is a camera which is used for “AI” obstacle avoidance. The robot will detect things like shoes or electrical wires and avoid them to prevent snagging. Detected obstacles appear on the map with a brief note explaining what they are detected as and including a confidence rating. You can optionally- and this is disabled by default- include a picture of the detected object. The pictures are deliberately blurred with the exception of a close crop around the detected obstacle. This blur is… not super intense, and you can still clearly make out at least some details in a room. You might contrive a way to appear in the background in your underpants, but the point of a robot vacuum is that you don’t need to be in the room, or even the house, while it’s cleaning.

Eufy claim the AI obstacle avoidance and recognition happens entirely on-device, meaning your robot isn’t uploading data to The Cloud (another computer somewhere) for processing. This seems plausible enough, since basic single-object recognition with a confidence factor is already far, far behind the describe-a-whole-image-distressingly-accurately state of the art.

Sadly there’s no view-through-the-robot’s-camera mode, so you can’t get a good idea of what it sees and to what level of detail. I suspect some folks might be surprised by how much it sees, and Eufy’s own (opt-in) “Customer Experience Program” implies that it’s capable of producing full video.

Screen capture of a robot vacuum cleaner app displaying cleaning details, with a map of the cleaned area, labeled

The robot seems prone to take random diversions into the room for… I don’t know what reason. This was a two pass cleaning job thus the mostly uniform grid.

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The map will also tell you the route that the robot has taken to clean your floors. At time of writing the X10 seems to be rather creative in its routing, taking seemingly random diversions into the middle of a room or interrupting its regimented straight-line paths for no seemingly good reason. It gets the cleaning job done, but for something ostensibly “smart”, and with a camera to boot, it seems, at times, like a step backwards from the X8 Omni.

If you’re upgrading from a previous robot vacuum cleaner and have been using boundary tape – a magnetic tape which many robovacs detect and respect as an impassable barrier – then you might be frustrated to learn that the X10 does not support it. If you don’t have tape already installed then – good news – you don’t need it. Instead you must edit the map and set up a “No-Go Zone.” X10 Pro has three options. A “Virtual Boundary”- a line you can place across a doorway or alcove you don’t want to be vacuumed (where all the shoes get chucked or the laundry dumped for example.) A “No-Go Zone”- a rectangle demarcating an area of a room you don’t want the vacuum to go, useful if you have a sofa or cabinet that it’s prone to getting stuck underneath. A “No-Mop Zone”- a rectangle demarcating an area of a room you don’t want the vacuum to mop.

Beneath the map are options for whole home, room and zone cleaning. I think it’s self explanatory what these might do. In all cases there’s also a “Customize Mode” button, which allows you to adjust cleaning intensity, whether the robot should vacuum or mop or both, whether it should do one or two cleaning passes, and how much suction or water it should use. This is also where the “Edge-Hugging Mopping” option lives, in all cases I leave this on because the edges- particularly in a kitchen, and particularly under counter-tops- often need mopping the most.
You also get a menu for the base station with quick access to manually empty dust, wash the mop or dry the mop- all of these are on “auto” by default with the mop washed every 20 minutes of cleaning and the vacuum emptied every 30.

Smartphone screenshot showing a pop-up with the warning

I feel like the “may” is doing a lot of work here…

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Since our living room is prone to be a maelstrom of toys, I typically manually kick off a room clean for the kitchen after picking everything up from the floor – including any larger food debris – and sticking our chairs upside-down on the table (restaurant style). While it took a couple of passes with a floor washer to get our kitchen floor to a serviceable state, the X10 can now maintain it with only the occasional need for more stubborn food splodges to be wiped up with a kitchen towel.

Consumables

One thing that shouldn’t have surprised me was that the dust collection chamber uses cube-shaped bags. It would need a filter one way or another, so using a traditional bag setup combines this necessity with a truly hassle-free dust disposal. I can’t count the number of times I’ve emptied a cyclonic vacuum cleaner into the outside bin, and been greeted with a cloud of dust. I’m not sure why we ever strayed away from bags, though I must admit to being apprehensive about their presence here. For one reason: price. Purchasing via the “Accessory Service” section of the Eufy Clean app will lead you to a six pack of dust bags for a whopping £22.99. That’s *counts on fingers* almost £4 per bag. By contrast, bags for the famous Henry, bought directly from the manufacturer’s website average about £1.30 each. If you’re willing to wait for your dust bugs, you can get some third party ones from Amazon for roughly £1.60 each.

Also on the consumables list are the side brush, rolling brush, brush guard, dust filter and – unsurprisingly – the mopping cloths. These have pretty significant lifetimes and whether you really need to replace them will depend on usage. Naturally.

A hand lifting a mop pad off a robotic vacuum cleaner.

The mop pads just velc… hook and loop… right on. Easy to replace.

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A set of mop pads will cost you £10.99 direct from Eufy, and a full replacement parts kit – everything but the bags and the battery – costs £35. At a little over the cost of the mop pads and side-brushes this is well worth grabbing *when you buy the robot* so you’ll not have to worry about stock issues when you eventually need to replace parts.

Eufy also sell replacement non-wear parts, such as the dustbin (inside the robot), cleaning tray, water tanks and power cord and they list a spare battery kit- with two batteries? – that’s currently out of stock.

You’ll also eventually come across Eufy’s Multi-surface Cleaner. It seems a running joke that every mop or floor cleaner manufacturer has their own house-brand of cleaning solution. It’s probably all made in the same place to the same standards and the key is low or no foam, so that the solution doesn’t cause bubbles to backlog into the sensitive parts of your machine. Eufy have a stern warning against using anything but their cleaner since it might damage the vacuum cleaner… but since every other manufacturer says the same thing, is that really true? Or is it just a convenient warning against foaming cleaners that also happens to ignore the availability of generic, non-foaming or low-foam ones?

Eufy’s cleaning solution costs a little over £20 for a little less than a litre, this is a touch more expensive than the 1.5l bottle I got for the aforementioned unwieldy floor cleaner. Since the recommended dilution ratio is 1:200 – again most likely to keep foaming to a minimum – you should hopefully not get through it quickly, if you even bother using it at all. Honestly, and this is going to sound completely ridiculous, I just spray some Dettol down on the floor and use some kitchen roll both to spot check how clean things are and sanitise the floors.

Overall

The biggest drawback of the X10 Pro Omni is its sheer size. The base station is bulky and the robot itself is not small either. I think perhaps the robot vacuum market self selects for larger homes, but it does bear mentioning that this would be quite a nuisance to squeeze into a typical terrace or anywhere without a modern, large live-in style kitchen. Our kitchen is just barely big enough to justify it. We were fortuitous that the metal table I stuck the X8 under had a fold up base I could zip-tie out of the way to fit the X10. Oh that’s worth noting too- I have consistently ignored Eufy’s base station placement guides, favouring to hide the thing as best I can and have never had any trouble with the robot finding its way home. If you somehow have an unoccupied under-counter space for a washing machine, or a means of making one, I think it would fit great there.

A corner of a room with various household items including a coffee machine on a metal table. Beneath it is a robot vacuum and base station, a storage box with a box of coffee pods on top, various tripods and phone holders, and a ring light case wedged against the wall. There's also a wooden chair in the foreground. The wall is noticeably discoloured by some kind of spill.

Big vacuum cleaner base station is big!

If you’re wondering what that is on the wall, yes it’s an entire cup of coffee.

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The biggest upside is that mopping actually does something. The dirty water tank I emptied after three or four cleaning passes looked much like what you’d expect from a larger, manual machine and the kitchen floor looks very noticeably cleaner as a result. This is great, because the floor washer I caved and bought is an absolute menace to push across the wooden floor (the squeegee makes it stick).

Apart from the slight weirdness with pathing, and the somewhat open question of whether a camera is really a good idea on a robot with carte blanche to roam your home, the X10 Pro Omni is a cleaning powerhouse. You can put your feet up while it- wait, argh, my coffee machine is pouring coffee out of every hole but the spout… you can, uh, use half a kitchen roll to mop up coffee from *everywhere* while it mops the floor.

Now, if only they could make a cleaning robot that could follow our youngest and undo his trail of chaos…

Sunday, May 12th, 2024, Home Appliances, Home Automation.