Sep 21, 2023

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni

The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni has rewritten the robot vacuum/mops rules. It has a new, more efficient square design, built-in dual laser LiDAR navigation, and a new AINA brain to give results we have never seen before.

It supersedes the X1 Omni, which sold over 1 million units. Ecovacs has been the #1 Australian brand for the past four years.

When reviewing tech cleaners, we use our test panel with various home and floor types and get the end users’ opinions.

The unanimous opinion is that the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni is the best robot vacuum cleaner yet, and they have seen quite a few over the past five years.

Why best? We review high-tech robot vacuums from Eufy, Dyson, Roborock, Dreame, Robot My Life (Ultenic), and others. Over that period, we have gone from Gen 1 ‘bump and grind Dumbots’ to today – a Gen 5 with the works.

The Gen 5 Nirvana is 100% reliable, needs minimal home prep, and gives hands-off cleaning.

To learn more about robot vacuums and mops, read Five tips for choosing a robovac/mop (2023 update cleaning guide).

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the

Gen 3 or 4 robovac will have a rotating hexagonal mirror top turret using an Infrared LiDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging). Unstable rotation speed and bumps to the turret can cause inaccuracies.

Ecovacs have invented a 210° semi-solid-state 20,000Hz LiDAR embedded in the robot body. It is more reliable, not prone to alignment issues and can detect objects as small as 2mm and up to 10 metres away.

This is a Gen 5 robot using a mixture of dual-laser LiDAR, AIVI (AI Vision) Starlight 960p RGBD (Red/Green/Blue/Depth) camera, TrueDetect 3D ToF (time-of-flight) sensor, edge sensors, carpet sensor, and more to create maps and navigate.

AINA uses machine learning to develop the most comprehensive understanding of your home. It can think about the best way to clean.

When it encounters carpet, it will lift the mopping pads by 15mm, stop rotating, and cut water. This works well on short and medium piles. You must set a no-mop zone and remove the mopping pads for any longer pile.

Rugs on the floor can get a damp edge – it is not really an issue.

It now has 8000 Pa suction (on Max+) for improved suction, especially on carpet.

After use, it cleans and hot air dries the mop pads at 55°C – no chance of mould.

Yiko’s voice control now nearly matches the App for functionality. Unfortunately, Google and Alexa assistants can only do a fraction of what Yiko can.

It can now navigate 22mm sills with mopping pads attached, where most are 15-20mm.

AINA and the camera can recognise and navigate around pet poo. We have not tested this, but I suspect it needs to be semi-chunky rather than ‘poo’rrhea.

You can enable it as a roving security camera if you wish. Footage is stored on the robot – not the cloud.

Download the Ecovacs Home App for Android or iOS and follow the prompts. It requires an Ecovacs account, which stores the data in Singapore, so privacy should not be an issue.

The App sets up Wi-Fi, downloads firmware updates, and has dozens of customisable parameters.

It is impressive because it offers a high level of control. You can specify vacuuming, mopping or both by floor type, single or one-pass. You can control suction power (Quiet, Standard, Strong, or Max+), water flow (low, medium, and high), and repeat cleaning twice.

It has schedules, multi-floor mapping, deep scrubbing and way too many options. Select default.

Next, run Quick Map. It is accurate, and the robot updates the map each time it cleans. The only issue is that you cannot use your room names. Otherwise, it is simple to edit, create zones, etc.

In our guide, we outline the best house prep practice. Follow this for at least the quick map and first one-pass clean.

After that, we did not do house prep, and it navigated around tables, chairs, footstools, shoes, clothes on the floor, etc. Its only hiccup was shoelaces, and USB cables must be tucked away.

Its AI is allegedly able to identify pet poo, but we did not have a test subject.

It got stuck twice.

It has up to 8000 Pa suction on the highest level. It has quiet, standard (default), strong and Max+. It has an internal 420ml dustbin that auto empties (usually when it returns for a mop clean) into the 3L Omni dustbag.

Hard floors: A 200mm wide rubber roller brush easily removes detritus up to grains of rice. Larger items like Nutrigrain are occasionally flicked aside. As it auto-empties, we can only guesstimate (effective based on what the Dyson Gen5detect – the evolution continues was able to collect after) that it is close to 100%.

Short Pile and sisal carpet: It collects more than any other robovac tested. It still has issues with static electricity-charged lint and tissue particles. Our guestimate was 90%.

Long pile: You should remove the mopping pads. Our guestimate is 85%.

It performs better visually and with the barefoot test than any other premium device.

The rotating cleaning pads lift 15mm over carpet. The 180ml water tank stops pumping. This works very well for short pile and sisal. But long pile and rugs placed on the floor (a raised lip) can get damp edges. Set these as no-mop zones.

It has 180 RPM counter-rotating mops that also pulsate as they clean. The unit has a 180ml water tank – better than those without a tank that return every 10 minutes to the cleaning station.

The panel feels it is the best robomop solution they have seen. It could remove light dried stains like juice, milk, or coffee. If your floors are dirty, change the App to Deep Scrubbing and 2X cleaning.

Again, subjectively, this has better mopping power than most premium devices. It has a 180ml internal water tank and returns to the Omni every 10/15/25 minutes for a clean and re-wetting. By default, that is about every 15-20m2, meaning it is not dragging a wet mess around like static mop pads.

Ecovacs sells a 110ML floral aroma cleaning solution for $6.95 that helps cut grease. You add 20ml to each clean water tank fill. We did not test it but have used it in the past. There is also a bundle bundle with 2 x 2L and 2 x 110ML for $84.90.

This is an integrated dustbin empty and mop wash and cleaning station. The X2 has a 55°C heating function to dry the mops in two hours, useful when stored to avoid mould and smell.

The 3-litre dustbag should hold a couple of months of dirt. It does not have a HEPA filter – not a deal breaker.

It has 4 litre clean and wastewater tanks. Changing these after each run is wise, but they should last 2-3 runs.

It is 394x443x527.5mm and needs about a meter clearance in front.

Up to 22mm – the first that has conquered our 20mm sills in vacuum/mop mode.

It is slightly noisier than expected at 67dB in Max+ mode. It has a ‘Do not disturb’ app setting.

On default settings, the one-pass vacuum and mop speed is about 1.5 minutes per square metre. This is average for robot vac/mops. Options such as deep scrub will slow it down.

It has a 14.4V/6.4A/92W Lithium-ion battery. There are no spare parts prices yet, but the good news is that it can be easily replaced, and we estimate the cost will be around $250.

Ecovacs claims the battery can last up to 210 minutes on the lowest settings.

We found mopping and vacuuming with default settings averaged:

Charging from 0-100% is nearly 6 hours.

Power use in emptying and washing was 850W, and drying was 1600W.

These figures are commensurate with Gen 4 and 5 robovacs.

Yiko voice assistant is still an AI work in progress. For example, ‘Follow my voice’ should be continuous to take it to a room, but it requires you to stand still until it finds you – no more than 2 metres away.

But it has more commands than OK Google or Alexa, and each firmware update becomes more accurate.

It is very well-made, verging on over-engineering.

At the end of a clean, the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni return to the station for a final mop wash and dry. Drying eliminates the potential for mould and small if not regularly used.

While this may sound onerous, it is no different to any other robovac/mop if you want to keep it in top condition. The Once a week can easily be stretched to every month for typical users.

Not to take away from it, but the robovac/mop race is highly competitive, and you can be sure that Eufy, Dreame, Roborock, et al. are working on similar concepts.

It comes down to investing in a robot that will give you a good five years of use (at $2499, it should provide even more), so you need to look past specs to the company and its support. Ecovacs wins hands down there with office/warehouse/service in Australia, its local manager is an Aussie, and the company has a long-term view for Australia with a greater diversity of products like the GOAT mower and air purifiers to come.

You are more likely to get firmware updates to make the device more useful, and your privacy is strongly protected using a regional cloud.

This is getting harder as more robovacs add more features. If you rate it as a Gen 5, it has everything you could expect. If rating it as a Gen 4, it gets 100 points all the way.