ECOVACS Deebot R98 Review

ECOVACS is a robotic vacuum company that was founded in 2006. Since their start, they have been on the cutting edge of the industry as they create exceptional products for the home care market. Their website states that their mission is “to empower and inspire you to live a more convenient, connected lifestyle, by integrating smart robotics into your everyday life, so you have more time to do what you love.”

Holding true to their mission, ECOVACS has released the 2-in-1 Deebot R98 – A premier voice-prompted, self-driving, wireless vacuum. This top-end model has received mixed reviews since it’s release in 2017, so here’s our take on the product!

The vacuum cleaner industry has a huge market! In 2018 the United States alone capped over four billion dollars in sales, with robotic vacuum cleaners commanding around twenty percent of those sales. It’s clear that there’s a huge demand for these self-driving, helper robots!

One thing’s for sure, you can’t expect a robotic vacuum to completely replace your traditional stand-up vacuum. Let’s face it, some messes are just too big or unique to have a floor-bot handle. It’s times like these where we have to buckle our bootstraps, roll up our sleeves and vacuum clean the old fashioned way!

If you’re looking for a great manual vacuum, check out this review of the Dyson Cyclone V10! It may not be hands-free, but it is cordless and it has tremendous power


At first look, the Deebot R98 has a sleek, elegant design. It’s on the simpler side as far as robot vacuums go. There aren’t too many lights or display screens to draw attention to it. It has a nice metallic sphere on the glossy black top. It seems like a good look for any professional or family environment.

On the front of the device, there are various sensors and guards that direct the machine and detect edges and walls. There is a button on the top of the vacuum that you can press to activate auto clean mode, where the robot will wander around and clean every inch of your floor. You can also program it through your phone to go to specific areas or patterns.

The bottom of the machine has two detachable brushes which reach beyond the vacuum to agitate dirt and crumbs. This works great on hardwood floors and low-profile carpets, however, it seems to be the Achilles heel of the machine when operating on most thicker carpets. The brushes slow down and get bent out of shape.

There is a neat little toolkit that is stored behind a door underneath the machine. It has brushes, and a comb with a razor blade inside to clean hair and other junk out of the roller.

The vacuum comes with a really nice looking dock that will need to be plugged in and have a recommended three yards of clearance on either side. It seems to be unclear why the manufacturer recommends so much space is needed, but it can still function with much less clearance than recommended.


The R98 combines a floor-cleaning robot with a cordless canister vacuum cleaner that has an array of attachments for home cleaning purposes. It has plenty of battery life and can recharge itself when needed.

The self-driving vacuum will unload its canister into the handheld vacuum at the docking station, meaning the only thing you’ll have to do is check the station every few days to see if it needs to be emptied. The R98 moves safely around your home using anti-drop sensors to clean up to and around stairs without the risk of falling.

It comes with a remote, but you’ll find you won’t really need that seeing as how it is voice activated and you can do everything the remote can do with your phone – In fact, one of the best parts about this vacuum is that you’ll never run out of ways to communicate with it. It works flawlessly with Alexa, Google Home, and other smart home devices.

Like other affordable robot vacuums, the Deebot R98 lacks some desirable features like camera-based navigation. But it does exceed expectations in other areas like it’s ease of use and easy smart home integration. It even has virtual wall functionality, which allows you to program invisible barriers that it will treat like a wall and avoid passing through.

The vacuum can get stuck underneath furniture or on high thresholds on occasion, meaning that it might not be cleaning when you think it is. But compared to other self-driving vacuums this is a nonfactor. Just keep an eye open for it so you can save the little guy when he needs it. Aside from this occasional mishap, he’s pretty reliable!

Set Up

The Deebot R98 comes packaged really nicely and upon opening, you’ll find there isn’t a whole lot you have to do. You’ll have to attach the brushes on the underside, plug in the docking station and (if you want to) connect it with your phone. After those few simple steps, you’re all set and your floors will never look better!

If you have some time and you want to play around with your new toy, there is a lot of cool stuff you can do with it on the tech side of things. You can program it to go in certain patterns or to vacuum specific rooms at specific times. You can ask the Deebot it’s status and will actually talk and report information to you in real time.

Final Thoughts

The ECOVACS Deebot R98 is really just an average robotic vacuum. It looks good, it’s quiet and it can definitely keep your home tidy, but it’s simply not good enough. If you’re looking for a vacuum that will clean up big messes or heavy carpets – this isn’t the machine for you. But if you’re happy knowing that you won’t have to dry mop, sweep or worry about the little messes, this vacuum will do the trick.

The Pros

  • Quiet noise level while running
  • Wet mopping capability
  • Self-emptying dustbin
  • Works with most smart home services

The Cons

  • Doesn’t work well on thicker carpets
  • No dirt detector
  • Suction power is on the weaker side
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