Hands on with the Amarey A900 robot vacuum: Quiet intelligent cleaning on a flexible schedule

Hands on with the Amarey A900 robot vacuum Quiet intelligent cleaning to a flexible schedule zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    8.3 Excellent

Pros

  • Efficient cleaning pattern
  • Quiet in operation
  • Boundary strip for off-zones

Cons

  • Weak fibres on side brushes
  • Poor design of dustbin
  • Consusing options in app

I really liked testing the Amarey A800 robot vacuum cleaner in April and was interested to see what differences the Amarey A900 might have.  They look very similar. Both robot vacuums are 12.7 x 2.7 inches, and both weigh 5.7lbs.

Inside the robot, the dustbin, which irritated me when I tested the A800 is the same and in use, they sound the same. So what is different about the A900?

Well, the A900 is controlled by an app. The app is fairly simple to connect to the robot vacuum. Connect the robot to your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi by pressing the power button for about five seconds until the robot beeps. On the app click confirm, and enter the Wi-Fi password, install the software and configure your options in the app.

You can configure three modes of suction power (who ever uses low suction?), and Auto, Spot, Edge, or Auto docking modes. Auto docking sends the robot back to the charging station.

You can set the timer to schedule your cleaning mode – and here is where I slipped up. You can schedule the A900 to work in Auto mode and Auto Docking mode.

I wanted the A900 to return to the dock every day, so I configured it for Auto Docking. After four days, the robot vacuum had not left the charging station.

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Auto mode is the only mode to select if you actually want the robot to go and clean your floor automatically. If you select Auto Docking, the robot vacuum will not leave the dock. You can set different schedules for each different day, and at different times of the day -- useful if you want to clean at a different time at the weekend.

The A900 does not randomly cruise round the floor cleaning. It follows a structured path and knows where it has already been. Amarey say that the robot vacuum is integrated with visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) technology.

The app also shows the route that the robot vacuum has taken around the floor. It is quiet in operation too, unlike the really noisy Proscenic 811GB I tried last year.

One thing I liked is that the A900 has a magnetic strip to stop the vacuum going into places where you do not want it to clean – a very useful feature. It is also integrated with Alexa so you can use your voice to start and stop the cleaning program.

As I use the robot vacuum on an automated schedule, I never used this feature. I suppose if you want to manually control it, you could use Alexa – or the remote control supplied with the A900.

I am not keen on the hinged edge on the dust bin to empty the fluff and dust. Like the A800, this could have been better designed – but it is a small issue for me.

The robot also often nudged the charging dock out of the way, and could not then return to charge itself properly. I had to use double sided tape to stick the charging dock to the carpet to make sure it did not move.

Like the A800, I had the same issues with the brush fibres distorting. I think that tough carpets can easily bend the fibres out of shape. I noticed they started to distort after about a week of use on the office carpet. They probably would retain their shape on hard flooring, but I do not think they will last too long if you had a lot of carpet to clean.

Apart from these small bugbears, the Amarey A900 is a nice robot vacuum which works well in an office and home environment. For under $400 this robot vacuum would be a welcome addition to your home or office.

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