Robot vacuum cleaners seem to be evolving by the day. Well, that's what it feels like anyways. Providing an array of impressive features, the best robot vacuums save a huge amount of time when it comes to cleaning, leaving you to get on with other jobs whilst they suck up the dust and debris around you.
More recently, we've seen the uprise of robot vacuum cleaners that are able to mop at the same time. The IMOU RV-L11-A robot vacuum was launched last October as the ideal smart home gadget for sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. It impressed us with its electronically controlled water tank which measured water usage for individual rooms. For example, it sets low water usage in the bedroom, medium in the living room and high in the kitchen, recognising how different locations require varied levels of mopping.
As I said, these smart cleaning gadgets seem to be evolving, and now we've got a brand new one to obsess over. It was announced yesterday that the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X20 has arrived, with the brand describing its new model as a four-in-one device that can sweep, vacuum, and mop and has a cleaning assistant. Intriguing, right?
You're probably wondering at this point how a robot vacuum can have four different cleaning features that combine as one. The first thing to note is that the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X20 has a suction of 5000Pa and four adjustable suction speeds (quiet, standard, strong and turbo) which allows it to effortlessly suck up debris. It also has a 430mL high-capacity dust compartment which filters dust as it enters, preventing secondary contamination. The snap-on design makes removal and disposal easy.
When it comes to mopping, there are four cleaning modes to meet different needs. The cleaning tray adopts a triple-axis design with high-speed mop pad rotary scrubbing. The Xiaomi X20 also offers a low-noise temperature air drying which accelerates moisture evaporation and prevent bacterial growth. The 4L super-capacity clean water tank means you don't need to frequently refill, and when the water level in the dirty tank reaches the warning level, the app will send a notification to prevent overflowing.
Every time an area of the house is cleaned, the vacuum automatically returns to the base for mop pad washing to ensure pads stay clean. Users can also track the cleaning progress via the Xiaomi app, and access certain functions such as scheduled cleaning and restricted area settings. There's also the option of using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands to control the robot.
Now, there are still two other features that haven't really been addressed by Xiaomi. Sweeping is an interesting one when it comes to robot vacuum cleaners, as they're obviously designed to collect and suck up the debris either way. However, Xiaomi hasn't explained the feature enough, so we're not entirely sure how it works. From the small picture we're given from underneath the X20, it also looks like there's only one brush, which may limit how efficient it is overall.
The next questionable feature is the Xiaomi X20's cleaning assistant. Again, the brand hasn't really clarified what functionality is linked to the assistant, and how it makes it different from other models on the market. We're told that the Xiaomi X20 uses LDS laser navigation to move around and obstacle avoidance technology to reduce the risk of collisions, but a lot of alternate robot vacuums are able to do this as well.
Either way, the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X20 is still an impressive robot vacuum cleaner. However, I would be hesitant to call it a 4-in-1 robot vacuum cleaner for a number of different reasons.
It's currently already on sale in Hong Kong and Taiwan for HK$2299/NT$9995, but it remains unclear when it will launch in other countries and at what price.