When you think of robot vacuums, chances are you’re thinking about iRobot’s Roomba line. And while the company’s high-end models are impressive, their entry-level Roomba 690 ($374.99) offers a lot of value for half the price. Not only does it feature Wi-Fi connectivity and app control, but it also supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well.
Sounds impressive, huh? But if you need more convincing, here’s an in-depth look at your next robot vacuum cleaner for your home.
The Roomba 690 has a circular shape and a black and silver body that measures 13.0″ wide and 3.7″ tall. Its compact design allows it to clean under most furniture, though it might have trouble with very low-profile couches and cabinets. At 7.4 pounds, this vacuum is a bit hefty for its size, but thankfully, you don’t need to lift it much.
At the top of the vacuum, you’ll find a large silver Clean button that starts, pauses, and ends each cleaning session. Below that button, you’ll find a Home icon that sends the robot back to its dock and close to it is a Spot Cleaning button as well as the backlit panel that shows you errors, battery status, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Getting the Roomba 690 ready is easy. Once you’ve plugged in the dock, all you have to do is flip over the vacuum and pull out the yellow plastic tab sticking out from the battery. After that, stick the robot on the dock and let it charge until the battery is full — only three hours.
When it’s been set up, make sure to download the iRobot app from Google Play or Apple App Store and create an account while pairing the robot over Wi-Fi. The app itself is streamlined and intuitive. There’s only one button on the main screen, and pressing it will activate the Roomba, and you can do it even if you’re not on the same Wi-Fi network. At the bottom of the screen, you can also check the Weekly Schedule, Lifetime Performance Log, and more.
An excellent feature that you’ll find on the Roomba 690 is its compatibility with Alexa, allowing it to be more versatile and dynamic. Alexa can perform functions through your commands — all you have to do is select the Connected Home menu in the app and the device of your choice to find simple instructions for voice control. This process is simple; all you need to do is open the Alexa app, select iRobot Home, and click on the Enable button. Once this is done, you’re all good to go — you can now start or stop cleaning, tell the Roomba to go back to its dock, ask for status updates as well as locate the vacuum, all through your Alexa device.
The suction on the Roomba 690 is quite powerful. And after a 70-minute cleanup, the dustbin had been full and had sucked up a lot of dirt, dust, and hair. However, it did have trouble navigating around rugs and had difficulties getting on top of the rug at times. But to the vacuum’s credit, it was smart enough to detect its problems and troubleshoot itself, and it reverses into the rug instead.
Robotic vacuums with infrared sensors commonly come with warnings that they might not work as well on dark flooring. According to iRobot, the 690’s cliff sensors may confuse dark colors as an edge or stair. This means that some dark areas may not get cleaned, but on the bright side, this issue isn’t exclusive to iRobot and can happen with other brands too.
Overall, the iRobot Roomba 690 is worth it, with its affordable price and brilliant smart features. Its powerful performance and great Wi-Fi coverage allow for Alexa connectivity. It can deliver an exceptional cleaning experience for your whole home without breaking the bank. So if you’re in the market for a new robot vacuum, the iRobot Roomba 690 is the one for you and your home. But if you’re like us and want to really size up just how good this vacuum is, here’s our complete review of the Roomba 690.