A couple of years ago I reviewed the Deebot 901 robovac, and in all this time it has served me well. However, if you’re like me, you have some mix of carpet, linoleum, tile, and hardwood in your home. Meaning, you not only need to vacuum, but also mop the floors.
With that in mind, I decided it was time for an upgrade. Thankfully, our friends over at Ecovacs were nice enough to send out the latest Deebot Ozmo T8 robovac that is capable of vacuuming and mopping floors.
If you’ve seen a robovac before, there are no surprises here. The Deebot Ozmo T8 features the same circular design with sensors on the bottom to avoid falling downstairs and one on the top to map your home. It also includes advanced sensors on the front to help it avoid obstacles such as shoes and other objects.
The back-end is where you’ll see it stray from most other robovacs, because that’s where the water tank and mopping accessories attach. Besides that, not there’s not much else to see here.
I will say that I appreciate that Ecovacs housed the cleaning tool underneath the flap on the top with this model. I was constantly misplacing the one for the Deebot 901 I reviewed, and I couldn’t even tell you where it is right now. Having it stored away on the robovac itself makes it much more convenient to keep track of and reminds me to clean it more regularly.
Getting the Ozmo T8 connected and set up was pretty easy and straightforward. I had no issues connecting it to my Wi-Fi network and only ran into one hiccup, and that was with the mapping. By default, the T8 doesn’t appear to create a map on its first run unless you enable “Advanced Mode” in the settings.
If you want it to map your home, and I highly recommend that you do because it’s how you access all the advanced features, then you’re going to have to tap the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner and enable “Advanced Mode”.
After creating a map, you’ll have access to all the best features such as, virtual walls, custom area cleaning, multi-floor mapping, changing the cleaning sequence, and more. All of these are very valuable features in a robovac, so you might as well get your money’s worth and enable them first thing.
The Ecovacs app is packed full of useful features and options. First and foremost, it allows you to keep track of the robovac in real-time, as well as getting a visual look at everywhere that has been cleaned.
Beyond that, it makes it easy to specific rooms or areas in your home by using the Area or Custom mode. These are perfect for rooms that get more foot traffic than others or for a quick clean up job if someone drags in some dirt or spills some crumbs in the kitchen.
Additionally, you can dictate in what rooms it will vacuum first when setting up auto clean, and adjust the strength of the suction or mopping for each room. You can even set it up to run twice to ensure it does an even more thorough job at cleaning.
If you tap the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner, there are even more settings to discover, such as scheduling, continuous cleaning, a do not disturb mode, and more. Furthermore, it provides access to settings for some of the accessories such as the Auto-Empty Station and the Ozmo Pro Mopping attachment.
Initially, I experienced some frustrating times with the Deebot Ozmo T8. For some reason, it kept skipping rooms and acting up, but after some troubleshooting with the extremely helpful and patient team at Ecovacs, we discovered the culprit. Some irregular tile flooring in my home was interfering with the TrueDetect 3D Obstacle Avoidance sensors on the front of the unit.
After I disabled this feature it seemed to solve most of the issues I had experienced. Unfortunately, that also got rid of the benefit of these sensors, such as avoiding cables or other small objects on the floor. Immediately after turning this off, the T8 knocked a lamp into the floor on its next run by getting tangled up in the power cable. That’s an issue I also experienced with the previous Deebot 901 without these sensors. Thankfully, that’s an easy fix by creating a virtual boundary within the app.
The only other issue I encountered was not being able to access the Wi-Fi network on the second floor of the house. Even though, I have no issue connecting my phone, laptop, tablet, or smart speaker in the exact same area.
Now, without a Wi-Fi connection, you lose all of the advanced features of the T8. You can’t control it through the app, view the map, or change any of the settings period. It was still able to clean by pressing the power button on the T8 itself, but you couldn’t change any of the settings, view the progress, set up virtual walls, etc.
Once I brought it back to the first level of the house and reconnected it, I was able to access everything again like normal, and I saw it even created a map of the second floor. I just won’t have access to it when I move the Ozmo T8 down there.
On a brighter note, one of my favorite features of the Deebot Ozmo T8 is the support for Google Assistant. It’s such a frictionless experience to ask Google to start the robovac up, and it sure beats fumbling with your phone to do it. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about bossing your robovac around with your voice, it makes it feel like you’re living in the future.
How well does it clean?
The Ozmo T8 offers four different vacuum power levels to choose from. By default, it will be set to standard and it’s actually intelligent enough to increase and decrease suction depending on the type of flooring it’s cleaning. However, if you want to take control and change it manually, that’s also possible.
I know I cranked mine up to max power for every room to make sure everything was as clean as can be. And overall, the Ozmo T8 sucked up everything in sight off the tile, wood, and linoleum floors. It also left the carpet fluffed up and looking immaculate.
I’m certain these little robovacs aren’t as powerful as the large upright vacuum I used to push around the house. However, the T8 keeps my floors looking so clean, I have no desire to push that bulky thing around the house ever again.
If you were hoping you’d be able to banish the mop to the back of the closet after buying the Deebot Ozmo T8, I have some bad news for you. The mopping feature is more akin to lightly dragging a damp rag across the floor. That works great for getting up some dust off of hardwood flooring, but it’s not exactly what I’d call “mopping”.
Unfortunately, if you want to get up all the grime and stains off the kitchen flooring, you’re still going to have to put in the effort of scrubbing with an actual mop.
However, if all you were looking to do was get up some residual dust, then the T8 works perfectly for that.
Along with the Deebot T8 Ozmo, Ecovacs also sent out the Auto-Empty Station and Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping attachment. While both of these accessories are nice to have, I wouldn’t deem either of them essential. Fortunately, that’s a good thing, because neither of them comes cheap.
For example, the Auto-Empty Station starts at $250, all for the convenience of not having to remove and empty the dust bin after each cleaning. Not to mention, the disposable bags that are required will cost you $20 for a pack of three. In my opinion, that’s a lot to pay to simply avoid dumping the dust bin manually.
However, if manually dumping the dust bin is one of the things preventing you from buying a robovac, then rest assured the Deebot Auto-Empty Station works perfectly. When the bot returns to the station after each run to charge, the Auto-Empty Station spins up with a loud motor and cleans out the dust bin into a hypo-allergenic bag that prevents the spread of any dust in your home.
After a disappointing run in the kitchen with the included mopping attachment, I was hoping the Ozmo Pro Mopping accessory would blow me away. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. After running the Deebot T8 with the Ozmo Pro Mopping attachment several times, I noticed it was able to pick up the occasional stain here and there, but it still left plenty behind.
The grime and dirt which had accumulated over the past few weeks was also left mostly untouched, despite the high-frequency motor that vibrates at 480 times per minute. In the end, I had to break the mop out of the closet and give the floor a good scrubbing if I wanted to see it sparkling clean.
I guess the takeaway here is, even if there is a high-speed oscillating motor, it’s not going to help scrub away the stains on the floor unless some downwards pressure applied.
The Deebot Ozmo T8 from Ecovacs is an admirable little robovac. It has a powerful suction motor, mopping function, intelligent sensors, and accessories to enhance it even further.
However, what truly impressed me was the feature-packed app. It is overflowing with options and ensures that your home will get cleaned when and how you like it. When you buy a robovac, it’s not all about the hardware, the software also plays a part. Fortunately, the Ozmo T8 and Ecovacs app work in harmony to provide a remarkable experience.
Just be aware, that the mopping function isn’t going to replace your old stick mop, and the addons can be expensive. Thankfully, they are not essential to the experience, and you should be more than happy with the performance of the standalone Ozmo T8.