Robot vacuums are becoming increasingly popular. It is hardly surprising that many manufacturers launch a new model almost every month. Of course, you have to ask yourself whether it always has to be a brand-new device or whether somewhat older smart household helpers are sufficient. After all, a longer existence on the market for household appliances usually also leads to a much lower price.
Although we, too, almost always take a close look at brand-new devices from the smart home segment, today we want to see if a somewhat older device can also keep up with current models. Accordingly, we took a look at the Deebot T9 AIVI, which is now about one and a half years old. While the RRP for the device was still a hefty 799 Euros a year ago, it can currently be purchased for well under 500 Euros. We want to take a closer look at whether the premium model from Ecovacs from last year is also convincing in 2022.
Technical details of the Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI
|Power consumption||50 watts|
|Suction power||3000 Pascal|
|Dimensions||35.3 cm x 35.3 cm x 9.4 cm|
|Battery||5,200 mAh lithium-ion battery|
|Dust container||300 ml|
|Water tank||180 ml|
|Operation||Device buttons and app control|
|Sensors||LiDAR sensor with camera technology (3D detection), crash sensors, carpet detection|
|Brushes||2x side brushes, 1x main brush|
|Volume||min. 47 dB (lowest level), max. 67 dB (highest level)|
|Cleaning time||up to 2:30 h|
|Price||€ 399.00 * (MSRP: 799 euros)|
Scope of delivery
I would not describe as extensive what Ecovacs includes with its top model from 2021. Above all, I think it’s a shame that there are no replacement brushes or the like here. Owners of a vacuum robot will know that wear and tear can occur very quickly, especially with daily cleaning. So you’ll be happy if you don’t have to worry about spare parts immediately a few weeks after buying the new device. This is a bit disappointing, especially in direct comparison to the T8, where Ecovacs was much more generous. However, this trend towards a slim scope of delivery can also be seen with many other manufacturers. In the package are:
- Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI
- 1x HEPA filter
- 2x side brushes
- Docking station
- Power cord
- Water tank
- 2x microfiber cloths
- 1x cleaning tool
- Operator’s manual
- Camera cover
No surprise on design
Of course, even with household technology in the smart home segment, it is the inner values that matter most. But of course, it also does no harm if a robot vacuum cleaner looks good. After all, it usually makes its rounds through your home every day. Those who know the predecessor in the form of the Deebot T8 will quickly notice that Ecovacs has not reinvented the wheel here. Instead, it simply relies on the looks of its predecessor.
However, we don’t want to chalk this up as a negative. After all, this is no different with other manufacturers such as Roborock or Dreame. Once you put on the ruler, you will notice a minimal change. While the diameter of 35.3 cm is the same as that of the predecessor, the height of the laser tower has changed. This grows by 0.1 cm without further ado.
There’s also nothing new to report about the key layout. You can see the on/off button on the upper side. Unlike the competitors from the Xiaomi family, for example, there are no other buttons here. Consequently, Ecovacs delivers its Deebot T9 with “app compulsion”, so to speak. We will take a closer look at whether this makes for poor ease of use later.
Special roller technology
Time to take a look at the underside. This is actually a lot more exciting, as Ecovacs goes a bit against the grain here and also makes changes to the T8 – but first things first. Let’s start with the main brush. Here, Ecovacs relies on a double roller for its Deebot T9 AIVI. This is made up of two rubber rollers that rotate in opposite directions, picking up dirt in their midst.
Similar to the main brush of the Roborock S7 (test), Ecovacs relies exclusively on rubber or silicone here and does without classic bristles. The advantages are obvious, especially for pet owners. After all, no hair or other unruly dirt gets tangled here at all. This ensures freedom from maintenance! We’ll see later how the technology performs in practice. So that dirt from the corners can also find its way into the double roller, the T9 comes with two side brushes.
Dust bin in mini format
Under the flap on the upper side, not only standby and pairing switches come to light. On top of that, you can see the practical cleaning tool and the dust container here. The latter is anything but big with a capacity of just 300 ml. That is really a pity and somehow leaves a bad taste. Especially when you consider that Ecovacs also offers a suction station to go with the Deebot T9.
This should be a real no-brainer for many with the small dust bin, despite an MSRP of a proud 299.00 euros. So it’s hardly surprising that Ecovacs also offers its Deebot T9 in a bundle called “Deebot T9 Plus” including a suction station. Those who don’t feel like emptying the dust bin every few days should definitely consider buying the bundle. Incidentally, the Yeedi Vac 2 Pro we tested in April comes with a very similar suction station.
Very good laser sensing
In the Deebot T9 AIVI, Ecovacs relies on state-of-the-art navigation. This is made possible by an interaction of LiDAR technology and cameras. While the laser survey based in the small turret on the top provides a very accurate 3D mapping of your home, the camera at the front is mainly concerned with detecting obstacles. And that works really well in practice! For example, the little suction wiper reliably detected even flat objects and did not drive over them.
By the way, you can see the detected obstacles in the app’s map after the cleaning tour. The main sensors also deliver a noticeably great job in other respects, which is expressed in a very calm and careful, but by no means slow, driving style of the robot. The sensor package is completed by additional sensors on the underside. These are also used for obstacle detection and should prevent the Deebot from falling. Ecovacs delivers a modern smorgasbord of powerful sensors here that will still be worth looking at in 2022.
Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI: Walking surveillance camera?
By the way, thanks to the camera, you can always stay up to date on where the robot vacuum cleaner is. This means that you can also use the Deebot T9 AIVI as a mobile surveillance camera if you are not at home. Even though the feature might be extremely attractive for friends of security technology, there is also a point to keep in mind. Of course, it is important not to violate any privacy rights of your roommates. You should always keep that in mind before using the camera as a mere gimmick to monitor other people. However, the robot vacuum itself already has a certain security mechanism integrated.
This way, the smart squeegee will give notification through its speaker when it starts sending the video recording to the connected smartphone. Based on the Deebot’s open communication, those in the room will always know that a transmission is in progress. Of course, those who have tummy rumblings at the thought of the T9 driving through their own four walls with state-of-the-art camera technology can tape it off. Ecovacs includes the appropriate sticker directly in the scope of delivery. However, you will have to accept a poorer orientation of the robot. If you are bothered by the camera, you should therefore rather go straight to a cheaper vacuum robot without camera.
A very good suction performance
On paper, the Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI brings the best conditions for a good suction performance. Thus, it offers not only a special roller technology as the main brush, but also two side brushes on top of that. Accordingly, I was also curious about the results that the robot left behind on my floors. The robot vacuum does a great job on hard floors like tiles or parquet. The two silicone rollers provide a strong vacuum here thanks to 3,000 Pascal suction power, which sucks in even larger crumbs perfectly.
Even on the first level of the total of four different strength suction levels, it was able to suck up pet hair, dust and even cat litter without any problems. On the other hand, it struggled a bit more on my long pile carpet. Fortunately, the Deebot offers automatic carpet detection. As soon as it leaves the hard floor and rolls onto carpet, it automatically increases the suction level. Although in the absence of classic brushes I feared that the results on the carpet would not be as good, the robot surprised me positively here as well.
Like many other representatives in the field of robot vacuum cleaners, the T9 of course also offers a practical automatic mode. Once activated, the smart helper goes on its cleaning tour at the same time every day. As soon as it has finished its work, it returns to its docking station, where the battery is recharged. In particularly large apartments, it can sometimes happen that the battery runs out before completion. In this case, the robot simply moves to its charging station in between to provide new energy. It then continues its work in the place where it was last working.
In terms of suction power, the Deebot T9 AIVI is definitely in a league with the big boys. Thus, it could show a great result on any floor, which left nothing to be desired. However, we have to complain about the dust container. As mentioned above, the 300 ml are simply too small. For more comfort, because less cleaning effort, a larger container would provide.
Vibration wiping function
Let’s not kid ourselves. Wiping functions are more of a “nice-to-have” in many vacuum wiping robots, rather than a serious feature. For this reason, my expectations were also rather muted for the Deebot T9 as far as the wiping function is concerned. Ecovacs relies on a special technology called “Ozmo Pro” here. To make its functionality clear, let’s take a look at how a classic wiping function looks like in many combi-solutions. Here, in fact, many manufacturers rely on a mere water tank, which regularly drips water into a cloth, which is ultimately simply dragged behind by the robot.
Anyone who enjoys wielding a rag or mop themselves knows that this can’t lead to effective results. Accordingly, Ecovacs relies on a similar principle here as, for example, Roborock does with its S7. Vibrations of the mop surface on the underside are supposed to ensure that a certain pressure is exerted on the floor. The goal is to be able to remove even stubborn dirt. The results are quite satisfactory and much better than many other robotic vacuum cleaners. However, they cannot keep up with the Roborock S7. By the way, this does not only apply to the pure wiping performance of the wiping plate.
The entire wiper unit is somewhat questionably designed. After all, just 180 ml fit into the water tank. This is far too little and unfortunately ensures in everyday life that the wiping function is often unintentionally not likely to be used. Even in my apartment with an average size of 82 m², the T9 AIVI unfortunately did not manage to use the wiping function until the end. Certainly, the choice of the humidity level also has an influence. A total of four different levels are available to the user here. I opted for the second lowest. Who would like to clean anyway only kitchen and bathroom with wipe function, but will be able to see over it.
Common app features
Since there are no real buttons on the Deebot T9 AIVI itself, we strongly advise you to use the app. This not only allows for targeted control, but also offers a few other interesting features. We find it convenient that you do not have to search the Google Play Store or Apple App Store first. Ecovacs has provided a QR code for scanning under the maintenance cover of the Deebot T9. The corresponding setup is then also pleasantly quick.
Once the setup is successful, it comes to the maiden voyage, during which the T9 explores your apartment. After this, the robot has mapped your own four walls very precisely thanks to its extensive sensors. The resulting map is really something to behold. If you have a classic floor plan, you can even look forward to automatic room recognition. If, on the other hand, the Deebot makes an incorrect room assignment, this can be corrected in the app.
The feature with the individual rooms is quite practical, as it allows the targeted cleaning of only one room. But even away from room cleaning, the Deebot allows you to clean targeted areas. These can then be determined quite simply in the app. Conversely, you can also determine no-go areas here. The most important parameters, such as the amount of water and suction power, can be set for the cleaning itself. In general, I found my way around the app very quickly. The design could be a bit more modern, but that is a matter of taste.
Summary of the Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI Test
With the Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI, we have dared a small experiment. We wanted to take a closer look at whether a vacuuming robot that has already been on the market for over a year can also keep up with current competitors. Our result? But of course! The Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI really surprised me in a positive way. And not just because it now costs almost half as much as it did a year ago. Its performance is also really impressive. On the one hand, there’s the suction power. The somewhat different concept with the two rollers proved to be a really great alternative to conventional brushes in practice. In combination with the reliable navigation, hardly any dust was left behind. The wiping function is also something to be proud of.
While it is merely a found accessory on many other vacuum wipers, it really delivers on the Deebot T9 AIVI. The same goes for navigation. The LiDAR sensor in combination with the high-resolution camera technology ensures that the robot vacuum quickly finds its way around your own four walls. The app can be used to set up a customized cleaning with the collected map material. However, there are also points that I do not like so much. For example, the capacities of the dust and water containers are so small that the comfort suffers a bit. At least with the dust container, however, this problem can be eliminated with the matching suction station. All in all, a really great vacuum cleaning robot that offers great value for money one and a half years after release!