Consumer Electronics, Gadgets & Accessories

Narwhal Freo X Ultra test: Even better than its predecessor?

Roborock, Dreame, Ecovacs, Yeedi, and so on and so forth. The robotic vacuum cleaner market is dominated by well-known companies that don’t make it easy for their competitors. However, one or two surprises do come around the corner from time to time. In the Narwal Freo X Ultra test, I took an exciting household helper under my wing whose technical data sheet raises great expectations. One highlight: although it doesn’t have a suction station, you only have to remove dirt every seven weeks thanks to its innovative compression technology. Let’s see whether it keeps these and other promises and whether the big players might have to tremble.

Technical data

Suction power 8.200 Pascal
Dimensions 350 x 350 x 107 mm
Weight 4.4 kg
App operation Yes, Narwal Freo app for Android and iOS
Water tanks Fresh water: 4.5 l
Dirty water: 4.1 l
Rechargeable battery 5.200 mAh (up to 180 minutes runtime)
Navigation LiDAR and object recognition
Mop function Yes, 2x rotating mops (liftable)
Carpet detection Yes
Price At Amazon: € 949.00 *

Early bird discount: 959,00 Euro

Scope of delivery

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

The scope of delivery includes the robot vacuum, the cleaning station, cleaning agent, 3x dust bags (1x built-in), dust container, 2x side brushes, power cable and the usual paperwork.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Design & workmanship

Once out of the box and set up, a design check is of course on the agenda. And this is extremely positive. With its glossy white finish, the Freo X Ultra is clearly reminiscent of its predecessor, the Narwal Freo(test). There are also only minor differences in the design and the rest of the look. Narwal has opted for a more rounded shape, which in my opinion gives the device a charming retro charm.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

The glossy plastic makes a very high-quality impression. However, I fear that the first scratches will appear after just one month of regular use. For this reason, I’m more in favor of matte designs, as is the case with the Dreame L10s Pro Ultra Heat(test), for example. As is so often the case, however, this is of course a matter of taste. If you treat the surface of the Narwhal with care, you will certainly be able to maintain its shine for a long time.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

What is immediately noticeable, however, are the comparatively compact dimensions. Other robot vacuums with a suction station are much larger. This could make the Narwal Freo Ultra X the perfect solution for smaller homes. What is anything but retro is the circular display, which the X Ultra has just like its predecessor and is a practical control unit. The robot hoover itself doesn’t come with any big surprises either. Narwal relies on the classic circular design.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

The LiDAR sensor, which is located in a small turret, sits in the middle of the top. Right next to it you will find an on/off button. The underside, on the other hand, is not only home to the two round wiping pads. The main brush is also located here, which unfortunately does not have a full rubber coating but a mix of rubber and bristles. Two side brushes are also designed to remove dirt from the corners.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Navigation technology

The navigation and object recognition of a robot vacuum cleaner is now almost as important as its cleaning performance. If a smart household helper can’t find its way around your home, even the best cleaning technology is useless. At the heart of the navigation is the proven LiDAR technology, which is located in the small turret on the top. Thanks to laser technology, it ensures that the robot hoover can measure your room perfectly even in total darkness.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

Narwal also promises reliable object detection, with the technology located under a cover on the front. To prevent the smart household helper from accidentally touching furniture edges, there are additional sensors on the sides. While the LiDAR technology ensured that the robot hoover moved reliably through my own four walls, the object detection was not as accurate as promised. Especially when it came to smaller, flat objects, there were times when it crossed over during the test.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

This can be not only annoying but also dangerous, especially with cables. But I don’t want to be too strict here. After all, larger objects such as shoes were recognized perfectly. The competition also has its weaknesses here. However, if you have children or pets who like to leave things on the floor, you should perhaps look for a model with better object recognition, such as a Dreame L20 Ultra(test) or a Roborock S8 Pro Ultra(test).

Narwhal Freo X Ultra test: Cleaning performance

The supreme discipline in the field of robot vacuum cleaners is and remains cleaning performance. In the following, we will first take a closer look at the suction power of the Narwal Freo X Ultra. We will then check its mopping performance.

Suction function

When looking at the suction power, it becomes clear why this model was given the nickname “X Ultra”. After all, the suction power has increased by over 5,000 pascals to an impressive 8,200 pascals compared to its predecessor. This puts it in the same league as the really big ones. And this is also reflected in practice. The smart household helper leaves not a speck of dust on the floor. However, hard floors are often no problem even for low-powered robot hoovers. So what about carpets? This is where the Narwhal flexes its muscles and picks up even the deepest dirt.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

The Narwhal Freo X Ultra can lift the mop pads to prevent your carpet from getting wet. Almost all flagship models can do this nowadays. But the Narwhal scores with a perfect analysis of carpets. If it detects that the carpet is so high that it would drag on the carpet despite the mop pads being raised, it automatically avoids it. That may be practical in itself. It’s just a shame that I can’t set an alternative behavior. Personally, it would be more important to me that the carpet is vacuumed than that the fibers get a little damp.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

As the owner of two cats and a dog, I always focus on dealing with pet hair. At first glance, the main brush is disappointing as it relies on a combination of rubber and bristles. Other flagships such as a Roborock S8 Pro Ultra rely on a solid rubber solution here. This prevents hair from getting caught in the first place. But Narwal wants to take precautions and has opted for a different concept. There is an opening on the side of the roller. The hair is sucked in here so that it does not get caught in the roller. This worked quite well in the test. In my opinion, however, the solid rubber brushes offer better performance here.

Mopping performance

The two rotating wiping pads on the underside suggest that the Narwal Freo X Ultra offers good wiping performance. And appearances are not deceptive. During cleaning, the vacuum cleaner presses its two rotating wiping surfaces onto the floor, which is supposed to tackle even stubborn dirt. This worked really well in the test. It tackled light stains the first time without any problems.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test
The two mop pads are rinsed with fresh water in the cleaning station

But the little household helper even managed to clean dried jam. Here, however, a second cleaning process was required. Like many other robot hoovers, the Narwhal has its weaknesses in the area of skirting boards and other edges. An uncleaned edge remains here. Currently, only Dreame with its L20 Ultra and L10 Pro Ultra Heat can cope with this problem. The solution? A retractable mop pad.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Base without suction function

Nowadays, flagship-class robotic vacuum cleaners can hardly do without a suitable cleaning station. This is also the case with the Narwal Freo X Ultra. What stands out here at first glance, however, is the extremely compact format of the base station. This can be attributed to the fact that, strictly speaking, you don’t get a fully-fledged suction function here.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

Instead, the robot vacuum cleaner compresses the collected dirt in a dust bag inside the smart household helper. According to Narwal, this should only be replaced every 7 weeks. However, as the special bag is made almost entirely of plastic, I find it highly questionable from an ecological point of view that Narwal has opted for this solution.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test
You have the choice between a classic dust container and a dust bag

Personally, I would have preferred a larger station. But there is no alternative. You can also use the vacuum cleaner without a bag. In this case, you don’t use the bag, but the dust container that is also included. You then simply have to empty it at regular intervals. I think the fact that Narwal gives its users a choice here is extremely positive.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Reliable cleaning of the mop pads

The base may not have a suction function, but the cleaning of the mop pads is really impressive. The robot hoover visits the station before each cleaning session to moisten the mops. During the tour, it also returns to the station at regular intervals to rinse the mop surfaces again. This has the great advantage that the mops do not spread the dirt from your floors around the home. Instead, it is rinsed out again and again.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

You can set how often the robot hoover returns to the station in the app. There are two water tanks inside the station. You fill one of them regularly with fresh water, while the waste water tank must always be emptied. If you don’t feel like doing this, you can simply install the smart household helper at the water connection. The only requirement is the right installation kit. This is reminiscent of the Dreame models.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

I think it’s a real shame that the mops are not cleaned or moistened with hot water. This not only ensures better cleaning results. It is also helpful from a hygiene point of view. To prevent bacteria from forming, you should therefore throw the mop surfaces into the washing machine from time to time. After the final clean following a cleaning session, the mops are then dried using an integrated hair dryer. The main purpose of this is to prevent unpleasant odors from forming.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Stylish circular display

The mini display on the station is a unique selling point. Compared to its predecessor, however, Narwal has cut back on this. The screen is now primarily used as an input device. You can use it to easily control the smart household helper.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

However, friends of the Narwhal Freo will probably miss the really cool moving images that flickered across the small black circle. But since these were nothing more than a visual gimmick, I don’t want to chalk this up to anything negative.

Narwal Freo X Ultra test: Convenient setup with the Narwal app

Anyone who has ever used any smart home gadget in their own four walls will have no problems with this robot hoover. The easy-to-use Narwhal app is available to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Once you have created an account, you can quickly and easily add the Freo X Ultra to your home network. You will benefit from convenient step-by-step instructions. Once that’s done, you can get started. You can now make various settings, all of which relate to cleaning the smart household helper.

In particular, parameters such as suction power or wiping performance can be regulated. You can also conveniently set the frequency with which both mop pads are flushed. If you don’t fancy the various settings, you can choose one of the preset modes. There is certainly something for everyone here. In addition to the cleaning settings, you can also make other settings. For example, you can set a cleaning schedule. This is particularly useful if you want the household helper to clean while you are at work. Sooner or later, the Freo X Ultra will be ready for its maiden voyage.

Image: Apple App Store

The robot creates a detailed map of your own four walls. Cleaning is secondary. To save time, it only creates the map on the first trip. You can then view the result in the app. Here, the smart household helper divides your home into different rooms. If this does not correspond to reality, you can of course make adjustments. In the map, you can also create invisible walls, initiate the cleaning of a specific zone or create restricted zones. I use the latter at my pets’ feeding stations, for example.

Save big with Release

The Narwhal Freo X Ultra will go on sale on March 13, 2024 at an RRP of 1,199.00 euros. At the market launch, however, the manufacturer wants to offer its newcomer with an Early Bird discount at a price of 959.00 euros. That’s a huge saving. On top of this, you will also receive a practical accessory pack as a gift. You can find more information on the official website.

Conclusion

Stylish design, high build quality, good cleaning performance, clear app – the Narwal Freo X Ultra impresses in the core disciplines of modern robot hoovers. However, small problems do creep in here and there. For example, it can’t impress when vacuuming or mopping the skirting boards. An uncleaned edge remains, which is annoying. The object recognition may also be quite good, but it can’t really keep up with other flagships in this price range. The dirt compression system inside the robot hoover is perhaps innovative, but requires the regular purchase of special dust bags from Narwal.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test
The two practical carrying handles on the side make it easy to transport

This is expensive and not really ecological. At least you can do without the bag as an alternative and empty the conventional dust container regularly instead. However, I would still have preferred a classic suction station. And that’s not the only thing I miss about the base. The manufacturer could also have given the stylish station a hot water wash for the mop pads. I would also have done without the still somewhat unnecessary display altogether. But all this is complaining at a high level.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Test

After all, the Narwhal is almost completely convincing when it comes to cleaning. And that is the supreme discipline for robot vacuum cleaners. Nevertheless, we must not forget which devices the robot is competing with. In my opinion, the real Achilles heel of this smart home gadget is undoubtedly its high price. With an RRP of just under 1,200 euros, it plays in the same league as the really big ones and they do their job at least as well, if not better. A Dreame L10s Pro Ultra Heat, for example, costs significantly less and offers far more features.

Narwhal Freo X Ultra

Design & workmanship
Suction power
Wiping performance
Usability
Value for money

89/100

The Narwhal Freo X Ultra scores with its good cleaning performance. However, it lags behind the other flagships in some other disciplines.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Roborock, Dreame, Ecovacs, Yeedi, and so on and so forth. The robotic vacuum cleaner market is dominated by well-known companies that don’t make it easy for their competitors. However, one or two surprises do come around the corner from time to time. In the Narwal Freo X Ultra test, I took an exciting household helper … (Weiterlesen...)

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