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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Do robot vacuums actually work? Proscenic 850t test

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If you wish you could delegate the tasks of vacuum cleaning and mopping your home to someone, or something, else, then we have some good news.

An entry-level Proscenic 850T robot vacuum cleaner is available on Amazon for £229. This is less than half the cost of similar robot vacuum cleaners by Shark or iRoomba.

The compact but powerful 850T can be operated via remote control, or you can connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network to use it via an app on your phone or through smart devices like Amazon Alexa. Simply say, ‘Alexa, power on the Proscenic 850T vacuum cleaner, and it will be off on a dirt-busting mission.

But can it cope with a three-bedroom house full to the brim with four children and parents that enjoy muddy outdoor activities such as cycling and running? 

If you are tired of the physical labour of pushing around a manual vacuum, this could be your new favourite household appliance.

Power on via the app or through Alexa and sit back as the powerful suction sucks up dirt, crumbs, hair and more. When finished, it will return to its charging dock automatically.

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How we tested

We wanted to test whether a robot vacuum cleaned as well as a cordless or stick vacuum. To do this, we let it loose in each room of the house, to test how well it mapped out each room and reached under nooks and crannies, and followed up with a manual vacuum cleaner to see if that sucked up anything extra.

Writer Zoe Griffin tests out the Proscenic 850T robot vacuum cleaner and mop on hardwood floors as well as vinyl tiles and carpet

Writer Zoe Griffin tests out the Proscenic 850T robot vacuum cleaner and mop on hardwood floors as well as vinyl tiles and carpet

We tested it on hardwood floors in the hallway and living room, as well as on vinyl in the kitchen and on the carpets upstairs. To try out its capacity to avoid stairs, we tested it on the landing and watched it closely, should we need to catch it from a fall.

Set-up

Opening the box, you’ll see the main vacuum cleaner unit, a charging dock, spare mop attachments, a remote control and a leaflet about how to connect the vacuum to my home’s WiFi network via the Proscenic Home app.

If you’re in any way concerned about WiFi networks and passwords, you’ll be happy to hear that you can control the vacuum easily via the remote control.

The Proscenic 850T robot cleaner can be operated via remote control, through the Proscenic app or directly through Alexa devices (once linked via the app)

The Proscenic 850T robot cleaner can be operated via remote control, through the Proscenic app or directly through Alexa devices (once linked via the app)

But if you want to set timers, schedule cleans,  map out a room and other clever features, it’s very easy to connect the robot vacuum to the app following step-by-step instructions. To reach full connectivity via the app took me less than five minutes.

A further step is to connect it to Amazon devices such as Echo dot speakers or the Amazon Alexa app on a smartphone. To do this is slightly more complicated as you need to download the Alexa app and check the Alexa icon on the Proscenic app to link accounts. 

For me, that wasn’t a seamless process, but it was worth doing, as my son was fascinated when I eventually got it to work using just the power of my voice. 

Design 

The Proscenic 850T robot vacuum is aesthetically pleasing, given the entry-level price point. 

Two rotating brushes push mess under the path of the vacuum where it can be sucked up, and a  tester found the suction power is impressive given the price point

Two rotating brushes push mess under the path of the vacuum where it can be sucked up, and a  tester found the suction power is impressive given the price point

Sleek and black, the circular robot moves stealth-like across a room, gently turning when it senses something in its path. I was fascinated by how it moved, rotating a small number of degrees to change its path if needed. 

Measuring just seven centimetres high, it easily fits under sofas, chairs, beds and other furniture and even finds its way back out again.

How well does it clean?

In open spaces, this vacuum performs faultlessly. After dropping some cake crumbs on the floor, I watched as the Proscenic 850T gobbled up everything in its sight.

It’s incredible to watch it slip under furniture, knowing that reaching those spots with my stick vacuum would usually be very tricky. 

Vacuuming under sofas and chairs can be an energy-draining process with a traditional vacuum cleaner, but the 850T robot cleaner makes light work of the task, measuring just 7 cm tall

Vacuuming under sofas and chairs can be an energy-draining process with a traditional vacuum cleaner, but the 850T robot cleaner makes light work of the task, measuring just 7 cm tall

It copes brilliantly with hair, making the carpets in my daughters’ room cleaner than ever. Other vacuum cleaners have previously struggled to pick up the long hair that the girls seem to shed. 

It tried its best to get into corners, but I have to admit that I finished off the job with the attachments of my trusty upright vacuum cleaner.

It was also too narrow for my stairs. Saying that I was very impressed watching it on the landing as it got close to the edge of the flight of stairs but always sensed that it was heading towards a fall and changed direction. 

How well does it mop? 

The Proscenic 850T  has three adjustable mopping levels, equipped with an electronically controlled water pump, so you can control the water level with the app.

According to the product description on Amazon, you can mop and vacuum at the same time. To test this, I dropped some cereal and milk. 

It did a better job of vacuuming up the cereal than it did wiping the milk. I did not sense the milk was cleared, even on the highest setting. 

If you are looking for a mop and vacuum cleaner in one, you may get better functionality with the mop if you go for a more expensive vacuum cleaner. But when it comes to sucking up dirt, crumbs and debris from a house with toddlers, babies and busy people, it more than does the job. 

Features

  • Weight – 2kg
  • Size  – 32.51 cm diameter x 7.3 cm height
  • Noise level – 60Db
  • Power – 28 Watts
  • Suction – 3000pA (and three intensity settings) 
  • Battery life – 120 minutes 
  • Warranty – Two years 
  • Best price – £180.74, Amazon.co.uk 

Mail Best Verdict 

The Proscenic 850T robot vacuum cleaner offers fantastic suction, rivalling appliances that cost twice as much. 

It’s easy to set up and fun to start up and watch as it cleans a room. I’m pleasantly surprised it offers features such as voice command through Alexa for just £229. 

Although it could do with improvements to its mopping ability, this more than does the job if you’re looking for an entry-level robot vacuum cleaner.

Pros: Strong suction, intelligent manoeuvring, quiet, long battery life, voice operation through Alexa

Cons: Unimpressive mopping performance, can’t vacuum stairs, doesn’t fit in corners 

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