Today we’re going to be reviewing the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity, one of the latest iRobot vacuums to be released this year. A lot of people like to be able to use their smart phones to control items they have purchased and in the area of robot vacuums it’s just the same.
If you usually carry your phone with you at all times it’s much easier to set things up and control them with an app rather than have to find another remote control out of many whenever you want to use your products.
iRobot Roomba 690 Review
One of the newest trends is voice control through Alexa and people want their products to be able to sync with this technology. iRobot has taken that into account when upgrading their popular product the iRobot Roomba 650 to be controlled by an app on your phone.
When you’re looking at a iRobot vacuum review, it’s important to take into account things that may impact the cleaning ability of your vacuum, for instance if you have to vacuum up after pets when they produce a lot of hair and dander, if you have carpets to vacuum or hardwood floors to keep clean, whether you work and need to be able to schedule your robot to run when you are out. It might even be that you need all of that in the cheapest robot vacuum you can find. Let’s review the features of the 690 and we can discuss how they may help or hinder you.
The Roomba 690 is a circular shape with a diameter of 13 inches, that’s average for most circular robot vacuums. At only 3.6 inches in height the profile is low enough to fit under furniture as long as it has a clearance of around 4 inches. You can get other brands that have lower profiles like the Eufy 11s if this is an important feature for you. This is so much easier than having to move your large pieces to vacuum under them especially your bed if it has a big enough gap. There is a clean button centered on the top so you can manually send it to clean or send it home to base rather than have to find your phone.
All iRobot Roomba vacuums have good suction compared to other makes which is why they are so popular. Although this has a strong suction it doesn’t have different power modes for different areas or floor types in your home. This is typical of robot vacuums in this price range.
The good thing about this cleaner is the fact that it can clean on all floor types, so if you have a hardwood floor, carpets or a mixture this machine can handle the transitions between each type. It can have problems on dark floors and on rugs with black lines as it senses them as an edge so won’t pass. Worth noting before you buy one, if it doesn’t work on your rug you may have to lift it. The dual brushes underneath work together to open up the pile on carpet and getting the dirt out to be sucked up. The cleaning head adjusts depending on the floor type so that maximum suction can happen even when it moves onto a hardwood floor.
If you have a dog like me then having a vacuum that can pick up pet hair with no issue is a necessity. This Roomba 690 can pick up hair with no problems, it might fill up the dustbin a bit quicker, especially when you first start using it but if you clean daily it will keep on top of it for you. Prepare to be amazed at how much this little unit can pick up.
With the majority of home owner having wi-fi it makes sense that home appliances are being made with wi-fi capability. This doesn’t work with 5G though so be aware of that if you have the newest fastest connections, it only works with 2.4G. There are manual buttons on the top of the unit if you don’t want to use wi-fi but no capability to set a schedule or link to Alexa without the wi-fi connection. If you don’t like using wi-fi check out the Roomba 650 which can be scheduled from the buttons on the top of the vacuum.
This Roomba 690 is controlled by your smart phone via an app called the iRobot HOME App. It’s very easy to sync to your wi-fi and it allows you to schedule your robot to clean once a day up to 7 days, or less. You can set the time to suit when you’re in or out and the app will let you know if the job has been completed. If your vacuum has stopped for any reason you will get a notification and the app will also let you know when regular maintenance is required. There is no other remote control other than your phone.
If you have an Amazon device for voice control, and you prefer that control then you’ll be happy to know that you can connect the 690, so that you can ask it to go and clean, then no phone required. It will work with Alexa and also Google Assistant.
Roomba’s have 3-stage cleaning system, there is a dual brush system, the rotary bristle brush and a rotary rubber brush to cope with loosening and lifting all types of dirt, debris and pet hair into the suction. There is also a side spinning brush that can get at the dirt along the walls and in the corners that a circular unit might have had problems with. It’s quite effective on all floor types. There is an additional spot clean mode if you have any spills, you place it in the centre of the spill and it cleans in a spiral motion outward for around 3 feet.
There is a dirt detection sensor which can detect when there is more dirt on the floor and will go over it till it’s clean then move on. It will also detect objects and walls although some people have found it to bang into furniture sometimes, hard enough to move it. It also has sensors that will stop it from falling down the stairs or steps so you don’t have to keep track of it.
Although this won’t be as noisy as a regular vacuum cleaner it isn’t the quietest robot vacuum either. You probably wouldn’t want to run it at night.
If you want to divide your room because it is large or there is an area that you do not want the Roomba 690 to clean, you can use the dual mode virtual wall to help you solve this problem. The wall can be set up in 2 ways, either you set it up in a straight line wall mode so you can stop it from moving through a doorway if you need to leave the door open for pets for example, or if you want to protect certain pieces of furniture or objects that are on the floor you can set it in halo mode next to the object and it will keep the robot away from it.
Although the programming and sensors stop it from falling down stairs and bumping into objects it doesn’t clean in a linear manner. The mapping sends the robot in a random pattern usually changing direction when encountering an object, it may do some areas a bit more than others as it works around the room, but eventually it will cover most if not all of your floor that needs cleaning. It will clean all the floor it has access to and will run until it runs out of charge when it will return to the dock. Cheaper robot vacuums tend to all clean with a random pattern although it can be quite effective it’s not as efficient as newer model like the Roomba 980.
The iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum cleaner with wi-fi connectivity can run for up to 90 minutes on one charge and will continue working until the battery runs down or it has finished the area it is cleaning. It will return to the docking unit to re-charge by itself. Once it returns to the dock it isn’t capable of returning to the place where it finished to carry on, that needs more up to date technology like on the newer Roomba 960. The benefit of charging itself between cleans means that it’s always ready to go, especially if you have a spill and need to use the spot clean function.
Filter and Dustbin
The dustbin is located on the side of the robot vacuum and houses the filters to help clean the air and hold the dirt collected. The dustbin size is 300ml which isn’t large so you might find that the first few times of use you might have to empty it often. The aeroforce filters on a Roomba can filter as small as 10 microns, this isn’t small enough to pick up all allergens so if you need that you might want to consider a Neato.
A Roomba 690 is very easy to maintain. You should empty the dustbin after each use and tap the dirt off the filter to keep the suction at it’s best. Every week you should check underneath and remove the hair from the rotary brush and make sure there is nothing clogging up the wheels. Lastly wipe over the sensors.
You will receive a Dual Mode Virtual Wall barrier in the box, a cleaning tool and an extra filter. Over time you will have to replace the filters as they are not washable but you can get filter packs from Amazon and with iRobot being a well known brand they are easily found.
|Wi-fi connected||Can bang into furniture|
|Works with Alexa||Can get stuck and not return to dock|
|Affordable Price||Cleans randomly, not the most efficient|
|Cleans all floor types|
|Good for pet hair|
This iRobot Roomba 690 gets good reviews and I think for a cheaper version they are well deserved. Most people are pleasantly surprised at how well a robot vacuum cleans and how much dirt it can collect from a visibly clean floor. They do like the app as it can let them know how much battery life is left while the robot is cleaning so they can send it back to re-charge if they want. It’s also very easy to use and set up. This robot vacuum can keep pet hair at bay and the floors clean.
As you can buy robot vacuums from $100 to over $1000 I would say that this 690 price is very reasonable and affordable for people wanting a well known brand. Compared to the Shark Ion Robot 750 which is very similar and other vacuums in the same price range this does a very good job. If you’re looking to test the robot vacuum waters then this would be a good product to start with.
This Roomba 690 is an upgraded version of the Roomba 650 and in our opinion they have managed to make it current with the app while still keeping the functionality of the original. If you are looking for a cheaper iRobot version which you can sync with voice control then this vacuum should work well for you.