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Samsung Powerbot VR9000 review

Tom Morgan
9 Feb 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

Impressive suction from a robot vacuum, but navigation is still a stumbling block

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Specifications

Dimensions (HxWxD): 453x184x529mm, Weight: 4.5kg, Bin capacity: 0.7l, Vacuum Type: Cylinder, Bagless?: Yes, Vacuum power - stated (W): 75W

We've been eagerly awaiting the first robot vacuum that could fully replace a traitional cleaner, and Samsung's VR9000 could be one of the closest we've seen to date. It's a cylinder vacuum with variable suction settings that should be able to keep your floors clean while you're out of the house, without getting lost or having to re-do tough spots.

The VR9000 is fairly sizable vacuum, taking up as much floor space as a sofa cushion and with a height of 135mm that makes it too tall to fit under most furniture. It weighs 4.5kg, so isn't particularly heavy should you need to move it between floors. It looks quite sleek from the top in glossy black with gold accents, although we aren't fans of the white plastic undercarriage. There is a more fetching black model with blue accents available, but the glossy finish is a dust magnet in either colour, so you'll need to clean the cleaner if you don't want it to start looking grubby after a few weeks of use.

Read our round-up of the best vacuum cleaners

Underneath, a 311mm brush bar spins to aggitate carpets and remove the most amount of dust possible. As with all robot vacuums the VR9000 can't get completely into corners, but the square design and wide brush means it can get within 35mm of a wall. When it comes to crevices and edges, you'll still need a traditional cleaner to catch what the robot can't.  

The 0.7l bagless bin sits locks into the top of the vacuum and lifts out with minimal effort. It unclips neatly for clean emptying, too, with a self-contained filter that can be removed and cleaned or replaced. The VR9000 will alert you when the bin is full, so you can be sure you aren't sending it around the house without space for more cleaning. We emptied it every few days with a daily cleaning schedule, although naturally this will vary based on the size of your house.

You can activate the VR9000 from the unit itself using the three touch-sensitive buttons on the back, which also tell it what floor surface to expect and whether to return to its base unit for charging. You get a lot more control with the bundled remote, however. This lets you set spot cleaning, for a more thorough clean (ideal if you've knocked over a plant pot, or sent a box of cereal scattering across the kitchen floor), manual control should you want to drive the vacuum yourself, and Max performance for more powerful suction. Finally point cleaning, which is designed to catch any areas the cleaner might have missed on its standard patrol, uses a red LED built into the remote; you hold down the button and the vacuum follows the light around the room until you're happy it has covered everything.

You can also turn off the rather irritating high-pitched beep it makes every time it registers an input, activate the dust sensor to engage the vacuum whenever it detects a buildup of dust rather than run it constantly, and set a schedule for automatic cleaning when you're not in. You can set either one time or a daily schedule, although there's no way to set different times for different days - meaning what could be handy during the working week will end up waking you up from your weekend lie-in.

Your changes and settings are displayed on a mono LCD display built into the top of the cleaner; it's fine for the basics but now that Dyson's 360 Eye robot vacuum has it's own smartphone app we're beginning to expect a little more detail when it comes to visual feedback.

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