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Proscenic Floobot X1 review: Feature-packed but lacking finesse

Our Rating :
£399.00 from
Price when reviewed : £349
inc VAT

The Proscenic Floobot X1 review is an affordable robot vacuum but hard to recommend given the number of compromises it makes


  • Self-emptying
  • Affordable
  • Low profile


  • Disappearing maps
  • Disappointing mopping
  • Questionable edge sweeping

The Proscenic Floobot X1 is an affordable robot vacuum cleaner with a full suite of features, including a LIDAR sensor, a mop and a self-emptying charging station. Despite all this, it only costs £349, which looks like an absolute steal.

However, the cracks in the specification start to show through on close inspection. For example, the LIDAR is a front-mounted sensor, where most are situated on the roof in a turret with a 360-degree view of the world around them. That gives the X1 the benefit of fitting under low furniture, but the entire robot needs to rotate in order to scan its surroundings, which it does regularly, reducing the efficiency with which it can clean your home.

Proscenic Floobot X1 review: What do you get for the money?

In terms of its appearance, the Proscenic Floobot X1 holds few surprises. It’s a classic puck-shaped robot with a diameter of 303mm. It stands 75mm tall, with no turret to stop it getting under relatively low furniture, though it does still have a simplified version of LIDAR.

Proscenic rates the vacuum’s suction power at 3,000Pa, which is a decent amount for a robot. It’s slightly hampered by its 3,200mAh battery, though, as I found it didn’t hold enough power to perform a full clean of my ground floor without having to stop and recharge part way through.

The box also contains a docking station that both empties and recharges the device. The emptying unit is relatively small – 350 x145 x 300mm (WDH) but uses 2.5l dust bags. Presuming the X1’s 0.24l dust box is full every time it empties, the base station should be able to empty the robot more than ten times before the bag needs replacing.

Its charging station also has a full plastic base so the floor below won’t get water-damaged should you have to leave the damp mopping cloth on it for an extended period of time. That extends the depth of the footprint to 500mm.

The mop attachment is a plastic plate that clips onto the base of the robot’s collection bin, with the bin also holding the reservoir for tap water. This plate has a cloth attached, which is removable and can be rinsed out or put in the washing machine.

There are a few other extras in the box including a remote control (so you can use the robot without the app if you wish), a brush/blade tool for cleaning the device, and a few spare consumables – a sweeping brush, a mop cloth and a spare bag for the emptying station.

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Proscenic Floobot X1 review: What is it like to use?

The setup process of the Proscenic Floobot X1 is straightforward and fairly standard for this type of robot. The robot needs to be placed on the charging station and an app downloaded, which is available for iOS and Android.

The app is used to transfer the Wi-Fi password over to the robot and to control it afterwards. The first time you send the X1 out it creates a map of the area, which appears on the screen of your device as it’s being created.

There’s a benefit to the robot’s use of LIDAR here, as it scans its surroundings as it goes, building the map up without having to visit the whole area. This is useful because it means you can set up no-go areas, such as the cable nests behind your TV, before the robot gets tangled up in it. It means there’s less of an onus on clearing the floor before you start.

However, it soon became clear why most robots mount a rotating LIDAR unit in a turret on top of the robot, instead of fixing it to the front as Proscenic has done here. Because this robot can only scan what’s directly ahead of it, it has to perform its own 360-degree rotation in order to build up a view of its surroundings.

Slightly annoyingly, it does this every time it turns, scanning its surroundings and making sure it still knows where it is. This feels excessive, slows down the process of vacuuming and almost certainly helps explain why it kept running out of battery power before completing a full clean of my house’s ground floor area.

When the robot has finished its first clean, it analyses the map it’s created and splits the different areas up into rooms. It does this sensibly, but if you’re not happy with the results you can combine rooms back together again, or split them further if you have open plan space that the app hasn’t recognised as different rooms. You can also name the rooms to help you send the robot to the correct place for an individual room clean.

At least that’s the theory. In practice, I found this a frustrating process on my Android phone. The app would often fail to load the map, particularly after I’d spent time making adjustments to it. Once this happened, it seemed the only action left available to me was to restart the map from scratch. This happened more than once.

The app states that it can manage up to five maps at a time and I didn’t see anything to suggest this wasn’t the case. However, the second map that I created, of the first floor of my house, suffered from the same problems as the downstairs and disappeared from the app after I’d spent time getting it just right.

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Proscenic Floobot X1 review: Is it good at finding its way around?

If you look past the fact that it’s prone to not displaying its maps, the Proscenic Floobot X1 is reasonably good at navigating. It didn’t get stuck on any thick mats or other hazards and managed to work its way out from between the legs of a particularly troublesome occasional table I own, which has caught robots out in the past.

I also didn’t experience the robot suffering any problem with getting back to its charging point, even when it had ranged quite far away. Even when the map had disappeared from my app, it still seemed to be working with its own version and could pick a route back even when there were walls and other obstacles in its way.

However, while some LIDAR-controlled robots can use their laser guidance to help avoid obstacles (or at least be more gentle when approaching them) the X1 doesn’t do that. Instead, it bumps into chair and table legs, often at full pelt. If you own fragile or precious furniture, this is going to be a big problem.

What it didn’t do during my tests was go around the edge of an area. Most robots will edge around a space first, then traverse to and fro inside this perimeter to clean the space within the boundary. This robot performs horizontal sweeps but doesn’t go around the edges. Although few robot vacuums are brilliant at getting right into edges and corners, it was disappointing to see this one not even bother to try.

As it’s moving around, the X1 aims to detect the difference between hard floor and carpet. This is so it can adjust its suction, increasing the power on carpet where dirt can be harder to gather, and also so the mop doesn’t dampen your carpet. However, I found it wasn’t particularly sensitive or reactive enough to detect smaller carpeted areas such as a doormat on an area that’s mostly hard floor. These tended to get mopped before the X1 had registered the change in surface.

Proscenic Floobot X1 review: How well does it clean?

I tested the Proscenic Floobot X1 by performing our usual series of tests. This includes sending the robot out on a selection of spot cleaning missions to see how well it collects measured spillages of rice and flour on both carpet and hard floor.

To perform a spot clean you select the option from the app and drop the pin on the area you want the robot to cover. It creates a square over the area, sends the robot to the top corner, and then moves backwards and forwards through the area until it’s covered the space. It’s not the most efficient method as it will drive through some of the mess before it has a chance to clean it up.

In our rice tests, the X1 proved about average, collecting 92% of the spill from hard floor and 82% from short pile carpet. That’s not a stellar performance and it certainly left a significant scattering of rice behind, but most robots with an edge sweeping brush like this tend to scatter some rice, particularly when they have a spot-cleaning mode that doesn’t start with them being manually placed over the spill.

When it came to the flour test, the results were mixed. On hard floor it did a decent job, collecting 86%. This meant that a lot of flour was still left behind and spread around by the wheels, but the result was better than average. On carpet, however, it only picked up 36% of our test spillage, which is decidedly below average.

I also tested this vacuum with cut pet hair, swept from the floor of a dog groomer and also tested on both carpet and hard floor. With this, the robot struggled, only managing to collect around 20% of the hair. Much of the rest of it gathered around the brush roller and blocked the tubes, making this a tough test for the X1.

I also tested the mop attachment but was largely disappointed with its cleaning ability. I found that it took a significant time for enough water to drip through the system to get the cloth properly wet. It almost completed jobs before it had enough water in the cloth to ensure the entire width of the cloth was depositing water on the floor, even at the highest flow settings.

Also, despite claiming that the mop attachment had some oscillation to it, in an attempt to add a bit of scrubbing action, it isn’t particularly visible. The effect might be too microscopic for my eyes to see, but the net result didn’t appear to be any more effective than robots that simply drag their cloths behind themselves.

I tested this on some stubborn floor stains and it did nothing to shift them. It did wipe up some general dirt but it isn’t going to replace a weekly manual mop of hard floor in spaces such as kitchens and utility rooms.

Proscenic Floobot X1 review: Should you buy it?

The Proscenic Floobot X1 isn’t without its merits. It’s an affordable device, particularly considering it comes with a self-emptying charging station, and it’s loaded with features, including the mop attachment.

However, its mopping ability isn’t that great, and it performed poorly when conducting spot cleans. It didn’t go around the edges of any areas it cleaned, either. The most annoying thing, however, was that the Android version of the app didn’t hold its maps during my tests, which makes fine-controlling the robot difficult.

If you have a small space to clean and want an even cheaper robot vacuuming solution, the Lefant M210P could fit the bill. Its cleaning is surprisingly capable, despite its mechanical simplicity, although it’s not great at navigating larger spaces. The Eufy RoboVac G20 is even better at cleaning and cheaper too but doesn’t remember its maps from one cleaning session to another.

For better navigation, it’s advisable to spend more money on a robot with a LIDAR turret and decent mapping. We like the Eufy RoboVac X8 for this kind of work. It’ll cost you twice the price but it’s worth it for larger homes.

If you want the best robot vacuum, you’ll have to spend more money. For a decent clean from an intelligent robot that’s clever enough to even avoid obstacles, consider the iRobot Roomba j7. It doesn’t self-empty or mop up, though. If you need those functions, watch out for a good deal on the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni.

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