Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Eufy RoboVac G20 review: A superb cleaner hampered by poor navigation

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
260
inc VAT

The Eufy RoboVac G20 is cheap, cheerful and effective at cleaning but it’s prone to getting lost

Pros 
Brilliant cleaning performance
Affordable
Easy to use
Cons 
Less smart than most
No mapping
Can’t manage complex layouts
Advertisement

Eufy has a big selection of robot vacuum cleaners available at a broad range of prices. The Eufy RoboVac G20 is one of the cheaper models, costing just £260 at the time of writing. The £190 difference between this and Eufy’s flagship robot (the £450 Eufy RoboVac X8) is a significant wad of cash. So how much is missing from the G20 to make it a little over half the price?

There are a few physical differences between the Eufy G20 and more expensive robot vacuum cleaners but, in a nutshell, the main thing it’s missing is the ability to make and store a decent map. Is that simple feature worth £190?

Buy now from Amazon


Eufy RoboVac G20 review: What do you get for the money?

The Eufy RoboVac G20 comes in two variants: the basic vacuuming model that I’ve reviewed here, or a version with a mop attachment, called the RoboVac G20 Hybrid. The Hybrid costs around £40 more but is essentially the same robot with an additional attachment for wiping hard floors with a damp cloth.

The G20 has a standard hockey-puck design, measuring 320mm in diameter and standing just 69mm high. It doesn’t come with LiDAR or any other top-mounted sensors, so can easily crawl under low furniture. It had no problem cleaning under the low shelf of my coffee table.

Not only does it manage without LiDAR but it also doesn’t have a camera, infrared, or, seemingly, any kind of visual technology to assist in navigation. The main sensor on the device is its bumper, which wraps around the front half of the robot’s perimeter. The robot navigates by bumping into obstacles and turning or moving around them when it hits. It’s basic but reasonably effective.

Elsewhere, it’s pretty standard, too, with a single brush bar on its underside comprising both brushes and stiff fins, sitting in a 144mm wide suction inlet, while the collection bin is a fairly standard 0.6L. And it’s controlled via the EufyHome mobile app. That’s the same app you use to control Eufy’s other smart products, including other vacuum cleaners.

Eufy RoboVac G20 review: What is it like to use?

However, the app lacks all but the most basic features. Because the Eufy RoboVac G20 can’t sense its surroundings other than to bump into them, it doesn’t build up a map in the app as it cleans. This means you can’t see where it’s been or where it’s likely to go next.

Instead, the core options you have are to set the robot off, send it back to its charging station or to perform a spot clean. There are also buttons to change the suction power (which goes up to 2,500Pa) and set up a simple daily schedule and, hidden away amongst the settings, you’ll also find remote control buttons that can be used to move the robot forward, or turn it left and right. I found these imprecise and cumbersome, however; it’s far easier to pick up the G20 and put it down where you need it to clean.

Emptying is simple. The collection bin unclips easily from the rear and you simply press a button to open the lid when you want to tip out the dirt. The filter is a cardboard concertina, but can also be removed and cleaned. I found it quickly got packed with dust as there’s no protective mesh over it, although the supplied cleaning tool does a reasonable job of cleaning it up.

I also found that the bristles on the roller brush collected a lot of hair during my tests, so will need regular detangling. There’s a cutting tool provided that makes reasonably short work of this but it’s still a little messy compared to the comparatively hair-resistant rollers we’ve seen on the likes of the iRobot Roomba i3+ and Roomba j7.

Buy now from Amazon


Eufy RoboVac G20 review: Is it good at finding its way around?

The Eufy RoboVac G20 is terrible at finding its way around. It works by attempting to clean in squares of 2m by 2m, moving back and forth across the area and going a little deeper with each turn to cover the whole area. When it’s finished, it finds another space to clean.

However, because it can’t “see” its surroundings, it quickly becomes confused. It failed to complete a full independent clean in any of my tests, and often struggled to return to the charging station at the end. The further it ventured, the worse this problem became, especially if it had ranged through enough doorways and round corners.

This is unusual, even for cheaper robot vacuum cleaners. The Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge, for example, creates a basic map as it goes, even though its physical navigation tools are barely more sophisticated than those on the G20, and can use it to check whether it has performed a thorough clean and plan a route back to its charging base, no matter how complex a path that may be.

READ NEXT: Best vacuum deals this month

Moreover, because there’s no map saved, you can’t use the app to tell the robot where it shouldn’t clean in the future. It is compatible with magnetic barrier strips, which you can lay down on the floor or under carpet to block off places that might cause it trouble. Unfortunately, you don’t get any of these in the box so, if you need some, you’ll have to buy it separately. You can pick up two strips of 2m each for £25 from Amazon. ​​

Other than not finding being able to find its way home, however, other aspects of navigation were reasonably impressive. I didn’t notice the G20 get stuck on any particular item of furniture. It’s relatively gentle when it bumps into things and its bumper soaks up most of the impact and it can also climb over quite significant thresholds and other similar obstacles.

Eufy RoboVac G20 review: How well does it clean?

The Eufy RoboVac G20 performed exceedingly well in our cleaning tests, too. It has a spot cleaning mode that starts in the middle, and spirals out in increasingly large circles until it reaches a radius of about 1m. It then continues circling round in the same direction, but in decreasing circles until it arrives back in the middle.

This kind of pattern invariably performs the best spot cleans. Not only does it encourage you to physically place the robot on top of the worst of the mess, giving it a healthy head start on capturing a good portion of it before it has even started moving, it also avoids some of the problems of scattering particles as it approaches.

We test robot vacuum cleaners by spilling 50g of rice and 50g of flour onto both hard floor and short pile carpet and seeing how much of this vacuums pick up. The G20 proved exceptional at scooping up rice, gathering 50g in both the hard floor and carpet tests. Note this wasn’t every last grain of rice, as some had still been scattered beyond the reach of the spot test program (rice has a tendency to scatter when it meets a robot vacuum’s edge sweeper) but based on the 1g accuracy of my kitchen scales, it must have collected more than 99.5% of it.

Flour is a tougher ask but the G20 still managed to gather 45g from hard floor. It lost a little from the tubes as I removed the collection bin for weighing and emptying, and there was a visible residue left on the floor but it’s still a great performance, equalling the excellent AEG RX.9 and is only bettered in recent tests by the iRobot Roomba i3+.

On carpet the G20 struggled a little more but this is a tough test. It managed to collect 35g of the spillage and there was plenty of visible flour left after it had finished. If you’re looking for better results in this test, both the iRobot Roomba i3+ and the AEG RX.9 got much closer to collecting a full 50g in this test.

Buy now from Amazon


Eufy RoboVac G20 review: Should I buy it?

There’s clearly a balance to be had with this device. If you live in a small space with mostly hard floor, it’s great value for the price. It’s good at cleaning spills from this type of flooring and, if your property is small or you're happy to close the vacuum into individual rooms so it doesn’t get lost, it can do a great job.

However, the vacuum’s limitations mean those living in larger houses should probably steer clear. Its lack of mapping makes it a bit of a lottery whether it will clean everywhere you want it to and in larger floor areas it can struggle to make it back home for a recharge.

If you’re convinced you want a Eufy but don’t want to spend a lot of money, I’d recommend taking a step up to the Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge instead. This creates a map as it goes and, as a result, is better at covering every corner of your house and getting back to its charger when it’s finished. It also comes with magnetic strips you can use to mark out no-go areas. If you don’t need these, it’s available without them for a little less as the RoboVac G30.

READ NEXT: Our favourite cordless vacuum cleaners

For larger houses, I recommend going up to the Eufy RoboVac X8. This wasn’t as good at cleaning as the G20 in our spot clean tests but its mapping and navigation are excellent, so at least you know you’re getting your whole house cleaned. You can also set no-go areas on the map from the app, so you don’t need to worry about magnetic strips.

If money is no object, you should buy an AEG RX.9. It’s our favourite robot vacuum cleaner at the moment, since the Dyson Heurist doesn’t appear to be in stock anywhere. The RX.9 is an effective cleaner, has a triangular shape that can get into corners, and a good app with great mapping tools.

Read more

Reviews