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Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI review: Super clean performance, mate!

NextPit Ecovacs T9 AIVI Charging
© NextPit

The Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI already has the words 'artificial intelligence' (albeit in short form) in its name. It now wants to be a particularly smart vacuum robot that also mops your house. Find out how well it does this job and everything else you need to know about this vacuuming and mopping robot in this review.

Rating

Good

  • Very good suction performance on hard floors
  • Fast and uncomplicated setup
  • Extensive app
  • Precise mapping (including 3D mapping)
  • Convincing object detection
  • Camera also functions as a security camera

Bad

  • Slightly less thorough cleaning on a carpet
  • Very small dust container ...
  • ... but takes up plenty of space during its set up

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI release date and price

When the Deebot T9 AIVI was first released, Ecovacs charged $799 for this unique robot that performs a combination of both dusting and mopping. Unfortunately, Ecovacs does not yet sell the model in the U.S., but you can find the previous generation in stores like Amazon starting at $799.

You get a lot of features at this price point: New to the robot cleaner is the iRobot-licensed AeroForce brushes which supposedly ensure that nothing gets tangled in the device. Mapping is performed via LiDAR and camera, and the results of the mapping can be viewed in the very comprehensive Ecovacs Home app.

Another point to ponder over: Considering that you only pay half of what high-end vacuum robots would normally cost, the suction performance is good! It also mops quite reliably, although not as efficiently as vacuuming. Sentences that I would never have dreamed of writing in a review ten years ago.

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI Nahaufnahme von schräg oben
The Deebot T9 AIVI also looks good. But that's not why you buy such devices, is it? / © NextPit

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI: Setup, hardware and design

Even for robot noobs like me, the installation was easy to manage, both in terms of hardware and setting up the app. Mapping via the camera and LiDAR worked reliably and quickly, so nothing stood in the way of cleaning fun as everything was good to go in a matter of minutes.

What I liked:

  • Simple and quick installation process.
  • Comprehensive app guides you through the installation.
  • Multi-lingual app and voice output.
  • Good workmanship.

What I disliked:

  • The station requires a lot of space in your home to dock.
  • Only a little space in the dustbin.

First times are always wonderful, aren't they? I recently had my very first robot vacuum, and it was just the Deebot and me! As soon as I unpacked it, I saw a couple of wipes in addition to the docking station and the mop attachment. It was then that I knew that this was the start of a very special relationship.

Professional as I am, as a serious tech journalist, I skimmed through the instruction manual tossed the quick guide into the corner, downloaded the next best app I found under "Ecovacs" in the Play Store, and waited for things to happen. And what can I say? Minutes later, not only was the station in place, but "Dee" was already eagerly making its first shy rounds through the living room.

This means that even for someone who is a complete newbie to the robot vacuum scene like me, the installation process was painless. After setting up the station and attaching the two side brushes, I grabbed the smartphone. The app will guide you through the installation process: create an account, connect to the WLAN, scan the QR code on the device, press the slider under the cover of the vacuum, briefly press the reset button next to it once and "Dee" is ready for use.

Screenshots der Ecovacs-Home-App
The Ecovacs Home app guides you through the installation, is intuitive and comprehensive. / © NextPit

If you are smarter than me and don't enter your account data instead of your Wi-Fi data, you can get started even faster than I did. You will then use the app to ask your new buddy to take a first spin around the place. It relies on the amazingly high-resolution camera, sensors, and the LiDAR system to create a map of your apartment.

As a result, you can view the entire layout in 2D within the app, or in 3D if you wish. In general, the app is not only logically designed, but also comes packed with features, but we'll get to that later. In any case, Ecovacs has designed the installation of the hardware and software in such a manner that it is very easy to use where even smart home beginners can easily find their way around.

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI mit geöffneter Klappe
When you open the flap, you'll find both the rather small dust container and a cleaning tool. / © NextPit

I have a few words about design and workmanship: Everything looks high-quality and gives a robust impression. Neither at any point in time during the installation nor during operation, nor when emptying the dust container did anything come apart. I was only admittedly a bit disappointed by the size of the dust container. The thing holds just 300 ml of space, and the water container can also be filled with up to 180 ml of water.

Suction and mopping performance of the Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI

The Deebot T9 AIVI does its job quickly, intelligently, and reliably! The suction performance is optimal on parquet and thin carpets, but it drops a notch when working on thicker carpets. The mopping function can also be rated as above average.

What I liked:

  • Strong suction performance on hard floors and thin carpets.
  • No tangling thanks to AeroForce technology.
  • Very decent wiping function with the vibrating wiping plate.
  • Many functions are intuitively controlled via the app.
  • Camera also functions as a safety cam.
  • Intelligent object recognition.

What I disliked:

  • 300 ml dust container = more frequent emptying required.
  • Only two particularly poor-quality wipes included.
  • Docking station requires 1.5 m of space.
  • Does not clean thoroughly on thicker carpets.

Of course, I can count on the expertise of my colleagues at NextPit, who have already reviewed many a robot vacuum cleaner for their input. Nevertheless, the motto of this review is: "Casi discovers the wonderful world of smart vacuum cleaners". Everything that may be old hat for the other NextPitters causes me to rejoice on the couch.

For example, when the little camera reliably detects objects thanks to AIVI 2.0 technology and carefully prevents it from banging into my furniture, I whoop with joy. By the way, I was also impressed by how reliably the optional 3D map recreated my living room. In reality, the object detection should be even more reliable this way, but the 2D representation is basically enough for me. Even after the cleaning process, I am shown where there are obstacles that I should remove before the optional post-cleaning session resumes.

Okay, "Dee" also bumped into a few objects on his own, such as the sneakers from the corridor into the bathroom, but that's up to me as the "master" to clear such nonsense out of the way beforehand.

The robot did manage to find a bottle of iced tea, which my recent visitor - podcast partner and tech whiz Sascha Pallenberg - most likely rolled under my living room table.

More security thanks to its camera

There was less cheering when the camera was activated. It was exciting to watch the robot explore my living room from a vacuum cleaner's perspective with the imaginary "Great White Shark" tune playing in the background. However, the sight of a somewhat overweight guy in his underpants staring at his smartphone left me a bit speechless. Okay, I probably can't blame the Deebot for this unsightly dude.

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI auf einem Wohnzimmerboden
The camera doesn't miss a thing - at least not an obstacle! / © NextPit

In fact, though, this video function is pretty spectacular, especially since you can use it out of the house. This is interesting if you are curious to know what your dog is up to, or if you want to monitor your kids while you're out shopping. The transmission of the video data is supposed to be encrypted and the camera is only active when the robot is in use - and not when it is resting silently and inconspicuously in the docking station.

Speaking of silent and inconspicuous: You can also communicate in both directions thanks to the built-in microphone. This means your commands to the children not only arrive, but can also be answered.

As you can imagine, the app also lets you mark a specific area to be vacuumed, as well as create "no-go" areas. You can set up schedules, and the AI is smart enough to move to another room first if there are people in the room. This AI also automatically recognizes that my bathroom is a bathroom and can remember if a corner of the room was cleaned less thoroughly last time due to the presence of obstacles.

Complete mopping

But how well does the thing actually suck? With a suction power of 3000 Pa, the Deebot T9 AIVI is truly impressive. The performance on paper also translates into very good suction results. On hard floors, the robot worked almost perfectly, only on my thick living room carpet was it less thorough.

Our table shows how the Deebot T9 AIVI performed on laminate with four substances that we carelessly dumped in front of its smart robot nose. Only sand achieved a slightly lower value of 89 percent, but don't forget that our current front-runner, the Roborock Q7 Max+, also achieved just a little more with 96 percent.

  Test volume (g) Suction volume (g) Cleaning performance (%)
Rice
  • 10 g
  • 10 g
  • 100 %
Oats
  • 10 g
  • 9,4 g
  • 94 %
Coffee
  • 10 g
  • 10 g
  • 100 %
Sand
  • 10 g
  • 8,9 g
  • 89 %

If you want it to wipe, you will need the special attachment to which you attach one of the included wipes. Unfortunately, only two of them are included, but you can buy them on Amazon and from other e-tailers. The quality of these wipes doesn't completely sweep me off my feet, and I do think that its competitors do offer better quality wipes from the get go.

When vacuuming, Ecovacs tells us that the new rollers have also minimized the risk of hair getting tangled in them. Thanks to the partnership with iRobot, their AeroForce technology is incorporated into the T9. In plain language, this means that you won't find rollers with bristles, but instead two counter-rotating brushes made of silicone. This prevents long hairs from getting tangled and makes the vacuum cleaner easierto maintain. I could only test this claim to a limited extent, because there are no pets that shed incessantly here, nor is there any significant, longer hair on me.

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI von unten
Here you can see the new silicone rollers, as well as the wiping cloth and the two side brushes, with which you can also clean corners. / © NextPit

When I read reviews by the NextPit team, people sometimes complained that robotic mops are more or less driven around. Thanks to the Ozmo Pro 2.0 named wiping technology, this is not the case with the Deebot T9 AIVI. A whopping 480 vibrations per minute ensure significantly more thoroughness with the oscillating wiping plate. "Dee" only looked at me with sad robot eyes when it comes to stubborn dirt, but apart from that, the wiping performance is above average.

Finally, a few points about the hardware: I didn't find the volume to be loud when vacuuming. Since it was two o'clock in the morning during the first review and no neighbor had a bone to pick with me the next morning, I trust that this passed the neighbor test. In the aforementioned test, I used the strongest of the suction levels, so the others are a bit quieter. Of course, you can also control these levels via the app.

Ecovacs Deebot T9 AIVI an seiner Station
After vacuuming, the Deebot T9 parks and charges automatically. / © NextPit

In addition, the battery is supposed to last for about 150 minutes, where a complete recharge takes about 6.5 hours. I don't have to worry about that with my small home, since it doesn't consume 20 minutes' worth of battery life per run. You also don't have to worry that the little cleaning colleague will stop halfway: If it detects that the battery is running low, it immediately navigates to the docking station with unerring precision. I have to admit that I have a lot more problems finding my way home so accurately on many a night.

Conclusion

So what can be said in conclusion after my very first robotic vacuum experience? The app is beyond reproach and allowed me to set up and control the Deebot T9 without any problems. I can keep an eye on the many functions via the app, and my home thanks the HD cam in front of the robot for mapping the place precisely. The vacuuming performance is impeccable on hard floors, but the device also performs above average on carpets and during mopping.

The only thing I would have liked is more space to hold water for mopping purposes and dust. The included wipes could have been thicker and more numerous. Otherwise, the most I can say in my list of "Cons" would be the space required for the docking station: we are talking about 1.5 meters here for the front and 0.5 meters for each side. Not the easiest task in my 65 m² living room.

The bottom line is that you get an all-around successful product for around $625. From installation to performance to the numerous app features, the price-to-performance ratio is simply excellent, so I can award it four stars without any hesitation.

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Carsten Drees

Carsten Drees

Started blogging in 2008 and somehow got stuck in the tech circus. Already wrote for Mobilegeeks, Stadt Bremerhaven, Basic Thinking and Dr. Windows. Loves Depeche Mode and suffers with Schalke 04.

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