Neato Botvac D7 Connected Review
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is smarter than your average robot vacuum. In addition to laser navigation, it features interactive cleaning maps, a simple and intuitive app, and class-leading integration with third-party smart home devices and services. When you add in excellent battery life and cleaning performance, the D7 justifies its hefty $799 price, earning our Editors' Choice for high-end robot vacuums.
The D7 bears a strong resemblance to the other vacuums in the Botvac Connected line, with Neato's signature D shape for getting into tight spaces. The main physical difference from the D5 is that it sports a new metallic finish that's more resistant to dust and scratches. It also has four LED indicator buttons—two more than previous models—that help provide better feedback during cleaning sessions (you can view battery level, Wi-Fi status, and cleaning modes).
Neato Botvac D5 Connected$299.99Check Stockat AmazonRead Our Neato Botvac D5 Connected Review 4.0Excellent
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iRobot Roomba 960$449.99See Itat TargetRead Our iRobot Roomba 960 Review 3.5Good
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iRobot Roomba 690$385.00See Itat AmazonRead Our iRobot Roomba 690 Review 3.5Good
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The vacuum measures 3.9 by 13.2 by 12.7 inches (HWD). It's a little taller than the iRobot Roomba 960 (3.6 inches), so be sure to measure any low-clearance furniture you're it might not fit under. The extra height is due in part to the circular turret on top of the D7 that houses the laser navigation system and enables a 360-degree view of your home. The top is also home to the dustbin, which is disappointingly small and not as easy as to remove and replace as it should be. Underneath, you'll find two main treads, two smaller wheels, a roller brush, and a small spin brush.You Can Trust Our ReviewsSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
As far as accessories go, the D7 comes with a charging dock as well as your typical assortment of spare brushes, filters, and a cleaning tool. It also comes with a two-meter magnetic strip that acts as a physical boundary marker. You probably won't need it, as you can set boundaries in the app, which I'll detail in the next section.
App and Setup
Setting up the D7 is relatively easy. You don't have to physically attach any parts or brushes, as it comes pre-assembled. All you have to do is download the Neato app for Android or iOS. From there, you'll be guided through the process of pairing the vacuum with your Wi-Fi network; it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi.
Neato's app has been redesigned since we reviewed the Botvac D5 Connected, making it cleaner and more intuitive. The main screen now displays the name of your robot and its current status. To the bottom left you'll find a battery indicator you can tap to see how much power is left. Underneath that is the start button. To the bottom right is a small square grid that brings up your cleaning history with detailed maps and statistics for your past 20 cleaning sessions. You'll also find a button to bring up a screen for cleaning options.
The cleaning options screen lets you toggle between House, Spot, and Manual cleaning modes. Under the House mode, you can choose between Eco and Turbo cleaning profiles—the former is a quieter, longer-lasting run, while the latter is more powerful. You can also opt for Extra Care navigation, which is gentler than the default mode. For Spot mode, you can designate a specified cleaning radius.
From the main screen, you can also tap the three-bar icon in the top left to access scheduling and a new feature called My Floor Plan. While the D7 comes with the aforementioned magnetic boundary tape, you can also set No Go lines in the app. The bot will map your entire home after an initial diagnostic run. From there, you can save your floor plan and draw red lines to indicate areas where the robot shouldn't go. This worked well in testing, though No Go lines are only followed when you start your cleaning sessions from the app.
In Home mode, the D7 navigated back forth in a methodical manner across my apartment while easily maneuvering around obstacles. It handled different surfaces, such as wood, carpet, and tile, with no trouble. It was also able to reliably dock on its own—something infrared-based vacuums often struggle with. If it ever gets stuck, you can use your phone to steer it, which is a feature the Roomba 960 doesn't support. (Steering is also useful for pinpointing a concentrated mess.)
In terms of cleaning power, the D7 sucked up dirt, hair, and other debris from all types of flooring with aplomb. Its suction power is on par with the Roomba 960, though perhaps not as powerful as the Dyson 360 Eye in Max mode. That said, the 360 Eye only clocks up to 45 minutes in Max mode (and up to 70 minutes in normal mode). The D7, on the other hand, managed 130 minutes in testing, which is excellent for large homes or big messes that require multiple passes. The small dustbin could prove to be an obstacle here, however—it might need to be emptied before the full cleaning session is done.
While I wouldn't say any vacuum, with the exception of the Eufy Robovac 11, is quiet, the D7 is loud enough that it woke my dog from the opposite end of the apartment. If you're trying to watching TV in the same room that is being vacuumed, you'll definitely need to crank up the volume.
Many new robot vacuums come with Amazon Alexa compatibility, but the D7 takes things a few steps further. You can also control it with Google Assistant, and it supports If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes (for instance, you can create a recipe that turns the vacuum on as soon as your connected garage door opener closes). If you own an Apple Watch, you can also control it from your wrist. As mentioned earlier, you can't use the No Go lines with these methods, but it's a convenient perk if you have a lot of other smart home devices.
Comparisons and Conclusions
At $799, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected is definitely pricey. However, its excellent navigation abilities, long battery life, interactive cleaning maps, dual-band Wi-Fi support, and third-party integrations are well worth the cost. The Roomba 960 costs $100 less, but doesn't support phone steering, only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and requires physical beacons in order to designate no-go zones. That makes the Botvac D7 Connected our new Editors' Choice for high-end robot vacuums. If you're looking to spend less and are willing to give up most of the bells and whistles (like any sort of phone control whatsoever), the Eufy Robovac 11 costs just over $200 and is our Editors' Choice on the budget end.
Neato Botvac D7 Connected4.0Editors' ChoiceSee It$605.42 at WalmartMSRP $799.00
The Bottom Line
Neato's Botvac D7 Connected offers interactive cleaning maps, long battery life, and better third-party smart home integration than any other robot vacuum.
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