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Roomba J7 + review, the vacuum cleaner that sees and signals obstacles

HomeHouseGreenSmart There are now many robot vacuum cleaners competing to earn a place in any self-respecting smart home. They are important allies to fight everyday dirt, and very useful to those who for work reasons do not have time to sweep the house day by day. Among the many, iRobot is one of the best-known brands, also because it had the merit of being ahead of the times, being among the protagonists who first invested in this sector. Not only that, before the others it had the merit of introducing self-emptying bases, which seem to have become the standard in the medium-high range. In test Romba J7 +, which manages to fill those gaps that we had identified in the Roomba i3 + model.

  • 1 Unboxing
  • 2 Installation
  • 3 Self draining base
  • 4 Operation
  • 5 Mapping
  • 6 Voice assistants
  • 7 Conclusions
  • Unboxing

    Already the sales package reveals a detail of no small importance: the self-emptying base has smaller dimensions than those of the competitors, but also of previous models of iRobot products. The package is smaller, just to reveal this detail.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Inside, in addition to the robot vacuum cleaner, also the self-emptying station, two bags to contain the dust, one of which is already mounted in place, an additional side brush and a spare filter.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    You do not need anything else, which you are immediately ready to clean, provided of course that you have the vacuum cleaner loaded in its base.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Installation

    Installation is really simple and within everyone's reach. It is sufficient to connect the charging base to the electrical socket, being able to hide the wires inside the recess on the back of the self-draining base.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Subsequently it will be necessary to place the robot on the charging base, wait for it to activate, and open the iRobot application. From here, simply add a robot to start the automatic search for the J7 +.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Once this is done, simply follow the instructions on the screen, choosing the robot of your interest and entering the password of your router, so as to pair Roomba with the home network. Nothing else, the robot is ready to vacuum.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    It should be noted that J7 + has advanced features capable of creating a map of the house, an operation which (at least in our case) required at least three complete steps, before being completed. If the map was correctly recreated in the app at the first step, it took another two complete cleanings to be able to operate on the map, changing its appearance, and to be able to clean more specific areas or individual rooms. However, we will return to the subject later.

    Below are the first screens of the app being configured:

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Self draining base

    Just like the Roomba i3 +, this J7 + also features its self-draining base, albeit completely redesigned. A glance is enough to realize how the base of this robot is different from the totality of similar bases present in the competitors, but also in the previous Roomba models.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    It is much lower, and slightly wider. It is a choice that we appreciate, because it seems to be able to better fit into a home context. The self-emptying base is thus more discreet and at first sight less intrusive.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Operation

    Let's start by saying that Roomba J7 + did not seem to us to be the robot with the greatest autonomy, nor the one with the greatest cleaning speed. During our tests, to clean the entire house of about 115 square meters (actual cleaning reported by the app of 74 m2) the robot took 2 hours and 42 minutes, with an actual cleaning time of 1 hour and 55 minutes, and a 44-minute charging time, with a three-minute break.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    These are higher times when compared to those of other competitors, a factor certainly due to the presence of the camera that scans objects and tends to avoid them. We will return to this aspect later.

    The presence of the camera, instead of the LiDAR sensor, represents an important difference compared to the multitude of competitors on the market. This solution has, in our view, pros and cons. Let's start with the latter. The accuracy of the camera is not comparable to that of the LiDAR sensor. To tell the truth, in everyday cleaning we did not hear this problem, because the map recreated by the robot turned out to be very precise. We had to intervene only in small corrections, to divide two rooms, which the map had marked as one.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    It is true, however, that this system suffers a little from the darkness. Roomba J7 + has an always-on LED, which helps the front room to perceive obstacles and clean better. We noticed that in the darkest hours, the robot struggled a bit to orient itself, and in at least a couple of circumstances, it struggled to find the base, which it then managed to reach after several attempts. For this, the Roomba J7 + will return a better result during the daytime.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    The advantage of the camera is soon said: Roomba J7 + is able to see the obstacles, and to send the user – after each cleaning – a report with attached photos of what appear to be the detected obstacles. Whether it's a sock, a shoe or cables on the floor, the Roomba J7 + has always provided us with a timely and accurate report.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    The user will thus have the task of reviewing these photos, indicating whether it is a temporary, permanent obstacle or a false alarm. In this way the robot will tend to learn, and to return an increasingly precise cleaning, able to avoid threads and socks in a completely automatic way.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    In fact, after several cleanings and revisions, we noticed an improvement in obstacle management, and the robot was able to correctly detect these hiccups. This is a very welcome function, which actually solves one of the most common problems faced by many competitors: we have often found ourselves having to “free” the brushes of other robots from threads or socks that are literally “swallowed” by the robot.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    This obstacle detection system is, therefore, one of the “plus” of this Roomba J7 +, which differentiates the robot from many competitors. Furthermore, the total absence of a LiDAR sensor turret makes this product thinner, and in our case it was the only robot to pass the “bed test”. Where even the had failed, this J7 + has succeeded in sweeping under the bed, without getting trapped.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Again, among the points in favor of this robot, like the rest of many robots of the brand, there is certainly the AeroForce suction brush. In detail, these are two silicone brushes, and with a completely different design from that of any other similar robot.

    These do not allow hair, or strands, to get tangled like the rest of similar products. They have a great ability to direct dust into the compartment, and are particularly well cleaned. After several cleanings, we realized that the long hair collected, finally, was no longer a problem for the vacuum cleaner, while with other similar products, it is necessary to spend several minutes cutting and removing the hair wrapped in the brush.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    We only encountered a small problem with the side brush, which was struggling to turn after several cleanings. It was sufficient to tighten the screw more to resume the correct rotation.

    In terms of noise, the robot seemed more “invasive” than other competitors, but nothing that could in any case affect the quality of the product. The automatic emptying is also particularly noisy, but this is a feature common to all products of the same type. In any case, the emptying takes very few seconds.

    Mapping

    As already mentioned, this Roomba J7 +, unlike other models of the same brand, allows you to map the house, so you can clean individual rooms, or more targeted areas. As already mentioned, in our case it took three complete cleanings of the entire house, before being able to fully use the mapping functions.

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli The recreated map turned out to be very precise, despite the camera being less precise than the LiDAR sensor, and we only had to intervene to separate two areas that the app had mistakenly combined. In any case, the intervention possibilities of the map are well done: it is sufficient to place lines to divide the rooms, also being able to rotate the direction of the map. The latter option, which seems to be of little consequence, is instead highly appreciated.

    Below is a gallery of screens showing the potential of the robot to recognize and review obstacles:

    Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli Recensione Roomba J7+, l’aspirapolvere che vede e segnala gli ostacoli

    Voice assistants

    Another point in favor of this vacuum cleaner are the voice assistants. It is possible to pair Roomba with Alexa and Google, so as to start it with your voice. The big difference compared to other competitors is that it will be possible to request the cleaning of a specific room by voice, as well as the standard cleaning of the entire area.

    Many competitors only offer the latter option, to start general cleaning, and to pause the vacuum cleaner. The Roomba J7 +, on the other hand, allows you to give targeted voice commands, so you can ask Google to clean only the kitchen, rather than the living room.

    Of course, you can create app shortcuts to start general or targeted cleaning by simply pressing a button. In any case, the more specific voice commands are really a welcome element.

    Conclusions

    Overall, J7 +, after an initial learning period, turned out to be a great ally for cleaning. We continue to particularly like the silicone brush, which is the only one that really works in the collection of hair, or household hair. Furthermore, we appreciate the ability to recognize obstacles, and to avoid tangled socks and threads, so as to have a fully automated cleaning, without the need for user intervention.

    What we liked a little less is the autonomy, certainly lower than many other competitors, or even other Roomba models. It must be said that the return to the base for recharging, and the resumption of cleaning, is completely automatic, but you will still have to “endure” the noise of the robot for longer. Still, we liked the robot's difficulty in the absence of light a little less.

    It is true, usually the cleaning, also due to the noise, starts during the day, but an evening passage in the kitchen to remove any crumbs from the dinner, could be useful.

    PRO

  • The AeroForce brush is best against hair and hair
  • Obstacle detection good
  • Precise and targeted voice commands
  • AGAINST

  • Autonomy
  • List price high
  • Cleaning in the dark not accurate
  • Retail price

    The price is also a small obstacle, from which the robot manages to break free at times: it costs 999 euros in the list, then too many, but the 00 euros coupon currently selectable on Amazon, brings it to 799 euros. At this price, it's a great buy.