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Neato Botvac Connected Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum, Compatible with Alexa
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- Wi-Fi connected for ultimate control — use the Neato app to clean your floors from wherever you are and receive notifications on the go.
- D-Shape design with CornerClever technology cleans close to walls and into corners. Long lasting Li-Ion battery.
- LaserSmart mapping and navigation with real-time object detection scans and maps the room, plans, and methodically cleans-instead of just bumping around.
- Eco & Turbo mode — you choose. Eco gives a longer, quieter energy-saving clean. Turbo provides a super-powered cleaning-with maximum hair pickup.
- For issues, please refer to the user manual or contact Neato support at 1-877-296-3286.All existing and new Botvac Connected customers will have access to the Amazon Alexa skill today in the US, UK and later this year in Germany
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From the manufacturer
The Ultimate Navigating Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum.
Fully-featured, Botvac Connected is the smartest, most powerful, versatile solution for automatically clean floors, everyday. With dual cleaning modes and a wide cleaning path, Botvac Connected efficiently cleans room-to-room, recharges automatically and resumes cleaning until the entire floor is clean. Works on all floor types. Use the Neato app to clean your floors anytime, from anywhere. Great for homes with pets and allergies.
Also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant so you can voice control your robot.
In The Box
- High Performance Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum
- Integrated Charge Base
- Power Cord
- 2 Ultra Performance Filters
- Combo Brush
- Spiral Blade Brush
- Side Brush
- Boundary Markers
- Brush & Filter Cleaning Tool
All Neato Robot Vacuums Deliver
Precise LaserSmart Navigation
Cleans room to room in a methodical, efficient path, finishing up to 4x faster than others.
Detects furniture and objects and navigates around them.
Returns to base automatically to recharge and resume cleaning until the entire floor is clean.
SpinFlow Power Clean
Potent suction & precision brushes leave floors immaculately clean.
Picks up dirt, crumbs and dust bunnies. Easy to empty extra-large dirt bin.
Best at picking up pet hair.
D-Shape with CornerClever Tech
D-Shape allows robot to get where dirt hides, deep into corners.
Main brush spans front of robot to achieve an efficient, wide cleaning path.
Neato Botvac D3 Connected
Neato Botvac D80
Neato Botvac D5 Connected
Neato Botvac Connected
|Neato app / Wi-Fi||✔||✔||✔|
|Self-charging and Auto Charge & Resume||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|SpinFlow Power Clean||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Brushes||Combo Brush||Spiral Blade Brush, Combo Brush, Side Brush||Combo Brush, Side Brush||Spiral Blade Brush, Combo Brush, Side Brush|
|SmartLife||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Chatbot||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Chatbot||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Chatbot|
|Filter||Standard||High performance||Ultra Performance||Ultra Performance|
|Battery||Lithium-ion||NiMh||High Capacity Lithium-ion||High Capacity Lithium-ion|
|Area Cleaned 1 cycle = 3 cleaning runs||Up to 1800 sq. ft. (60 min / 180 min)||Up to 3000 sq. ft. (60 min / 180 min)||Up to 4500 sq. ft (90 min / 270 min)||Up to 5000 sq. ft. (120 min / 360 min Eco)|
Maintain your Neato for peak performance with the following
- Empty your dirt bin after every cleaning.
- Tap your filter against a garbage can to remove excess debris.
- Clean your Neato brush frequently to keep the brush debris-free and running smoothly. If debris gathers, don't worry. It's easy to pop the brush out, clean, and put back in robot.
- Clean debris from the side brush as necessary.
Always use Neato Genuine Accessories
Please ensure that your replacement batteries, filters, brushes and any other components are Genuine Neato Accessories.
Accessories made by third parties may damage your robot or cause performance issues, and will also void your product warranty.
Getting the most out of your Neato robot:
- Charge your robot overnight before using it for the first time.
- We recommend that you use your Neato frequently to keep it happy and healthy, and you get cleaner floors!
- Between cleaning cycles, always keep your Neato robot charging on its charge base.
Still pushing a vacuum let Neato Wi-Fi enabled Robot do the vacuuming for you. With the Neato app on your smartphone, you can start, schedule, and monitor your cleaning from wherever you are. D-shape with cornerclever-exclusive D-Shape with CornerClever technology gets to where dirt hides-in corners and along walls.
Top customer reviews
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I picked up the Botvac Connected locally, brought it home, placed it on its charger and paired it to my phone with the installed app. The connection process was relatively painless (despite little discussion of the process in the owner's manual) after I figured out what the botvac was looking for - as with all "smart" devices, in my experience you need to figure out their nuances - but once you do connecting them should be straight forward and after a couple of trial and error attempts the Botvac connected quickly - it took a total of 10 minutes to figure out. In this case you must have the app installed on your device, create a Neato account and add the serial number of your robot, be on the same 2.4 GHz (no 5.8 GHz) network that you want to connect the botvac to, and then perform the connection through the robot's LCD interface. The connection has not been lost since that first pairing, but I am confident that if I need to disconnect for any reason (like to replace the battery etc.) reconnecting will be super quick knowing what I know now. During the connection process the app allows you to name the bot and naturally I named him "Wall E".
Based on the battery indicator, Wall E appeared to come out of the box with a full charge, but I let him rest on his charger for a while just be sure. The two large buttons near the front of the botvac flash at different rates (slow to fast to solid) and with different colors (orange to white) during the charging cycle to indicate the level of charge. This makes it easy to see the charging progress at a glance without having to go up and look at the little LCD display (which also has a charge indicator like that of a cell phone). The charge level is also accessible through the app.
I started Wall E's first run using the app in the "Clean House" mode. Watching Wall E turn on and figure out where he is was pretty interesting (though this might be because I've never seen a Botvac in person before). He pulled away from his charging station a few feet, performed a quick scan of his surroundings, turned on his roller brush and started out. I watched him for a while and then let him go do his thing. He is not quiet in the traditional sense, but I was surprised at how relatively quiet he was for a vacuum. If I were sleeping and he came in to the room - I would probably wake up, but I can still carry out a conversation with him vacuuming around my feet and even talked to someone over speakerphone without them noticing that he was running. Of the two rollers, the combo roller (the one that comes installed) is quieter than the blade roller.
On the first run I wouldn't say that I was totally blown away - Wall E seemed to navigate with a little more randomness than I had expected. However, he didn't get stuck anywhere - which could largely be due to the fact that i share with him a disdain for clutter and shiny furniture. I rarely have loose cords on the ground or objects that will otherwise make him question his reality so in this regard we are a match made in heaven.
It took him about an hour and 15 minutes to cover 2/3 of the house (total 1800 square feet) on his first charge. He then announced he was low on charge (in robot beep speak) and was returning to the base station to recharge, but he got lost and never made it home. I picked him up and placed him on the charging station and after a few seconds the lights around the home and spot-clean buttons started slowly flashing orange (it was at this point that I realized there is a relationship between these flashing lights and the charge level). I left Wall E alone at his station and went online to see if there were any firmware updates available to remedy some of his quirks (there were none currently). To that point it is not clear if Wall E will receive updates wirelessly or if I will have to use the provided cord to hook him up to a computer. I then decided to check Wall E's dustbin while he was charging and to my shock it was packed full! He didn't indicate that it needed to be emptied, but when I did he graciously thanked me which was thoughtful.
After about an hour, at which point I am sad to say I had almost completely forgot about him, Wall E woke up and started off to the room in which he had died. This was both startling and relieving because I wasn't sure that he would remember anything that had happened before he passed out. After about 30 minutes of further cleaning he announced he was done and returned to the base station. This time he made it there but rather than turning around and backing in to charge, he just plowed head first in to the charger. I couldn't help but laugh at him, but I was mostly perplexed. I turned him around, and after emptying his dust bin (it was full again) and cleaning his roller brush (which was caked with hair and lint but is easily removable), I let him sleep. After recharging again for about an hour the lights on the front stayed solid white and the LCD screen was dark. I assume this is his "standby" state.
Wall E definitely picked up quite a bit of dirt from the carpet and floors, which I had purposely left lightly soiled to gauge his abilities. They were noticeably cleaner after his first attempt, but I'm sure if I went back with my stand-up vacuum it would pick up more debris. However, I decided to give Wall E another shot and scheduled him to run again that night while we were sleeping. I never heard him run, but my wife, usually a deep sleeper, says she heard him bump in to the bedroom door (after that first night she says she hasn't heard him since). Our dog, who regularly barks at a strong breeze and who was on shaky terms with Wall E from the get go, never woke me up to inform me he was screwing around out there. Honestly I'm sure who to believe.
The next morning I had an alert from Wall E on my phone that he had finished cleaning and when I went out to his charging station he was sitting with a full charge and a full dustbin (again). It was immediately apparent that he had had some sort of an epiphany overnight because the carpets now looked much cleaner (couldn't see any missed spots) and the lines in the carpet showed that Wall E had taken a very logical and thorough approach in cleaning the house. This was a relief after the initial experience. I am not sure if Wall E "learns" a map of the house over time but on each subsequent run (there have been about 5) he seems to do it quicker and more efficiently. For me, this has been the greatest surprise and really elevates Wall E from a novelty device to a fully functioning automatic vacuum.
Furthermore after a couple of runs on initially dirty floors, Wall E's dustbin doesn't get completely full after doing a whole house clean anymore. This is partly due to the fact that although our dog sheds a lot, he doesn't shed enough between runs (every two days) to completely fill the bin. The floors (carpets especially) get progressively cleaner with each run and after the initial few cleanings the floors stay mostly clean and Wall E just kind of touches them up when he runs, which I really like. The floors never get dirty like they would if you only vacuumed once a week or every couple of weeks.
The other reason his bin doesn't get topped off each time he runs is that I switched to the blade roller. The combo roller is insanely effective at cleaning carpets - in my case a little too effective as it pulls out carpet fibers (my stand-up vacuum does this as well) of our relatively old carpet, though I imagine this would not be as much of a problem with newer carpets. Therefore, although the blade roller is slightly louder (especially on hard floors) and presumably doesn't clean the carpet as deeply each time, it doesn't get caked in carpet fibers or stuff Wall E's dustbin with as much carpet. Since the carpets stay so much cleaner being cleaned every other day I see this as a fair trade off (until the carpets get replaced). I will just break out the stand-up whenever I feel like doing a deeper clean, but so far the blade roller has been doing really well on both carpet and hard floors and I haven't had a need for further vacuuming.
After initially being perplexed by the Botvac Connected, I have come to the conclusion that it really can replace 95% of my floor vacuuming needs. After about two weeks of use Wall E's performance has been consistent. If anything his battery performance has improved and his navigation has gotten smarter (more map, less bump). It has gotten to the point that I don't really have to think about what he is doing other than remembering to pick up any clutter at night before going to bed and emptying the dustbin in the morning when I make the coffee.
I have occasionally used the spot clean function and manual control, but in general I just let Wall E run on a schedule. Since I run him at night he doesn't clean our bedroom so occasionally I will put him in there and shut the door so he only cleans that room and the attached bathroom. I have only experienced a "cleaning catastrophe" one time when a phone charging cord on my nightstand was dangling on the floor. Wall E got a hold of it and then proceeded to pull the cord and subsequently the attached alarm clock, lamp and powerstrip off the night stand and across the room. I got an alert on my phone to clear his roller, and when I got home he was just sitting in the middle of the bedroom with a trail of cords and electronics behind him. I was more amused than anything and really just impressed that he was able to tow all that stuff as far as he did before giving up. I view this event as user error and don't fault Wall E in the least - after untangling the cord I pushed the "resume cleaning" button and Wall E carried on as though nothing had happened. The fact that he doesn't have any leftover baggage from the event really just makes me respect him even more.
A few things I would like to be improved (but really are secondary in my opinion) would be for Wall E to be able to go to a spot in the house, spot clean, and then know how to return to the base station. Currently, if you manually drive him to the area you want cleaned he doesn't know how to get home so you have to drive/carry him back when he's done. For this reason I usually avoid the "spot cleaning" and "manual cleaning" modes and just wait for him to get that area during his scheduled cleaning. I would also like to see the app improve and show a little more information - for instance I have never received a "bin full" notification despite the fact that the bin has definitely been full a couple of times. This might just not be something this model of botvac is capable of, but it would be a useful feature. As the floors stay mostly clean now, the bin only ever gets 1/2 to 3/4 full after cleaning the whole house, and I just make a point of emptying the bin every morning after he runs so it really isn't an issue for me. Finally, it would be useful to be able to send Wall E off to spot clean specific rooms. I realize that this is a technical challenge, but as far as I am concerned this capability (and the ability to fly) is the only thing separating Wall E from something the Jetsons would have.
At this point I am fully satisfied with the performance of our Botvac Connected. After learning how to live with Wall E, I can say without reservation that he would be missed if he decided to move out. My dog is even beginning to warm up to him - but I think there are some deep rooted issues there that may never be fully resolved. If Wall E stays true to the bot I have come to know and respect I can see years of memories being made with him. Also - I've found that if the noise of the botvac bothers you - A bluetooth speaker is a nice upgrade (see picture). Move aside DJ Roomba.
I initially wrote this review on 11/7/15 but couldn't post it to Amazon right away. As of 11/14/15 I have a few new observations.
1) I've switched back to the combo brush roller as it really does do a better job on carpets and is considerably quieter. I find that as Wall E runs every other day - the brush doesn't get nearly as packed with hair and carpet fibers anymore so I rarely have to clean it. I still empty the dustbin after a whole house clean and it is about 2/3 full every time.
2) Wall E started behaving strangely a couple of days ago - getting lost and running in to things which led to him getting stuck frequently. I finally did a reset (hold down the home button and then switch off the power switch in the battery compartment) and after doing so he is back to navigating normally.
3) I noticed that on his LCD display he indicates he is running software 2.0.0 now (before it said 1.0.0) so I guess he updated himself wirelessly. This might have led to his navigation issues as he may have needed a reboot to complete the update process (speculation).
4) Wall E will not start a cleaning cycle (spot or whole house cleaning) if the battery is below half charge now. This is a little frustrating because it is a good idea to run lithium batteries down every once in a while which I can't do now. However, when Wall E does a full house clean (starting on a full charge) he doesn't need to go back for a recharge currently so I'm guessing the issue is it won't let you start a cycle when below 50% charge, but it will run below 50% during a cleaning cycle. Not sure though.
5) I will now get "dustbin full" notifications on the LCD display - but these still don't show up in the app - if anything the app will just say error. I was getting a lot of errors messages on my phone and false "dustbin full" messages right before I reset Wall E. Since the reset I haven't gotten an error message on the phone or an errant "dustbin full" on the LCD display.
1) My cell phone recently stopped turning on and so I had to install the Neato app on my new phone. After logging in to the account I had created a few weeks ago when first purchasing, I was immediately able to take control of Wall E from the new phone. No need to do anything on the vacuum itself.
2) In the last two weeks Wall E has been working regularly. I stopped using the schedule and just fire him up from my phone before I go to bed. Although the schedule function is nice, I have to tidy up a little bit before running Wall E anyway so I find that it is easiest to just tidy up and then start him via the app. Since the first few issues, Wall E hasn't failed to complete a run. He has adjusted well to our Christmas tree appearing one day while he was sleeping and only attempted to drive up the conical base once or twice before getting over it and driving around. It was great to have him clean up pine needles etc and after having company (people and dogs) over during the last week or so. Everyone that has seen him work has been thoroughly impressed.
3) I have no way of quantifying this but I feel as though the air quality in our house has improved. Pets and carpets lead to trapped dust and smells and vacuuming the carpets every couple of nights seems to help manage this overall situation. My sister visited the other week and before she even knew about Wall E she commented how clean the house looked and smelled - not that we usually live in a pigsty - but in my experience houses with big dogs (like ours) generally have a unique smell of some kind. So that is my anecdotal evidence I am using to counteract any placebo effect I might not be taking in to account, if that makes sense.
-Pretty good suction probably comparable to the Roomba 980 (I'll refer to it as the 980 from now on).
-Nicely sized dirt bin - maybe 25% bigger than the 980.
-Cleans the floors slightly faster than the 980 thanks to it's very wide brush and more efficient navigation.
-Cleans hard floors and the tops of carpets very well - The 980 struggled with dog hair on carpets.
-Simple yet effective phone app with the ability to manually drive it.
-Improved lithium ion battery gives good run times - 90 minutes on turbo and 120 minutes on eco.
-Good navigation but not perfect. (see below) Overall a more efficient and smarter cleaning path than the 980 but more likely to get stuck.
-Effectively cleans corners and tight along edges thanks to it's square front end and the brush is only 1/2" away from the right edge of the robot.
-$200 cheaper than the 980.
-Less harsh sounding than the 980.
-Lights out vacuuming unlike the 980.
-Smoothly and properly follows along walls where the 980 tends to bump along them much more.
-Doesn't dig out the fine powdery dust and dirt from carpets nearly as well as the 980 due to the brush being designed to only skim the very top of floors.
-"ultra high performance" filter impossible to keep clean unlike the 980's filter. I ordered Neato's "high performance" filters and they are much easier to clean off with a seperate vacuum.
-No double pass or edge clean off options like the 980.
-More likely to get stuck in tight places and may require more furniture adjustment than 980.
-No option to change how fast it moves but neither does the 980.
-Imperfect navigation may try backing up walls in tight areas and some corners.
-No auto carpet boost like the 980.
-Exhaust blows almost straight back and may blow dust/hair around behind it.
-Can tend to follow along certain walls and chair/table legs multiple times but the 980 does this too.
-Magnetic boundary strips can be pushed around by the vacuum if you don't tape them to the floor and they're an eye sore.
-Already noticeable scratches on side of bumper, scratches on glossy finished dirt bin, and one scratch across the top turret. The 980 is more durable when it comes to scratches.
-Less reliable track record than Roomba although I've had no mechanical problems with either so far.
I've had the opportunity to use the Botvac Connected (BVC) along side the 980. I have done my own direct comparison between the two robots. Please check out my review of the 980 as well to get a good idea on how they compare to each other -
Both the BVC and the 980 have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to navigation. The BVC seems considerably less likely to take an inefficient path that goes back and forth multiple times from room to room. I've seen the BVC go from room A to B and then back to A only once to get a section it missed but the 980 I've seen go from room A to B to A to B to A to B unnecessarily. Both get the job done but the BVC does it smarter and more efficiently. Both the BVC and the 980 tend to follow along certain walls and chair/table legs two or more times. The 980 seems considerably less likely to get hung up on furniture or tight areas. I haven't had to move or adjust anything while running the 980 and it never showed any sign of getting stuck on anything. The BVC on the other hand will most likely require some trial runs and adjustments in order to get it to run flawlessly. You may need to move a book shelf 6" over so the BVC doesn't barely fit between it and the wall and has a hard time backing out. You may need to lift up a bar stool that it barely fits between but has a hard time backing out of. You many want to add risers to you bed and couch so it has an easier time getting underneath them (this last one may be true with the 980 as well). It is a process I like to call "Neatofy". .
After the BVC enters into a 90 degree corner, it backs up several inches and rounds the corner which is very clever. That's why they call it "Corner Clever". But this doesn't always work flawlessly. While doing the Corner Clever maneuver in tight areas it may end up backing up into a wall or another piece of furniture causing the robot's back side to lift up. I do believe a little bit of software tweaking could improve or eliminate this. I've adjusted some furniture placement in order to prevent this from happening. I should point out I have noticed they seem to have designed the back end to effortlessly lift up in these tight situations. I'd prefer it if Neato would just add a back bumper or update the software so it is less likely to do this.
On my first run I did have something strange happen with my BVC. When it was making its border in the kitchen/dining room area it seemed to be confused when it got to the front side of my island. It was scanning back and forth right in front of the cabinets to the island for maybe 3 minutes. After that it moved on and successfully finished the cleaning cycle. I have been adjusting furniture and such since that first run as well so that may have helped to fix the problem. I've seen similar behavior for a shorter burst of time at least one other time. I'm wondering if when it makes it's initial border and it ends up going very close to another wall on it's left side it could potentially confuse the robot. I would think this would be pretty rare but if it does happen to you I would suggest moving the charging base somewhere else to switch up its maps and cleaning paths to prevent this from happening again.
This sounds like a no brainer but the BVC follows walls smoothly unlike the 980 which seems to bump along walls every few inches rather than follow them smoothly. I'm wondering if the 980 doesn't even have a wall following sensor anymore and may solely rely on it's camera or bumpers for that. Comparing it to the Neato Signature Pro (NSP) the BVC is much more reliable and effective at properly following along intricate furniture and knowing precisely when to turn corners. This is thanks to BVC's wall sensor being placed more towards the center of the robot which is nearly in line with it's wheels compared to the NSP's wall sensor which is all the way in the front corner of the robot (poor placement). This gives the NSP a much larger margin of error when deciding when to turn a corner.
The BVC seems considerably smarter than the NSP did when it comes to not getting stuck and navigating more reliably. The BVC doesn't get hung up on our lazy boy or 5 legged office chair like the NSP did thanks to improved software and an improved wall sensor location although it still has a problem with our desk with a strange base. I ended up taping magnetic strips to the carpet around the desk to avoid this area. If I didn't tape the strips down the BVC would actually push the strips around and was an unreliable barrier. I was worried the BVC would wedge itself under our kitchen cabinets like the NSP would but this hasn't been the case. The BVC stops just before so it seems they have improved it's laser's accuracy. I'd also like to add here that they have drastically improved the belt region and brush bearings on the BVC compared to the NSP. The belt is no longer exposed thus eliminating the possibility of getting hair wrapped up in the belt. Also, the brush bearing design seems less likely to be affected by hair although I'd recommend you do pull the brush off periodically and remove any hair that may have wrapped around the brush bearings. (This is also something you have to do with the 980's brushless debris extractors)
BVC's turbo mode is similar suction power to the 980 in carpet boost mode and maybe a 30% improvement compared to the NSP. They still aren't a replacement for a full size upright on carpet for getting that DEEP clean but they're getting closer. Using a full size vacuum on your carpets once every week or two should be more than adequate.
I think the 980 and BVC clean dirt, fine dust and pet hair equally well on hard floors. On carpets they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. On carpet the 980 brush is more aggressive at digging out fine powdery dust and dirt from carpets. This is because the 980's brushless debris extractors push into the carpet more where as the BVC brush is designed to lightly skim the top of the carpets but not dig deep. As a result the 980 tends to hop across carpets on certain directions and the BVC I haven't seen hop while going across carpets. I wish the BVC brush was stiffer bristles and lower to the ground so it could actually dig into the carpets. The 980's brushless debris extractors struggled to grab the dog hair on carpets even after going over it multiple times where as the BVC effortlessly picks up almost all of the dog hair from carpets after one pass. You could visibly see clumps of dog hair the 980 simply could not grab. (Go to my 980 review for pics)
A potential negative of the BVC is that the exhaust seems to blow almost horizontal to the floor (maybe 5 degrees upwards) and maybe 30 degrees to the left. I think this can tend to blow hair and dust around while making turns. It could potentially blow dust/hair onto an area already cleaned. In the real world this hasn't proven to be a big problem for us so far. While watching it vacuum I've noticed only minor movement of hair from the exhaust. Maybe the upward angle is just high enough to not stir it up. Regardless, I do much prefer the 980's exhaust blowing almost straight upwards.
The Botvac Connected (BVC) can vacuum my 890 sq ft main floor minus the bathroom in about 1 hour where it takes the 980 about 1 hour and 15 minutes with edge clean and single pass on. The BVC has a 10.9" wide brush which I believe is the widest brush you can get on any robot vacuum. The NSP is 9.375" wide and the 980 is only 6.75" wide. This means that the BVC can clean a larger area faster than the other bots by needing less passes to clean the same area. The BVC moves a little slower than the 980 or NSP which I like since it feels like it's cleaning better that way. As a result the cleaning times are not too far off from one another yet the BVC still finishes a bit faster. Having a wider brush could mean a less concentrated suction although I believe the BVC vacuum may move a little bit more air. So I think the overall suction to the floor is similar between the two models. I have no way of measuring that to confirm.
As far as I know BVC has the biggest dirt bin you can get in any robot vacuum. I would guess that it can hold 25% more dirt than the 980. The bins are similar in size overall but 980's filter compartment and vacuum impeller (which on the 980 is housed inside the dirt bin) take up considerably more space which leaves considerably less space for dirt. The BVC dirt bin is easier to empty than the 980 in my opinion. It pulls out of the robot body easier and it's opening is bigger so the dirt and hair just falls out. With the 980's dirt bin I tend to have to pull the hair out with my fingers.
The BVC's filter is impossible to keep clean unlike the 980's easy to clean filter. They both have a mesh covering the accordion style filter which is a good concept. The 980 executed it much better since the mesh is much tighter knit than BVC. It cleans right up and looks like new when running a vacuum across it where as the BVC filter has debris stuck behind the mesh that wont come out now. I ended up buying Neato's "high performance" purple filters and they are much easier to keep clean. Hopefully Neato reads this and they will come out with a tighter knit mesh on the next filter. That would be an easy fix for them.
Thanks to the BVC's laser guided navigation system it doesn't need any light to detect where it's going. Don't worry about turning on the lights. On the other hand the 980 will just error out if it gets too dark!
Even on turbo mode BVC has a bit less harsh sounding lower pitched hum compared to the 980. It reminds me of a more traditional vacuum hum but maybe just a bit quieter. On eco mode the hum turns down a little bit and air flow decreases a little bit. There's not as big of a difference in noise and suction power as I thought there would be between the two modes. The 980 sounds a lot like a hair dryer switching from low to high setting as it moves from hard floors to carpets. There is a bigger drop in noise and suction from carpet boost to eco on the 980. I personally prefer the sound the BVC makes.
I haven't had the need to completely run the BVC out of battery but I can say it shows less than half a battery bar left after vacuuming my 890 sq ft main floor for about 1 hour on Turbo mode. Their claims of 90 minutes on Turbo and 120 minutes on Eco sound about right.
The Neato app has less customizing than the 980 app but it has all of the necessary stuff and adds the ability to manually control the vacuum which is missing from the 980. I prefer this App over the 980 for this reason although both are very good. It would be nice if Neato added a double pass option and edge clean on/off option like the 980. I also would like both the BVC and 980 to add an option called "alternate cleaning paths". Instead of going the same direction over the carpets every day they could have the robot turn 90 degrees so it hits the dirt and hair from 4 different directions over 4 days of vacuuming.
After using the Neato Botvac Connected for a couple weeks I would say "it's okay". It is an improvement over Neato's XV series but there's still room for a handful of improvements as mentioned in the cons. I personally didn't like it enough to keep it but I am a tough critic as you can see. I might give the Dyson 360 eye a try when it comes out but there are some things that might turn me off from it such as small dirt bin, short run times and taller profile.
Update 12/9/2016. I ordered the Xiaomi Mi Robot vacuum and it is like the 980, BVC and Apple had a baby. And it has all the benefits of each and none of the negatives. Check out my quick review of it. Look around and you can find it with accessories for $350!
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