iRobot Roomba i3 EVO Review
If you want a Roomba anyway but don’t want to pay too much, then this is a good choice.
Last update: December 10, 2023
Recently iRobot presented the new Roomba i3 EVO. This robot vacuum cleaner is a bit cheaper than many other models, but it is equipped with the latest technologies. Including Smart Mapping, where the robot vacuum cleaner creates a virtual map of your home.
I was so curious about this new robot vacuum cleaner that I decided to buy it and test it. In this extensive iRobot Roomba i3 EVO review I discuss my experiences.
iRobot Roomba i3 EVO unboxing: package contents
The new Roomba i3 EVO is available in two versions: the Roomba i3 EVO and the Roomba i3+ EVO. With the Roomba i3+ EVO you get the Clean Base. This is the charging and emptying station, where there is automatic waste disposal. The photo below is the unboxing of the contents of the packaging of the Roomba i3 EVO without emptying station.
- Roomba i3 EVO: the robot vacuum itself, of course
- HEPA Filter: an extra filter when the old one needs to be replaced
- Charging cable: a long charging cable for the charging station
- Charging station: this is the model without an automatic emptying station
I decided to buy the Roomba i3 EVO without the Clean Base, because I want to focus on the robot vacuum itself in this review. Curious about my experiences with the Clean Base? Then take a look at the iRobot Roomba j7+ review.
Suction performance of the Roomba i3 EVO
During the unboxing I already noticed that the Roomba i3 EVO is equipped with two rubber floor brushes. From experience I can say that these brushes are suitable for all floor types and animal hairs.
To see if these brushes also work well with the Roomba i3 EVO, I tested the robot vacuum cleaner on three different floor types: hard wooden floors, deep-pile carpet, and low-pile carpet. These last two are also dark floors, so I can check if the robot vacuum can navigate well on these.
Performance on dark floors, carpet and wood floors
The Roomba i3 EVO performs very well on hard floors. All the dirt is thoroughly vacuumed and he does not leave anything behind. Thanks to the larger rubber wheels on the underside, you don't have to worry about the robot vacuum cleaner scratching sensitive floors.
On carpet, the robot vacuum seems to have a little more trouble: especially the side brush on deep-pile carpet. Still, it sucks up the dirt neatly, but leaves some smaller dirt here and there. However, the robot vacuum cleaner has no problem with pet hairs: they are neatly removed from the carpet.
On carpet, the robot vacuum seems to have a little more trouble: especially the side brush on deep-pile carpet.
The carpets I used for the floor test are dark floors. The robot vacuum cleaner doesn't seem to have any problem with this in terms of navigation. He just drives on and recognizes it as normal floors. Many other robot vacuum cleaners sometimes have problems with this.
The Roomba i3 EVO follows a systematic cleaning route. This means that he knows exactly where he has been and has not been. The robot vacuum cleaner vacuums through the room in straight lines. Is the battery empty? It then automatically returns to the charging station and picks up where it left off when the battery is sufficiently charged.
“More suction power than Roomba 600 series”
In terms of suction power, I am positive. I notice that the vacuum cleaner sucks up the dirt well. This was to be expected: When I published the news article about the introduction of the iRobot Roomba i3 EVO, iRobot already made the following promise: “The Roomba has 10 times more suction power than the Roomba 600 series,” according to the market leader in consumer robots.
- Hardwooden floors (dark floors): 7.5/10
- Carpet: 6.5/10
- Pet hair: 7/10
Less good at obstacle detection than other Roombas
I performed the obstacle detection test with a charging cable, earplugs and a fake dog poop. It strikes me that the obstacle detection works a lot less well than, for example, the Roomba J7+. Where iRobot even has a special warranty with the Roomba J7 if it does drive over dog poop, the brand wisely keeps its mouth shut here.
Where iRobot even has a special warranty with the Roomba J7 if it does drive over dog poop, the brand wisely keeps its mouth shut here.
Now don't think it will bump into everything, because it still detects furniture and walls well. It only performs slightly less on smaller objects, including cables.
Ease of use of the Roomba i3 EVO
If there is something important with a robot vacuum cleaner, it is user-friendliness. We are dealing with a robot vacuum cleaner that has to do its job independently. I assess the user-friendliness by looking at the installation, the operation of the app (operation) and the smart functions. Let's start with the installation process.
Installing iRobot Roomba i3 EVO: Easy!
The iRobot Roomba installation process consists of just a few steps. I list them below for you.
- Find a good place for the charging station*
- Connect the plug to the socket and hide it behind the station
- Place the Roomba i3 EVO on the charging dock manually; you will hear a beep when it starts charging
- Download the iRobot HOME app and create an account
- Find the Roomba via the app and pair it in the app
- Follow the instructions to get Roomba to start working
Before Roomba starts cleaning, it must be fully charged. In addition, you have to take into account that he has to drive around the room twice, in order to make a good map of the room. It is therefore recommended to remove cables and other objects from the floor during a first acquaintance.
* Take into account half a meter of free space on the sides and 1.5 meters of free space at the front. In addition, it is important to choose a place with a good WiFi signal and there must of course be a socket.
Ease of use app and control of the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner
The iRobot app works very simply. I have used the app several times now (also for other vacuum cleaner reviews) and find it one of the most convenient apps for a robot vacuum cleaner.
Imprint Smart Mapping technology
Once the Roomba i3 EVO has gotten to know your home well, you can view a virtual map of your home. You can use this folder to indicate which rooms the robot vacuum cleaner should and should not clean. You can also indicate how long the robot vacuum cleaner should work. In fact: the new Roomba i3 EVO makes an estimate of how long the cleaning activity will take.
iRobot Genius: Parental Lock, Updates and Self-learning
The Roomba i3 EVO is equipped with the latest software from iRobot: iRobot Genius. Here you enjoy a number of interesting functionalities. This way you can disable the physical buttons on top of the robot vacuum cleaner. This is called the Child and Pet Lock. In this way, children or, for example, a dog or cat cannot accidentally start the robot vacuum cleaner.
In addition, there is also a do not disturb function, where you are assured that the Roomba will not get started when you work from home or have visitors. You enjoy constant updates, with which you enjoy an increasingly smart robot vacuum cleaner.
Thanks to iRobot Genius, the vacuum cleaner can recognize habits and adapt to them. For example, he proposes cleaning schedules at times when you are not at home.
Supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri
I have good news for you if you have a smart speaker from Google, Amazon or Apple. The robot vacuum cleaner supports operation via speech! The Roomba i3 EVO is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri. With this you can, for example, give a voice command to start cleaning in a specific room or to return to the charging station.
The Roomba i3 EVO is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri.
And do you plan to mop the floor as well? Then there is even more good news: the Roomba i3 EVO uses the Imprint Link technology. This allows you to make the robot vacuum cleaner work with the Braava Jet m5 mopping robot. This robot vacuum and mop combination is very interesting, because the mop robot automatically starts working when the Roomba has finished its work.
Maintaining the iRobot Roomba i3(+) EVO
Maintenance of the iRobot Roomba is very easy to perform. The robot vacuum cleaner is bagless and will have to be emptied after every vacuum cleaner. But you also have to deal with sensors and brushes that you have to maintain well.
Emptying the dust container
You should keep in mind that you will have to empty the dust container after every cleaning. With a dust capacity of 0.4 liters, it is not a large dust capacity. However, emptying the vacuum cleaner is easy and can simply be placed above the trash can.
As I indicated during the unboxing, you have the option to choose the Roomba i3 EVO with automatic emptying station, the i3+ EVO version. This means you don't have to empty the robot every day, because there is an automatic waste disposal at the charging station. This ‘Clean Base' comes with a dust bag that you will have to replace about every month with normal use.
What I find a downside is that the dust container does not have a closing valve. You have to be careful when you click the dust container out; from then on, the dirt can fall out if you turn it upside down.
What I find a downside is that the dust container does not have a closing valve.
Cleaning Roomba i3 EVO
A Roomba robot vacuum should be cleaned regularly. And I'm not talking about emptying the dust container, but about cleaning specific parts such as sensors and brushes. Although it is little work, it is good to realize that you will have to regularly clean or even replace the following parts:
- Side brush
- Castor wheel
- Floor brushes
- Camera screen
- Dust container
The parts are all easy to disassemble for easy cleaning and cleaning.
I've made a comprehensive guide to cleaning a Roomba. In this I discuss how to clean each part, how often to do this and when to replace them.
Conclusion iRobot Roomba i3 review
The Roomba i3 EVO is a powerful robot vacuum that performs well on all floor types. It performs best on hard, wooden floors. It has a little more trouble on soft floor types, but does its job well for the time being.
In terms of obstacle detection, the Roomba i3 EVO performs less than its bigger brothers, for example the Roomba J7. He is less able to deal with cables lying around, but he does notice walls and furniture well.
Operating the robot vacuum cleaner is very easy. The app works fine and is clear. And do you have a smart speaker? Then you can even operate it with voice commands. Emptying and maintaining the robot vacuum cleaner is easy and simple.