Irobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum Review

Roomba i3+ on Amazon:
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I really liked the i3+. I think it is as good or better than the i7+ in terms of power, cleaning, and pickup. The only downside was a lack of some app features and other high level navigation features. Its a great by for most people.

This was not a sponsored review. I try to buy all the products I review these days myself. If I ever do sponsored review, I will verbally make that clear in the video itself. If you dont hear me mention anything its because its not sponsored.

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Welcome to vacuum wars and to our review of the irobot roomba, i3 plus robot vacuum and automatic bin emptying system. I spent the week putting it through a bunch of tests and this video will be our review so links in the description and, let’s get started. The irobot roomba i3 plus, is the third robot vacuum from irobot to be equipped with their clean base, bin emptying system, and It’s the cheapest of all three of those as well.

It’s got some new features I haven’t seen before on a roomba, including its new look with a cloth type surface that resists fingerprints and smudges. It’s also the first roomba to have smart navigation, but without the camera. Instead, it uses a floor tracking system to accomplish more or less the same thing so very quickly, most cheaper roombas navigate kind of randomly by pinballing around the house in a random pattern.

But a couple years ago, irobot released smart navigation roombas, which used top mounted cameras to map your house so that it could clean in much more efficient straight paths ensuring better coverage. But now irobot has a new way of having the robot map and clean in efficient straight lines, but without the camera the benefit of doing it. This way is that it saves a lot of money, which is why the i3 is so much cheaper than the other. Smart navigation roombas like the i7 or s9 in the various navigation tests. I did, I saw no real difference in either the coverage or the time it took the i3 to achieve 100 coverage of the rooms in the test compared to the other.

Smart roombas, like the 900 series, the i7 or the s9. There are some drawbacks to the i3’s method of navigation in terms of app features, but more on that later other than a few hardware changes like one less set of drop sensors on the i3. The i3 and i7 are virtually identical, robot vacuums in terms of basic construction. From what I can tell my robot says, the i3 and i7 have the same suction power. I actually found the i3 to have a little more suction and a little more airflow than the i7, but that could just be a variation in my airflow and suction tests.

In any case, in the actual pickup tests, I was more than impressed with the i3. In fact, in terms of the i3’s cleaning performance, it seemed to be as good or, I think, even a little better than the i7. Some of the things I look for here is the ability to pick up fine debris on hard floors on the first pass, which the i3 did effortlessly, even with heavy debris like sand. I also look at its ability to pick up larger debris without too much scattering with its side brush, which, again, the i3 did great with where roombas really shine, though, is with carpet deep cleaning.

All roombas have something that other robot vacuums, don’t a patented tube brush roll system which is designed to be able to deep clean carpets. This gives roombas a distinct advantage over other robot vacuums for getting deep down debris in carpet. For example, roombas are always at the top of my list when it comes to our deep clean test, where I embed sand into medium pile carpet and weigh their bins. Before and after a 5 minute run, and the i3 was no exception. Scoring an 81, which again is quite a bit better than the average robot vacuum with this test.

The clean base is also a big selling point, as I’ve said many times. I think these auto empty systems are the future of robot vacuums, as they really make. You feel, like you, have a robot helper in your home, because you don’t have to pay nearly as much attention to it as you do with most robot vacuums. The way it works is that the robot returns to the base when it finishes its job or it needs to recharge, and when it does, the motor in the clean base kicks in and it sucks the debris out of the robot’s bin. The contents are deposited into a replaceable vacuum bag, which I robot says will last for 60 bins worth of debris.

The i3 also did better than average, with a hair tangle test, where I use one gram of 5 inch and 7 inch hair in separate tests, and the i3 only had minimal amounts caught in the roller like less than 5, and that hair was particularly around the Axles, which is typical for roomba rollers, but other than that it was better than most robot vacuums with hair wrap. I did actually try it with 14 inch, hair, which I usually don’t do, because, quite frankly, no robot vacuum can handle hair that long, but actually, if it weren’t for the large amount caught in the side brush, it would have done fairly well here as well.

Okay, moving on to the negative stuff, and really It’s not too negative, but the main thing to be aware of, and really the main difference you will notice between the i3 plus and the more expensive i7 plus. Is that the i7 plus, because it has a camera. Also has some of the more advanced features on the app that the i3 won’t have most, notably, the app feature called keep out zones. Keep out zones are something that irobot just started offering last year, but It’s extremely helpful. It’s where you draw little boxes on the map in the app and it keeps the robot from going where you don’t want it to go, but because the i3 has the floor tracker system instead of a camera, it can’t do keep out zones.

But if your house is fairly clutter, free or you don’t mind sort of robot proofing trouble areas, you probably won’t notice a difference. I also assume that there would be less ability for the i3 to adapt to furniture and other obstacles on the i7 because of the lack of a camera, and it would not have some of the other. More advanced navigation features that camera bots do. But that’s kind of hard to test and again I didn’t notice a difference in the navigation test that I did do.

One other note on the floor tracking system technically the i7 s9 and some other smart roombas have floor trackers on the bottom as well. I’m not sure if they use it the exact same way, but It’s not a new technology and even other companies have similar floor trackers to facilitate non-camera based smart mapping of homes. Another con is the battery life and here again, There’s only so much to complain about It’s 75 minutes on its one power setting, which is the same battery life on the i7, but It’s a little below average in terms of other manufacturers.

That being said, because smart robots, like the i3 and i7, have maps of your home and know where they have and haven’t been, they have a feature called recharge and resume where, if they run low on battery, they return to the base to recharge and then resume Exactly where they left off so battery life, isn’t that big of a deal for smart navigation robots? So the bottom line is that, as far as I can tell, the i3 is as good or better in terms of cleaning than the i7 for a cheaper price.

It has the exact same auto, empty bin system for a cheaper price. It navigates with the same efficient back and forth rows for a cheaper price. The only downside is that, because it doesn’t have a camera, you don’t have some of the more advanced navigation features like in the app with keep out zone.

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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