Robotic Vacuums

Review: Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Pet & Allergy

Peggy Deloatch
Written by Peggy Deloatch

Review: Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Pet & Allergy

The D5 sits in the middle of Neato’s Connected Series of robot vacuums. Unlike the flagship Botvac Connected, it doesn’t let you choose between suction power levels. You also won’t get a cleaning summary coverage map via the app. Other than the inclusion of an LCD screen on the Botvac Connected, the two are very similar.
The first thing we noticed was how methodical and precise the D5 was in its cleaning patterns. When you start the robovac, it moves forward a few inches, pauses, turns on its laser navigation system, and then scans its surroundings by rotating back and forth. It depends on the size of the room, but the bot usually proceeds to clean the perimeter first before moving, row by row in a straight line, to the interior. This is vastly different from other robovacs, which tend to ping pong around a room with no noticeable pattern or strategy.

The navigation system bump on top of the bot isn’t big, but it can get stuck on furniture that’s just the right height.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • LaserSmart navigation
    Uses patented LaserSmart technology with real-time object detection to scan your floor, map the room, plan and methodically clean – instead of just bumping around.
  • Powerful SpinFlow Power Clean
    Advanced SpinFlow Power Clean system picks up more of the stuff that lands on the floor – like dirt, cereal, dust bunnies, and crumbs.
  • Wide brush
    The Neato brush is 50% larger than the competition and gets closer to the wall than those round robot vacuums.
    Extra-Large Dirt Bin & Filters
  • Big dirt bin
    Extra large filter captures more dust and allergens. The bigger-is-better bagless Dirt Bin holds more dirt and debris. Extra large filter captures more dust and allergens.
  • Precise side brush
    Precise edge cleaning side brush makes sure not a speck of dust escapes its path.
  • Easy scheduling
    Easily schedule daily cleanings or just push a button for instant multi-room or spot cleaning.
  • Auto charge & resume
    Automatically goes back to its charge base to recharge then returns to where it left off and finishes the job.

Cleaning

Aside from its D shape, the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum is able to clean efficiently because of its SpinFlow Power Clean technology. It uses a combo brush that allows it to easily pick up hair on carpeted areas.

This combo brush can easily pick up pet hair as well. So if you have pet dogs or pet cats, the Botvac D5 is a good choice.

Additionally, if you want a more thorough clean, you can use the spiral blade brush. The Botvac D5 Connected also has a huge dirt bin that uses an ultra performance filter that can help you get rid of dust and dirt as tiny as 0.3 microns.

The Botvac D5 Connected vacuum can also navigate through multiple rooms and can easily clean an entire floor. It also has a boundary marker that keeps it out of areas you do not want it to go.

The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum uses a high-capacity lithium-ion battery that allows it to clean up to 4500 sq. ft. of floor area on a single charge.

A fully charged battery can give your Botvac D5 up to 90 minutes of cleaning. 

If you have a bigger room or if the battery runs low, the vacuum will automatically find its charging base to recharge. After recharging, the robot vacuum resumes its cleaning, picking up where it left off and efficiently finishing the job.

Pros

  •  Great for hard floors
  •  Low profile
  •  Good battery life
  •  Excellent app
  •  Effective smart features

Cons

  •  Doesn’t love thicker carpets
  •  Large footprint means smaller gaps are a struggle

Conclusions

At $600, the Neato Botvac D5 Connected is an all-around solid robot vacuum. Its laser navigation is excellent and you get a good clean, app control, and excellent battery life. That said, the Roomba 690 costs less, and while its navigation capabilites don’t fare as well when it comes to dark floors, you can control it via voice using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. For $100 more, meanwhile, the Roomba 960 does everything the D5 can, but adds voice control and cleaning maps. And if you’re already heavily invested in Samsung’s ecosystem, the Powerbot R7070 can be easily added into existing routines with other smart home devices via the SmartThings Hub.

As with many midtier products, the $599 Neato Botvac D5 Connected provides some of what you want at a discounted but not rock-bottom price. It certainly hunts down and removes more dirt on floors than its budget sibling, the $399 Botvac D3. It won’t be undone by pet hair fibers like the D3 either, plus it has a bigger battery so it can cover a larger area of your home.

Still, the primary purpose of a robot vacuum is to clean floors. Unfortunately the D5 is much less effective performing this task than Neato’s flagship robovac, the $699 Botvac Connected. That alone makes the premium machine a much better buy in the long run. Of course, if saving cash is your primary goal and you don’t have a home pet hair problem, then by all means consider the Botvac D3. So far it’s the most affordable app-linked appliance of its kind.

I bought this to replace a Neato XV21 which had the dreaded “my vision is blocked” vac. The updated D5 works well, but will not clean the 2 inch shag rug. This was expected. We have hardwood floors and the suction on the Neato was one of the main selling points. It is louder than a roomba but it cleans better as it has a more powerful vacuum. I also appreciate the fact that Neato programmed the vac to go as straight as possible instead of just in a random pattern. The squared off front does a good job in corners, and the D5 finds it’s base without any problems. The connected feature is fine, nothing I could live without, primarily as this model doesn’t have a remote control. The D5 is quieter than the XV21 but not by much it is still pretty loud. But it cleans really, really well. The dust bin is a little bit larger than the XV21, and they put a screen on the filter which helps tremendously when cleaning it. Overall I am happy with this, and I bought the extended warranty for 4 years, which Amazon only has a 3 year. Why only 4 stars, I think the wireless interface could be better, and a remote function would be appreciated. The dustbin could be larger, and I wish there was a low power mode to make it quieter.


So surprised! I had thought that having a vacuum robot would be convenient but I was surprised how much cleaner my floors have been. It’s suction was better than I expected and within reach ofa good upright but the robot tirelessly cleans so much more often that my floors are cleaner by far! It doesn’t require much babysitting as it’s intelligence navigates most obstacles with ease. Issues can result from carpet fringe or other things that would obviously be pulled into the brush so I make a 2 minute pass through the house to make the floor ready. The flat “D” shape gets very close into the corners. I have a balance of both carpet and hard floors and the brush is able to do a great job on both. The software on my cell phone provides remote access and a map of my home from the robot’s perspective. I have an Amazon Echo so I am able to say, “Alexa, Ask Neato to Clean” and away it goes. Amazing technology, surprising performance. The whole thing seems very solid and likely to last


Our Botvac D5 Connected has made house cleaning much easier. It was not difficult to do the initial setup and add the NEATO app to our smartphones. Our D5, on its initial runs not only cleared our floors but was doing a “mapping” of the house, learning where every obstacle was located. Our Botvac D5 makes the transition from hardwood floors to carpeted floors without skipping a beat. The cleaning process works amazingly well, and especially happy that it goes completely under the beds, and coffee and end tables. The ability to have the floors done while away from the house is an added feature that we really appreciate. We pick up dog toys, shoes and other stuff off the floors, put the dog in his kennel, set the alarm and leave the house. The D5 does not interfere with the motion detector while cleaning, which is a plus! The Neato Botvac D5 has an easy to empty bin for dust and dirt. The filter is easily cleaned off or replaced if necessary.


We previously had an earlier Neato model which we thought did a really good job. The D5 is superior in every way to that very good earlier model in several key ways: 1) set up and scheduling is a breeze with the mobile app. 2) the laser mapping appears to be superior, the bot doesn’t bump into as many objects and appears to be better at getting out of tight situations 3) the matt, textured finish of the plastic looks better and won’t show scratches compared to the glossy finish of the earlier model. 4) cleaning performance is excellent. In what appears to be a clean house, we are always impressed at how much dust and dirt is collected in the bin on a daily basis. 5) the filter performance is very good in the D5, improved over the earlier model. 6) the D5 is quieter than the earlier model. Bottom Line: this is a very good piece of gear, we can highly recommend it. Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.


About the author

Peggy Deloatch

Peggy Deloatch

Had some great experience working on cleaning tools supplier in New York. Spent college summers building DIY vacuum cleaner in Phoenix, AZ. Spent last 10 years developing strategies for cleaning team setup in Atlantic City, NJ.

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