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iRobot Roomba 690 review

Priced at $849.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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Good points

The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

This overall score is made up of hard floor dirt pick-up (40%), dirt removal from carpet (30%), cleaning corners and edges (15%), pet hair removal (15%). Ease of use is not scored as all models were very easy to operate.

Hard floor dirt pick-up performance View more details.

We scatter a measured amount of sand evenly over a vinyl floor area and let the robot run for a set period of time, measuring the dirt pick-up at intervals throughout.

Dirt removal from carpet score View more details.

For carpet we sprinkle sand evenly into a section of carpet and let the robot run for a set period of time on the carpeted area. The sand collected is weighed and recorded. With normal vacuums we pre-load the dust collector with dust, but robot vacs have a very small dirt receptacle which is normally emptied after a cleaning session, so we don't pre-load them.

Cleaning corners and edges score View more details.

Sand is spread into a right-angled corner, and the robot vacuum cleaners are assessed to see how close to the corner each one is able to pick up dirt.

Pet hair removal score View more details.

We embed cat hair into the carpet and, as with the dirt pick-up test, we allow the robot vacuum cleaner to run for 15 minutes. We rate the vacs based on how much cat hair is left behind after the test.

Noise measured on carpet/hard floor (dBA) View more details.

Noise is measured at two metres. Even though most models produce similar sound readings, some emit a high-pitched whistle or various tones and alerts (even music!) that some people may find irritating.

Does it hit objects? View more details.

Robot vacuums bump objects as they find their way around, but good sensors and cameras can help them avoid frequent and/or heavy collisions.

Battery operation time measured (min) View more details.

We measure how long the battery will last for without a charge. Measured in minutes.

Brand reliability score View more details.

We use the information received from members who took part in the 2015 reliability survey to rate the most popular brands for reliability. na means no/not enough responses were received for this brand.

Owner satisfaction score View more details.

In the 2015 reliability survey we asked owners of what they thought of their robot vacuum cleaner; rating them from excellent to terrible. We don't have enough responses from most brands.

Recommended View more details.

We recommend robot vacs that score at least 70% overall so long as they get at least 46% for carpet.

Tested model
Price View more details.

This is the manufacturer’s recommended retail price.

Battery type
Li-ion 14.4 V
Charge time (mins) View more details.

How long it takes for the robot vacuum to do a full charge.

180 (initial)
Weight (kg)
Origin View more details.

The model has a claimed origin somewhere on the model itself. This ought to be taken with a grain of salt, given it’s rare that all the materials for a product came from the one country.

Warranty (years)
Wi-Fi connectivity View more details.

The vacuum connects to wifi meaning you can control it from your phone even when you are not at home.

App View more details.

Vacuum comes with an app you can download to your phone to operate the machine.

Brush View more details.

A rotating brush under the housing that pushes dirt into the receptacle.

Side brush View more details.

The side brush helps to clean along edges. 

Remote control View more details.

Whether it comes with a physical remote control in addition to the app.

Virtual wall View more details.

Used to create an invisible barrier, for blocking off open doorways or other areas you don't want the robot to enter. Some come in the form of infrared towers, but increasingly the barriers are defined using apps on your smart device.

Stair detection View more details.

Whether the vacuum can detect if it's near stairs.

Low battery indicator
Automatic return to charger
Programmable time View more details.

Programmable times allow you to set times of the day or week to run the robot - for instance, you could set it to run only while you're away at work.

Yes (on app only)
Day of the week View more details.

Some models can be programmed to clean the floor on certain days of the week.

Yes (on app only)
Items supplied with vac View more details.

Sometimes extra brushes and filters are provided.

Robot cleaner, charging station + mains cable, virtual wall + batteries, cleaning brush + cutter, spare filter and literature.

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