iRobot Roomba 650 Review

Detailed Review

We looked at 7 factors that will likely influence which robot vacuum you decide to invest in. These areas were Cleaning Ability, Objective Avoidance, Features, Charging/Battery Life, Aesthetics and Price. Each category is scored individually, with the final score reflecting the average of each of the 7 categories.

Cleaning Ability

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The Roomba 650 uses primary two brushes in order to clean: a separate agitator brush and traditional brush. Combined with the powerful suction, it creates an overall powerful cleaning method. In common iRobot fashion, this robot includes only one side brush. The device works well on carpeted floors. It is capable of reaching walls with the single side brush and pulling in most dirt and debris, but struggles to get into corners.
The Roomba 650 is the has the limited cleaning ability and features of iRobot’s line of robot vacuums. The small dust bin means that it reaches max capacity much sooner than usual. This is an unfortunate result for those with a lot of pets or small children. The device is also known to miss spots, especially in some corners where the side brush does not reach.

iRobot advertises the Roomba 650’s “high-efficiency cleaning pattern”. This means it does not clean in a random pattern. However, it does not map the room like many competitors or higher-end models from Roomba. However, the device does have a dirt detector (optical and acoustic sensors to detect these areas), and will go over spots multiple times. Bumper sensors will help it push past certain objects instead of stop at them (furniture skirts and sleeves).

Score: 4/5

Object Avoidance

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The Roomba 650 has a good level of object avoidance. It occasionally gets stuck on rug tassels. However, it can move up onto carpets, rugs or room dividers within a slight, 1-inch rise. The device will typically avoid getting stuck on or wound up in electrical cords as long as they are not too thin (i.e., phone charger cords, headphone cords). The Roomba 650 has several sensors, including Roomba’s common bumper sensor. The standard cliff sensor will keep it from falling off the edge. However, it still has the problem of not working on dark carpets or surfaces due to the cliff sensor misreading dark areas as a cliff. Although not a part of the robot itself, the Roomba 650 can be used with Roomba’s stationary Virtual Wall Barrier that helps keep it in one room or out of specific rooms or locations.

Score: 4/5

Features

This lower-end Roomba model is extremely limited on features. Beyond the cleaning and object avoidance functions, it has few bonus features to speak of. Users can be preset the device to clean for a specific time of day. This feature can be utilized up to 7 times per week. It can also be set to spot clean instead of cleaning on a schedule. Cleaning can begin with just the touch of the main button as well. Additionally, you can utilize this device with the Virtual Wall to keep it in or out of a single room, or use the device with an additionally-purchased remote control.

Score: 2/5

Charging/Battery Life

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As with all iRobot vacuum cleaners, this device will return to its base. There are few examples of it failing to do so. The device uses a single lithium battery that must be recharged after each use. The battery typically only lasts around 45 minutes to 60 minutes to a charge, depending on how much work the device needs to put in. Heavily carpeted rooms or rooms with thick rugs, dirt and debris will drive that use down before the need to recharge. With very light use, the battery life can be extended up to 1.5 hours.

Score: 2/5

Aesthetics

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The iRobot Roomba 650 maintains the Roomba’s well-known and often-mimicked aesthetic. The design is much slimmer than early designs. The color scheme is pleasing, but may not be preferable to others. Buyers are also limited to just one color scheme for this device. As the Roomba’s design has become an industry standard, it’s hard to fault them for anything aesthetically except for failing to innovative the design in many years.

Score: 3/5

Accessories

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iRobot has started offering a larger number of accessories for its devices, including an array of different replacement parts. You can purchase replacement wheels, side brushes, main brush and agitator brushes. You can also purchase brush cleaning tools, a replacement dust bin, spare batteries, a remote control, and the Virtual Wall devices. Also available is an enhanced cleaning head that can be put in place of the central brush assembly. This provides a better cleaning method for those who need heavy duty dust, dirt and hair cleaning.

Score: 5/5

Price

At $374.99, the Roomba 650 may be a little too expensive for what you’re getting. As the cheapest Roomba on the market, it comes with the quality and name of the Roomba, but the price point is an extremely high asking price for the extremely pared down features. This is particularly evident when the Roomba 650 is compared to similar devices from other popular brands, such as the much more feature-rich, and similarly priced, Neato Botvac D3 Connected.

Score: 2/5

Detailed Summary

The Roomba 650 is a good cleaning robot, although not the best on the market. Those looking for the safety and security that often comes with a name brand, but are unwilling to pay exorbitantly high prices will likely be drawn to this device. It does clean well, and it can get into some of those hard-to-reach areas under beds, couches and other furniture. However, at just around $350, the device maintains a rather high asking price for what you’re getting overall.

Specifically, this device is pared down when it comes to features. You can buy a remote control for it as an accessory, but you will not find any of the new and interesting features common among the newest robot vacuums. That means no app integration, no wifi connectivity, and no room mapping technology. Nevertheless, that simplicity is exactly what many individuals may be looking for. And given the Roomba name is so well received and respected in the industry, there is a lot of comfort being purchasing a device from the brand.

Overall, this device proves effective at cleaning, while it is limited in what it can do to aid in the cleaning efforts. It also uses up battery power fast, so any large jobs will require the device to have multiple runs before it effectively cleans a room. Positively, it can be scheduled, and as with all Roomba devices, it returns to its recharging base almost without fail. Most maintenance will simply be dumping out the dust bin, which may need to happen more frequently than some users would prefer.

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