Up to 120 minutes
Up to 90 minutes
Bump, optical, acoustic
Camera optical, acoustic
Virtual Barrier Towers
Yes(Alexa, Google, Samsung)
Yes(Alexa, Google, Samsung)
Current price(from Amazon API)
When it comes to robot vacuums, the most common one we think of is a Roomba. You don’t really think of Samsung unless you’re thinking of mobile phones or TVs, but interestingly enough, Samsung has jumped into the robotic vacuum game with the release of the Samsung POWERbot R9530. So in a head to head of Samsung’s robot vacuum vs Roomba, who wins?
Let’s take an in-depth look at both and see how they’re similar, how they’re different, looking at their various features and functionality.
Samsung Powerbot vs Roomba: a quick comparison of differences
- The Powerbot avoides collisions using a front camera, whereas the Roomba uses cameras and bump sensors
- For edges, the Roomba uses side brushes, whereas the Powerbot uses a mechanical plank
- You can direct the Powerbot to go to a specific location using a laser
- If you want the vacuum to avoid going in one place, the Roomba uses virtual wall barriers(separate device), and you can use magnetic tape with the Powerbot
- The Powerbot has a battery life of around 90 minutes compared to 120 minutes on Roomba’s best model
- The Roomba is much shorter than the Powerbot – a difference of nearly 2 inches
- The Powerbot has a larger dust bin than the Roomba
- The Powerbot can be manually controlled and steered using the app
Samsung Powerbot vs Roomba: looking at the similarities
- One year warranty
- Both products use cameras for navigation and mapping
- Both have a high-power option to clean carpets
- Both have large wheels that help transition from carpet to hardwood/tile and vice versa
- You can set schedules for cleaning
- You can hook up both machines to Alexa or Google Home
- Both machines have a dedicated mobile app
- If the battery gets low, both machines will find their way back to the dock, and once the battery is charged again, they will go back to where they stopped and start cleaning from there
- Both machines have sensors that prevent them from going off of stairs
- Both have sensors to detect extra dirt for deep cleaning
With this short comparison out of the way, let’s now talk about some of the features in greater detail.
Head to head of Samsung vs Roomba
1. Battery life
Battery life is a huge factor in any robotic device. Think about it: the whole reason robots are so effective is automation. If you have to keep charging the battery, that’s a lot of manual work(comparatively) for something that’s supposed to be quite automatic.
It’s not a huge deal to pick up the machine and charge it, but if you’ve set automatic cycles and expect the machine to be done with cleaning by the time you get home, it can be a little annoying when you see that cleaning was not completed by the time you expected it.
As you saw above, the Samsung Powerbot has a battery life of around 90 minutes and the Roomba has a battery life of 120 minutes.
Manufacturers very slyly write “up to”, which means that the maximum possible battery life is 120 minutes. This rarely happens, as you’ll probably be using a lot of features such as a higher motor speed that will drain the battery faster. Usually, the higher motor speed kicks in on a carpet, so if your house has mostly carpeted floors, don’t expect anywhere near the advertised battery life.
A more realistic estimate is about 60 minutes of runtime per charge, considering the higher motor speeds and the fact that the machine will slow down when it’s cleaning edges.
If you have a large living area the robot will rarely be able to finish the whole place on a single charge, so expect that it will take a few cycles to clean the whole house.
However, considering that the robot is cleaning the whole house without you really having to lift a finger, and the only inconvenience is a bit of extra time, the extra cycles may be overlooked.
In this case, there’s no clear winner: both the Samsung and the Roomba are pretty much on par when it comes to battery life.
2. Sensors and navigation
Robotic vacuum cleaners have become incredibly advanced over the past few years. While the initial Roombas just randomly went all over the floor and enough time, covered all the space, the sensors in the new Roombas actually map the whole house and then clean it.
The Powerbot has a total of nine sensors plus a camera at the front. The camera is used to make a map of each room, and as it roams around, the sensors help add more and more data to the map. This includes distances and lengths from point one to point two.
The first time you power it up, it takes around 3 hours to map the whole house as it roams around. This is just for the first time, so future cleanings will take less time.
One issue however is that once the mapping is done, it won’t really expect anything until it almost hits it – so if you leave something on the floor or move a chair out of place, it won’t know to expect it and it will only avoid it just before hitting it.
Secondly, the front camera has a 130 degree FOV, so it can avoid head-on collisions, but if something is there outside the FOV, it will hit it.
People have reported that the Powerbot has pushed furniture around the house or knocking them over!
Once something new is discovered, the whole mapping process has to be redone, another 3 hours!
Now the Roomba 980(which is one of the latest models) maps in a very similar way. The camera and sensors map your house and store it in memory.
The Roomba uses multiple images overlaid on one another to make a 3D image, and it continues taking pictures until the whole area is mapped.
Initialization takes a while, as you may expect, but the next cleaning cycles don’t take too long. Unlike the Powerbot, the Roomba will add new features to its virtual map on the go and while it still bumps into occasional objects, the sensors are good enough that it won’t end up inadvertently moving your furniture!
There are sensors at the bottom of both vacuums which are meant to detect sudden drops(stairs and ledges, as you don’t want the robot to plummet to its untimely demise down your stairs).
Dark carpets, unfortunately, register as drops so sometimes both robots avoid dark carpets thinking they’re deathtraps.
The same problem happens with the Powerbot with dark furniture. Dark furniture sometimes registers as empty space and as such it just crashes into it.
At the end of the day, the Roomba has far superior mapping and navigation and collides less often.
Since we’re actually talking about vacuums, it would be pertinent to discuss the cleaning power of both robot vacuums! There’s two ways to gauge cleaning power: the raw suction power of the motor, and the actual cleaning performance(it can vary).
The Roomba has 10 watts of power when you enable the PowerBoost feature. In most conditions, the suction is enough to pull dirt out of the deeper fibers of your carpet. However, if it is very dirty, you may need to have the robot go over it two times to get everything out.
For very dirty areas, the Roomba has a spot clean feature, where you can select a certain spot to start spot cleaning and the robot will do circles in that area, expanding slowly outwards. Once the dirt sensors pick up no more dirt, it will stop.
The Powerbot has 30 watts of power, which is the most powerful motor that you can find in any robot vacuum. It’s insane!
The huge motor also means it is VERY LOUD!
There are there settings on the Powerbot: low, medium, and high. The low settings is almost useless unless you’re doing very light cleaning on hardwood floors. For carpets, you’ll almost certainly need to use the medium or high setting.
To pick up pet hair or heavy dirt, the high setting will be necessary, but remember, that will really drain your battery life.
In terms of raw power, the Powerbot has 3x that of the Roomba.
4. Remote control, voice commands, and apps
The Powerbot comes with one remote that you can use to start, pause, stop cleaning altogether, and command the robot to return to the dock.
There is a laser pointer too, which you can use to point at a specific spot on the floor and the robot will follow the laser. It’s kind of like having a cat, except this one cleans and the other one dirties!
The laser feature takes a little getting used to as the robot won’t blindly follow it – there is a little bit of technique involved and as such you may hear others saying it doesn’t work!
Both robots are compatible with voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Unfortunately, there is no integration with Apple HomeKit.
Once you’ve hooked up the robot vacuum to your voice device, you can use voice commands to start, stop, and dock the robots. Both the Roomba and the Powerbot work pretty well with this.
Finally, let’s talk about apps.
Roomba and Samsung have their own iOS and Android apps. Once you’re connected with WiFi, you can control the robots from anywhere.
The Roomba app lets you:
- Start, stop, pause, and dock
- Create and edit cleaning schedules
- Customize cleaning features such as single pass, double pass, edge cleaning, and PowerBoost
- View cleaning reports
- View a map to see where the robot has cleaned so far, and exactly where it is right now
- Monitor the Roomba’s battery life
The Powerbot app lets you:
- Start, stop, pause, and dock
- Wifi control from anywhere
- Manual control called Select & Go: choose the rooms you wish to clean and which to leave
- Create schedules and view reports
The Roomba app doesn’t really let you manually control the robot in any way, sadly. The Powerbot app is much more robust and as long as you’re using Android, you’ll have nothing to worry about. If you’re using iOS, tough luck – there is an app but it does not always work as expected.
As far as remotes and apps are concerned, the Powerbot is superior. The app is better, and the laser pointer is a really neat feature
5. Barricades and preventing the robot from going where it shouldn’t
When you’ve got a little robot running all over the place, there may be some areas that you don’t want to clean at some times. So how do you make sure the little guy does not get anywhere he is not supposed to be?
The Roomba comes with a special device called a virtual wall barrier, which you’ll get two of. These are little battery-powered towers that send out infrared beams. When the Roomba detects the beams, it knows not to proceed any further, and it will change course.
The barrier has two options: a linear beam, which is ideal for placing near doors, or a circular radius beam, which is great for blocking off tables or plants.
The Powerbot can be instructed via the app to avoid some rooms, but you can’t effectively use the app to avoid a spot in a particular room.
As you saw in the initial comparison, the second option is to use magnetic tape.
However, you’ll end up putting tape everywhere and that will just not look really nice! The basic way to use the tape is to just line doorways with it to prevent access into certain rooms.
The virtual barrier system of the Roomba is much more intuitive and convenient than the magnetic tape of the Powerbot
Other comparisons between the Roomba and Samsung
The Powerbot has a slightly larger bin than the Roomba, and both will let you know via an indicator that the bin is full. The Roomba does not stop cleaning if the bin is full, though.
Brushes and bristles
The Powerbot has a 12.2 inch bristle roll, much like what you would find on a full sized vacuum. The bristles are quite effective at picking up anything, including pet hair. Even though there is a de-tangling feature, you’ll still have to manually pull out tangled strings and hairs every now and then.
The Roomba has something called beater bars, which rotate in opposite directions to pick everything up. They are also very efficient, though they do get tangled every now and then.
However, the Roomba system is much easier to un-tangle than the Powerbot.
Moving from one terrain to the next
These vacuums have wheels that use a high clearance, so they can easily move from hardwood to rug and carpet, and vice versa. Both are quite adept at transitioning without much issue, though the Powerbot has slightly higher wheels which means you can use it with slightly thicker carpets.
A huge advantage of these robots is that their size lets them get under furniture and clean, which would be difficult with an upright vacuum(unless you’re using a cordless vacuum).
The Roomba is very compact at just 3.6 inches. This enables it to get under really tight spaces! The Powerbot, on the other hand, is 5.3 inches, so it will have a much tougher time getting into tight spaces.
Do I need two machines for a two story house?
Yes and no. You could use a single machine, and you’d just have to move the machine upstairs and downstairs manually. The machine will map both areas and clean. If you’ve got a really big house and can’t be bothered to move it up manually, just get two robots 🙂
With two machines, you can set different names for each one and use voice commands without any issues.
Are they noisy?
Yes. Vacuums are noisy by nature, and sadly there’s not much that can be done to silence a high power motor sucking up air.
How well do they work with liquids?
These are dry vacuums, and while the motor can certainly pull up liquids, there are a lot of electronics in the internals of the machines and you risk shorting out and ruining your expensive robot! Don’t use the machines for liquids – mops will do the job better.
How does the machine free itself if it sucks up a cord?
Both machines have a failsafe built in for this. The motor will start running back and forth to attempt to dislodge the cord. Then it will make a note of the area the cord was in and try to avoid it during the next pass.
Running the motor against resistance can burn it out, though, so if it can’t free itself, the machine will send an error message and shut down, at which point you’ll need to manually remove the cord.
- Great battery life
- Virtual barriers are awesome
- HEPA filters
Samsung Powerbot Pros:
- Laser pointer
- High power motor
- Select and go feature to pinpoint where to clean
It’s amazing how far robotic vacuums have come. The fact that they can map your entire home and smart clean it is no small feat.
Personally, I feel the Roomba is the clear winner here mostly because they have the most experience in this industry and they’ve got years of trial and error under their belt in making a great product.
It’s got a good battery, a good, glitch-free app, and you can really run it from anywhere in the world as long as you have wifi.
- Ideal for homes with pets. Premium 3 stage Cleaning System cleans the dirt and pet hair you see and the allergens and dust you don't
- Featuring Roomba Essentials Wi Fi connected, Smart Navigation, Patented Dirt Detect Technology, Edge Sweeping Brush, Auto Adjust Cleaning Head, Works on Carpets and Hard Floors
- 40x More Suction Power - Delivers 40x more powerful cleaning on all floor types when compared to a conventional robot vacuum with a circular design*
- Self Clean Brush - Automatically detangles and removes pet hair that collects around the brush. Cleaning Speed: 32cm/sec; Auto Docking: Yes