With technology that’s often ahead of the competition, it’s no wonder the iRobot Roomba has the lion’s share of the home robotics market. If you’ve been itching to get your hands on a Roomba, but you’re on a tight budget, take a look at the surprisingly affordable Roomba 890 and 891 Robot Vacuum.
These two robotic vacuums offer a well-rounded selection of iRobot technology, including a smartphone app and voice control. A self-adjusting floor plate and a pair of rubber brushrolls offer tangle-free all-floor cleaning. They also have a lithium-ion battery that runs for 1.5 hours, and they recharge themselves. See how the Roomba 890 and 891 compare feature by feature.
Souped Up Suction and Brushes
The Roomba 890’s dirt-lifting system has almost everything. Angled at 27 degrees, the side brush reaches deep into wall corners. This robot is also equipped with two tangle-resisting rubber brushes and an auto-adjusting floor plate. When faced with concentrated dirt, the 890’s dirt-detect sensors increase the suction for swift cleanup.
iRobot didn’t disappoint. The side sweeper sits at a 27-degree angle to enhance its edge-cleaning prowess. There is also a pair of rubber V-shaped brushrolls that flex to deep clean any surface. The floor plate automatically rises and falls to put the suction inlet close to the floor, and dirt-detect sensors give the suction system a boost when needed.
Conclusion: Between the 890 and 891, there is no deviation. Both have multi-surface rubber brushes that are unlikely to tangle. Dirt-detect sensors automatically increase the suction, and a self-adjusting floor plate provides a tight seal as these robot vacs clean. While the angle of the side brush takes edge sweeping to another level, we wish there were two of them.
With iRobot’s original iAdapt navigation, the Roomba 890 makes one route decision every second. It also relies on four cliff sensors to locate and avoid ledges and stairs as well as a light-touch bumper to prevent collisions. The 3.6-inch-tall robot also has a room-confinement sensor (RCON) that works with a dual-mode virtual wall should you choose to buy one.
The Roomba 891 uses several types of technology to navigate. iAdapt technology helps the 3.6-inch-tall 891 make rapid movement decisions while cliff sensors keep it safe around stairs. Integrated into the light-touch bumper, there are multiple sensors programmed to detect and steer clear of obstacles. iRobot also included a dual-mode virtual barrier so that you can create no-go zones.
Conclusion: Both the 890 and 891 are equipped with a full array of sensors and iAdapt navigation. While they have an RCON sensor, only the 891 comes with a dual-mode virtual wall that you can use to make an invisible barrier or halo. However, at 3.6 inches, these aren’t the slimmest robots on the market.
Inside the Roomba 890, there’s a 1,800 mAh lithium-ion battery. This battery can last for 1.5 hours on a full charge, which makes the robotic vacuum ideal for large homes. However, the 890 will head to the dock for a recharge at about the 60-minute mark, using its RCON sensor to guide the way.
One reason the Roomba 891 provides consistent suction is due to its lithium-ion battery. With a capacity of 1,800 mAh, the battery can keep the robot working for 90 minutes. Since the 891 is a self-docking robot vacuum, it will begin its journey to the charging base after about an hour’s worth of vacuuming.
Conclusion: Big homes are covered. The 890 and 891 boast an excellent runtime of 1.5 hours, and their ability to automatically dock when the battery gets low is an invaluable convenience. Auto-resume is the only feature that would perfect an already outstanding charging system. Considering the low price of these robot vacuums, we understand why iRobot didn’t include this technology.
Smartphone App and Voice Commands
Framed inside the copper trim, the Roomba 890 has three onboard controls and four status indicators. When connected to Wi-Fi, the 890 offers more than just dock, spot and auto clean, including daily scheduling. Alexa and Assistant compatibility let you schedule, locate and control the robot when your hands are busy.
The 891 has a champagne gold accent ring that encircles the indicators and the spot, auto-clean and dock buttons. This Roomba connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network, so you can use the iRobot HOME app for scheduling, controlling, locating and monitoring. If you want to go hands-free, you can pair the 891 with an Alexa or an Assistant device.
Conclusion: Although different, the robots’ respective trim colors make for a sophisticated display. Both of them offer a variety of control options, including localized buttons, a smartphone app and virtual assistant compatibility. The scheduling function is great for people on the go, and those who live in large homes will appreciate the locate feature.
High-Efficiency AeroForce Filter
With the 890, you get a solid bin and filter setup. The 890’s AeroForce filtration cartridge traps 99 percent of particles down to 10 microns. To access the filter, press the bin-release button, remove the 10-ounce bin and open the swinging door. iRobot throws in an extra filter, so you won’t have to buy a replacement for four months.
The 891’s pleated filter isn’t too shabby when it comes to its 99-percent capturing rate, and its pleats can trap allergens as small as 10 microns. The 10-ounce dirt bin slides out easily after you press the release button. Thanks to the bin’s drop-down door, debris stay put while you carry the bin to the garbage can.
Conclusion: At 10 ounces, the dirt bin may seem a little small, but it’s sized right for a robotic vacuum cleaner. The filter performs efficiently enough for people who don’t suffer from allergies, and the 890 comes with a spare. We like that you don’t have to struggle to remove the bin, and the bin’s door prevents accidental spills.
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Capable and Reliable
In terms of the few differences between the Roomba 890 and 891, most are negligible. The 890 comes with an extra filter, and it has a champagne gold accent ring instead of a copper one. iRobot includes a dual-mode virtual wall with the iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum. Although the 890 works with a virtual wall, you’ll have to buy it separately.
A pair of rubber brushrolls and a self-moving floor plate put the 890 and 891 a few steps ahead of competing robot vacuums by other brands. With voice commands, a smartphone app and onboard buttons, you’re sure to find a control method you like.
The lithium-ion battery offers a long runtime, and the self-charging feature won’t leave you with a dead robot when you need your floors vacuumed. While the filter isn’t a true-HEPA media, it does have a better efficiency rate than many non-HEPAs we’ve seen in robotic vacuums. Overall, these are two robot vacs on which you can depend.
|Best of the Best!||Best For Tight Spaces||Budget Pick (< $200)|
|Continuous||100 min||110 min|
|12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 in||17.8 x 13.7 x 4.8 in||33 x 33 x 7.8 in|
|20 pounds||5.73 pounds||7.05 pounds|
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