"The iRobot Roomba 690 is a fantastic robot vacuum that comes with a large variety of useful features."
The iRobot Roomba 690 is a quirky, trustworthy and tech-savvy appliance that makes cleaning the house and daily chores so much easier. The beauty of robot vacuums is they do most of the hard work for you, vacuuming your floors and carpets effortlessly while you can sit back and relax. iRobot is a reliable brand with over 25 years of experience behind it, and because of its technological manufacturing and innovative thinking, the range of iRobot vacuum cleaners on offer have progressed a lot over the years. That’s not to say that there isn’t still room for improvement, but with a patented 3-stage cleaning system and wi-fi operation, the Roomba 690 is still a credible and popular model of robot vacuum cleaners. Priced at between $250 and $300, the Roomba 690 is affordable, especially as it’s such a useful product to invest in.
Design & Appearance
On first impressions, the Roomba 690 is almost futuristic in its appearance. Shaped in a circular design and a green glow when it’s activated gives off a high-tech look, not too dissimilar to something you’d expect to see orbiting the Earth! But with that aside, the 690 does look like it’s made for the part. There are plastic bumpers around the outside edges to protect itself and your house items from knocks and bumps. The measurements of the Roomba 690 are 13 x 13 x 3.6 inches, so it’s slightly smaller than other models in the Roomba series but still big enough that it can suck up the dirt from your floors with ease!
The Roomba 690 also weighs 7.8 pounds so as far as portability is concerned, you will be able to pick it up and move it around without too much trouble. There are three buttons on the Roomba, with the large ‘clean’ button also doubling up as the power button; a target looking button to start spot cleaning and a home button that sends the 690 back on its merry way to the home base for charging purposes.
Features & Performance
There are a range of features on the Roomba 690 that are worth mentioning, as iRobot has done an excellent job in bringing new ideas to the robot vacuuming table. To start with, the Roomba 690 uses iAdapt navigation technology which is unique to iRobot and uses acoustic sensors to clean your floors efficiently and effectively. The sensors give a more precise clean and also mean you won’t hear a loud bang, as your robot vacuum falls down the stairs as this clever machine knows when there are large drops or ‘cliffs’ as iRobot refers to them. Although there is no onboard camera on the Roomba 690, it can easily fit under obstacles such as chairs and tables thanks to its small but mighty design.
To complement the navigation technology, Roomba also features AeroVac technology which is a patented 3-stage cleaning system to pick up every piece of dirt no matter if it’s big or small. The dual multi-surface brushes help to combat lots of dirt and dust, whether it’s on hard floor or carpet. The Dirt Detect technology (lots of technologies used on the Roomba as you can tell!) specifically prey on more significant concentrations of dirt so it can spot it quickly and suck it up as if it was never there. Another fantastic feature is when the Roomba 690 gets low on battery, it automatically finds its way back to the home base to charge up automatically. Unfortunately, you then have to reset it to continue cleaning once charged, which takes around 3 hours to fully charge. Other models of robot vacuums automatically start cleaning again, so it’s a shame the 690 doesn’t have this feature. However, the battery on this Roomba model is lithium ion and is much longer-lasting than its predecessor which is good news as it means you can have all the floors cleaned in no time, without having to wait for it to recharge.
The performance of the Roomba 690 by iRobot is good, but there is room for improvement. Numerous customers state that this isn’t the best robot vacuum for people with pets, as the fur can get badly tangled in the brushes making it frustrating to remove. The cliff sensors on the 690 sometimes mistake the edges of rugs for cliffs so it believes it will fall from the edge and will stop vacuuming completely. This is annoying and can mean that while you’re sat in the lounge thinking the 690 is whizzing around happily cleaning, it’s actually just refusing to move off the ‘cliff’. This does mean however that when it does come to actual risks such as stairs, you can rest assured that your Roomba won’t come tumbling down. iRobot has designed a dual-mode virtual wall barrier on the Roomba 690, meaning that it creates an invisible barrier that it won’t cross when in use. This is great if you want to keep the kitchen off limits! There is also a ‘halo’ mode which creates a protective zone where the Roomba won’t directly go up to. For example, if Gran’s favorite vase was sat precariously on a table, you can make sure the 690 doesn’t bump into it (unless you want it to...). This additional wall barrier mode comes included in the price and is a handy feature that aids in the overall performance.
Ease of Use
As far as usability is concerned, the Roomba 690 is extremely easy to use. As it’s wi-fi operated, you can control it either with an app on your phone or even with Amazon Alexa, which let’s face it, is pretty cool. If you’re not tech-savvy or struggle with phone technology, then this might pose an issue to your use of this robot vacuum, but as it’s a technical piece of equipment itself, you shouldn’t have too many issues. From the app, you can schedule the Roomba to clean at any time, from anywhere. You can view clean map records and other information all from your mobile phone.
The only thing that might get super frustrating is the amount of ongoing cleaning and care that is needed with this robot vacuum, but this is the same for all robot vacuum cleaners. You have to empty the bin after each use and clean the filters every week, or twice a week if you have pets. Does anyone really have time for that? Customers have stated that it’s not as bad as it sounds and keeps the Roomba 690 in tip-top condition, and the overall purpose of the Roomba 690 does mean you can sit back while it does the majority of the hard work.
Overall, the iRobot Roomba 690 is a fantastic robot vacuum that comes with a large variety of useful features, from virtual wall barriers to iAdapt navigation to programming the vacuum from your smartphone! The app feature is ideal and means you can set it off to clean at any time and you know it will find its way back to the home base to charge when it needs to. It’s a shame that it won’t restart automatically after recharging, but for the price, this Roomba 690 is good value for money.