ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ Robot Vacuum Review

Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way in a short time. I remember marvelling at them when they first appeared on the market, although early adopter friends would lament their many limitations and shortcomings. A couple of years ago I excitedly set up Barry, our first robot vacuum and enjoyed the benefits he brought to our home. Even then, the robot vacuum felt like a compromise in cleaning. Barry did well enough to justify going a week without cracking out the handheld vac, but he was high-maintenance and still suffered from the flaws of previous generations. Now, in 2021, the robot helper has evolved again. Is the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ the well-rounded robot helper I long for?

Disclosure: ECOVACS provided Blog of Dad with the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ Robot Vacuum for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about ECOVACS products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.  

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+

10 out of 10

Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way since the glorified motorised sweepers of yesteryear. The robots of 2021 are packed with clever technology and capable suction, and are a genuine replacement for the majority of household vacuuming tasks. The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is the epitome of this design, with excellent vacuuming credentials and the brilliant Auto-Empty Station changing the game! The included mop function is a nice-to-have and it adds another dimension to the cleaning-ability of the robot, but it is not the star of the show. For my mind, the functionality and hands-off operation of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ brings it into the league of the washing machine and dishwasher as a valuable time-saving appliance in my home.

Features
10/10
Ease of Use
10/10
Vacuum Perfromance
10/10
Mop Performance
7/10
Auto-Empty Station
10/10
Customisation
10/10

Pros

Easy to use

Dual side brushes

Good size

Accurate, advanced sensors

Highly programmable

Multi-function

Set-and-forget Auto-Empty Station

Smart Home Integration

Cons

Average mopping performance

Auto-empty is loud for a few seconds

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ – First Impressions

I was a little worried when the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ first arrived. The box looked huge! As a family in a reasonably compact townhouse, floorspace is precious and I was briefly worried that the OZMO T8+ was going to stake claim to a large chunk of it. However, my fears were short-lived as I began to unpack. The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ (including the stand) has a similar footprint to my older robot.

The bulk of the box is thanks to the Auto-Empty Station – the innovative contraption that convinced me to reach out to ECOVACS in the first place. The Auto-Empty Station certainly adds height to setup, but it doesn’t overpower even my modest living area and the advantages are well worth it.

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is easy to set up and get started, with simple-to-follow instructions making to process smooth. I had a slight challenge getting the T8+ to connect with my phone, but this was due to a mistake with my location settings. Once that was rectified it was smooth sailing!

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ Robot Vacuum Review

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ looks fantastic! I found the black& white colour combination a little strange at first as I am used to whitegoods almost always adopting a uniform colour, but I soon got used to it and now really like the way it looks. If anything, the mix of colours helps the T8+ to blend into its surroundings a bit more.

I was pleased to see dual side brushes as these were sorely missing from my previous bot. The dust catcher seemed a little on the small side, but I can’t imagine that being a problem with the Auto-Empty Station in play. I imagine the compact size is also influenced by the inclusion of the mop water reservoir.

A close inspection of the front of the robot reveals a substantial anti-collision bumper with two TrueDetect 3d sensors. ECOVACS claim that these sensors have millimetre-level detection accuracy, and are 10 times more accurate than traditional infrared.

The top of the DEEBOT OZMO T8+ robot is clean and simple, with a single button, the cover (which hides the dust bin and on/off switch) and the protruding TrueMapping Distance Sensor. This uses dToF Laser Detection, which is described as aerospace-standard detection technology! I like the sound of that, but of course it only means something if it leads to a superior cleaning experience.

The Auto-Empty station looks good and is reasonably unobtrusive despite its height. The lid has a smooth push-to-release function, which reveals a compartment containing a 2.5 litre disposable dust bag. ECOVACS state that is this good for up to 30 days of collection, although mileage will obviously vary depending on factors such as the size of your home and the amount of dust and other material collected. While I prefer bagless vacuum designs, this certainly makes the process simple and tidy.

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ – Use

There are three different methods for controlling the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+. They all do essentially the same thing, that is set the robot to vacuum or tell it to return home. So why do you need three different methods? Well, each has its use: 

Onboard Controls

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ only has one physical button. Pressing it will start the DEEBOT auto-cleaning. The robot will set about scanning the area and systematically working around it to vacuum what it finds. Tapping the button while the robot is cleaning will pause the action, while a long press will return the robot to its charging station.

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ Robot Vacuum Review

This method is simple, intuitive and effective. I don’t want to mess around with any complex controls on top of my robot, but if I want to quickly start it up as I round the kids up the stairs for bath, I can. If I need to quickly stop the vacuum mid job, I can. I mentioned that I found this setup intuitive – there was no need to read a manual, I just pressed it to see if what I thought should happen, would happen. It did!

App Controls

The ECOVACS app is the most comprehensive way of controlling the DEEBOT OZMO T8+. There is, of course, the option to auto-clean with the click of a button and that is the method I use most of the time. However, there are a bunch of controls for fine-tuning your experience.

During its first run, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ creates a floor map. You should leave all doors open, so that this map is as compete as possible. Once that is complete, a range of new options open up. You can still set the robot to automatically clean the entire area, but you can also create specific areas on the map and label them as rooms. The DEEBOT OZMO T8+ can then be sent directly to a specific room or area, rather than unnecessarily cleaning the whole space.

This is great for taking care of high-use areas, such as dining rooms or indoor-outdoor transition areas. My kids try their best, but at just two and five, eating time is a naturally messy event. Crumbs end up on the floor around the dining table after every meal and snack, guaranteed! Instead of pulling the stick vacuum out multiple times a day, I now simply send in the ECOVACS robot and the job is done!

If I want to be even more specific, I can use the Custom function to select a specific location for spot cleaning. This is useful if there has been a dry spill in a particular location, or if someone has trampled in dirt from outside.

These functions work really well. That TrueMapping Distance Sensor sure is wonderfully accurate – the DEEBOT seems to know exactly where it is and where it has been sent. As a side note, the mapping is fascinating to watch as it is in progress. This technology has come a long way!

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is capable of creating and storing multiple maps, so those with multiple levels can use the robot across them. You will, of course, need to carry the robot up and down the stairs – they aren’t that advanced…yet…

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ can be instructed to return home to charge from the app, and it can also be told to empty its contents into the Auto-Empty Station.

Smart Home Controls (Google Assistant or Alexa)

This one won’t be for everyone and, frankly, it isn’t necessary to have in order to fully enjoy the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+. However, for those of us who have embraced the world of Smart Homes, this integration is pretty handy. Simple commands such as “hey Google, start vacuuming” work well. But you can also get much more specific and creative. You can command your robot to “vacuum the living room” if you have set up areas, and away it goes!

Even better, if you name your new DEEBOT, you can call it by name to do the job. By law (I assume), dad users of the DEEBOT OZMO T8+ MUST give their robot a cringeworthy name. They must also not tell the family that name, but instead introduce the new title by loudly asking Google to “tell Cleant Eastwood to vacuum the kitchen”. It will take a moment, but the resulting disappointed shake of the head makes the effort worth it! See here if you need some naming inspiration.

In all seriousness, I am really impressed with the usefulness of the Google Assistant integration and the ability to control actions beyond the simple “Start” and “stop”. It is some of the better smart home integration that I have used.

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ – Performance

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is a dual-function machine, with vacuum and moping capabilities. While both can be performed at the same time, I’ll break it down and look at the performance of each function separately.

Vacuum

This is the part that really matters. All that app and smart home versatility doesn’t count for much when compared to the robot’s cleaning performance. Thankfully, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ delivers.

My downstairs open living area has vinyl laminate floorboards and the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ doesn’t even raise a sweat. That’s impressive, given that this area includes the dreaded dining table. The following photo pretty well sums up the aftermath of almost every meal and snack…

Kids are gross

Every evening, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ diligently completes a full clean of the downstairs living area. This usually takes about 28 minutes and covers approximately 25 square metres. That area only accounts for the places that the robot can actually reach, so places like behind the entertainment unit don’t show as actual parts of my floorplan. The DEEBOT will, however, happily vacuum thoroughly right under the couch – an area that is guaranteed to be done half-heartedly if I am cleaning manually.

The robot also fits neatly under dining chairs. The advanced navigation sensors seem to work really well – the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ hasn’t found its self stuck even when working its way into the trickier spaces in my home. The side brushes give the robot great reach and allow it to get particles from right up against furniture and sideboards without aggressively making contact with them. It does touch the furniture every now and then (usually when turning), but the touches are soft an the broad front bumper does its job well.

Interestingly, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ takes a similar path each time. I assume it has done some calculations regarding the most efficient method of cleaning my floorplan and decided that this is the best route. Not that it matters to me. We now have a brilliant routine whereby the kids madly run around picking up their toys so that they can see the robot go before we head upstairs to the bath. The DEEBOT has well-and-truly finished its thing by the time they are hopping into bed.

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ has adjustable levels of cleaning power. I find the quiet mode to be perfectly capable of cleaning my hard floors and leaving them looking great! The dual side brushes diligently sweep debris into the path of the brush and suction, which confidently picks up dirt particles large and small. It’s biggest challenge has been cleaning up after my two year old threw a paper-cutting party! Even then, all but the biggest pieces of paper were claimed by the robot.

Paper-cutting party!

And it is quiet! Vacuum noise doesn’t bother me when we are upstairs getting ready for bed, but it is very handy to have a quiet mode for running a quick tidy of the dining area while my two year old is napping. I have done this several times and not woken him. The only slight gotcha is if the robot is set to auto-empty upon completing its run. That part is loud, if only for a few seconds.

The more I use the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+, the more I am finding out about how highly customisable it is. Area Maps are a brilliant addition and they enables users to customize the cleaning for each designated space. I can, for example, set the robot to perform a double clean of the messy dining area, while just doing a single sweep of the rest of the home. I can also set it to a higher power level in this space.

This is a fantastic feature and it makes the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ really great for targeting the specific needs of most houses. A powerful double clean in front or back door spaces would be handy, as would powerful suction in a space that contains pets. There is also the option to set virtual barriers to exclude parts of the floorplan, say around a dog food bowl or a baby play mat. In my experience, the precision mapping of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ makes virtual areas work really well.

Upstairs we have short carpet. The DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is capable of making and storing multiple maps, so again I can set specific parameters around cleaning this area. I set the vacuum power to max, which seems to do a thorough job of sucking the dust from deep in the carpet (if the full waste bin each week is anything to go by). Interesting, there is a max+ option. I assume this is for people with pets, because the max setting works well enough for me!

This is after vacuuming the carpeted rooms upstairs

I did sit guard at the stairs while the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ did its thing, but I needn’t have worried – the edge detection sensors on the bottom of the robot are just as effective as the other ECOVACS sensors. The DEEBOT did spend quite a bit of time making absolutely sure that there wasn’t a way forward at the stairs and came right up to the edge in doing so, but each time it seemed well aware that there was a drop. I would highly recommend keeping a close eye on yours the first time you run the robot, just to make sure there isn’t any issue with your setup, but I was very impressed!

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ has a monster battery, because after about an hour of upstairs and downstairs cleaning at my house it still has plenty of juice left over!  ECOVACS state that the 5200mAh battery is good for up to 3 hours per charge and I’d believe it.

Mopping

For most people, mopping will be a secondary function of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+. Whereas the vacuum runs multiple times a day in my house, I will likely use the mopping function 1-2 times per week. That being said, I am thrilled it is there! Mopping the floor is one of my least favourite chores. In fact, I hate it so much that I just don’t do it as regularly as I should. It is messy, I get wet feet, it has to be done twice, it takes ages… the list of reasons why it sucks as a job goes on and on.

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ mopping system is remarkably fuss-free. Just fill the reservoir, attach a cleaning pad (there are disposable and reusable options), check your settings in the DEEBOT app and away it goes!

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ Robot Vacuum Review
The mop function is really easy to use!

That simplicity is enough to make me smile, but finishing up is just as simple. When the robot is done, just remove the cleaning pad, drain the remaining water from the reservoir and dispose of (or wash) the pad. It is really fuss-free – enough so that I will happily do these simple tasks regularly!

As for the mopping performance, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ did a good job of removing surface grime from my hybrid floors. The floorboards look and feel fresh to touch, with all of the little footprint smudges that were disturbingly visible in the right light gone. I did notice, however, a couple of things to keep in mind.

Firstly, the wet streak on the floor behind the mop didn’t become consistent until after a few linear metres of mopping. Once it properly started there was greater consistency, but to begin it was a little sporadic. Not a huge deal, but worth keeping in mind that there may be a small section to spot-wipe if you are pedantic.

You can see where the DEEBOT OZMO T8+ has just mopped, but it isn’t soaked and dries quickly

It also appears that the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ gives obstacles a wider birth when mopping. Maybe I get that impression because the mopping pad doesn’t have the same reach as the side brushes, but it seemed like it didn’t get right to the edges.

Finally, the DEEBOT OZMO T8+ definitely lifted the surface grime without fuss, but it didn’t fully remove the more baked-on dirt. It is possible to set the robot to make two passes, which can help with further lifting the more stubborn stains and the water flow level is adjustable.

The mop function of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ definitely lifts some dirt!

Basically, the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ does a reasonable job of mopping the bulk of the floor, without being amazing. This is fine by me – I can set the robot to do the vast majority of the task, then simply spot clean where required. It sill saves me a whole lot of time and effort!

If mopping performance is of higher importance to you, ECOVACS also sell the OZMOTM Pro system. This attachment adds a high-frequency vibration to the mopping process, and gets largely positive reviews on Amazon. I haven’t used it, so I can’t comment on its effectiveness. To be frank, I find the mopping performance of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ good enough right now to not need the OZMOTM Pro system.

Auto-Empty Station

The Auto-Empty Station is the game-changer. It takes the robot vacuum from good to brilliant! One of my biggest annoyances with the previous robot was the need to constantly empty the dust catcher. It wasn’t a huge problem, but it definitely added the feeling that robot vacuums weren’t quite as time-saving as they should be.

The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ can be set to automatically unload every time it docks, or you can turn off that function and manually control when emptying happens. I like the set-and-forget convenience of the auto-empty setting, but be mindful that it does briefly create quite a bit of noise. If I am using the robot while the kids are resting, I make sure to deactivate the auto-empty function.

Pleasingly, the Auto-Empty station works. In fact, in my testing it has worked really, really well! You can watch the dust catcher being emptied by lifting the cover on the OZMO T8+ and it is quite satisfying! The powerful suction of the base unit clears the dust catcher almost immediately, with the whole process done in a matter of seconds.

The impact of the Auto-Empty Station is that I run my ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ several times a day without thought. No messing about trying to empty an overflowing canister and no robot pausing mid-clean to demand I empty it! This simple addition goes a long way towards making the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ feel like a legitimately useful, time-saving appliance. There is minor ongoing maintenance required to keep the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ running at its optimum, such as filter and brush changes after a certain amount of time (the app keeps track for you), but this pales in comparison to the daily time savings.

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ – Final Thoughts

Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way since the glorified motorised sweepers of yesteryear. The robots of 2021 are packed with clever technology and capable suction, and are a genuine replacement for the majority of household vacuuming tasks. The ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ is the epitome of this design, with excellent vacuuming credentials and the brilliant Auto-Empty Station changing the game! The included mop function is a nice-to-have and it adds another dimension to the cleaning-ability of the robot, but it is not the star of the show. For my mind, the functionality and hands-off operation of the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8+ brings it into the league of the washing machine and dishwasher as a valuable time-saving appliance in my home.

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