In the war of robotic vacuum cleaners, there are a few major players. Whilst Roomba the market leader for general house cleaning, the D-Series range of vacuums from Neato Robotics are renowned for their outstanding pet collection program. By that we mean, they have some serious pet hair suction power! When the original Botvac D80 was released, customers were raving about its ability to map out your entire home and remember the dirtiest spots. Fast forward 10 months and a series of battery failure complaints, Neato Robotics were forced to discontinue this product and go back to the drawing board.
Then came the Neato Botvac D85; an upgraded model to the failed D80. With a much-improved battery and 2x additional high-performance filters, a first glance at the D85 is extremely positive. But is the Botvac D85 more reliable than it’s discontinued brother? Find out all you need to know in this comprehensive buyer’s guide and Neato Botvac D85 review.
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Time short? – Click here to see our Neato Botvac D85 review summary.
Review Update (10th February 2020): Due to an influx of complaints online about the Neato Botvac D85 failing to get past the 1-year warranty, we have lowered our total rating to 3.8.
Product Design & Features:
Retaining the successful ‘D-Shaped’ exterior from previous models, the Botvac D85 is a cute little robot that will quickly become your best friend. Unlike circular robotic vacuums, the shape of the Neato ensures that even the tightest of corners around your home are covered. Combine this with side brushes that will also clean wall edges without a hitch and you’ve got yourself a very clever robot. Who’s a good boy! 🤖
Where most other vacuums have a remote control, the D85 has an LED display on the top of the vacuum. This is where you control the vacuum and set cleaning schedules. Honestly, this product should have come with a remote or mobile app for greater value. However, the display is functional and if you nail your scheduling, you’ll barely need use for it.
The newer D85 model also includes a high-performance filter and combo brush that is uniquely designed to pick up pet hair. The combo brush is quieter, especially on hard floors like wood and tile and the transition between carpet to tiles is smooth. OveraIl, the Neato Botvac D85 is compact, lightweight and has everything you want from a robotic vacuum cleaner.
LaserSmart Room Mapping
Whilst robotic vacuums, in general, are just super cool, have you ever seen one aimlessly go backwards and forwards like it’s hard of sight? This is where LaserSmart technology gives the Botvac D85 an upper-hand. Available with the majority of Neato robots, LaserSmart provides the most accurate navigation between furniture and objects of all robotic vacuum cleaners. By mapping the room, the technology calculates the optimal trajectory the robot should take to cover the area.
This results in the Neato Botvac cleaning the same floor up to 4 times faster compared to traditional robots that use random movement pattern. The technology is still not perfect though. LaserSmart can get confused by random objects on the floor like shoes or toys. It also has problems with transparent furniture. But we wouldn’t recommend transparent furniture either.
Botvac D85 Boundary Marker Accessories
Just like any gadget today, there’s also a wealth of accessories you can purchase to level up your device. If you are concerned about any Neato Botvac getting into places you don’t want robotics, the boundary marking feature is a really nice touch. By placing strips of up to 13 feet in length around your home. the Botvac will avoid without failure. We found this particularly useful around our pets food bowl. Let’s just say our pooch doesn’t like anything going near it’s food!
The Worst Features:
A feature that we found frustrating throughout our testing was the cleaning of the brushes. Due to the tightly nit shape of the brushes the advanced suction power of the vacuum, the regularity of brush cleaning was more than ideal. For anybody looking to purchase the Botvac D85 specifically for pets, be prepared to still get your hands dirty. We were testing out the iFetch Too with our pooch in the home before putting the Neato to work and it didn’t take long before the brushes were full. Our pooches hair would often become matted within the brushes which made for quite a lengthy process when unravelling from the vacuum. It’s not such a big deal if you have short-haired pets, however, for those with a tribe of golden retrievers, the struggle will be real.
Another feature of slight disappointment was how long the vacuum would operate for before returning the to charging dock. For all of the room mapping and precision targeting, the Botvac D85 would only vacuum for around 1 hour. When you consider that it takes around 3 hours to fully charge the Botvac, we feel that the battery life could have been improved. This is not such an issue because you’re literally doing nothing whilst it goes through this process. However, the longer operating time would be beneficial to reducing electricity bills and wasted energy.
Other than the above, the Botvac D85 robotic vacuum was impressive, to say the least. There’s nothing nicer than coming home to a nice smelling and crumb-free living area.
Neato Botvac D80 Vs D85 Comparison
Whilst Neato Robotics have officially discontinued the Neato Botvac D80, you can still purchase online from marketplaces such as Amazon & eBay. It may be tempting to purchase the cheaper D80 version, however, we’re not sure why you would take the risk. Firstly, the battery stability of the D80 is suspect and that’s being kind. The battery aside, when you compare Botvac D80 vs D85 for features, the D85 also outshines it’s older sibling without question.
Although both robotic vacuums will efficiently achieve intense cleaning sessions around your home, you should purchase the Neato Botvac D85 instead of the Botvac D80 for the following reasons:
- Better Suction Power Overall.
- Additional 2 High-Performance Filters.
- Smoother Surface Transitions.
- Stable Battery & Battery Life.
- Quieter In Operation.
Given the positives of the Botvac D80 are also still retained, it’s an absolute no brainer to spend a little extra. There is nothing like total peace of mind. The brushes of the D85 will require more frequent cleaning as the overall suction power is improved. However, it’s a small price to pay for a product that makes it’s older brother look somewhat incomplete.
Full Product Specifications:
Now that the Neato D85 features Neato’s exclusive LaserSmart™ technology for precise cleaning, this product is one of the best robotic vacuums available. Inclusive of 2 additional high-performance filters, the Neato Botvac D85 includes the following specifications:
|SpinFlow Technology (Potent Suction + Precision Brushing).|
|Patented Laser-Guided Room Mapping.|
|50% Larger Brush (Compared To D80).|
|Precise Edge Cleaning Brush.|
|Cleaning Scheduling Capabilities.|
|Automatically Returns To Charging Base|
|D-Shaped Device For Precision Corner Cleaning.|
Price & Value:
Currently available from major online Australian marketplaces such as catch.com.au, the Neato Botvac D85 costs around $770AUD which is slightly expensive in our opinion. Although feature-rich and clearly a great product, you could save yourself $100+ and purchase a cheaper Roomba robotic vacuum. The Roomba will do pretty much the same as the Neato. However, for those of you with pets or a larger home, the Neato D85 has more value.
Neato Botvac D85 Review Summary
Despite the original D Series offering superior overall power, this robotic vacuum is still a powerhouse. Overall, we have given our Neato Botvac D85 review a score of 4/5. It’s a solid low to a mid-tier vacuum cleaner but is lacking in the polish of a top-quality product. You’re not going to be disappointed with it’s features and it gets the job done. The improved battery stability is a blessing and the D85 is chalk and cheese compared to it’s retired D80 brother. The patented house mapping technology and ‘return to charge station’ feature is the ultimate in smart home automation and we were thoroughly impressed.
Neato Botvac D80 Review Summary
Improved stability, additional power and quieter when working its magic, the Botvac D85 is leaps and bounds above the discontinued brother, the Botvac D85. Overall, the D85 is a great mid-range robotic vacuum and perfect for medium-sized homes.
- Patented Laser Guide Technology.
- Auto Return To Charge Station.
- 3x High-Performance Filters.
- Slightly Expensive.
- Brushes Require Cleaning (A lot!).
- Battery Lasts Around 1 Hour.
Content Disclaimer: Our ‘Neato Botvac D85 Review’ is totally independent and has not been commissioned by the company. Mr Gadget has not received any endorsements for this writing. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or the product itself by way of gift. We hope you enjoyed!