iRobot Roomba Review
The iRobot Roomba series have dominated the smart vacuum space for many years and their models have upgraded over time. The Roomba 890 is sort of a mid-level model, albeit towards the higher end of the spectrum. This particular model offers plenty of new features compared to the Roomba 675 or Roomba 690 and we’ll talk about them in depth in our comprehensive Roomba 890 review.
Smart vacuums are robots that move throughout your house picking up any unwanted debris along the way. They are completely hands-off as you simply have to schedule recurring cleans and it’ll operate on its own.
What does the iRobot Roomba 890 do?
Automated cleaning is on its way and the Roomba 890 is a great model to start out with since it ranks somewhere in the middle of all of the best smart vacuum robots. The key difference that separates this model from the entry level ones is the virtual barrier sensor which allows you to specify which rooms you would like to clean and which ones you would like for it to avoid.
The virtual barrier sensor recognizes walls in the house so that it can navigate more efficiently and a lot smarter, thus giving you overall better cleans. It might not be as sexy as the more advanced models like the Roomba 960 but it does perform surprisingly well on multiple types of surfaces.
The iRobot Roombas were all designed similarly because of the effectiveness that the circular body allows. The height is less than 4 inches off the ground which allows the device to navigate under hard to reach places.
As with any Roomba, the Roomba 890 has a large circular CLEAN button in the center of the device. You’ll also find the spot clean and dock buttons above and below the CLEAN button.
Above the iRobot logo, you’ll find that there’s a handle that pulls out for easy carrying. Keep in mind these Roomba’s are all under 10 lbs so carrying them isn’t that much of an issue anyway.
The outer rim of the device is a bumper that is there to protect the device from any damage should it bump into furniture.
Types of Floor Surfaces
The earlier Roombas never hard trouble with hardwood floors and they were able to pick up debris such as pet hair, dirt, dust, and the like. The Roomba 890 handles these types of flat surfaces and similar ones with better ease due to the increased suctioning power that it boasts.
High Pile Carpet/Rugs
High pile carpets and rugs are the bane of all smart vacuums because they struggle with them the most. Although, you’ll still get a pretty good clean considering the robot is doing all of the work. However, very fine debris such as powdered sugar or salt may be hard to get out of this type of surface.
Low Pile Carpet
The Roombas fare much better on this type of surface as opposed to the high pile carpet. It’ll get the job done much better than the earlier models but you’ll be hard pressed to find that it’ll clean better than the more advanced Roombas.
Not too much of an issue for any Roomba as this type of surface has a similar efficiency to hardwood floors and other flat types of surfaces such as marble or vinyl floors.
3 Stage Cleaning System: The lift, loosen, and suction feature of the Roomba smart vacuum robots was the staple of the earlier models like the Roomba 665 and 690. It’s even better with the Roomba 890 since the suctioning power has increased 5X. It’ll also spend more time in places where there appears to be more dust/debris, making sure that it doesn’t just gloss over it.
iRobot Home App: The iRobot Home app is a great tool if you want to schedule cleans ahead of time or while you’re on the go. The Roomba 890 will follow the exact schedule that you set ahead of time.
You can also view past cleans and see how often you’ve been keeping up with your chores. You’ll be able to see other small statistics as well.
Automatic Docking and Recharging: The Roomba 890’s runtime is approximately 60 minutes before it requires recharging. As long as the dock is on the same floor, it’ll move towards it and dock itself, allowing the Roomba to recharge. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t resume cleaning afterward like the later ones.
Lithium-ion Battery: The lithium-ion battery is a very high-quality battery that has a long-lasting life. It is important to note that this model only runs for 60 minutes at a time so if you’d like to get one that runs longer, we would recommend the 690 or the 960.
Multi-Surface rubber brushes: These are designed to pull in pet hair and unwanted debris easily so that it can suction them up. There are 2 of these brushes as well as the edge-sweeping brush which is used to clean up corners and edges of the wall.
Intelligent Navigation: With cliff detections sensors and the virtual wall barrier settings, the Roomba 890 can navigate pretty well without having the fancy camera map settings that the 960 and 980 have.
You can limit which rooms the Roomba’s go into without having to worry about it falling down stairs and such.
Lightweight and Sleek Design: This model is 3.5 inches off the ground which means it’ll sneak under tight spaces. It’ll cover under furniture or under the bed where it was previously harder to do with a traditional vacuum.
Voice Control Capability: If you connect your Roomba 890 with Wi-Fi you can enable Alexa and Google assistant capability which allows you to start/stop cleans with voice command.
Couple this with the app technology and you can have access to your Roomba without ever having to push the CLEAN button in the middle of the device.
Dirt Detection Technology: Simply a fancy word for finding places in the house with the most dirt and spending most of its time there.
One of the main cons that we’ve discussed is the lack of increased runtime. The Roomba 890 runs for 60 minutes at a time and if that doesn’t sound like enough you may want to consider a different model.
Although this model does have access to virtual wall barriers, there’s no camera mapping which allows the Roomba to scan the home and essentially learn and adapt to it. You can find this feature on the Roomba 960.
The device will full dock itself and recharge but it won’t resume cleaning afterward. If you can live without this feature it really isn’t a big deal.
The Roomba 890 definitely comes with good cleaning efficiency but it will struggle with High Pile carpets like we previously mentioned. If you have these in your home, you’ll be better off with a newer Roomba.
Setting up the Roomba 890
The device comes partially charged after unboxing. What you can do is to let it charge fully just so that the battery keeps its quality and runs of a full charge its first time.
You can also set up the wi-fi connectivity so that you can schedule cleans and create an automated cleaning plan. If you set it to clean for an hour every day at 5 pm, you would do this in the app itself. We’ll talk more about it in a later section.
Once it is fully charged it is pretty much ready to go. Simply click the CLEAN button and the Roomba will go to work.
How to use the iRobot Roomba App
Download the app the same way you would download any other app on your phone. You can download the iRobot Home app with an Android or iPhone as long as they are running the latest software update. For the iPhone, this would be ios10 or better and for Android, it would be for 5.0 and higher.
Once you have the app you’ll be able to see the schedule and set it to whatever you’d like it to be. Clean as often or as little as you’d like without having to micromanage the robot.
There’s also places in the app where you can view past cleans as well as locate your device in your home for times where you’re having trouble finding it.
The iRobot Roomba website has a great primer and picture guide on how to maintain any Roomba 800 series model found here: https://homesupport.irobot.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7274/~/the-roomba-800-series-core-robot-care-procedure.
The bin is where the debris buildup will be stored. You’ll just have to empty it out when the bin indicator lights up red meaning that its full. Press the bin release tab to unlock the compartment.
When you have removed the vacuum bin, open the filter door and shake off any debris.
Sometimes you’ll have to remove and clean the extractor which is found at the bottom of the device. You won’t have to do this too often but there might be some debris buildup after a few months of use.
Caster Wheels: You might find that your device is slowing down or not moving as efficiently as before. This might be due to some buildup near the wheels and you can easily replace and clean them.