A powerful, efficient cleaning machine with a horrible iOS app.

I have wanted a robotic vacuum for many years now — ever since Roomba released their first vac. I just love the idea of having an automated system clean your house while you do something else. The problem I’ve had with this type of device is the cost. Some of them cost more than a professional-grade computer. So, I was thrilled when this one from Samsung became available. Not only is it a much more affordable price, but it’s ‘smart’ and very easy to use.

The Samsung Powerbot R7040 is a very powerful, efficient vacuum. It provides 20X more suction power than previous models and includes some really cool technology like visionary mapping, full view sensors, WiFi connectivity, and edge cleaning. In addition to its smart technology options, the suction power uses Cyclone Force technology, which helps to prevent clogging. The Powerbot comes equipped with EasyPass wheels, which are large enough to pass over more obstacles and strong enough to keep the device moving even over thick carpet. The vac will automatically detect surface types to optimize its suction power and you have the option to schedule certain cleaning times.

Samsung Powerbot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner REVIEW

Getting started with the vacuum is pretty easy. It comes pre-assembled with the exception of putting the batteries in the remote and unwrapping the power cables for the charging dock. I do advise any future users to read through the manual before getting started. It makes the process much easier. Can you ‘feel’ your way through it? Yes, but you will probably spend more time doing that than it takes to read through the instructions. That said, I wish the vacuum came with a quick start guide. It has a full manual that includes a lot of background and warning information that is good for reference, but not really necessary when you are trying to just get it started.

The first step in the process is to set-up the charging dock. This is simple as it just requires plugging the dock into power. There is an instruction that states it must be “turned on at all times.” This step can be confusing because on my model (the 7040) there is no power button. The manual is meant for more than just my model so I wonder if maybe that instruction was meant for other models. It’s a good idea to install the dock on a level surface so that the vacuum can latch onto it easily. After you get the dock plugged in and powered on, you should add the batteries (included) to the remote and then place the vacuum on the dock. When you first unbox it, there may be some charge to it, but I would recommend letting it get a full charge before you try to use it. This could take up to 3 hours, but it’s well-worth the wait.

Samsung Powerbot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner REVIEW

There is a manual power switch on the bottom of the vacuum that must be turned on in order to use or charge the vacuum. It’s an ’emergency’ switch that I’m guessing is a kill switch in case the vacuum gets out of hand when it’s cleaning. This switch is hidden behind a semi-transparent covering. If you refer to the diagram in the manual, it does show you just where to look for it. Once the vacuum is done charging the word “FULL” will appear in the display on the unit.

Now, you can use the Powerbot without connecting it to your smartphone, but that’s really part of its charm. This is really the only place where I encountered a major problem with the vacuum. It wouldn’t show up as a network for me to connect to it. After about 10-15 minutes of attempts to connect to our home WiFi, I was finally able to have a signal to the vacuum. We have a mesh network in our home so it has a strong signal everywhere it moves throughout the house.

Samsung Powerbot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner REVIEW

There are some vacuums that you have to ‘train’ before getting started, but the Powerbot has a great edge-sensing feature that causes it to autocorrect anytime it finds a border. This is pretty cool because it means you can say, “Go,” and it cleans without needing direction. The only downside to this is that the vac can get caught places or it misses areas because it hits a piece of furniture and thinks it’s a wall. We ran into this a few times, but for the most part, the Powerbot does a great job making it through the entire house. It’s powerful enough on the standard setting that we haven’t even had to use the ‘turbo’ setting yet. It picks up plenty of dirt, dust, pet dander, and hair during its trip throughout the house.

The vacuum will run for about 60 minutes on a full charge. What’s really cool about it is that it will detect when its battery is low and automatically return to its dock for charging. If it didn’t finish its cleaning job, it will go back out once it’s charged to complete the house. I’ve seen it do this once and questioned it at first because I thought someone told it to start cleaning, but no one had. Plus we noticed that it went to areas that it didn’t do before it went to charge.

Samsung Powerbot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner REVIEW

Cleaning out the collection bin is very easy as is clearing the rotating brush. I empty the bin after every trip through the house and clear the brush every 3-4 days. I have been very happy with the vacuum’s performance and even though we still use a standard vacuum a couple times a week (we are more accurate than the Powerbot) but I love being able to have this little guy run through the house every night to pick up the day’s dirt. I can definitely recommend this for anyone in the market for a robotic vacuum. It’s a really nice option for a robotic vacuum.
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