But just because a product is popular doesn't necessarily mean it's any good. That's why we put the Deebot N79 through our rigorous robot vacuum obstacle course, which includes thresholds, area rugs, pet hair, spilled food, and furniture.
Our verdict? While the Deebot N79 isn't the best robot vacuum you can buy, it's an awesome value for the money. If you've always been curious about robot vacuums but don't want to spend a fortune on one, you'll be happy with the N79.
What you need to know
•Above average dirt pickup, although sometimes inconsistent
•Takes a long time to clean, so run it while you're away
•It rarely gets stuck—robot vacuums that cost twice as much struggle with this!
•Has some trouble going from hardwood floors to high-pile carpet
Like other affordable robot vacuums, the Deebot N79 lacks fancy features like camera-based navigation or high-capacity batteries. But unlike other affordable robot vacuums, the N79 can be controlled via a remote control or a smartphone app.
You can start and stop it, change cleaning patterns, schedule cleanings, and command it to clean your home when you're at work. That means the N79 is the most affordable smart robot vacuum you can buy.
Notably, there's no support for third-party smart home services like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Home. For that, you'd have to upgrade to a model like the popular Eufy RoboVac 11c, which costs at least $100 more.
In our tests, the N79 averaged over an hour and a half to clean a 100 sq. ft. room. On some tests, it picked up over 11 grams of the test dirt we put down on hardwood floors and rugs—as much as high-end vacuums from iRobot and Dyson. However, sometimes it only picked up nine grams of dirt, leaving debris under furniture legs and shelves. We weren't thrilled with this inconsistency.
During our tests, we measured hard impacts as the N79 rammed furniture while navigating—hard enough to knock over a dog's food or water dish. Unfortunately, there's no way to keep this vacuum out of rooms where you don't want it other than closing a door.
The N79 took awhile to transition from hardwood floors to tall carpet. It never got stuck on throw rugs, largely because it was unwilling to approach them in the first place. But it had no trouble staying away from stairs and balconies, and it always found its way back to its charging station when the battery started to run low.
We think it's worth it
If you've always wanted a robot vacuum, but you don't want to spend a lot of money, we recommend the Deebot N79. You can control it remotely, and it's really inexpensive.
However, if you have an extra $100 to spare, we think you should check out the Eufy Robovac 30c instead. It cleans better, and it includes Amazon Alexa support.
And if you just want the cheapest robot vacuum available, the iLife A4s will save you around $50.
Meet the tester
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email