Yeedi Vac Max robot vacuum hands-on: Smart house cleaning with both highs and lows
Although it can be considered a rather basic house cleaning robot, the Yeedi Vac Max sports quite a few interesting features for its price range, such as its mopping capabilities and the ability to be used with a self-emptying station (sold separately and compatible with most Yeedi vacuum cleaners). Today's hands-on review comes after almost three months of testing and its goal is to help any potential customer decide whether the Yeedi Vac Max is the best robot vacuum helper for his/her needs or not.
Box contents, design, build quality
The Yeedi Vac Max comes in a large cardboard box that bears no markings, except the company's logo and the "Yeedi Vacuum and Mopping Robot" text. There are no pictures, no technical specs, not even the name of the robot.
Unfortunately, what can be found inside the retail box is just as minimal as the design of the box itself. While many entry-level robot vacuum cleaners come with at least one or two spare edge brushes and filters, the retail package of the Yeedi Vac Max only comes with a single edge brush, which is supposed to last for about 150 hours. Apart from it and the robot, the box also includes the charging station, a mopping plate, a cloth mopping pad, five disposable mopping pads, a quick start guide, and an electrical cord.
Apple fans will surely love the design of the Yeedi Vac Max, which only comes in white. The materials used do not make the robot feel cheap when handled and it looks good from any angle. Without the fear of being wrong, I must say that the Yeedi Vac Max looks much better (and is also more attractive) than the box it comes in. However, it would have been great to see at least three edge brushes, one main brush, and a set of filters inside the retail package.
Specs, features, real-life usage
With a regular price tag of US$369.99, the Yeedi Vac Max is currently listed on the manufacturer's website for a mere US$259.99. Depending on the area, the price might be a bit different. However, virtually any interested party should be able to get this robot for less than the equivalent of US$300 (as long as the stock is not depleted yet, because the Yeedi Vac Max has been quite popular in the few months that have passed since its release).
When talking about the specs and features of the Yeedi Vac Max, these are the highlights that must be mentioned:
- Suction power: Maximum 3000 Pa, with the lowest preset level at 600 Pa, automatically adjusted.
- Battery life/capacity: Roughly 200 minutes/5200 mAh.
- Water tank capacity: 240 ml.
- Smart assistant support: Google Assistant, Alexa.
- Upwards-facing 3D visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) sensor.
- Compatible with Yeedi's self-emptying station.
- Mobile app control (no remote functions).
Before the first use, the Yeedi Vac Max needs to be fully charged. While waiting for the battery to get all the way up to 100 percent, the user should grab the Quick Start Guide and use the QR code inside it to download the Yeedi app (which is available for both iOS and Android). The app is easy enough to use, but it would be great for it to work without asking the user to register for an account. Creating an account and using it is obviously free, but most privacy-concerned citizens would appreciate being able to use their robot vacuum with the companion app locally, without exchanging any bits of information with the outside world.
Since the initial setup is thoroughly covered in the documentation, I will move on and talk about a few facts that I noticed while using the Yeedi Vac Max robot vacuum. First of all, it detects carpets as it should and adjusts the suction power accordingly. Second, I noticed that the robot can easily tackle the edges of thick carpets, but sometimes it fails to climb small bumps that were like a walk in the park just a few minutes earlier. The fewer obstacles it has to handle, the better, but it depends a lot on the area it has to clean and the various objects lying around.
When mopping, there is no oscillation movement involved. The robot will simply wipe the floor in a continuous forward motion. The water flow level can be adjusted using the aforementioned mobile app.
Removing the dust bin, the water tank, or the brushes is quite easy. The Yeedi Vac Max also includes a cleaning accessory that can be used to cut away the human or animal hair that can (and will) get trapped in the brushes.
The noise level is quite low, with a maximum of 61 dB. However, the maximum is achieved when vacuuming carpets. For households with hard floors, the Yeedi Vac Max will be a stealthy presence, since it will work using the barely audible 600 Pa suction level.
Having a software companion for a robot vacuum cleaner is sometimes a nuisance, and sometimes a blessing. The Yeedi app is not perfect, but it surely gets the job done in most cases. The initial setup phase can take a while, especially since it involves creating an account and tinkering with the phone's settings for a bit (nothing special for the average internet/smartphone user, but could be problematic for some users who live almost entirely offline).
At first sight, the Yeedi app is very complex and, from time to time, quite annoying. Fortunately, after spending some time with it, the user will be able to find and adjust most settings in a jiffy. The list of parameters that can be adjusted from the phone includes cleaning schedule, suction power, water flow, and so on. When it comes to monitoring, the app sends warnings when the robot gets stuck or requires cleaning, and it also shows the location of the robot. When cleaning large areas where the robot needs to get underneath various pieces of furniture, this feature is a lifesaver.
Another useful feature of the app allows the user to set virtual boundaries, so the robot will not go into certain areas. For example, this allows the Yeedi Vac Max to clean a floor without risking to fall down the stairs or get stuck in the cat's corner.
Last but not the least, the Yeedi app closely monitors the wear level of the consumables (side brush, filter, main brush), and it also shows when the sensors need cleaning.
I tested the Yeedi app on two Android smartphones and it had no stability issues. Unlike other similar apps, this one is crawling with visual cues and detailed explanations for each option available. Overall, the software companion for the Yeedi Vac Max is an excellent piece of code that only needs a few touches here and there to become perfect.
The good, the bad, and the truth
Although there are some similar robots with higher suction power, Yeedi Vac Max's 3000 Pa place it well above the average for its price. The mopping capabilities and the outstanding software companion also help it score some precious points. This might not be a big thing for many users, but others will surely appreciate the looks of this robot. The upgradeable firmware leaves room for further improvement of its weak areas, such as navigation capabilities, and many overlook this part.
The fact that some similarly-priced robots come with spare parts in the retail box and the Yeedi Vac Max doesn't is a bit of a deal breaker. Fortunately, the replaceable parts are not expensive. Sadly, the Vac Max is only covered with a one-year warranty, while many competing products get two years.
While it might need a bit of help from time to time and the acquisition of a self-emptying station pushes it into the mid-range area of the market, where it has to face much tougher competitors, the Yeedi Vac Max provides excellent value as a standalone entry-range product. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it is very good for the price and this is what really matters.
Disclaimer: The author of this review received the Yeedi Vac Max from Yeedi free of charge for the purpose of testing.
Yeedi (EU official product page)