The Eufy Omni S1 Pro Robot Vacuum Doesn't Live Up to the Hype - Living Strong Television Network

Eufy is a company that, in general, makes products I really like. They make some of the best security cameras in the industry, enough that after testing lots of brands, Eufy’s Solocams are what I keep installed at my house. Anker, their parent company, makes some of my favorite power banks, and I really like my Eufy doorbell. Like a lot of companies making smart tech, they also make vacuums.

The Eufy Robot Vacuum Omni S1 Pro is interesting in a number of ways. Even though Eufy is a well-established brand that has produced and launched many products including other robot vacuums, for this model, they went back to Kickstarter, where their goal was blown out of the water in hours. Second, instead of going for the compact tower design almost all companies have chosen for robot vacuums lately, the S1 has a giant retro tower look to it. Despite my brand loyalty, the interesting design and the vacuum’s decent performance, however, I think the Omni S1 Pro isn’t a good buy—there’s a disconnect between the robot Eufy thinks they built and the one I tested. Currently priced at $999 on Kickstarter, the S1 will become available for retail purchase later this spring or early summer at a much higher price.

Unique design, but no unique features

Generally, robot vacuums and mops now come with a dock and tower that will refill the clean water, empty the dirty water and vacuum, and clean the mop. These towers are impossible to ignore due to size, but brands generally try to make them generic-looking enough so they’ll blend into the landscape of the room around them. Eufy went a different way with the S1. The tower is tall enough you might mistake it for a stick vacuum, and bears the word “MACH” right on the front, which is also the name of the app. Made of molded transparent black plastic, the contents of the tower are veiled, but only barely. While it’s likely made of the same materials as other brands, which are also molded plastic, the see-through plastic occasionally looks cheap. Despite the vertical size, the tower also doesn’t take up much less horizontal space than other robots have. The footprint is about the same, but you can’t tuck this under tables and counters as easily. 

The robot itself is like a lot of other modern robot vacuums, with a roller, rotating sweeping brushes and mop brushes—and to its credit, Eufy ships the S1 Pro with plenty of replacement parts, including extra rollers, brushes and filters. But Eufy has promoted this robot as a premium floorbot, with a premium price. In the marketing for the robot, you routinely see words like “groundbreaking” used. In fact, the marketing materials used to say  “The World’s First Floor-Washing Robot Vacuum with All-in-One Station” until I asked what was different from other floor-washing robots, since they’re pretty common now. The language disappeared from Kickstarter but remains on the Eufy website. The problem is, it’s not groundbreaking: While this robot was being developed, floor washing robots became routine, and the technology surpassed what this robot offers, with other brands offering extending brushes and mops, on board video, voice assistants and direct connection to water lines. While the S1 includes a lot of features I like on other robots—like a place for cleaning solution built into the tower, and an easy way to divide and merge rooms in the app—most of the other premium robots have that, too. 

Easy installation, and a well-designed app

Most robots come ready to roll out of the box, and the S1 isn’t any different. After unboxing, it just needed to be filled with water and have a few brushes popped into places. In the case of many robot mop combos, you can add cleaning solution to the clean water, but recently, models like Roborock have added a bay for cleaning solution to the dock, so you always have the right amount. As I mentioned, Eufy included this feature, but it relies on Eufy branded cleaning solution in a sealed bottle that you install—to replace it, you’d need to purchase more from Eufy, while other models allow you to choose any solution you want to use. The MACH app is separate from the Eufy Clean app, and I’ve previously talked about how every one of Eufy’s products uses a different app (Clean, Security, Pet, etc), so this was just one more to add to the bunch. Still, it’s a good app, and has the same user interface as most brands. A map is made using LiDAR the first time the robot goes out, and then you can break it into rooms, dividing and merging spaces as you like and naming them. Of all the robots I’ve tested, the S1 mapped the space better than any other (and I’ve had six or seven robots map the same space).

One aspect I did really like was that you can set cleaning preferences per room, instead of doing so per run, and you can also set a priority of rooms rather than let the robot decide. If you want to wash the kitchen floor multiple times but the hallway only once, you can, and you can ask the bot to always clean the bathroom last. The app has schedules, and the same general settings you expect, including the remote control. The app lacks two features I’m seeing in many robots these days: pin and go, or “spot cleaning,” and onboard video. While I don’t think video is all that useful, it’s still a feature you’d get in other models. Pin and go is actually very useful—you can just drop a pin on your map and the robot cleans that spot specifically. 

The S1 is just okay

As a floor cleaner, the S1 does an okay job. This is how I felt about the Eufy X10 Pro Omni I reviewed a few months ago. It vacuumed up a lot of debris on the floor, but after three passes on my kitchen had missed a deliberately left onion peel in the dead center of the floor. The S1 does not hug the wall; it lacks those extending arms other models now offer. As a mop, it certainly cleaned up surface level spills, but the rotating brushes did not dig into grime at all, leaving the white tile looking dirty. On 11 ventures out, I’d let the Eufy run at max settings, the highest level of suction and mopping, going over each space two times. In each instance, I would then ask my Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra to make a single run afterwards, and I could watch it grab everything the S1 missed. It happened over and over. 

Bottom line: there are better robots for the price

Earlier this week, I spoke with Eric Villines, Head of Global Communications at Anker about the S1 launch and why they chose Kickstarter. I appreciated how proud the team at Anker seemed to be about the way the Eufy encourages innovation, working like an incubator with at least half the staff devoted to research and development. When teams produce great concepts, crowdfunding allows Eufy to find innovative ways to move those products forward. One of the reasons they like crowdfunding for products like the S1 is that it creates a long runway of feedback from enthusiasts and funders, which Villines said usually impacts the products a lot before launch. 

To be clear, Eufy doesn’t make bad robot vacuums; they work just fine. But they seem to only work fine—not great. The S1 is positioned as a premium robot vacuum, but for the current $999 price, i think you can do better with the Roborock S8 Pro, at the same price. When the S1 moves to its full retail price in the mid-$1000 range, I think you’d do better with the Roborock S8  Maxv Ultra at $1799. I am also eagerly awaiting the new S10 from Switchbot; if I were shopping for a robot vacuum right now, I’d wait for that to launch, since Switchbot has already made a really great vacuum before.

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