Roomba 860 Review:There is a new Roomba on the market. It can lead to confusion. It’s not exactly ‘new’ in terms of technology, but it offers a number of reasons to pass. This is mainly due to the lower price point than other 800 series robots.
While the Roomba 980 (my review here) shook the game with new technology and – usually – WiFi app control, the Roomba 860 is focused on placing last year in the middle price range of robotic owners.
In this review I will cover the most important features (most of which are the same as other 800 series bots) and mark the pros and cons. Feel free to beat down if this is what you are looking for. Finally, I will propose a number of alternatives in a comparable price range to consider.
1 Key Features of the Roomba 860
2 for – (good) things that really come true
3 cons – (bad) things I wanted to improve
4 What is the difference between 860 vs 870 vs 880?
5 Roomba 860 alternatives to consider
6 Final Tasks – Is the 860 a good value?
Key Features of the Roomba 860
Here are some of the most important “outlets” I identified for the Roomba 860:
Less maintenance: In general, the 800 series requires significantly less regular maintenance compared with previous series (such as 600 and 700). Slowly but surely Roomba becomes a true “hands free” robot. There are still filters, brushes, empty trash cans, etc. Changed … when they go out, but generally you do not need to touch the device so much. This is partly due to the following function …
Tangle Free Extractors: Early Roomba’s had a hard time with some litter like pet (or human) hair and various stringy pieces of material. The “wrap-free” extractors were introduced with the 800 Series (860, 870, 880) as an improvement. In practice, it makes a difference to my 800 Series Roomba’s. It is still not a perfect system, that is, you still get tangles with heavy pet hair. Yet it’s a big step over the previous versions.
New AeroForce Cleaning: One of the most important upgrades for the 800 Series is the new patented cleaning technology. It is advertised to be up to 50% more effective in retrieving debris than the previous series. It’s difficult to quantify this in practice, but from the personal experience, the 800 series is definitely better to get rid of debris.
5 times the suction: iRobot advertises a more powerful vacuum “under the hood”. For the most part, this is true.
Extended battery life: The new batteries that come standard in the 800 series are a tier above the older range. The “XLife” lithium packs take a lot longer, so you do not have to replace the battery so much (iRobot cites “twice as much” as compared to the 600 and 700 series).
Extensive Scheduling: Like all Roomba’s, the 860 can be run on a fixed schedule. You can do it on a weekly or daily basis, as needed, at certain times (for example: when you are at work).
Different colors: Roomba comes up with a different color suit each time. The gray is different from the usual monotonous black, so if you have OCD and need your gray robot to fit your gray soul, this is a plus!
Roomba 860 review
Roomba 860 Pros – (Good) things that really come true
Better clean: Generally, the cumulative improvements made the Roomba 860 (and 800 series as a whole) much better. You can clean less often, because the Roomba does a better job for the first time.
Better purification: This corresponds to the previously mentioned “pro”, but the suction power is noticeably more powerful than the previous series. When robot cleaners were out for the first time, they were clearly not equal to the suction of traditional standing vacuum. Today, with bots like the 860, the difference is certainly less strong. It is not entirely unreasonable to expect that robots will fully absorb traditional vacuum cleaners over the next 3 years.
Return to Base: I like these robots to be smart enough to return to the base if they recognize their battery is low. It will go back and dock on its own. There was a lot of time when I had to find my “Roomba 560” or 650, and manually load it on the load.
Attractive pricing: This is undoubtedly the main reason why iRobot decided to release the 860 when it did (March 2016). With the $ 899 Roomba 980 leading the market and the $ 699 880 is still no more expensive than competitors, the 860 deposits at a $ 499 MSRP (available only here). This is a good idea in the series of the Botvac “D” series. Traditionally, Roomba has always led the competition.
Roomba 860 Cons – (bad) things I wanted to improve
Wifi App: It’s still very annoying that iRobot has not made Wi-Fi check available for older series. The Roomba 980 is amazing (see my recent review), partly because it has … but it’s almost double the price! To be honest, a third party company has developed a Thinking Cleaner Faceplate for the 500 and 600 Series (see my version here) and is being developed for a similar device for the 800 Series. In essence, it’s smartify’s of your old Roomba and you can control it through a mobile app.
Limited “Bells and Whistles”: As you can see in my “Differences” table below, the Roomba 860 comes with the smallest “extras”. The core robot is almost identical, but you may find some additional accessories that offer the 870 or 880.
No remote control: one of these extras is the standard remote control at the Roomba 880. It is not a deal breaker for most people, but it may be nice to stop / start your Roomba without having to leave the coach. It looks like a TV remote and does not come with the 860 or 870 model.
No return to base / recharge and resume: This was one of the features I really loved the new Roomba 980. You do not have to manually resume the cleaning cycle. While the 800 Series is smart enough to go home and dock when it’s low on juice, it’s not smart enough to resume where it’s left alone. This means it’s a bit more hands on than the last 900 series.
Still around Randomly: iRobot improved this with the 980, but the 860 still feels like it is running around as it cleans. There is a method of fooling because the technology ensures that every centimeter is thoroughly cleaned, but it can be a bit nervous to look.
Battery Run-Time is about the same: Despite the new batteries, I have not seen a clear difference in terms of the actual runtime for a clean. That is a little disappointing. You would think that battery technology is one of the simpler things you can improve.
Corners Are Still 50/50: One of the most important knocks on Roomba is that their round design makes it harder to make their corners effective. This is one of the main distinctions between the brand Neato Botvac vs Roomba. While I have noticed the 800 series, it’s better to hug the skirts, but still a little less love. It’s a little annoying because this is generally the “hard to get” places to do by hand. Still, if the Roomba is the 95% solution, then this is the 5% I still go.
What is the difference between Roomba 860 vs 870 vs 880?
This is a fairly general question I get. The short answer is: nothing in terms of the device itself. The main differences are the “packages” they enter, ie the accessories.
Depending on your needs, this can compare with a better value instead of purchasing the various accessories separately.
|Roomba 860||Roomba 870||Roomba 880|
|Home Charging Base||1||1||1|
|Extra HEPA Filter||1||1||1|
Roomba 860 Alternatives to consider
If you’re just like me, you’re probably interested in what the other options are in a similar price range. This way I usually make my purchase decisions as soon as I define my personal budget.
You can read my full review, but here are the highlights … This is the top of the line for the 800 series. From this writing it is the “second best” package to buy in function of features immediately after the Roomba 980. As you can see from the table above, the external and additional virtual walls are pretty easy-to-use features. The disadvantage? It’s about $ 175 more expensive overall, but see here for the latest discounts.
I’ve completely reviewed it here, but here are the highlights. The Neato Botvac D80 is after the same target as the 860. The price point is almost identical (check here). The D80 is very similar in terms of performance, with a few exceptions. It is much better to clean the corners because of its unique design. It also has an intuitive touchscreen display that is a bit more user-friendly to communicate (error resolution, etc …). It is also extensively organized and does not contain any Roomba zigzags.
You can read my full reviews here. It starts to feel a bit dated, but the 770 is one of iRobot’s best-selling models of all time. The main differences are that it’s not good to clean debris (no AeroForce 3 Stage Cleaning) and it does not have the nice new wrap-free extractors. In short, it requires a little more maintenance.It completely cheaper than others. Go check this listing for the latest discounts.
Final Roomba 860 Review – Is the Roomba 860 a good value?
I certainly noted some “disadvantages” in this review, but do not be afraid of them. I’m a geek, so I’m pretty critical. Overall, the Roomba is still a great time saver I would not want to live without. The 860 is significant for the older siblings (namely the 600 and 700 series), but you do not have to pay more of a premium.
If you are looking for the best overall value (bang for your money), the 860 is probably the same in the sweet spot. It is available via iRobot on this offer, but it has also been released on Amazon Be sure to check them out here.