The Xiaomi Smarter Living event for 2023 brought to the fold different products that would help enhance your productivity at home and get you ready for the outside world, all the while making sure you’re breathing clean air. For 2023, Xiaomi introduced the Smart Air Purifier 4 series, Smart TV X Pro series, the Beard Trimmer 2C (along with a Grooming Kit) and the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i. It’s the latter product that we're here to talk about today.
Is a robot vacuum cleaner a necessity or just an indulgence? During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have managed household cleaning chores ourselves. During that time, as many people have told me, a robot vacuum cleaner was a lifesaver as it helped them save time in the morning and get ready on time for their daily Zoom meetings.
The Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i sits alongside the more expensive Robot Vacuum-Mop 2 Pro in Xiaomi’s portfolio. It is designed for smaller rooms and for a more palpable entry into the world of robot vacuum cleaners. It’s a disc-shaped device that can easily roll under my bed, sofas and tables. It isn’t so heavy. So you can pick it up and flip it over when needed.
It’s powered by a 2,600mAh battery pack (good for up to 100 minutes of clean time) and works in areas up to 1,200 sq ft. Furthermore, its body can hold up to 450ml of dust and houses a 270ml electronically controlled water tank. It has a strong motor (capable of 2,200 Pa suction output), a new gyroscope, and an optical sensor-aided navigation system. Last, but not least, it has 25 high-precision sensors for optimal cleaning, including wall and docking sensors.
The Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i comes with a main brush, a side brush, a dust compartment filter, and a mop pad.
The device, at just 81.3mm in height, is compact and offers three cleaning modes - Vacuum, Vacuum & Mop, and Mop. I’ve been using it for just over 10 days and I am quite impressed. I once read a quote by Jeff Ocaya that read, “The path to success is not a straight line, but a journey through waves and tides. It's up to us to steer the course”. I think this sums up the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i.
The Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i offers zig-zag cleaning and that’s how it conquers most of the room. It’s intelligent enough to figure out where the wall is and manoeuvre itself around a chair’s legs. The problem is that some obstacles are a tad bit difficult to overcome for the robot.
Have a carpet somewhere in the room? There’s every chance the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i might get tangled in the knots that you find at either ends of the carpet. In such a case, you will have to physically untangle the machine. A lot of thick cables on the floor? Again, the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i may try and unsuccessfully go over it and turn around. Have a big backpack resting against the side of the table? The Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i may pick it up and carry it around the room while it cleans.
Saying that, for the most part, the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i did its job as intended. Let me list some of the goodness that comes with the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i:
- Easy to install the mop
- Easy setup through the Xiaomi Home app
- Good mopping action
- A large dust tank that needs emptying every few days
- Easy to clean
Using the Xiaomi Home app (available on both Android and iOS) to control the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i is a breeze. Xiaomi has simplified it so that you spend less time configuring it and more time on your other chores. At the top is a status bar that lists the area, duration and battery level. Then there is a map of the room selected. Below that are the controls for the three modes - vacuum, vacuum & mop and mop - and the levels of the fan. There’s even a silent mode, if you need to take a work call while the robot vacuum cleaner is running in the background.
Furthermore, one can check the robot vacuum cleaners cleaning history, adjust the volume and even schedule a cleanup (or a repeat cleanup). The Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i can also be controlled via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. They’re both relatively easy to set up.
It’s a great entry point into the world of robot vacuum cleaners, no doubt. What the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i does is take the pressure off having to spend a certain amount of time in the morning, cleaning and mopping every room.
But, to be very frank, the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i is for a very specific consumer here in India. It’s for those who have to get up early, and leave the house early (or attend early morning work calls from home) and don’t have the time or energy to get up that half hour early and clean the house.
That said, for those consumers that fit into the target audience and don’t want to spend a whole lot (there aren’t many options available in the market), the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i should be on top of their list. It isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done in the end. At ₹16,999, the Robot Vacuum-Mop 2i is cute, capable of doing the job at hand, and has a robust battery capacity. You don’t have to worry about it running out of juice in the middle of a clean-up, unless you have a gigantic house.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist