Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner review: smartly cleans smart homes

A smart home cleaner for smart homes

It’s no secret that Realme has massive followership in India and the company’s booming smartphone business has allowed the brand to diversify into other product categories too. In fact, having gained a strong foothold in the Indian smartphone market, the brand is now building up a reputation in the IoT segment as well and has a handful of products under its belt, including smart bulbs, weighing scales, air purifiers, etc. More recently, the company added the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner to its ever-growing smart home range, which hopes to dust up all your cleaning woes with the press of a button. So, is Realme’s latest worth a second look? Let’s find out in this review. 

The lowdown 

  • The Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner comes packaged in a big, white cardboard box. Inside, the device comes with a host of accessories that’ll help you get it up and running in a jiffy. To that note, the device ships with a cleaning tool, two articulating side brushes, a detachable dustbin with a HEPA filter, an additional HEPA filter, a charging base, and a wall adapter. 
  • Unfortunately, my review unit didn’t ship with the optional mopping kit. For the uninitiated, the wet mopping kit offers a separate 300ml electric water tank that can mop and vacuum the floor simultaneously. That said, I have been informed by the company that the retail units for the TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner will offer the mopping kit, free of charge, with every order. 
  • As someone who has never used a robot vacuum cleaner, I will admit, the setup process can seem intimidating. That said, you do get a handy guidebook with the retail packaging which has insights on all the parts as well as the steps required to assemble the product. To that note, there are neatly contoured indents to affix the articulating side brushes. The dustbin, as well as the main brush, can be accessed by pressing against their respective buckles. In doing so, you will be able to detach the aforementioned components from the vacuum to perform routine maintenance. 
  • Coming to the design of the vacuum itself, the Realme Robot Vacuum looks the part of other smart IoT robot cleaners. To that note, the unit resembles a giant hockey puck of sorts and employs a retractable bumper towards the front which cushions it against accidental bumps and dings. Towards the top, the Realme Robot Vacuum cleaner houses a LiDAR collision detection sensor that creates an optimal cleaning path for the robot and ensures that the unit is operational even when it’s dark. You’ll also find two physical toggles adjacent to the LiDAR array comprising a power and a home button. The former can be used to turn the vacuum cleaner on or off, whereas the latter allows users to set the robot cleaner in ‘recharge’ mode. 
  • Coming to the meat of the matter, the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum cleaner is a fantastic tool to rid yourself of your household cleaning chores. I was particularly impressed with how well the cleaner mapped the different rooms at my place. Now, the process isn’t as seamless as I’d like it to be and on multiple occasions, the unit wedged itself into a tight corner with no wiggle room to roll out on its own. Now, to Realme’s credit, your experience could vary drastically depending on the make of your rooms, or the furniture you’re using. But, I found myself digging the robot cleaner out from under the floating shelves in my living room on more than one occasion. Other than that, I didn’t face any major mishaps whilst mapping my house with the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum cleaner. In fact, once I’d set up the charging/docking station and paired the device to my phone, the cleaner immediately sprung to action and started navigating carefully through the treacherous waters of my living room. The unit rarely bumped into the furniture and was able to find its way around any obstacles seamlessly. 
  • While we’re on the subject of mapping and navigation, you should pick up any small objects (for instance, a pair of slippers or a plush doormat) from the floor whilst the device is doing its rounds. Moreover, while you can block access to any room by closing the doors, you can also create virtual no-go zones in the companion app, ensuring the device doesn’t go exploring on its own. 
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  • Speaking of which, let’s talk about the Realme Link companion app that allows users to tweak various settings of the TechLife vacuum cleaner. First and foremost, the app is available for both Android and iOS users, which is great. Once in the app, you’ll be greeted with the map of your room front and centre. You’ll also notice an option to edit the restricted zones here. Toggling the feature will allow you to create boxes around areas that you don’t want the vacuum cleaner to access. Furthermore, towards the bottom, you’ll find four handy quick-action toggles including buttons to start/pause the cleaning, send the vacuum to its charging bay to refuel its battery pack, adjust the suction power, and access a list of more intricate settings. 
  • Diving deeper into the settings tab, you will find a host of options that will make your room-cleaning process more autonomous. To that note, you can set up cleaning schedules ahead of time. In doing so, the vacuum will automatically start tidying up your place without requiring any further human intervention. You can also change the mopping style used by the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum cleaner from here. By default, the vacuum is set to follow an S-shaped path, which saves power, however, opting for a Y-shaped path will offer a better cleaning effect. The detailed settings tab also highlights the health of various components of the Robot Vacuum cleaner, including the HEPA filter, the side brushes, and the main brush. 
  • By now, you must be wondering if the Robot Vacuum cleaner does a good job at cleaning the rooms or not. Well, the answer to that isn’t as black and white as I’d like it to be. You see, the Robot Vacuum cleaner does sweep the floor quite well and is a godsend for anyone who has a pet that sheds a lot of hair. The device comfortably picks up tiny dust particles too and even scrapes off any dirt on your carpet, or thin doormats. That said, the cleaner has a hard time picking up plastic-y bits, like say, a candy wrapper. Furthermore, despite having two articulating side brushes, I noticed that the device would seldom clean the edges of a room properly. And, if you do plan on using the full 3,000pa suction power of the vacuum cleaner, then you best have a pair of noise-cancelling headphones at your disposal as the unit gets quite loud. 
  • As for the battery backup, the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner ships with a 5,200mAh cell that should last you a good while. In fact, the cleaner tidied up my drawing room and living room (a task which took around 1.5 hours) with plenty more juice still in the tank. That said, the device takes a while to refuel completely and you will have to wait a good five-six hours before the unit reaches full charge. 

Verdict

The Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner retails for Rs 22,999 on various e-commerce portals. Now, the device isn’t perfect and you might find yourself pulling it out from under a table, or a sofa every once in a while. Furthermore, the unit requires routine maintenance and you’ll have to scrub out any hair/dirt from the brushes, as well as empty the dustbin attached to the robot frequently too. 

On the bright side, the vacuum cleaner does its job rather well and comes loaded to the brim with a plethora of features that can be accessed via the company’s user-friendly Realme Link app. Moreover, the brand is even bundling a mopping kit with the device, ensuring your floors remain squeaky clean. Coupled with the unit’s beefy battery pack and its relatively competitive pricing, the Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner is – at least in my books – a sound investment. 

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5 

Pros: 

  • Cleans the floors well 
  • User-friendly, feature-rich companion app 
  • Good battery life

Cons: 

  • Cannot clean the edges of a room
  • Charges slowly 
  • Some navigation and mapping issues need ironing out