The Neabot NoMo N2 is a cheaper alternative to the very good Neabot Q11 which I tested last year. Right now it is being sold for $339.99 on Amazon, which is $60 off its normal MSRP of $399.99. After having used it for a few months, which included waiting for a firmware update to fix the mop, I am ready to give a verdict.
|Max Suction Power||2700Pa|
|Charging time||6 hours|
|Storage capacity||External dustbin 2.8L - Internal dustbin: 300ML|
|Dimensions Robovac||Height: 3.42" (8.42cm) Width: 13.58" (34.5cm)|
|Dimensions Dustbin port||Height: 12.59" (32cm) Width: 16.14" (41cm) Depth: 10.62" (27cm)|
|Smarthome support||Neabot app, Amazon Alexa|
Before we start, it's best to address some confusion, as the Amazon website states that this has an MSRP of $599.99 while the official Neabot website has it down for $399.99 with no sales or discounts applied, so we are going to go off the official website and say this has an MSRP of $399.99 which makes it $200 cheaper than the Q11.
The company, which is also called Neabot, sent me the N2 in a big box because it is bundled with the dustbin charging port which is quite a bit smaller than the Q11's port. The charging dock is 27cm deep, 41cm wide, with a height of 32cm. It also houses the trash bag, of which two are included in the box. The top lid, which is plastic, is not removable but opens back enough for maximum access to the trash bag which can be inserted or removed by sliding the cardboard piece in or out of the housing.
In the box
- Self-emptying dustbin
- Neabot NoMo N2
- User guide (English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese)
- Side sweepers x2
- Dust bag x2
- Cleaning brush (in the lid of the external Neabot dustbin)
- Hepa filter x2 (one is already fitted)
- Mop support x1 and cloth x2
- Disposable mop cloth x10
The first thing you might notice, is how the self-emptying dustbin has a matte finish and the Neabot N2 is glossy, although it's not entirely off-putting thanks to a small LED screen giving a sort of glossy spot on the dustbin when it isn't displaying something, it does seem to be an odd design choice not to have them both in the same style. The Q11 has a glossy white finish on the vacuum and dustbin.
The glossy finish means the Neabot is a fingerprint magnet, and thanks to the black color, every spec of dust is visible on it in normal lighting conditions.
The inclusion of an LED screen seems odd because it only displays information for a short while and is off for most of the time. The official site does not have any info on it other than the above image, so to me, it seems more like a gimmick than something that is actually functional.
On the bottom of the Neabot, you can secure one side sweeper and a removable mop attachment with a cloth that is attached by two small pouches on one end and Velcro patches on the other. Flipping the Neabot over, you have access to the top buttons and the dust/water tank. The water tank has a capacity of 250ml which is 50ml less than the Q11, but more than enough for two full cleans of my ground floor.
First of all, you will have to download the Neabot app, which you can look for on the Apple App Store or Google Play, or scan the QR code on the Quick Start card that is included in the box. The Neabot turns on if you dock it to the charge port, or if you hold down the standby button for five seconds. Once you have the app installed on your phone, you need to choose which model you have and the app will guide you through connecting it to your Wi-Fi. I already had the app set up for the Q11 so for me, it was just about adding an additional Neabot. The app requires you to be on the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi because the Neabot does not support being connected to the 5GHz band.
As with the Q11, the different attachments slide into place on the same side as the charge ports, which means that if you need to access it to refill the water tank, you have to physically pull it away from the charging dock and whip it around to access the tank. The mop does not have to be attached for the Neabot to function, it will simply disable mopping mode if the mop attachment is not detected. The dust/water tank cannot be slid back into place without pressing down the button, which locks it into position. The mop also clicks into place and can be inserted while the Neabot is flat on the floor. A welcome change here is that the mop can be removed with one hand, as the left and right buttons to disengage it are closer together on the front center of the mop.
One thing I discovered by accident is that you can simply push the robovac back onto the charging ports after managing the water tank, it will start recharging again; previously I used the app to command it to dock with the self-emptying dustbin thinking this would be necessary.
Once you are paired up and you have enough charge, you can simply tap Go in the app to do a Total clean, which is the default setting. This utilizes both the vacuum and the optional mopping mode.
As you can see with the above images, it takes the Neabot around 30 minutes to clean the ground floor of my house, which is around 5 minutes quicker than the Q11 takes to do the same floor area. Moving back to the app, the first image shows the total number of devices in the Home, tapping on "NomoN2" will navigate to the cleaning management.
Upon first use, it will completely map the cleaning area, and on tapping the top-right icon next to the chat bubble (which are robot messages) you can choose "More Functions" and then "Map Management". This displays each cleaning task as a map and gives you the opportunity to bookmark it. This is useful if you have multiple levels in your house, so you can select which floor map to use.
The Neabot also has a manual remote control function which can enable you to use it for spot cleaning, or chasing pets. You can also find the "Cleaning Plan" just off the More Functions fly-out, which then has a different "Scheduled Cleaning" name once opened. The Neabot comes with several language packs; aside from English, you will find French, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Vietnamese all supported. My contact told me they are continually expanding language support.
The app itself has been updated since I last reviewed the Q11 and a few of the terms were translated into better English, but things like having "Cleaning Plan" as a menu option and then calling it "Scheduled Cleaning" on the page does not help. Thankfully this problem is limited to only a few pages that have different names than their menu choice.
Like the Q11, the N2 has an "obstacle avoidance" system. Rather than just bashing into table legs and chairs, it stops short of these obstacles and moves forward or around them. The system appears to be similar to the Q11 in which it will either completely try to avoid curtains, leaving a sort of jagged path around them in the cleaning record, or drive through them as if they aren't there, which can cause it to get stuck on my mosquito netting screen door.
It has a tougher time with certain chair legs. The left image is how I found it one morning, stuck. It had only just started the cleaning program too. The right image shows it stuck under my coffee table over a dark patch in the pattern which I will discuss a bit later.
If you have a few places where it tends to get stuck, you can set up restricted areas right from the start page of the Neabot, just tap the left icon on the populated map, when tapped on it will say "Set No-Go Area"; as you can see, some of the translations still need a bit more work.
The N2 detects which type of floor it is on, and even separated my ground floor areas, with yellow being the kitchen/diner and the blue area being my office/lounge area. It deploys the mop and lowest suction level on hard floors such as my stone kitchen tiles and wooden or laminated floors, you can see above that it actually looks like it is cleaning. However, three weeks after I received this unit, the mop stopped working, and it wasn't until a week before Christmas that a firmware update fixed it.
Neabot gave the below as the changelog for the most recent firmware update.
N2 firmware of 0.2.7_2578：
- Abnormal operation of the water pump after sleep mode
- Solved the problem that the robot came out and returned to the charging base again after the dust collection was done
- Reduced the error reporting for radar being stuck or entangled
- Adjusted the water dispensing amount of each mode during mopping
- Fixed the problem of reporting that dust collection is finished when it was only halfway through
I am now just over three weeks on from that firmware update and all is still working normally. If I disable the mop, it will dry clean, if I enable it, it mops non-carpeted floors, which is what we want.
Under my coffee table, I have a medium pile rug which the Neabot cleans thoroughly well and more often than not, it manages to navigate past a spot on the rug near the coffee table leg which is black, where other robot vacuums have stopped dead and detected as a drop, triggered by the "cliff sensor". This is a well-known problem of robot vacuums, black carpet, black lines, or black streaks as in my case, in carpets are mostly detected as drops. For some reason, the N2 has this problem sometimes, while the Q11 does not. I've found it like that only a few times, but ideally, you don't want to find it in a false drop state at all.
In the app itself to the left and right of the map, you can set the restricted areas (Set No-Go Area), Water Volume, and Suction Power. The N2 boasts three suction levels with the maximum 2700Pa for carpets and a default medium volume level for water, which can also be turned off completely. The app also allows you to turn off dustbin collection since that is quite loud at 89dB. If you opt for turning that off, the Neabot reverts to the 300ml internal dustbin management and you will get an alert in "Robot messages" when that needs emptying.
The charging dock has a radio beacon so that the Neabot can find its way back home to recharge. In my experience, it has never failed to find the charging dock, but you are going to want to ensure it is in a place where you have a bit of free space around it. This is also suggested in the manual.
As previously mentioned, Total Clean is the default setting. On tapping Go, it will just clean the entire area, and will automatically map any new area it encounters. The app has received some translation updates so it's worthwhile including them again with the updated names.
Zone Cleaning lets you split the generated map into zones, as you can see from the above second image, I split my ground floor into three zones, so I could tell the Neabot to just clean the Kitchen, or Living Room while I am working in the Office.
There's also a Room setting, which is the automatically generated partitions. Remember when I said that the Neabot automatically split my ground floor into a yellow and blue area on the map? These are those partitions, and although I am not sure how they work, I am guessing that it detects the difference between my stone kitchen tiles and wood finish laminated floor. It's possible to further split partitions, but for some reason, I am unable to manage Partition 1, which I wanted to split into two rooms but it keeps defaulting back to Partition 1 in the editing mode.
Finally, there is Spot Clean, which appears to be a default for localized cleansing of spills or whatever, this is a small area on the map that you can move to wherever needs cleaning and it can't be adjusted in size. It looks to be around two square meters.
One major difference between the N2 and the Q11 that I have found is that it continually fails to get up close and personal with walls, leaving behind crumbs and gunk that the Q11 has no problem with. I suspect this has to do with overly protective obstacle avoidance since it never really closes in on walls and with only one sweeper, where other models have might have two, more care needs to be taken that it will sweep up crumbs with one pass. I manually set a Spot Clean on this area again to see if it was an anomaly, but it sailed right past the crumbs leaving them where they were.
It's still obvious to me that these robot vacuums are still quite new to the market, not only are they still finding a good price point (the N2 started off at $599.99) but the app is continually having to be updated along with the firmware too. On Amazon it is claimed that the Neabot can be paired with Google Assistant (Google Home) but I have not been able to do this, my contact told me that Google Assistant support would arrive before the end of the year but it seems that Google Assistant compatibility has now been removed from the official Neabot product page. Alexa pairing is already available, but I do not have any Alexa devices to test this with. Thankfully, Neabot has now added digital user guides to its official website for all of its Neabots.
However, as with all robovacs, they need a little help too sometimes. As you can see in the above image, I make the Kitchen Neabot-friendly before I go to bed. It's up to you, of course, but I like having the entire space under my Kitchen island cleaned, not just parts of it.
I don't really understand why this model is $200 cheaper with seemingly the only difference being the lesser max suction (4000Pa vs 2700Pa) but it's clear the LiDar system and obstacle avoidance also works differently than the Q11 and might need further tweaking, hopefully with just firmware updates it can be even better. With most premium to mid-range options costing around the $500 mark, you can't go wrong with a price tag of $399, especially with the added bonus of the self-emptying dustbin. In this case, it's not optional to buy without the self-emptying dustbin, but I have to say I do enjoy not ever having to empty the internal dustbin every few days.
If you find the Q11 too expensive, this is definitely a good alternative.
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