Review: Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner (video)

Thanks to Philips for sending this Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner (FC8822/01) for review. With our hectic lifestyle, a robot vacuum cleaner can really help us to become a little lazy. Don’t you think so?

One of my criteria for robot vacuum is definitely the ease of use. I really don’t want to go through a thick manual to get it to work because basically, you just need someone (or something) to clean the house or room, right?

Other criteria include good battery life, cleaning efficiency and automatic docking (to charge up).

Looking through at the specs of this Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner, it has all the basic features that I wanted.

Technical Specs

Performance

  • Battery type: Li-Ion
  • Battery voltage: 14.8  V
  • Charging time: 4  hour(s)
  • Runtime: 120  minute(s)
  • Sound power level: 63.4  dB

Usability

  • Dust sensor: Yes
  • Smart detection system: 25 sensors
  • Threshold climbing: 15  mm
  • Cleaning modes: 4
  • Infrared sensors: Yes
  • Weekly scheduling: Yes
  • Types of Floors
    • Carpet
    • Hardfloor

Filtration

  • Dust capacity: 0.4  L

Sustainability

  • Stand-by power consumption: 0.65  W

Design specifications

  • Deco Ring: Bright Chrome, High Gloss Ring, electroplated

Nozzles and accessories

  • Accessories included
    • AC power adaptor
    • 1 x Virtual wall
  • Other accessories 
    • 1 x Filter
    • Base Station
    • Side brushes (1 pair)
    • Dry mop
    • Remote control

Weight and dimensions

  • Dimensions of product (LxWxH): 80 x 330  mm
  • Weight of product: 1.95  kg
  • Weight incl. packaging: 4.0  kg

However, as a savvy consumer, you know that specs are just specs. What is important is the actual performance of this robot vacuum cleaner.

Here is my review of the Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner FC8822/01

First Impression

It is very basic. If you look around, you know that many other brands are having cameras on board to map the house, determine the best way to clean it.

This robot vacuum cleaner has none of these. Instead, it uses the good old sensors and programs (4 cleaning modes) to find its way.

Sometimes less is more. Price-wise, it is affordable (in my opinion). Check out my unboxing video.

Here are some close-ups of the Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner.

Main Body

These are some of the sensors to find the docking station and to avoid hitting something.

This is the top panel where information is shown when it powers on.

From left, these are the 4 modes:-

From left to right:

  • Spiral mode indicator
  • Wall-following mode indicator
  • Zigzag pattern mode indicator
  • Random mode indicator

The home icon is the Docking icon. And lastly, the fan icon shows the fan speed.

These two points are the contact points for the docking station. Once docked properly, the vacuum cleaner will get charged.

This is how it looks without the top panel cover. Notice that there is a handle? It is the handle of the dust container lid.

This is the motor (after removing the container), the heart of the vacuum cleaner.

A close-up of the motor.

This is the dust container.

When I flipped it over, you can see the filter inside.

This is how it looks when I dismantle the filter from the container.

This is the side brushes.

When installed, it will look like this. From the same picture, you can also see the power on/off switch.

This is the TriActive XL Nozzle. In my opinion, the most important feature on this robot as it guides, together with the side brushes, the dust to the vacuum.

A close up of the nozzle. BTW, it is easy to detach this nozzle for maintenance.

The view from the back.

Accessories

This is the remote control. You can use it to “home” the robot (to the docking station). You can also use it to control the robot manually (using the arrow keys).

This is the docking station.

On the top, it shows the control panel.

This is the back of the docking station. The 3M sticker is for you to stick it to the wall so that it will not move when the robot tries to dock.

This is the dry wipe holder. This is one of the unique features of the vacuum cleaner. You can attach dry wipe to it.

This is the back where you can see 4 fixation blocks for dry wipes.

This is the Invisible Wall (FC8822). I am glad that it comes with it. As the name implies, it creates an invisible wall for the robot vacuum cleaner.

Place it across the room, the robot’s movement will be limited by it.

There is the back of the Invisible Wall showing the battery compartment.

You will need 4 AA size batteries to operate it.

It has just one simple power on/off slider switch. The red light will only turn on when it is trying to limit the robot.

Usage

Using the robot vacuum cleaner for the first time is very easy. Just switch on the robot and press the Start/Stop button once. You can press it on the robot vacuum cleaner itself or you can use the remote control.

That is it! It will start to go to whichever place it can go. You can sit back and relax. Once it encounters low battery (battery life is about 2 hours), it will go back to the docking station automatically and recharge.

For the more technical part. When you press start, it is in automatic mode by default. With this mode, all the sensors will be working to determine the best way the robot vacuum cleaner can clean the area. It utilizes the 4 modes (mentioned above) to clean the area and also determines the fan speed after getting feedback from the dust sensor.

Here is the actual description from the official Philips product page.

  1. With 6 infrared and dust sensors with a turbo function, it avoids walls, lamps, cables and recognizes area with the most dust accumulation to ensure thorough and intensive cleaning without your interference.
  1. With a 120 minute operating time, you can schedule your cleanings to ensure spick and span floors even when you’re not home!
  1. TriActive XL nozzle cleans double the area in one stroke, making cleaning two times faster. A 3-step cleaning system with dry mopping function allows the nozzle to pick up even the finest dirt and dust.
  1. The 4 cleaning modes make it adaptable in any environment be it a small or large space with a Smart Detection System that combines smart chips, 25 sensors, gyroscope and accelerometer allowing it to clean on its own and pick an optimal cleaning strategy to get your home clean as fast as possible.

Does it work?

I think this is the most important question. In my house, I have a thick carpet and many obstacles (a chest, chairs and other small items).

Check out this video.

My biggest concern is the carpet as it is very thick. Thankfully, it is able to overcome it without issues.

After trying a few times, from my observation, it has difficulty to maneuver over obstacles if they are placed too close together. For example, by looking at them, you think that it can fit the robot vacuum cleaner. In actual fact, the sensors will be working vigorously to avoid them or to move forward. So, it might cause the robot vacuum cleaner to keep moving forward or backward to try to go inside the constraint space.

To use it effectively, you will need to ensure that there is big space for it to roam freely. This is the fact for most (if not all) robot vacuum cleaners.

In terms of efficiency, the side brushes did a good job to sweep the dust inwards and together with the TriActive XL nozzle, it guides the dust to the vacuum.

There is no way to judge the movement of the robot as it moves randomly. In one case, it did not go inside a room to clean it and returns to its docking station (due to low battery).

In another case, it simply does not want to venture out of an area and if it is “trapped” by some small space, it is really frustrating to watch how it goes back and forth, left and right, round and round, to get out of it.

BTW, you can use the remote to set the robot to clean the area for 60, 45 or 30 minutes. Once the time is up, it will return to the docking station. If you don’t want it to return to the docking station after completion, just press the timer button twice and the “home” icon on the robot will disappear. This indicates that it will not return to home after completion of the job.

You can also set the robot vacuum cleaner to clean the house at a specific time/day. These are the programs available: –

  • Cleaning every day
  • Cleaning on weekdays
  • Cleaning on 2 consecutive days
  • Cleaning 1 day a week

When you have set the program and the robot is in standby mode with its battery fully charged, it will start cleaning at the programmed time on the programmed day or days.

I tried setting it. It is very “old school”. There is no app. You will need to set it at the docking station. I tried and it works. So, now, the robot will clean the house every day (my settings) at a timing that I determine.

Conclusion

Pro

You want a fuss-free robot to clean the house, this is the robot you are looking for. I find that it is very simple to use. Just press start and it will perform its job unsupervised.

  • Sound wise, it is not too loud.
  • Cleaning wise, I can only say that it is subjective because sometimes, it misses some spots.
  • Maintenance wise, it has just a container. Just dispose the content and make sure that you check and clean the sensors periodically to avoid malfunction.
  • Price wise, it is affordable (if you compare many branded robots in the market).

Con

  • It lacks the ability to “remember” the docking station. It took forever to return to the docking station if you press the home button when it is very far away from it.
  • The side brushes are great but it gets entangled when the robot is stuck somewhere. This is what happened to me while doing this review. Thankfully, it is replaceable and it does not degrades the performance.
  • It will be messy to clear the dust container and you will contact with the dust and whatever that is sucked into it.

Overall, a simple and fast product. The learning curve is zero if you just want to clean the house automatically. The homing feature can be improved as it is now taking a long time to return to dock.

To buy this product, click the link below (Lazada)

Click Here to Check Out Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner FC8822/01

Once again, thank you, Philips, for supplying the robot for review. I have good news for my readers. I am going to give away one Philips SmartPro Active Robot Vacuum Cleaner FC8822/01 (worth S$799) in the coming days. If you do not want to miss out, do subscribe to my mailing list 🙂 . If you have subscribed, thank you very much. You will be hearing from me soon.

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