Dyson 360 Eye review: The ultimate robot vacuum
Few of us actually enjoy vacuuming, which is why the idea of a robot cleaner is such an appealing one. Unfortunately, the reality hasn’t yet lived up to that promise, with most robot vacuum cleaners being little more than moving dusters. With the 360 Eye, however, Dyson thinks it’s managed to strike a far better balance, creating a robot that’s finally capable of doing the bulk of your household hoovering – and without you lifting a finger.
Build quality and size
One of the first things I noticed about the 360 Eye is that it’s a little taller than most other robot vacuums, but has a smaller overall footprint. The added height gives it a more optimised shape for Dyson’s cyclone technology, while the smaller size makes it easier for the 360 Eye to get into tight gaps and spaces.
The other big change from other robotic cleaners I’ve seen is that it has tank track treads at the front, making it much less likely to get trapped on a bit of furniture than its wheel-based rivals. The track treads also help it cope with a wider variety of surfaces, and my review sample had no problems whatsoever moving between carpet and bare floorboards.
Build quality is everything I’ve come to expect from Dyson: the 360 Eye feels tough and rugged. Everything from its sleek body to the neat white power supply oozes quality: this is certainly a robot that means business.
Setting it up is incredibly easy. If you really just want to get going, you fold down the A4-sized docking station, plug in the power (which, quite neatly, can connect to either side of the dock), drop your robot on it and, once it’s charged, hit the big Go button on top. It really is as simple as that.
Before you start a clean, you may need to do a little bit of tidying up, as the 360 Eye has all of the same limitations as a regular vacuum cleaner. That means thin rugs, discarded clothing and thin wires can all be sucked up, blocking the vacuum cleaner and stopping it from doing its job. Additionally, the cleaner needs light to see where it’s going and a clean run out of where it’s stored to start cleaning, so it’s best to operate it during the day and think carefully about where you put the dock.
With my first attempt, I had the dock between a sofa and a chair, which meant that the 360 Eye couldn’t make its way into the middle of the living room and only ended up cleaning a tiny portion of the room. Moving the dock into a less cluttered area fixed these issues. If these things feel a little restrictive, they’re really not – it can’t work miracles, after all, and the essential rule is that whatever you’d have to move when doing a manual clean has to be moved for the robot to do its job.
Of course, the robot can’t climb stairs, so you’ll need to carry it to different locations if your accommodation is on multiple levels. Fortunately, its small size and the lightweight dock makes this easy: if you’re cleaning a small-ish room, you can just ditch the dock and carry the vacuum on its own.
Continues on page 2: Cleaning performance, battery life, maintenance and verdict