iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner
iRobot Roomba 690 is entry level and very affordable robot vacuum cleaner. It is based on the older, but proven iRobot Roomba 650, also very popular robot vacuum. iRobot Roomba 690 is Wi-Fi enabled unit and can be controlled via iRobot's Home App. Also, it is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
The use of Home App is just optional, since the Roomba 690 will do its job automatically after pressing 'Clean' button. However, Home App provides many options that are otherwise unavailable.
iRobot Roomba 690 is designed for cleaning of all floor types, but it does its best on low-pile carpets and hard floors. Medium- and high-pile carpets and area rugs can cause problems due to low clearing between the floor and the bottom of the unit. However, this allows the unit to have very low profile and to be able to clean under most sofas and beds.
To improve cleaning, so-called 'Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head' automatically adjusts its height above the floor depending on the floor type.
Roomba 690's cleaning system is iRobot's patented 3-stage cleaning system which loosens, lifts and sucks in the dirt and debris.
Cleaning system is based on dual multi-surface brushes combined with vacuum suction to clean everything off the floors, including small dirt and dust particles to larger debris, like pets food.
Note: Unit is designed for dry dirt only.
iRobot Roomba uses lithium ion battery which provides maximum runtime of 60 minutes on a single battery charge.
One of the interesting features of Roomba 690 is that when the battery is discharged, unit returns to the charging station to fully recharge it self - which usually takes 3-4 hours, depending on the discharge state and battery condition.
Roomba 690 comes with simpler so-called 'iAdapt Navigation System', which doesn't enable the Roomba 690 to resume the cleaning task after recharging.
iRobot Roomba 890 also comes with 'iAdapt Navigation System' and it also can't recharge and resume cleaning task, however, iRobot Roomba 960 and 980 come with 'iAdapt 2.0 Navigation System', allowing these units to resume cleaning task after recharging. Also, iRobot Roomba 960 and iRobot Roomba 980 are more expensive units.
To improve edge cleaning, Roomba 960 comes with a single specially designed Edge-Sweeping Brush - as the Roomba travels along the walls, Edge-Sweeping Brush picks the dirt and debris and move it under the vacuum, where the dual multi-surface brushes and vacuum suction do their job.
Air filtration is good, but not as good as in Roomba 890, 960 and 980 models which use 'High Efficiency Air Filter'.
Roomba 690 is very lightweight unit weighing just 7.8 lbs (3.53 kg). If it gets stuck, it can be easily moved on the flat, clutter free area.
It is also a very compact robot vacuum cleaner being 13.0 inches in diameter and 3.7 inches in height (33 x 9.4 cm). Such compact design enables the unit to clean under the furniture and beds.
iRobot Roomba comes with a set of sensors to help it clean and 'survive' in homes and apartments:
- cliff sensors (drop sensors) prevent the unit from falling down off the stairs.
- acoustic sensors help the unit to detect concentrations of floor dirt, after which unit cleans that area more thoroughly.
- light touch sensor prevents the unit from bumping (too much) into the furniture, walls and other obstacles.
- RCON sensor helps the unit to find the charging station and to dock with it.
iRobot Roomba is generally simple robot vacuum cleaner, but it is highly recommended to read the manual before the first use!
Charging the iRobot Roomba
When it arrives, iRobot Roomba's battery is not fully charged due to regulations regarding lithium ion batteries. The unit can be used right away with half-full battery, but as the unit detects low battery condition, it will try to dock with the Home Base (also known as docking station, charging station, charging base etc).
To help the unit to find the Home Base, it is important to place it in an open, uncluttered area. It is recommended to leave some free area around the Home Base - at least 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) on each side of the Home Base and at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) in front of the Home Base.
Also, it is highly recommended to position the Home Base at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) away from stairs.
To avoid any interferences from Virtual Wall Barriers, keep them at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) from Home Base. Also, to allow Roomba to receive information via the iRobot Home App, be sure that the Home Base is in an area with consistent Wi-Fi signal.
To allow the unit to charge without interruptions, it is recommended to keep the Home Base always plugged in.
Using iRobot Home App
Roomba 690 is controlled and monitored using the iRobot Home App.
Although Roomba 690 can be used without the iRobot Home App, it is highly recommended.
iRobot Home App can be installed on both iOS or Android smart device.
With iRobot Home App, user can set cleaning while away from home, manage vacuum's cleaning schedule, access tips and support, turn on push notifications to receive real time updates on cleaning tasks, etc.
Also, it is compatible with devices with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant - now the user can simply ask Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant to start, stop or charge the vacuum.
Note: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant device(s) are purchased separately.
Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
Using the included Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, user has more control over where Roomba 690 can access and clean.
Multi Room Cleaning feature is not available using Roomba 690 and 890 which use iAdapt Navigation System, but Roomba 960 and 980 come with iAdapt 2.0 Navigation System that enables Multi Room Cleaning feature.
So, to control your Roomba 690 use included Virtual Wall Barrier or simply close the doors.
If more Virtual Wall Barriers are required, they can be ordered separately.
iRobot Roomba 650 vs 690 - Roomba Comparison
iRobot Roomba 650 and 690 are two very similar models. Not surprisingly since Roomba 690 design is based on the proven Roomba 650 design.
However, there are few very important differences between these two models:
- unlike Roomba 650, Roomba 690 model is Wi-Fi enabled unit, allowing the use of iRobot Home App to control and schedule the cleaning tasks. Also, Roomba 690 is Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible vacuum.
- Roomba 650 model uses NiMH battery, while Roomba 690 uses newer lithium ion battery, which is lighter and more powerful, doesn't have memory effect of any kind and can be charged more times without adverse effects on its capacity.
- Roomba 650 is slightly wider, lower and somewhat heavier unit. Roomba 650 dimensions are 13.39 x 3.6 inches, 7.9 lbs vs. Roomba 690 dimensions of 13 x 3.7 inches, 7.8 lbs.
For short, Roomba 690 comes with several important improvements, making it IMHO better choice.
iRobot Roomba 690 vs iRobot Roomba 980
While Roomba 690 is 'entry level' iRobot robot vacuum cleaner, Roomba 980 is top of the line iRobot robot vacuum cleaner.
Comparing these two models can be a little bit 'unfair' for Roomba 690, but it is important to know what Roomba 690 dosn't have, while other vacuums like more expensive Roomba 980 do have.
Both units come with 3 stage cleaning system, but Roomba 980 provides 10x more air power thanks to better (read: more expensive) lithium ion battery.
Roomba 690 runtime on hard floors is 60 minutes, while Roomba 980 doubles that with runtime of 120 minutes.
Roomba 980 comes with 'Tangle-Free' rollers - they are not fully tangle-free, but their maintenance is simpler.
Roomba 980 comes with improved high-efficiency air filter.
iAdapt 2.0 Navigation System on Roomba 980 allows 'Recharge and Resume', 'Multi Room Cleaning', 'Clean Map Reports' etc.
Both units are physically very similar:
- Roomba 690: 13.0 x 3.7 inches, 7.8 lbs.
- Roomba 980: 13.8 x 3.6 inches, 8.7 lbs.
Price? Well, that is where the similarities stop - Roomba 980 costs few times more than Roomba 690!
Long Story Short: Roomba 690 is a very good and affordable entry level iRobot robot vacuum cleaner.
Can Roomba 690 replace good full-sized vacuum? Personally, no robot vacuum can do that. But, Roomba 690 comes with many great features, and it can help the user to keep the home cleaner, with the less effort.
For the best offers, check iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity Amazon link (link opens in the new window).