It’s been a couple of years of following how this space has evolved, and many a household have come to realise the convenience and utility as an underlying theme for robot vacuum cleaners. In this time, they’ve gotten better too, at what they are meant to do. Therefore, it is a case of choices aplenty if you are looking at a fully autonomous floor cleaning robot for your home. Some can do the wet mop too, but in a growing market, that’s where things get interesting.
Not many include that as part of the features list, at the price tag that Dreame Technologies has managed with its Dreambot D9 Max. You’ll certainly find robot cleaning that can scurry around your home with a purpose, for less than the Dreambot D9 Max’s around ₹24,999 price tag. Yet few, Xiaomi’s Robot Vacuum-Mop 2 Pro (around ₹24,999) being an exception, include wet floor cleaning capabilities.
Following through from our most recent experience with a iRobot Roomba J7 (priced ₹69,900 onwards), it must be noted that the Dreambot D9 Max’s mopping mechanism is detachable whereas the water tank for wet mops is slightly larger too (around 270ml compared to 200ml). That helps, because larger rooms can be tackled without a need to refill.
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Detachable means you can still choose to leave the mop installed, but that runs a risk of catching dust during regular sweeping. The other side to that thought process would lean towards little intervention on a regular basis, and most indoor spaces don’t get dirty enough to ruin the mopping fabric. In our tests, the mopping results will depend on which of the three levels of water usage you select.
Medium should be the ideal balance for most homes (that’s also the default setting for the Dreambot D9 Max). Lowest consumption may not always wipe the grime off marble or ceramic floors, while the highest water level usage is best reserved for times when someone drags in a dirty pair of footwear from the rain soaked outdoors.
What matters most with robot vacuums is suction power. That defines efficiency and cleaning prowess. The Dreambot D9 Max is rated at a maximum of 4000pa, or pascal pressure unit. This is, as far as the pricing theme goes, a mid-range robot vacuum. Yet, this critical spec brings in more power than Xiaomi’s Mop 2 Pro (3000pa). After a certain threshold is achieved, which both of these do to, it is more to do with that extra suction power which can pick up even slightly distant pieces of dust.
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The design of the Dreambot D9 Max, at the top of which is a dome hosting a LiDAR sensor, proves to be a restriction. It is unable to sneak in beneath sofas and other furniture, something most of its rivals are able to do. While LiDAR provides it with a more proficient vision to navigate (a testament to that is much less bumping off things, as it learns its way around), you’ll still end up with unclean areas requiring some manual intervention with a good old broom.
Design limitations aside, the Dreambot D9 Max doesn’t exhibit any hesitance to climb over a fairly thick carpet too. One that’s as thick as two iPhone 15s, stacked. And it does so, mostly, without having to draw on extra power from the motor. There’s automatic boost though, if it detects a dusty carpet. But for some reason, we come away with the feeling that rollers are better on a carpet or rug, than a three-pronged side brush.
The 570ml bin for dust collection is a good enough capacity to allow it to do multiple runs, before you need to empty it. In our experience, a week of daily sweeping around the house was ticked off, before the bin brimmed.
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The DreameHome app (available for Android phones and the iPhone) lets you choose between three suction settings too. Quiet may work for some indoor spaces, but the ability to pick up dust is significantly restricted in order to keep the noise down (that means the motor is restrained). Standard worked well for us in our tests, and the motor noise seems to be a tad lesser than most Roomba devices. There are the Strong and Turbo modes too, but in particular with the latter, battery run time may be reduced quite a bit.
Speaking of which, the 5200 mAh battery can last up to 150 minutes, but depending on modes and the fact it’ll do overlapping runs and also have to power up occasionally to navigate carpets or mats, expect close to two hours of usage. That should be enough time to get through a living room and two bedrooms.
The thing about the Dreambot D9 Max is, you don’t have to spend flagship-esque amounts of money to get sweeping and mopping, in one device. This dual purpose robot vacuum cleaner is more than adequate, in terms of power and versatility, for a modern apartment. Even a larger indoor space too, because of good battery stamina. What is missing from the experience is a bin for automatic emptying, something the more expensive iRobot vacuums have. But that may be too much to expect from the Dreambot D9 Max, and the price tag it sports.