Haier XShuai ShuaiXiaoBao Robot Vacuum Review

July 17, 2017 - Written By John Anon

Robot vacuums have become a big deal now and while this is still an emerging market, it is one which has been around long enough to see some fairly drastic improvements in design, capabilities, and general performance. One area that is also being improved on is price. Although for the top of the range options, there is still a top of the range cost involved. That said, there are other companies starting to break through now, offering solid options at more affordable prices. The Haier XShuai ShuaiXiaoBao Robot Vacuum is one of those options, as it comes with a $299 price tag attached – although it can be picked up from some online retailers for less than $200.

In the Box

Upon arrival, Haier does provide you with just about everything you need including a few extras. So in addition to the main Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum and its dock/charging station (with 1,000 mA mains adapter), buried below the main unit you will also find an additional mop, filter, and two additional side brushes, as well as a screwdriver (needed to insert the battery), the user manual, and a handy cleaning brush. So although this unit does require parts to be replaced as they wear down, Haier does provide you with enough to keep you going for a decent amount of time at first.

Hardware and Design

With any product that comes with an ‘affordable’ label attached, it is normally odds-on that the design or the hardware is where you will see some of the savings being made. In terms of the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum, the design is one which very much in-keeping with the rest of the robot vacuum crowd. Which is understandable, as generally speaking, most, if not all, robot vacuums now look rather a lot alike. The Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is no exception, it sports a now-typical circular design with the main controls located on the top of the device. The diameter (32 cm) is slightly smaller than some of the competition, although this unit is taller than those other options, as the height comes in at 9.5 cm. In terms of the weight, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum weighs in at 2.862 KG. So while this is in line with the other options, that extra height may prove a little problematic for some people, and especially those who have a lot of low-level furniture.

On the front of the vacuum is the bumper, which runs around almost half of the entire unit and helps to protect the device when bumping into objects. Likewise, the same bumpers also include the sensors (one on either side) which look to help the unit avoid bumping into objects in the first place. Situated on top of the bumpers (dead center at the front of the unit) is a small camera, while below the camera are the main points – used to charge the device when docked.

The bottom of the unit will likely be quite familiar to those who have experience with the Roomba line as the presentation is largely the same. Here you will find a dedicated sweep brush on one side of the unit, along with the main roller brush which is centrally positioned in between the two main wheels – again like the Roomba line. In addition there is a third front-positioned wheel to aid navigation. While the battery compartment is also located here. Out of the box, users are required to manually connect the battery and this is where that will take place – along with the provided screwdriver.

The top of the unit is designed with simplicity in mind as there is very little here to speak of. Much of the main top portion makes use of a plastic build quality, while the centrally-located black plate houses the only onboard controls. These include a main orange button which is essentially the ‘go’ button. Hitting this at anytime will immediately start the vacuum off in cleaning mode. Below the go button are volume up and down buttons allowing the user to control the volume of the vacuum. That is, control the volume of the noises the vacuum makes (like when it connects to the app) and not control the noise the vacuum emits when cleaning. Although, this is not much of an issue as the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is not a particularly loud vacuum to begin with. Closing out the top panel is a small meshed area which houses the speakers.

Last but not least is the rear of the device which once again includes an orange button. This however is the dust bin and the button is simply the release mechanism. Pushing this will result in the entire back portion coming loose from the main unit, allowing the user to empty the bin when needed.

Overall, the design of the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is one which very firmly falls in line with other robot vacuum cleaners. Yes, a number of comparisons can be made with the likes of the Roomba line, although that could be said for a number of other robot vacuums as well. As they are tending to fit the same mold these days, albeit a Roomba mold. While the build quality is not quite to the level seen with some of the other (and more expensive) options, the device does seems to be built well enough and especially considering the price point.

Navigation & Cleaning

When it comes to a vacuum, the one thing you will want to know is how good it cleans. On that note, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum cleans pretty well. Although there are some caveats. Before that though, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is a vacuum that includes what Haier refers to as a ‘5-step cleaning system.’ Which is less straightforward than it sounds. This is not a system in which the vacuum follows before completing its cycle, but more refers to the different cleaning capabilities of the vacuum. So in short, think of this as the Hair XShuai Robot Vacuum’s ability to clear up different types of debris – through sweeping, rolling, sucking, mopping, and so on.

As for the actual cleaning procedure, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum comes with three different modes to choose from. These include a Z-shape mode, an Edge mode, and a Spot mode. These are rather self explanatory terms but to quickly go through them. Z-cleaning is the mode that always seems to be default when the vacuum first turns on and this is where the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum looks to cover a room in a zigzag-like pattern. So it will clear for a bit in one direction, then abruptly turn, clean on more of a diagonal, then clean in the opposite direction, and repeat. The Edge cleaning mode on the other hand is much more box-focused. This is where the Hair XShuai Robot Vacuum will clean a room or area by essentially following the line of the room. So it will head to one section of the room, follow that wall or barrier for as long as it can, turn when it reaches a corner, and then repeat the process until it has fully cleaned the entirely of the outline of the room. Spot cleaning by contrast is designed for when you really want to hone in on a problem area. Here the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum will circle in and out of a designated spot.

Which does mean that the best way to really clean any room with the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is to make use of more than one mode. The Z mode is likely to be the most useful if you want a one-clean option for a room, but in this mode, it does tend to more ignore the borders of a room. So again, combining the Z mode with Edge mode is the best way to ensure that a room is cleaned thoroughly. Then of course, making use of Spot mode when you run into an area in particular that needs more work than the rest of the room. So in spite of the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum coming equipped with three different modes, these are not mutually-exclusive modes. If anything, they are three sides to the same coin.

As for the actual quality of the cleaning process, there are no major issues to note. Consistent with competitor products, surfaces do need to be somewhat clean to begin with for the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum to function properly – i.e. no large debris floating around the floor. During a clean the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum performs well and does pick up most, if not all of the dust and hair it finds. When used together its three cleaning modes do certainly result in a much better clean overall, although the Z mode alone seems to provide the best single mode results. The unit is thorough in its approach, although on occasion it can seem as though it is a little lost. At which point its cleaning becomes more erratic than its mode demands. This however, was a less-often encountered issue with the unit more often than not sticking to its predefined navigation.

Where there will be an issue for some is how often the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum seems to encounter an error. This unit does routinely need to be manually seen to and have various problems fixed. Sometimes this is as simple as removing anything caught in its system, while at other times it can seem to run into errors for no obvious reason. In these instances, simply picking up the unit, re-positioning it, and hitting the go button seems to start the system again. However, this sort of routine maintenance seems to be an industry-wide issue and one which affects most robot vacuums at the moment. So while it is an issue, it is not one which happens every time. Although when it does happen, it can prove to be a little frustrating and especially when it is difficult to isolate the actual problem – sometimes it will start off again after being attended to, only to stop again a moment later with the same error.

There are some additional design features which are worth knowing about before and after purchasing. For instance, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is designed with anti-drop technology. So if for instance, it is cleaning on a raised surface and comes to a cliff-edge, it is able to realize this edge and stop its trajectory. Thereby avoiding falling directly off the edge. Likewise, the wheels on the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum are able to account for angled surfaces. Meaning that if it comes to a sloped area (and providing that slope is not greater than 15-degrees), the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum will be able to continue cleaning without any major issues. The same is true for very small ‘bumps’ in the landscape. For instance, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is able to navigate across slightly elevated surfaces without issue, although they do have to be limited to being ‘very slightly’ elevated i.e. a carpet or rug is about the extent to which it can accommodate any changes in elevation.

App

Like most robot vacuums these days, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is compatible with an app. However, unlike most of the other options, the app is not a dedicated app and instead works by connecting to the Huiba app – which seems to be more of a generic robot controlling app. The upside here is that if you have multiple products that make use of the Huiba app already, then there isn’t another app that you need to install. The downside is that the app is not a greatly personalized experience and instead is far more generic. In either case, the app does seem to work pretty well and performs all of the functions you would expect. Including the ability to initiate cleaning, as well as selecting the cleaning mode, pausing the cleaning, or sending the unit back to its docking station. In all instances, the app performed responsively and reliably.

Due to the nature of the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum, there are some additional features that are on offer as well through the app. For instance, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum comes equipped with an HD-quality camera, so the app acts as a gateway for that camera allowing the user to see what the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum sees. This is good for a number of reasons as you can see where the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is at any given point, as well as generally use it as some form of security tool to check up on your home or your pets while away.

Likewise, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum also comes equipped with 2-watt speakers, so effectively you can talk to your home (or anyone who is in it) through the app. In return, audio is also picked up through the built in mic and can be heard through the app, allowing the user to hear what is going on – as well as see what is going on. Speaking of which, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is also equipped with night vision, so even when it is dark, the user (to some degree) will still be able to see the surroundings through the app. There are some additional features the app offers as well. One of the most common ones a user will encounter is that the app will notify the user when the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum runs into a problem. This comes by way of a notification which once opened tries to provide some insight into the issue, as well as brief explanation of how the issue might be remedied. While this is a good feature for notifying the user, the descriptions do not always seem to be correct. Likewise, if the user finds their Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum running into issues fairly regularly (multiple issues per cleaning cycle), then the notifications can become quite annoying.

Overall, and in spite of this being a generic app, it is one which works pretty well. The user interface is simple enough to become accustomed to quickly, but in-depth enough to cater to those who want a greater degree of control and features. On a last note, Huiba has also recently enabled an Alexa skill. Which does mean that if you happen to own an Amazon Alexa-enabled device and do pick up the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum, you will also be able to control the vacuum via Alexa.

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Maintenance and Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, on paper, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum comes equipped with a 2,200 mAh lithium battery which is listed to work for up to two hours per charge. So in short, if you are planning a prolonged level of cleaning then two hours is about the maximum you will get before the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum needs to return to base for a charge. The downside here is that a full charge can take up to five hours. So if for instance, a full clean has not been achieved within the two hour time-frame, it will take close to five hours before the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is able to head back out on a second run – which again will only last a maximum of two hours.

It is also worth noting that the two hour marker really is the absolute maximum you should expect. From testing, one and half hours does seem to be a much more reliable marker. The app does provide you with an overview of the battery charge that is remaining so you can somewhat gauge how long you can get out of each cleaning during each clean. Although the measuring of the battery is not 100-percent accurate. The battery level in the app depletes in 20-percent increments which makes it a little harder to gauge exactly how much battery is left or how much time you still have per clean. For instance, very soon after starting the battery will start to show 80-percent left, even though the charge level is probably still much closer to 100-percent. Likewise, when the battery hits the 20-percent level, the unit is designed to immediately start its journey back to the charging station. So the last 20-percent is largely redundant in terms of cleaning usage. When the unit does start its return to base journey, it also does take some time to really hone in and find the docking stage. During testing, it always did return to base fine, but even when in close proximity, it takes its time in doing so – which is probably why as much as 20-percent of the battery is reserved just for this action. Although, none of this will actually matter if you live in a smaller home and do make use of the device regularly. As in these instances, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum will be able to zip around the home, do the clean, and return to base. The only times that this does become an issue is when your home is large enough to require a clean which takes longer than two hours, or when it is not used often – requiring the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum to spend more time cleaning, per clean. On a last note, it is also worth knowing that in addition to the docking station, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum does come with a direct charge port. So the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum can literally be plugged into the wall and charged, avoiding the docking station completely.

On the maintenance side of things, the main chore the user will need to do is empty the dustbin and in reality, this is something that needs to be done after each clean, if not more than once between cleans. Compared to some of the other units in this category, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum does not come with a very large dustbin (0.35 liter capacity) and as a result, it does fill up quite quickly.

So this is something that routinely needs to be checked, as once it does reach its capacity, the clearing becomes ineffective. Therefore, at the very least, it would be wise to check on a daily basis on how full it is, and empty as needed. Of course, the true rate at which you will need to empty the bin will largely depend on two factors – how often you set the cleaner to run (hourly, daily, weekly) and whether you have any pets. This unit was tested with a cat in the house and due to this, the dustbin continually ended up reaching its maximum capacity quickly. Likely far quicker than when used in non-pet homes. The emptying procedure however, is very simple. The Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum comes with a bright orange button on the front, which once (forcefully) pressed slides out the dust bin, which can then be emptied into the bin, before being reinserted.

Wrap Up

Overall, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is a bit of mixed bag. There are some issues with how often it seems to run into errors which need to be manually fixed. However, this is not an issue with just the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum, as most robot vacuums encounter this issue to some degree. So while not a device-specific issue, it is one which should be expected with this vacuum. Although, the level to which an individual will experience this issue is likely to vary considerably. For instance, pet owners probably should expect it to happen more often than other owners as the unit tends to quickly get clogged with pet hair and so on. Likewise, the setup of the home will also play a factor. In some rooms, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum performs much better than in others and using that same logic – it will likely perform better in some homes, than others. On the other hand though, compared to the rest of the robot vacuum options, this one is very competitively priced. Adding to that, it is also a fairly feature-rich device, with the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum arguably having as many features as other (more expensive) devices. While those features might not be to the same advanced level as some of the industry-leading options, they are still there.

Should you buy the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum?

This largely depends on how you currently view the robot vacuum market. If you are new to the scene and looking for a first model to try out, then by all means, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum could be the right purchase for you. It does have issues, but only the same issues you will run into on more expensive models. So this will be a good option to test the robot vacuum scene with, without having to spend as much. If however, you are already a robot vacuum owner, or already familiar with these products and are expecting a greater/more advanced model, then this might not be the option for you. That is, unless you want an additional unit to complement your existing vacuums. In that case, at the price point, the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is worth checking out.

Where to buy?

At present, the best price on the Haier XShuai Robot Vacuum is through Geekbuying as it is currently available priced at $215.99. Using coupon code BTSKLRQI will take an additional $16 off that price, bringing the final cost down to $199.99.

Buy the Haier XShuai ShuaiXiaoBao Robot Vacuum (Geekbuying)