Robot vacuums used to be considered a luxury item but with options like the Shellbot SL60 that’s really no longer the case. A good vacuum can cost you hundreds more than the retail price of this little robot. And you’ll still have to put in the time and effort to vacuum up the house yourself.
With the Shellbot SL60, you can have it do all the work for you and rest easy. After using the vacuum for the last week, it’s become the main tool I use to vacuum my apartment. And the little features like Google Assistant and Alexa support, as well as the included physical remote make this a nifty cleaning tool indeed.
I’ve tested a handful of different robot vacuums over the years. And while I’m not certain this one is the best I’ve used, it certainly has its strengths. So we’ll be going over all of that in this review.
The Shellbot SL60 leaves no crumb behind
My worry with robot vacuums is always the same. That they won’t properly clean the floors and get every speck of dust, every crumb, that needs to be cleaned up. So far that hasn’t been an issue with this unit. While I do typically try to keep clean floors, sometimes crumbs or other debris are forgotten if I don’t sweep up right away.
The Shellbot SL60 has made it possible to let go of those worries. While the vacuum offers multiple features for cleaning like timed schedules and such, I simply like to manually begin a cleaning session mid-morning. The vacuum will do its thing and by the end the floors look great.
Compared to the Yeedi robot vacuums I recently reviewed, I feel the Shellbot SL60 performed a tiny bit better. Not by leaps and bounds, mind you. But enough that I noticed the floors looking a little cleaner. Of course it helps that the vacuum includes things like the side brushes (which most other robot vacuums also have), and has multiple sweep and suction power settings to fine tune the cleaning session.
Suffice it to say, I could drop crumbly food on the floor all day and could rest easy knowing the Shellbot SL60 would clean it up later and not miss anything. At least in areas where it’s able to travel.
It seems to better with pet hair
Most importantly for me, is that the vacuum does a good job cleaning up pet hair. And although I think the SL60 could still improve, I think it does a better job than both Yeedi vacuums. Whether I set it to do a couple passes over the entire apartment or just over the rug, it appeared to clean up more pet hair with both methods.
This is almost more important to me than how it cleans the rest of the apartment. Because the pet hair is much more noticeable thanks to the black rug. If you have pets that shed a lot, this should do an ample job at making sure the hair doesn’t linger. Keeping your floors, carpets, and rugs relatively pet hair free.
The app definitely needs improvement
While not absolutely terrible, I feel like the app could use some improvement on the UI. My main issue is that some things in the app aren’t really labeled all that well. So I spent a minute or two fumbling around trying to find where the restricted zones feature was before I finally found it.
Beyond that, the app does have a pleasing design visually. Navigating through the app’s different menus and accessing all the features of the vacuum takes some getting used to. But once you are used to it using the app isn’t frustrating at all.
Plus, the vacuum does come with a physical remote so if you absolutely hate the app, you can use the remote to start and stop cleaning instead. Thus letting you more or less cut the app out of your life if you choose to.
You will of course still need to use it for some things, but the general stuff like starting a clean, stopping a clean, and even changing the suction power levels can all be done from the remote. The remote even has a little LCD screen with a clock on it. Which is, not really necessary but it’s a neat little perk nonetheless.
Also worth mentioning is that using the app to set up the vacuum the first time wasn’t exactly a smooth process. It went through multiple attempts before the app would actually connect the vacuum to my wireless network and finish the setup. All-in-all setup took me about 10 minutes, when it should have taken 2. So overall, the app is decent but could use a little bit of polish.
Maps are more detailed and rooms are easier to differentiate
One really good thing about the vacuum that I appreciate in accordance with the app is that they created more detailed maps. Compared to some other vacuums I’ve used. This might not seem like a big deal, but trust me. It is.
The more detailed maps make spot cleaning easier. And this is helped further by the fact that the app color codes rooms automatically. It also labels them automatically for you. These labels won’t necessarily be correct of course. But it’s nice all the same. And you can easily rename the rooms if you like.
Which you may want to do if you plan to use the voice-control features. The detailed maps will be even more important if you have a home or apartment with multiple floors, too. And the app makes it pretty simple to create a map for each floor if that’s something you need.
Obstacle avoidance works great
I feel like a lot of the robot vacuums available these days will offer this. Or something like it. Either way, the Shellbot SL60 does have 3D obstacle avoidance and it works pretty good. I never really found it running into stuff. Although it did go rogue at one point and clean a room I didn’t want it to. Mostly because there’s not a lot of room in there for it to move around.
Despite that though, the vacuum had an easy time avoiding things like shoes, chairs, boxes, or anything else lying around on the floor as long as it wasn’t microscopic. Plus, as an added benefit, the vacuum never once got stuck during any of its cleaning sessions.
This was an issue with some past vacuums. Which isn’t a huge deal if you’re home and able to go fix it. But if you set the vacuum to clean while you’re out and it gets stuck early on, then you’ll simply have to start another clean when you get back. So thankfully, the SL60 seems to great maneuvering around stuff and getting its job done with little to no issue.
Should you buy the Shellbot SL60 robot vacuum?
After using this vacuum for about a week or so, I can say that I would definitely recommend it as an option to people. There are of course some strengths and weaknesses to consider. The mopping function does an ok job, but if you want something that mops flawlessly, you may have to consider a more expensive option.
The SL60 also doesn’t have any sort of self-emptying bin. Which has been one of my favorite features of the other vacuum I use. Because I hate emptying the dust bin of the vacuums. Yes, I would still have to empty the self-emptying bin, but everything is contained in a connected disposable bag on the inside of the bin. So I’m not having to dump anything out. I just remove the bag and throw it away. Then insert a new one.
Beyond that, there’s a lot of things to like here. For one, it seems to clean pet hair pretty decently for the most part. And it comes with a physical remote and voice-control features. It doesn’t get stuck during cleaning, and right now until June 19, it can be picked up on Amazon for $314.49 on sale from its original list price of $639.99. Additionally, there’s a $60 coupon that can be applied that brings it down even further to a price of $254.49, and if you use the discount code ‘Shellbot’ the price comes down to $213.60.
Overall it’s a pretty good robot vacuum for the money. So if you want to spend less and still get a good clean, this is a model to consider.