Neato Botvac D6 Connected Review [all you need to know]

The Neato D6 gets fantastic reviews. We tested the robot and here is what you should know...

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At a glance

The D6 was released in the fall of 2018, and it's designed for homes with pets. Its core brush is 70% larger than on many round robotic vacuums, and it has a turbo mode for increased suction. It makes the brush spin faster to capture more dirt when the vacuum runs into a tough spot. They have also added the ultra-performance filter to trap allergens and dander from your pets. Click here to see the latest price of the D6.

• Up to 120 mins of runtime for large homes
• LaserSmart technology intelligently navigates your home
• Up to 70% bigger brush roll than on round robots
• Side brush included
• Turbo mode for tough spots
• Moves in a logical pattern
• Ultra performance filter for capturing allergen
• Up to three custom floor plans for multi-story homes
• No-Go Lines give your pets peace and privacy
• Dust bin capacity 0.7 liters – excellent for pet hair
• Cleaning Path12 inches
• D-shape design for capturing dirt and hair along walls and in the corners
• A functional app for controlling the vacuum and scheduling cleaning
• Works with your phone, Apple watch, Amazon Echo or Google Home
• Software updates keep improving the performance
• 7.5lbs pounds
• 13.21 x 12.56 x 3.92 inches
• 1- year limited warranty (6 months for batteries)

Pros

+ Designed to pick up pet hair
+ A long runtime for larger houses
+ Charges quickly
+ Smart navigation system and logical cleaning pattern
+ Large brush roll for catching that pet hair
+ Side brush for reaching corners
+ Eco and Turbo mode
+ Quieter than most robotic vacuums
+ Better filter for capturing allergens
+ Maps out the room for a floor plan
+ You can use no-go lines to exclude areas
+ Larger dust bin than on most robotic vacuums
+ Wide cleaning path
+ The app is easy to use
+ Neato keeps updating the software
+ Support and customers service are helpful if you run into problems

Cons

- Can sometimes drop of the wifi
- Won’t notify you if the dirt cup is full

Summed up

This vacuum is advertised with the phrase ”Goodbye pet hair and allergens. Hello clean.” And that’s about right. You just sit back and relax while your new family member does the vacuuming for you.

With a huge list of pros and just a couple of small shortcomings, this vacuum is an excellent choice for a robot vacuum to help you out with the cleaning. It gets amazing reviews from users, and many rate it higher than the ever so popular Roomba botvacs.

If that long list of technical specifications and pros didn’t convince you, go check out some user reviews and see for yourself (+ check the latest price).

Our rating

Are you looking for a robotic vacuum, but you’re sure which one is the right fit for you? You don’t want to spend too much, but you have heard that cheap robovacs are a waste of your money?

Or, you might not be sure whether you actually need a robotic vacuum - and you can probably go without one. But maybe you shouldn’t.

Never have I heard anyone go “oh, I wish I never got myself a robotic vacuum. I’ll just go back to vacuuming myself”.

But is D6 worth the investment? That's what we're here to find out. We tested the robot, and in this review, we will tell you ALL there is to know about the new Neato D6. Let's dive in: 

It’s true that a few years ago these robotic vacuums were not advanced enough. They kept bumping into things and getting stuck.

But things have changed:

You can get a smart, high-performing robotic vacuum at a reasonable price.

Just look at the D6:

It has a laser guiding system on the top and sensors on the sides. It knows its way around your home – even in the dark.

The virtual no-go lines tell your robot to avoid things like pet beds, water bowls or toys. You can change the borders at any time using the app, which comes in handy with kids. If some construction work on the LEGO castle is going on in the corner of the kid’s room, you can tell the robot to avoid that area but to clean around it.

It cleans under the furniture, which is something many people easily skip, and side brushes allow it to get even the corners of baseboards. The brush roll works for both carpets and hard floors, and with a convenient app for your phone, you can control the robot where ever you are.

And that's not all.

Neato Robotics is committed to continually improving their award-winning robotic vacuums and adding new features. They want to see robovacs evolving and adapting to each individual home to provide a personalized cleaning experience.

What they have focused on is the development of intelligent laser navigation, mapping, smart home connectivity, and superior cleaning technologies. Neato if one of the top brands that manufacture robotic vacuums and their products are known for having an excellent price-quality ratio.

The bottom line?

The features. You need to know all about them before you buy the vacuum.

So here goes:

Key Features

New Laser Smart Navigation technology

  • Smart navigation and systematic cleaning patterns
  • Cliff detection
  • Avoids getting stuck and uses several tactics to free itself when it does

The LaserSmart technology on this Neato robovac scans and maps your home thoroughly.It creates a floor plan which the robot will then follow while cleaning. It is a LIDAR-based technology similar to what is used in self-driving cars.

Instead of roaming around randomly like so cheaper robots do, the D6 moves around in straight lines. This makes cleaning more effective and ensures each spot in your house is cleaned before the vacuum finishes its job.

Because of the laser technology, it can clean in the dark, although you probably wouldn’t get much sleep if the robot were vacuuming in your bedroom during the night. It is great though that you don’t have to leave the light on for the robot to be able to move around when you're not at home.

Cliff detection is a feature that most robotic vacuums have, but which doesn’t always work. Technology has been quickly improving, but some cheaper vacuums still have poor cliff detection systems. Luckily the D6 is not one of them, and the robot easily detects stairs and avoids tumbling down.

According to users and our own experience, the vacuum very rarely gets tangled in rug fringes or power cords.

The D6 is actually pretty smart, and it can solve all kinds of problems itself.

You might think it was stuck between obstacles, but wait a minute and let it solve the problem – and learn while doing so. You might be amazed to see it has many ways of getting itself unstuck. If it really can’t find a way out, the vacuum will notify you on the app. Free the vacuum, put it down next to where it was and let it resume cleaning.

When you first get your new robotic vacuum, you’re excited, and you just want to get it up and running. But to get everything running smoothly, it might be a good idea to have a look at the how-to videos on the Neato website. Doing this will make sure you do everything correctly, and you won’t have problems later on.

It’s pretty common for new users to be careless about setting up the new products, only to find themselves contacting the customer service when it doesn’t work. Robotic vacuums are amazing, but they are just robots, and you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations.

They need your help to get started and to learn in the beginning. Once everything is set up correctly, the robot will do the rest.

Up to 120 minutes of runtime

  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Up to 120 minutes of runtime
  • Charge Time: Up to 150 minutes
  • Battery Recharge and Resume (up to 2 times)
  • Quick boost charging

The D6 has up to 120 minutes of runtime which is excellent for larger homes. It also has the Quick Boost Charging feature which lets the robot charge only what it needs to finish the job. It means the robot will not spend time charging fully if it just needs a few minutes to finish cleaning.

Neato D6 battery

The area it can clean with one charge depends on the surface, obstacles, and cleanliness of the surfaces, but because the battery life is 120 minutes, it is suitable for larges houses as well.

If the battery runs out, it will charge itself and resume cleaning.

Controlling the Vacuum

D6 Robot Vacuum Connectivity:

  • Wifi 2.4Ghz
  • Apple Watch
  • Amazon Echo
  • Google Home

D6 Robot Vacuum App Features:

  • Coverage Map
  • Cleaning History
  • Multiple Floor Plan Mapping
  • No-Go Lines
  • Extra Care Navigation

D6 Robot Vacuum Cleaning Options:

  • Scheduled Cleaning: day, time and repetition
  • House Cleaning
  • Spot Cleaning
  • Eco / Turbo Mode: Eco (longer cleaning time but quieter) and Turbo (boost mode with maximum pickup)
  • Extra Care mode: gentle navigation around delicate objects

The robot cleans the whole house (except the No-Go areas, of course), or you can send it to clean a specific spot.

Neato D6 cleans corners

The whole house cleaning is precisely that: the D6 will clean everywhere it can as long as there are no obstacles in its way or closed doors.

You can also use the No-Go Lines and ask it to clean only a specific room or area. If you have pets, this feature is handy. If your dog shakes itself when you come inside and the hallway is scattered with dirt and sand – just send the robot on its way. If you find a spot on the carpet with pet hair or your cat spread the cat litter again – let the botvac take care of it.

You can not manually drive the vacuum using the app, but you can start, pause, stop and return to base. You can set the D6 to do spot cleaning, but if you want a robotic vacuum you can guide manually with an app, go for the D7 in the same Neato series.

For spot cleaning, you place the vacuum on the long side of an imaginative rectangle facing the center and press start. The vacuum will first go around the boundaries and then up and down until the area is clean.

The Turbo mode is excellent if you want a deeper and quicker clean, but it is louder.

The Eco mode is quieter and depending on how sound you sleep, you can even use it during the night in other rooms than your bedroom. If you use the Eco mode during the day, you can continue working on your laptop in the same room, and the vacuum won’t distract you.

Connected Series Spiral Combo Brush

  • High-performance brush roll with blades and bristles
  • Works on hard floors and carpets

This is brush roll is ideal for homes with pets or if you suffer from allergies. It is a high-performing brush roll that can effectively clean both carpets and hard floors. It has bristles and soft blades which engage the surface and pick up all kinds of dirt.

Neato D6 spiral combo brush and side sweeper

The stiff bristles are especially useful on carpets as they dig into the surface and lift up pet hair, dust and dirt for the suction to pull in.

On hardwood floors, tiles, parquet or other hard floor surfaces, the combination of bristles and blades is what results in a fantastic outcome.

The new brush roll also generates less noise, although we would not recommend having the vacuum clean your bedroom during the night unless you’re an exceptionally sound sleeper.

Floor plans with No-Go Lines

  • Draw No-Go Lines anywhere with the app
  • Gives your pet the privacy they need

The D6 vacuum maps your home and produces a floor plan to follow while cleaning. You can use the floor plan on the app to draw No-Go lines which the vacuum won’t cross. This enables you to choose which areas the robot will clean and which ones it will avoid.

Neato D6 draw No-Go Lines anywhere

The D6 vacuum creates a floor plan for up to three stories. This is a great feature for houses in multiple levels because you can set the no-go areas for each floor individually.

Having a no-go area on each floor is essential when you have pets since they might be scared of the new eccentric addition to the family. Some vacuums have magnetic strips you can replace on the floor to create boundaries for the vacuum, but they are not nearly as practical as this feature.

You don’t have to pay for extra strips, and you can manage the no-go areas on the app – even remotely. You can add as many areas as you want in different shapes and sizes. You can limit the vacuum from going near your pets bed, food, water or litterbox. You can even set the vacuum to avoid certain rooms.

The floor plan of your house also shows which areas the vacuum was not able to clean. It shows the spots that have not been cleaned like under the legs of furniture. You can identify the areas that it can’t access and move objects if you want.

When you turn on the robot for the first time, it has to create a floor plan to help it navigate its way. It might take it a few vacuuming sessions to do this, so don’t be alarmed if it can’t find its way around the house straight away. You just need to let it learn.

Some users seem to have unrealistic expectations, and they assume the robot can automatically navigate the house perfectly on the first run. Some of these users have returned their product as faulty, although usually it just takes a few vacuuming sessions for the robot to figure out the layout of your home an memorize it.

Once the robot has everything figured out, it does an excellent job at navigating. It knows exactly where it is and which areas it has already cleaned.

Some users also think that because the robot lightly bumps into things, it must not be working correctly. Actually, the robot is just making sure it gets as close to the edges of each object as possible. Otherwise, it would leave a narrow area between each object unvacuumed. The bumping also has another purpose: the vacuum makes sure it has navigated correctly. Bumping into something gives the robot feedback on its navigation and helps it learn.

Large dirt cup

  • 0.7 l dirt cup
  • The dirt cup is easy to clean
  • It holds a lot of pet hair

The capacity of the dirt cup is 0.7l, which is very large for a robotic vacuum.

Neato D6 dust bin

This is a nice feature for pet owners since pet hair can fill up a small container quickly and the robot would have to pause vacuuming until the cup was emptied.

To get the most out of their robotic vacuum pet owners should always make sure the dirt cup is large enough to handle all that pet hair. After all, the robot won’t be of much help if you have to keep going back and forth emptying the cup.

The first time you use the D6, the dirt cup might fill up quickly if you haven’t vacuumed for a while. After using vacuum for a couple of weeks, you will learn how often the vacuum needs to run to keep your floors clean and to prevent the dust cup from getting packed.

There is one flaw in the design, and that is that the vacuum won’t notify you if the dust cup fills up while it is vacuuming. This might result in partial loss of suction and a decrease in performance until the dirt cup is emptied.

Filtration

  • Connected Series High-Performance Filter

The filter on the D6 has more material than filters on other D Connected series vacuums. Because it is able to catch more dust and allergens, it is an excellent choice for pet owners and people with allergies.

It captures up to 99% of tiny dust mites and allergens as small as 10 microns.

Neato D6 dust bin

The filter could be better since this vacuum is designed for pet owners, but according to user experience, it is adequate. If you have allergies and you need a robotic vacuum with a HEPA filter, check out our list of other great robot vacuums here.

The robot takes care of vacuuming, but you still need to take care of maintenance. You need to empty the dirt bin, change the filters periodically, and make sure nothing is tangled around the brush roll.

Performance

To be honest, when I first ordered this robot, we were a bit doubtful of how well it would perform.

Although the technology is advancing quickly, robot vacuums are still a pretty new addition to the market, and they don’t have the same level of cleaning power as let’s say upright vacuums.

I did a little test. While I waited for Amazon Prime to deliver my new robotic vacuum, I cleaned the floors. I vacuumed them thoroughly and mopped them with a microfiber cloth. I thought the poor robot would not find anything to clean since all the surfaces had been cleaned the night before.

But I was dead wrong. It seems this robot does a better job at vacuuming than I do because I did find quite a bit of gunk in the dirt cup after the D6 carefully went around my house. Mostly dust and pet hair, which I didn’t think would accumulate overnight. Also if found some smaller pieces of debris I must have missed while vacuuming.

Neato D6 robot vacuum filter

After having the vacuum for weeks, this is my experience on the performance:

Pet Hair Removal

  • D-shape and side brush
  • Connected Series Spiral Combo Brush

The innovative D-shape of Neato robots allows it to get close to walls and corners giving you a better cleaning result. All pet owners know that pet hair tends to accumulate in the corners, which is why it’s essential the robovac can access those areas.

The D6 also has a side brush, which sweeps the edges pushing dirt to the suction path.

Neato D6 gets close to walls and corners

The connected Series Spiral Combo Brush is also a great feature for pet owners. The brush roll has bristles that lift up pet hair, dust, and dander from carpets, and blades that pick up pet hair on hard floors.

The performance is fantastic with pet hair, although if you have many pets that shed a lot, you may have to let the robot vacuum daily so that the dirt cup is not filled up while the robot is working.

For pet owners looking for a robotic vacuum, this is a great choice.

Carpet

The D6 performs very well on carpeting because it has strong suction and an effective brush roll.

For low-pile carpets the results are excellent, and on high-pile carpets at least very good.

Neato D6 cleaning carpets

Many people think robotic vacuums are not good on carpets, and that actually used to be true. We're happy to say the technology has gotten better and good robovacs can easily clean carpets.

You have to keep in mind though, that this doesn’t apply to cheap robotic vacuums or very plush carpeting. If you have a home that is straight from the seventies with extremely thick high-pile carpeting all over, you might want to reconsider.

Robotic vacuums do a good job at keeping the carpets clean on an everyday basis, but if you don’t have a sturdier vacuum you can use every few months for a thorough cleanup, you might want to have the carpets cleaned professionally once in a while.

Bare Floors

The blades on the spiral brush roll engage hard floor surfaces firmly and lift up even the smaller particles for the suction to pull in. The brush roll also has bristles, which can handle all the crevices, and the side sweeper to get close to those corners and baseboards.

A functional brush roll combined with a strong suction makes sure all hard floor materials like parquette, vinyl, hardwood, tile or laminate are thoroughly cleaned – without scratching.

Differences between Neato D3, D4, D5, D6 and D7

You might be trying to figure out the differences between the products in the new 2018-2019 Neato Connected lineup. This video gives you a good idea:

We also gathered the differences in a table:

Neato Botvac Connected D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 comparison table

With D7 you'd get a slightly better app, but is it worth the extra investment? Then again, D6 is much more suitable for pet households than D5.

Pros & Cons of the Neato D6

Pros

+ Designed with pet owners in mind
+ Up to 120 minutes of runtime
+ Charges quickly in 150 minutes
+ Quick boost charging to finish the cleaning quicker
+  Smart navigation system and logical cleaning pattern
+ Large brush roll for catching that pet hair
+ Side sweeper for reaching corners
+ Quiet Eco mode
+ Suction boost on Turbo mode
+ Quieter than most robotic vacuums
+ Better filter for capturing allergens
+ Maps the house to make a floor plan
+ You can use No-Go Lines on the app to exclude areas
+ Larger dust bin than on most robotic vacuum
+ Wide cleaning path
+ The app is easy to use and intuitive
+ Neato keeps updating the software
+ Support and customers service are helpful if you run into problems

Cons

- The vacuum can sometimes lose the wifi connection
- There is no notification is the dirt cup fills up while vacuuming

What's in the box

Neato D6 box

Neato D6 on the back

  • Neato Botvac D6 Connected robot vacuum
  • Charge Base
  • Power Cord
  • Spiral Combo Brush
  • Spide Brush
  • Ultra Performance Filter
  • Brush and Filter Cleaning Tool
  • Boundary Marker

Summing Up

With many excellent improvements in navigation and performance - and yet a reasonable price - the Neato D6 is something many homeowners have their eye on.

It might seem like a significant investment because it’s one of the products you could do without. Also, it’s one of those products that you won’t regret buying.

It saves you so much time, and it’s very rarely you run into a mess that the D6 wouldn’t be able to handle.

We talked to a few experts, and their advice was never to buy a robotic vacuum under 500 US. Because technology comes at a price, the cheaper robovacs are bound to be missing some key features.

The bottom line:

The Neato D6 has all the features and functionalities you need a robotic vacuum to have. The price-quality ratio is fantastic, and the vacuum gets incredible user reviews.

If all this hasn’t convinced you, go check out some user reviews here.

FAQ on Neato D6

I have hardwood floors and area rugs. Can the D6 handle moving from one surface to another?

Yes, the D6 vacuum has no problems moving from one surface to another as long as the difference is under an inch.

The vacuums won’t have any issues with rugs and carpets as long as the threads are less than 0.6 inches.

How do I get the Botvac D6 to clean using No-Go Lines?

First, you need to let your D6 create a custom floor plan of your house.

Use the app to go to My Floor Plan and send your robot out to figure out its surroundings.

A map will appear, and you can draw No-Go Lines anywhere you want.

For your vacuum to follow its new instructions, you must schedule a new cleaning or start the vacuum from the app.

What kind of maintenance does the D6 need?

Although your robotic vacuum does most of the work for you, taking care of your robot will make it last longer and keep up the cleaning results.

  • Use a Q-tip to clean drop sensors once a month
  • Detach the brush roll and clean it using the hair cutting tool
  • Change filters every three months

You may also want to replace the battery and brush roll at some point to keep up the performance of the vacuum.

Can the Botvac D6 map a multi-story house?

The D6 can create and store up to three floors plans in its internal memory so you can use it even if you have two or three stories in your home.

You can also set No-Go lines for each floor plan individually.

What if the battery runs out while the robot is cleaning?

The Botvac D6 will automatically recharge and resume cleaning.

Also, if it was using one of the saved floor plans to clean, it will calculate how much area is left to clean and how much battery it needs to finish the job, and then charge only that. This is called the Quick Boost feature, and it enables the robot to finish the job quicker.

Does the D6 work with Google Home or Amazon Echo?

Yes, you can control your vacuum using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, you can only use the No-Go Lines through the Neato App on your phone.

What is the “extra care navigation” feature?

To do an excellent job at cleaning your home the robot needs to get as close to walls, furniture and other objects as it can.

At the same time, it should avoid bumping into delicate objects. The extra care navigation function will help your robot move carefully around delicate objects.

Can I use multiple devices to control the vacuum?

Yes, all family members can control the vacuum from their own phone, as long as they sign into the same account on the Neato App.

Do I need the magnetic strip that was included?

You can use the magnetic strip if you want your vacuum to avoid certain areas when it’s creating the floor plan.

The strip forms a physical barrier which the robot will not cross. Once the floor plan is created, you don’t need the strips, and you can use the Neato App to create No-Go Lines anywhere you want.

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