Ecovacs Deebot 601: A Good Clean Feeling

Jason Cockerham

Community Reviews Team Leader
Nov 12, 2012
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I love technology; that’s obvious or I wouldn’t be doing this. I love trying out new gadgets and finding things that make my life easier while also being fun to use. I love the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) and everything being connected together and being able to use just my voice to control it all. Yes, I want Jarvis. I mean who doesn’t?

While we are not completely there yet, there are still a lot of great little gadgets that are getting us closer and closer every day including robots. Having our own personal robots used to be a thing reserved for sci-fi films and the super rich, but now we can have our very own robots right in our house to help keep things a little more clean and organized. One of my favorites is robotic vacuums.

No one likes vacuuming (or at least not normal people) and especially after recently getting married and adopting a dog, the idea of vacuuming is even more daunting. My wife and I wanted desperately to get a robotic vacuum and soon after we began the conversation, Ecovacs was kind enough to send me their brand new Deebot 601 robovac to review. The biggest question though is, can it dethrone the Roomba? Let’s find out.



If you’ve ever seen an in home robotic vacuum within the past few years then you probably know they essentially look like giant hockey pucks. The Deebot 601 lives up quite aptly to that description. It’s a big black round hockey puck with wheels. I actually really like the design. It looks very sleek and simple. On the top Ecovacs has put one power button and two indicators, one for the Wi-Fi connection and the other to tell you what mode the vacuum is in.


On the bottom lies two, three bristle brushes that pull all the dirt in towards the large brush towards the back that actually picks up all the dirt. There’s one small wheel at the front that rotates to turn the bot and two larger wheels at the back that power the vacuum throughout the room. Around the outside, the front half houses obstacle sensors to keep it from running into the furniture and the back houses the dirt bin.


I was honestly surprised at how well the bot was able to navigate around my furniture. The back wheels are strong enough that it was able to pull itself off of the legs of my coffee table when it got in there. Very cool.

How does it work?

The Deebot 601 has a lot of great functionality built into it. To start with, there are three basic cleaning modes: Edge, Auto, and Spot. In Edge mode, the Deebot will clean around all the edges and corners of the house. In Auto mode, it will randomly clean it’s way across the entire house. Spot mode tells the Deebot to clean in a circular pattern to help clean up particularly stubborn dirt. Auto is the default mode for the Deebot and if you simply hit the power button on top or click play on the remote it will immediately start in Auto mode. I really only found the need to use Edge mode about once a week or so and while I only used Spot mode once in my review period, it did a great job.


You can also change the cleaning pattern of the Deebot. There is an option to enable Hard Wood Mode which will tell the bot to specifically clean back and forth across the floor for a quicker and more efficient clean. As per the name, Hard Wood Mode works best on hardwood floors. Go figure. There’s also a Max mode to double the suction power if you really need a deep clean on your floors.

So how do you control the freaking thing? Well there’s a remote included in the box that gives you some basic functionality (it’s infrared based and not bluetooth unfortunately so you actually gotta point it at the thing, much like a neanderthal with a TV remote), but my absolute favorite thing about the Deebot is how easy it is to control from your smartphone or tablet.


Once you download the Ecovacs Home app and sync it up to your Deebot, you can literally clean your floors any time, any place. For instance while sitting in my wife’s coffee shop writing this review. You can also schedule cleanings for the robot to clean for you when you’re out of the house and if the battery runs low, it will simply return to its charging dock and recharge. The Deebot also has stair detection sensors so you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on it while you’re not there and there’s even a Find Me feature that will help you locate the Deebot if it gets stuck or lost in your home.


The best part about all of this is that you can also connect Deebot to Alexa and Google Home as well so you can even just say a simple command to clean your floors.

Does it really work?

Ok so yeah it’s some cool features, but does it actually work? Will it actually clean the floors? YES! The most impressive thing about this little robot is just how well it keeps our floors clean. If you have a dog like we do then you know that the war against pet hair is a never ending battle where we humans are outnumbered, cut off, and surrounded. Seriously though, it’s annoying. Well my friends, the cavalry's here! This little Deebot has kept our floors free of dust, dirt, and doggy hair!


Of course, it’s not perfect. Nothing made by humans ever will be. Occasionally it will miss spots and our couch sits too low for it to be able to get under it so that’s a bummer. It also can take more than a few minutes to find its way back home after it’s done cleaning. The shiny plastic top also attracts fingerprints like crazy but you’re not really supposed to be touching it anyway right?

One other thing that I think is pretty cool is that Ecovacs claims that their filters “capture airborne triggers associated with allergies and asthma”. I have only had the robot about a week but my wife feels that it has helped with her allergies and other reviews I read all said the same thing to that’s pretty cool.

Anything else?

There are a few things I wish the Deebot could do differently. I wish that there were a couple more cleaning options or that I could set it to clean just one room at a time. There is no way to set up any sort of virtual barrier for the Deebot so you can’t block of certain portions of rooms or keep it from going into places that don’t have a wall or door for instance. I live in a townhouse so it’s not really a big deal for me because we just have it clean our entire floor. For others with more spread out homes, this could be something to think about. You’ll just have to remember to close some doors if you want to keep it out of the room.

It also has a little trouble with carpet so if you have mostly carpet in your house, it may not be that much of a help. It did just fine with the rug in our living room but it’s not a very think rug so it was much easier to maneuver on. If you have thicker rugs you might want to be careful. I also wish the obstacle sensors worked better on things like toys or items on the floor. It’s not a deal breaker but just remember to pick up any toys or bags off the floor before you start it up.

Lastly, be careful with cables on the floor. This is kinda my fault but I left a charging cable lying on the floor in the bedroom when I left and the bedroom door was open so it made its way in and ended up getting tangled up a bit in the cable. It didn’t break the cable nor did the Deebot break but it did do a number on the front brushes so just be careful. Again, not a deal breaker but just keep it in mind.


The Verdict

I’ve never been a fan of vacuuming. My wife hasn’t either and with the Deebot 601, we have a lot more free time, and a lot less stress, throughout the week. It has really been helpful for us. No longer do I have to fight my dog away or send her outside while I vacuum. No longer do I have to fight with my wife over who’s turn it is. No longer do I have to vacuum!

Without a doubt, if you’re looking at getting a robot vacuum sometime soon, the Deebot 601 needs to be at the top of your very short list. It does almost all of the same things that the Roomba will do but it’s usually one to two hundred dollars cheaper. Unless you need one or two extra features or you’ve just got money to burn then there’s no reason to look past the Ecovacs Deebot 601. You can grab it on Amazon right now for $200.

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