Roomba 690 vs 890: Make the Right Choice for Your Needs

  • Full review
Roomba 690 vs 890 – a Comprehensive Comparison Review
Updated 2020

If you are seriously looking for the perfect robotic vacuum to aid in maintaining the cleanliness of your floor, the iRobot Roomba brand is among the most popular choices. The integration of AI ensures that you have an extremely easy time cleaning your floor.

Though there are numerous models, you can select from, making the right choice can be a tedious task. This article is, therefore, a comparison between the best series 600 vacuum cleaner, i.e., Roomba 690, and the top of the line series 800 robotic vacuum, Roomba 890.

Both models have their merits and demerits. This article highlights all of them in addition to providing a detailed breakdown of each robot. To learn more, continue reading the text below. Nevertheless, if you intend to know my personal opinion, I would go for Roomba 890. The main reason is that it has brushless rollers that extremely easy maintenance procedures. I will also provide other evidence of my choice below.

The Roomba 890 vs 690 Review: Know the Main Differences

Fully understanding what spells the difference between the two devices will greatly assist you in making an easy decision. It might be surprising to discover the features absent in one model or the other. Nevertheless, you do not require all the features to be fully satisfied with your purchase. For this reason, I will guide you towards making the ideal choice as I compare Roomba 890 vs 690.

Several factors will influence your final choice. These include your preferences, taste, and budget. But if you know the contrasts between the two machines, it simplifies what to choose. 

Filtration System

The Roomba 890 comes equipped with a HEPA filter. HEPA means High-Efficiency Particulate Air. For this reason, this vacuum is highly efficient in filtering out particulate air. It functions through trapping any air contaminants within a sophisticated mesh of fibers. Based on the particle sizes, the process can occur in four separate ways, i.e., diffusion, sieving, inertial impaction & interception. Large contaminants get trapped via sieving & impaction. 

The 690 model, on the other hand, uses AeroVac filtration. This is a system that uses a powerful vacuum to vigorously suck any debris or hair stuck on brushes into its bin. The 690 has a one-chambered bin that effectively fills evenly. It also has the potential to hold in more debris than previous models. 

Cleaning Ability

The series 800 vacuums have gotten rid of the bristles that are a common feature in previous models like the 690. Instead, it utilizes Aero Force Technology. Experts claim that this innovation can suck in 50 percent more dirt & other debris that any former model. 

The 890 has two motors, each consisting of rubberized treads. Upon being powered on, these rotors spin to either grab or break up the debris. Its new design greatly minimizes the possibility of hair clogs or jams. Therefore, it requires very low maintenance. 

For this reason, its general cleaning ability is a tremendous improvement over former designs. What’s more, its air filter prevents particulate matter & dirt from spreading all over the room. The rubber tread angles, as well as the general design, both enable the maximum churning of debris and highly efficient suctioning of the cleaning surface. Its dual multipurpose rubber brushes instantaneously flex & adapt to remain constantly attached to the ground. Proper anchoring ensures that not even the slightest piece of dirt is left behind. 

The 690 model cleans surfaces in a total of three stages. Moreover, the dual multi-surface bristles pick up a variety of particles ranging from minute particles to larger debris. 

Bin Indicator

Another difference between the Roomba 690 and 890 is that the 890 model has a bin indicator. This indicates when the bin has been filled & requires emptying. However, the same feature is not available in model 690. You have to check the bin yourself periodically to know when to empty it. Though it is not an inconvenience, this can be a slight bothering. 

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Compare Roomba 890 vs 690: the Main Similarities

The two models have a lot in common. It is the differences that will give you a hard time in making a choice. Below, I will explain the fundamental features of both vacuums in detail so that you can make an informed decision. 

Mapping & Navigation

These vacuums all utilize the iAdapt software for mapping & navigation. Upon being activated, these robots run through the floor while simultaneously mapping the area for any obstructions. But this is not to say that they do a 100 percent perfect job. 

Even though the highly efficient iAdapt software does most of the work, the navigation systems still have some room for improvement. These vacuums will have your entire floor cleaned, but you will notice that certain areas have been ignored. The reason is that they utilize random routes while cleaning the floor, instead of going straight from side to side. 

Task Scheduling

Both models are equipped with the ability to schedule the cleaning process. It is possible to achieve this via the iHome app whereby you can establish a cleaning program based on your specific needs.
Through scheduling, you can set a specific date & time once every day for up to seven days. Schedules are created using the buttons located at the top of the robotic vacuums. What’s more, you can easily delete your schedules whenever you change your mind. 

Force Docking and Recharging

Both 690 and 890 units come with on-board digital monitors that display battery life. If the battery drains to extremely low levels that prevent normal functionality, these robots automatically return to their docking stations for recharging. 

The iHome application, downloadable on both Android and iOS platforms, is very handy in halting the cleaning process and returning the device to the dock. Nevertheless, this automatic recharge capability does not enable the device to resume cleaning unless you order it to do so. 

Battery Type

The 690 & 890 models are similar in terms of the battery type they utilize. Both of them utilize a lithium-ion battery. This is a major upgrade compared to the former NiMH or Nickle Metal Hydride type. 

Lithium-Ion batteries are known to last longer as well as having faster recharge times. They also pose higher recharge cycles. 

As a user, this means that you have more time to clean & less time for recharging. What’s more, you end up spending less money on battery replacement. 

Voice Control

Both units can be controlled through smart voice control devices. These include Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa. You can instruct Alexa to begin, pause, stop, or resume cleaning. Additionally, you can inspect your vacuum’s status and even locate it if the device gets lost somewhere.

Virtualized Wall Barriers

iRobot has been integrated with virtualized wall barriers. There are minute devices that use infrared signals to maintain the Roomba within the specified cleaning area. Upon sensing the beam, it adjusts its path and avoids that area. Therefore, you can set up a cleaning radius to protect any peripheral objects. 

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Comparison Table with the Main Characteristics

I managed to create a side by side Roomba 690 vs 890 review for a quick comparison of critical features. From my analysis, it appeared that both devices have similar features, such as battery life and dust bin capacity. Take a look at the table below.

Roomba 690
VS
Roomba 890
Battery Life
36 months
VS
36 months
Run Time
90 minutes
VS
90 minutes
Charging Time
2-3 hours
VS
2-3 hours
Dust Bin size
0.3 liters
VS
0.3 liters
Noise
No
VS
No
Built-in Camera
No
VS
No
Remote Control
Yes
VS
Yes
Accessories
Yes
VS
Yes
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Compare Roomba 690 vs 890 to Make the Right Decision

The following section comprises detailed descriptions of both the Roomba 690 and the 890 models. I believe that with adequate information, you will not make a decision that you will later regret.

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Roomba 690: a Full Review of the Device

For you to get a deeper understanding of Roomba 690, I analyzed every feature, including accessories, performance, and battery life. These are the most critical aspects that should be carefully considered before purchasing any robot vacuum. So, let’s take an in-depth look at the Roomba 690.

Parts & Accessories

The Roomba 690 automatic vacuum cleaner is the best product within the 600 series category. Even though it is a cheaper model, this vacuum has been embedded with cutting-edge AI features. These characteristics include app/smartphone connectivity, Wi-Fi, & scheduled operations. 

This device seeks to excel in providing maximum value to the owner in contrast to the brand’s higher-end products that focus more on impressing at a whole new level. The 690 model is an ideal option for those seeking added convenience within their cleaning schedules. But with its dirt detection mechanism, the 690 might take a considerable amount of time to finish up the cleaning. The reason is that it has to detect and eradicate any dirt initially. Nevertheless, its performance remains amazingly strong, especially for a lower-priced robot. 

The patented dirt detection sensors inform the robot to enhance its efforts in cleaning areas with the highest concentration of dirt. Such include heavy traffic zones within your house. Within the packaging, you will find the vacuum itself, a single North American Power cord, one home-based charging station, a virtual wall, an extra filter, a documentation package, and the owner’s manual.

In terms of design, the Roomba 690 provides you with a rounded aesthetic. It combines a silver top with a surrounding black ring. Its top interface has a simplistic design and also includes a handle to enable ease of pickup. The durable walls that comprise the perimeter of this robotic cleaner allow it to bump into objects such as furniture, walls, etc., then instantly bounce off without resulting in any damages. A summary of its fundamental accessories include the following: 

  • A charging station
  • Virtual wall barrier
  • Cleaning tool
  • HEPA Filter
  • Battery
  • Sinning brush

Cleaning Performance

This robotized vacuum does its job by driving itself around as it sports debris and dirt via its direct detection mechanism. After that, it cleans everything up. That is how simple this device operates. The bumper ring acts as a protective layer against physical damage due to collisions. It has a bouncy effect. Nevertheless, one downside to this vacuum is that it lacks machine learning capabilities, unlike some of the more sophisticated Roomba models. What this means is that it can move around your house every single day, but will never remember the configuration of your house. 

With that being said, this dirt detection mechanism enables the unit to maneuver around and sense debris & dirt on your floor. After that, it moves towards the rubbish and performs its signature three-staged sanitation procedure, namely navigation, brushing, and absorbing. The fact that it does not have to memorize your house’s configuration makes it clean considerably faster that vacuums that can memorize your home. 

  • Edge cleaning

All Roomba models have amazing levels of maneuverability. The 690 has a rounded design. Therefore, it can easily turn round an entire 360 degrees. What’s more, when you take the low height into account, you are left with a vacuum that can easily find its way under low openings a lot easier than many other vacuums. 

It weighs only 7.8 pounds, has a 13-inch width, a height of 3.6 inches & can rotate 360 degrees. Just like all iRobot Roomba automated vacuums, its circular design becomes an impediment when attempting to clean corners. Its spinning brush located at the bottom of the vacuum tries as much as it can to access nearby corners. However, it is usually unable to clean them completely. In case you desire a better cleaning device, you might consider going for an efficient handheld vacuum cleaner. 

  • Pet hair

Though the Roomba 690 functions pretty well on short shags & easily gets under items to vacuum hard-to-reach locations, one downside is that it lacks attachments. Therefore, you cannot use it to vacuum pet hair from your furniture. Moreover, any spillages or pets cannot be detected despite the high level of the Roomba’s intuitiveness. It might end up spreading anything, just as someone would step on something and unknowingly walk around the house unaware. 

  • Hardwood/Tile/Linoleum/Vinyl cleaning

According to various tests, hardwood floors are a piece of cake for the robotic device 690. It sucked up all debris fields with much ease. What’s more, these tests were all completed in seven minutes.
It was able to cope with 100 percent of spilled cereal, 96 percent of kitty litter, 99 percent of rice, and 95 percent of sugar. However, the spinning brushes occasionally flung some debris, e.g., rice, towards the corners of the testing area. Nevertheless, the Roomba 690 did an amazing job in finding its way into those corners to clear the debris. 

  • Thick carpet

In terms of eliminating dirt from thick carpet composed of polypropylene fiber, the Roomba 690 does quite a commendable job. In tests conducted using cereal, kitty, and rice litter, the machine was able to collect 100 percent of the dirt. On the other hand, its performance in collecting sugar debris was around 50 percent. 

  • Thin carpet (nylon fiber)

On thin carpets, the Roomba 690 can collect fact particles, particularly flour, dust & sugar. These substances usually get buried deep within the fabric. However, on thin carpets, this vacuum exhibited a better performance compared to thick carpet. In an experiment, results indicated that the 690 could collect 86 percent of flour, 90 percent of sugar, 98 percent cheerios & 90 percent of kit litter.

Roomba 690 Battery Life

The device’s battery has a capacity of 1,800 mAh. It can continuously run the vacuum for around 90 minutes. It takes between 2 to three hours for the device to gain a full charge. However, the lifespan of this battery depends on how frequently you vacuum your house. Remember that all rechargeable batteries have a maximum number of charge cycles. Another factor that can affect your battery life is the time duration it stays without charge. The Roomba 690 can clean for around 60 minutes per charge cycle. Therefore, you will get satisfactory results from this machine. 

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Roomba 890: an Extensive Analysis

The Roomba 890 iRobot vacuum machine is more expensive and sophisticated compared to model 690. Nevertheless, this extra cost comes with substantial benefits. Apart from the Wi-Fi connectivity, superior cleaning performance, & voice control, other upgrades are as follows: more innovative dual brush rolls that limit tangling, the all-new & innovative HEPA filtration, memory-mapping capabilities, in addition to a full bin indicator. Memory-mapping, in particular tremendously enhances the navigation of this device. Dual brush rolls also make it more suitable for long hair as well as pet hair. 

In terms of design, this vacuum is similar to the 690 variety. The cleaning buttons are similar, and the same applies to the handle placement, dust bin release & bumper type. The 890 adopts a black and dark gray appearance. This model entirely lacks brightly colored units. With such a simple design, its features also feel considerably intuitive. 

The vacuum measures 13.9 inches in diameter and a height of 3.6 inches. Again, this is a relatively standard size for most robotic vacuum cleaners. It can maneuver with relative ease through tight spaces as well as underneath most furniture. 

Components and Accessories

The 890 comprises an AeroForce Performance Cleaning System. What’s more, its extractors need very little to no maintenance. Other accessories include: 

  • A charging station
  • An advanced virtual wall barrier

Cleaning Performance

To be able to get a precise comparison between any vacuum models, they have to be put under various tests. Such tests are meant to evaluate a vacuum’s comprehensive range of cleaning capabilities, beginning from large particles to smaller particulate matter. The 890 was placed under a total of twelve debris tests on three different floor types & four debris kinds. The tests were conducted on edge-cleaning capabilities, pet hair, hardwood, thick carpet (polypropylene fiber), and thin carpet (nylon fiber). 

On every floor type, particles used for the test included dry cereal, rice, sugar & pet litter. This vacuum cleans in three main stages; these are agitation, sucking, and lifting. There are numerous sensors embedded all over the vacuum. These allow it to comfortably drive around your house and map out your floor plan. While moving, the 890 utilizes both acoustic & optical sensors to locate debris, dirt, as well as pet hair. 

Its double rolling brushes at the bottom function to collect debris & dirt on the floor. The spinning brush, on the other hand, draws external debris & dirt into the machine’s suction area. The highly efficient filter also traps particles so as not to contaminate the air. 

  • Edge cleaning

All Roomba vacuums come with side brushes. However, for the 890, its brushes go along furniture, wall edges, and also the corners to loosen any debris. Therefore, it is a lot more efficient in keeping such places clean. Nevertheless, this vacuum is not very great when it comes to cleaning tight corners. 

  • Pet hair

The iRobot 890 model easily gets rid of pet hair within your floor and carpet. This ensures that your floor is always kept clean in between your periodic vacuuming. It has a well-balanced combination of accessories that offer high-performance levels. For this reason, the 890 model is a great choice for many buyers. 

This vacuum will preserve your sanity in such tasks. You do not have to keep sweeping your puppy’s hair each day. Its tangle-free dirt extractors have been designed with specific consideration for pet hair. They can lift & separate these hairs for more efficient suction without omitting any unwanted dirt. 

  • Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors can potentially enhance the appeal of your home’s appearance. However, to keep it clean, you need more than a simple broom. A broom will waft around dust & dirt. But if you have the Roomba 890, you should not be worried about cleaning your hardwood floor. 

When put under a hardwood cleaning test, this vacuum achieved an exemplary performance in clearing different types of dirt. It achieved 100 percent performance in cleaning rice, cereal, and sugar. It is only in cleaning kitty litter that the vacuum scored 92 percent. What’s more, this device could accomplish the task in approximately seven-and-a-half minutes.

  • Thick carpet (Polypropylene fiber)

Cleaning high pile carpets still pose a significant challenge for the 890. Nevertheless, you will be able to avoid some trouble associated with tangling. This vacuum can clear a considerable amount of dirt from your thick carpet but still lacks adequate power to undertake this task efficiently. 

  • Thin carpet (Nylon fiber)

While cleaning thin carpets, the Roomba 890 offers excellent performance. The reason is that thinner carpets do not hide dirt deep inside the material. What’s more, there are fewer impediments involved in cleaning thin carpets. This vacuum comfortably collects all kinds of dirt/debris in surfaces like Nylon fiber. 

The Roomba 890 Battery Performance

The 890 model also comes with a 1, 800 mAh battery. It charges for close to 2-3 hours. At full charge, it can run for 90 minutes.

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The Final Table

You would not want to buy a vacuum robot that would limit your usage. You require a device that is versatile regarding the type of floor and the size of your apartment. Therefore, below is the final summary of the two devices to enable you to make the best decision concerning usage.

Roomba 690
VS
Roomba 890
Best for the money
Yes
VS
No
Best for a small apartment
No
VS
Yes
Best for a large apartment
Yes
VS
No
Best for thin carpets
Yes
VS
Yes
Best for a carpeted floor
No
VS
Yes
Best for hardwood, tile or vinyl floors
Yes
VS
Yes
Best item if you have pets and allergies
No
VS
No
Best for traffic rooms
No
VS
Yes
Best for a hardwood
Yes
VS
Yes
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FAQs Concerning the Roomba Series

Many people have burning concerns about these devices. Here are the most common ones and their answers: 

  • How high does my furniture need to be off the ground?

Both devices have a height of 3.6 inches. Therefore, the furniture should be at least 4.5 inches high to allow easy maneuverability of the device.

  • Will these units work well on shag carpeting?

Version 890 is powerful enough to deep clean shag carpets. The 690, however, isn’t so potent but will get rid of pet hair, dust, and most debris.

  • Is Wi-Fi a necessity for the operation of the Roombas?

You do not have to have Wi-Fi connectivity to operate these vacuums. You can as well make use of the onboard buttons/controls while operating both the 690 and 890. 

  • Will my Roomba get entangled on carpet fringes & cords?

Whenever you have moving components, loose items, and suction, some things are bound to be entangled or trapped. Nevertheless, the Roomba 890 has been designed with AeroForce technology that enables it to free itself. In case it cannot, it automatically shuts itself down, then sends an error message to your phone/tablet app to avoid any damages to the rotor as well as battery depletion. 

  • Can the Roomba damage costly luxury floors?

Not at all. These are smart robotic vacuums that painstakingly clean your delicate floor to avoid any scratches. The Roomba’s wheels have been designed to operate without scouring any type of floor. 

  • How can I prevent my Roomba from cleaning unintended areas?

The solution to this is very simple. Just direct it back to its docking station to recharge. After that, you can either ward off by shutting the door or utilize the virtualized wall barrier to prevent the vacuum from entering the room through the use of the infrared beam. 

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The Bottom Line

Both the Roomba 690 and 890 are amazing devices of the same brand. However, the 890 comes with extra automation that eases your cleaning tasks. The best features of the 890 over the 690 are the mapping ability that enables it to memorize your floor plan and its full-bin indicator that informs you when it’s time to empty your bin. 

In terms of noise, both devices are relatively quiet while running. Therefore, you can clean your house without experiencing a lot of noise pollution. The 890 is an upgrade compared to the 690 in terms of floor plan mapping, enhanced navigation, and a host of other better features. 

For a pocket-friendly deal, the 690 should be your #1 choice. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty. Amazon also allows returns within 30 days after purchase. Nevertheless, this might vary based on the retailer. Even though it lacks some whistles, such as the more efficient advanced filtration system & brush roll, the device can provide an admirable cleansing experience at a lower price. 

The Roomba 890 is pricier due to its more cutting-edge features. It also has a year’s warranty, and Amazon allows a 30-day return period depending on the seller. Nevertheless, the difference in performance between it and the 690 does not differ with a huge margin. Which robot vacuum do you prefer? Which one do you think is more versatile? Share your views by leaving comments below.

Dwight Gibson

I’ve been interested in various gadgets and gizmos since school. Even as a kid, I read a lot about the tech world and wrote a weekly Hi-tech column in my school’s newspaper. As a university student, I continued writing on the Hi-tech topic for local magazines.

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