I purchase this just over a year ago – and so have had plenty of time to figure out where it succeeds and where it fails. Firstly, the good, it does a brilliant job as a robot vacuum cleaner, once it has done its rounds the floors (carpet and vinyl) are spotless. Having two side brushes makes this superior to other cleaners that only have a single brush, and its ability to get right up in there on skirtings and corners is great. It picks up all sort of stuff and even without the auto empty bin (an extra $399 in NZL for some reason) it still does about 3 trips around the house before I need to manually empty the little internet bin. Its reasonably unobtrusive, it is loud but not offensively so. The mopping attachment that comes with it is basic and really just wipes the floor, if you want proper mopping back and forth you need the posh add-on part for that, which does an adequate job, but only just.
The not so great, firstly I'll start with the mop, it really isn't up to much, it says you can only use cold water, which of course does nothing to shift say an oil splatter stain on the kitchen floor, so I've got in the habit of pre-spraying the hard floors with cleaner before sending this thing out. If you set it on maximum clean, max water flow it does an adequate job of mopping. As I said, the fact the auto-empty station is a $399 add on in NZL is a joke, it should just come with one – sure you don't absolutely need it and the little bin is ok for a day or three, but if you're going to be away for a few days, you want to disable the auto cleaning schedule otherwise you will be annoyed by notices about full bin and so on… which Segway's into the App. Its fairly obvious this app is made by someone in China, its functionality and use of language is at best strange though it has improved slightly over time. The biggest problems it has are that it takes time to create a map of your home, it uses a mixture of sight/camera, bumpers and a Lidar sensor on top to do this, and mostly it works very well – and the map will exist for a few days and then disappear or it will randomly change rooms around, make them smaller or merge with a room next door, the mapping function has been a huge bugbear from day 1 and it hasn't been resolved despite numerous complaints to EcoVacs about it. They claim you can save a map once it works it out correctly but I can't see a way to do that, so you just end up in the cycle every so often of needing to remap your house, restore all the barriers you've set up so it doesn't get tangled in your AV cables behind the tv, or get stuck in the not quite wide enough gap down the sides of the toilet. The app truly is the biggest flaw with the AiVIt8 – its just poorly done and poorly updated. You can set up schedules which do work well, until of course the map goes awry and then your schedules are stuffed to.
What I wish I'd known: To buy the auto empty bin at the start or that is was included to being with. That you need to use hot/warm water for mopping and you should spray floor cleaner before you set it off to clean the floor. You will need to redo the maps at least once or twice a month, it is an automatic process but it still is a frustration. If you have an outside area where the floor is level between in and out, make sure your doors are closed otherwise it will map your outside as part of the inside and try to clean accordingly. You will struggle to find accessories for it in NZL, no one seems to sell them despite so many retailers selling the cleaners, when the brushes run out or the filters need replacing your left with buying knockoffs from china, or paying a stupid amount to get overprices legit accessories shipped from AU. Once in the past year I managed to find a pack of them on Mighty Ape, but only once and they have never been back in stock again. Ecovacs tell you nothing helpful other than to buy them from Australia.
So, would I buy a Robot Vacuum Cleaner again? Absolutely I would, its amazing the difference not having to hoover daily makes to ones life. Would I buy an EcoVacs again, no I wouldn't, its cleaning is ok, its mopping is meh, but the app and the lack of local accessories just makes this a frustrating product to own in NZL, other makers of robot vacs do more to supply the local market with a full range of products and accessories – EcoVacs do not do this.