Neato D450 Animal Edition review: aspiration above all

For the past few weeks, Les Alexiens have been on all fronts to find and present to you as many models as possible. simple robot vacuum cleaners or integrating the washing function in order to allow you to discover the different models, to learn more and to choose from the large number of models available. These new generation household appliances are now very advanced, connected thanks to smartphones, even for some compatible with our voice assistants.

Today, we therefore present to you a model, certainly very simple in appearance because only a vacuum cleaner, but more than worthy of interest since it comes to us from the famous brand Neato. Indeed, if some absolutely want a 2 in 1 model, others may aspire to have two independent robots, each dedicated to a task. If one poses a problem, it will always be possible to have the functions of the other. In this case, it is on an entry-level model from the manufacturer, the Neato D4 also called Neato D450 Animal Edition, that our choice has stopped.

Neato D450 Animal Editions: an ideal robot vacuum for our four-legged friends

Presentation: Neato a heavyweight?

It is on the occasion of a showroom organized for the presentation of the latest models of the Neato brand (the new Animal Editions), which your favorite editorial team visited recently and was able to meet Cyrille Glumineau, the European sales director of Neato Robotics, and exchange a few words with him while discovering his models released in the middle of the summer. These differ from the same basic models by the included supply of additional accessories justified by a more frequent use of the vacuum cleaner due to the presence of our friends with long hair… or short compared to a household without animals.

Who is Neato Robotics? Well, this is an American company created in 2005 in Newark, California, and acquired by the German company Vorwerk in September 2017, particularly known for its famous Thermomix. Vowerk is renowned for its high-end hardware, both with its kitchen machine and with its vacuum cleaners sold under the Kobold brand. Let's close this parenthesis and come back to Neato Robotics, an innovative company in many areas, and famous in the world of robot vacuum cleaners for having been the first brand to use a very unique design D-shaped. It is also the very first to have  made its robot vacuum cleaners compatible with Alexa. And that, we love it! We'll see what it is below, but let's first take a look at what our new boyfriend has under the hood ...

Unboxing the Neato D450

Presented in a large box of imposing size, the Neato D450 does not go unnoticed, it must be admitted, especially as the packaging displays 6.6 kg on the scale. Stripped of all its packaging, the robot does nothing but 3.34 kg. We are therefore dealing with the heavy, both literally and figuratively.

The aesthetics of the packaging in selective varnish is very neat. We find on the front of the box, in the foreground, a large photo of the Neato D4 Connected on a white background which makes it possible to identify the D4 at a glance, warned it is true. Its color differs in fact from the other two models in the Botvac Connected range, in this case the Neato D6 and D7, the bodywork of the three models presenting the same physiognomy and identical dimensions. In the upper left corner is positioned the reference " Botvac D4 Connected » as well as the orange logo of the brand Neato. Bottom left, two photos: one smartphone with mapping and an Apple Watch, a connected watch with which Neato robot vacuum cleaners are compatible.

On the back, Neato gives us the information about our new two-wheeled companion. Indeed, in the upper part we find its technical characteristics main and in particular the systems LaserSmart™ ou No-Go Lines  with which it is provided, and in the lower left part on a bottle green background the mention of its compatibility with Google Home but especially with our dear Amazon Alexa.

Finally, on each of the edges of our box, we have in the lower part two pictograms comparing the movement of other robot vacuum cleaners in front of a Neato.

Understand: others move at random, without organization, while Neato robots adopt a systematic, organized and regular movement while knowing how to adapt to its environment thanks to its technology of LaserSmart™.

If this may have been true a few years ago, Neato Robotics being the first brand to use the laser rangefinder, it should rather be seen today as a comparison with low-end devices, this technology having been widely democratized on medium and high-range robots.

Below, finally, the content and the required configuration are specified: you will obviously need a smartphone and a Internet connection with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (it must be admitted, this may not be the best place chosen to report it).

After having toured the packaging, let's finally open the lid and explore our Neato robot vacuum.

At the opening, we first come across the multi-language quick start manual, including French, as well as a guide to safety instructions and a self-adhesive sheet with the contact details of the technical assistance for each country of interest. 'Europe. If it is recommended to place the sticker under the robot to have it on hand quickly, we will instead stick it on the manual so that the label remains easily readable if necessary.

Our Neato Botvac D4 Connected will not have caught cold. It was well wrapped up and wedged in a relatively rigid molded cardboard box and covered by a plate of several sheets of cardboard with a thick layer of foam. It is thus perfectly protected from possible hazards and shocks. Precautions that demonstrate respect for the finished product and the customer who will receive it.

In the box on the left we find a box as long as our packaging. Inside are housed on the upper plate the accessories of the special kit D450 Animals Edition: 2 Ultra perfomance or HEPA filters, a combined spiral brush (very high performance) and a small envelope coated with the Neato logo containing a small comb / wire cutter for cleaning.

This kit generates a significant difference in price, since the version dedicated to sucking the hair of our little companions is at the recommended price of 579 euros while the model Neato D402 he is only 529€ excluding promotion. It is therefore a rather expensive device.

Once the tray is lifted, we find below the dock or charging base with integrated cable cover, as well as two socket models, one of type E for our French sockets and the other with 3 corresponding type G pins to UK standard.

Finally, after so much waiting, the Neato Botvac D4 Connected is finally revealed to us. Equipped with an all-plastic body, in the colors matt black and anthracite gray, il measure 33.55 cm long for 31.90 cm long et 9.96 cm height rangefinder included. A relatively standard size and not too high a height that will normally allow it to fit easily under a bed and most furniture, even if half a centimeter less would have been appreciable.

The central face is slightly embossed while the periphery and the lidar on which the mark is roughly displayed are smooth. Without being very beautiful, it deserves too much dust, but it is clear that Neato will not win a beauty award! But, basically, is this what we expect from a robot?

A simple press on the flap opens the flap of the translucent plastic dust container, with a very large capacity of 700 mL , where does the HEPA filter to capture dust down to 0.3 micron. It is the largest dust container that we have encountered so far on a vacuum robot and probably the largest capacity on the market to date (if we exclude, of course, the self-emptying tanks)! One filter is installed at the factory and two others supplied with this model Animals Edition. Hair or allergens just have to beware!

Let's close the hatch and look at the top again. On the front part of the hood is the on / off button et zone cleaning, as well as two indicator lights: a charge indicator symbolized by a “battery” pictogram and an “i” button for information.

Le Neato D4 is a stable robot thanks to two notched wheels about 1.5cm wide made of translucent rigid plastic. These have a large vertical amplitude as can be seen in the photos. They will therefore be able to rise and should easily climb thick carpets or door sills. The brand advertises up to 1.9cm difference in height, i.e. more than a Roborock S4 but less than Deebot Ozmo 920. They will also come into action during a tight turn, around the legs of a chair for example, or on surfaces too small to turn over while leaning on a to facilitate the maneuver. A system of wheels made up of four small ovoid wheels (two 1 cm wide placed at the front and two 2 cm wide placed at the back) come in addition to help him in his progress.

At the front of the robot is installed the combo brush forming a V. It is composed alternately of silicone coverslip strips and "silk" hairs, all divided into six parts. This is the unique element that will collect our dust, dog hair, cats and other debris It is located in the center of a wide suction band of 27cm x 3.5cm. Her length which represents almost the entire length of the device sees himself thus being 70% longer than its competitors in which we find the brush wedged between the two wheels such as the Roborock S6 or Deebot Ozmo 900, to recite nobody else but them. This placement makes it possible to avoid the addition of one or two brushes at the angles which are often necessary to bring the dirt back to the center. The combined brush is easy to extract: the 2 notches positioned at the front of the wheels allow the valve to be lifted and accessed for regular cleaning which will maintain its life longer.

The Neato D4 has a 70% longer brush than its competitors!

Let's continue our little tour of the owner ... On his rear end are the charging contactors which will come into contact with those of the dock. In the event of a lack of charge during its activity, the Neato D4 whose advertised autonomy is 75 min will come to regain energy, but just the energy it needs to complete the cleaning. Indeed, after having recorded the mapping of the premises for which he will now be in charge, he will be able to estimate with precision the energy necessary to finish his cleaning at the selected power: Turbo or Eco, No Go Lines activated or not. When Neato starts a job, he finishes it ASAP!

On the right side, the one that runs along the wall we find a proximity sensor which will guide him and prevent him from bumping into himself. A little blow of the compressed air bomb every now and then will keep it in perfect working order.

Let us now see the appendix present at its top. If you have followed our tests of compatible robot vacuums Alexa, you are no longer unaware that it is a Lidar or LDS, in other words a laser rangefinder to speak French. This laser allows him to perfectly map his environment and even to move in total darkness without the slightest difficulty, unlike models equipped with video systems such as most Roomba from iRobot.

Thanks to this system LaserSmart™, the Neato D4 will map rooms on the same floor and move easily in straight lines and not in random zigzags like low-end robots. This makes a big difference because many robots sold in supermarkets do not have one (due to the still high cost of such a system), disappointing many users who have had a more than mixed opinion of vacuum cleaners. robots because of their too often hazardous movements.

After the software acquisition of the parts, the Neato D4 will have no difficulty in moving, day and night therefore, and whatever the configuration of the place. This rangefinder only slightly protruding from the upper part of the robot, the Botvac D450 will be able to squeeze under a bed with low fallout.

Neato D4 tech. Sheet

Brand:
Neato Robotics
Model:
D4 - D450 Animal Edition
Drums :
Lithium-Ion NC
Aspiration:
NC
Dimension:
33,55 cm x 31,90 cm x 9,96 cm
Weight:
3.34 kg
Autonomy:
75 minutes
Loading time :
2h30
Remote control:
app and voice control
Charging station :
dock type
Dust container:
700ml
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi IEEE802.11 b / g / n 2.4 GHz
Accessories :
combined brush for all types of surfaces, HEPA filters x3
Other:
Cleaning tool x1, quick start guide and user manual

 

Iinstallation: "easy" is the key word

 

Now that we have unpacked all the parts and examined the robot from all its angles, let's see the installation itself, because we can't wait to try it, we must admit.

Let's start with the electrical connection. Obviously, we take the cord that corresponds to our type of French plug, the E / F type, and we place it by forcing slightly to pass it through the guide. We position the dock on the ground, connect it to the current, and put the metal parts of the dock in contact with those of the robot. The magic operates, the 2 blue and green lights of our Neato Botvac D450 Connected light up.

Here it is ready, 1st charge - the 2 LEDs flash blue and green - you have to wait until you hear the sound signal (the time of the 1st charge will obviously depend on the level with which it will be provided during delivery) for us 1 min - once charged, only the green light flashes.

Now that it is ready to use, we need to install the home application, Neato Robotics, available on the stores Google Play et Apple App Store.

The application opens in the color of the Neato brand. If you already have a robot of the brand you will just have to add it to your already existing account, but for us it is the first breathing machine of the brand, we need create an account, enter a mail address and choose one mot de passe. We then receive an email with a link that serves as confirmation. Finally we can connect to the Neato app. Classic.

In the first place, we must choose the model robot to configure, then activate wifi. To proceed with the pairing, all you have to do is press the start button and the right-hand bumper. Original on this one! A little music then announces the launch of the operation. The time limit for association mode is long enough for the robot to have time to capture the Wi-Fi. Indeed, it is one hour, you have time to go make yourself coffee!

Once the network 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi found it only remains to enter our password, and voila, the Neato Botvac D4 Connected is saved. All that remains is to give it a little name. For us it will be Nito, just to stick in French to the Anglo-Saxon pronunciation. Nice, isn't it?

Let's get to the heart of the Neato Robotics app:

From the home page, we can start a cleanup without the need to make a prior mapping recording. Our Botvac D4 Connected is not equipped with remote control, so the only means to put it into service are either manually by pressing the ON / OFF button on the robot, or by using the application ... But, by the way, we do have a sort of remote control since it is compatible Amazon Alexa. In the end, therefore, we shouldn't need the manual mode too much.

On the home page, at the top, is indicated if an update is available. When this is done our Neato D450 beeps to let us know it's over and he's ready to face again.

By clicking at the top right of the home page, on the envelope pictogram, our registered robot appears on the next page. A new click on the envelope returns us to the Previous page, a click on the toothed wheel takes us into the settings of our "Nito". We can thus access the modification of certain parameters.

The different menus are on the top corner left and accessible by clicking on the three bars also called "Sandwich":

  • We thus find in the first menu "My robot" (it's the Neato D4, or more exactly the D450), you get it?), access to the home page described above.
  • The menu "Robot programming"  will allow us to plan the days, hours and cleaning mode or we have the choice between 2 modes: Eco or turbo. It is in a way the scenario menu as in our tutorials with the application Smart Life of Tuya, or automations on Xiaomi Home that we used on the Roborock S6.

Le third menu will allow us to do the mapping from our floor. It's about "Floor Planner". Once we have properly opened the doors and put away the objects that could obstruct its passage, we can check the boxes and click on the bottom "Start cleaning". LaserSmart™, the laser rangefinder for those who do not follow, will come into action and show all its efficiency thanks to this menu.

Now we can start our first cleaning and put our robot in programming mode for his laser to scan and map the floor where we will be using it. Note, moreover, that Neato allows the use of a second card (for the D4) or even a third (D6 and D7 only) on condition of buying - well yeah, hey… - other bases! Not stupid, practical, but expensive ...

And There you go ! Once Nito (his little name with us) has finished going around the ground floor, we are asked to record the cartography obtained. It took him approximately 15 min to make 20 m² and return to its base. Once the map has been named, we can access by clicking on the stylus, at the top right, the modification of the map, that is to say: either rename it or delete it (if we wish to memorize a other place).

Indeed, the Neato D4 only offers a memorized map unlike the two other D6 or D7 models which allow up to 3 maps to be saved. It will therefore not be possible to memorize more than two floors on the D4, which is a shame, but nothing will prevent our robot vacuum from being used in spite of everything elsewhere than where it memorized its passage during configuration. It will then be enough to drop it where we want and, once it has finished its service, it will come back to exactly the same place.

And do not be afraid, because when we put it on the edge of the staircase to clean the upstairs rooms, it returned without difficulty to the same place without incident, but above all without falling down the stairs (at the same time, we have never encountered this problem, Editor's note). But more interesting, if a second dock is installed, for an additional expense which is by no means negligible, the robot will return alone to this second charging base.

By clicking on the circle with the "+" at the bottom of the page, we have access to the famous function " No Go lines Which allows our new buddy not to exceed certain limits defined virtually. It will even be possible to register several “No Go Lines”. Those appearing in red on the map. But for this mode it will be necessary to activate our robot via the app. In this configuration, Nito takes stock at launch and knows that he must not cross the lines (he is with the 2 green and blue buttons on fixed). During our test, we observed that the 2 memorized “No Go Lines” were perfectly respected. A very good point which reassures us when this function which will be very useful so that our Botvac D4 connected does not come in areas where toys have remained on the ground or near the bowls of our little four-legged companions that we do not want let him come bump. A simple return to the app and a click on these virtual red lines will delete them.

 

From the home page, by clicking on Option (bottom right) we have access to other parameters that can be used judiciously. We have the choice between cleaning the house or a smaller area (such as under a table for example or a place where our 4-legged friends like to settle down). We will thus have the choice between the two power modes available: Eco or Turbo. The first is less noisy but will take longer to clean while the second will certainly be noisier but will vacuum more quickly.

The defined configuration is displayed on its home page so we can see if the cleaning of the restricted area to 4mx4m is chosen with the delimitation lines activated. We can also visualize the type of power: Eco represented by a leaf or Turbo symbolized by a vortex. Finally, the little butterfly is also displayed when we choose our robot aspi to take special care via gentle navigation during cleaning.


Let's go back to the home page, where this time we're going to go see what Nito has been up to for a job (yes we're still going to watch his actions). This time we choose to click on the small square, a sort of calendar placed above Option. We then access the summary of the last cleaning. This report tells us the area cleaned, and the time spent doing so. Finally, a click on the graph at the top right will give you a representation of the time and the zone (s) chosen for each use.

In use, in a mapped area, we see that the robot will always (or almost) take the path in the same direction of rotation. If he changes his course, it is because he took the time at the start to analyze the area around him and he determines for himself whether he should change his course. He stays true to his first pass where he memorized the area. In short, like a Roborock S6 or an Ozmo 920, it knows where it is going.

On the other hand, if we ask him to go to a specific place via the addition of more than two "No Go Lines", it will have a little trouble getting there directly, it will do a few turns on itself to locate itself it seems. He seems hesitant on which way to go, but manages to do it anyway. It will just take a little longer. Nothing crippling then, but we have seen better in terms of navigation, especially at Roborock which is, it must be admitted, the strong point.

Otherwise, nothing more classic than his method: he begins by delimiting the contours of the area entrusted to him, then goes back and forth depending on the congestion encountered inside the latter. This is called a systematic cleaning method, as we have encountered in all robot vacuum cleaners positioned at the top of the range.

In the “free” zone, understand not recorded, we see that it will navigate in the same way as when it was placed for the first time in the new environment and this even if it is placed differently. its stain in the same way. A certain memory, no doubt… He will even be able to suggest that we memorize this new card instead of the previous one.

In either situation, Nito gave us a thorough cleaning thanks to its patented Spin Flow technology. This system covers the 2 versatile brushes (a combined brush and a spiral blade brush), a high-performance filter and the 2 suction modes, Eco or Turbo.

Noise level, the measured sound volume is of the order of 73 to 75 dB (A) by placing the sound level meter at 1 meter from the robot, regardless of the eco mode or the turbo mode. Our ear is never glued to the robot, it goes without saying that the level actually perceived is lower and remains perfectly acceptable. There is no need to increase television sound more than that, for example.

Now that we have seen all the robot's features from the app Neato Robotics, very complete it must be recognized, let's see how this Neato D4 / D450 will behave with Alexa

When Neato meets Alexa

Neato D4 and D450: skill Alexa and tutorial Amazon EchoHmm… The meeting is promising! Because yes, our robot vacuum cleaner is compatible with our Alexa beloved.

All you have to do is activate the skill to go to the "settings" tab to associate the Neato account with Alexa. Nothing could be simpler, just indicate the email address and MDP that we used to create our Neato account and finally authorize Neato Alexa Skill to use our account. And here are the presentations being made, the common life between our aspi-robot and our favorite AI can start. And with a compatible connected watch Alexa as the Fibit Versa 2 smartwatch, it will even be possible to launch these commands from your wrist without taking out your smartphone.

Alexa will bend over backwards for Nito and we will be able to pilot our aspi with thanks to the following functions:

      • Alexa, asks Neato to start cleaning up.
      • Alexa, asks Neato to stop cleaning.
      • Alexa, asks Neato to stop cleaning.
      • Alexa, asks Neato to resume cleaning.
      • Alexa, asks Neato to return to his base.
      • Alexa, ask Neato to give me the robot's battery level.

Best of all, the skill being multimodal, you will be able to see the message displayed on the screen of your Echo show 5 and in the event of a problem, be informed in real time! Finally, although it is indicated on the application that a cleaning request with "No Go Lines" must be done from the app, we were able to initiate a cleanup via our favorite voice assistant.

If the robotic vacuum cleaner fails to receive a message or if its contactors are incorrectly positioned, the Neato skill will display these messages on your compatible screens. Alexa :

Conclusion

Le Neato Botvac D4 Connected / D450 Animal Edition is perfect for those starting out in the world of robot vacuum cleaners and is looking for a model that is efficient, easy to use and simple to configure. It can adapt to all types of floors (parquet, tiles and carpet) and offers more than respectable performance, above average, in particular thanks to a powerful suction and a broad brush with formidable efficiency. Despite everything, we regret the absence of a side brush, which, contrary to what the brand claims, is nothing anecdotal. It is a bit regrettable, it is the case to say it, because although it grazes the walls and furniture at about 1 cm so as not to hit them, there is always dust in this unexploited area, and its D shape today appears more as a marketing element than a real asset. The Neato D4 and its D450 Animal Edition version are nonetheless very good devices, which are well worth the expense.

We leave you on video, waiting for our next one robot vacuum test !

 

Neato Robotics D450 Pets Edition - compatible robot vacuum Alexa

NS. 450 €
8.2

Installation

10.0/10

Design

7.5/10

Functionalities

7.5/10

Application

8.5/10

Price quality

7.5/10

Most

  • Extremely simple because vacuum cleaner only
  • D-shaped design
  • Compatible Alexa
  • Additional accessories for animals

The lessers

  • No washing function
  • No side brush
  • No remote control
  • Impossible to integrate it in routine
  • A single memorable plan
Simple user and novice fallen into the pot Alexa, this one fascinates me and thanks to the boys, Jean-Christophe and Alexien Modo, I learn a little more every day. Loving the different aspects ofAlexa, I turned to skills to share my discoveries with you.