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Picking between the Ecovacs N8 Pro and T9+

Overall, the difference between the Ecovacs N8 Pro robot vacuum and T9 is a bit like the difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Pro. The 13 Pro will have the latest software updates and hardware (e.g., an additional camera lens) but ultimately, they’re both premium phones and you’d be delighted to be using either one! Unless you’ve got your heart set on the flagship model, price may be the biggest factor that ends up driving your decision. It’s almost the same when looking at the difference between the N8 Pro and the T9. 

Other than price, the fact that the T9 comes with an auto-empty station is obviously the next biggest mood changer – however, with those two things aside, it’s not clear from the box how much “bigger and badder” the T9 actually is.

At a high level, the main advantages of the T9 can be put down to the air freshener, oscillating mop, auto-empty station and updated object avoidance software. Everything else is pretty much on par but we have tried to summarise and highlight the key features that should form the basis of your actual decision below. 

1. Vacuuming performance

Basically, there isn’t much of a difference in cleaning performance between the T9 and the N8 Pro even though the T9 has a higher suction power (3000 pa vs 2600 pa on the N8 Pro). When we put both robots through our cleaning tests this didn’t materially result in much of a difference – they both handled fruit loops, seeds and hair no problem.

The T9 runs for 65 minutes longer then N8 Pro (their run times being 175 and 110 minutes respectively) however, if both have the ‘continuous-cleaning’ function on, this shouldn’t matter as each robot can return to the base if it runs out of charge and automatically begin cleaning again from where it left off. 

All in all, we say the T9 may be better suited for larger houses because of this.

2. Auto-empty station 

The auto-empty station has been a complete game changer the world of robot vacuums.  The T9 comes with the auto-empty station (AES) however the N8 Pro is also compatible with it. The AES means you technically don’t have touch the contents of the dustbin ever again – the AES includes disposables dust bags inside the charging dock which are sealable as you lift them out. 

This is the biggest factor separating these two bots and the clearest reason for the price difference. Your choice really comes down to whether you want the AES or not. 

If you’re unsure, a good idea is to try the N8 Pro and keep the freedom to choose whether you purchase the AES down the track. 

3. Mopping

Both the T9 and N8 Pro have a mopping attachment which can be attached on and off when you want to mop the floors. With carpet detection tech the robot identifies and avoid carpets when in ‘mop’ mode to make sure it doesn’t unhelpfully start scrubbing and mopping the carpet.

The T9 uses advanced OZMO™ Pro 2.0 technology to mop.  Where other hybrid vac+mops simply drag a wet mopping attachment around, which is useful for maintenance cleaning, it doesn’t really lift more stubborn spills that have been there a while.  The T9 mop “oscillates” which means the mop movements are larger and horizontal. The whole mopping pad moves back and forth quickly in a scrubbing motion. While still an effective cleaning tool, the N8 mopping attachment doesn’t quite scrub in the same way. The N8 Pro does come with a reusable mopping attachment which means you can take them off and wash them (sustainably), rather than having to continually replace the disposable mopping pads on the T9.

4. Obstacle Avoidance

Both the N8 Pro and the T9 have a clear advantage over their competitors with their ‘True Detect’ technology. True Detect is obstacle avoidance tech which uses a secondary laser system on the front to detect items on the floor, below the line of sight of the main LiDAR.  It’s particularly useful to help it navigate USB cables and socks (or pet messes…) that are left on the floor without getting them stuck in the brush. 

Once it recognises objects are in its path – the robot quickly changes it mapping path. The T9 also uses this tech to slow down its side brushes if it begins to becomes tangled. 

True Detect version 1.0 in the N8 Pro seems slightly less effective than the 2.0 version on the T9 but it is really hard to quantify so the difference is slight and we’ve just put it down to a software update. 

5. Navigation 

Both robots use LiDAR for positional navigation.  They’re methodical and gentle on walls and furniture. You can schedule cleans, create virtual barriers and no-mop zones.  Ecoavcs have call the LiDAR system ‘True Mapping’. On the T9, Ecovacs have slightly increased the speed and improved mapping accuracy with True Mapping 2.0. 

With version 2.0, the T9 now has 3D mapping. Transforming your floor-plan from 2D to 3D still involves quite a lot of manual set-up, so while it is a cool concept for the future, it wouldn’t really affect my decision making process. 

6. Air-freshener and other features

The Ecovacs T9 is the first robot to have an air-freshener.  The air-freshener smells surprisingly pleasant (think ‘wild bluebell’).  It is subtle – more like an expensive male perfume than a high-schoolers spray-on.   The air-freshener is a little win for the T9, especially for those with indoor pets. Again, the scent it not too noticeable, so it shouldn’t really be a massive factor in the decision making process. It’s more of a ‘nice-to-have’ feature than a ‘can’t-live-without’ one. 

Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro
Ecovacs Deebot T9+
Price
$899 NZD
$1,399 NZD
Battery life
110 mins
175 mins
Navigation type
LiDAR (ultra-accurate)
LiDAR (ultra-accurate)
Cleaning Functions
Vacuum + Mop
Vacuum + Mop
Suction power
2,600 Pa
3,000 Pa
Roller-brush
Bristled
Bristled
Side-brushes
Two
Two
Ultra-sonic carpet detection
Yes
Yes
Active mopping
Static
Oscillating
Auto-empty included
No
Yes
Virtual barriers
No-go & no-mop
No-go & no-mop
Smart-home
Amazon Alexa & Google Home
Amazon Alexa & Google Home
Dust-bin size
420ml
420ml
Water capacity
300ml
180ml
Object Avoidance
True Detect 3D
TrueDetect 3D 2.0

All in all…

Both are exceptionally competent robots and will shock first-time robot users with how well they actually clean. Ultimately, the choice comes down price and features.  If price is not object and you simply want the latest tech with all the bells and whistles, then the T9 is the clear winner. The key decision making factors to consider are that the T9 includes the auto-empty station, has a more effective mop and an extra 65 minutes of battery time, which is useful if you have more than 3 bedrooms.  However, the N8 Pro is very comparable in most ways, and includes most of the premium tech.  So if you have an average size home, price is a key factor, and you want to decide on the auto-empty station at a later date – the N8 Pro is the obvious choice.

Louisa

Louisa

2 Responses

  1. Thank you this is the most comprehensive explanation of the differences that I have read or seen and I have researched this a lot! – no bells and whistles just the facts. Of course a kiwi would cut through the hype ! 🙂
    I was mainly searching for tests regarding the avoidance of usb cords and other small items which my current 950 (mopping plate hose broken therefore replace or refund from retailer) collects and you have explained that clearly that in a test you see little difference.
    Thank you again
    Sharon

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