Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Design

Few household chores are quite so loathsome as vacuuming. Cooking can be out and out enjoyable, mowing the lawn gets you out in the sunshine, cleaning the bathroom is a quick and small job. However, vacuum cleaning is hot, dusty, laborious work that needs to be done with far too much frequency for it to ever be a novelty. In other words, if there were a robot that could do it for us, we’d lap it up. Oh frabjous day! What do we have here?

Okay, so this isn’t exactly the first robot vacuum cleaner to hit shop shelves and neither is it even the first made by Samsung. However, it is the first one made by Samsung to be available in the UK and it’s the first we’ve looked at.

The Samsung navibot SR8855 is a low-lying circular device that scurries around your house, automatically navigating its way round, cleaning your floor as it goes. It incorporates a conventional cylindrical brush as well as brushes for prizing dirt out of corners and uses a combination of sensors and cameras to work out where it’s going. Unlike the iRobot Roomba, which is arguably the most famous of these devices, the navibot actually maps out your rooms and works out the quickest way to work its way round. In this regard it is much like the first of these robot vacuum cleaners, the Electrolux Trilobite, which is no longer on sale.

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

With dimensions of 360 x 360 x 105mm, the SR8855 is markedly larger than the Roomba meaning it has less chance of fitting under beds and sofas and between chair legs. With that extra bulk you do get some extra features though. As well as two inward-rotating brushes to help it tease dirt from edges and corners and into its clutches (the Roomba only has one), the navibot has a proper conventional rotor on its underside. This is in contrast to the Roomba that uses two contra-rotating cylindrical brushes that are prone to snagging on cables or carpet tassles. In theory the navibot doesn’t completely avoid this issue, but we certainly had no problems.

With the SR8855 you get two Smart Gates, a docking station, and a remote. The Smart Gates use an electromagnetic beam to block the navibot from crossing an otherwise open path – say the transition from one area to the next in an open plan living room. You can set it to either permanently block the path or to let the ‘bot through only when it has finished the area it’s working on.

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Dock, Remote & Build Quality

As for the docking station, it’s used to charge the navibot – a task that takes an hour or so. What makes the SR8855 particularly clever is it will return to the docking station when it’s low on juice, charge up, and then return to where it left off. So if you live in a really large open plan house, you can leave it running while you’re out safe in the knowledge that even if it takes all day, the whole house will be clean when you get home.

Read also:  Samsung NaviBot LIGHT SR8750 Review

It’s this idea of having the navibot run while you’re out that really is key to its appeal. As such there’s a timer for setting exactly when you’d like the cleaner to do its thing. Sadly it only has one setting, so you can’t turn it off at the weekends (you can of course just turn the whole unit off instead).

If you’d rather take control yourself, the remote lets you do this by using the D-pad on the remote control to steer it around. Either using the remote or by pressing the buttons on top of the unit you can also set it to Max or Spot modes as well as the normal Auto mode. Max mode has the cleaner cover the same area twice while spot has it cover the square metre or so around where you place it on the ground – useful for little spills.

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

The unit we’re looking at is the SR8855, which has touch buttons. An SR8845 is also available, but it has physical buttons and only includes one Smart Gate. It is otherwise identical, though.

The navibot itself is very well built with a thick rubberised strip round its edge protecting it, and whatever it bumps into, from harm. The shiny plastic used on the top isn’t the most sensible choice due to its ability to highlight scratches and dust, but it’s a minor point. Underneath, the two drive wheels are mounted on springs that give the wheels a good couple of inches of travel and allow the navibot to traverse quite sizeable changes in floor height. They also cope well with relatively rugged carpet, though long-weave shagpile-style carpets will foul it up. It can also have problems if it approaches a change in surface at an angle as the small balance wheel can catch on the edge and deflect the navibot.

Overall, though, the SR8855 is surprisingly accomplished at getting round a variety of rooms. With a press of the go button, it will start off straight away, zigzagging up and down until it meets an obstacle, at which point it will keep shimmying across until it can carry on. In my variously wooden, tiled and carpeted two-bedroom flat it cleaned the open plan kitchen and living room, my bedroom and en-suite, and the hallway within about an hour, which isn’t half bad. In that time it didn’t have to return to recharge once – it should last up to 90 minutes.

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Navigating & Vacuuming Performance

Its vacuuming performance was also perfectly adequate for light soiling and the bagless dirt collector has ample volume for covering a large area – it’s also really easy to remove and empty. If you do have pets or someone with long hair, it may struggle to pull all the hair out the carpet, though. Also, the overall suction power isn’t great and relies overly on the brush to dislodge dirt. For instance when passing over the transition from a wooden floor to a tiled one, the raised door strip caused the navibot to miss the inch or so of dirt either side of it. More problematic, though, is how poorly the SR8855 copes with obstacles and edges.

Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

Looking first at obstacles, the SR8855 seemed utterly incapable of actually detecting anything via its sensors. Even walls sometimes required a bump before it would respond to them. Combined with its bulk, this meant chair and table legs proved all too much and the navibot would invariably end up skirting round the whole lot. As for getting to the grime under sofas and coffee tables, you’ve got no chance.

Read also:  iRobot Roomba 530 Review and Manual

This is bad enough but what really hurts the navibot is it doesn’t do edge cleaning. Instead of detecting and tracking along the edge of a wall, it will just carry on in its own predetermined straight line until it hits a wall. When it does so it merely shimmies along and carries on in the same direction. So if it’s approaching a wall at an angle you get a step effect. Combined with its limited ability to get into nooks and crannies, this leaves you needing to go round with another vacuum cleaner to finish the job.

So, if you have a large open-plan flat or house with few stairs (the navibot can detect stairs but it can’t clean them) the SR8855 could be useful for getting the bulk of your cleaning done while you’re out, leaving you to just whip round with a handheld vacuum cleaner when you get in. For any other living situation, though, the SR8855 just doesn’t make sense. What’s more, the latest Roomba is nearly half the price, though we’re yet to test it (we have one in the office ready to be looked at soon) so it could yet prove to be completely useless.


Samsung SR8855 NaviBot Features

  • Visionnary Mapping technology
  • 38 intelligent sensors
  • Auto recharge and resume
  • 6 cleaning modes – auto, max, manual, spot, edge, delay, daily schedule
  • 90 minutes running time, 120 minutes charging time
  • Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
  • Visionary Mapping System
  • Electronic Map w/Optimized Math
  • Touch-Sensitive Buttons (Advanced Unit)
  • On-Board Scheduler (Advanced Unit)
  • Virtual Guards (1/2)
  • Rechargeable
  • Anti-fall/Anti-collision Technology
  • Intelligent Memory

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  • Loyal 10.03.2015 at 15:58

    Right from first day this has been fantastic. Ok is does not clean as good as a manual vacuum but as it does it daily after about three days it matches a manual. This mean I only bother to clean what it cannot reach: corners, and skirting boards. Very happy till this morning.

    Problem: for the first time it will not recharge. I’ve dusted everything, switched off and on, but now its dead. Go to Samsung website and no troubleshooting help there at all. Bother.

  • penny 09.03.2015 at 22:01

    I researched the robot vaccuum and decided to go for the Samsung 8855.
    I am really pleased with it. It works as well as my Dyson and saves loads
    of time. It picks up well on wooden floors and carpet.
    Best thing since sliced bread! Great buy

  • Steve Mc 08.03.2015 at 07:08

    Bought this on a whim, missus not able to vac as ‘pregnant’ and wanted another gadget ;-))
    Generally quite good and becoming a member of the family ‘hugo’.

    Does well on flat surfaces, but has limitations on Tile grout lines and wooden floors with gaps (If the gaps are beyond a couple of mm it cant get at them.
    It has reduced the need to hoover by about a factor of 4, but still nneds a deep vacuuming every so often.

    All said, really like it, deals with pet hairs better than expected.

  • Geoff T. UK 07.03.2015 at 16:10

    Absolutely brilliant as long as one is not too reliant on total use.
    If used daily this machine is truly super, due to capacity of dirt recepticle it is best used often but this does rely on the activity of the household in general.
    The use of a conventional hoover is required on an “as is” usage due to inaccessability of robot to reach restricted areas (behind TVs,in corners and behind units close to walls).
    This unit I find does all the advert suggests. Quite exeptional.

  • J. F. Hornby 06.03.2015 at 16:25

    As far as vaccuum cleaners go, this one is pretty weak in many areas. It can’t cope with much more than loose surface dirt, and it can’t clean into corners. On auto, it requires a pretty uncluttered room to operate in.

    Having said all that, when it can be left to itself to operate daily it will certainly save a lot of time and effort, providing one remembers to do a deep clean periodically with a more powerful upright or cylinder model.

    For someone like myself however, it’s pretty much a godsend. Having been severly restricted in physical ability by lung disease, the ability to keep the house fairly clean without having to shove the upright around has been very welcome.

    Overall; rather expensive when comparing it’s cleaning abilities, but well worth the money if you don’t have time to vaccuum regularly or are disabled.

  • Ira Blackthorn 05.03.2015 at 08:56

    not perfect, but overall pretty decent investment. I just stick it on 2-3 times a week (dont want/need a daily run, cant use timer except to set for every day). As noted in other reviews, you’ll need to do some manual vacuuming to get into corners/ skirting boards etc. My floors are a combination of wood and tiled areas, with a rug here or there, which it copes with without issue. Have 2 cats, so lots of hair for it to clean, which it does without any problems. Have to clean the ‘roller’ every few weeks otherwise it can drop fluff when moving between wood/tiles or wood/rug areas, which I either pick up myself or use the remote to manually send it back to pick them up again. Remote does interfere with my Windows Media Centre TV, so slight niggle on that front. No noisier than my Dyson. It can get stuck occasionally and it managed to knock over and get pinned down by my bicycle once.

    – does a decent clean on hard floors & short pile rug
    – can leave it to do its own thing, so saves effort/ time
    – good sized dust container
    – easy to use and clear display panel
    – looks good

    – edges/ corners/ hard to reach places still need manual cleaning
    – having to clean roller
    – lack of custom day option
    – have to ‘clear the decks’ before using it (e.g put kitchen chairs on table etc)

  • Lofty67A 04.03.2015 at 06:50

    The vacuum cleaner does it stuff, I can’t tell the difference between our normal cleaner and this model.
    I bought the higher spec model as it contains a clock, that I thought I could set it to clean automatically at different days/times. Unfortunately it just has a simple start time function, with no end time (it does it’s cycle and then goes home).
    Worse, if it gets hung up (rug, doorstep, furniture bar), it loses this programming altogether.
    Save the money and get the basic model instead, it is brilliant.

  • John Murat 03.03.2015 at 09:09

    Good for regular cleaning, doesn’t handle well houses with lots of corners, because keeps turning around and heading into a different direction, but does a great job to go around the house. It fills up pretty quicky and you need to regularly clean the brushes otherwise it doesn’t catch all of the dust as well.
    Good buy, happy with it’s use, but doesn’t not replace a good hoover in the house. Great for use every couple of days.

  • C. D. Turner 02.03.2015 at 20:30

    If you have large wooden floors, this hoover is great, even goes were a normal hoover canot, for example under our large sofas, so saves having to move them. Goes from room to room, picking up the dust.

    On the negative side, gets jammened up on cables, telephone, lights etc, and hates carpets/rugs with tassels.

    If your rooms are small, or have thick carpets, then probally not worth the investment. With the right enviroment, grea.

    Samsung has the user manuals online, which give you a good idea of what you are getting, so worth checking out befor you buy.

    Had to drop the star rating to 2, from 5, as two Navibots in a row have delevoped the same problem of not recharging. If it happens to you, try and turning the navibot off and then back on, when it is the charging station. This worked for me, but the problem came back, and this fix no longer worked. From the internet, a few other users are having similar problems, so navibot sent back to Amazon for the last time.

  • Mrs. H. Lamb 28.02.2015 at 07:33

    I was always under the impression that a stay-at-home husband would tackle the hoovering. Unfortunatly I was totally wrong – Doh!!!!. So I bought this fantastic Samsung Hoover. I did lots of research and after looking at what was available I decided, if I am going to get one then I may as well buy the best. I am not disappointed. The cat ignores it completly. The dogs think it is great fun and often put one of their toys on it as it goes about it’s work! Lol!

  • Sean 27.02.2015 at 20:32

    This has worked perfectly on my hardwood floors. I set it off to clean three large rooms everyday. I also set it off manually every now and then to clean a few carpeted rooms, which it does a surprisingly good job on.

    Basically I think people need to be reasonable about what they expect. It can vacuum up a day’s worth of fluff, and I have two dogs, no problem. Anymore than that and it risks filling up before it’s 100% done. That’s not a problem as it is designed to run everyday. When setup for that frequency it works perfectly, needing only a quick dump of the collection bin when I get home from work and a brush clean once a week or so.

    Very pleased with my purchase.

  • @RIKP 26.02.2015 at 16:16

    I finally decided to purchase this a few days ago and I am very happy that I did. I chose this, over the iRobot ‘Roomba’ because the Samsung appeared to have better navigation sense, i.e. this Navibot ‘sees’ by taking pictures of your ceiling to help it determine the layout of your rooms. Performance wise, it does exceptionally well at collecting surface fluff and dust – particularly hair from our two cats.

    We don’t have carpet in our apartment, and I imagine its performance on carpet would be pretty poor if attempting to pick up dirt or dust that is just below the surface of the pile. On hardwood flooring though, it does an admirable job, as evidenced by the amount of fur/dust in the container at the end of a cycle (which you’ll want to clean simply by hoovering it out with your regular vacuum, or opening it up and emptying it into the bin – either of which are just a 1 minute job).

    This particular model has a scheduling feature, so you can set it to wake up and go to work every day at a specific time. We’ve set ours for a 6am start, and in 20 minutes it has cleaned our two bed/two bath apartment, and done a pretty respectable job. On standard ‘auto’ mode, the unit won’t get that close to the edges of your room, but you can run the ‘edge’ programme to have it go back around the perimiter to fix that if you deem it necessary.

    It also has ‘max’ and ‘spot’ modes, too, to give you greater control options and even a ‘manual’ mode that lets you steer it with the remote.

    In all, this device saves me 20 minutes per day; which is a full 5 days per year. You’ll still need your other vacuum cleaner which you might bring out once or twice every fortnight to do your big cleans. But for us, a busy professional couple, it performs admirably and we are very happy with our purchase.