The Rowenta Explorer 60 is on sale in UK for € 475 and it’s not worth the investment. It is possible to find this robot vacuum cleaner cheaper, close to 300 euros, still a high price for an essentially mediocre product.
We explore the functions of the automatic vacuum cleaner, accessories, navigation, control app, autonomy, ease of maintenance and price / quality ratio.
Strengths of Rowenta Explorer 60
- Automatic carpet detection with suction power adjustment
- “Spot” cleaning mode
- Very good build quality and materials
- Automatically resumes cleaning if you have to return to the base to charge
- 2 side brushes for better cleaning of the corners and baseboards
- Vacuum and wipe the floor (mop / mop)
- Washable HEPA filter and mops included
- Small and compact – only 6 cm high
Weaknesses of Rowenta Explorer 60
- No area mapping or exclusion zones / lines or virtual walls
- Unstable and poor function company application
- Non-intelligent navigation – pre-defined in 3 modes
- Frequent collisions with objects during operation
- Reduced dust / waste deposit capacity
- No voice commands
There are two versions of the Rowenta vacuum cleaner Series 60
EBox tested the Explorer series intermediate vacuum cleaner in the “Allergy” version (reference RR7447WH), in blank. The same robot is also available in the “Animal” version, in black.
The difference between both versions is the use of a central brush with denser bristles and interspersed with rubber lamellas in the “Animal” version. The “Allergy” version has a simple brush, but will have a more effective HEPA filter.
The price of both versions is about the same.
Minimalist design, discreet and elegant profile
The simple lines guide the design of the Rowenta automatic vacuum cleaner. It is made of plastic (exterior), with 6cm height – great for cleaning under chairs and low furniture, being one of the most compact on the market.
The vacuum cleaner is extremely compact and this makes it go almost unnoticed in the home, while its design does not differ from current trends. It has a front stop that absorbs impacts with objects when navigating.
The vacuum cleaner’s front display and sensors
The distinctive feature of this vacuum cleaner is its front display where several of the infrared navigation sensors are located, with the ToF side camera assessing the distance from obstacles. It also has a gyroscope to navigate the house.
It has drop sensors, a total of 3, in addition to the front fan for general navigation. The user does not need to worry about stairs, or other points where the product could fall, being safeguarded from it.
The Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 includes the following items in the box:
- Dust container (aspiration) with 400 ml capacity
- Mop holder / water tank – 110 ml
- Mop (2 units)
- 2 side brushes – installed
- Charging base with space for cable storage
- Power adapter (thin cable)
- User manuals
- Main brush (1 unit)
- Washable HEPA filter (1 unit)
- Cleaning brush
- Central wheel removal / installation accessory
Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 navigation is hybrid
The robot vacuum cleaner has 3 pre-installed navigation profiles – Methodical; Wall-Follow; Spot Cleaning. They define their trajectory in space, with the built-in sensors to assist the detection of obstacles, reacting to them.
When confronted with obstacles along the way, the robot is slow to react, especially visible in the return to base procedure at the end of the tasks. That said, it does not have a random navigation, but it is not as efficient as in other models.
The lack of a LiDAR system, or a basic mapping of the space decreased the efficiency of navigation, considerably increasing the time it takes to clear the space.
There are 3 navigation modes in the Serie 60
THE methodical mode it is the most effective in cleaning the space, although it may take the longest to complete the task, traversing the space in an “S” pattern. To activate it, with the vacuum cleaner in the base (or not), just click once on the Power button.
THE mode Wall Follow (follow the wall) starts by walking and cleaning the perimeter of the room, paying special attention to the corners. To activate it, with the vacuum cleaner in the base (or not), it is necessary to click the Power button three times.
THE Spot Cleaning mode is the specialty of this robot, executing a spiral from the point where it was active. To activate it, it is necessary to physically place the robot in the desired location and double-click the Power button.
Carpet recognition is very useful
In addition to the automatic recognition of rugs and carpets – activating the Boost mode – the Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 has the “Spot Cleaning” mode. This is useful for cleaning an especially dirty spot that needs the vacuum cleaner’s full attention.
This mode can be activated from the application, but it becomes easier to manually place the vacuum cleaner in the place to be cleaned and then give it the command to start cleaning by pressing the physical button twice (2x).
Note that the “Spot Cleaning” mode is not available when the robot vacuum cleaner is in its charging base. To activate it, it is necessary to physically place the vacuum cleaner in the place to be cleaned and then give it the right command.
Power is good for a compact robot
The suction power is 2300 Pa, which makes it one of the most powerful vacuum cleaners on the market, especially considering its small size – 34 × 34 × 6 cm. The size, however, is a double-edged blade for this vacuum cleaner.
Equipped with two side brushes that push the debris to the central brush, it can efficiently capture the finer debris such as dust, animal hair, hair and other dirt. On the other hand, there is some difficulty in the larger debris.
The HEPA filter, although small, does a good job of keeping the air cleaner. The main brush (central) is simple with medium density bristles, but luckily, it is not susceptible to knots of hair / different fibers.
Vacuuming and cleaning is mediocre
Despite the powerful engine, the space was rarely properly cleaned the first time. This is due to multiple factors, the reduced height of the vacuum cleaner being one of them, as well as the simple central brush – compared to the “Animal” version.
The robot vacuum has 3 intensities suction (cleaning modes) – Boost; Standard and Eco. We recommend the use of the maximum intensity, defined by the company application, for the best results – but the least autonomy.
The air filtration is good, not leaving the space with the “typical vacuum smell”, but the cleaning efficiency leaves something to be desired, especially on ceramic / tile floors, registering a better performance on wooden / floor floors.
We highlight as a positive point the cleaning of the corners and recesses thanks to the two side brushes of the Rowenta Serie 60. This allows, for example, to capture the dirt hidden under doors and other places of difficult access.
Serie 60 mop adds little value
The robot vacuum cleaner has a water tank – 110 ml – well built and with two mops included. The microfiber cloth is excellent, washable and reusable, being fixed to the tank by means of velcro and a flap where the lip of the water tank fits.
The water drips through three holes in the tank, and must be moist before cleaning sessions. Rowenta calls the system Aqua Force, but there is no electronic control of the amount of water except gravity.
The effectiveness of passing from floor to cloth is mediocre at best. It serves to capture some of the dust on the surfaces, but it is not strong enough to remove more impregnated or dense dirt.
If its presence is positive in this cleaning kit, we can count on the mop to clean small areas since the water quickly runs out. We advise you not to put chemicals or detergents in the water tank.
To install the water tank, the robot must be turned on its back. Here we recommend prior cleaning of the dirt tank, under pain of spreading some debris when placing the robot in the position indicated for the installation of the mop and its tank.
Noise is tolerable for a robot vacuum cleaner
Depending on the intensity of the suction, the Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 can reach 70 db noise level, which is still acceptable compared to other solutions on the market. In Boost mode it is more noticeable and in Eco mode, more discreet for night cleaning.
In any case, noise levels are not a nuisance factor, although we are not indifferent to their presence. Added to this is the “noise” of collisions with objects during cleaning sessions.
Being short easily gets stuck
Despite having two rubber-coated wheels for greater traction and an effective suspension, the compact size and low profile of the robot is a hindrance to navigation. Being low, it easily gets stuck in the most varied household items.
From door frames in which it got stuck, to denser carpets, or by dragging the lightest carpets and getting tangled in any cable or staying on the floor. It was very common to find the robot stuck in several places.
The only way to prevent this frustration is to lift cables and wires that may be on the floor, as well as small objects and also remove small carpets. Preparing the space is the key word, with Rowenta warning about this even in the manuals.
The characteristics of the Rowenta vacuum cleaner:
- Suction power of 2300 Pa (Pascal)
- Battery takes up to 5 hours to fully charge
- Autonomy – up to 90 minutes (ECO), 70 min (STD), 60 min (Boost)
- Height – 6 centimeters
- 400 ml (main tank)
- 110 ml water – mop
- Noise (average) 70 db
- Wi-Fi connection
- Control by the Rowenta Robots app
The charging base is small and discreet
The Rowenta Serie 60 loading platform / dock is small and unobtrusive, with a discreet main structure. At its base it has a compartment to hide the excess cable and non-slip feet so that the robot does not drag the base with it.
We recommend that you place the base in a location with some free space on each side. Plug it in, place the robot vacuum cleaner on the base, activate its switch and wait for a few moments until it is activated.
Then you can start the configuration / synchronization process between the vacuum cleaner and the Android and / or iOS smartphone.
Basic smartphone control with the Rowenta Robots app
The app Rowenta Robots it is free for Android and iOS, and its installation is mandatory. It is through it that we configure the robot vacuum cleaner and connect it to the Wi-Fi network at home, in addition to programming and controlling its operation.
Dividing into four main sections – Activities; Schedules; Maintenance and Settings – we easily understand what each section delivers to the user, but the navigation and graphical interface of the application could be more intuitive.
On Android devices, the app often lost connection to the robot, or it was out of time and had to restart the smartphone to reset the connection. The experience was frustrating and I could not recommend it less.
To control the vacuum cleaner we have to click on the icon (+) in the lower right corner, in a blue balloon. Only then do they emerge, in pop-up, the commands for the robot, from Start / Pause, to the choice of navigation profile, intensity, return to base and location.
These commands should be immediately accessible to the user, instead of “chat” with the robot, which is not always up to date, as it adds little to the user. Note that this is the first section when opening the app.
The essentials should be more accessible
The app focuses mainly on maintenance instructions, paths to further instructions and video guides, in addition to chatting with the robot and generic app and product settings. These guides and information are useful, yes, but they are not essential for the user.
Instead, it should immediately deliver essential commands to the user, such as starting cleaning / pausing / returning to the base to load. In fact, we do not even have access to the charge level (battery) of the vacuum cleaner except an icon at the top of the app.
Currently the app does not deliver the mapping of the location to the user. Likewise, we do not have the possibility to define exclusion zones, or virtual barriers, something that ends up compromising the value of the product and its usefulness.
Autonomy varies depending on the cleaning mode
The autonomy of the Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 is a “no problem”. That is, if the battery runs out of power, the robot vacuum cleaner returns to the base, charges and resumes cleaning. However, the full charge may take up to 5 hours, something to consider.
The vacuum cleaner takes a while to automatically return to the base and if you encounter some obstacles along the way, you can get stuck, ceasing activity. In any case, Rowenta has a range of up to 90 minutes in ECO mode.
This autonomy is reduced to 70 minutes in Standard mode and 60 minutes in Boost mode. Note that the obstacle contour, or the automatic carpet detection that activates the Boost mode, can reduce the autonomy of the robot.
Verdict, Rowenta Explorer Serie 60 is expensive for what it offers
Rowenta’s Explorer Serie 60 robot vacuum cleaner proves that the brand’s name and tradition sometimes end up leaving a bittersweet flavor on the consumer. The product is paid (475 €) and does not deliver many of the amenities that we already see on the market.
The lack of real-time mapping, or at least the registration of maps and the option of defining exclusion zones are gross errors that can be corrected. An update to the company application and the robot’s firmware can increase its value.
The same can be said for company application. The smartphone is our daily companion and if the app is not excellent, the user’s opinion will sour. There is a great opportunity for improvement on the part of Rowenta, easily applicable.
On the other hand, the compact shape of the vacuum cleaner makes it ideal for some users and terrible for others. If you are looking for a simple product that goes unnoticed at home, do some basic cleaning and the house has few carpets, then it is a good option.
For larger houses, with children, toys and other items scattered on the floor, this robot vacuum cleaner will require a lot of attention and space preparation, not paying off the investment. It is an ideal product for small and minimalist spaces.
We highlight as frankly positive the quality of construction – excellent – as well as the durability of the materials. The replaceable ones like the HEPA filter are easy to access and maintenance is not difficult for the user.
If you want, see more photographic records of the product, in high resolution on Google Photos.
|Navigation / Mapping||6.5|
|Use / Maintenance||8|
|Accessories / Connectivity||7|
|Price / quality ratio||6|