There are some devices that seem to become the buzz of the holiday season. The Narwal Freo definitely has had that reaction as even just googling mine I’ve seen the reaction from fans. There are fans to a robot vacuum! Just think about that and it tells you everything.
It started with the Narwal T-10 which came with both fast charging and self-cleaning technology. Long short, it’s a mop and a vacuum in one. The Narwal Freo takes it to a different place at this point. It does redefine the concept of how floors should be done.
First of all, the idea of one device handling both vacuuming and mopping is a godsend. I’ve always felt that vacuuming on its own is not necessarily a complete way to clean, as we do need to scrub every so often to get rid of stains and the such.
How does it handle switching from vacuum to mop and vice versa?
I actually ran it in numerous different ways in the hopes of tricking it, and it was exceptionally good at figuring out what was rug versus what needed to be mopped. Plus, your app lets you differentiate too. The Narwal Freo would stop at the edge of the rug and then immediately switch to the mopping feature. There was not one area that it did not figure out whether it needed to mop or vacuum. And believe me, I tried tricking it a few times.
How clean did it get the room?
Do you see the photo of how dark that water is? And that’s after we had mopped, ourselves. And of course, the vacuum was much more methodical than a human could be. Every single square inch of the floor was mapped by LIDAR. I personally could never remember where I mopped and vacuumed. This actually figured out every square inch and went just up to the corner of every piece of furniture.
What is the Narwal Freo mode?
The Freo will scan how dirty a room is and actually go back, and keep going, to make sure that it cleaned the entire area. This is actually a rather fascinating tool to also determine just how dirty one keeps their house. It will mark out in Freo mode, and it had to go over more than once to determine which areas needed the most help. So, if it covers an area and doesn’t feel it’s clean enough yet, it will know to go back, again and again, to get it clean.
Did this perform better than other robot vacuums?
The fact that it could automatically switch made things so much easier. There was no worry about having to lay things out on a map in the app. It automatically would recognize the rug versus the mopping and that was a dream. In addition, the fact that the Freo would keep on going back was so much easier to deal with. In testing it, I even purposely left a stain and it definitely went back and kept going.
Also, we ran the other robotic vacuum three times before running this, and this still found dirt after the other vacuum seemed to clean to its limit. Scrubbing with the mop definitely made more of a difference.
How is the maintenance of the Narwal Freo?
You definitely have to keep refilling the tank and emptying the dirty water tank. This is what I view as a good problem to have because it shows how much more effective it is. The more I kept emptying dirty water the more I knew it was doing its job.
But yes, there’s an additional step of having to constantly give it water as well as dump the old water.
How is the app itself?
The app took some time to learn to use but once you got used to it, it made much more sense. It took a few days but it really worked quite well after a while. This was also by far the fastest I’ve had the robot map the first floor. I was blown away by how quickly it figured out the floor layout. In fact, I switched it to floors twice and it figured out the layout each time much sooner.
How big is the base unit itself?
The base unit is massive but quite good-looking. Fortunately, it’s a bit of a centerpiece and a conversation starter. You’re going to need a place to put it in your home but as I said, it doesn’t look bad. The interface on top is also quite useful as you could operate the robot just by touching the built-in touchscreen.
I have stored robot vacuums under couches and desks, but this is not that kind of thing. Then again, when you need to fill the water, you want it in a location you can easily get the water to and from the unit. Since this has to be in a location that is easy to get to, you definitely want it to be a good-looking device. This is definitely a good-looking device.
Overall, this was definitely a game changer. It really showed how well it could clean between the robot intelligence as well as the switching from vacuum to mop mode. I found myself constantly checking the water of the tanks to see how dirty the floor was.
It does seem to be a game changer as compared to other robot vacuums we’ve seen and tested.
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