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Budget-priced robot vacuums with advanced features like app control and smart-home compatibility aren’t the rarity they used to be. In fact, the Deebot 500 is the second Ecovacs model to fit that description that we’ve reviewed recently. Though it doesn’t really add anything to the Deebot 601’s offerings, it cleans just as capably and seems to navigate slightly better as well.
Other than some variation with the logo placement, the Deebot 500 hews pretty closely to the design of the 601. It measures a comparable 12.9 x 12.9 x 3.1 inches—slim enough to navigate between and under furniture—and it has a single multi-function button on top that wakes and powers down the vacuum as well as starts/stops auto cleanings.
A single bristled roller brush and two spinning brushes on the bottom take care of agitating dirt and debris from your floors. A drawer-style 0.5-liter dustbin is easy to access from the back of the vacuum.
The Deebot 500 has three cleaning modes: Auto, Spot, and Edge. These can be selected from the accompanying remote control or from the Ecovacs Home companion app. You can also use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands to start cleanings once you pair the vacuum with those services.
Setup and usage
The Deebot 500’s setup requirements are much the same as other Deebot vacuums I’ve used. Switch on the power switch embedded in the side of the vacuum, and then set it on its charging dock. Download the Ecovacs Home app, select the 500 from a list of Deebot models, and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to your home Wi-Fi network. As with my past Deebot installations with this app, the process went butter smooth.
Each of the Deebot 500’s modes correspond to a preset cleaning pattern, which is depicted in a diagram in the app. In Auto mode, which is optimized for carpets, the vacuum will take a “random” path through the room. Essentially, it moves in a straight line until its sensors detect an obstacle, then it changes direction and continues on a straight path until it comes to the next obstacle and so on. In Edge mode, the vacuum will travel the perimeter of the room, cleaning all corners and edges. Spot mode attacks concentrated dirt by cleaning a small area in a spiral pattern.
In any of these modes you can double the suction power by activating Max mode in the app settings. You can also schedule cleanings by selecting a start and stop time and applying it to specific days of the week.
The 500 moved swiftly and smoothly over the carpet and hardwood in my living room, kitchen, and entryway. Navigating solely by its obstacle sensors makes its cleaning paths fairly haphazard, and though it didn’t get hung up in corners and between furniture as often as the Deebot 601—probably because the room layout has changed since I reviewed that vacuum—it did require a fair amount of supervision to keep it moving. Clearing cable clutter is also essential as the Deebot 500 has the same propensity for getting ensnared in it as the Deebot 601 did. When the vacuum does get into trouble, it beeps and pushes an alert notification through the app.
In terms of cleaning, though, I had no complaints. It did a great job clearing all floor surfaces of crumbs, dirt, dust, and pet hair. As it cleans, the Ecovacs Home app displays details including the size of the area cleaned, cleaning duration, and battery status. A more complete cleaning log can be accessed in the settings and includes job dates and times, along with other data.
The Deebot 500 is a solid robot vacuum that cleans well and has an attractive price. That said, there are a slew of other robot vacuums that can make the same claim. The Amarey A800 , for example, has one more cleaning mode than the Deebot 500, is a slightly better navigator, and currently costs $70 less. Ecovacs’ own Deebot N79S offers basically the same feature set as the Deebot 500, plus an extra single-room cleaning mode, for just $200. You owe it to yourself to at least investigate what these and other similarly priced models have to offer before making a purchasing decision. If you do end up settling on the Deebot 500, though, you’ll find it a reliable household helper.
Ecovacs Deebot 500
The Deebot 500 does a great job cleaning all types of floor surfaces and offers some advanced features for a budget price (but the cheaper Deebot N79S isn't far behind).
- App control with real-time and historial cleaning data
- Supports Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice commands
- Max suction mode doubles its power
- No room-mapping capabilities
- Not a lot of added features or performance compared to the less-expensive Deebot N79S