First Impressions:I was pretty excited when I got the package in the post as I had been waiting for it for a week or two. I opened the box and was presented with this: It looks amazing! A bit larger than I imagined but just look at it!. In the review notes sent to me by iRobot it says that the Roomba is not made to replace a conventional hoover, it’s here to compliment it. Much like microwave compliments an oven. I have to say that from my experience I disagree.
First Clean:After charging the Roomba for a few hours it was time to test it out. The first place I tested it was in my hall. The hall is fairly small (about 3×3 meters or so) and I had hoovered it the day before Roomba arrived. I set the robot up, closed all the doors and left it to its own devices. My hall is an odd shape and I wasn’t sure the Roomba would cope with it. After a good 20 minutes or so I heard the robot docking itself which meant it was done. I had a quick look around and was very impressed with the results. The on board bin was full of dust and my hall looked as good as if I had done it. I think that I probably jumped the gun a bit getting it set up so fast because I had no way to measure its success, I could tell it had done a good job but I decided to set up another test that I could write about.
The Testing:Next up was my living room / kitchen. The actual floor space is fairly large for a small flat. and takes 10 or 15 minutes for me to hoover it all on my own so it would be very interesting to see how the robot does. I took a few photos of messy areas so I could compare the before and after pictures. The first picture is of the floor in front of my TV. The hamster likes to relax in his ball here for some reason and often drops straw and does his business here. The second picture is a close up of part of the first. The table that the TV sits on has an edge that sticks out which had dirt in and around it, I wasn’t sure if the Roomba could get under and clean it. The third picture is where the carpet meets the kitchen floor. I wasn’t 100% sure that the Roomba would be able to get over the little bump or adjust to the different floor type.
The last picture is where my two couches meet. It creates a small square and I’m not sure the Roomba will be able to clean it efficiently as the square isn’t that much larger than the robot itself!This next picture is just a close up of the small square. I have a bonsai tree that sheds its leaves onto the floor. I moved the dock and robot into my living room and then used the “virtual wall” device that came with it to block the door from the living room to the hall. This device does what it says on the tin, makes a virtual wall that the Roomba cannot pass through. I know I could have just shut the door but I wanted to see if it worked… it did. I then clicked the clean button on the Roomba and let it do its thing. It took a fairly long time (around 45 minutes) to clean the floor and the results were astonishing.
The Results:It had done such an amazing job. I swear 100% that the pictures are real and I haven’t done any more cleaning. I have no reason to lie, It really is that good. I wanted to show you how much it has actually picked up off the floor, keep in mind this was completely empty before It cleaned the living room. That dust pile is 2 or 3 cms high.
The Features:The robot has a few nice features built into it. You can schedule how often the robot cleans and set an exact time it starts, mines currently set to clean the living room every day at 9am. If you don’t want to do that it has a big “clean” button you can press and it gets to work right away.
It also has a “spot” and “dock” button. The “spot” can be pressed if the robot is in a dirty area and it spirals around and around that area until it is clean, I have never used this button as the robot automatically detects dirty areas and spends more time on them. I’m also hardly ever here when it is cleaning so I can’t use it!The “dock” button makes the robot return to its docking station. It is useful to me because if I am in the flat at 9am I can just send Roomba home and it won’t be buzzing around.
Battery life??The robot charges itself so I have no idea how long the battery lasts, it’s long enough to clean a room which is all I need it for!
ConclusionI am extremely impressed with the ability of this robot, It’s buzzing around the room at the moment giving me inspiration as I write the review, I did leave a plastic bag on the floor by mistake which the Roomba got stuck on. I know this because it stopped and literally said “Please check left wheel” to me, I just hope it doesn’t develop conciousness… To sum up I am very very impressed with this machine. Yes it takes much longer than doing it yourself but the point is you dont have to. If you have a spare £349.99 I would definitely recommend you purchase this machine. I wish I could afford it myself as it has made my life so much easier. Definite 5/5, best product I have ever tested!
First things first, I think it looks fantastic. It’s a smaller version of the BlackBerry Bold. I think it looks better than the Bold because of its smaller size and softer feel.Like the Bold, it has the touchpad rather than the trackball which it took a few minutes to get used to but I quite like it, I think I can navigate the menus quicker with the touchpad rather than the ball. The keyboard is perfect for me however it is slightly smaller than that of the Bold; I imagine if you have bigger fingers than mine then the keys may get a bit fiddly.
The display resolution is 320×240 pixels, and it’s safe to say that even though there are better resolution phones out there, this is by no means wrong. I have slowly used the phone for the past few days and at no time have I thought the resolution hasn’t been high enough. I think the sample pictures show off the best the phone can do and they are quite impressive to have as backgrounds.
The phone comes with BlackBerry’s flagship OS 5.0. I realize that I am repeating what was in the review of the Bold, but it is straightforward to use. I can see why they are sticking with it. You can customise nearly every aspect of the phone right down to how many times the light flashes when it rings.It comes with the usual apps like BlackBerry maps, Browser and of course the famous BlackBerry Messenger. I love the messenger and use it all the time. I like the new feature which allows you to add non BlackBerry contacts to the messenger, so you get most of the BBM features, but when you send a message, it is done through SMS.
The PhoneIf you haven’t realized already, I love this phone. The built-in WiFi is excellent and comes in handy when using BlackBerry services to save on sending data via the network. It has the usual features like Bluetooth and comes with a built-in modem so you can use it to connect a laptop or pc to the internet.
Unfortunately, this BlackBerry also suffers from the same SMS/MMS problem as the Bold; I can’t work out a way to see when a text was sent to me, only when I received it. It’s not that big of a deal however it’s the reason the phone gets 4.5/5 rather than 5. Its also the right the Bold reached the same mark!The built-in music player is outstanding and comes in handy; I’m using it as I type this. The phone came with a 2GB memory card and had 256MB built in which coupled with the memory card is fine for what I need.
The CameraThe camera is 2.0 Megapixels which isn’t as good as a lot of the newer phones out today however the pictures it takes are just beautiful. I don’t see a need for a camera more than about 2 Megapixels, so I think BlackBerry has actually got it right, I guess it saves the user money, and at the end of the day the quality won’t matter unless you are blowing the image up larger than half a meter or so.
The battery time seems fine. I have slowly used it for a few days and only needed to charge it this morning. It loads pretty quickly and has a standby time of 408 hours.—- Overall I love this phone. It has so many features, and the only downside is that mentioned about the SMS/MMS which again, isn’t the end of the world. For the price I paid, I am more than happy!