Ecovacs Deebot 661 robot vacuum review: This is a budget friendly vacuum/mop hybrid

Ecovacs has generally impressed with its Deebot line of robot vacuums, but its latest offering—the Deebot 661 Convertible Vacuuming or Mopping Robotic Vacuum Cleaner—doesn’t quite rise to the same level. That said, the Deebot 661 still fills the need for an affordable vacuum/mop hybrid.

The Deebot 661 measures 13.1 inches across by 3.1 inches high, and it weighs about 7 pounds. It continues the design language of other Deebots with a black plastic body and glossy finish. An auto-clean button and Wi-Fi indicator light are on the top of the vacuum, a power switch and reset button are on the side.

On the underside of the 661 are a main roller brush, dual spin brushes, a swivel wheel, and a pair of driving treads. The dustbin is slotted in to the back and can be swapped out for a water tank to mop floors.

deebot 661 Ecovacs

The Deebot 661’s low height enables it to get under couches and cabinets.

Setting up the 661 follows the same steps I’ve seen with other recent Deebot models. To use it with its physical remote—which provides buttons for automatic cleaning mode selections and manual control—you just set the vacuum on the charging dock, flip its power switch on, and let it charge. It takes about four hours for the battery to reach full capacity, which will give you up to 110 minutes or run time.

To control the vacuum with the Ecovacs Home app, you must take the additional steps of scanning the QR code on the side of the 661, pressing the reset button to pair the 661 with your phone, and following the onscreen prompts to connect to your Wi-Fi network. There are often plenty of hiccups when pairing smart devices with their apps, but the Ecovacs process was typically seamless.

The 661 has three cleaning modes, which can be activated from the remote control, or the app. Auto cleans the entire floor in a random pattern optimized for carpets. Spot mode cleans a small area of concentrated dirt in a spiral pattern. In Edge mode, the vacuum cleans along the walls for the full perimeter of the room. There’s also a Max setting, which doubles the vacuums suction power for tougher messes.

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deebot 661 app Michael Ansaldo/IDG

The Ecovacs Home app displays real-time information about cleaning jobs.

While the vacuum is cleaning, the app displays real-time data including the size of the area cleaned in square meters, the duration of the cleaning, the battery level, and the current cleaning status, along with a visual representation of the vacuum cleaning.

The app provides pop-up alerts when the 661 runs into trouble. These identify the issue—the vacuum is lifted off the floor, for example—and are accompanied by a gentle beep from the vacuum so you can locate it. You can tap “ignore” to close these notifications, or tap “view” to open a page that explains how to fix the issue. The app keeps a record of all these messages on a separate tab.

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