The review was written by our reader Mark Tennent. Feel free to ask any related questions.
"We don't have pets, but I bake bread every other day, so the kitchen floor gets messy. The L70 Hybrid B2C usually goes around the kitchen and breakfast room every morning and evening to pick up crumbs and so on. Suction power and brushes are easily strong enough to get pet hair.
The Eufy L70 Hybrid is an amazing machine. It was never meant to take over the vacuuming, just supply a quick brush up between going round with a manual vacuum cleaner. However, it has proven to be well able to take up the role, and my floors are cleaner than they ever have been.
Initial set-up is easy, and when first started, the Eufy L70 will have a quick look round, turning on the spot left and right to get a rudimentary map. Then it refines this as it cleans each room in turn. As it reaches a doorway, it has a quick look through to make a simple map, before finishing cleaning the room it’s in.
Watching the L70's problem-solving is fascinating, especially if you move things after the L70 has passed by (would I do that on purpose … err, yes). I guess there must be a fast CPU on board because the L70 will look at the problem with its LIDAR, have a little roll each way before deciding what it is going to do. Then it trundles off, often at a fast lick. It goes around the edges first then sets about the rest of the room, dealing with objects on the way or having a quick look into any adjoining rooms.
Once it has mapped an area, it even curves round bends, table legs, and through tight gaps, hardly slowing for them. Both of my Robovacs have taken a fancy to our sisal door maps, giving them extra special attention and sucking extra hard.
Among the various instruction, booklets is a Fast Set-up Guide. This needs to show how to turn down the Lady’s voice, who shouts at you to tell you what instruction has been received or the problem the L70 has encountered. With a start-up chime/music, that sounds like it plays through a birthday card’s speaker at full volume. I have mine set to 25% volume and can still hear her two rooms away.
As far as I am concerned, Eufy Robovacs do not identify as female and are very obviously male, as probably are most of the people who purchase a robotic vacuum cleaner. Renaming in the Eufy home app is easy, and it's best to keep the name Alexa-friendly or else, for example: 'Robovac Leo' will get confused as Robovac Cleo by Alexa. The L70 has a very annoying female voice, so how can you give it a male’s name?
Perhaps it could be one that serves both sexes: Steve, Lesley, or Chris, maybe? Or one of those non-human names much-loved by the glitterati: River, Chelsea, or Vignette perhaps? ‘Alexa, tell Nausea to start sucking.’ In the end, I relented and used the first and last letter of her model name L70 Hybrid B2C, aka Elsie.
Return to base
After all the areas have been cleaned, and it is time to return to base, the L70 makes its way home automatically. This can also be as power is running low (a good 2 or 3 hours) after an order is sent via Alexa, or via the Eufyhome app, or even by pressing the home button on top of the robot. The L70 does this intelligently, avoiding all the obstacles it knows about and using its map to navigate via the shortest route, crossing rooms diagonally.
The L70 mapped and cleaned the downstairs of my house for the first time in 73 mins. Now it cleans the same area in less than 50 minutes. As with all robot vacuum cleaners, It helps to make rooms robot-friendly by putting chairs on tables, moving shoes with laces, keeping electric flexes out of reach, and making a wide enough path for the Robovac to get through. The L70 needs 106mm height by about 400mm width, although it can squirm its way through slightly narrower gaps.
Mopping is surprisingly good with the water tank large enough to mop nearly all it can reach of the wooden floors for the whole of my ground floor I want cleaned (approx 70 sqm). Even set to release the least water, the L70 leaves a broad path of clean, damp floor behind, and you can set it to just mop and not vacuum as well. When water runs out, the Lady will shout she needs more water, a message is sent via smartphone, and the L70 returns to base for a refill (manual).
Benefit of a mapping cleaner
‘Elsie's’ brother ‘Max’ a Eufy 15C Max I bought before the L70, who now lives upstairs and cleans the bedrooms. Max is a fine Robovac but had a few problems with the large and complicated area of my house, with rooms leading off rooms. Even so, he can vacuum the downstairs in two hours, albeit in a bouncy fashion. Max gets under furniture 'Elsie' can only look at even though she has a good try at getting through.
The Eufyhome app is letting the L70 down a little. The app also needs to run in a landscape, especially on tablets, where it is far easier to work with than on a cell phone screen. Restricting where the L70 does and doesn’t clean is done in the Eufyhome app. but you cannot save individual maps and must define the areas to be cleaned or avoided each time. Or use the ones you've already set up. Strangely, the cleaning history does show the areas you've previously defined, but there isn't any way to select the same for current use.
Restricted areas, virtual walls, and areas to not mop, can be saved. One has to drag on-screen rectangles, which can be awkward if the L70's mapped your rooms at an angle as mine did first. It meant drawing overlapping rectangles defining areas to clean or avoid rather than setting corner points with the Eufyhome app automatically connecting them up. Also, it is too easy to accidentally make a rectangular zone slightly too large and overhanging into an adjacent room. The L70 will obligingly try to clean the tiny overlap area in that room. A remap fixed this and straightened the map. Often it is easier to just close doors restricting the L70s entry.
The back-up from Eufy is second to none with fast responses to queries and a variety of ways to contact them. They have offices in the US, UK, and Germany, with repair services arriving 'in the near future.’
In answer to my queries, Eufy’s UK Customer Services responded: ‘I understand you[r] need about naming zones. I have forwarded your suggestion to our product team already. Rest assured, we keep improving our products and app, and we will consider adding this function in our future models. As for the voice, actually, it is picked up by some customers in a survey. I have already forwarded your suggestion about the voice and identification to our software team. In the future, there would be more voice pack options.’
One of the options in the Eufyhome app is to update the Firmware, so this may be a possibility.
Apart from the weaknesses of the Eufyhome app, there aren’t many problems to report. When either of my Robovacs gets into a spot of bother, it will try to fix things before sending an alert via smartphone, and the L70 lady shouts an announcement. Then the stuck Robovac switches off. You can find them easily from the Eufyhome App, which shows their location. Being Internet-connected, it is possible to send them instructions over the Internet and watch their progress, even steering them manually using the Eufyhome map.
One sunny day I watched Elsie get caught in a corner when a strong shadow was left with two brightly lit areas each side. Elsie identified the shadows as objects; it couldn’t get around and instead tried to push through the walls of the corner it was stuck in before calling for help.
Another time as Elsie was doing a clean, she was going at such speed, she managed to climb the threshold into my conservatory, somewhere I had not set-up for cleaning. You might need to keep doors to the outside closed unless you want your Robovac tackling the whole world as they are keen to try. When outside doors are open, the L70 will have drawn a rudimentary map through the open doorway, as far as the LIDAR can reach. Upstairs, 15C 'Max' can trundle along the corridor going so fast he almost goes over a step down into the room at the end. His fall detectors stop him just in time but leave him stranded like the coach in The Italian Job, and he has to call for help."
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