Zigma is a relatively new brand that is focusing on smart IoT home devices. Recently they released a new 2-in-1 device, an intelligent robot vacuum and mop. We got a great opportunity to test the Zigma Spark robot vacuum, which has all the smart features we love: real-time mapping based on Lidar and SLAM algorithms, no-go zones, zoned cleaning, and besides, an advanced mopping function with Y-shaped cleaning path. We have had this robot for about two weeks, put it through our usual tests and here is our complete review of the Zigma Spark. At the moment, this model is available to buy in the UK and Germany for less than €400, which is a good deal for the features.
Unboxing and first glance
The robot comes with a bunch of accessories in the box. I like that there are a few spare parts such as an additional HEPA filter and two spare side brushes.
- robot vacuum cleaner
- charging dock
- AC/DC adapter
- IR remote control
- 2 HEPA filters
- 4 side brushes
All the accessories and the robot are well packed in the box. The device looks very similar to other Lidar-based robot vacuums: it has Lidar (LDS) on the top and two backlit buttons that change colors depending on the current device status. I noticed that it has a slightly slimmer body than its competitors that I tested. The height of the robot is 9 cm / 3.54 inches including Lidar, therefore it has more chances to fit under your bed or cabinets when cleaning. The whole device looks very nice, the top case is glassy, the plastic doesn't feel cheap and I'm satisfied with the overall build quality.
The front bumper has rubber protection so it should not damage furniture when accidentally bumps into it.
Underneath, there are two big wheels and one small omnidirectional wheel. A roller cleaning brush is the same we used to see in many other robots, it's the same combined bristle & rubber brush we have seen in most similar robot vacuums. Three cliff sensors prevent the robot from falling down the stairs. Two side brushes that agitate dirt and dust to the inlet can be easily removed and replaced.
Each side brush is marked with an "L" and "R" symbol which means left and right side brush respectively. At first, I didn't notice it and installed two left side brushes. Visually they look very similar but there is a small difference in shape between the left and right brush. It caused constant warping of the side brush when cleaning carpet so keep this in mind when installing the brushes.
A charging dock that comes with the Zigma Spark is pretty small, it doesn't take a lot of space and has a pretty minimalist design. The first time when I installed it on a carpet, the robot struggled to dock from the first attempt. I tried to move the dock to my hardwood floor and now it docks just fine.
A 600 ml dustbin located at the rear of the robot's body and can be easily removed when needed. Considering that most of the other such devices have 450-550 ml dustbin, I would say that this one is bigger than average. A brushless DC suction motor located inside the dustbin which means you don't need to disassemble the device to replace the moto (if it breaks down), you can just buy a new dustbin.
I would definitely recommend emptying the dustbin after each usage; based on my experience, robot vacuums have much better suction and cleaning performance when you clean the dustbin regularly.
Washable HEPA filter
There is a HEPA filter in the dustbin, this filter is washable so you can wash it from time to time when it gets clogged. I would not recommend washing the filter very often so it will last much longer. As I mentioned above, I recommend to clean the dustbin after each usage, the same rule I have about the filter: the dust clogged in the filter can significantly reduce suction power. It takes one minute to clean the filter and dustbin but as a result, you get much better cleaning performance.
I was glad to see a spare HEPA filter in the box, so no need to worry about the filter at least one year of everyday usage.
Water tank and mopping pad
The Zigma Spark can also mop your floors, however, you would need to buy a water tank (350 ml) with a mopping pad separately. The water tank can be attached instead of a dustbin on the rear side of the device. It holds enough water to clean up to 100 sq. meters area which is great considering that most of the robot vacuums in this price range have a small 100-160 ml water tank.
A small electric water pump inside the tank takes the necessary amount of water and supply it to the mopping pad. I have seen a similar water pump inside the Viomi V2 and Roborock S5 Max. The water pump allows controlling the water level depending on your needs through the smartphone app, which is very convenient. It also prevents water from leaking when the robot is idle. Most of the robot vacuums equipped with a water tank without an electric water pump, so in such devices, water continues dripping even when the robot is not working.
Navigation and Mapping
The Zigma equipped with the Allwinner A10 ARM processor. It uses Lidar and SLAM algorithms for navigation purposes. What does it mean? Lidar sensor continuously rotating and scan your house, data from the sensors is being processing in realtime by the processor with SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) algorithms, as a result, the robot builds a high-precision 98% accurate map. Unlike cheap robot vacuums with random navigation, the devices that use SLAM or VSLAM technologies
are much more efficient. Such, the Zigma Spark builds a most efficient z-shaped cleaning path, it methodically covers the whole cleaning area without skipping any places and repeating cleaning the same places.
This robot vacuum has a nice feature that I like a lot, and have seen it only in a few models available on the market. In mopping mode, the Zigma Spark uses the back and forth Y-shaped movement the same as you do when mopping floors with a handheld mop. I found this way of mopping a bit more effective.
Thanks to the smart "brain" inside the robot, you can pair it with a smartphone app and uses a lot of smart features that we will talk about below.
The robot moves around pretty accurately, without bumping into furniture. But sometimes it can't recognize some thin objects such as chair legs or black furniture and bump into them. At least, there is a soft bumper that protects the furniture and the robot from damage.
The Spark has 1,500 Pa of suction power. It's not the highest suction we have seen in robot vacuums, but it's quite enough for showing good cleaning performance on bare floors, and low-pile carpets. The first time I run it across the whole apartment it was able to collect the full bin of dust even though my floors were vacuumed two days ago.
In our synthetic tests, the Spark was able to pick up 98% of sand scattered on a bare floor. It also shows good results on a carpet picking up all the debris we scattered.
Zigma Spark video review and cleaning test
Unfortunately, the roller brush doesn't have detachable side tips as we have seen in other robot vacuums such as the Roborock S6. It means that removing the hair wounded around the brush is more complicated. If someone in your home has long hair, keep in mind you will need to untangle hair after each cleaning. It's a kind of problem that I have with most of the robot vacuums I tested. Short human or pet hair should not be a problem for this machine. The roller brush helps a lot at picking up debris and dust from the carpet. It has combined rubber + bristle design, very similar to those used in other robot vacuums.
I had no chance to test the mopping of the Zigma Spark since the water tank doesn't come in the box, but I tested very similar robot vacuums (such as the Viomi V2) so I know how the mopping function works in this model. There are a few important things that make it much better than most of the other robots with mopping function.
The first one is the Y-shaped mopping path. It just performs much better than just dragging the mopping pad with standard cleaning pattern as most of the similar devices do. The Y-shaped pattern is very similar to manual mopping when you use the back and forth movements. Currently, there are only a few robot vacuums available on the market that use this pattern when mopping.
The second one is a large 350 ml water container. It is enough to mop an average house without needs to refill the container with water.
And the last great thing is electric water level control. What does it mean? Inside the water tank, there is a small electric water pump. Every 10 seconds it supplies the necessary amount of water to the mopping pad and completely shuts off the water when the robot idle. This also allows you to set the water supply speed in the app, so you can make the mopping pad slightly wet for easy tasks or completely wet for more heavy cleaning tasks.
Do not expect a lot from the mopping function. Of course, it is a great addition to manual mopping especially if you use it every day you can keep your floors crystal clean. But it will not be able to remove old stubborn stains. Also, some people just don't want to bother about using this function every day, refilling the water tank and washing the mopping cloth.
The Zigma Spark is a very quiet robot vacuum. On low power setting, it will not bother you at all. On max power settings, it makes less than 60 dB of noise.
The robot is equipped with a 3,200 mAh lithium-ion battery. Depending on the cleaning mode, it can work continuously 70-120 minutes on a single charge. If the Spark does not cover all the area on one charge, it will go to the charging dock, recharge (it takes 2-3 hours), and automatically returns back to the spot where it was interrupted and continue cleaning until the whole area will be cleaned. Based on my experience, on the low power setting, it can clean up to 110 square meters on one charge.
The Zigma Spark can be fully controlled by the Zigma app which is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The app has a lot of great features that we have already seen in other high-end lidar-based robot vacuums:
- Real-time mapping
- No-go zones
- Zoned cleaning
- Suction and mopping modes
- Cleaning history
According to Zigma, they are working on implementing room recognition for the robot, so there should be a firmware update soon which will add selective room cleaning. It's a very convenient function that allows you to clean a specific room or a few selected rooms just with one tap in the app.
I tested a lot of robot vacuums but I've never seen such a detailed cleaning statistic as in the Zigma app.
Where to buy the Zigma Spark
The Zigma Spark will be a good choice for those who have mostly hardwood floors or low pile carpets in their houses. The robot is very quiet so it will not bother you when working. It has a powerful mopping function, though the water tank should be ordered separately. The app has a lot of useful features, but it lucks of selective room cleaning and multi-mapping features at the moment (the manufacturer promised to add these functions soon). It is not suitable for shaggy and high pile carpets.