Roomba 650 Review: Do We Still Recommend It in 2020?

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out if we still recommend the Roomba 650 in 2020, then the short answer is YES.

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iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum
  • iAdapt Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home
  • 3 Stage Cleaning System agitates, brushes and suctions floors
  • Conveniently schedule up to 7x per week, or just press CLEAN on the robot
  • Automatically docks and recharges; At just 3.6 inch tall, Roomba has been specifically designed to fit under most furniture and kickboards so dirt has no place to hide
  • Automatically adjusts to all floor types of carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate and more

No one wants to spend their day sweeping and vacuuming. Yet, with a busy home, it takes daily vacuuming to keep things consistently clean. Someone is always tracking a new mess into the house. I have been looking at several different robotic vacuums as possible solutions to my cleaning problems. In this article, you will find my Roomba 650 review.

Is a Roomba the Right Solution for You?

A robotic vacuum brings many benefits to your home. You can schedule most models to run a cleaning cycle while you are out of the house. The compact design of Roomba vacuums allows them to get under many pieces of furniture, reaching places that you would not normally clean. I was surprised and even a little embarrassed at the amount of dust these bots picked up once they got started at my home. The biggest benefit for most owners is having floors that are consistently free from loose dirt and dust.

Before you order a new robotic vacuum, you will want to consider whether it is the right fit for your home. For example, if you have antique furniture or expensive carpets, you might want to think carefully before buying a Roomba. Robotic vacuums with navigation systems similar to the Roomba 650 are designed to come very near obstacles. This can lead to light scuffing on wood surfaces. In addition, consumers have found that robotic vacuums can get tangled in rugs with tassels, possibly doing damage to hand-woven rugs.

Another consideration is the amount of space you want the Roomba to avoid. Most Roombas come with a Virtual Wall or Lighthouse, devices that are designed to provide an invisible boundary for the robot. If you have many areas in your house that you would want the Roomba to skip, like a table with fragile knickknacks, it may not be worth the cost of a robotic vacuum. In this case, you will want to do the vacuuming yourself, and you should probably find a vacuum with extensions for unusual spaces and extra control.

Meet the Roomba 650

iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 650 is one of the less expensive Roomba vacuums currently on the market. The 600-series uses iRobot’s basic iAdapt navigation system that cleans with a random pattern based on how the unit encounters obstacles. Unlike earlier models in the 600-series, you can program the 650 to clean at a particular time of day or create a weekly cleaning schedule. This unit does not have a Wi-fi connection but is controlled with buttons on top of the unit. The unit comes with a charging dock, an extra AeroVac filter, and a single Virtual Wall device.

Pros

  • Larger dirt bin for fewer cleanings
  • 75-minute running time
  • Simple scheduling controls 

Cons

  • Struggles to complete complex floor plans
  • Brushes can get tangled with pet hair
  • No remote control

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Important Features of the Roomba 650

iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum

With each new Roomba model, iRobot responds to customer concerns with incremental changes. Along with the standard features of the 600-series of Roomba vacuums, the Roomba 650 includes a larger dirt bin and extended battery life compared to earlier models. The combination of features makes it an excellent solution for those seeking a reliably clean home.

iAdapt Navigation System

The Roomba 650 uses the iAdapt 1.0 navigation system. This system is avoidance based. Once the unit starts its cycle, it will travel until it encounters an obstacle. When it approaches an obstacle, it slows down to test whether it can pass through it. If the obstacle is solid, like a wall, the unit will change directions. If the obstacle allows it to pass, like a fabric bed skirt, the unit will continue through. The Roomba 650 makes a temporary map of its travels, noting anyplace where it encountered a barrier. This map disappears when the Roomba 650 finishes its cycle. Unlike later Roomba models, it cannot remember where it left off if it did not finish an area.

Dual Agitating Brushes and Side Brush

The dual brushes beneath the Roomba are one of the keys to its cleaning power. These brushes loosen dirt so it can be vacuumed away. They do best on hard floor surfaces or low pile carpeting. The side brush lets the Roomba clean to the edge of a wall. It sweeps hair, dirt, and debris into the path of the vacuum. This is important because it means that my rooms will be completely clean, even in the corners.

AeroVac Cleaning System and Filter

The AeroVac Cleaning System is the standard system in the 500 and 600-series of Roomba robotic vacuums. While it does well for most surfaces, later series have a stronger vacuum that does better with deep pile carpets. The vacuum sucks dirt, dust, and hair into the dirt bin. Air then travels through the AeroVac filter. This filter is not as strong as the HEPA filters in the 800-series and above, but it will get most dust and dander off of your floors.

Dirt Detection Sensors

The Dirt Detect feature of the Roomba robot helps it handle larger messes. As the Roomba passes over a mess, the sensor identifies extra debris and instructs the robot to spend more time at that spot. In this unit, the robot will turn in a tight circle until the area is clean.

Scheduling Controls

The Roomba 650 has programming buttons that are similar to a digital alarm clock. These buttons allow you to program the Roomba with a daily or weekly cleaning schedule. Some people like to run their Roomba in the middle of the night. Other people prefer to run the unit when they know the house will be empty. If you run the Roomba 650 while you are away, it is important to remember that the Roomba cannot function with a full dirt bin. Many consumers simply make it a practice to empty the bin when they return home, preparing the vacuum for another cleaning session.

Two Cleaning Modes

The Roomba 650 has two basic cleaning modes. The primary mode is the Clean mode that sends the unit out to do general cleaning until its charge falls below 20 percent. The secondary mode is the Spot mode. If someone spills popcorn on the floor, I will carry the unit to that spot using the convenient handhold. Then, I place it in the center of the mess and hit Spot. The Roomba vacuums in a spiral pattern until it has cleaned a circle about one yard in diameter.

Lithium-ion Battery with Charging Dock

The Roomba 650 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is more powerful than previous models, giving it about 15 minutes of extra cleaning time per charge. When its charge is depleted, the unit automatically seeks out its charging dock. It takes about three hours for the Roomba 650 to fully recharge. Some consumers complain that the Roomba does always make it back to its charging station before running out of steam. Many of these problems can be alleviated by locating your dock in an open space.

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Rave Reviews for the Roomba 650

I have been searching for reviews of the Roomba 650. Most customers are pleased with this robotic vacuum. They really love the fact that they can schedule a cleaning and come home to a clean place. Customers say that, although the cleaning pattern is a bit random, it does get the job done, especially in homes with a smaller floor plan. Many people noted how surprised they were at the amount of dust this unit collects.

Roomba 650 Alternatives

The Roomba 650 may be the perfect solution to your cleaning problems, but with the number of robotic vacuums on the market, you may want to look for some alternatives. Here are a few that I think are worth examining.

Roomba 650 Specs

  • AeroVac Cleaning System
  • iAdapt 1.0 navigation
  • 75 minutes of cleaning per charge
  • Manual scheduling with buttons on unit

#1 Roomba 675

iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging

The Roomba 675 has many of the same features of the Roomba 650 at a similar price point. Its battery is a bit stronger, offering 90 minutes of cleaning time with a full charge. Importantly, this unit also has a Wi-fi connection. You can control and schedule the robot remotely using the iRobot Home app.

  • AeroVac Cleaning System
  • iAdapt 1.0 navigation
  • 90 minutes of cleaning per 3-hour charge
  • Remote scheduling through Wi-fi connection

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Read our Roomba 675 vs 690 comparison.

#2 Roomba E5

iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum, Black

At a slightly higher price, you can get several important improvements with the Roomba e5 vacuum. The AeroForce Cleaning System claims to have five times the vacuuming power as the AeroVac. The e5 replaces the brush agitator with rubber-treaded agitators that are less likely to get tangled with pet hair. Finally, this system also includes remote scheduling with the iRobot Home app.

  • AeroForce Cleaning System
  • iAdapt 1.0 navigation
  • 90 minutes of cleaning per 3 -hour charge
  • Remote scheduling through Wi-fi connection

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#3 Eufy RoboVac 30

eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30, Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Upgraded, Super-Thin, 1500Pa Suction, Boundary Strips Included, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets

The eufy RoboVac 30 is one of the newer contenders in the robotic vacuum world. It is slightly shorter than the standard Roomba models, allowing it access to even more spaces. It has a similar obstacle-based navigation system as the Roomba 600-line. It offers 100 minutes of cleaning per charge but has a longer charging time. While it does not have a Wi-fi connection, you can program it with the included remote control.

  • Similar cleaning power to AeroVac Cleaning System
  • Obstacle-avoidance based navigation
  • 100 minutes of cleaning per 5-hour charge
  • Scheduling through included remote control

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Our Roomba 650 comparisons

My Final Thoughts

To conclude my Roomba 650 review, I would recommend the Roomba 650 to anyone who wants an affordable way to try a robotic vacuum. Although it does not have the features of newer models, this unit can get the job done in a smaller home. The extra battery life and expanded dirt bin combined with its scheduling ability allow this robot to completely clean a simple floorplan on a single charge. If you want to learn more about this powerful little cleaning robot, click here.

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