(Pocket-lint) - The Dyson 360 Heurist is an upgrade to the Dyson 360 Eye - a super cleaner that we highly regarded when we reviewed it back in 2018. So much so that we recommend it as one of the best robot vacuum cleaners to buy.

So is the Dyson 360 Heurist a second-time success or difficult second album? We've been living with this robot vacuum cleaner for a few weeks to find out. 

Big blue design

  • Dimensions: 120mm (L) x 240mm (W) x 230mm (H)
  • 212mm full-width brush for edge-to-edge cleaning
  • Tank-like tracks for ease of passing over objects
  • LED light ring for low-light navigation
  • On-body controls and app controls
  • Dyson Link app (iOS & Android)
  • Weight: 2.51kgs
  • 330ml dustbin

Where many other manufacturers have gone for low-profile, understated designs, Dyson has made its bot tall and eye-catching. This blue bot is certainly not a stealthy auto-vacuum in more ways than one (you'll certainly be aware when it's cleaning too). But that's no bad thing - there are enough grey and black boxes about these days, so it's good to have something distinctive.

Alongside the pleasant blue shell, there's a striking silver portion that makes up the bot's dustbin. Our initial feeling was that this bin seemed a bit small - it's 330ml, so about the size of a drink can - and we were soon proven right when we had to regularly empty it. That's a double-edged sword as it might be a hassle, but it's also a testament to the Dyson 360 Heurist's cleaning power.

Asides from looks, we felt some of the bot's compartments feel a little flimsy in places. We suspect this is to ensure that the bot remains as lightweight as possible. After all, weight is going to impact its ability to navigate the home while also remaining power efficient. 

This plastic also isn't resilient to scratches. Being tall as it is - at 23cms, so it probably won't squeeze under the bed - the bot managed to scratch itself on a fireplace hearth as it passed close by on its first clean. Now it's slightly scuffed, it's not quite as eye-catching, but no less efficient. 

Underneath, the Dyson 360 Heurist boasts some impressive-looking tank tracks in place of the usual wheels. These help it navigate between rooms, climb over thresholds and mount rugs too. We even saw this bot trundle successfully over a large dog bone that our pet had left on the floor. 

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Unfortunately, like other robot vacuum cleaners, this machine can still be bested by some household items. A child's sock is enough to clog it; some Lego that had been left scattered on the floor got stuck awkwardly in the tracks one time too. Such instances render the bot immobile until resolved. 

Dyson has put great thought into its brush system. It has a large, edge-to-edge brush which is nestled away behind a brush guard that reduces the amount of tangle. This brush also uses stiffer brushes than most other bots we've tested, making it better at picking up dirt and dust as it cleans. If needs be you can unscrew it and remove tangled hair with ease too. 

On top, this bot has a fairly simple setup. The classic all-seeing eye sits centrally and is used to scan the room as it makes its way about mapping and cleaning your home. That system now makes use of eight LEDs that even light up the room so it can clean in the dark too - not that you're likely to send this machine out to clean while you snooze. 

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A simple interface allows for the press of a single button to start or stop and clean and there's a ring around the outside of that with little warning lights to let you know if there's a problem. Of course, you also get a lot more control within the smartphone app. 

Room navigation

  • 360° navigation system, sensors take a distance measurement every 20ms
  • Intelligent Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM)
  • In-app virtual no-go zones and room sectioning
  • Virtual mapping, cleaning history, scheduling

The initial setup of the Dyson 360 Heurist is fairly similar to that of other robot vacuums: set it to charge, download the app, then connect the bot to your home Wi-Fi network by following the on-screen steps. Nice and easy.

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The difference comes when you send it out for the first time. This robot vacuum needs to first navigate and scan your home so it can map it out before regular cleaning sessions. And, oh boy, is that a long process. Still, it goes to show just how seriously the Dyson 360 Heurist takes its mapping. 

As you'd expect from a robot vacuum at this price point, once the mapping is done you'll find a virtual view of your floorplan within the app. You can create new maps (for different floors) from within the app and also view where the bot has been and how long it's spent doing a clean too. 

Powerful cleaning

  • Dyson digital motor v2: 78,000rpm (20% more suction than 360 Eye)
  • Up to 75 minute run time (in quiet mode)
  • Allergen blocking filters

Dyson is clearly taking cleaning seriously with the 360 Heurist. This bot uses similar Radial Root Cyclone technology to that used in the company's full-sized and cordless vacuum cleaners. It also packs a motor that's capable of spinning at 78,000 times per minute.

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It's this motor design that means this robot cleaner boasts 20 per cent more suction than its 360 Eye predecessor. It shows too. On max power, this bot does a particularly excellent job of picking up dirt and debris, as well as filling up its bin. 

Downsides to that amount of power come in two forms though. Firstly, the 360 Heurist is one of the noisier robot cleaners we've tested. Secondly, when coming out for a scheduled clean this bot needs to regularly stop to return to its dock for a boost charge before continuing on.

This often meant that the bot would dock for a charge and come back out two more times before it was finished cleaning. That meant we were getting interrupted by the next part of its cleaning cycle - just when we'd got used to the peace and quiet again. This isn't an issue with many other bots we've tested - so it shows how power-hungry that mega motor is when on its higher mode settings.

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The Dyson 360 Heurist is a cleaning powerhouse. Watching it in action you can see it carefully considering its surroundings. This bot sections off each room and cleans them in segments until the entire job is complete. It gets close to edges and works into the corners too. Other bots just don't clean this well.

App and voice controls

The Dyson 360 Heurist has a user-friendly app with relatively straightforward controls. From within the app, you can set a schedule, click to send the bot out to clean, and monitor where it has been. 

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You can also do other clever things from within the app too. For example, you can set specific rooms up on the map, then when you're setting a cleaning schedule you can choose certain rooms to clean and the cleaning power for each room as well. You'll then get an estimate of how long it will take to clean that space and even how many times the bot will need to charge when carrying out these cleans. 

If you're not content with just app controls, then there's more good news, as there's also an Amazon Alexa skill that lets you control this bot with your voice.

Verdict

The Dyson 360 Heurist is a pricey bit of kit from a brand we know and love. But there's a reason for that asking price: Dyson's second robotic vacuum has super cleaning power - whether on carpet, wood or otherwise - that helps it stand out from the crowd.

Unfortunately we found a few niggles with this bot: its repeated need to dock for a charge mid-clean; its height means it won't get under everything; its small bin size needs to be changed a lot (which goes to show how well it cleans!).

If you're looking for a robotic vacuum cleaner - and not a boring black or grey box - then Dyson's big blue bot has undeniable power and finesse.

Also consider

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iRobot Roomba i7+

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If you want a robot vacuum cleaner that's all-singing, all-dancing, then the iRobot Roomba i7+ may well be it. This premium bot comes with a clever automatic emptying system - which means you'll spend less time emptying its bin. 

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Roborock S5 Max

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Roborock's range is feature-packed, yet affordable. The S5 Max is capable cleaner, with the added bonus of intelligent controls and mopping functions too. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.