- Niceboy also sent us a slightly less equipped, but also much cheaper sibling, after its more expensive Charles i9 smart vacuum cleaner.
- The Charles i7 offers almost the same equipment and performance as the more expensive model, but logically it had to make some compromises which we will try to offer in the article.
Niceboy continues its attack on the smart home market. For months, you can buy many products from this brand, from smart vacuum cleaners and brushes to light bulbs. Today, however, I’m going to take a look at the vacuum cleaner again, but not the most expensive one this time. I presented it to you in November. Today Niceboy sent me a much cheaper sibling, the Charles i7, for a short test, and while vacuum cleaners aren’t the liveliest topic, I was honestly interested in the trade-offs likely to be compromised in the ‘equipment. We will try to find out today.
What does not change
But let me briefly remind you that this is not yet a review. This is really just an introduction to the product and my observations after a short trial. However, the Charles i7 is a seemingly ordinary smart vacuum cleaner, but something has always puzzled me. The quality of these plastics and construction was no worse than that of the more expensive brother. So there is probably no price compromise in the construction. For that, congratulations because these robots always run into something.
In the core, therefore, i7 is almost the same product as i9. There is a suction system on performance 2300Pa, which is 200 Pa less than the Charles i9. However, the brushes can still easily get rid of pet hair, and I also have to praise the contents of the package, where you get almost everything twice, if you want to replace even the side brushes when they wear out. Or HEPA filter. The box also has a cleaning kit or even remote controlif you don’t want to control the vacuum cleanly from your mobile. This way you can just have one for the vacuum cleaner in the living room, in addition to the TV remote, and anyone can call it at any time.
Plus, it’s not just a vacuum cleaner anymore. There’s no one either AQUA Direct cleaning system, which dispenses water as needed, so it also has to deal with long-dried and tougher stains on the floor. It’s hard to say how well this function works, but in my house the robot managed to clean even the black stains from the shoes in the hallway, so I trust it enough. Besides, the water tank is the same size as the dust tank – 600ml. This is fine in my opinion, as both tanks are 150ml larger than the more expensive Charles i9. And 150ml is a big difference.
Then we still have the one MAX Clean three-stage filtration system to remove 99.95% of impurities. Primary and secondary filters retain larger impurities and the typical HEPA filter spins through even the finest dust, allergenic dust mites and animal allergens. All with super easy maintenance. You don’t need to keep buying bags or anything. All you have to do is remove the dust container, empty it, rinse the HEPA filter under running water from time to time and you’re done.
The vacuum cleaner still delivers five cleaning modes, with which to meet the specific requirements of any cleaning. In automatic mode, there are universal programs for thorough cleaning of the room. Fixed-point cleaning, in turn, is designed for deep cleaning of a place, edge cleaning mode is a specialized program for detailed cleaning along walls and edges of furniture, etc. And yes, there is also a manual control so you can drive the robot like a remote control car. And as soon as the robot moves from floor to carpet, it automatically increases performance. You don’t have to worry about anything.
Compromises and software
In other words, as I said, the basic equipment is almost the same at first glance as the more expensive colleague. So where did the savings start? Well, except for a bit weaker suction power above all, there is a poorer sensor equipment. I consider this to be probably the biggest outrage over the i9. The NaviGATE navigation system contains a number of gyroscopes or 20 infrared sensors to map the room. So, of course, the vacuum cleaner can avoid obstacles and won’t even fall down stairs. Unfortunately here are not LiDAR sensors, the infrared is less numerous than in the i9 and lacks other conveniences, so this mapping will not be as precise and fast. I can confirm it. The vacuum is still fine, I haven’t had a problem with it, but you can see how it hits more often, it’s not that precise, fast and doesn’t remember you need to take a look at something thing the next day when one of them hit something on his way.
The wrong equipment of the sensors can also be seen in the software and thus in the app. You cannot define virtual walls and restricted areas. It is not possible to set different timers and cleaning methods only for specific rooms. There are also statistics on the wear of the various parts of the vacuum cleaner and the filters. For the Charles i7 you can usually just select the cleaning mode, view cleaning maps, area to clean, area left, you can see where the vacuum is working, battery status and of course you can set general cleaning timers.
Compared to the i9, it also lasts 30 minutes less. i7 says 120 minutes of suction and then should automatically go to the charging station, where it can spend up to 300 minutes on a full charge from minimum. On the other hand, the vacuum cleaner continues to move obstacles up to 1.5 cm high and is much lower. It is only 7.8 cmso it really fits pretty much anything, which is definitely a big plus.
It also supports Google Assistant and Alex, and a loud enough speaker will eventually speak Czech and Slovak to you. Please be patient when pairing. The vacuum cleaner usually requires a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connectionbut it’s confusing when 5G and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is enabled at the same time. He cannot choose. Or at least he had problems with it at home and in the newsroom. But it happens to me for the vast majority of anyone’s smart home products, and I still don’t understand why devices can’t choose the right network on their own.
On the other hand, as you may have noticed during the demonstration of the very clear application for me, who still needs better translations, and especially to remove the occasional English, I also have a Niceboy RGB bulb at home. This video does not apply to her, we just bought her, but she has chosen the right wifi right now and it works great. I won’t let that happen here. I know you don’t have to believe me in an article about another Niceboy product introduction, but I definitely recommend these bulbs. They are not expensive at all, they work very well, they have a lot of features and the application is very good.
Sure, for those other products like vacuums, brushes and the like, it might not have as many features, but you have everything under one app, which I appreciate now. And above all, it is ultra-simple and reliable product control sharing with household members. I can’t complain anymore. Actually I can, a widget for Android and iOS would be useful, so I can at least turn on the light bulb from the home screen. It’s a small thing, but it would be much nicer to use. Maybe Niceboy will work on it, so far he is still trying to improve the app.
But that would be enough. In the end, I found that at least Niceboy lowers the price of the vacuum, especially the compromises on sensors, software, and a bit of performance. On the other hand, The Charles i7 is 4,000 cheaper than the i9 at a price of 6,999 crownswhich is not little. In addition, it is weaker with larger containers and retains 80% of the material. And it worked for these three days without any problem. So when I finally managed to pair it.
And again, if you want to invest more in a smart home, that’s fine. at Niceboy you have everything in one clear appwhich isn’t perfect, but it’s far from bad. And that smart home apps are generally among the worst. Well, the Charles i7 itself? As this is not an opinion, I did not address the specifications of the competition in the same tariff, but I find it rather nice for the price.