Every year we wonder how smartphones can get much better. But they do. Same with TVs, the quality improves, the usability and the design among much more. I think we can safely put Robot vacuums in that same category because there’s always new technology and often it will blow your mind. Ecovacs’ Deebot X1 Omni is without question the most advanced robot vacuum we’ve ever come across.

Sure, the X1 takes the advanced mapping, obstacle avoidance and mopping technology from the previous generations and improves it. More on that soon, but at it’s core the Omni station that dominates the scale of the X1 Omni is the standout offering here.

This is a hands-free cleaning experience, legitimately. If you had last year’s best Robot Vacuum then you might know you’re not forced to empty the dust-bin on the robot every day, it empties that out into the “auto empty” station, which you then need to empty out every month or so.

What often caught me out though was the Mopping pad. Be it a re-usable or disposable one, I’d leave it on there forgetting about it until the next clean, but no matter what it had to be ripped off, and replaced before the next clean. No More!

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is a total care system basically, the Robot Vacuum goes out, does it’s thing.

Then it comes back to base, backs up into the Omni Station and from there the magic happens. First, the dust bin on the Vacuum is emptied, sucked up into the Omni Station. That’s nothing new right. Sure. But then, the mopping pads on the bottom of the robot are cleaned. Fresh water is pumped down and the mopping pads rotate across the cleaning pads and they are washed.

The dirty water coming from the cleaning process is pumped up into a dirty water tank.

What this means is you’ve got a hands-free cleaning solution. Once a month they reckon is the frequency at which you need to attend to your robot.

In my month or so of testing, it’s been more than that – but, that’s because we are 100% hard floors, and we mop every time!. So I reckon I’ve refilled the water tank, and emptied the dirty tank twice in 6 weeks.

It’s a radical change to the way you work with a robot vacuum. Let it go on schedule or send it out when you need a clean – whatever your way of using it is, you don’t need to worry until the Ecovacs App tells you to add water or empty the tank.

Oh, and the water in the Omni station isn’t just to clean the mopping pads, it’s also to refill the water tank on the robot so there’s always water there to mop with.

It’s crazy advanced!

For the robot itself, all the great camera and sensor smarts are on board. So you get an outstanding map of your home, you get the most advanced obstacle detection and avoidance in any robot vacuum, and of course a great clean – thanks to the 5000Pa suction power.

Speaking of which, the mopping on the X1 Omni is next level. Rather than dragging a mopping pad along the floor, or even agitating the mopping pad for a better clean, on the X1 you’ve got two circular pads, which clip in and when in action actually rotate for a soft touch but thorough clean. Our floors have never been cleaner. And it’s always remarkable how dirty they are when it comes back – judging by the dirty water coming out of the mop cleaning process.

Design wise, it’s the best looking robot vacuum on the market too – a really modern look, designed by Jacob Jensen design house, it’s meant to be part of your home, not tucked away.

The onboard camera allows you to “dial in” via the app to see what’s happening, but on the X1 it allows something previous models did not, you can view the camera while it’s cleaning – so kinda like race-cam, and I love it:). But it’s a gimmick – don’t think otherwise.

Now there’s one other feature that’s unique, but I’ve barely begun to test. That’s YIKO. Of course, there are smart home links to Alexa and Google, but on board the X1 is YIKO – it’s own voice assistant.

So you can speak directly to the Robot, and tell it to start, follow you, even “clean under this lounge” and it will.

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the most advanced, best performing robot vacuum I’ve ever used. No question.

But, there are three things you need to know in consideration of this device. Firstly, it’s $2,499 (Available today at Bing Lee, Godfreys, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and ECOVACS.com/au). That’s crazy pricey, given last year $1,299 was the top end, it’s a big jump in the luxury robot market price. However, the advantages of that hands-free clean, and the better mopping system may well certainly justify the price for many.

Secondly, is the size. This thing is big, not the robot, that’s pretty “normal”. But the Omni Station is big. Even on the “turbo” variant which has the water cleaning, but not the auto-empty it’s a wide unit, deep off the wall, and still tall. The Omni is taller with the auto-empty function too. My wife hasn’t yet accepted that the X1 will remain in place, it’s a big unit to find a home for.

And the Dirty water is the final consideration. Personally, I’d make a habit of cleaning that out, dirty water sitting still can get a bit rank, not in the house, but just when you do open up the tank for a clean, you know it really needs it, so I’ve gone for emptying it out once a week.

Bottom line, this is a luxury item, but for a busy household, it’s a game changer – hard to imagine anything topping it.