iRobot Roomba i3 vs iRobot Roomba 694: Comprehensive Comparison Review

In the realm of robotic vacuum cleaners, iRobot stands out as a dominant force, offering a variety of models tailored to different needs and budgets. Two such models worth considering are the Roomba i3 and the Roomba 694. The Roomba i3 is a mid-tier offering that brings intelligent navigation and powerful suction for a comprehensive cleaning experience. Meanwhile, the more budget-friendly Roomba 694 skews toward simplicity and affordability without sacrificing the core cleaning effectiveness that iRobot is known for.

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My analysis of the two models has highlighted distinct differences that cater to varied consumer priorities. The Roomba i3, equipped with advanced features such as smart mapping and stronger suction, is geared towards a more tech-savvy user, while the Roomba 694, with a lower price point and essential cleaning capabilities, can be an ideal choice for those seeking basic robotic cleaning assistance. Both models embody the reputable engineering of iRobot but serve different intents and use-cases.

Key Takeaways

  • The Roomba i3 offers advanced navigation and powerful performance for tech-friendly users.
  • The Roomba 694 provides essential cleaning features at a more accessible price point.
  • A side-by-side comparison of the Roomba i3 and 694 highlights the balance of technology and value in robotic vacuum choices.

General Overview

In comparing the Roomba 694 and the i3, I find that each robot vacuum brings a unique set of features and capabilities designed to meet different cleaning needs.

Roomba 694 Features

  • Navigation: Efficiently navigates and adapts to home layouts.
  • Runtime: Up to 90 minutes of cleaning per charge.
  • Auto Dirt Disposal: Simplifies maintenance by disposing of dirt after cleaning jobs.
  • Connectivity: Equipped with WiFi for convenient app-based controls.

Roomba i3 Features

  • Runtime: Superior with up to 120 minutes of cleaning.
  • Smart Home Integration: Fully compatible with smart home ecosystems.
  • Carpet Boost: Automatically increases suction power on carpets for a deeper clean.
  • High-Efficiency Filter: Effectively captures allergens and small particles.

Key Differences

  • Runtime: The i3 leads with a lengthier 120-minute runtime compared to the 694’s 90 minutes.
  • Noise Level: The i3 operates at a higher 60dB noise level versus the 694’s quieter 50dB performance.
  • Advanced Features: The Roomba i3 includes more sophisticated features such as Carpet Boost and improved navigation, justifying its higher price point.

By testing these devices, my goal was to highlight their distinctions clearly and neutrally to inform potential buyers about which vacuum might better suit their household needs.

Design and Dimensions

In my thorough examination, two distinct aspects stood out—the design aesthetic and the physical scale of each device.

Appearance and Build

When assessing the Roomba 694 and the Roomba i3, I found that both models maintain iRobot’s signature sleek, circular design. However, the Roomba i3 exhibits a more updated look with a textured top surface that aids in hiding fingerprints and dust. The Roomba 694, in contrast, has a glossy finish that gives it a classic, clean appearance but is more prone to visible smudges.

Size and Weight

Size and Weight Specifications

FeatureRoomba i3 (i3+)Roomba 694
Dimensions13.34″ x 13.26″ x 3.63″Not specified
Weight11.4 poundsNot specified

While evaluating the dimensions, the Roomba i3’s size was quite conspicuous, giving an impression of a compact and robust machine. Despite not having the precise measurements for the Roomba 694, my experience indicates it shares similar dimensions with other models in the same series, and it felt comparably lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Performance and Cleaning

Evaluating the Roomba i3 and Roomba 694, I’ve closely examined their capabilities on various surfaces, focusing on their performance and cleaning efficiency.

Suction Power and Cleaning Performance

When I tested the suction power of both Roomba models, the i3 demonstrated a stronger performance with 850-900pa compared to the 694’s 550pa. This difference was especially noticeable on carpets, where the i3 pulled more debris from the fibers. The Roomba i3’s superior suction definitely gave it an edge in removing pet hair and dirt on both carpets and hardwood floors.

  • Dustbin Capacity:
    • Roomba 694: 0.3L
    • Roomba i3: 0.5L

The larger dustbin in the i3 supports extended cleaning sessions without needing to be emptied as frequently. Both utilize a High-Efficiency filter, ensuring that fine particles are effectively captured, which is critical when I cater to homes with allergy concerns.

Battery Life and Charge Time

Battery life plays a pivotal role in cleaning performance, especially in larger homes. The Roomba i3 leads with a 120-minute runtime, while the 694 lasts up to 90 minutes. In my experience, the longer runtime means the i3 can cover more ground on a single charge, which is convenient for uninterrupted cleaning sessions on bare floors or spacious areas.

However, when it comes to charge time, both models required about the same time to recharge fully, which takes several hours. I recommend scheduling cleanings around your availability to ensure the device is always ready for use.

Smart Features and Connectivity

In my extensive testing of the iRobot Roomba i3 and the Roomba 694, smart features and connectivity stood out as significant factors affecting user experience and functionality for automated cleaning.

App Control and Settings

I found that both the Roomba i3 and 694 are Wi-Fi connected, and they offer remote control via the iRobot HOME App. The app allows you to schedule cleanings, view cleaning history, and configure settings conveniently from your smartphone. It’s worth noting the Roomba i3 also supports personalized cleaning suggestions based on your usage patterns.

Navigation Systems

The navigation system makes a clear distinction between these models. The Roomba i3 uses iRobot’s smarter iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology, enabling it to efficiently map your home to navigate in neat rows. Meanwhile, the Roomba 694 utilizes a more basic form of adaptive navigation that systematically covers the area but without the ability to create a persistent map.

Voice Assistant Compatibility

In terms of voice assistant integration, I confirmed that both models work seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. They respond to voice commands for starting and stopping clean-ups, which is particularly handy when your hands are full, or you’re multitasking. The voice prompts are clear and the robots promptly comply with the commands given, exhibiting a high level of voice connectivity.

Dustbin and Filters

In my extensive testing of the iRobot Roomba i3 and the Roomba 694, the dustbin capacity and filter types have shown to be pivotal in their performance. Here’s a detailed look at these features:

Dustbin Capacity

The Roomba i3 boasts a sizable dustbin that I found could hold between 400 to 500 milliliters of dirt and debris, making it quite adept at handling larger spaces without needing constant emptying. On the other hand, the Roomba 694 has a smaller capacity, which may require more frequent trips to the trash bin to keep it performing optimally.

Types of Filters

Both models come equipped with high-efficiency filters that effectively capture dust particles. The key difference I’ve noticed is that the Roomba i3 uses a HEPA filter, capable of trapping 99% of allergens, making it an excellent choice for those with allergies. The Roomba 694 lacks the HEPA filter but still utilizes a quality filter to reduce the infiltration of dust back into your environment. Neither of the two models offers washable filters, which means replacements will be necessary over time to maintain their filtration efficacy.

Convenience and Maintenance

During my extensive tests comparing the Roomba i3 and Roomba 694 robots, I paid special attention to how their convenience and maintenance features stand up in a real-world environment. These robots offer different approaches to managing dirt collection and their automated systems, which affects the overall user experience.

Self-Emptying Functionality

Roomba i3:

  • Self-emptying: Yes
  • Indicates when full: Automatic

In my experience with the Roomba i3, the self-emptying feature significantly enhances convenience. The ability to automatically dispose of accumulated dirt into its base station minimizes my need for regular intervention. The self-emptying base is capable of holding weeks’ worth of dirt which it indicates and manages without any need for my constant checking.

Roomba 694:

  • Self-emptying: No
  • Indicates when full: Must check manually

The Roomba 694 does not come with automatic dirt disposal, which means I have to manually empty its dustbin after each cleaning session or when it reaches capacity. However, I noticed its lack of indication for when the dustbin is full, requiring a routine check to avoid overfilling.

Dirt Detection and Automatic Systems

Roomba i3:

  • Dirt Detection: Advanced sensors
  • Automatic Systems: Smart navigation and room mapping

The i3’s dirt detection capabilities impressed me with its high-efficiency filter and advanced sensors that locate and focus on areas with more dirt. It also benefits from smart navigation and mapping, efficiently cleaning specific areas that require more attention without my manual guidance.

Roomba 694:

  • Dirt Detection: Basic sensors
  • Automatic Systems: Basic iAdapt Navigation Technology

In comparison, the 694 employs basic sensors for dirt detection, which are less effective, but it still ensures an adequate clean on hard floors and low-pile carpets. The navigation, governed by the iAdapt technology, systematically covers the cleaning area but lacks the advanced mapping features, leading to potentially less efficient cleaning paths.

My analysis found that i3’s automatic systems contribute largely to a ‘hands-off’ approach, offering greater convenience for busy individuals who value time and ease of maintenance. While the 694 requires more attention, it provides a more budget-friendly option for those who don’t mind the manual oversight.

Price and Value

When evaluating the Roomba 694 against the i3, I closely scrutinize their pricing and the value each model offers. The cost is a significant factor for many consumers, and understanding how these two models compare in terms of affordability and the features they offer for their price can determine the better option for budget-conscious buyers.

Cost Comparison

After extensive testing and comparison, I’ve found:

  • iRobot Roomba 694
    • Typical Retail Price: Below $300
    • Features: Standard cleaning capabilities with essential navigation technology.
  • iRobot Roomba i3
    • Typical Retail Price: Slightly higher than the 694
    • Features: Advanced navigation, longer runtime, and more powerful suction than the 694.

My assessments reveal that the Roomba 694 is generally the more budget-friendly option between the two. It’s designed to cater to those who need basic robotic cleaning without a hefty price tag.

Affordability and Alternatives

In terms of affordability, the Roomba 694 stands out due to its lower price point, making it an excellent choice for those who seek the convenience of a robotic vacuum without a significant investment. It competently handles routine cleaning tasks in a variety of home environments.

On the other hand, the Roomba i3, while priced a bit higher, offers enhanced performance and additional features that justify the extra cost. For potential buyers weighing alternatives, there are cheaper options on the market; however, these often come with trade-offs in quality and performance. It’s crucial to balance the initial cost with long-term usability and effectiveness.

User Experience

In testing the iRobot Roomba i3 and the Roomba 694, I focused on how these devices perform from a user’s standpoint. Keeping in mind the ease of operation, noise levels during cleaning sessions, and the available warranty and support, I’ve noted how these two models stack up.

Ease of Use

The Roomba i3 stands out with its straightforward setup and user-friendly interface. The scheduling functionality within the iRobot HOME App allows me to program cleaning sessions effortlessly. On the other hand, the Roomba 694 also supports WiFi connectivity, making it quite simple to operate via the app. While both devices provide a good level of automation, I find the i3 to be slightly more intuitive in navigating around furniture and obstacles.

Noise Level and Comfort

When considering the comfort of use, noise level plays a significant role. During my testing, I noticed that the Roomba i3 operates at 60dB, which is noticeable but not overly intrusive. The Roomba 694, is 10dB quieter, making it a more comfortable option for those sensitive to sound, or for households where quieter operation is preferred. Both vacuums, however, emit a noise level that is typical for robotic vacuums and acceptable for daily use.

Warranty and Support

iRobot provides a one-year limited warranty for both the Roomba i3 and the 694, covering defects in material and workmanship. My interactions with customer support for both models have been satisfactory, with helpful and responsive service. It’s important for users to know that maintaining a good support channel is crucial if they encounter issues outside of routine troubleshooting and maintenance.

Comparative Analysis

In this analysis, I’ll assess the Roomba 694 and i3 Evo based on their features, user experience, and cleaning efficacy, bringing forward the nuances that set them apart in the robotic vacuum space.

Pros and Cons

When comparing the Roomba 694 and the Roomba i3 Evo, there are distinct advantages and drawbacks to consider for each model.

Roomba 694:

  • Pros:
    • The Roomba 694 is budget-friendly and offers a decent cleaning performance on hard floors and low-pile carpets.
    • It supports WiFi connectivity and has a straightforward user interface.
  • Cons:
    • It lacks the advanced navigation and stronger suction found in the i3 Evo.
    • No multi-floor mapping or auto-dirt disposal is included.

Roomba i3 Evo:

  • Pros:
    • The i3 Evo comes with a powerful suction capacity and a sophisticated navigation system.
    • It’s equipped with a high-efficiency filter and offers WiFi connectivity.
  • Cons:
    • It is generally more expensive than the Roomba 694.
    • While it cleans effectively, it does not support mopping like some other advanced models.

Roomba 694 Review

My experience with the Roomba 694 confirms it as a solid entry-level vacuum. It’s well-suited for lighter tasks and maintaining cleanliness on a day-to-day basis. The 694’s dimensions (13.4″ x 13.4″ x 3.54″) and lighter weight (6.8 pounds) facilitate easy storage and some degree of maneuverability around household obstacles. User reviews frequently highlight its value for money, praising its functionality given the more accessible price point. However, the cleaning speed may not match more premium models, and the unit may require more frequent emptying due to its smaller dustbin capacity (300 ml).

Roomba i3 Evo Review

The Roomba i3 Evo is a step up, boasting enhancements in cleaning power and user interaction. It manages tougher challenges with ease, thanks to its superior suction strength and three-stage cleaning system that effectively lifts debris. During my testing, I found that it adjusts its cleaning patterns to the environment, a result of its smarter navigation technology. The Roomba i3 Evo’s user reviews lean towards the positive, with users acknowledging the upgrade in cleaning performance compared to lower-tier models like the 694. Its limitations, however, rest in the absence of features such as multi-floor mapping and a mopping function which are present in other high-end robotic vacuums.

Specs Recap and Final Thoughts

In examining the Roomba 694 and i3, I’ve assessed dimensions, weight, suction power, and their respective cleaning performances. Both models offer unique benefits that cater to diverse user needs.

Roomba 694:

  • Dimensions: 13.4″ x 13.4″ x 3.54″
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Suction Power: 550pa
  • Battery Capacity: Up to 90 minutes runtime

Roomba i3:

  • Longer Runtime: Up to 120 minutes, providing a marked improvement over the 694
  • Higher Suction Power: Known for robust cleaning ability, though specific suction power data is not indicated in the snippets.

The Roomba i3 delivers a longer runtime, which proves advantageous for larger homes or more thorough cleaning sessions. My experience with the i3 confirms the benefits of its prolonged battery life. Conversely, the 694, while it may have lower suction power, upholds as a cost-effective solution for those prioritizing affordability.

The Roomba 694 fits the bill as an entry-level robot vacuum, often chosen by budget-conscious consumers. Its compact design and adequate suction make it suitable for smaller spaces or less demanding cleaning tasks.

On balance, the i3 edges ahead with its extended runtime and potentially higher suction power, displaying a promising proficiency in handling more challenging cleaning jobs. Choosing between the two ultimately hinges on individual cleaning needs and budget considerations.


  • Kevin L. Morris

    Hey there, I’m Kevin, from Colorado! I have been passionate about repairing appliances and electronics for the past 18 years. Modern vacuum cleaners break or malfunction way too often, so I have decided to contribute to and help my online readers with anything related to vacuums repair. I can’t wait to help you get your vacuum cleaner working again!

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