Narwal Freo Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Hands-on Review: Innovations in Cleaning Technology

DirtSense Technology: How Narwal's Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Makes Cleaning Effortless
Narwal Freo Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Updated: 25th Feb 2024
Published: 26th Feb 2024
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By Ricky Harewood

Ricky is our Head of content and has written a large amount of the content on SMARTHOME.news. He man Read More...

Have we faced comparable issues with robotic vacuum cleaners previously? The challenge of choosing between sweeping and mopping, combined with the restricted autonomy of earlier models, frequently imposed a burden on users or led to suboptimal cleaning results. In an effort to improve our quality of life and address post-work cleaning worries, many people choose robotic vacuum cleaners. Nevertheless, the market is currently flooded with various brands, leaving consumers, akin to myself initially, struggling with a feeling of perplexity.

Amidst the plethora of choices, the key considerations when selecting a robotic vacuum cleaner revolve around its cleaning efficacy, intelligence, simplicity, and user-friendliness, all aimed at truly streamlining our daily lives. In this context, the newly introduced Vacuum Cleaner Freo by Narwal delivers one of the best value propositions.

Narwal emerges as a trailblazing technology and lifestyle brand, embodying values of freedom and love. Positioned as an intelligent innovation company, Narwal excels across diverse domains, including SLAM, 3D perception, AI object recognition, robotic mechanism technology, and big data applications, boasting an impressive portfolio of over 100 technological patents. In a market teeming with innovation, Narwal contends with formidable rivals such as Roborock, iRobot, Eufy, iLife Robotics, Proscenic, Yeedi, and Ecovacs, showcasing its prowess in a competitive landscape driven by cutting-edge advancements in robotic and smart home technologies.

Boasting the innovative DirtSense* mode, this robotic vacuum cleaner autonomously assesses the floor's dirtiness, determines the appropriate mop self-cleaning mode and frequency, and diligently tackles stubborn stains until the surface is spotless. The Vacuum Cleaner Freo by Narwal seems poised to revolutionize our cleaning routines with its array of features—let's delve into the experience.

Out of the Box

I received the Narwal FREO robot vacuum in a very large box, and here's what the full package contains: a NARWAL FREO Robot, Base station, 1x Floor cleaner (31 oz / 930ml), 1x Power cord, 2x Mop pads, 2x Side brushes, 2x Filter sponges, 1x Cleaning hook, and instructions.

Design and Appearance

Robot Vacuum

The main unit is round like most sweeping robots on the market, and looks round and cute. Equipped with an extra large dust collection box with a capacity of 480ml. Like the sewage tank, the large volume dust collection box can reduce the frequency of dust cleaning. The dust dumping also has a small and clever design. The buckle design can be cleaned with one click to avoid dust pollution, which is very convenient.

There is a power button with a ring indicator light on the top of the body of the sweeping and mopping robot. Press and hold for 3 seconds to start or shut down. Short press to start or pause. The system defaults to start cleaning the whole house.

There is a raised lidar in the middle of the top of the fuselage, before cleaning, it will scan the entire house and automatically draw a map to reasonably plan the cleaning route, making each cleaning more efficient.

The front cover of Narwal FREO is designed to be easily opened, revealing a spacious dust box with a generous capacity of approximately 480ml, dedicated to efficiently collecting debris. The thoughtful inclusion of this feature allows users to effortlessly access and empty the dust box with a gentle push. This considerate design enhances the overall user experience, making maintenance and cleaning a seamless and convenient process.

The sides of the fuselage have a matte texture, which is less likely to be scratched than the glossy surface. Coupled with the front-end obstacle avoidance sensor and the surrounding edge sensors, the Narwal Freo can accurately scan maps and identify obstacles, which works with multiple anti-collision sensors to prevent collisions and minimize damage to the fuselage and furniture.

There is also a bumper plate with silicone anti-collision strips on the side of the fuselage. It almost occupies a semicircular part of the fuselage and is relatively flexible, effectively protecting the infrared forward detection obstacle avoidance sensor. After using it for a period of time, the bumper plate has not been scratched. I think this is the protective effect of the silicone anti-collision strip.

There is also a PSD corner sensor on the side of the fuselage, which the sweeping robot relies on for straight-line sweeping. Ordinary sweeping robots move in a straight line when cleaning along the edge, while the Narwal FREO sweeping robot walks in a "special twisting forward" motion posture when cleaning along the edge so that the cleaning of the edge of the wall is more efficient. In place.

On the other side of the fuselage are the air outlets and charging poles. Because the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot has a large suction power, there are two air outlets. These two air outlets can also play a certain role in heat dissipation.

The Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot has a built-in 5200mAh large-capacity lithium battery. It only takes 2.5 hours to "resurrect" its power. The official reference opinion is that it can complete two tasks on a 150-square-meter floor when fully charged. Mopping task. The author is not too concerned about its battery life, because whenever the power of the sweeping robot is almost exhausted, it will automatically return to the base station and charge. When the power is full, it will continue scanning until the entire cleaning task is completed.

Open the front cover and you can see the dust box inside. There is a reset button next to it and a cleaning brush. Take out the dust box and you can see the suction port inside. The Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot has a large suction power of 3000Pa. Larger garbage such as soybeans, rice grains, paper scraps, etc. are more likely to be sucked in.

The dust box capacity of the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot is relatively large, reaching 480mL, which can hold more dust and small garbage and save users the trouble of frequently taking out the garbage.

There is also a Type-C interface with a silicone cap above the vacuum outlet. Users can also charge it through a wire. Of course, this charging interface is for emergencies.

The dust box is made of plastic and has a HEPA filter, which can better filter out fine particles and bacteria, preventing dust that has been sucked in from being blown out again and affecting the cleaning effect.

It uses a medium roller brush that combines a rubber brush and a bristle brush into one, which can better clean dust particles on the ground. The bristle brush can absorb dust and dirt in the gaps and is not easy to get entangled when it encounters hair, while the rubber brush is Responsible for deep cleaning of stains on the floor without damaging the floor tiles. The mid-roller brush is easy to take out and install. It can be washed directly and can be put into use again after drying.

At present, most sweeping robots on the market have a single brush on one side, while the Narwal FREO has two side brushes on the left and right. The design of double-sided brushes greatly improves cleaning efficiency and cleaning area. Both sides of the brush work at the same time, cleaning more thoroughly and shortening the time, doubling the cleaning efficiency.

Look at the design of the side brush, it has "L" and "R" logos, so you don't have to worry about installing it wrong. Compared with the single-sided brush design, the double-sided brush can better sweep the garbage on the ground into the middle of the machine body, and then suck it into the dust box through the brush.

The two driving wheels are wrapped in PVC soft silicone material, which will not scratch or damage wooden floors and ceramic tiles. Thanks to the large size of the driving wheels, it has a 20mm climbing and obstacle climbing ability, and can easily overcome obstacles such as floor edge strips, door sills, carpets, and sliding door slots.

The steering of the universal wheel is very flexible, and the sweeping robot can change the direction of the sweeping robot based on the judgment of the anti-fall sensor. The Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot is equipped with a total of 5 anti-fall sensors. When walking to the "cliff" ground situation such as the entrance of stairs, it sends instructions to change the direction of the universal wheel to prevent the machine from falling and being damaged.

Base Station

Now, let's talk about the Base Station of the Narwal FREO robot vacuum. The base station is small, round, and white. It has a cute and "chubby" appearance, blending well with the home environment. Decorated with a silver ring on the edge, this touch of silver brings out the base station’s elegant appearance and extraordinary temperament. Under its simple and stylish appearance, it hides many functions.

There is a hidden handle design on both sides of the base station to facilitate us to carry and move the base station when necessary.

The coolest feature of base station is the LCD full-color display at the top of the base station that supports a full-screen touch function. You can check the charging status of the robot. Swipe the screen left and right to choose from five options: FREO Mode, Sweep First and Then Mop, Sweep and Mop Simultaneously, Sweep and Mop the Floor. Different cleaning modes.

Swipe the screen up and down to enter the settings menu. In addition to adjusting basic parameters such as brightness and sound, there are also options such as detergent, do not disturb mode, child lock, smart drying, map re-creation, automatic water change and self-test. In this way, you can easily control the sweeping and mopping robot without relying on the mobile APP for everything, and the elderly and children can also get started quickly.

Open the top cover of the base station and you can see the clean water tank and wastewater tank. Both water tanks are well sealed. They have handles on the top for easy removal, and are distinguished by different colors so that users can distinguish them at a glance.

The capacity of the clean water tank is 4500mL, with a filter sponge at the bottom, while the capacity of the sewage tank is 4050mL. When the clean water tank is out of water or the sewage tank is full of water, the screen on the base station will prompt you. If the mobile APP is also opened, you will also receive a reminder push, which is very user-friendly.

Nowadays, many sweeping robots come with free floor cleaning detergent, but you need to add it manually, which is very troublesome. However, the Narwal FREO has a dedicated installation slot. As long as it is installed, you don’t have to worry about the ratio of detergent. The package comes with a 930ml bottle of special sterilizing detergent, which can be hidden and inserted into the inside of the base station. After turning on the function in the app, the base station can automatically mix and add cleaning fluid, which is very convenient.

There is a large opening at the bottom of the base station, which is the entrance for recharging and cleaning the Robot Vacuum. The passage inside is relatively deep, so after the robot is recharged, it is all on the plastic plate underneath, without leaving half of the body outside. The design not only allows it to take up less space, but also ensures that there is less dust on the sweeping robot.

The daily maintenance of the base is also very simple. You only need to clean its cleaning plate and cleaning base. It has a detachable design and can be taken out, rinsed and put back again. This is much easier than squatting down and wiping with a rag. The advantage of this is that after a period of use, we can easily take out the chassis and cleaning ribs for cleaning. We no longer have to squat down and reach into the base station to clean the tray, which is more user-friendly.

You can also see 3 reserved holes in the base station. This is because the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot can also be equipped with an upper and lower water module to realize automatic water change. This eliminates the need to manually add water to the clean water tank and manually pour water from the sewage tank. . Of course, choosing automatic water change requires certain requirements for the location and space of the base station. You can consult customer service in advance to confirm that the manufacturer will also send an installation master to provide door-to-door service.

There is a power interface reserved on the left side of the back of the base station, facing downwards to facilitate the extension of wires downwards. The design is very detailed. After the cover on the right is opened, there is an automatic water supply and drainage interface inside, which can be used if the installation conditions are available at home. There is no need to manually add clean water and pour out sewage. Narwal will also provide professional door-to-door installation services.

Mobile App

Like most Robot Vacuums on the market, the Narwal FREO has also removed the physical remote control . In addition to the buttons on the body and the touch panel on the base station, it must be controlled through the mobile APP. Narwal App is the supporting mobile client for the Narwal FREO. For the first operation, you need to register an account and log in, and then add device operations. This operation is guided by a wizard and the process is relatively simple. After the successful addition, Vacuum Cleaner will appear on the main interface.

Narwal App has rich options. Fortunately, its interface layout is well-organized, so it is not too difficult even for the first time. The map scanned and created by the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot is very accurate. It can automatically divide different rooms according to the threshold, including dividing the living room into independent room units. Users can specify room cleaning and split or merge the cleaning areas. They can also customize the cleaning plan according to their own needs, that is, the cleaning mode, frequency, and time used to clean the room.

When the robot performs its first cleaning task, it will also simultaneously perform room planning, that is, robot mapping. We also mentioned earlier that the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot is equipped with a LiDAR radar sensor and a collision sensor, so during the mapping process The efficiency is relatively high, and the layout of Narwal FREO is highly consistent with the floor plan of my house.

We can divide and merge areas in the APP, and mark the areas at the same time. For example, we can set the bathroom and other areas as no-scan areas, so that the robot will ignore this area. At the same time, we can also classify and manage different floor materials. For different materials such as wooden floors, ceramic tiles, and cobblestones, the sweeping robot will also give different amounts of pressure, which is very smart.

In addition, we can also use different cleaning strategies for different rooms in the APP, such as sweeping first and then mopping, sweeping and mopping at the same time, or only mopping and sweeping only. The suction power and mop humidity can also be adjusted according to the application. If you need to customize it yourself, you don’t have to worry about secondary pollution.

Hands-on Experience

The hands-on experience with Narwal FREO left me thoroughly impressed, particularly with its innovative FREO Mode. This intelligent function, powered by Narwal's "DirtSense" system, astutely assesses floor dirtiness and urgency, dynamically adjusting the mop cleaning time for optimal results. The simplicity of activating this feature with a mere screen click allows for hassle-free operation, aligning perfectly with users' expectations for a robotic sweeper. Beyond its intelligent capabilities, Narwal FREO excelled in cleaning performance, effortlessly tackling large paper scraps and even fine substances like flour.

The real test came with stubborn liquid stains, a challenge met with ease by the robot's impressive pressure and high-speed rotation, leaving the floor impeccably clean. Concerns about potential cross-contamination were addressed through thoughtful features like automatic mode switching and precise adjustments in different scenarios, showcasing the device's versatility. Notably, the self-cleaning mechanism, demonstrated by the base station's dual air tunnels, efficiently restored the mop's cleanliness, eliminating any post-cleaning odors. As for noise levels, even at maximum suction power, Narwal FREO remained comfortably within an acceptable range during my personal experience.

In addition to the functions mentioned above, the FREO mode of Narwal FREO also made my eyes shine. To put it simply, FREO Mode is a highly intelligent function. Relying on Narwal's "DirtSense*" system, it can use sewage information to determine how dirty the floor is and whether the mop is in a hurry, so as to determine the number of mops. And make targeted adjustments to the mop cleaning time, which can be said to be very smart. All we have to do is click the screen and leave the rest to the sweeper. We don’t have to worry about it at all. Doesn’t this just meet our needs for buying a sweeper?

No matter how complex the function of the sweeping robot is or how powerful the base station is, the sweeping and mopping effect is always what everyone cares about the most. Narwal FREO supports four modes: sweeping mode, mopping mode, sweeping first and then mopping, and sweeping and mopping simultaneously. I also tested its cleaning effect here.

The first test was on relatively large paper scraps. It can be seen that after the Narwal FREO started cleaning, the suction power of up to 3000Pa quickly completed the cleaning of the paper scraps and took them all away without any sloppiness.

In addition to paper scraps, we also tested with flour. Similarly, Narwal FREO quickly completed cleaning the battlefield after starting work, and the cleaning efficiency was also very high.

Of course, you may say that sweeping and mopping solid objects is not complicated. What is really difficult is stubborn liquid stains, such as coffee and soy sauce. For this purpose, I specially mixed soy sauce and coffee. As you can see, the cleaning effect of Narwal FREO has not disappointed us. With a maximum pressure of 12N and a high-speed rotation of 180 rpm, no stains remain. The floor remained shiny.

Many people will worry about the possibility of secondary pollution in a machine that integrates sweeping and mopping. You don’t need to worry about this, because the Narwal FREO supports the “automatic switching of sweeping and mopping mode” function, and the robot can be used in different Under the scene and task, the operation of "mid-roller brush lifting" + "mop lifting" + "side brush position control" is realized, effectively preventing "wet and dry cross-contamination".

For example, thanks to the carpet sensor at the bottom of the machine, the Narwal FREO will start the carpet cleaning mode when it is on the carpet, automatically lift the mop, adjust the position of the side brush, and adjust the suction power to the maximum to prevent secondary damage to the carpet. It can also clean the carpet while removing pollution.

Similarly, in mopping or recharging scenarios, the roller brush of the vacuum nozzle of the Narwal FREO will automatically lift up, and the sweeping side brush will lean back or even retract when mopping the floor. It is so precise and The efficient system settings save us the trouble of manual switching and also make cleaning more efficient and time-saving.

Finally, there is the self-cleaning link that everyone is paying attention to. After all, after sweeping and mopping, the mop will naturally not be clean anywhere. Many sweeping robots do not perform satisfactorily in this link.

From the above comparison chart, it is easy to find that the mop before cleaning was already very dirty, but after the Narwal FREO base station built-in dual air tunnels automatically dried the mop, the mop was very clean, almost no longer the same as when it was first disassembled and used. What a big difference, even after asking, there was no obvious odor.

While maintaining the highest suction power of 3000Pa in vacuum mode! the noise generated by Narwal Freo is 59.1 decibels; in mopping mode, it is 46.2 decibels; in base station cleaning mop, it is 48.2 decibels; in Freo mode, it is 51.6 decibels. Overall, The noise generated by Narwal Freo during operation has relatively little impact on daily life. I have also used other robots, and it is obvious that the Narwal Freo is indeed less noisy than other brands.

Battery

In terms of battery life, the Narwal FREO is equipped with a 5200mAh battery capacity and has a battery life of up to 2.5 hours. My house is 125 square meters and I can sweep and mop the whole house at the same time without any problem. If your home is very large, the Narwal FREO supports continued scanning at breakpoints. If it runs out of power halfway through cleaning, the sweeping robot will automatically return to the base station to charge. After being fully charged, it will continue cleaning at the place where cleaning was last suspended.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the design and appearance of the Narwal FREO sweeping and mopping robot, along with its accompanying base station, exhibit a thoughtful and user-centric approach. The robot vacuum boasts a round, cute design with a large 480ml dust collection box that minimizes the frequency of cleaning. The one-click dust dumping mechanism and various sensors, including LiDAR and collision sensors, enhance efficiency and prevent collisions. The dual side brushes, medium roller brush, and large-capacity battery contribute to the robot's thorough cleaning capabilities and extended operational time.

The base station, complementing the robot's design, features a compact and elegant white appearance. The LCD full-color display on the top supports touch functionality, providing users with easy control over cleaning modes and settings. The inclusion of a dedicated installation slot for floor cleaners and automatic water change functionality further simplifies maintenance tasks. The Narwal App offers a user-friendly interface for convenient control and customization of cleaning plans, making it accessible for users of all ages.

In terms of user experience, the Narwal FREO impresses with its advanced features, such as the FREO Mode and DirtSense system, which intelligently adjust cleaning parameters based on floor conditions. The robot demonstrates efficient cleaning across various scenarios, handling solid debris and stubborn liquid stains with ease. The automatic switching between sweeping and mopping modes, coupled with self-cleaning capabilities, ensures a hygienic cleaning process. The detailed attention to noise levels, battery life, and the ability to resume cleaning tasks at breakpoints further solidify the Narwal FREO's position as a reliable and smart cleaning solution. Overall, Narwal FREO combines innovative design and intelligent features to deliver a comprehensive and satisfying cleaning experience.

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