SHARK ION Robot Vacuum R85 / S87 REVIEW - (RV850) TESTS

December 19, 2018

 

Links to related vacuums here:

 

Shark R85 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2BpQfEc​
Shark R85 on Ebay: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337945138&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp2334524.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.A0.H0.XShak%2BR85.TRS1%26_nkw%3DShak%2BR85%26_sacat%3D0%26LH_TitleDesc%3D0%26_odkw%3Dshark%2Br85%26_osacat%3D0%26LH_TitleDesc%3D0

 

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See all the vacuums we recommend on our Amazon Shop Page (the best of the best): https://www.amazon.com/shop/vacuumwars

 

Continuing with our series low and mid-level robot vacuums, we have the Shark Ion Robot R85 or RV850. We put it  

through a ton of tests, and this video will be the results and our review. Links above for current prices, and let's get started!

 

So, the R85 is basically the same robot that comes with the S87 package which is basically the R85 robot vacuum with the W1 cordless vacuum included. The R85 is an upgrade from the previous version the R75, which we have also reviewed.

 

The big upgrade is with the power. Shark claims the max power mode is 3x more powerful than the R75. We tested the airflow on all three power settings and found that on max power the R85 got a whopping 20 cfm of airflow. That’s 3 cfm more than even the most expensive Roombas like the 980 and the i7, and it's tied with the Neato D7 on its turbo power. So, along with the Neato, it’s the highest airflow I have measured on a robot.

 

The next step down on the R85 (so-called normal power) was pretty good, too, at 15 cfm, and even its quiet mode - or low power - was still 12 cfm - more powerful than the Roomba 690. So, yeah, it has a ton of power.

 

Its cleaning mechanics were very good. In addition to having a solidly built brush roll which was a hybrid of standard bristles and rubber, it has brush-type airflow seals and two side brushes. On carpet, it picked up all the debris including fine debris, pet hair, and large to extra-large debris even in its lowest power setting. It does better with its two higher power settings on carpet, but it's not that big of a difference.

 

On hard floors, again, it does great even in its lowest power setting. I also like how the two side brushes spin much slower than you typically see, which means they kick debris around a lot less than the Roombas, which tend to be very messy.

 

My only complaint with the pickup tests is when using max power on hard floors, the air from the exhaust tends to blow around debris that is very light, like pet hair. We saw the same effect with the Roomba 690. However, unlike the 690, the R85 has three power settings, and we found that this effect was greatly reduced on its normal power mode and completely gone on its low, or quiet, power mode.

 

Generally speaking, robot vacuums are not known for deep cleaning carpets, but the Shark R85 scored 76% on our embedded sand in the carpet test, which is the highest score I have seen since we moved to this type of deep clean test. We still have four more robots to test in this series, but I suspect the Shark R85 will end up near the top when it's all said and done in terms of deep cleaning.

 

Like most vacuums in this series, it is a standard navigation robot, meaning it bounces around more or less randomly until it cleans your home. It has a fairly smart algorithm, though, and it tends to cover the area fairly quickly, even with a lot of obstacles in the room.

 

It's got a huge dust bin, which we measured at about 2 cups, which is about double the size of the Roomba 690. I really think big dust bins are important, and the R85 has one of the biggest out there. It was easy to remove and sort of easy to empty, though it took me a few times to actually figure out how to open it properly.

 

I liked the two side sensors, which, apparently, detect objects so as not to bump into them too hard. You can see that it sort of slows down before it hits a wall or furniture, which is more rare than you might think on a robot vacuum.

 

Its edge cleaning was fairly good. It ended up only leaving a little in the corner - an above-average performance - and it certainly beat the Roomba 690, which did horribly.

 

It did better with the crevice pickup test than any robot I have ever tested, including the previous winner - the super high-end Neato D7. I am guessing the various seals on the bottom as well as the high airflow gave the Shark R85 the edge here.

 

Just like the previous Shark Ion robot, the R85 is incredibly quiet. It’s the quietest robot out of the previous seven I have tested at 61 db on max mode, and it really didn’t change much on normal, and dropped only to 59 db in quiet mode or low power.

 

We tested its battery life and found that on low power, it ran for almost 1.5 hours (about 88 minutes), and on max power it ran for about 61 minutes, which is pretty good considering its putting out 20 cfm in max mode. We didn’t test its medium power, but you can assume it would be somewhere in the middle of those two numbers. You can see from this chart that the R85 has fairly typical battery life for robots in this price range.

 

 I should also mention here that its battery back is easy to remove and fairly cheap to replace. In fact, inexpensive and easily accessible parts are a definite pro.

 

One cool thing is that the R85 actually cleaned black carpet, which most robots can't do because of their cliff detection sensors, which see the black carpet as a cliff.

 

I'm not sure why the R85 can do this. In case you're wondering, its cliff detection sensors work fine. In any case, kudos to Shark for fixing this issue.

 

The Shark R85 has an unusually low profile at 3.4 inches, which is shorter than the Roomba or Neatos by quite a bit, and, so, it has no trouble getting under things. It's also pretty good with climbing. It was able to climb 3/4” at 90 degrees with no trouble, which is rare.

 

The app is pretty standard. You can schedule cleanings from anywhere. It has basic controls like start/stop, find robot, return to base, and power level settings. You can also get alerts and see history statistics.

 

So, the Shark Ion R85 is crazy powerful, it has very good cleaning mechanics, it has a massive dust bin, decent battery life, it's super quiet (even it max mode), it has amazing deep cleaning and edge cleaning, and its pretty smart for a random navigation robot with sensors that add a lot of value . All-in-all, I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of this series, the Shark R85 wins or at least makes the top three. It certainly is light-years better than the Roomba 690.

 

So, be sure to subscribe to Vacuum Wars to see how it all turns out. Links at the top for current prices on the R85 and consider a like if this video helped you out.

 

Thanks for watching.

 

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