Best window cleaning robot for smaller windows: Hobot 188 vs Hobot 198

Which Hobot window cleaning robot should you buy, the 188 or the 198

Finally, there is a product out there that makes window cleaning as simple as pressing a button and the Hobot range of window cleaning robots are certainly some of the best consumer products currently on the market.

Window cleaning robots are one of the newest gadgets you should consider for your home. They make cleaning windows simple, fast, and painless.

In this post, we will be taking a closer look at two of the most popular Hobot robotic window cleaners, the Hobot 188 and the Hobot 198 which are designed for small to medium windows.

If you have large windows, be sure to check out our comparison post of the larger Hobot 268 vs 288 and the 298.

Coming up in this post

Affiliate disclosure: The links to tours or accommodation in this post are affiliate links. This means if you purchase after following one of these links, I make a small commission at no cost to yourself. Think of it like a win-win.

Quick look

Cleaning Speed
Software version
Build Quality
Hobot 188
Cleaning Speed
25 sec/sq feet
Software version
AI Technology V2
Build Quality
Hobot 198
Cleaning Speed
20 sec/sq feet
Software version
AI Technology V2.1
Build Quality

Hobot 188 Review

The Hobot 188 is a robot window cleaner specially designed to not only clean windows, but it can efficiently clean a variety of surfaces including; mirrors, mosaic glass, tiles, rough glass, even floors, to a certain extent.

The Hobot 188 uses two cleaning wheels covered with a microfiber cloth to clean, the wheels enable the robot spin and move over the surface, thoroughly cleaning it in the process. These cloth-covered moving wheels is a good upgrade from the traditional caterpillar tracks and rubber wheels as they do not leave tracks on the cleaned surface.

With the help of a powerful vacuum pump, this robot attaches itself to any surface and securely sticks to the surface to make sure it doesn’t fall off while cleaning. The vacuum pump also sucks away the dirt particles into the microfiber cloth, which can be washed and reused.

This robot window cleaner also has sensors which enable it to scan the surface to be cleaned, create a map of the surface in its internal memory and then determine the best route to follow to achieve the best result; a thoroughly cleaned and shining surface.

The hobot 188 window cleaning robot in action

In other words, Hobot 188 is a smart window cleaning robot. It has special vacuum sensors which detect of surfaces and measure how strongly adhered the robot is to the surface that’s being cleaned if this isn’t strong enough this smart robot will stop and give you a warning signal. And in case it falls off while cleaning, a safety cord prevents it from hitting the ground. This robot does an excellent job with minimal prompting from a remote control. Using this remote, you can direct its movement, and once the cleaning is complete, Hobot 188 automatically goes to stand by mode.

This model is best suited to a consumer who is looking for a moderately priced product that still performs very well. It may not be perfect for someone who is on a strict budget, but the extra expense is worth it.

Pros and Cons of the Hobot 188

  • Very easy to use
  • Properly cleans different surface types
  • Comes with extra parts and accessories
  • Can be slow and a bit noisy
  • Requires constant power supply

Hobot 198 Review

The Hobot 198 window cleaning robot is the top of the line small unit from Hobot. It is the most well developed and has the latest software versions. We found that this robot cleaner was very efficient at removing dirt from windows and surfaces. However, we did not care for the hefty price tag that comes with it.

On the underside of Hobot 198, you will find two cloth-covered cleaning wheels which enable the robot to rotate and move about while cleaning. The cleaning wheels rotate in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, this ensures complete cleaning of the surfaces.

The cloths covering the discs are microfibers which absorb the dirt particles and can be washed and reused several times. These cleaning cloths are yellow and blend in well with the robot’s black color giving it an attractive look.

The Hobot 198 also has specially designed vacuum pump which attaches and secures it firmly on different surface types including rough glass, mosaic glass, tile, wall, ground and glass tables. It moves over and cleans surfaces with soft and thick cleaning pads leaving no tracks.

This robot has AI technology and uses sensors to map out cleaning surfaces for best cleaning route. It also automatically detects obstacles and has an anti-fall technology. While in use, this window cleaning robot is plugged into a power source via a 5-meter power cable and in case of a power cut, an in-built UPS prevents it from falling off by sustaining it for up to 30 minutes.

198 can clean in two ways, dry cleaning and solution cleaning. For dry cleaning, the robot goes over the window surface to suck off the dust particles, and for solution cleaning, you’ll need to apply a small amount of cleaning solution on the cleaning pads. Solution cleaning gives much better results.

One of the best robot window cleaners in our reviews

The Hobot 198 is an upgrade on the 188 version due to its increased engine power and Bluetooth connectivity which enables you to connect it to your smartphone and control it from there.

To establish this connection, you’ll need to download the free application, and it’s available for iOS and Android platforms. This means you can control this robot with a remote control or your smartphone, whichever one you prefer.

Pros and Cons of the Hobot 198

  • Very easy to use
  • Properly cleans different surface types
  • Has smartphone control
  • Comes with extra parts and accessories
  • Can be slow and a bit noisy
  • Requires constant power supply
  • Expensive

Product FAQs

As they are very similar products, the FAQs are relevant to both the Hobot 188 and the Hobot 198.

What is the smallest window these robots can clean?

Hobot specify that the smallest window the 188 and 198 can clean is 13 inches x 13 inches

How big are they?

Both the 188 and the 198 are the same size, 12 x 6 x 5 inch

What happens in the event of a power failure?

It is important to attach the included safety cord so if the motor does fail, and the backup battery runs out, the cord will save it from hitting the ground. When using on the inside, if you have wooden floors made of softer wood, I’d recommend placing some cushions or a rolled-up sheet to protect the floor from any dents, better safe than dented!

Is there a limitation to the width of the window?

Because the window cleaning robot must be connected to a power supply at all times, the only limit is the length of the power cord, which is around 16 feet.

Will this get the corners of triangular windows clean?

Unfortunately no, the robot is only designed for square or rectangular

Can this work on very slightly curved glass?

No, all surfaces must be flat for the suction to work.

Does it work on frameless windows?

No, if you have frameless windows, I’d recommend taking a look at the Hobot 268

Does it work on double-pane windows?

Yes, as long as it has a frame, you’re good to go

Hobot 188 or the Hobot 198: Product Comparison

Ease Of Use

Both the Hobot 188 and 198 are straightforward gadgets and very easy to use. Both robots have remote controls to enable easy control of these robots. And these remotes are simple and intuitive. An additional control feature for the Hobot 198 is the Bluetooth connectivity and mobile application, you can control this robot with your smartphone by downloading the app and connecting to the robot via the Bluetooth. The Hobot 188 does not have this feature.

Winner: As you don’t have to fiddle around with Bluetooth, the Hobot 188 shades the ease of use.

Winner: at

What Is Inside The Box?

Both robots come with the same set of spear parts and accessories to help users in handling and maintenance. These extras include;

Cleaning pads; each robot comes with 14 circular microfiber cleaning pads. Despite that these pads are washed and continuously reused you still have many more so you won’t run of them.

Charger; the two robots come with chargers for charging their backup batteries. The charger is plugged in even while the robot is working so it can work and charge simultaneously.

Remote; each Hobot window cleaner has a remote control to enable you to control it from a distance.

Cleaning rings; these are spear cleaning rings for the robots so you can use them if any of the original rings is broken or misplaced.

Winner: Draw

Speed Of Cleaning

These Hobot window cleaners have many things in common, even the speed at which they clean. It takes them approximately 4 minutes to clean 1 meter of a surface.

Winner: Draw

Product Features

These two robots have very similar features and functionality. They are of the same size and weight and can clean a variety of surfaces at the same speed. They both have powerful vacuum pumps, circular cleaning pads, AI technology, UPS, 16-foot power cable, remote controls, and they both the same power consumption of 80W.

The two Hobot window cleaners are basically the same except that the 198 is the upgraded version because of its smartphone control feature and more advanced cleaning AI. The AI version in Hobot 188 is 2.0 while Hobot 198 has 2.1 AI version. Finally, they have different colors, Hobot 188 is white while Hobot 198 is black.

Winner: The Hobot 198 has upgraded AI and Smartphone connections, so it wins here.


Hobot 188 is cheaper than the Hobot 198, this is mainly due to the upgraded AI and Bluetooth connectivity. The 198 also packs slightly more powerful sucking for better performance on dust.

Winner: Is the added connectivity worth the extra cost? Not in my mind, winner Hobot 188


Which should you buy? Hobot 188 or 198

These Hobot window cleaners are excellent gadgets, and the answer to the question of which robot should you buy actually depends on what you’re looking for as the two window cleaning robots are basically the same.

If you’re more interested in value, then you should be looking at Hobot 188, it is a chunk of change cheaper and still works really well. However, if budget is your main motivator, I would definitely recommend taking a look at our comparison of the best budget window cleaners.

On the other hand, if you care about performance, upgraded AI version and the extra smartphone control, and the cool black and yellow color scheme, then Hobot 198 is the one for you.

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