If you’re looking for a new robotic vacuum cleaner that nicely fits into your budget and still gets the job done, then you must have come across the Neato BotVac D-connected series.
The Neato BotVac D3 Connected and Neato BotVac D5 Connected are mid-range robot vacuum cleaners with many exciting features, these robots have many similarities, but they are essentially different gadgets, with one offering a better filter and longer run time than the other (as just two examples of how the BotVac D3 and D5 differ).
While we have recently taken a look at the whole Neato Botvac range, in this Neato BotVac D3 vs Neato BotVac D5 comparison article, we’ve focussed on the two models to explore their similarities and differences. Take the next few minutes to find out which of these robot vacuums from Neato is better suited for your needs.
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Neato Botvac D5 vs D3: Which Should You Buy?
Both the Neato D3 and D5 are mid-range robotic vacuum cleaners with very similar design features. They basically do the same thing, but as you’d expect, they have their differences both in design features and performance. From the run time to their brushes, there are a few small things that can make a big difference when it comes to cleaning around your home.
Last update on 2022-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
A quick look into the features of the BotVac D3 and D5
Of the two models, the Neato BotVac D5 Connected is the advanced robot vacuum with better features, and it obviously performs better than the BotVac D3. The two robots have the same sweeping brushes, but the Neato BotVac D5 comes with an extra side brush for better edge cleaning, the D5 robot vacuums also has a better filtration system (the ultra performance filter), having the ability to capture the allergens from the air and even be better with sucking up pet hair.
The BotVac D3 Connected has a run time of 60 minutes while the Neato D5 runs for up 90 minutes on a single charge. Plus, the BotVac D5 robot vacuum is the better model for large multi story houses as it comes with multi-floor mapping features (making multi level cleaning plausible), and it generally outperforms the Neato BotVac D3 and makes for a better buy.
Is the Neato D7 worth checking out?
If you’ve got a higher budget, you may even want to overlook the D3 and D5 and see what the D7 vacuum could do for you. While a more premium option, some may find that the extra cost of the D7 vacuums are well worth it. If you’re looking to save yourself cash and still get a great quality device though, the D3 may be your best choice.
Quick Neato BotVac D3 Review
The Neato Botvac D3 is the first model in the Neato BotVac Connected series. It combines the unique D-shaped design, a combo brush roll and strong suction for a great cleaning performance. It features a Laser Smart technology for mapping your home and moves in straight lines to clean every corner of the floor.
The BotVac D3 has a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery which gives it a run time of 60 minutes, after which it returns to the charging base for a quick recharge and automatically resumes cleaning. This botvac features WiFi and smartphone connectivity, and from the Neato mobile app, you can schedule it to clean every day or every other day. The D3 is also compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Last update on 2022-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Quick Neato BotVac D5 Review
The Neato D5 is a mid-range robot vacuum cleaner designed for large multi story houses. It has the patented Neato D-shape design and a LaserSmart technology for intelligently navigating and mapping your home. Instead of a random movement pattern, the Botvac cleans in straight lines.
The Neato D5 uses a large core brush, a side brush and a strong suction to sweep up pet hair and debris from different surface types. With the D-shape design and side brush, this botvac perfectly cleans out edges and corners of walls. The D5 also features an ultra-performance filter which captures up to 99% of tiny dust mites and allergens. You can connect the robot to the Neato app to schedule cleanings daily, every other day, or on a schedule that works for you.
Last update on 2022-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How The Neato BotVac D3 and D5 work
The Botvac D3 and Botvac D5 have very similar modes of operation. They both use a combo brush with soft blade-like bristles to sweep up dirt particles from both hard floors and carpets and trap these particles in a 700 ml dustbin. A LaserSmart navigation algorithm enables them to create digital maps of their environment for smartly avoiding obstacles and cleaning more efficiently.
Are they easy to charge?
Both the D3 and D5 devices offer a feature that’s incredibly popular amongst robot vacuum cleaners: They return to their charging dock by themselves when they’re low on battery.
These robots first leave their charging station, flip on the laser navigation system, and move back and forth to scan the room, satisfied they move to a corner and continue methodically from there. Thanks to their high capacity lithium ion batteries though, they both offer quite a good amount of run time before they need to head back to their charging dock.
The D3 and D5 robots move in straight lines from one corner of a room to another, this systematic pattern of movement ensures that every inch of the room is swept. While cleaning, they use two wheels to seamlessly transition from hardwood to tiles and carpets. Both botvacs feature the automatic recharge and resume, and are compatible with the Neato mobile app for remote control. For extra convenience, both robots are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. As long as you have WiFi connectivity, control via these methods should be a piece of cake.
Neato D3 vs D5 — Key Features
Neato Botvacs D3 and D5 both have laser sensors and the S.L.A.M. algorithm for smartly navigating the rooms in your home. With this feature, the robots map a room and ‘know’ exactly where the furniture and objects are placed, so they clean without colliding with any objects.
Auto-recharge And Resume
During a cleaning cycle, if the batteries of either of the robots drop to 15%, they head back to the charging base for a recharge after which go back to continue cleaning from where they stopped. The D3 and D5 robot vacuums are also equipped with a quick boost charging feature which determines the exact amount of charge the robots need to complete a cleaning when they’re running low on battery mid-cleaning, so the robots charge just the amount needed to complete the job, thus saving time.
They both have the same combo brush, which is the major brush these gadgets use for sweeping up dirt particles from all floor types. However, the D5 comes with an extra side brush for special edge sweeping and picking all debris along the baseboards.
Virtual No-go lines
This is another feature common to these two Neato Botvacs. With the virtual no-go lines which are found in the mobile app, you can create virtual walls and prevent your Botvac from accessing some parts of the room where there may be a danger of the robot getting stuck or falling off.
You could also use boundary marker tape. These magnetic lines will form boundary markers that will keep your robot in one area. It’s worth noting that while boundary markers do work with the Neato BotVac D3, this model doesn’t come with the magnetic tape.
As you can imagine, the virtual walls and boundary markers can be an indispensable feature for individuals with a multiple storey home (or even in a house that has any risk of damage in particular areas, like bathrooms, for example).
Smartphone control and WiFi connectivity
These smart gadgets both come with WiFi and smartphone connectivity for remote control. The D3 and D5 robots are also compatible with voice control devices such as Alexa or Google Home. This feature makes for remote control and better convenience.
Both of these Neato robot vacuums have the same dust bin size of 700ml or 0.7 liters. These robots can trap lots of hair and fiber in this bin, and it’s one of the largest bin sizes you’ll find among robot vacuum cleaners.
Neato D3 vs D5 — Key Differences
Battery Life And Run time
The Neato Botvac D3 comes with a standard Lithium ion battery which offers a 60 minute run time before needing a recharge while the Neato Botvac D5 uses a high-capacity Lithium ion battery and has a run time of about 90 minutes, before it goes back to the charging dock.
Run time is a crucial factor to consider when buying a robot vacuum, since it can play a significant role in how efficient your device is. If it constantly needs to go back to charge, for example, it will take a lot longer for it to clean your home. Both run time and bin capacity are vital.
With their respective batteries, each robot can recharge twice for 3 full cleaning cycles.
Another difference between these gadgets is seen in their filtration systems. The D3 has a standard filter while the D5 uses an ultra performance filter, also sometimes known as a high performance filter.
At first glance, these labels mean very little, but in essence, it means that the Neato BotVac D3 can only capture up to 90% of dust particles with its standard filter, while the Neato BotVac D5 can filter off much tinier particles (up to 99%) from the air. The former is obviously suited for just dirt particles, where the ultra performance filters can be better for allergens and pollen which only matters for people with pets and allergies.
These two robot vacuums actually have the same primary sweeping brush rolls, but the Neato BotVac D5 has a special side brush for sweeping up dirt particles from the edges and corners of rooms. Despite the inventive D-shape of the robots which gives them better orientation for cleaning edges, the primary sweeping brushes do not extend past the corners of the robots therefore, the extra side brushes on the BotVac D5 gives it a much better edge cleaning performance.
This is similar to the No-go lines feature available in the Neato mobile app for both robots, but it’s a magnetic strip for making boundaries in your room to prevent the robot from driving into areas of the room you do not want it to. It essentially contains the robot within a certain area of the room, just like the virtual walls do. The Neato BotVac D5 comes with a boundary marker tape while the BotVac D3 doesn’t but it’s very much compatible with it, and the boundary marker can be purchased as an extra accessory for the D3.
Neato BotVac D3 vs D5 — How Do They Perform?
These robots are designed to clean both hardwood floors, tile, and carpets, and they do so beautifully well. They are both able to trap all dirt and debris on hard floors and most of the dirt particles on carpets, however they may struggle a little on thick pile carpets because the rubber spikes of the sweeping brushes may get caught in the long fibers of the carpet.
For edge cleaning, the D5 performs much better because it comes with an extra side brush especially fitted for cleaning corners and edges. The D5 also comes with a high quality ultra-performance filter for getting out ultra fine air contaminants including pollen and allergens. Being far more efficient than the standard filter on the BotVac D3, this is one area where the D5 robot vacuum is considerably better.
Another feature that enables the BotVac D5 to perform better than the D3 is the 2X Spot Clean feature, with this the D5 can focus on a given spot and crank up its suction force to deliver more powerful cleaning. This can make it especially useful on harder to clean floor types, like carpets. Of the two robot vacuum cleaners, the D5 is no doubt the more advanced and better performing device.
When it comes to cleaning, the D5 is a clear winner
With its more powerful filter and the 2X Spot clean feature (as well as the longer run time we mentioned earlier), the D5 robot vacuums are often the superior choice when it comes to performance and efficiency.
Ease Of Set-up And Use
Although these BotVac Connected vacuums have only a few buttons, mainly the “Power” button, they are very easy to set up and control. Both robots need to be connected to the Neato mobile app from where you can access all programmable features including daily scheduling, virtual no-go lines, multiple floor plans, spot cleaning, etc.
The mobile app has an intuitive user interface and lets you program your robot to suit your cleaning needs. Because the user interface is app-based, you can always upgrade to a new technology when they’re released and enjoy newer features with your older model. You can also control these robots using the Alexa or Google Assistant.
Which one is better?
When it comes to connectivity and ease of use, you’ll find that both of these BotVac models from Neato are equally as good as each other.
At the very core, the design feature of these two gadgets are basically the same. They follow the same systematic cleaning pattern and seamlessly move around avoiding obstacles on their part.
At 3.9″ tall, these robots are small enough to smoothly squeeze under most furniture, but they do get stuck a few times and when they do, you’ll get a notification via the mobile app to come lend your little cleaning guy a hand. You can trust these gadgets to do your cleaning job, they work pretty well.
You can rely on both of these robots to do their job
As you can see, the D3 and D5 are on a level playing field in regards to reliability too.
Ongoing Maintenance And Extra Costs
The D3 and D5 require very similar maintenance procedures to enable optimal performance at all times. The bins should be emptied as often as possible, and the main sweeping brushes have to be cleaned frequently to prevent them from getting tangled up with hair and debris. Next, the filters have to be cleaned at least every one or two weeks.
To keep the robots running perfectly, Neato recommends that the combo brush rolls should be changed every 6 to 8 months, the filters changed every 1 to 2 months, the batteries replaced every 1 to 2 years. And the side brush on the D5 replaced between 6 and 12 months. Maintenance for each of the robots will cost about $100 each year.
Which is the best pick in terms of maintenance?
For the most part, keeping your robot vacuum cleaners in perfect shape isn’t a challenge (whether it’s the D3 or D5). Just make sure to take care of the filter in your device and change the batteries if they’ve been in use for a long time.
Does the Neato D3 and D5 work on all floor types?
These robot vacuums can offer excellent cleaning on both hard flooring and carpets.
Which one has a quicker cleaning cycle?
Thanks to some of the different features of the Neato BotVac D5 that we mentioned earlier on, like the high-capacity Lithium ion battery (which offers longer battery life) and ultra performance filters (which provide a more thorough cleaning), the D5’s cleaning cycle can be both faster and more efficient.
The run time and filter on the D3 models certainly isn’t bad and can do a great job, but there’s no denying that the D5 excels in this department and goes above and beyond.
Do they need Wi-Fi connectivity to work?
While Wi-Fi isn’t required to use the D3 or D5 robots, it is required or the app. Through the use of the Neato smartphone app, both of these robot vacuum cleaners are easy to control. As long as you have Wi-Fi connectivity, you can make use of the different features (plus voice control should you need it).
Do the D3 and D5 Neato BotVac robots have a warranty?
Both the D3 and D5 models come with a one year warranty.
Where can you buy accessories and replacement parts?
If you’re ever in need of a new filter, brushes or batteries for your Neato robot vacuum (D3, D5 or D7), you’ll often be able to find what you need online without any difficulty.
Neato BotVac D3 vs D5 — Final Thoughts
These two Neato robots are designed to do the same thing with similar features, and they both perform quite well. It’s things like auto charge, voice control, high capacity lithium ion batteries and more that make these robot vacuums such excellent choices for their affordable price.
However, Neato Botvac D5 is clearly ahead of Neato Botvac D3, the former has more advanced features making it more efficient and faster than the latter. For a budget choice, the D3 is still an excellent purchase, while the D5 acts as a middle ground between the cheaper vacuum and the more luxurious D7 model.
So, which one is the better robot vacuum?
Therefore, we recommend the Neato D5 as the better buy option. The D5 also cost slightly more than the D3, but this shouldn’t discourage you from making the extra investment. For a little more cash, you could get the ultra performance filter over the standard filter, longer lasting batteries and a few other benefits too. If you want a robotic vacuum cleaner that will absolutely clean out every corner of your home, including corners and edges, go for the D5.
This isn’t to say that the Neato BotVac D3 Connected model is bad, it just isn’t quite as powerful as the BotVac D5.
Emma Marie is a valued writer at the Little Robot Shop. She studied robotics and deeply understands technology, which shows in her writing. She consistently produces high-quality content, making her a perfect fit for the Little Robot Shop team.
While not writing, Emma works in a popular electronics retail chain. Emma also enjoys running and has two dogs with whom she loves spending time.