Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

The Lowdown

If you considering a robot vac for your home, I don’t have any reservations in telling you that the Narwal Freo X Ultra is an excellent choice. It runs relatively quietly when running in either mopping or vacuuming modes, its battery lasts for a long time, and it has no issue returning to the base station to clean itself and recharge before completing a job. On top of that, it can handle extremely dirty environments without missing a beat.

Overall
4.9

Pros

  • Supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Shortcuts
  • Easy to set up and easy to operate
  • Excellent 2D and 3D mapping features
  • No-go zones are easy to set up and the robot adheres to them
  • The large 1L capacity dust bin can accept disposable filtered dust bags or an included reusable plastic dust bin
  • 4.5L capacity water tanks
  • Every component of the base station is quite sturdy — nothing feels flimsy or like a weak link
  • Excellent cleaning power that is relatively quiet while operating
  • Our warehouse’s floors have never been cleaner!

Cons

  • Narwal’s maintenance and replacement parts are a bit on the pricy side

If you’ve ever used a robotic vacuum cleaner in a home with pets and/or long-haired occupants, you’ve likely dealt with hair-wrapped bush rollers and random blockages. Poor navigation and frequent dustbin emptying can also create robot vac pain points. If you’re nodding along, you’ll want to check out the Narwal Freo X Ultra. It features 8200Pa suction power, an all-in-one base station that automates mop care, and a zero-hair-tangling brush for efficient cleaning. It’s also equipped with tri-laser navigation and LiDAR 4.0 to avoid obstacles and clean thoroughly. I’ve put mine through hell; here’s how it performed.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra parked in its base station

Pop Quiz! Can you remember which science fiction writer first described the concept of a robotic vacuum cleaner with a recharging dock in his 1956 novel? I’ll give you the answer at the end of this review.

So, you might not know this since it wasn’t available until years later in the United States, but Electrolux introduced the world’s first consumer robot vacuum cleaner, the Trilobite, in 1996. That robot vacuum sold for $1500 in 2001, but at the time, it was only available in Sweden.

The Trilobite didn’t have scheduling functions, had trouble detecting cornered objects resulting in frequent collisions, couldn’t clean certain areas because its ultrasonic sensors avoided walls, and was slow. Even so, it gave consumers a glimpse of the future as described by the prescient pop quiz author.

Then, in 2002, iRobot introduced the Roomba Intelligent Floor Vac, priced at a much more affordable $199.99. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it was revolutionary.

The Roomba’s battery didn’t last long enough to clean larger houses, it didn’t have a dock to self-recharge in, and it required frequent dust bin emptyings. However, it also managed to change directions when it bumped into something and could identify steep drops so it wouldn’t tumble down the stairs. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast-forward to 2024, and robot vacuum technology has improved to the point where quite a few highly capable models are now available from premium robotic brands that can map, avoid collisions, deeply clean floors and carpets, and mop floors.

Who is Narwal?

Founded in 2016, the story goes that during a family dinner, Narwal’s founder, Junbin, confided that he was facing challenges with his robotics projects. As the meal neared its end, Junbin’s father looked down at the floor and offhandedly commented on the difficulty of cleaning the sticky residue from spilled wine and fallen crumbs.

He wished for a solution superior to traditional mops that would save him hours of cleaning. This remark inspired Jubin to create something that was not only innovative but was also capable of making a real difference in people’s daily lives.

The Narwal logo.

Today, Narwal products are used by over 1.8 million people in more than 30 countries, and the brand holds over 800 patented technologies. Narwal is also one of the Global top five players in robot vacuum cleaners, along with iRobot, ECOVACS, Xiaomi, and Roborock, which together have a market share of around 70% [source].

So, while you may or may not have heard of Narwal before, it’s a brand that is quickly growing thanks to many of its own innovations, including launching its own sweeping and mopping robots that were the first to achieve automatic water supply and automatic cleaning of mops and had significantly better mopping effects than their competitors. [source]

What’s So Special About the Narwal Freo X Ultra?

The Narwal Freo X Ultra is a cleaning robot that features 8200Pa suction power, which Narwal claims is capable of removing 99% of the particles from hard floors. I have no real way to test that claim, but I can say that it leaves a visually clean floor behind it, whether it is simply vacuuming or if it is vacuuming and mopping in tandem.

The robot has an all-in-one base station that automates mop washing, drying, and cleaning, requiring only simple maintenance. The Freo X Ultra’s DirtSense technology uses sensors and algorithms to monitor the wastewater and ensure cleanings are thorough by detecting dirt and stains and continuing until your floors are spotless.

The Freo X Ultra’s zero-hair-tangling brush was designed to prevent hair from getting tangled while efficiently directing it into the dust bag, and the robot uses a self-contained dust processing system that compresses dust into disposable bags, allowing up to seven weeks of maintenance-free cleaning.

Since the base station does not have a self-emptying dust bin, the robot is also quieter than traditional self-emptying robot vacuums, with no jarring WHOOSH at the end of each vacuuming cycle.

The self-emptying suction that produces that WHOOSH might not seem like a big deal, but it is rather important for those of us who work from home and have a lot of conference calls that might occur while the vac is doing a scheduled run, or if you’re someone who prefers to run their robot vac at night while you’re sleeping.

Narwal Freo X Ultra features

Using a tri-laser navigation system to provide precise obstacle avoidance, the Narwal Freo X Ultra is able to clean within millimeters of objects, and it uses LiDAR 4.0 navigation to create optimal cleaning paths throughout the home.

The Freo X Ultra uses patented, triangular Rouleaux mop heads that apply consistent pressure and spin at 180 RPM to lift and remove stubborn stains. It also uses EdgeSwing technology to ensure thorough cleaning of edges and corners, lessening the need for manual touch-ups.

Narwal’s intelligent vacuum and mop robot can adjust its cleaning methods based on a room’s dirtiness, floor type, and weather conditions, so it will work well in any environment.

For instance, when it is sunny and warm, the Freo X Ultra will add a bit more water to its dual mop heads for a deeper clean so it can take advantage of faster evaporation. When it is a higher humidity day, like when it is rainy and cloudy, the Freo X Ultra will reduce the mop heads’ saturation to ensure that no water is left standing on the floor.

You can control the Narwal Freo X Ultra through the Narwal app on your smartphone, through touch controls on the base station, and through voice control using Amazon Echo. In the app, you have access to plenty of customization and scheduling options.

This all sounds well and good; and I am sure that in the typical home, the Narwal will do nothing but impress. However, I had something else in mind.

The Ultimate Challenge Is Issued

I use a Roborock S7 Max Ultra in my less than 1,200-square-foot home. Unsurprisingly, the Roborock does an excellent job of daily vacuuming and mopping and requires minimal maintenance because the size of my home isn’t much of a challenge.

It’s not perfect, of course. The Roborock can miss things like random popcorn kernels that get flung just under the edge of the kitchen cabinet as we flip over our fountain popcorn maker. More importantly, though, I’ve had a few struggles with its self-emptying dustbin, which evacuates pet hair from the robot’s dustbin into the base station’s bin when it does its self-cleaning WHOOSH routine.

Even so, the Roborock handles dog hair much better than the Uoni V980Plus I reviewed ever did (constant dog hair blockages, constant!), to the point where I ultimately moved the Uoni into my pet-free office once the Roborock replaced it.

When the Narwal Freo X Ultra showed up for review, it seemed silly to mess with a system that was already working, so I thought it might be more interesting to really put it to the test by giving it a much bigger challenge, one that had literally caused another robot vacuum to stop working entirely.

In our copious free time (that’s sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell), Kev and I are renovating a building that has a 7,000-square-foot, concrete-floored warehouse in the back that includes a living space if someone needs to stay overnight.

The back warehouse where the Narwal will be put to work

This is an older photo of the back warehouse area where the Narwal will be put to work; you can click it to see all its (filthy) glory.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it; it is a pain to try to keep that warehouse floor clean. Sweeping and mopping just this area of the building to try and control the dust can take hours that neither of us has the time to spend.

A few months ago, I had the seemingly brilliant idea (more sarcasm) of setting up the Eureka E10s Robot Vacuum and Mop from our 2023 Holiday Gift Guide inside the warehouse.

Unlike the Narwal Freo X Ultra, which has large-capacity clean and dirty water tanks in the base station with a self-contained dust bin in the robot itself, the Eureka E10s’s base station has a large, removable canister (similar to that of an upright regular vacuum cleaner’s) that collects debris while the mopping functions are all self-contained in the robot.

I had no illusions that Eureka could ever be capable of mopping our warehouse floor, but if it could vacuum regularly on a schedule, I would consider it a win.

Even with certain areas in the warehouse physically blocked off, the Eureka would be responsible for cleaning about 6,000 square feet; I wasn’t sure if any consumer robot would be up to the task as most homes are significantly smaller than that.

Not surprisingly, but still slightly disappointingly, the Eureka robot quickly ran into some issues.

To start, the Eureka was never able to fully map the warehouse, which meant I couldn’t create “no-go zones.” To solve this issue and simply allow it to run freely, we laid spare 2x4s on the floor, blocking the areas we wanted it kept from. This was not exactly aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a warehouse; thankfully, no one tripped over any of the boards.

Even so, it became like a part-time job trying to figure out what was going on when the Eureka app would send one of its numerous regular errors.

These included “side brush entangled” (usually because it had tried to eat the fringe on two of our area rugs that I couldn’t set a “no-go zone” on),” “wheel slip (I could never figure out what was causing that),” “lidar is blocked” (it got would get stuck under the couch since I couldn’t make it a “no-go zone”), “roller brush is stuck” (which usually meant it had picked up a larger price of debris like a nail or had tangled itself on the edge of one of our fringed area rugs), “recharging failed” (because it often had issues finding its base station for emptying and recharging) and “relocation failed” (because with no proper map, it had no idea where it was).

It may sound like it, but I am really not complaining. I asked much more of the Eureka than, to the best of my knowledge, it was ever designed to do.

All things considered, it did make the warehouse floor much cleaner than it had been in who knows how long, but we still had to deal with the regular errors and occasionally mop the floor ourselves.

One day, about three months after I had set it up, the Eureka robot decided it had had enough and simply stopped working. I’ll eventually take it apart to see if I can figure out what’s going on and maybe use it somewhere else, but in the meantime, here I was with a Narwal that needed reviewing and two robots working just fine at home.

It sure would be nice to have a robot working in the warehouse, so I brought the Narwal in to see if it would fare any better.

I’ll be the first to say that this is a totally unrealistic stress test for any consumer robot vacuum, but I had to try it. I’ll let you know how that went shortly, but first, let’s take a look at the Narwal Freao X Ultra.

Unboxing and What’s Included

The Narwal Freo X Ultra comes extremely well packaged in a thick cardboard outer box with an inner branded thick cardboard box and thick styrofoam inserts. The components of the robot vacuum and the base station are separated to remove any worry of damage during transit.

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The robot and base station come with two mop heads, three filtered bags for the dust bin (one is pre-installed), one reusable plastic filtered dustbin, two side brushes (marked R and L), a power cord, a bottle of floor cleaning solution, a user manual, and an important safety information pamphlet.

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Setting up the Base Station

Let’s start with the large base station, which measures approximately 17″ tall by 16″ wide by 11.25″ deep (without the robot inserted). It is composed of glossy, milky white plastic with a sleek, rounded corner rectangular shape that looks nice enough that it wouldn’t be odd to have it placed in a living room or other highly trafficked area in the home.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra base station.

The top of the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s Base Station has an inset circular touch panel on the lift lid. If your phone isn’t handy, you can use it to control the robot.

From the base station:

  • You can start, pause, or resume current tasks by pressing the “Play” button for a short time; pressing and holding the button for two seconds will end the current task.
  • A short press on the “Home” button will cancel the current task and recall the robot to the base station. Pressing and holding that button for two seconds will enable the child lock, which is not only good for keeping young children from messing with your robot’s programming but is also handy if you have cats because they will inevitably decide that you have offered them this spot to be their new perch.
  • You can turn the child lock off by pressing and holding the “Home” and “Water Drop” buttons together for two seconds.
  • Short-pressing the little ghost icon at the top of the display starts or stops Freo Mode, which is when the robot adjusts cleaning strategies to your home’s environment.
  • A short press of the “Water Drop” button will start or cancel the mop washing or drying.
  • Pressing and holding the “Home” and “Play” buttons together for two seconds will enter or exit pairing mode.
  • Pressing and holding the “Play” and “Water Drop” buttons will cause the robot to begin a new map.

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While setting it up for the first time, you’ll find a handy paper insert just under the lid and sitting on top of the water tanks that explains all of these functions; on the back of the insert is a printed First Use guide to help you get the robot set up without having to open the user manual.

Paper instruction insert under the Narwal Freo X Ultra's lid.

Lifting that insert reveals the two 4.5L water tanks, which are clearly labeled on the base station and identifiable as Dirty Water and Clean Water. In case you remove them both at the same time and forget which is which, they will only fit back in their respective spots, so you can’t ever accidently reverse them.

But it’s also easy to remember that the Dirty Water tank is the clear one; Narwal wants you to easily see what the Freo X Ultra has accomplished while mopping, and trust me, it can be shocking.

The dirty and clean water tanks inside the Narwal Freo X Ultra base station

Inside the Dirty Water tank, there you’ll find your complimentary bottle of the Narwal Lemon & Basil floor cleaner. The bottle is covered with a thin foil; don’t get tempted to remove the lid to sniff the contents, or you’ll mess things up.

I can tell you that whatever scent it produces is extremely light; Kev has never complained about it, and he is very sensitive to things like that.

The bottle of cleaning fluid ships inside the dirty water tank.

On the Clean Water side of the base station, with the tank removed, you’ll see an inset where the floor cleaning bottle is placed upside down. The bottle is sealed with a thin, integrated foil cap, which is meant to puncture and dispense when placed onto the port at the bottom of its cubby hole.

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There are integrated handles built into each side of the base station should you ever need to move it. All that’s left is to add clean water to the purple holding tank and return it to the base station. I should mention that every component of the base station is quite sturdy; nothing feels flimsy or like a weak link.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra base station with the lid flipped up to show the two tanks.

The base station has a dock for the robot at the bottom. Inside the dock, there is a removable tray insert that contains the mop scrubbers and allows airflow when the base station dries the mop.

Narwal recommends that you remove and clean this tray at least once every two weeks, but depending on your floors, you may need to do it more often.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra's base station dock with mop pan.

This tray is easily removed for cleaning by placing your thumbs on the circular areas on each end and pressing out; the tray will slide right out. It also easily slides in and snaps into place when you put it back.

The mop tray removed from the Narwal Freo X Ultra base station.

The port to power the base station is located at the back at the top of the recessed area.

The power port on the Narwal Freo X Ultra

Setting up the Robot

The Narwal Freo X Ultra measures approximately 13.5″ across by 3.5″ tall; you can add an extra 0.75″ for the radar positioning sensor module at the top. It is also composed of a glossy milky white plastic.

At ~4.25″ tall, the robot is still short enough to get under just about any bed or sofa; the large bumper on the front is a pressure sensor.

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During the initial setup, you’ll need to flip the robot over and place the labeled side brushes on their color-coded pegs. The velcro-topped mop modules come with the mop pads already installed; they can be easily pulled off for washing and replacement.

I want you to enjoy this photo because these two pads will never be this clean again.

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The robot arrives with an anti-collision foam insert protecting its front bumper, which can be removed by lifting the magnetically attached cover. Removing the cover also allows access to the internal dustbin, which ships holding one of the three included 1L filtered dust bags.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra with the filtered 1L dust bag inserted.

But maybe you don’t want to use a disposable option that will necessitate ordering future replacements. Narwal is considerate enough to also include a reusable filtered plastic bin that fits into the same place.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra with the plastic bin inserted.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra has two buttons on the top; when pressed, the “Power” button starts or stops the reboot, and the “Home” button recalls it to the base station.

Buttons on the top of the Narwal Freo X Ultra

Getting Started with the Narwal App

Assuming you’ve situated the Narwal Freo X Ultra base station where you want it to be, plugged it in, and set the robot vac inside to begin charging, you’re ready to download the Narwal app, which will connect and bind the robot to the app.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set up a Narwal account. Then, you’ll follow the self-explanatory steps to add a new device.

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Now that your Narwal Freo X Ultra is connected, and you’ll likely have an update waiting for over-the-air installation. You can also enable auto-updates, so you won’t have to deal with this again.

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The first time you run the Narwal Freo Ultra, you’ll need to create a map, and the app will walk you through this important step.

But before you run the vac for the initial mapping, it’s important to make sure that your home is ready for this little robot. If you have dangling cables, slippers, rags, or other clutter on the floor, pick them up, or the robot will find them.

You can close the doors to any rooms you don’t want it to enter, and you should check to make sure that any thresholds in your doorways are less than 20mm tall, as that’s the robot’s maximum obstacle-crossing height. Narwal sells optional threshold ramps and ramp extenders if needed.

Now it’s time to start your map.

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The Ultimate Trial: A 100-Year-Old Warehouse with Concrete Flooring

As I mentioned, the Eureka robot vac was never able to complete a map of our warehouse, so there were a lot of necessary features that we never had access to, resulting in unnecessary errors and being unable to create “no-go” zones.

How would the Narwal Freo X Ultra fare? Well, see for yourself.

Mapping the Warehouse

The Narwal Freo X Ultra initially identified the warehouse as 7713.74 square feet, which it adjusted to 6690.38 square feet based on the areas it could actually access. I now have a 2D and 3D map of the warehouse’s floor!

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With the robot back on the base station and recharging, I figured that the best way to conduct its first cleaning, or rather — trial by fire — was to have it vacuum and mop all accessible areas of the warehouse’s floor.

That’s when I discovered one of the many things I like about the Narwal Freo X Ultra—you can set the mopping feature to return to the base station after it has cleaned an entire room, which in this case would mean it would likely be dragging it’s relatively filthy mop heads over thousands of square feet, or you can set it to return to the base station to clean the mops every 86 square feet, 108 square feet, or 129 square feet.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

A feature like this really matters when you are dealing with a huge room!

Now, it was time to see how the Narwal would perform. I set it to vacuum and clean simultaneously and hit start in the app. A new set of screens appeared on the app, explaining what was about to happen.

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The robot then started to wash the mop; I set it to Freo Mode, so it would adjust to the home environment as needed, and then I got a notification that this first task would take longer than usual because the floor was about to be intensely cleaned.

Promises, promises — but would it, could it deliver?

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And then the Narwal Freo X Ultra started its run.

You’ll note at this point that I hadn’t set any “no-go” areas and hadn’t specified where any furniture or rugs were located. the robot still managed to figure things out. After about 46 minutes, it returned to the base station to wash the mop.

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So far, there had been no snafus, and it was very obvious which areas of the floor had been mopped and vacuumed, as the Narwal Freo X Ultra was leaving a relatively gleaming trail in its wake.

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With the mops cleaned, the robot resumed its cleaning.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

Soon after this bit of very intensive first cleaning, the robot recognized that it needed to recharge, so it returned to the base station. At 1:57:32 hours, it had cleaned 645.4 square feet, so I knew this was going to be a bit of a process, but the Narwal Freo X Ultra was working!

Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

Since I had a working map, I figured this was a good time to set some “no-go” zones so we’d have fewer issues in some of the less organized areas. I knew that meant I had to start the cleaning process over for the new zones to take effect, but I was fine with it. I also used the app to place furniture on the map, though this isn’t necessary.

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While the battery was recharging, it seemed like a good time to check the base station’s mop-cleaning pan and my water tank levels.

Boy, was I in for the first of many shocks when doing so … eww.

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With the new “no-go” areas set, the floor type (more or less) set, and the robot’s suction power now adjusted for tile, I set the robot off once again.

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All told, the robot spent a total of 6:23:32 hours cleaning, not counting any recharge time. The Narwal Freo X Ultra ultimately returned to the base station three times to recharge while mopping and vacuuming; each time, I emptied its dirty water, refilled the clean water, and washed the mop-head cleaning pan. At this point, I checked its filtered dust bag, but it still wasn’t full.

I should point out that on the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s accessory page, there is an optional Automatic Water Exchange System available for $299.99. If you find yourself frequently filling and emptying the clean and dirty water tanks, this is an excellent way to fully automate that part of the process. You can check to see if this system is an option for your home by clicking here.

While running, the Narwal Freo X Ultrawas never particularly noisy; it would calmly announce in a woman’s voice any time a new operation was starting, when it was returning to the base station, or if the brush had managed to pick up something too large for it to handle — like a random screw, a piece of tape, or a large leaf, which was easily remedied.

But still, SUCCESS!

The app allows you to choose a man or woman’s voice, and you can adjust the volume levels to whatever works best for you. I have the volume on full blast because of the size of the room.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

With the few items that might cause brush errors cleared from the floor, I felt confident enough to set a regular vacuuming schedule. I didn’t think it necessary to mop each time the robot ran; I could do that once a week since it involved my direct participation in emptying and filling the tanks and cleaning the mopping pan during the process.

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You can also set the Narwal Freo X Ultra to work with all three popular home assistants, but because I schedule everything through the app, I haven’t really needed this functionality.

Narwal Freo X Ultra Review: I Put This Sleek Robotic Vacuum to the Ultimate Challenge

I like that rather than dragging the mops across the floor when the robot is only vacuuming, I can remove them from the Velcro mop modules, and the robot will still run just fine. This is convenient when you only have one set of mops and want to throw them in the washing machine to make sure they are extra clean for the next use.

I’ve also done a bit more tweaking of the no-go zones, and I think I’ve got them exactly as needed now.

In the weeks since I started using the Narwal Freo X Ultra in our warehouse, the robot has truly impressed me with its hardworking attitude and efficient service. The app is easy to navigate, and any little errors that have popped up have been easy to correct.

For my use, I’ve found that the filtered bags need to be replaced roughly once every two to three weeks; I have scheduled vacuuming set for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. At roughly 6,000 square feet each time, this means each bag can collect detritus for a minimum of ~50,000 square feet, which I think is rather impressive.

Although there is no sensor to tell you when the bag is full, it is easy enough to pop the lid off the robot every few days and do a visual inspection without having to remove a dust bin module and spread dust everywhere, as can happen with other self-contained robots.

If you have a 2,000-square-foot home and you run the robot vac every day, you might be able to make one of these 1L filtered bags last for as long as the 7 weeks Narwal suggests, which is pretty impressive for a vac without a base station dust bin. Of course, things like how dirty your floor gets and whether you have pets or not will affect how long a dust bag can last

I’ve already ordered some replacement mop heads, more cleaning fluid, and a new set of side brushes for when they’re needed. I’m not yet sure if I will order more of the filtered dust bags, though; while they are very convenient, I hate that they are a single-use disposable that’s going to ultimately end up in a landfill.

I plan on keeping the Narwal Freo X Ultra busy for a long, long time. Of course, if I ever have any real issues with it, I’ll update this review, but for now, it is going strong, and it’s only requiring minor maintenance.

I can honestly say that just as the Beatbot Aquasense Pro made Kev’s pool cleaning routine so much more bearable, the Narwal Freo X Ultra has similarly streamlined and more or less automated our warehouse cleaning efforts. I love it!

Should you Buy the Narwal Freo X Ultra?

I highly doubt that anyone who buys the Narwal Freo X Ultra will ever put their robot through the type of torture test I did, but it’s great to know that the robot is able to handle such extremes. It has really proven itself to me!

After using multiple other robot vacs, and two with self-emptying dustbins, I had worried that the Freo X Ultra’s dust bin might need emptying as often as once a day, given the size of our warehouse; that has certainly not turned out to be the case. It manages to compact the dirt inside the bag to the point where it seems to just last and last.

So don’t let the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s lack of a self-emptying dustbin keep you from buying one if you are looking at other models with that ability. Consider that by not having the self-emptying dustbin, you’re getting a robot that can run more quietly.

You won’t ever get startled by the WHOOSH as the vac clears its inner dustbin, and you won’t ever have to contend with blockages between the base station and the robot; you get one of the largest internal receptacles I’ve yet seen in any robot, and it won’t require frequent emptying by any stretch of the imagination.

If you considering a robot vac for your home, I don’t have any reservations in telling you that the Narwal Freo X Ultra is an excellent choice. It runs relatively quietly when running in either mopping or vacuuming modes, its battery lasts for a long time, and it has no issue returning to the base station to clean itself and recharge before completing a job. On top of that, it can handle extremely dirty environments without missing a beat.

All you have to do is provide a little bit of maintenance—refilling and emptying the water tanks, washing out the mop tray, and the like—when needed. And therein lies perhaps my only complaint. Narwal offers a complete list of accessories and replacement parts, such as side and roller brushes, mop cloths, filters, floor cleaning solutions, etc., on its site, but they’re a bit on the pricier side.

For instance, a new set of mop cloths is $19.99; a bottle of the floor cleaning solution is $29.99; a pair of new side brushes is $29.99; an accessories pack which includes two bottles of the floor cleaning solution, six mop pads, two side brushes, one roller brush, two filters, two sponge filters, and six disposable filtered dust bags — all things you might eventually need, sells for a jaw-dropping $259.99. 4

While some third-party sellers on Amazon offer some of these replacement supplies, I’m a little leery of trying anything except perhaps the after-market side bushes and mopheads.

I doubt that most homes have floors that are as dirty as our warehouse once was. Given the excellent job that the Narwal Freo X Ultra has done for us, I think that you’ll be more than satisfied if you have one cleaning your home.

Having it do the weekly mopping and every other day vacuuming in our large space has been an excellent experience!

The Narwal Freo X Ultra retails for $1399.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

It’s worth mentioning that Narwal is running some deals from July 8th through July 15th on the official Narwal Site: You can get 30% off the Narwal Freo, Freo X Plus, and the Freo X Ultra by using the code AFFPRIME.

Narwal is also offering Prime Day specials from July 16 through 17th:

  • Narwal Freo X Ultra: Regular retail price $1399.99 / Deal Day Price $949.99 (saving $450)
  • Freo: Regular retail price $1399.99 / Deal Day Price $599.99 (saving $800)
  • Freo X Plus: Regular retail price $399.99 / Deal Day Price $279.99 (saving $120)
  • S10 Pro: Regular retail price $429.99 / Deal Day Price $299.99 (saving $130)

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Shortcuts; Easy to set up and easy to operate; Excellent 2D and 3D mapping features; No-go zones are easy to set up and the robot adheres to them; The large 1L capacity dust bin can accept disposable filtered dust bags or the included reusable plastic dust bin; 4.5L capacity water tanks; Every component of the base station is quite sturdy — nothing feels flimsy or like a weak link; Excellent cleaning power that is relatively quiet while operating; Our warehouse’s floors have never been cleaner!

What Needs Improvement: Narwal’s maintenance and replacement parts are a bit on the pricy side

Pop Quiz Answer: Robert A. Heinlein in The Door into Summer. You can read a great synopsis of it here.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

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