Today, we will be comparing three robotic vacuums from the same brand. The Neato Botvac is a well-established brand on the market. Its Connected series offer several solid options that will not disappoint. But what exactly is the difference between the D3, the D4, and the D5? Read on to find out.
Quick Comparison Table
|Feature||Botvac D3||Botvac D4||Botvac D5|
|Dimensions||12.7 x 3.9 x 13.2 in.||13.2 x 12.5 x 3.9 in.||12.7 x 3.9 x 13.2 in.|
|Weight||9.02 lbs.||7.37 lbs.||8 lbs.|
|Run Time||60 min.||75 min.||90 min.|
|Charge time||100 min.||100 min.||60 min.|
|Brush size||11-in. combo brush||11-in. combo brush||11-in. combo brush|
|Dustbin capacity||0.7 L||0.7 L||0.7 L|
|Wi-Fi connectivity||Yes, 2.4 GHz||Yes, 2.4 GHz||Yes, 2.4 GHz|
|No-go lines||Yes||Yes (virtual)||Yes (virtual)|
|Find Me function||No||Yes||Yes|
|Recharge and resume||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As you can see from this comparison chart, from the outside, all three vacuums greatly resemble each other. They have the same combo brush, the same dustbin capacity, and approximately the same dimensions. They vary a bit in weight, but not enough to make a big difference. All three can be controlled via an app and are compatible with Amazon Echo and Alexa and Google Assistant. Each model has the same Wi-Fi connectivity.
Every Neato Botvac is laser-guided. So unlike robotic vacuums from other manufacturers, these move in straight lines, not in irregular patterns. I can definitively say that if each of these three models had to recharge before finishing a cleaning run, the vacuum always resumed its path where it had left off. You can rest assured that every inch of your floor will be cleaned.
The most noticeable differences between these three models are the run time and the charge time. The D3 runs for approximately 60 minutes, the D4 runs for 75 minutes, and the D5 can run for an hour and a half. At the same time, the D5 charges faster than the other two. Unlike the D3, the D4 and D5 can be controlled via virtual no-go lines, meaning you can program the vacuum via the app to avoid certain areas in your home. the D3 uses actual no-go lines that you have to put down in your home. Similarly, the D4 and D5 can save up to three floor plans, so you can easily carry them to different floors in your home and the vacuums can get to work right away. The D3 doesn’t offer this option. All three, however, will give you a map that displays the performance during the latest cleaning run was.
Let’s look at each model in more detail.
Botvac D3 Connected
The Botvac D3 is the oldest model of these three. It is perhaps best compared to the Roomba 690; it is a solid performer with a number of very good features. Unlike other models, the D3 does not have a side brush. However, its D-shape allows the vacuum to get very close to walls and into corners, so that the lack of a brush is not an automatic negative. While the vacuum had some problems with one particular tight corner in our test area, it picked up as much dirt as the other two models we tested. The 11-inch combo brush is one of the widest available, so it takes less time to clean. Its large wheels allow it to move between different types of flooring without a problem. Even deeper carpets were no challenge for the D3. The vacuum is designed to work equally well on every type of flooring. While it does not provide the same suction power as an upright vacuum, the D3 does a good job picking up pet hair, crumbs, and all kinds of other dirt.
With this in mind, it is important that you regularly clean out the dustbin, and this is where you might encounter some difficulties. Compared to other models, the dustbin on the D3 can be a bit difficult to remove and empty. You need to be careful when you reinsert the dustbin, so as not to break any part of it. Also, the filter that comes with the D3 is very flimsy. While you can purchase high-efficiency replacement filters that are sturdier, I would expect the manufacturer to equip the D3 with a better filter right from the start.
The other possible disadvantage is the run time. The D3 runs for approximately one hour before it needs to restart. If you use the spot clean feature, the battery lasts for even less time. Depending on the size of your home, this might be a problem. It is up to you to decide whether frequent recharging that necessarily interrupts the cleaning progress will be a deal breaker for you.
It is easy to set up the vacuum and the app and to connect it to any voice-control devices you might have in your home. When we started testing, the connection dropped several times, making it impossible to properly start the vacuum, but after a software update, this issue seems to have resolved itself.
While not the latest and greatest model available, it comes with the lowest price tag of the three. If you are on a budget, put the D3 on your shopping list.
- It automatically sends an alert via the app if it gets stuck.
- Side wall sensors enable it to clean close to walls and corners.
- The dustbin can be difficult to empty.
- The filter that is included with the vacuum is hard to clean and quickly gets clogged; replacement filters have
muchhigher quality,but have to be purchased separately.
Tired of emptying the dustbin? Try our best bagged vacuum cleaners
Botvac D4 Connected
On many levels, the D4 performs as well as the D3. The D4 is laser-guided like the D3, so it methodically cleans in straight lines. It has the same D-shape, so it vacuums equally well along walls and in corners. It works on both hardwood flooring and carpets of various lengths. It has the same suction power as the D3, so in this regard, it performs equally as well as the D3. There are only a few cosmetic differences between the D3 and D4, so a casual observer is unlikely to notice any variation between the two models.
The D4 has three features that the D3 does not have. First, the D4 comes with virtual no-go lines. That means you can specify via your app where you do not want the vacuum to clean. This is especially helpful if you have pet bowls, shoes with laces, and power cords out. All of these can hinder the smooth cleaning of your home. Second, the run time is better with the D4. It runs a full 15 minutes longer than the D3, and this can potentially make a big difference in how long it takes the vacuum to complete cleaning everywhere. Third, the D4 comes with a Power Boost feature. This means that if the vacuum is not able to complete a full training run on one battery charge, it estimates how long it needs to charge until it has enough power to resume and finish vacuuming. So, rather than having to wait for over an hour for the battery to fully charge, only to then have the vacuum run for 10 minutes to finish the last part of the dining room, the vacuum will only charge for 10 minutes, finish cleaning, and then return to the base for a complete charge.
Again, the setup of the vacuum and the app are straightforward, and it is easy to operate the vacuum via the app or any voice-control devices you might have it connected to. It is considerably more expensive than the D3, but the extra bells and whistles might make this extra investment worth it.
- The Power Boost feature ensures the battery charges only long enough to finish a cleaning run.
- It runs quietly, especially in eco mode.
- The dust bin is a bit difficult to remove.
- There are problems with consistent Wi-Fi connectivity.
Botvac D5 Connected
The Botvac D5 is similar to the Roomba 980 in terms of performance and features. Compared to the essential features of the D3 and D4, there is little difference between them and the D5. A casual observer would probably not be able to tell them apart. The suction power is the same, the brush has the same width, and the dustbin is the same size. The vacuum is laser-guided to move in the same straight lines as the other two models. It has the same virtual no-go lines as the D4, so you don’t have to fumble around with actual strips to keep the D5 away from certain areas you don’t want it to access.
There are, however, some improvements with this model. First, the run time has once again increased. The D5 can run for up to 90 minutes, so if you have a larger home, this is probably the best model for you. Second, it can store up to three floor maps, so you can easily move the vacuum between floors and the machine can get to work right away. Third, the D5 has a Turbo mode, which allows you to increase the suction and brush speed if you have a particularly dirty area that needs to be cleaned. While this impacts the overall run time, this feature is attractive to anyone who has pets or little kids. Finally, the D5 comes with an ultra-performance filter that does a great job removing dust particles and allergens from your home.
Another noticeable improvement is the addition of a side brush to the D5 model. While every vacuum in the D series does a good job cleaning along walls and corners, the side brush adds a little extra insurance that no dirt gets left behind. I need to point out, however, that at the end of our rigorous testing period, I noticed that some of the bristles started to get bent out of shape. While you can purchase replacement side brushes, it would be nice if the original brush lasted a little longer.
The D5 is the most advanced model of the ones compared here, and it has also the highest price tag.
- It works very quietly.
- The latest software update seems to have resolved all issues with Wi-Fi connectivity for this model.
- You cannot stop the vacuum in the middle of a cleaning run, except for actually turning it off.
- The side brush is not as sturdy as it could be.
Neato D3 vs. Neato D3 Pro Comparison
The robot wars have begun and, strangely enough, they are taking place in our living rooms.
Meet Neato, a technology company borne in the US and challenging its competition, both foreign and domestic. With a goal of “Making smart, capable robots that help people live better lives.” Neato is taking the competition head-on in the robotic vacuum market.
Neato’s entry-level product, the Botvac D3 Connected, has proven to be a true challenger. Innovative design, outstanding features, and new technology have created an emerging market leader.
The Neato Botvac D3 Connected and the D3 Pro are the same basic machine with only a few differences. The D3 Pro has all of the features of the D3 with the addition of an extended accessory pack. The basic features of the D3 series include:
- LaserSmart™ technology
- N-Go Lines
- D-Shaped Design
- Extra Large Main Brush
- Up to 60 minutes of battery life
Want to know more about other Neato BotVac models? See our full BotVac vacuum review and test here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use Neato Botvac?
Once you unpack your new Neato Botvac, there are just a few things you need to do to get your Neato Botvac started cleaning your home.
- Plug the charger base into an outlet in a place that is easy and convenient to access.
- Charge the Neato Botvac.
- Download the Neato App onto your smart device.
- Connect your Neato App and your Neato Botvac.
- Tell your Neato Botvac to start cleaning
Your Neato Botvac will come with a quick start guide in the box. You can get more detailed instructions and information in the quick start guide. The quick start guide is available online at this link.
How do I update my Neato Botvac D3/D4/D5?
Updating the firmware for your Botvac is easily accomplished using the Neato App. Performing updates is as quick as accessing the app and checking the current Botvac Software version. If there is an update available, follow the instructions on the neato app. More detailed instructions are available on the Neato website here.
Does Botvac D3, D4, and D5 have no-go lines?
The entire line of Neato D Series Botvacs have no-go line technology
What color do Neato D3, D4, and D5 have?
The Neato D Series Botvacs offer the following color choices.
D3 – Gray, White
D4 – Gray
D5 – Gray
As we have repeatedly stated here, the D3, D4, and D5 Connected are fairly similar in terms of performance—other than the run time. If you have a small home or live in an apartment, the D3 Connected will work well for you, especially if you are all right with not having all of the latest features. The moderate price tag makes it an attractive option for anyone on a budget, and in our opinion, it is not necessary to pay considerably more for either the D4 or the D5. The D3 will work just fine.
However, you should consider the D5 Connected if you have a larger home, or a house with more than one floor. Here, the D5’s ability to save different floor plans comes in very handy. The longer run time is a definite advantage of this model. Because the price difference between the D4 and the D5 is not that much, we recommend you skip the D4 and select the D5 instead. In addition to the longer run time, the side brush and Turbo mode make it worth spending a little more.