iRobot Roomba 890 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot: Review, Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on September 28, 2019
updated on September 28, 2019

Being a handy little helper, you can ACTUALLY use the Roomba 890 to keep your floors looking great while going more extended periods in between vacuuming.

On Sale −10%
iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power* for improved pick-up performance
  • Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and pet hair. The Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head adapts its height to keep the Multi-Surface Brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, directly engaging with both hard floors and carpets
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes instantly adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with floors
  • Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home
  • Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot HOME App; compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant

Read on for an in-depth review (tips and frequently asked questions included) of the Roomba 890 robotic cleaner.

An in-depth review of the Roomba 890 robot cleaner

Under this section, key highlights of the Roomba 890 (vis-a-vis similar products from iRobot and competitors) to include but not limited to mapping, docking, scheduling, performance with pet hair performance, as well as performance on different floorings, will be critically analyzed. 

Mapping

After successfully completing a cleaning job, you’d get feedback of everywhere it has cleaned including areas of high dirt concentration. This is the most basic interpretation of the mapping feature of an automatic floor cleaning bot. Or have it another way: mapping is a robovac’s ability to plan the best way to clean an area with greater efficiency and less obstruction. 

By scanning the room before it starts (and doing this every single time it’s deployed in a space), a robotic cleaner with the mapping capability can handle the layout of a room that recently changed. Additionally, rooms can be labeled; hence, it’s possible to select rooms for cleaning and restrict the activities of the device to certain areas.

Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the Roomba 960, 980, i7+, and s9+ have the room mapping capability. The 890, on the other hand, lacks this capability.

Docking

Docking is a smart vacuum’s ability to return to its base for charging purposes–or, in the case of certain Roombas i7+ and s9+, to auto-empty their dirt container. 

While most high-end, intermediate, including a few entry-level robot vacuum support auto recharging, it’s important to note that a certain Roomba 890 while it also supports auto recharging, however, have an increased tendency of having self-docking issues.

As a result, some possible reasons have been identified to be responsible for a vacuum’s inability to self-dock or self-dock properly. This include:

  • The battery juice remaining on the device
  • The navigation genius of the robovac–that is, how quickly it can help itself to the charging station
  • The obstacle(s) within and around the cleaning bot and its base
  • The proximity of the robot vacuum and its base as at the time it’s supposed to dock

As with products in the 800 Series of which the 890 features notably, it has to be within 10 feet of the charging station when the battery goes low, or it won’t make it back.

Multiple/full room cleaning 

Because the Roomba 890 (as with all 600, 700, and 800 Roomba series) is random in its motion, there could be misses or repeated cleaning. Repeated cleaning is ideal if your cleaning need entails a couple of rooms with a wide-open floor plan. But maybe not if you’ve got a 700 sq ft to clean in 6 rooms plus a hallway and lots of furniture. 

If you want to know if the Roomba 890 can navigate multiple rooms. Well, yes, it should. Does it give full coverage in all those rooms? 

A smart home vacuum that cannot clean multiple rooms or give full coverage will waste your time seeing your best bet would be to use the virtual barrier to clean one room at a time. Even so, the incomplete cleaning job would mean following-up with your stick or upright vacuum

Needless to mention that a robotic cleaner with advanced navigation remains the perfect answer to getting full floor coverage in several rooms.

Some robotic cleaners (Roomba models) with advanced navigation include the Roomba 960, 980, i7, and s9. Others (non-Roombas) include Roborock s5, s6, and the Naetos (d3 to d7).

Pet hair

With two extractors, the Roomba 890 is timidly sucking up animal hairs. Plus when you consider the narrowness of the opening from the vacuum and dustpan–it becomes more apparent that the 890, although advertised as one of the best robot vacuums for pet hair, isn’t reliably so.

Meaning (assuming you don’t know already) that upon arriving home, you’ll be wasting time and energy picking up strands of hair from wherever they’re gathered.

Granted the 890 pick-up performance is debatable. Fortunately, though, there are better options suitable for different flooring, room size, including particular cleaning needs.

Eventually and regardless of the product you choose, consider the roller design (brushless), filtration system (HEPA), bin capacity, ease of use & maintenance (washable bin/automatic dirt disposal).

Programming

If you own pets and don’t like pets hair accumulating or maybe you just want a perpetually clean floor–programming aka scheduling is the way to go. 

It turns out, with the scheduling feature of the 890, available via the iRobot Home App (also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant), you can set different cleaning times, several times a day/week, from anywhere, provided you’ve got Wi-Fi connectivity at the scheduled time. But unlike the Roomba i7 or the s9, there’s no option for scheduling cleaning for different parts of the house unless you physically pick up the unit and place it in the area you want or use the perimeter tower to block off an area.

Maintenance

With a brushless rubber roller, the 890 should tangle hair less hence should be easier to empty + keep clean. Its removable, cleanable filter (1 extra), brushes and wheels, can also be taken apart and replaced within minutes.

Overall maintenance on the 890 is minimal and less time-consuming/vitality-devouring.

On Sale −10%
iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power* for improved pick-up performance
  • Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and pet hair. The Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head adapts its height to keep the Multi-Surface Brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, directly engaging with both hard floors and carpets
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes instantly adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with floors
  • Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home
  • Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot HOME App; compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant

Run time

A robot vacuum that quits prematurely worst yet without a brain to resume cleaning where it left off will do a shoddy cleaning job. 

90 minutes was the advertised run time for the 890 but 75 minutes or thereabout depending on the surface being cleaned is typical. And assuming 100% of the time it’s able to return to its charging station, I honestly think a runtime that long is solid enough to provide meaningful cleaning on any flooring. If for some reason you think you needed more cleaning time, consider the Roborock s6 or Naeto d7 at run time of more than two hours. 

Error codes & Troubleshooting

Charging error 1 and extractor error 2 are two errors common with the 890. Here’s what they mean and how to fix them.

Charging error one (1) 

Getting the error one (1) on the 890 means the vacuum is unable to detect the battery; therefore charging can’t take place. iRobot has provided a couple of troubleshooting tips the summary of which entails checking to ascertain the originality of the cell; ensuring the device’s battery is installed correctly; ensuring there is no obstruction in the battery contact; also, ensuring proper connection between the battery and the unit.

Here’s a video on how to execute the mentioned troubleshooting tips.

Extractor error two (2)

Getting the error two (2) code on the 890 (applicable to the 800 series as well as most Roombas) means its rollers aka extractors can’t turn therefore vacuuming is suspended. iRobot provided a couple troubleshooting tips the summary of which include checking the rollers and declaring it free from any obstruction such as human hair, pet fur, or rug/carpet thread.

Here’s a video on how to implement the mentioned troubleshooting tip. 

Price

The price of the Roomba 890 as of the time of this writing hovers around the $400 price point. For that price and for what the 890 offers, still from the iRobot family, maybe consider a combo of Roomba 690614 (especially if you’ve got a multi-level floor) or just get the e5, 761, 770; you could as well add a couple of hundred dollars on top for the Roomba 960. Alternatively and assuming products from unpopular brands don’t bother you, then maybe a combo of Shark ion 75 and Bobsweep Hair Plus.

Roomba 890 frequently asked questions

Having analyzed some critical aspects of the Roomba 890 robotic vacuum, if you’ve got questions or anything else Roomba-890 related. This is where you’d find relevant and useful answers.

Is the Roomba 890 worth It?

I’d rate 890 in terms of the build quality a 7/10. In terms of functionality, I’d rate it 5/10. Do keep in mind however that whether or not the 890 will serve you and meet your expectations would depend on what’s vital for you and if you think it checked that box based on some of its features as detailed above. 

What is the difference between Roomba 890 and Roomba 891?

The Roomba 890 in appearance has a champagne gold accent ring as against 891’s copper. There’s no difference in functionality although the 890 come with accessories to include one extra filter and a dual-mode virtual wall.

What is the difference between Roomba 890 and 895?

Roomba 890’s weight is 8.40lbs while the 895 weighs 8.38lbs. Also, while the movement of the 890 can be manually controlled, this option isn’t available in 895.

Is Roomba 890 discontinued?

That’s what it looks like because, while its product page is still very much active, it mentioned the 890 is only available from selected resellers. More so, the entire 800 series have been removed under the Product section on iRobot’s website

And although I reached out to iRobot support on Twitter wanting to know if the 980 and i7+ have been discontinued. iRobot’s response reassures of their commitment to their products regardless:

Does Roomba 890 work on hard floors?

Wood, tile, laminate, linoleum–the 890 does a great job of cleaning on any of these hard floorings.

Does Roomba 890 work on carpets?

It depends on the carpet. If it’s loose area rugs, Roomba tends to stumble and could get stuck if it encounters fringes (length and thickness of the fringe matters too). But no problem at all with standard fitted carpets. That mentioned the Roomba 890 is designed to clean low pile carpets, under ⅝”.

Where to get Roomba 890 replacement parts?

You can get replacement parts on iRobot’s store or from Amazon

Likes
  • Pet-friendly
  • Superb transitioning 
  • Handles pet hairs fairly well
  • Provides useful feedback of its activities via the app
  • Easy to maintain and easy to use
  • Navigate obstacles admirably
  • Cleans hard floors and carpets wonderfully
  • Parts (filters, brushes, and rollers) are easy to replace and cheap to purchase
Dislikes
  • Doesn’t automatically resume cleaning
  • Dumb cleaning pattern
  • May not work (or work as well) on black or dark surfaces
  • May have trouble finding the charging station

Recommendations

  • Spend the first few days running it while you are home. 
  • Make sure there’s no cables or any kind of strings (pet toys, etc.) or sheets of paper on the floor because the robot will get tangled and might cause some damage to the machine.

Conclusion

While the reliability of the Roomba, especially in terms of picking pet hair is debatable, you can’t beat its loyalty in the hard floor and carpet cleaning department.

On Sale −10%
iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power* for improved pick-up performance
  • Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and pet hair. The Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head adapts its height to keep the Multi-Surface Brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, directly engaging with both hard floors and carpets
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes instantly adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with floors
  • Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home
  • Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot HOME App; compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant

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