Monoprice sells a lot of tech, but I wasn’t expecting them to come out with a robot vacuum, let alone two. The Strata Home 2.0 SmartVac is their higher-end model, with a lot more features than their starter and some that you’d pay a lot more for in some brands.
The SmartVac doesn’t tie into a wider smart home solution, like the last robovac I reviewed, but it’s still pretty smart. It comes with a charger, mop kit, and a remote control. The remote control is a favorite feature in smartvacs, and this one works perfectly. The vacuum remembers where the charging base is, and comes back to it when the battery (estimated to run for 100 minutes) gets low.
Like every other robot vacuum, it has anti-collision and anti-drop solutions to prevent it from smacking into walls or falling down steps. It also has a sensor that adjusts suction automatically depending on what surface it was on. I found the error alerts a lot less jarring than some other brands. Finally, the dimensions are perfect. This is the first vacuum to not get stuck under my dressers at all.
The main thing that impressed me about the Strata Home 2.0 was how quiet it is. You almost can forget it’s running. That’s a huge plus. I also found it extremely pet friendly. Our dog wasn’t bothered by it running and it did and amazing job of picking up her loose hairs.
I didn’t test the wet-mop feature, since it was a loaner and I didn’t want to get it all nasty. The 0.5 liter dustbin though, is easily emptied and filled. I also didn’t test the scheduling feature, but not for lack of trying. That’s the one area where Monoprice fails here. Manually inputting the changes reminds me of the cliché jokes about programming a VCR. It comes with a very no-frills manual which I found less than helpful. In fact, I ended up giving up. It was easier to use the remote control or trigger manually when I got home than to schedule. This kind of kills a main selling point of a robot vacuum. For future models, I think Monoprice might want to invest in a Bluetooth module and a companion app.
Normally, I point out pricing on Amazon (with, I confess, affiliate links). However, there was a significant mark-up at Amazon. Your best value would be buying directly from Monoprice, where it will run you just under $200. That’s a good price for a robot vacuum, but not an amazing one. I can find similar products (like the Deebot N79) at that price point but with more features.
Overall, I would rate the Strata Home 2.0 SmartVac an okay buy. If you don’t know what else is out there, you might be satisfied with it. Especially if you either can parse the scheduling instructions or just plain don’t need them. I would suggest bookmarking the page and watching for sales. As for me, I will be watching to see what the 3.0 is like.
Note: Monoprice loaned me a Strata Home 2.0 SmartVac for testing. Now they get it back, complete with my detritus. Yay?