Alfawise ZK8077: a budget Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Virtual Blocker

Alfawise Robot vacuum zk8077 above front

The main technology of Robot Vacuum cleaners has been the same for a number of years. Nearly all robot vacuums are round devices on wheels with brushes and a vacuum and lots of sensors to prevent the device from bumping and falling. The newer devices also use AI and advances sensors to map your rooms to determine the optimal cleaning route. Drawback of this is that the device needs an internet connection and your data is stored on a server of the manufacturer. The Alfawise ZK8077 is a robot vacuum cleaner that is not connected to an app or the internet. Does it stand a chance without the help of AI from outside? And how does it compare to the previously tested Xiaomi Robot Vacuum.

Specifications

Specs as stated on Gearbest:

  • Brand: Alfawise // Model: ZK8077 // Cleaner Types: Portable Vacuum
  • Product weight: 3.1000 kg 
  • Product size (L x W x H): 35.00 x 35.00 x 9.50 cm / 13.78 x 13.78 x 3.74 inches 
  • Battery: 2000 mAh / 90 minutes // Charging time: 270 – 300 minutes.
  • Cleaning modes: Auto cleaning / Edge cleaning / Spot cleaning / Scheduled cleaning. 

Expectations

Alfawise delivers products with a good price to quality ratio. I know that they are not the most premium products, but they are certainly not rubbish and come at a reasonable price. That’s why expect the Alfawise ZK8077 to be at least ‘ok’, so a robot vacuum that vacuums the floors well, both on the rug as on harder flooring like laminate and wood. I hope it is intelligent enough so it does not get stuck nor destroys any of my furniture.

Packaging

The package is pretty big and weighs around 4.5 kg. The dimensions are 41.00 x 49.00 x 15.00 cm (L x W x H).

Alfawise Robot vacuum zk8077 box

What’s in the box

The package contains the following items:

  • Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
  • Charging Station
  • Remote Control
  • Blocker
  • Adapter
  • Extra Filter
  • User Manual in English, Spanish, French, German. 
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Extra Side Brushes

Features

Features as stated on Gearbest:

  • Robotic vacuum cleaner: The device can move autonomously while collecting dust and can come back to the docking station to recharge.
  • Set schedule: You can set the timer to arrange the device to start working.
  • Two ways to operate: You can control the sweeper via a remote control or the panel on the top.
  • Virtual blocker: It can be used to specify the area that should be cleaned.
  • Voice reminder: When suffering full dustbin, glitches, wheel twining, or under charging, the cleaner will make a sound to remind you.

Build Quality & Design

The robot vacuum is a big grey plastic device that feels pretty sturdy. The big bumper covers the front half of the device. The size of the wheels enable the device to switch from hard floors to carpets. Every part of the device feels durable, except for the top cover which covers the dust collection unit. This ‘push to open’ cover feels a bit cheap and opens way too quickly. So when the device scratches with its top against the bottom of a chair, the cover becomes a spoiler. As you probably expected, the operating speed of the robot vacuum does not require extra down-force by the spoiler, so this is just annoying.

Alfawise Robot vacuum zk8077 front

The remote control has the quality that you can expect from a remote control and the virtual wall feels a bit cheap and is not really a treat for the eye.

Power consumption

As stated in the specs, the Alfawise comes with a 2000 mAh battery that will run for 90 minutes before it requires a recharge. This recharge will take quite a while, up to 300 minutes. Luckily it will self detects low power and go to the charging base and even better: it will resume when it is recharged.  

Usability

The result of the first test run of the Alfawise ZK8077 was a bit confronting to me. I had vacuumed my house a couple of days earlier and expected that it would be pretty clean. But the robot vacuum returned to its dock with more dust and hairs than I hoped to find there at that point.

The robot vacuum

The robot vacuum is well equipped with sensors to prevent it from bumping into objects and falling from the stairs. If the vacuum happens to bump into objects, the bumper will detect it and the vacuum will try to steer around it. Overall, the Alfawise ZK8077 does this pretty well. However, in some cases, the robot vacuum does not detect all obstacles. Things like cables on the floor can get stuck in the wheels which will block the device from continuing.

There are multiple ways the Alfawise provides feedback, using the display on the device and using audio feedback. When it starts cleaning it will show and tell you, also when it almost runs out of juice or when the bin is full. It will automatically return to its dock when it is finished cleaning. When it cannot find its dock it will return to its starting position.

Remote control and touch display

On top of the vacuum an LCD is located which gives an indication of the status of the device (for example the battery status or an error code). Around the display some buttons are located (see the picture below), which you can use to start and stop the auto-clean mode, set the timer, switch from powerful to low noise mode and to send the vacuum to its docking station.

It is not very practical to press buttons on the robot vacuum while it is cleaning. So I was delighted that also a remote control is included. It includes more functions than the buttons on top of the vacuum unit. Starting with the arrows to control the vacuum in all directions. You can also switch to Edge cleaning mode and Spot cleaning. The maximum distance between remote and vacuum is about five meters.

Alfawise ZK8077 remote control and display
Stock images of the vacuum display and remote control  of the ZK8077. N.B. There is no actual MOP button on the remote nor does the vacuum have mopping functionality. 

Virtual wall

The previously tested Xiaomi robot vacuum includes magnetic strips that act as a virtual wall to prevent the robot vacuum to go to places you don’t want it to go. Advantage of these stripes is that you can hide them under the carpet. The Alfawise ZK8077 includes a black box that acts as a virtual wall. It is powered by 2 AA batteries and you can toggle a switch  to set the direction of the virtual wall (from/side/both). The length of the virtual wall is three meters and it works pretty well. I installed the virtual wall in front of a couple of cables that are on the floor and could not be stowed away. The Alfawise virtual wall is not as elegant as the Xiaomi virtual wall, and if someone of something bumps into it, the whole virtual wall will accidentally move. Alfawise mentions that you can use it to prevent the ZK8077 from falling from the stairs, but I found the sensors on the vacuum are good enough to detect the stairwell without the virtual wall.

Operation modes

There are four modes of operation you can use to let the ZK8077 clean your house:

  • Auto cleaning: press the start button on the vacuum or the remote to let the vacuum cleaner determine its own path and clean until there is no more room to clean.
  • Edge cleaning: after you pressed the edge cleaning button, the robot vacuum will search for the nearest edge and starts to clean the edges of the room(s).
  • Spot cleaning: if the Spot cleaning button is pressed the robot vacuum will start extensive cleaning of the spot it is currently locating. It does this in a swirling motion. 
  • Timer: it can start auto cleaning based on the weekdays and times on these weekdays you setup. 

Performance

Just as most of the robot vacuums the Alfawise ZK8077 is noisy. It has a Low Noise mode but that will the vacuum less powerful. Because of its round shape it will not get all the dust that lies in the corners.
I’ve tested the vacuum on both on hard floors and carpets and the results are good. I did not test high pile carpet, but I don’t expect it will work as good with this type of flooring. So the overall performance is what you can expect from a robot vacuum, so it will definitely save you a lot of time.  But now and then you still need to do the corners (and the stairs) manually.

Cleaning the device

It is easy to remove the 0,7 liter dustbin from the robot vacuum. Emptying the dustbin is done rather quickly by opening the bin and throwing the contents into your garbage bin. On the dustbin a small cleaning brush is located. The brush can be used to clean the dustbin, but I’d rather clean it with a damp cloth. You can also remove the 3D filter and the HEPA filter from inside the dustbin. You can clean the filters with compressed air or with some water (be sure to let them dry before placing them back).  To keep the robot vacuum running smoothly, you should now and then clean the roller brush on the bottom of the robot vacuum to discard it from tangled hair and dust.

Compared to the other tested Robot Vacuums. 

Next to the Alfawise ZK8077 we have the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum and the iLife Robot Vacuum available for comparison. As indicated, we already published a review on the Xiaomi. The iLife A4 is in the same price range as the Alfawise, but the Xiaomi is about the double the price.

The Xiaomi is the most premium Robot Vacuum and has the highest intelligence (for example the virtual map it creates and the use of AI). It is followed by the Alfawise ZK8077 with more cleaning option than the iLife A4. Regarding the size and build quality the Xiaomi and Alfawise are equal. The sensor on top of the Xiaomi is bigger than the one on the Alfawise and scratches therefore a bit quicker when is scratches the bottom of furniture. On the field of feedback: all the three robot vacuums provide voice feedback but the Alfawise is the only one with an LCD on the vacuum itself. Performance-wise the Xiaomi and Alfawise are nearly identical, the iLife performs less but that is probably due to its size, age and older technology. 

pro / cons

pros

  • Good performance.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Virtual wall included.
  • Timer function.

cons

  • Dust bin cover opens up accidentally.
  • It is stubborn: it can bump quite hard into objects it did not detect and it keeps spinning the wheels when it is stuck. 
  • No batteries included for the remote and virtual wall.
  • No integration with a smartphone app. 

Price quality

It is a good robot vacuum for its price. Don’t expect top notch functionalities but the features are sufficient to have a good cleaning experience. Especially when you schedule it for when you are away from home.

Verdict

If you want to buy a robot vacuum but don’t want to pay Roomba prices, then the Alfawise ZK8077 is a good option. It is good at performing its basic functionality and the scheduling functionality is good enough to minimize the effort to keep your house clean. You just have to empty the vacuum  dustbin and clean the brushes now and then. It does not come with an app nor connects to the internet, but that means it will not upload a virtual map of your house to the cloud. With the Alfawise ZK8077 you will get what you pay for: a decent robot vacuum with now and then a top cover that turns into a spoiler.

where to buy?

Review
  • Design
  • Quality
  • Usability
  • Price
3.9