Ultenic looks to offer a premium cordless vacuum experience at a budget price point with the Ultenic U10, offering 23000pa of suction power, a stylish design and lightweight build. The question is, can a sub-£200 vacuum cleaner really compete with premium vacs? You might be surprised.
Design and attachments
The Ultenic U10 is a bagless cordless cleaner with a transparent dustbin design, which is pretty standard for a cordless vac in 2021, although the red and grey colour scheme means it’s fairly stylish compared to some cheap vacuums. It certainly doesn’t look or feel like a budget cordless vac in the hand.
The Ultenic U10 is a traditional stick vacuum, and that means it won’t stand up by itself – it has to be laid down on the floor or propped against a wall when not in use. The upside is its weight; it’s much lighter than the 2kg Tineco S12 that I use regularly, coming in at 1.25kg, making it easy to manoeuvre and use over longer cleaning sessions.
There’s a Hepa filter and quick-release dustbin that can both be rinsed with water for easy cleaning – no need to get your hands mucky – but the bin is fairly small at just 0.6l, so be prepared to empty it fairly often. There’s no LED indicator to let you know that the bin is full either, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the line on the bin itself.
Like most cordless vacs, the U10 is modular in design, using a quick-release system to attach and detach the bundled accessories to the main unit to adapt to the environment you’re cleaning. Though the accessories aren’t quite as all-encompassing as what you’ll get from a premium vac, it’s a great entry-point designed for smaller spaces.
In the box, you’ll get a motorised floor brush with carpet and soft bristle roller brushes for carpet and hardwood respectively, an extension tube, a crevice brush to get into the hard-to-reach areas and a sofa brush, ideal for car seats and mattresses too.
Like most cordless systems, the Ultenic U10 comes with a minimalistic wall mount that the vacuum can slot into when not in use, and it’ll charge the battery at the same time. That’s great if you’ve got wall space handy, but what if you don’t? The U10 sports a removable battery design, allowing you to pop the battery out and charge it without needing the vac nearby.
It also means you could potentially extend the runtime of the vacuum with a second battery. The catch is that, unlike some other manufacturers, Ultenic doesn’t provide a second battery in the box.
Still, you can buy one for £35.99 in the UK, which is a really competitive price. (Dyson, for example, charges £65-£85 for replacement batteries, depending on the model of your vac.) However, those in the US are out of luck at the time of writing.
Performance and features
Where the Ultenic U10 shows its budget nature is in the smarts department; there’s no display, nor are there touch controls. In fact, all you’ll find is a large LED indicator to let you know if there’s dust present, a smaller LED to indicate which mode it’s in and third LED indicator on the removable battery to display current charge.
That’s a big change compared to even the slightly more expensive £199 Proscenic P11, with both a display and touch controls for easy presentation of stats like power mode and battery life at a glance. This meant I ran out of power mid-vacuum on one occasion, simply because I didn’t notice that the U10 was low on charge when I began – something that wouldn’t happen with a display.
There’s a trigger used to turn the U10 on, but you don’t need to keep the trigger squeezed to provide power. That may be detrimental to battery life, but it’s a much more comfortable option.
When first turned on, the U10 goes into ‘Eco’ mode, providing 10kpa of power, and if you want to switch to the 23kpa maximum power mode, you simply pull the trigger a second time. There’s also a dust detection system at play, automatically cranking up the power up when large amounts of dust are detected.
I found the Eco mode, with 10kpa of suction power, adequate for a quick once over, picking up smaller bits of dust and hair, but it wasn’t quite enough to dig out embedded hairs in pile carpet – even with the carpet-focused brush in use.
Although I had more success with the max power mode, utilising the full 23kpa of suction power the U10 has to offer, I still noticed the occasional hair or speck of dirt after a pass with the vac. It usually picked up the remnants on the second pass, but it’s not the most efficient experience – especially if you’re cleaning an entire home and not just a single room.
Speaking of larger areas, one of the drawbacks of the U10 is the size of the motorised brush head, measuring in at a rather narrow 230mm compared to other cordless vacs on the market. The size isn’t a necessarily dealbreaker, but it’ll take more time to clean a given space than wider alternatives, so it’s better suited to smaller homes and flats.
Battery life is another area where the U10 can’t quite compete with more premium cordless vacuums, offering just 15 minutes with full power, extending to around 30-40 minutes in eco mode.
That’s likely not enough time to cover larger homes and environments, but it’s not so much of a problem if you’ve only got a small area to clean, so it’ll largely depend on your home environment. Charging the battery takes around three hours too.
You do have the option of using a second battery and swapping it out once the first runs out of charge – a system used by more premium options to extend battery life – but as mentioned earlier, it’s not provided in the box.
The Ultenic U10 cordless vac comes in at a budget-friendly £189/$199 when bought directly from Ultenic, but it’s available at a discounted £149 at Amazon in the UK and $159 at Amazon in the US.
No matter if you’ve got hardwood or carpeted floors, the Ultenic U10 is a solid budget-focused choice. It looks good, the attachments are versatile, the suction is more than enough for most environments and the minimalistic charging dock is a nice touch.
However, the budget focus means it misses out on elements like a display and a secondary battery, all features you’ll get if you spend just a little more on your cordless vac. The brush head is on the small side too, making it better suited to smaller homes and flats than larger multi-storey townhouses.
To see how the Ultenic U10 compares to the competition, take a look at our selection of the best vacuum cleaners.
Ultenic U10: Specs
690 x 285 x 115mm
30-40 minute run time
3hr charge time
motorised floor brush with soft bristle and carpet brushes
Eco mode (10kpa) & Max mode (23kpa)
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