At a glanceExpert’s Rating
ProsAccurate mappingMop functionCleans most types of mess wellConsApp is confusing and muddledUser experience not especially polishedNeeds to be supervised while cleaningOur Verdict
The Proscenic X1 is an attractive and versatile robot vacuum cleaner offered at a reasonable price. But flaws including a poor app, a disjointed user experience and somewhat shonky navigation make it hard to wholeheartedly recommend.
The advent of the smart home has been a long one and few gadgets have had quite as long an on-ramp into the home as the robot vacuum. Since the first Roomba device over 20 years ago, they haven’t become quite as ubiquitous as originally expected.
That isn’t to say that the market isn’t hot – in fact, quite the opposite, with plenty of players trying to enter the game. Among these is Proscenic and the X1 is its new top-of-the-line model. It comes with an auto-empty dock, a mopping function and a host of other features. But is it as good on carpet as it is on paper?
Read on for our full review.
Design and build
Pretty stylish auto-empty dockComes with remote controlTouch controls on robot
One of the issues with self emptying robot vacuums are the large charging bases, which can be ugly and hard to find a space for.
The base itself is the first win for the Proscenic X1. Though it isn’t small by any stretch, it manages to house the necessary components into a package that is discreet and somewhat stylish. This is a base that can fit into a number of different home set ups with relative ease, and without attracting too much attention.
Sean Cameron / Foundry
On the base can be found a status light and a compartment housing the bag, into which the X1 is emptied at the finish of each cleaning cycle.
As for the X1 itself, it is the typical robot hoover, which is to say it looks like a giant and slightly malevolent hockey puck. It has a robust build, with shock absorbing plates placed around its body, and a series of touch controls on its surface.
This is a vacuum that will need to rescued now and then. This means it’s best activated when you’re in, which is a bit of a limitation
There’s also a remote control included, which can activate the device and which allows for direct control of the cleaning process.
There are options out there that are a little more stylish or compact, but for its price point the Proscenic X1 offers a good balance of style and practicality.
Convoluted set upEffective mopClunky app
Of course, it doesn’t matter how good a robot vacuum looks if it doesn’t make the process of cleaning easier. So, how does the X1 measure up?
On first activation, the setup process was a little convoluted. The mobile app refused to maintain a connection to the device at several points, including during a mandatory update.
Following this, the X1 went off to map for the first time and showed off a key advantage it has over some of the competition: its LiDAR sensor. The same sensor sported on 3D scanners, newer iPhones and more, it allows for the creation of a more complex 3D map of its surroundings, meaning – theoretically at least – better navigation overall.
It was put through its paces by a hyperactive toddler running literal circles around it during this process, and it still performed well.
Sean Cameron / Foundry
For cleaning there are two sweeping arms which pull in debris to be sucked up underneath, and it proved to be more than enough to remove dust and dirt from laminate flooring in our testing. Carpets also proved to be little issue thanks to the inbuilt ‘boost’ mode which increases power on this kind of surface.
An added bonus can be found in the ability of the X1 to mop. It was able to tackle a variety of stains and surfaces with relative ease, though again required some supervision to do so effectively.
For its price point, the Proscenic X1 offers a good balance of style and practicality
As for general navigation, the X1 has some issues with the edges of rugs, drops and any step more than 1.5cm high, but then these are problems common to many robot vacuums. As is usually the case, for best results it will need an obstacle-free area to work with.
It will also mean that, depending on your home, this is a vacuum that will need to rescued now and then. This means it’s best activated when you’re in, which is a bit of a limitation.
The app for the Proscenic is unusual. Though it’s attractively presented, it’s a little slow and isn’t quite as reliable as it ought to be, showing a little bugginess at times. It can store up to five household maps, and it is possible to set up cleaning for specific rooms within the app.
There are other options too, but delving deep reveals another issue: bad translation and localisation. While we could guess that ‘Vibrationsmodus’ is its vibrating mopping mode, it would be nice not to have to look that up online.
Although the app is certainly a net plus, its somewhat clunky execution will lead to you using the remote in many situations.
The battery life worked out to around 30 minutes of cleaning time in any particular instance before a charge was required.
All in all, while the smart elements of the Proscenic X1 aren’t always up to snuff, it works well as an automatic vacuum cleaner.
Price and availability
For its price point, the X1 has a lot to offer. It’s one of the more affordable robot vacuums to come with an auto empty station. These cleaners can cost well over £1,000.
That being said, if you can afford to spend a bit more, Ecovacs’ T10+ has a similar feature set (read our review to find out more) but beats the X1 in terms of quality in every department. It’s currently discounted on Amazon to £599.
The Proscenic X1 is not available in the US. In the UK, there are two buying options. It’s available from Amazon and direct from Proscenic. At the time of writing, Amazon has the better price by a comfortable margin.
There are a lot of variables that go into a successful robot vacuum. On some of the most crucial ones – cleaning ability and design – the Proscenic X1 scores clear wins. It was able to handle the general detritus left by a dog and a three-year-old with aplomb, and blends into the background while not in use.
That it offers a LiDAR sensor and mopping capabilities at its price point only serves to sweeten the deal. However, things begin to fall down when it comes to the app, a crucial tool to interact with the X1. The app proved to be a little confusing and often buggy, making the experience of using the device more frustrating than it needed to be.
If you are in the market for a feature-filed mid tier smart vacuum, the Proscenic X1 could be a good choice – but it’s far from a flawless experience.
For more options and to see our most recommended robot vacuums, have a look at our round-up of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested.