Shark AI Review
Pros: Bagless disposal system, multiroom coverage
Cons: Poor carpet cleaning, poor at cleaning large materials, poor pet hair performance
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|Pros||Bagless disposal system, multiroom coverage||Inexpensive, great overall performance, navigates furniture, great at docking, excellent barrier protection||Great poo-avoidance, excellent at vacuuming pet hair, dirt disposal system||Great job returning to its dock, excellent pet hair pickup||Inexpensive, simplistic, great at thorough spot cleaning, good at edging|
|Cons||Poor carpet cleaning, poor at cleaning large materials, poor pet hair performance||Average edging, no dust collection system||Average cleaning performance, lacks top-tier intelligent features||No room mapping, no barrier protection, no disposal system||No room mapping, poor at docking, bad multiroom coverage, no barrier protection, no disposal system|
|Bottom Line||This robot missed the mark on most of our tests and consistently earned below-average scores||An excellent performer in all of our test metrics and challenges, and has our team impressed, especially considering its low cost against its competitors||If you want a decent robot with poo-avoidance then this is a great option||We appreciate this model for its stellar pet hair performance and price, but not much else||With newer technology like room mapping in apps, we'd suggest looking to another more capable product|
|Rating Categories||Shark AI||Roborock S4 Max||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Home Coverage (20%)|
|Carpet Cleaning (15%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (15%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Shark AI||Roborock S4 Max||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Bin Capacity||.31 L||.46 L||.4 L||.64 L||.6 L|
|Weight||7.0 lbs||7.3 lbs||7.6 lbs||6.6 lbs||5.8 lbs|
|Battery||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion|
|Warranty||1 year limited||1 year limited||3 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Multi-Room Navigation (Cleaning)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Measured Brush Width||5.75||6.5||6.75||6.5||5.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Consistently falling short in many of our tests, the Shark AI missed the mark significantly. We expected a little more from Shark — which typically makes incredible vacuums.
We tested the performance of the Shark AI in six unique sets of tests and put it up against some of the most highly rated robot vacuums on the market. See how it stacks up across each of those tests below.
The Shark AI did a decent job in our navigation tests. It covered everything, including areas between chair legs, only occasionally missing some spots between furniture legs.
It also did a good job at obstacle avoidance, without ramming objects or abusing furniture; however, it took inefficient and erratic paths to complete jobs and took longer to clean certain areas than others.
The AI was not intelligent enough (ironic considering its moniker) to avoid simulated pet poop in our poo-avoidance tests. It also could not recognize the obstacle after nudging or touching it, instead opting to make a great effort to run over the simulated poop and clean it. It's a bad visual, and you can imagine what a real mess this would cause with actual pet waste.
In our home coverage test, comprising 20% of each robot's overall score, the Shark AI did better than the majority of products we tested.
The app allows you to set multiple rooms, as well as virtual barriers and no-go-zones, define spot cleaning areas, and does a good job of working through single rooms. However, it could have done a tighter job around edges, and we found that it broke our virtual barriers several times. Despite some shortcomings, the Shark AI does a good job of overall home coverage.
The Shark AI earned a good performance in our carpet cleaning tests, weighted at 15% of the overall score. However, it did behave a little erratic in some of our tests.
The Shark AI is nearly perfect in its ability to lift rice from the carpet. It also did an exceptional job in our oatmeal sub-metric, picking up all grains and only leaving some small bits in one small area.
Unfortunately, when it came to cereal, it did a terrible job, or one might say it didn't do a job at all. It left nearly all the cereal behind, practically undisturbed. It did a slightly better job lifting flour, but not great, as this seems to be a difficult task for many robot vacuums.
Hard Surface Cleaning
The Shark AI could not carry its impressive carpet cleaning performance over to our hard surface cleaning metric.
Rice was a very difficult material for the Shark on hard surfaces; it did more flinging and displacing than cleaning.
It did well on the course compared to other robots we tested when it came to oatmeal pickup. Cereal also proved to be a difficult task for the Shark AI, as it is for many robot vacuums, but it practically could not clean any cereal at all.
Lastly, it did a sub-standard job cleaning flour, failing to pick it up, but to its credit, it did not distribute the mess as badly as many other products we tested.
The Shark AI did a terrible job of collecting pet hair from carpets, leaving more than 95% of hair behind. This was one of the worst pet hair pickups we've experienced.
The Shark AI is not for anyone hoping to get some automated pet hair maintenance done in between more thorough house cleanings — so if you have furry friends, look elsewhere.
Convenience is arguably the biggest reason to get a robot vacuum, which is why we included it among our many tests. The Shark AI does not have a remote, joystick, or repeat function and does not allow you to specify a spot to clean — all hurting its performance in this metric.
Across our convenience tests metrics and evaluations, our test team found the Shark AI did a great job of allowing the user to make adjustments and understand a historical timeline of operation using an app. Unfortunately, all that great convenience was also hampered a bit by the map-saving limitation of a single map. Like most of the convenient models we tested, the AI also does have a dust collection system.
Should You Buy the Shark AI?
The Shark AI isn't a complete disappointment, but it only offers below-average performance. With a fairly expensive price tag, we simply can't recommend it over many other cheaper and more capable models.
What Other Robot Vacuums Should You Consider?
We recommend that future robot vacuum owners, or those looking to replace their current robot vacuum, should seriously consider the Roborock S4 Max. It is one of the best all-around products on the market that we tested, and it is about half the price of the Shark AI. For the same price as the Shark, pet owners should take a serious look at one of the best models for pet hair and poo-avoidance, the iRobot Roomba j7+.
— Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok
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