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Shark ION Robot 750 Review

Performing like a budget vacuum but priced like a mid-tier one, we weren't enamored with the Shark
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Price:   $380 List | $300 at Amazon
Pros:  Solid at navigating, respectable set of smart features
Cons:  Lackluster cleaning performance, struggles with pet hair
Manufacturer:   Shark
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 13, 2018
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Navigation - 30% 6
  • Home Coverage - 20% 4
  • Carpet Cleaning - 15% 5
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 15% 5
  • Pet Hair - 10% 2
  • Smart Connect - 10% 6

The Skinny

While the upright and stick vacuums by Shark both have won awards in their respective reviews, the Shark ION Robot 750 fell a little flat and finished towards the back of the back. It does an acceptable job of navigating around furniture and has a moderate set of smart features, but fared quite poorly in our cleaning tests and will omit cleaning large chunks of your floor unless it is run for an inordinately long amount of time. On top of that, it is priced quite high relative to its performance, almost being outmatched by models that cost over $120 less.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This model tied with the Roomba 690 and almost performed identically, with the Shark doing slightly better on hard floors and slightly worse on carpets in terms of cleaning competency, with these robots usually retailing for almost the exact same price. The Shark ION did finish ahead of the Ecovacs Deebot N79S, though only by a few points. The Shark did a tiny bit better at cleaning than the Ecovacs, but usually retails for over $125 more, making the Ecovacs one of our favorites if you are shopping for a robot vacuum on the tightest of budgets.

The Shark Ion Robot 750.
The Shark Ion Robot 750.

Performance Comparison


To determine the scores for these products, we purchased all of the best and most promising robot vacuums available and compared their performance side-by-side. We split our testing methodology into six weighted rating metrics, with the Shark's results shown below.

The Shark making quick work under our "comfy chair".
The Shark making quick work under our "comfy chair".

Navigation


The most important of our sets of evaluations, Navigation is responsible for 30% of the total score for each product. We created an entire room filled with simulated furniture, then unleashed each robot to see how well it steered its way around and if it ever got stuck to the point of needing us to intervene. We also graded each robot on how able it is at locating its dock when instructed and if there were any issues when it traversed flooring that had regions of high contrast or when it drove under low furniture. The Shark ION did alright, earning a 6 out of 10 for its solid showing when it comes to navigation.

The Shark actually did quite a good job of driving around the furnished room, failing to get stuck in any of our three separate trials. However, it would usually be quite a long time for it to extricate itself from the more confined areas of the room, like the dining room table and chairs, as it seemingly relies on what appears to be a trial and error based navigation system, rather than anything with purpose.

The Shark's cleaning method is to randomly roam around the room.
The Shark's cleaning method is to randomly roam around the room.

This robot is mediocre at finding its dock, doing quite well when it is in the same room, but struggled a bit when it was in a different room or very far from the dock. If that was the case, the Shark would appear to somewhat aimlessly bounce around until the dock was in sight, then beeline right for it.

It can be a bit of a struggle for the Shark to find its way back home.
It can be a bit of a struggle for the Shark to find its way back home.

This robot easily drove under low furniture — as long as it actually fit and didn't have any issues driving onto a black area rug from light floors.

The Ion Robot 750 doesn't have any sensors on top giving it a slimmer profile to fit under shorter furniture.
The Ion Robot 750 doesn't have any sensors on top giving it a slimmer profile to fit under shorter furniture.

This stymied some other robots, which falsely interpreted this as a drop off as their edge detection sensor would register a false positive.

The Shark may or may not make it to all your rooms.
The Shark may or may not make it to all your rooms.

Home Coverage


While the Shark ION actually did quite well in the previous metric, its performance fell when it came to our Home Coverage metric, which is responsible for 20% of the total score for each vacuum. This is where we graded each robot on how much of your home it successfully cleaned, not just if it avoided becoming stuck. We also scored the spot clean function of each robot, their abilities when it came to multi-room cleaning, and the effectiveness and convenience of the no-go barrier systems, if there is one. The Shark earned a 4 out of 10 for its below average showing.

The ION Robot 750 relies on a semi-random method of cleaning your room, meaning it will usually miss large areas of your floor. Occasionally, it will cover the entire room, but this usually isn't the case unless you run it for a long time.

This also means that it really isn't meant for cleaning multiple rooms, as its hit-or-miss if it will actually bounce its way out of one room and into another. Consequently, this robot doesn't have the ability to automatically recharge and resume cleaning if the battery level drops.

The Shark's spot clean function is about average, covering a circular area about 4' in diameter and completes two passes over most of that areas, spiraling out and back in.

The Ion Robot 750 utilizes a spiral spot clean method.
The Ion Robot 750 utilizes a spiral spot clean method.

To demarcate areas where you don't want the robot to clean, you can lay down a magnetic strip on the ground.

Use the magnetic strips to keep the robot out of certain areas.
Use the magnetic strips to keep the robot out of certain areas.

This isn't quite as easy or convenient as some of the virtual methods, but it does work and is a handy way to keep your robot from continually getting tangled up in your shoes or pushing your pet's food bowls around.

The Shark is about average at keeping your carpets clean.
The Shark is about average at keeping your carpets clean.

Carpet Cleaning


Next, we judged the abilities of the Shark when it came to cleaning soft floors, which constitutes 15% of the overall score. It did decently well, earning a 5 out of 10 for its results. This was based on how closely it cleaned along edges and into corners, determined by our robot test pen, and its effectiveness at cleaning a variety of different messes from both fluffier, medium-pile carpet and flatter, low-pile carpet.

The Shark got off to a bit of a slow start when it came to corners and edges, particularly struggling in the corners. We measured material up to 6.5" from the corner that the Shark failed to pick up. It did a little better along the walls of the pen, but not by too much, leaving a strip of leftover mess that measured about 4" across.

The Shark  like other circular robots  relies heavily on its side brush to get debris from the edges.
The Shark, like other circular robots, relies heavily on its side brush to get debris from the edges.

The Shark ION continued to struggle when tasked with cleaning up flour for our fine particulate test, leaving plenty of residual flour behind.

The Shark left behind a considerable amount of flour on the low-pile carpet.
The Shark left behind a considerable amount of flour on the low-pile carpet.

Performance dramatically improved when we moved on to rice, the first of our medium particle collection tests. The Shark collected essentially all of the rice from the fluffier carpet, only leaving two or three grains behind. It still did well on the low-pile carpet, but left a bit more behind, about ⅛ teaspoon of rice. It did a bit worse in our second medium particle test, leaving behind a few more oats than the top products did on both types of soft floor.

The Shark left minimal rice behind on short carpet.
The Shark left minimal rice behind on short carpet.

For the final test with large particles, the performance of the Shark varied wildly. It always missed some of the mini-wheats, usually successfully collecting more on then the fluffier carpet, but it was always very inconsistent, depending on if the cereal bounced off the front or if the robot drove over it.

This robot continued its average performance on hard surfaces.
This robot continued its average performance on hard surfaces.

Hard Surface Cleaning


Similar to our set of soft floor cleaning challenges, our Hard Surface Cleaning metric is also responsible for 15% of the overall score and is based on essentially the identical set of evaluations. The Shark again delivered a middle-of-the-road performance, earning it another 5 out of 10.

This robot did about the same in the edges and corners tests, leaving roughly the same amount of residual mess.

The Shark left its same 4" wide dust ring on hard surfaces as it did for carpet.
The Shark left its same 4" wide dust ring on hard surfaces as it did for carpet.

It again was relatively mediocre at cleaning up the flour, leaving plenty behind and tracking it around as it went. Additionally, it also couldn't extract any of the flour that had fallen between the boards of the hardwood floor.

The Shark left a film of flour behind.
The Shark left a film of flour behind.

It left about ⅛ of a teaspoon of rice behind, putting it in the lower half of the group, but did quite well at getting almost all of the oats, missing only one or two.

The Shark did well at cleaning up oats but struggled with rice.
The Shark did well at cleaning up oats but struggled with rice.

Unfortunately, it did very poorly at sucking up mini-wheats, failing to collect any and only pushing them around instead.

It can be a bit of a struggle for the Shark to find its way back home.
It can be a bit of a struggle for the Shark to find its way back home.

Pet Hair


For our pet hair pickup tests, we spread out pet hair on both types of carpet and graded each robot on the percentage collected. These tests combine to constitute 10% of the final score, with the Shark ION 750 faring very poorly, meriting a 2 out of 10 for its disappointing results.

It only got 3% of the hair from the fluffy carpet, which was one of the worst performances of the entire group. It marginally improved on the low-pile carpet, but not by much, only removing about 6% of the hair we laid out.

The 750 Shark robot utilizes an app for added functionality.
The 750 Shark robot utilizes an app for added functionality.

Smart Connect


For the final 10% of the score, we compared and scored the functionality of the smartphone companion app and any other connected features each product may have. The Shark actually did quite well, receiving a 6 out of 10 for its smart features.

This product was quite constant at connecting to wifi throughout our tests, never really giving us any issues. It also can interact with full smart home systems, though it doesn't have quite the range of compatibility that other products, mainly working with Alexa and Google Home, not IFTTT or Apple Homekit.

You can set a 7-day schedule on the mobile app, though not on the robot itself.

Customize the cleaning schedule to fit your needs.
Customize the cleaning schedule to fit your needs.

You can't do too much else in the app, only really start it cleaning, find the robot, and view the cleaning history — the time only, no maps of where it went. There are also a few controls right on the robot, allowing you to send it home or start either of its cleaning cycles.

We like that you don't need the app to send the Shark back to its base or to spot clean.
We like that you don't need the app to send the Shark back to its base or to spot clean.

Value


This robot isn't a great value pick, performing almost the same as less expensive models.

Conclusion


All in all, we were a bit disappointed with the Shark ION Robot 750's performance after the stellar performance of some of Shark's other products in previous reviews. It's not a great value pick, with other models being a better bang for the buck or better on a tight budget and it performs far, far worse than the best robot vacuums we have seen.


David Wise and Austin Palmer