When it comes to smart vacuum manufacturers, Neato is one of the most generous brands around. While they continually come out with new products from year to year, they are quite good about updating older models in order to add in useful new features that they’ve introduced with newer vacuums. So, with that in mind, is the Neato D3 able to keep up with the Neato D5? You’re essentially deciding between saving some money and enjoying features like a slightly longer runtime, better filters, and boundary markers.
Unlike some other vacuum comparisons, there isn’t really a clear-cut answer when comparing the Neato D3 vs. D5. Both offer an incredible value, and your decision will likely depend on whether you value the extra features enough to warrant the extra cost. The D3 delivers an excellent vacuuming experience in and of itself, but the D5 does add on some useful upgrades.
To help give you a better sense of what each vacuum has to offer, let’s break down the similarities and differences between the two models. Read on below for a detailed review, or use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
Neato D3 vs. D5 — Things in Common
Remote Control – Both the D3 and D5 are WiFi enabled, so you’ll primarily control them through the Neato smartphone app. Using your iOS or Android device, you’ll use an app with an intuitive interface that gives you everything you need to control your vacuum — all in one convenient place. The WiFi capability also allows you to control your vacuum from wherever you can get online, which is perfect for starting up a clean on the way home from work so you can walk in the front door to freshly vacuumed floors.
WiFi Connectivity – The WiFi connectivity allows for app control and to easily issue commands from wherever you happen to be. Keep in mind, however, that the D3 and D5 only support 2.4GHz WiFi setups. If you‘re looking for a vacuum that supports 5GHz connections, make sure to check out the Neato D7.
Scheduled Cleaning – Allow the Neato and D3 and D5 to completely take over the hassle of vacuuming your floors, with programmable schedules for daily cleaning, every other day, or whatever pattern works best for your home. While smart vacuums do have the ability to vacuum on command, the primary benefit is that automatic cleaning that you don’t have to worry about outside of emptying bins.
D-shape design – The majority of smart vacuums have the same round design, but the Neato D3 and D5 are designed with a D-shape design that allows it to get deep into corners and close to walls. It’s a distinct advantage over round robots, and the design is one of the primary benefits of the Neato vacuums when compared to competitors like Roomba or ILIFE.
The maneuverability of each model is functionally identical, with a 3.9” height that makes it easy for the robot to move under the vast majority of furniture.
LaserSmart™ Technology – The Neato D3 and D5 both feature LaserSmart Technology, which is a system of laser sensors that allow the vacuum to easily navigate around your home.
The lasers will scan and map out your entire home, creating a floor plan for your Neato vacuum to follow. Unlike some lower-end vacuums, the D3 and D5 will vacuum intelligently — moving in efficient straight lines rather than a random pattern. The last sensors also make it easy for the vacuum to clean in the dark, so you can even set your robot to clean overnight and wake up to freshly swept floors.
Surface Type – Both smart vacuum models are suited to clean any surface. Using two large wheels, the D3 and D5 can easily transition across hardwood, carpet, or tile for the perfect clean regardless of flooring material. Those large wheels are also great for helping the vacuum to pass over small obstacles like cords, so you won’t have to deal with your robot getting stuck as much as you would with less hardy models.
Smart Control – The D3 and D5 are truly smart. As part of the Neato line, they support Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Watch, Neato Chatbot for Facebook, and IFTTT.
Out of all the smart vacuums on the market, the Neato line is probably one of the most comprehensive when it comes to smart home support. While a lot of models have some support for voice control like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, integration with smart home controller utilities like IFTTT is far less common. This makes your Neato vacuum a lot more flexible, and using a smart home system you can set useful triggers like prompting your lights to turn on and your vacuum to start cleaning when the sun goes down.
The possibilities are truly endless. Getting a phone call while your Neato is vacuuming away? Ask Alexa to pause the cleaning while you take the call and start it right back up afterwards once you’re finished with your conversation.
There are tons of smart vacuums with nifty feature, but very few have the same sort of smart home integration of the D3 and D5.
Recharge & Resume – Most smart vacuums are smart enough to recognize when they are getting low on battery life and navigate back to their base for charging on their own. However, significantly fewer devices have the ability to pick up cleaning automatically once they’ve topped off their batteries. Both the Neato D3 and D5 feature Recharge and Resume. When your vacuum starts to get low on charge, it will switch into suspended cleaning mode and turn off the brush and blower to save power. It will move back to its base and pick up right where it left off once it has more power.
Neato vacuums can run three times and recharge themselves up to two during a cleaning cycle.
Cleaning Summary with a Coverage Map – On the Neato app, you’ll be able to see a cleaning summary screen that displays all sorts of statistics as well as a Coverage Map and cleaning history. This is a useful little utility that is great for figuring out the areas that your vacuum has already covered and where it has yet to go. It’s also useful for figuring out where there are obstacles that prevent the robot from effectively doing its job.
Virtual No-go Areas via App & Multiple Floor Plans – Coming in Fall 2018 is support for Virtual No-Go areas as well as multiple floor plans. These features are already available on the D4, D6, and D7 models, but are coming soon to the D3 and D5.
Since Neato is pretty good about updating older models to include newer features, you’ll soon be able to set No-Go lines on every floor — keeping your robot from accessing prohibited areas and preventing it from getting stuck.
While the large wheels on the Neato D3 and D5 are great at moving over small obstacles, there are probably specific areas of your home that you’d like to keep blocked off. Whether it’s a piece of fragile furniture or a particularly messy area where your Neato could get stuck, the No-Go lines offer an easy solution to keep your Neato contained where it’s supposed to be.
Quick Charging – Also coming in the fall update is support for quick charging. If your Neato needs extra power to finish its scheduled cleaning, the new Quick Boost functionality will allow the vacuum to grab just enough power to finish the job in order to wrap up the run faster.
[alert-success]You might like our take on Neato D4 vs. D6.[/alert-success]
Neato D3 vs. D5 — Differences
Difference #1: Virtual Walls – one of the primary differences between the Neato D5 vs. D3 is the fact that the D5 ships with boundary markings included. The D3 also supports markers, but they are sold separately.
These walls do a great job of portioning off areas of your home that you’d like your Neato vacuum to bypass during its cleaning.
Considering that you can use the Virtual Walls with either device as of the fall 2018 update, this isn’t too much of an advantage. It does, however, make the price difference a little less significant when you add in the boundary marker purchase on top of the base D3.
Difference #2: Battery Performance – A more major difference between the two vacuums is the fact that the Neato D5 has twice the battery capacity of the D3, at 4200 mAh vs. 2100 mAh. The D5 will run up to 90 minutes at a time and takes 2-3 hours to recharge, while the Neato D3 runs for 60 minutes and takes 5-6 hours to charge.
The difference between the two in terms of their actual cleaning ability isn’t super noticeable in most homes due to the recharge and resume feature that allows the vacuums to top off multiple times during a single scheduled session. However, the D5 finishes the cleaning significantly faster and is better suited for larger homes that can take advantage of that longer runtime.
Difference #3: Coverage – Going hand in hand with that larger battery capacity on the D5 is a wider coverage area, with the ability to clean up to 4500 square feet in a single pass as opposed to the 1800 square feet on the D3.
Difference #4: Side Brush – Both the Neato D3 and D5 use a combo brush as their main cleaning mechanism that helps to agitate and pick up dirt, dust, and debris from all different floor types.
However, the D5 also includes a side spinning brush on the underside of the vacuum that helps knock debris into the path of suction. This makes it a little bit better equipped when it comes to giving your floors a thorough cleaning.
Difference #5: Filter – Smart vacuums do a good job of picking up dust and debris, but they also can kick up dirt into the air in the process. The brushrolls agitate debris in order to knock it into the line of suction, so you could potentially end up with dust, dirt, and other allergens in the air which you’d probably like to avoid.
The Neato D3 and D5 both have filters, but the D5’s Ultra-performance filter is much more efficient than the basic standard filter on the D3.
The ultra-performance filter’s main draw is its ability to trap incredibly small particles of dust and debris, capturing allergens as small as 10 microns in size to keep your air healthy and clean.
The disparity between these two filters might not make a significant difference for the average homeowner, but for those sensitive to allergens the ultra-performance filter may make all the difference.
One thing worth keeping in mind is that the D3 does support the Ultra-performance filter — you’ll just have to purchase it separately.
Difference #6: Spot Clean – The Neato D3 and D5 both support spot cleaning for situations where a specific area needs some extra attention.
Then Neato D3 has simple, one-pass spit cleanings. The D5’s system is more advanced and can make two passes with a stronger degree of suction over a concentrated area.
For stubborn stains, the D5 is clearly the go-to.
Difference #7: Find me – Last but not least, the Neato D5 has a “find me” feature built in that allows you to easily locate your vacuum should it get lost. Just click on the robot icon in the Neato app dashboard. Your robot will start beeping for 5 seconds, and you can then follow the sound until you arrive at the robot. If you don’t find it within that 5 seconds, just press the button again to restart the sounds.
The vacuums do a pretty good job of getting back to its charging station before the battery is totally depleted, but in the rare situation that your vacuum gets stuck it’s nice to have that option to easily locate it.
Unfortunately, the Neato D3 features no such utility.
Neato D3 vs. D5 — Comparison Chart
|Neato D3||Neato D5|
|Virtual No-go Areas via App||Coming via app update Fall 2018||Coming via app update Fall 2018|
|Floor Plans||Coming via app update Fall 2018||Coming via app update Fall 2018|
|Battery||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion|
|Quick Charging||Coming via app update Fall 2018||Coming via app update Fall 2018|
|Manual Control via LCD Display||No||No|
|Remote Control||via App||via App|
|Apple Watch Support||Yes||Yes|
|Voice Control||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes|
|Virtual Walls||Not Included; Optional||Boundary Markers (2M)|
|Main Brush||Combo Brush||Combo Brush|
|Run Time||Up to 60 minute||Up to 90 min|
|Height||3.9 in||3.9 in|
|Weight||7.5 lbs||7.5 lbs|
|Dustbin Capacity||0.75 liters||0.7 liters|
|Full Dustbin Indicator||Yes||Yes|
Neato D3 vs. D5 — Accessories
The majority of accessories of the Neato D3 and D5 are focused around maintenance of the vacuum. Over time, you’ll need to start to replace pieces of equipment to keep your robot cleaner running optimally.
You may want to pick up an Ultra-Performance Filter or Standard filter depending on your model in order to easily swap out when the filter starts to get clogged. Keep in mind that the Ultra-Performance Filter actually does work with the D3 as well, so it might be worth the upgrade if you opt for the less expensive model.
For both devices, a Brush Cleaning Tool Comb allows you to easily pull hair out of the brush rollers, so this is an excellent option for those with pets. Magnetic Boundary Markers are included with the D5, but if you opt for the D3 or want extra you might want to pick a few up off of Amazon.
The Replacement Parts Kit combines filters and side brushes into one convenient package — specifically for the Neato D5.
Neato D3 vs. D5 — Our Thoughts
When comparing the Neato D3 vs. D5, you’re essentially choosing between a more affordable vacuum and some more premium filters.
Simply put, the main advantages that the Neato D5 has over the D3 are the longer run time, better filters, better spot cleaning, and included boundary markers. Considering you can buy the boundary markers and better filters separately, your main consideration is whether the extra runtime and spot cleaning justifies the extra cost.
We feel that in this case it’s a little difficult to declare a clear winner. The Neato D3 has everything you need for an excellent clean, but the D5 is ready and waiting for those who have larger homes that can take advantage of the extra runtime or for those who need the better spot cleaning.
Last update on 2020-01-18 at 15:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API