Roomba e5 vs 690: What the main differences?

Roomba e5 vs 690

The Roomba e5 is a recent addition to iRobot’s Roomba product range that fits in the mid-price level. The specs, features, and performance of the Roomba e5 are around the standard of the Roomba 890 and 690. This article will look deeper into how the e5 differs from 690 in order to help you understand these differences and make the right purchase decision. Looking at everything from cleaning power, design, battery specs and much more, you will be able to understand which one you should get.


Comparison Chart: Roomba e5 vs 960

AVAILABILITYDESIGNMODELNAVIGATION TECHNOLOGYMOTORSELF RESUME
CLEANING
SELF DISPOSAL
CHECK PRICEroomba e5ROOMBA e5iADAPT 1.0AEROFORCENoNo
CHECK PRICERoomba 690ROOMBA 690iADAPT 1.03-StageNoNo

1. Design, Measurements & Weight

roomba e5
roomba e5
iRobot Roomba 690 Review
Roomba 690

The first thing you will notice is that the Roomba e5 and 690 have a very slightly different color scheme. With a slightly slicker and chromatic black color scheme, the Roomba e5 has an aesthetic minimal design. In slight contrast, the Roomba 690 has a black and silver design.  They both have the traditional circular shape of a Roomba, in contrast to the newer Roomba S9 which is D-Shaped. Another minor difference is that the layout of the HOME and SYNC buttons is horizontally aligned on the 690 and vertically aligned on the e5. Another difference is that the Roomba e5 is a slightly more compact and lighter device.  Here are the dimensions and weights of each of these Roombas:

  • Roomba e5 – 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches & 7.2 pounds.
  • Roomba 690 – 13.7×13.7×3.6 inches & 7.9 pounds.

SALE
iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum
  • Power Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power for improved pick up performance;...
  • Ideal for homes with pets; Premium 3 stage Cleaning System cleans the dirt and pet hair...
  • Unique Dual Multi Surface Rubber Brushes adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with...


2. Cleaning Motor

roomba cleaning system 3 stages

Perhaps the most significant difference between the Roomba e5 and 690 is the power of the cleaning motor they use. When it comes to comparing the ability of each Roomba to clean on various surfaces, the motor power and in turn the suction power is the most important factor. The Roomba e5 uses the Aeroforce 3-Stage motor, which is five times stronger than the 3-Stage motor found in the Roomba 690. This means that both will find most hard floors easy, although in some situation the 690 will struggle relatively on carpets. If your home is full of carpets you will want to go with the Roomba e5, without a doubt. If you have many thick and dense carpets, you probably want to at least consider some of the more premiums with either the Gen 3 Motor or the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning Motor. These are found in the Roomba 980, i7 and S9.

SALE
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
  • Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt,...
  • Sleek, premium design complements your home décor; includes 1 Dual Mode Virtual Wall...
  • 3 Stage Cleaning System and Dual Multi Surface Brushes pick up everything from small...


3. Battery Life

Roomba home base station

It is very important that your Roomba can complete its clean with one run of battery unless it has advanced navigation technology that allows it to self-recharge and self-resume cleaning. Neither the Roomba e5 or 690 have this, which makes battery life that bit more important. The Roomba e5 has a battery life of 90 minutes, 30 minutes more than the hour you get with the Roomba 690. Such an increase in battery life is significant and could make that difference when it comes to the quality of cleaning your home. This is a substantial difference, especially when considering both of these devices use the same 1800mAh lithium-ion battery, clearly demonstrating the improved efficiency of the e5. It should be noted that the charge time of the e5 is 3 hours whilst the 690 should be done within 2 hours (although it can be a little longer).


4. Navigation Technology

The Roomba e5 and 690 use the same level of navigation technology, which is iRobots labelled iAdapt 1.0. Using an array of sensors, each Roomba navigates in a relatively random manner by detecting obstacles and avoiding them. Dirt Detect uses sensors to identify areas with a high concentration of dirt and give them extra cleaning attention. Cliff Detect identifies the edge of stairs and prevents the Roomba from falling down the stairs and breaking.

irobot roomba 980 cliff detect

More advanced Roomba models use iAdapt 2.0 or iAdapt 3.0 which are both far superior over the original version. If you have an especially large cleaning area or an extra budget, it is recommended to go with a Roomba that has this. These versions of navigation technology use a camera to map out your home, remember obstacles and work with AI to plan the most effective routes. As mentioned before, this navigation technology allows the Roomba to Self-Recharge and Self-Resume cleaning making battery life a little less of an important feature. 

Related: Roomba i7 vs i7+: Is there a difference?


5. iRobot Home app & Smart Home Features

irobot home app

Both the Roomba e5 and 690 are WiFi connectable and work alongside the iRobot Home app. This releases a new wave of possibilities, features and extra control functions that improve the user experience. Such features including voice control make these Roombas part of the smart home whilst before they just worked as independent devices. Here is what you can do with the Roomba 690 and e5 through the iRobot Home app:

  • Statistics on cleaning – coverage, clean time and charge time
  • Start and pause cleaning
  • Schedule for different days of the week
  • Customize cleaning preferences
  • Monitor the live activity of your Roomba
  • Receive live notifications
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Automatic software updates

6. Main Differences

Now we have discussed the main features and differences between the Roomba e5 and 690, we will now quickly overview which ones of these are the most significant:

  1. The Roomba e5 has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning Motor which is 5 times stronger than the 3-Stage Cleaning Motor in the 690.
  2. The Roomba e5 will, therefore, perform better on carpets.
  3. The Roomba e5 has an extra 30 minutes of battery life over the 690, which totals 90 minutes.
  4. The Roomba e5 has an extra hour of charging time over the 690, which takes a full 3 hours.
  5. The Roomba e5 is more compact and slightly lighter.
  6. The Roomba e5 comes in chromatic black whilst the 890 comes in silver and black.
  7. The Roomba e5 HOME and SYNC buttons are laid out vertically on the hood, whilst they are laid horizontally on the 690.
  8. The Roomba e5 has a washable dustbin.

7. Main Similarities

Although there are many differences between the two, they both share some of the most fundamental features:

  1. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have iAdapt 1.0 and no Smart Mapping.
  2. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have Dirt Detect.
  3. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have Cliff Detect.
  4. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have access to the iRobot Home app.
  5. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have Voice Control options
  6. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have HEPA filters.
  7. The Roomba e5 and 690 both have Self-Recharge (but no Self-Resume).

AVAILABILITYDESIGNMODELNAVIGATION TECHNOLOGYMOTORSELF RESUME
CLEANING
SELF DISPOSAL
CHECK PRICEroomba e5ROOMBA e5iADAPT 1.0AEROFORCENoNo
CHECK PRICERoomba 690ROOMBA 690iADAPT 1.03-StageNoNo

Final Word

When comparing the Roomba e5 against the 690, the differences clearly point to the e5 having more in the tank when it comes to the cleaning itself. The extra 30 minutes of battery life and more powerful Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning Motor make the Roomba e5 are more powerful and capable robot vacuum. If you have a small home with slightly more carpets and rugs, the Roomba e5 is the better choice whilst if your home is a small and predominantly hard floor, the 690 will do just as good of a job. Now, if your home is much larger it is highly recommended to choose a Roomba with the more advanced iAdapt 2.0 with Smart Mapping navigation. If you have a large number of carpets, especially thicker and denser, you will want to choose Roombas with the Gen 3 Motor (Check out this article) or Superior 3-Stage Cleaning Motor, such as the Roomba 980, i7 or S9.

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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