The Coral One ergonomic robot vacuum, listing currently for $495 went through the Clutter Healing testing process (aka, vacuuming up our house for a few week). We have a few vacuums in our house already: a large-ish yellow Dirt Devil unit bought years ago that does the rugs and big stuff, and two smaller Shark handheld units to do quick cleanups (as well as brooms, dustpans, etc). With two cats and a dog—all black & white—it is necessary to have all of this gear keep the dust bunnies and fur at bay!
Coral One has a few interesting tricks up its robotic sleeve. First, it is a fully automatic robot vac (i.e. automated daily vacuum runs) AND doubles as a handheld vac, by removing the main motor unit from the robot unit and connecting one of a few different attachments. This is the main point of differentiation from the big robo vac competitors, such as the iRobot or Samsung devices. It is clever, saves space and allows for one less device to plugin, store and eventually to die and end up in the landfill, as most small handheld vacs seem to.
The Coral One ergonomic robot vacuum is a great looking device; it is more square than the rounded iRobot, and comes in white or black. It looks very high end, and arrives in a massive packaging system that looks like something from Apple—very impressive, and well protected during transit. the controls are simple pictographs and the manual is actually pretty spare. Part of the concept is that the Coral One is simple: it is good looking, powerful and easy to use. The handheld unit pops right off, and you can remove it to spot-clean even as it is running an automated cycle. I tried this a few times, and it is very convenient. It feels very high end and really does look great.
Another big difference from competitors is the general ease of use. You really don’t need to do much to start; plug it in, and the on board lights on the main unit handle tell you charge level (yellow charge level, green is running charge and red is if it has a error such as encountering an obstacle). Once the first charge is set (Coral recommends 4 hours), you move the unit to the floor from the base/charger, and hit the round Power button on top of the handle and it goes off and starts to vacuum as it maps your house.
I appreciate the simplicity. The mapping builds over time as far as I can tell: I could find little info about this, It seems to “learn” as it goes, and there is no clear indication that there is any way to manage the mapping or add/subtract from it. Again, very simple, no cloud-storage, no hidden fees, etc.
There is an included remote control, but I never needed to use it with this extremely ergonomic robot vacuum: the buttons on the unit are the same, and since I was already moving it and hitting the button the remote was redundant.
On the main handle is a “turbo” button that looks like a volume indicator. This makes it run at a higher suction and louder volume. Next is an icon that looks like a chat button, this changes the language selection, as the unit does talk when it gets hung up, needs to be adjusted or simply wants to tell you it is ready to go. The third button looks like a lightning bolt, and will return the unit home for a recharge.
As to scheduling, you can really only set a schedule for daily cleaning, by adjusting two buttons on the base unit to a specific hour/minute. Not really practical in my case, as I don’t need it to run every day… but again, very simple to implement if daily vacuuming is what you need,
Performance was great overall. the Coral One is heavy and was able to really get into our rugs and easily sucks up dust, grit and debris from the hardwood floors. It runs about 90-120 minutes per session, and if it starts to lose charge or finishes, it will return to its home base to recharge. The rounded square shape allows it to really get close to corners, versus the competitors rounded shapes that keep it away. Also, the Coral One has a rotating brush that sticks out of one corner, allowing for almost total coverage of baseboard corners. Very thoughtful design.
There is a Turbo mode that goes faster and sucks harder, but again, I really didn’t feel like I needed it. The standard mode is great.
So where there any issues? Yes, there are a few gotchyas, but truthfully nothing unusual for robotic vacuums.
- It DOES get stuck. The robot had a few issues negotiating low furniture, and got stuck; the handle indicator will turn red and warn you that it needs to be repositioned. This is not always practical unless you are there watching the Coral One vacuum.
- It is a bit tall. Unfortunately, the Coral One is about 1/2″ too tall to fit under most of our furniture. Granted, we have a lot of 50’s mid-century pieces, but still, they are not uncommon. The Coral One went under and around things well overall, but be aware it will NOT fit under some couches or sofas, or many side tables. It even hits our toe-kick in the kitchen not allowing for that dust/grit/hair to get swept up.
It is strong. Because of the weight and power of the Coral One, it pushed around our cat food dish, sloshing water around. Similar to the table legs in point one, it just needs some sort of sensitivity adjustment. The sensors are very good overall, but do not seem to be able to see thin chair legs, stool legs or anything horizontal such as our table legs. Is this a sensitivity issue? I hope there is some sort of update or tech fix coming! It really is the biggest issue I had with the Coral One . It just won’t see thin chairs, or strangely, our baby stroller’s large black plastic wheels. The powerful Coral One pushes these things around, which is NOT great when you see your wood chair dragged across your white walls! My fix: put all chairs up on the table first, BEFORE running the Coral One move the baby stroller, and pick up the cat food dishes. This is not great, as it defeats the intended purpose of automated cleaning… again, I REALLY hope for an update!
Powerful. Coral One has a lot of suction, long battery life and excellent ability to get into corners and suck up hair, grit, dust and fluff from hardwood, and plenty of power to pull grit out of rugs and carpet.
Good looking. Coral One is great looking, ergonomic robot vacuum with nice colored indicators, voice alerts and a slim, minimal base. The square shape looks great and really works to its advantage in getting into corners effectively.
Convenient and thoughtful design. The Coral One is very nicely designed, heavy, powerful and has the added convenience of the hand-held unit that easily pops off to become a handheld vac for spot-cleaning, sofa vacuuming, etc. even during an automated vacuum session. I really love that the handheld unit has headlights, so you can see what you are sucking up! Bravo to the industrial design, the simplicity overall and the ergonomics. The onboard colored light indicators and voice prompts keeps the information overload down, and NO app or cloud subscription necessary: thank you for that.
Security. No cloud uploads of your house layout. Some people may not care or think this is important, but as personal and web security becomes ever-increasingly present, this is a fantastic feature.
Overall, the Coral One ergonomic robot vacuum is powerful, beautiful and easy to operate. The handheld unit is a nice touch, headlights and attachments all well thought out. It is a bit tall; they have packed a LOT of tech into the unit, so I know I am being picky, but this is an issue with some furniture. My biggest gripe would be the lack of sensitivity. Strangely, the unit is exceptional at navigating walls, baseboards and large flat surfaces, never bumping hard or dragging, unless it encounters something thin such as a chair leg, table leg, water dish, stroller wheel… these things were pushed around or simply hung up the unit. I hope for some sort of update on this, whether it be a sensitivity adjustment or some means of programming that aspect into the Coral One, because it is really is a great robo vac with unique features and very thoughtful design.
If you can handle moving some furniture in preparation for a fully automated vacuum session, the Coral One will do a great job, simply and affordably, reducing your need for another handheld vacuum as well. 2-in-1 cleaning, HEPA filtration and nice ergonomics make this a great unit and a reasonable price point.
Our advice: give the Coral One ergonomic robot vacuum a close look if you are inclined to use such a device. it is very competitive price-wise, works well and with some tweaks to your personal routine can be a great tool in your cleaning arsenal.