Ok, so this is my second attempt at a Hoover robot vac. I bought the Quest 800 last week, absolutely hated it, returned it, and decided due to the tech capabilities of the Rogue 970 I'd give it a shot. Yes, I did read all the reviews, and yes, I knew it was an uphill battle but as someone who loves tech I wanted to give it a shot. So, I did... I bought it last night, took it home.
Presentation, Hoover gets an A+. Slick and sleek looking, love the marketing/packaging materials, gives it a personality. Really neat. The hardware is VERY WELL BUILT. The two side brushes installed was a nice touch. It has a bit of a higher built profile and I was worried it wouldn't fit under my furniture - nope, totally fits just fine under the couch, etc. That made me happy :).
On to the set up. Turned it on, put it into paring mode... nothing. No connection. I am running a 2.4Ghz / 5.0GHz Netgear Orbi router with one SSID broadcasting on different channels. It should easily connect, right? No. The reviews said that I had to disable the 5.0GHz SSID and broadcast 2.4Ghz only and it would connect. Cool. Tried it. Nope, nothing. WTH? Another reviewer said I had to temporarily disable security on my network and make it an open network (again, WTH?!?!!). So, I did it. Put it back into pairing mode - BOOM connected. Hmm ok lol. It connected, appeared to download some sort of patch software update, and was ready. COOL. I turned security back on, turned the 5.0GHz band back on, immediately WiFi signal dropped on the Rogue and it was no longer connected. OH COME ON!! I got so frustrated I gave up trying to connect and just decided to manually start it up. Started up, a bit louder than the Quest 800, but I assumed it was because it was a bit more powerful (side note, this thing is built like a tank - seriously - really nice job here with the design Hoover - underside of it looks extremely powerful/sturdy). Anyway, did its thing - got caught up twice, but nothing too major. Then, the randomness... it turned off in the middle of the floor for zero reason. Hmm ok, weird. Started it back up, kept going. 10 minutes later, same thing, turned off in the corner. WTH?! This happened twice more. Finally, again, I got super frustrated and pushed the home button on the dock. It found the dock within 3 minutes, docked, charged. I went to bed.
Got up today, did manual mode again, didn't turn off at all. Cool. About an hour ago I decided, what the heck, let's try to connect it again (dual 2.4 and 5.0 GHz running on secured network). BOOM found it first try - OMG?!?! THERE IS HOPE PEOPLE!!! Connected within 5 mins, all good. COOL! Started Recon mode, started mapping the floorplan (I have to admit, when they work out the bugs with this, it's going to be killer - it was so cool watching it create the map on my iPhone X in real time - super neat). Ok, built the map, went back to the dock. YAY! Went to check out the floor plan to do some virtual walls... "Loading your Map"... "No current floor plan, Complete RECON mode to view map". Really? Really?!?! I just spent 45 minutes building this map and now I need to do it again. LE SIGH.
At this point, I can say what every other reviewer has said: The hardware is killer - sucks up a lot of dirt, built like a tank, doesn't bounce off of everything, long battery life, and actually recongnizes obstacles in its path (it was hilarious watching it circle around my cat, giving it about 1/2 an inch of room between it and the cat as it cleaned around the cat lol - my cat was so confused :P). The software is, sorry here Hoover, AWFUL. Abysmal even. It constantly disconnects from WiFi (the app always says the Hoover has been disconnected and you have to reconnect). It removes the floor plan completely after Recon mode, thus rendering it useless. What's even crazier, is that I think when you run a regular clean mode, it builds another map automatically because when I went back into the app after running a standard clean cycle, it built a new map which I never sent on a new Recon mode to do). The animations are overly done in the app, causing the app to experience slowdown (I have an iPhone X - there should be zero app issues lol).
The bottom line here is, it's a great idea, and early tech adopters may have patience for 6 months while they work out the kinks. I am going to probably return this for the Neato D3 Pro which, while it can't build the map on your smartphone, has this awesome laser tech that stores maps locally on the unit itself, thus it basically does the same thing. It can't build virtual walls, but at this point does it even matter since the Hoover app doesn't work. Buy at your own risk, but be warned - the software experience will drive you insane.