Narwal Freo X Ultra Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review

Narwal Freo X Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Narwal Freo X Ultra offers impressive mixed vacuuming and mopping across a variety of household surfaces.

Pros Cons
Nimble even across raised surfaces Mop lifting can still leave some carpets moist
Optional detergent and dust bags Still expensive, because it’s a premium robot vacuum cleaner and mop.
Stubbornly re-cleans areas that need it Mopping can leave floors a little on the moist side

Score: 4/5


Narwal Freo X Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman) Buy The Narwal Freo X Ultra! Buy On Amazon

In this review

Narwal Freo X Ultra Specifications
Narwal Freo X Ultra G24 Design
Narwal Freo X Ultra G24 Installation
Narwal Freo X Ultra Performance
Narwal Freo X Ultra Conclusion


Narwal Freo X Ultra Base (Photo: Alex Kidman)

Most robot vacuum cleaners use the exact same design, where typically the only differences you see are in the size of the docking station and whether they’ve been made entirely round or in a rounded square shape.

So it’s slightly refreshing to see a subtle design difference in the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s base station. It’s on the larger side at 41.5x37x43.4cm, but what makes it slightly more interesting are its rounded corners. It’s an almost Apple-esque old-school design that at least looks different to the generally otherwise featureless robovacs from other makers.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra’s base station covers all the basics of cleaning, with compartments for dust collection, and dual water (clean and dirty) containers, as well as a separate area for Narwal’s floor cleaning solution.

You do get a bottle of it in the box with the Narwal Freo X Ultra, but it’s not a mandatory inclusion if you’d more simply (or economically) prefer a simpler clean water mop.

Speaking of ongoing costs, you’ve also got to make the call with regards to the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s dust bin as to whether you’d prefer a straight dust bin that you eventually empty yourself – Narwal says it’s good for up to seven week’s worth of dust, though your own grot mileage may vary – or to use Narwal’s custom dustbin bags, which you would simply throw away in classic old-school vacuum style.

I’m not sure about the environmental status of Narwal’s bags and their biodegradability, which bothers me, but then I’d also opt for the standalone bin option on simple economic grounds instead anyway.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra vacuum has your classic circular robot vacuum shape with a LIDAR array at the top. At the back of the Narwal Freo X Ultra you’ll find its dual rotating mop heads, sitting on lifts that can raise them 12mm high to try to avoid carpets when mopping.



Narwal Freo X Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)
The Narwal Freo X Ultra is a big unit, and that means that it comes in a quite a big box. Thankfully that size is likely going to be the only installation issue for most people – probably a good idea to have two people on hand to help lift it out of the box – with much of the rest of the setup being fairly idiot-proof.

Of course, I can always supply a better quality of idiot behaviour, and it did take me a little while to work out from the quick guide where the detergent bottle sits within the body of the Narwal Freo X Ultra base station.

The image isn’t super clear, and for a minute or two I pondered if it wanted it within the fresh water container. Tip: It doesn’t, there’s a hollowed out section in front of the clean water where it sits inverted, ready to add detergent to the mopping if activated.

Then it’s over to your typical app-led setup routine, via the Narwal Freo app for iOS and Android. No great surprises here; you set up an account, identify your Narwal machine and hook it through to your home Wi-Fi.

One genuinely impressive aspect here in the setup routine was how very quickly it zipped through my primary living area to create its map.

This is an aspect where I’ve seen a lot of improvement over the years, and while I didn’t time it, I suspect the Narwal Freo X Ultra might just have managed the fastest mapping I’ve ever seen. It correctly identified areas of carpet and hard floor, and had few issues with an area of raised floating floor where I’ve seen many robot vacuums stumble.


Narwal Freo App (Screenshots: Alex Kidman)

The Narwal Freo app optimally wants to run in its own AI mode, sorting out the cleaning for you, and I can see the appeal here; the precise market that wants a robot vacuum cleaner wants one because they don’t want to be fussed with actual vacuuming. If you found vacuuming intriguing then you’re both a very unusual individual and not the target market in the first place.

Still, you can opt for a whole-of-house clean or by identified room or area, a common feature of this kind of app.

Where the Narwal Freo app gets a little more granular is in choosing your order of operations. You can just vacuum, or just mop, but there’s also options for vacuuming and then mopping or vice versa, plus a customisation mode that lets you set cleaning parameters for each room in your house. While that’s a little more work, obviously, it’s also great if you have specific needs on a rolling basis.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra is also a stubborn creature when it comes to getting the whole job done if you just let it fly across all your rooms.

That doesn’t always lead to the fastest cleans depending on your chosen parameters, but it did lead to some pretty decent cleaning across the hard and soft surfaces in my home. As always, I find that robot vacuums are best used – and make the most sense – if you’re going to use them daily for maintenance cleaning

On the mopping side, the Narwal Freo X Ultra  performed well, intelligently recognising more heavily soiled areas and running multiple passes to do its best to deal with my particular mix of children and cats (and my own mess), though I will note that at the conclusion of cleaning the floor was left a little more damp than with some competing high-end robotic vacuum mops I’ve tested on the same surfaces before. Not sopping wet or anything of the sort – but certainly a little on the moist side.

This has a knock-on effect if you do want to use the Narwal Freo X Ultra’s mopping function on a daily basis, because it does use a little more water as a result. For most mops of this size, I tend to find I can get through a whole week’s worth of maintenance mopping before having to change out the water, but the Narwal Freo X’s cycles have tended more towards 3-4 days of cleaning before the water supply is drained out. It’s not a huge chore to top up the fresh water and dispose of the grubby water, but if you’re after a set-and-forget type of solution, you will have to pay attention to it a little more often than with some competing robot mops.

The other aspect to be careful of with the Narwal Freo X Ultra is when mixing mopping and vacuuming if you have thicker carpets.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra can raise the mop heads some 12mm, but that’s less distance on a carpet than you might think. My lower carpets were fine, but slightly thicker carpets did end up with just a touch of moisture on them – a mistake I only made the once before changing the cycling to avoid that problem, to be clear.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra does support limited voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Siri only – it’s kind of unusual to see a robot vacuum in this price range omit Google Assistant, frankly – though they’re rather hidden in the Narwal Freo app if you don’t know that they’re present.

Honestly at first I thought that they weren’t supported at all, which would be a big call for a $2,299 robot vacuum given so many of Narwal’s competitors offer voice assistants (including some in-house ones) at this price point or even cheaper.

Narwal Freo X Ultra: Alex’s Verdict

Narwal Freo X Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

Narwal isn't a brand I've tested previously, but straight out of the gate they've delivered a decent combination robot vacuum cleaner and mop.

It gets the basics right -- which is to say that it managed the tricky mix of surfaces in my home without too many issues -- and while it does sit in that premium price space for robot vacuum cleaners/mops, it's actually on the lower side of that grouping these days, with many of its immediate competitors sitting above the $2,500 RRP mark.

There's still no doubt in my head that a robot vacuum cleaner/mop is, for most people a luxury buy.

The Narwal Freo X Ultra only really makes sense if you're going to use it regularly for maintenance cleaning, because we're still not quite at that nirvana where a robot vacuum cleaner will 100% make its way around the house intelligently cleaning and maybe emptying the dishwasher while it's at it. Maybe some day...

Narwal Freo X Ultra: Pricing and availability

The Narwal Freo X Ultra retails in Australia for $2,299, though it's worth shopping around -- at the time of writing as part of a promotion for Mother's Day, it can be had for under $2,000.

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Narwal Freo X Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman) Buy The Narwal Freo X Ultra! Buy On Amazon

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