Handheld vacuum cleaners aren't quite as glamorous and attention-grabbing as their robotic counterparts, but they can be just as rewarding for a self-proclaimed cleaning enthusiast like me. This segment has a lot of options competing for attention ranging from traditional brands such as Eureka Forbes to modern, tech-focussed ones such as Dyson. What has thus far been missing in this space is an affordable cordless device that truly stands out, and Realme hopes to fill that gap with its new handheld cordless vacuum cleaner.
Priced at Rs. 7,999, the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner promises convenient, easy, and cord-free vacuum cleaning to match what you might see on a Dyson, but at a considerably more affordable price. Is this product truly revolutionary for the segment, and just how well does it clean? Find out in this review.
The Realme TechLife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner comes with an extension pipe and fittings for cleaning
Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner design and features
Although the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has its own style, it's fair to say that it's heavily inspired by the Dyson V-series of vacuum cleaners. The handle is at the back of the device, with the suction motor and dustbin just in front of it, and the controls and on the upper side. Unlike the Dyson V-series, the Realme Vacuum Cleaner doesn't have a trigger to control the power; instead, a slider switch lets you choose between the Normal and High power modes.
There are indicator lights for the battery level at the top, and a button on the side to disengage the dustbin for easier cleaning. A simple mechanical button at the bottom opens the lid of the dustbin to quickly empty it out without having to remove the entire component. I found this button a bit too easy to press, and on a couple of occasions it got pressed accidentally, emptying dirt onto the floor that I then had to vacuum up again.
The end of the pipe allows for the attachment of any of the included fittings and vacuum heads, for specific cleaning tasks. The main vacuum fitting draws power from the device to spin its rollers. The charging socket is near the bottom, and the included charger can be attached directly each time or can be used with the wall-mounted dock accessory for easy charging.
The Realme TechLife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner weighs around 2.4Kg, and despite the handle being at the back, weight is evenly distributed making it comfortable to use. The device has a rated suction power of 9.5KPa and a single cyclone suction motor that spins at up to 10,500rpm. There's also a HEPA filter, and some of the key components can be separated and washed with water.
Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner fittings
While high-end cordless vacuum cleaners have many fittings for specific cleaning tasks, the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner comes with just four accessories. These are an extension pipe to easily reach the floor as well as hard-to-reach heights, an auto-rotating roller brush, a two-in-one brush fitting, and a crevice tool for narrow areas.
The roller brush is the largest and most important fitting, and is used for cleaning floors. The soft roller spins rapidly to dislodge and gather up dirt, and there's enough flexibility to allow you to move the brush head quickly across the floor. The roller brush spins at up to 2,200rpm and can be opened up for cleaning or washing when it gets clogged.
Indicator lights at the top display the battery level of the Realme TechLife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, and a slider switch controls the power
The two-in-one brush has bristles which are useful for cleaning tables and countertops. You can push the brush up and out of the way, and just use the standard opening too. The crevice tool has a narrow opening that can be used to clean small gaps such as in between sofa or car seat cushions. All the fittings can be attached directly onto the vacuum cleaner or onto the extension pipe, which itself attaches onto the main unit.
Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner performance and battery life
The design of the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is similar to that of the much more expensive Dyson V-series devices, but its performance is considerably different. Although I was happy with the cleaning capabilities of this machine for the price, it's important to note that this is an affordable option and doesn't quite compete with high-end vacuum cleaners when it comes to the overall experience.
The Realme TechLife vacuum cleaner isn't even as powerful as the Dyson Omni-glide – the most affordable handheld vacuum cleaner in the Dyson range in India – given that it has just a single cyclone motor and a maximum spin rate of 10,500rpm. That said, for Rs. 7,999, the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is a capable device for floor cleaning, and it did hold its own even for furniture such as countertops and sofas.
It's powerful enough to lift dust and small particles of dirt and garbage, and even the occasional pieces of scrap paper or small food spills. I had a decent experience even when cleaning my car a couple of times, with the device managing to suck up dirt, leaves, and small pebbles from my car seats and cabin floor effectively enough. However I often needed to run the vacuum cleaner over the same area a few times to pick everything up.
The Realme TechLife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner has a single cyclone motor that spins at up to 10,500rpm for suction
Larger messes, such as big food spills or large pieces of scrap paper, simply wouldn't get lifted, or got stuck in the roller requiring me to to clean it out later. I therefore had to resort to more traditional methods such as using a broom or brush to clear up serious messes, while the Realme vacuum cleaner was only appropriate for everyday cleaning of dust accumulation and the like. The large floor cleaning fitting is reasonably manoeuvrable and moves quickly, but isn't quite as flexible or easy to use as the excellent omni-directional roller head on the Dyson Omni-glide.
The Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has two power modes: Normal and High. The Normal mode is very basic in terms of suction power, and is only enough to pick up light dust particles off the floor. It took a few sweeps to really give me the feeling that my floors were clean. The High power mode is considerably more effective, and works well for everyday home cleaning as well as some complicated cleaning tasks.
The Normal mode isn't very loud, with the faint hum unlikely to bother you or anyone around you too much. The High mode, which is likely to be the one you use the most, is a fair bit louder, but not any more so than you would expect from any handheld vacuum cleaner of this kind.
Battery life on the Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is decent enough for the price and form factor. The device is powered by a 2,200mAh battery. In my experience, it ran for around 35-40 minutes in the Normal power mode, and around 20 minutes in the High power mode. This isn't a lot, but you could clean a compact house in one charge even with the High power mode always on, and it's certainly enough for quick jobs or individual rooms at a time.
Realme has been getting very creative with the product segments it enters, and taking on the handheld cordless vacuum cleaner segment is an interesting path for the company. It's a segment that is largely lacking in excitement, but with Realme's entry, it's one that will hopefully grow rapidly going forward. The Realme TechLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is an interesting product for the price and has the benefits of good design and ease of use, even if it isn't quite as powerful as one might have hoped.
That said, it's capable enough for regular everyday cleaning, has acceptable battery life, and comes with fittings that give it enough versatility and flexibility. I would recommend this if you're on a tight budget and don't live in a particularly dusty area, or perhaps also have a good robot vacuum cleaner to help pick up the slack. If you can bump your budget up, though, the Dyson Omni-glide is a far more powerful and capable device that should be worth the additional investment.
Price: Rs. 7,999
- Light, easy to use
- Three fittings for versatile cleaning
- Up to 40 minutes of run time per charge
- Decent cleaning for the price
- Not powerful enough to clean big messes
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