Geek Culture

Geek Review: Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua

In the tech world, iterative upgrades are a dime a dozen. It’s a challenge to pull off a major technological leap every year but it has to be done for that essential product upgrade. It seems that even household products can fall victim to the same as we found out with the Philips SpeedPro Max.

Initially released in late 2018, the Philips SpeedPro Max is a cordless vacuum cleaner which is all the rage these days. After all, with the likes of Dyson at the top of the vacuum pile, it’s hard to ignore this burgeoning category. With the Philips SpeedPro Max, a few short months has generated a brand new upgrade to the vacuum cleaner. 

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Combining a brand new attachment into the package in the form of a vacuum and mop nozzle, the Philips SpeedPro Max has transformed itself into the Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua. Just like how there’s always a Dragonzord to go along with the primary Megazord, something similar is taking place here.

Overall, the original Philips SpeedPro Max is a pretty good device by itself. What attracted our attention to the new iteration is the ability to combine mopping with vacuuming at the same time. Cleaning the home is an important factor of personal self-care, and finding ways to do the chores in double-quick time is a recent obsession.

Besides, who wants to spend time both vacuuming and mopping the home when you could be off doing better things?

The biggest plus point from the Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua would be its much-lauded 360° Suction Nozzle. With the simple addition of LEDs at the front of the head, you’d have an easier time spotting dirt on the floor as you mow through your home. The idea here would be to ensure that no time is wasted making double passes.

With the implementation of LEDs, the nozzle head has no issues getting dirt out of corners. Aided with grooves and notches all around the base of the nozzle means users will be able to once again get rid of dirt with fewer attempts. In our tests, this seemed to be the case for the most part though only if we turned up the power of the vacuum much higher.

Powering the SpeedPro Max Aqua is the company’s PowerBlade digital motor which claims to create more than 1,000 litres of airflow per minute. On paper, the lowest setting would give users 75 minutes of vacuum time. But honestly, that makes little sense considering most will like to get the job done fast. The preferred option of choice would be to amp up the settings to “Turbo Mode” where the vacuum is able to last for about 25 – 30 minutes, more than enough to cover a 90 sq metre apartment. 

If you’re running low on juice, the SpeedPro Max Aqua charges to full in five hours but uses a magnetic charging connector which does feel more fiddly then we’d like. A plugged-in charging system would be very much preferred but it’s not the case here.

The real reason why you’d want to quickly vacuum up the home would be to toggle the SpeedPro Max Aqua into its other function, the mopping mode.

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The vacuum and mop nozzle is pretty straightforward, there are essentially two modules to this portion – one that sucks dirt and another which dispenses water. The vacuum component is nothing to shout about as compared to the 360° Suction Nozzle but it’s the 0.28L water tank which is the main star here. The tank contains enough water to mop a 60 sq metre surface which dispenses the liquid into a microfibre cloth.

Initially, the impression was that Philips had developed a mechanical add-on to their cordless cleaner but the implementation could not be simpler. As water from the tank steeps into the microfibre cloth, it leaves a big wet patch long the surface as you vacuum and mop at the same time. As the vacuum head lacks an agitator, the common issue is that the SpeedPro Max Aqua is not able to pick up dirt on the floor quickly enough. 

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For instance, if the vacuum misses a hair on the floor, the mop component wets the surface subsequently making it hard for the vacuum to pick up the hair once it has been plastered down.

By default, the SpeedPro Max Aqua lays down a good amount of fluid on your surface but it might be a bit too much considering it would also take longer for the floor to dry. In the event the water flow is not sufficient, there’s a step pump on the mop component to squeeze out more fluid. It’s pretty basic all around but it does the job done – just not elegantly.

Like most cordless vacuums, cleanup is a breeze, pop off the dirt canister and empty into the trash. The Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua with no exception. There are a few areas where the vacuum needs to be regularly maintained but it’s good to see that none of these components would need regular replacements. All one would need to do is wash the dust, water, and filter sections and you’re pretty much done. 

When it comes to the microfibre cloth used for mopping, one would need to rip off the cloth with your hands, which is not the most enjoyable especially if the mess was particularly challenging to clean. The cloths are machine washable though we suspect most might opt to hand wash the fabric instead. 

At this juncture, one can’t help but wonder if this might be a simple, upgrade from disposable cloth cleaners one could pick up at the value store. Thankfully, while the SpeedPro Max Aqua does well at its core cleaning function, it makes the bump in price to S$799 harder to fathom for a minor utility upgrade. Sure it gets the job done but you might not entirely find it more enjoyable to clean the home with.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

In an attempt to set itself apart from the previous generation, the new Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua does well in maintaining the status quo but its new mopping upgrade leaves much to be desired. It manages its core task well but its upgrade makes it hard to justify the increase in price.

Overall
7.4/10
7.4/10
  • Aesthetics - 7/10
    7/10
  • Build Quality - 8/10
    8/10
  • Performance - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 7/10
    7/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 7/10
    7/10
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