Trifo Ollie vacuum review: pet-friendly performance
“Some bonus features are lacking, but Ollie is a reliable vacuum that all pet owners should consider.”
Easy to use software
Tons of additional features
Creates loud and high-pitched sounds
Some features seem underdeveloped
Mapping and navigation issues
Ollie is a robot vacuum from Trifo that’s designed for pet owners. Specifically, it’s built to pull loose fur out of every nook and cranny in your home, using a combination of powerful suction and unique add-on accessories. It also comes with a few pet-friendly features, such as a laser pointer to keep your babies entertained and ease their vacuum-induced anxiety.
Considering it costs just $300, Ollie performs up to its price tag. It suffers from navigation and mapping issues, and some of its pet-friendly features seem half-baked, but pet owners should definitely include Ollie in their robot vacuum search.
Simple setup, intuitive app
Getting Ollie acquainted with your home is a painless process. After finding a place for its dock and installing the accompanying smartphone app, you’ll be able to get Ollie set up in minutes. From the app, you can start your first cleaning — and this initial cleaning will map out your home for subsequent runs.
Setup takes no more than a half hour, and operation is a breeze thanks to the smartphone app.
Once this process is completed (it took about a half-hour for my tiny condo), you’ll be able to dive into all the customization options offered on the Trifo app. You can change suction levels, designate specific cleaning areas, set up restricted areas, check on past cleaning stats, or view Ollie’s maintenance history. You can even prepare a cleaning schedule, having Ollie clean while you’re at work.
The app gives you remarkable control over Ollie without feeling bloated. Intuitive menus, a minimalistic UI, and a home screen that shows just the essentials make this a robot vacuum anyone can use without hassle. And if you want to activate its advanced features, they’re just a screen tap away. For just $300, I was impressed by the premium software.
Loaded with additional features
Ollie is a robot vacuum first and foremost, but Trifo decided to bundle in a ridiculous number of extra features. These are largely gimmicks, and most of them don’t seem nearly as well designed as the smartphone app or actual vacuum. For example, Ollie comes with a laser pointer attachment that clips on the side of the vacuum — but it has a penchant for falling off while in use and needs to be manually activated. It’s a great toy for my dog (who thinks he’s a cat), but it would have been great if Trifo managed to automate its performance.
The clip-on attachment tends to fall off, making the laser pointer and air freshener unreliable.
The same goes for the air freshener, which is contained in the same clip-on gadget as the laser pointer. When Olli is in action, the air coming out the back is supposed to waft over the air freshener stick and eliminate odors. But because the clip-on attachment tends to fall off or spin out of place, I’ve never noticed fresher air after an Ollie run.
Rounding out the list of extras is a true-color camera to capture video, two-way audio, and motion detection. These features work much better than the above, and pet owners will probably get some good mileage out of them. They don’t quite work as well as a dedicated indoor camera, but they’re a nice bonus for folks who don’t already have the tech.
Pet hair, beware
Pet hair is the bane of any pet owner’s existence, and Ollie’s central purpose is to remove all traces of it from your home. The robot vacuum comes preinstalled with the standard rotating brush, but there’s the option to install the Pet Hair Extractor — a device that allows for 4,000Pa suction and easier access to pet hair lurking on your floors.
Installing the attachment is remarkably simple. After powering off Ollie and flipping it on its back, all you need to do is push a quick-release lever, remove the rotating brush, and clip in the Pet Hair Extractor. The device is tangle-free and is intended to offer increased suction to pull up every bit of pet fur in its path.
Pet owners with hardwood floors will love the Pet Hair Extractor.
Unfortunately, my results with the attachment were mixed. Testing revealed that it worked best on laminate or tile floors, whereas carpeted areas still had fur embedded even after several passes with Ollie. Because there is minimal oscillating action with this attachment, fur that’s been trampled into your carpets simply can’t be removed — even when pulling at maximum suction.
However, pet owners with hardwood throughout their homes will love the device. Not only does it work wonders on loose fur, but there’s literally no maintenance required for the device. And since the Pet Hair Extractor doesn’t have a brush, there’s nothing to detangle or clean. Just empty the dustbin after each cleaning, and you’re ready to roll.
Since my home is largely carpeted, I stuck with the standard rotating brush. Each cleaning resulted in a dustbin full of fur (gross), which is easy to empty without getting your hands dirty. That’s the only maintenance routine you’ll need to perform after each cleaning. You’ll periodically want to check the roller brush for hair accumulation and clean off a few internal filters, but Ollie is surprisingly self-sufficient.
Regardless of which attachment you’re using, Ollie does a solid job cleaning your entire home. I did run into a few navigation and mapping issues (such as getting confused on its way back to the dock or missing a small portion of my kitchen), but I found that simply remapping the room restored Ollie’s sense of direction.
Although Ollie isn’t perfect, it is still a great choice for pet owners on a budget. The Pet Hair Extractor is great for maintenance-free operation on hardwood floors, the simple app makes it easy to schedule your cleanings, and all the quirky extras make it stand out in the crowded mid-range marketplace. If you’re not a pet owner, however, consider another option — your $300 is paying for a lot of features you simply don’t need.
Are there better alternatives?
Yes, but they tend to carry hefty price tags. The iRobot Roomba s9+ is arguably the best overall robot vacuum, but you’ll pay nearly $1,000 for its performance. If you don’t need all the pet-specific features, we found the Yeedi Vac Max to offer similar performance and pricing.
How long will it last?
Trifo offers a one-year limited warranty for the product, although we’d expect it to last much longer. The total lifespan of the device will largely come down to how often you perform maintenance and how frequently you vacuum.
Should you buy it?
If you’re a pet owner on a budget, yes. If you’re not a pet owner, consider checking out some other robot vacuums that offer a similar price tag but don’t come bundled with features you won’t use. Our roundup of the best robot vacuums is a great place to start.