Review: Shark Ion Connected 750

The home appliance company SharkNinja has been around since 1995, but in recent years they’ve grown aggressively. Their Ninja Chef blender has been touted as a replacement for the Vitamix at a fraction of the price, and for the past few years their vacuums have been competing with the best of the best for market share.

I’ve seen online reviews referring to the Shark Ion 750 as the “Roomba Killer,” but I’m not so sure about that. Customers seem very enthusiastic about this little bot, but there are other bots in this price range that are just as effective, and have more features.

The Craft

The Shark is easy to set up. Plug it in, download the companion app on your phone, and connect the bot to the app via Wi-Fi. Unlike other affordable botvacs like, say, the Eufy Botvac 11, it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Also unlike them: There's no included remote.

I named the Shark “Billy Bob” in honor of the Sling Blade actor. That’s because while almost every other Wi-Fi-enabled bot has a clean, white, and minimalist app, the Shark’s app has a retro ‘90s, black-and-purple aesthetic that reminds me irresistibly of lava lamps, the Best Page in the Universe and Angelina Jolie wearing a vial of, yes, Billy Bob's blood to the Oscars. You may or may not find that aesthetic to be particularly pleasing—I definitely did. Design aside, at least the app is straightforward and easy to use.

It takes four hours to charge the botvac. When you open the app, it informs you that it will run for approximately one hour, which is the Shark's stated run time; I found that the botvac could go for as long as two hours before having to return to the dock.

On the app, you can check out its battery life, start a cleaning cycle, and tell it to return to dock or to spot clean. You can also set up a schedule and select different days and times, and check your botvac’s history of cleanings, number of cleaning cycles, the timeline of each cleaning cycle, and the accumulated cleaning time.

For my 500-square foot house, each cycle did last one hour. Each time the botvac got stuck and I had to move it, it registered as a new cleaning cycle. A suggestion for any potential botvac owners: Do not buy anything like the Ikea Tobias chair if you want to leave your furniture at the table. The wire legs confound every botvac, but the Shark more than most.

I particularly liked the Shark app's Find My Bot feature. Like a Tile tracker, you can ping the Shark to find it under couches or drawers. It's embarrassing to admit that I can lose a botvac so easily in 500 square feet of house, but those little guys really get around.

The botvac also comes with a magnetic divider strip. Unlike the Neato I tested, the divider has a connector so that you can cut and angle it around your cords or other vulnerable places, a small detail that I appreciated. I also liked how quiet the Shark Ion was—I measured it at an average of 60 decibels, or about the volume of a dinner conversation.

The Matrix

The Shark uses an array of sensors that the company refers to as "Smart Sensor Technology." They did not elaborate when I reached out to them, but clearly this catch-all term includes proximity sensors, as the Shark left furniture and walls unscathed. I watched it approach walls and furniture until it was an inch away, then magically back off. It was able to deftly navigate the perilous 23-millimeter tall door jam leading into the bathroom. Its cliff sensors were also far more effective than the Roomba’s. You won't find this botvac stranded on its back at the bottom of a landing, that's for sure.

Navigation aside, in most ways, the Ninja Ion's cleaning features and performance left something to be desired. You can't select manual control, edge-cleaning mode, or intensive or turbo mode. SharkNinja assures me that the bot will automatically select these modes when necessary, and the Shark does have the standard side spinning brushes. But the automatic modes seem largely ineffective.

With two dogs, two kids, and an endless parade of babysitters, visitors, and neighbors, our front entryway becomes a veritable disaster of mud, sand, and pine needles. I used spot-cleaning mode religiously in this area, which directs the botvac to rotate outward in concentric circles. Every time the Shark returned to its dock, debris remained along the wall and shoe racks.

Its performance on hardwood and carpet was also a little disappointing. I watched it repeatedly run over areas with pet hair and tiny paper bits and fail to pick them up. After four runs and four hours, the brush stayed tangle-free, but this may have been due in part to the fact that the brush was unable to effectively agitate our low-pile rugs. I noticed that the Shark’s booty kept hitching up as it scooted over the rug’s surface, leaving ineffectual small ripples in its wake.


The Shark is pretty quiet and easy to use; it the simplest of the bots I’ve had to navigate. You don’t need to consult a manual to open the dust bin or figure out what the different symbols on the remote mean. Its magnetic Shark BotBoundary strip was a little more thoughtfully designed than the others I've tried. Of course, it was nice that the Shark didn’t get stumped by steps, and of course, the price is attractive.

However, in the absence of basic features like intensive cleaning or manual control—let alone its disappointing cleaning performance—when it comes to possible Roomba killers, the Ecovacs Deebot is a much better contender. For my money, I say go with the gold standard in this price range and get the Roomba 690, and buy a lava lamp separately.

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