Samsung POWERstick Jet cordless vacuum review
The Samsung POWERStick Jet cordless vacuum vies for primacy with a range of unique features like swappable batteries, a powered mop attachment and a novel array of additional accessories. Bar the underwhelming mop function, Samsung’s most powerful cordless vacuum is a solidly made offering that's well worth consideration.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are all the rage for home owners these days and it’s easy to see why with their portability and adaptability to challenging cleaning scenarios in the home by simply changing attachment heads. Samsung’s latest offering, the POWERStick Jet cordless vacuum aims to woo buyers with this versatile form factor while adding several unique twists of its own.
Samsung POWERstick Jet and POWERstick Light – what’s the difference?
Announced earlier at IFA 2019, the POWERStick Jet has made its debut in Malaysia and comes in three variants, differentiated by price, what attachments they come with and, interestingly enough, their suction power though they all look quite similar to each other.
The two lower end variants, dubbed the POWERStick Jet Light come with a lower powered 150W digital inverter motor with the cheapest variant offering the attachments to clean hard floors and carpets for RM2,699.
The midrange variant which retails for RM200 more retains the hard floor cleaning attachment but swaps out the carpet cleaning tool for what Samsung calls a Spinning Sweeper attachment that acts somewhat like a cross between a mop and a floor buffer.
The highest end variant, which we’re reviewing ditches the Light suffix and is simply called, appropriately enough, the POWERstick Jet. It has a much more powerful digital inverter motor at 200W and the full monty of attachments that lets it tackle hard floors, carpets and even mop them too. You can recap the differences in our prior feature here on the differences between the POWERstick Jet and POWERstick Jet Light.
In terms of design, the POWERstick Jet retains the usual sci-fi raygun style aesthetic with a pistol grip that has a thumb and forefinger rest but no trigger unlike other competing models. Perched just beneath the trigger assembly is an underslung 3,000mAh battery pack that can be swapped out for fresh ones if you need to continue vacuuming.
This particular feature is a welcome one but you only get one battery pack out of the box, which means you’ll have to purchase another one out of pocket. Another interesting quirk is that the batteries for the less powerful POWERstick Jet Light aren’t compatible with that of the POWERstick Jet, which is an oddity.
The 200W digital inverter motor for the POWERstick Jet is mounted above and forward of the trigger grip and just in front of it of it, they’ve mounted a dust bin paired with a 5-layer HEPA filter that filters out 99.99% of pollen, dust and allergens that it sucks in. A release button lets you open and remove both for easy cleaning. The bin and the HEPA filter itself are easily removable and washable.
While exact specifications and the nature of the design of the digital inverter motor in the POWERstick Jet aren’t officially available bar its ability to generate suction power up to 550W and including ultrasonic welded airfoil blade in its construction, the vacuum also uses a multi cyclonic air filtration system of sorts with 27 air inlets to efficiently capture even extremely fine dust particles don’t escape while ensuring optimum suction somewhat akin to what Dyson’s series of cordless vacuums use.
Where it differs significantly from the competition is that the POWERstick Jet employs a more unique ducting arrangement. Rather than having the attachment point for the various heads mounted forwards of the dust bin, they have instead mounted it below the dustbin.
It’s a novel arrangement that also allows you to keep the vacuum attachment on while tipping or cleaning the bin out though it doesn’t affect its usage in any major way. Aligning all the tabs on the bin to put it back in is a bit tricky and requires a bit of finesse but it’s something that should improve with practice.
Controlling the POWERstick Jet requires you to use your thumb to manually select which mode you want from a rear-mounted digital display. While it’s serviceable, it’s a bit hard to see under direct sunlight and only gives predefined indicators. A more context sensitive and sophisticated display would have been welcome at this price point.
You have options to turn it on or off and select three modes – Min, Mid and Max – all of which drain the battery at different speeds and which also offers different levels of suction power.
At Max settings, you can get a quoted 550W of suction power from the digital inverter motor though it guzzles battery juice like mad. At Min settings you can expect about an hour at much lower drain settings. You also get warning indicators if the feed is obstructed.
There’s also a fourth Wet mode that’s turned on when you bolt in the Spinning Sweeper attachment. Oddly enough, the rear readout doesn’t indicate battery life and you have to look at the battery itself, which has a blue indicator on the side to give you a rough idea how much juice is left with three bars roughly indicating 35% increments each.
Bar the POWERstick Jet handpiece itself, you get a charging pedestal that Samsung calls the Z-station that has a stand for you to store the vacuum and charge it, assuming you’ve loaded a battery in it, along with an additional empty slot at the base of the pedestal to charge a spare battery.
This free-standing Z-station charging pedestal comes in handy if you’re staying in a rental property as you needn’t have to drill any holes into the wall to mount it and you can simply plonk it in a corner. It also has an optional hook that you can screw into a wall to make it more sturdy. The Z-station also sports an additional clip that lets you store several, but not all, of the provided attachments.
Also note that the provided packaging is not designed for long term storage. Once you take the POWERstick Jet and its various attachments out, there’s no way you’re able to reassemble it back into its original state again in the box and there are more attachments than there are places to keep them in so it’s best you put a small bag aside next to the POWERstick Jet’s Z-station to store them in.
Samsung POWERstick Jet Setup and Attachments
Getting it up and running out of the box does require a bit of assembly though it’s otherwise straightforward with the Z-station charging pedestal consisting of a couple of snap-in parts as well as a power plug to hook it up to the mains.
The main POWERstick Jet handpiece itself simply requires you to slot in the underslung battery pack and whatever attachment you need for the task at hand. It’s quite literally point and shoot.
Out of the box, Samsung has issued a Turbo Action Brush, a Soft Action brush, a Mini Motorised Tool, a Combination Tool, an Extension Crevice Tool and a Wet Brush attachment head for a total of six attachments to tackle almost any conceivable scenario. Of these tools, several have their own independent motors like the Turbo Action brush, Soft Action brush and the Mini Motorised tool which take power off the main battery to run and which also affect battery life.
They’ve also included an adjustable metallic extension pipe that can go from 930mm to 1,140mm if needed to target high places or for users of different heights. The telescopic extension pipe extends into four predefined lengths with the pipe built of solid metal for exceptional durability.
One particularly useful addition that is a work of genius here is a flexible extension tool that snaps in between the unpowered attachments and the main handpiece to allow you a measure of flexibility in order to target odd corners like under sofas or beds, the tops of bookshelves or other odd nooks and crannies. The tool locks into the right angle as needed and is extremely sturdy indeed.
The Turbo Action brush has a rolling bristled brush that spins 3,750 times a minute to capture dust, dirt and whatnot to deep clean with all manner of rugs and carpets. What makes it different from the competition is that you can remove the brush head out for easy cleaning, a feature it also shares with the Soft Action brush.
The Soft Action brush has a similar design as the Turbo Action brush, spinning at 1,300 times a minute and is designed with a softer textured brush for hard floors like Malaysia’s perennially popular marble floors and parquet.
The Combination tool has a slide-out series of extendible hard bristles that are handy for targeting cookie crumbs, dust and debris within easy reach like on a table surface or at waist height.
The Mini Motorised tool comes in handy for close quarters and proves ideal for dealing with pet hair on couches, car seats and other padded upholstery.
The crevice tool is exceptionally handy for tight corners, crevices and unreachable spots where dust bunnies lurk. Where it edges out over the competition is that it’s extendable so that you can almost double its length to really reach where the sun don’t shine.
The most unique feature of the POWERstick Jet is its Spinning Sweeper mop. Rather than sucking in power, it has its own motor that spins two proprietary pieces of fabric in a manner akin to those floor buffers you see at shopping malls. The fabric pieces stick onto the Spinning Sweeper attachment with velcro and you’ll have to wet them before usage which is a challenge because you can’t get the whole piece too wet lest you end up with a whirling, sodden mess.
POWERStick Jet Performance, Battery Life and Price
Using the POWERstick Jet is as straightforward as it gets. There’s a bit of initial fumbling about on which attachment to use for which home cleaning scenario as both the Soft Action and Turbo Action brush look quite similar to each other but to be fair it’s not a steep learning curve. Like many cordless vacuums, you have the option to either use it with the extendable pipe attachment to vacuum and clean at waist height or plug a cleaning attachment directly into the vacuum handpiece for work at close quarters.
When tested on the home rug, which has seen quite a few years, plenty of coffee stains and countless packets of spilled lunches of varying degrees of edibility, biscuit crumbs, chip remnants and heck knows what else, we managed to cut a discernible swath of cleanliness with the Turbo Action tool and the POWERstick Jet set to High mode. On Mid mode, it required an extra pass or two for extra stubborn clumps of crud but on High it nailed most of it in one pass.
On a faux leather couch laden with a combination of cat hair, lint and old bits of debris that would likely require carbon dating to identify, we found a combination of the crevice tool and the Mini Motorised Tool to work best to deal with the hard to reach corners of the couch and the seat cushions. Again, it works best on High mode. On a series of hard tile floors consisting of mosaic and smoothed concrete, the POWERstick Jet with a Soft Action brush managed to competently clear up crumbs, dirt and other debris.
The provided Spinning Sweeper mop mode delivers best results on hard floors and works a treat if you have happened to spill food or coffee. It doesn’t work all too well with more stubborn clods of dirt and mostly pushes it aside. Another concern is that its single-use wet pads that you can attach on are unique in design and you’ll have to chunk out more cash to buy fresh ones if you aim to use it on a regular basis but the provided furry-looking mopping pads should do in most cases and will last for awhile before requiring replacement.
In general, the Min and Mid mode is useful for light sprucing up around the house and other areas that see regular use. High mode is ideal for cleaning up the most stubborn bits of dirt and deep clean plush pile rugs though it also drains a lot of juice from the batteries. We’re mildly surprised at the amount of dirt that it could clean out of what we considered as a fairly clean carpet.
The addition of the flexible extension tool is a welcome one, allowing us to clean up sections that would normally require us to get up on a chair to reach while the extendable pipe extension allows users of all heights to comfortably use the POWERstick Jet by adjusting its length to fit.
In terms of ergonomics, the POWERstick Jet falls afoul of the usual factors affecting this form factor with an ungainly, forward-heavy design that puts strain on the forefinger and the wrist to keep it upright and stable. It’s best to use it in a two-handed stance.
While it’s a matter of personal taste, having the activation button on the rear diagnostics display adds an additional step in terms of usage ergonomics versus simply implementing a traditional trigger. Plonking the battery life indicators on the battery themselves also means that you need to look in multiple places to get critical information when they should all be put in one place so you can see everything important at a glance. It’s not a deal breaker but it’s something that ought to be refined in next generation iterations of this vacuum.
Battery life is a bit of a tough gauge for the POWERstick Jet as it really depends on how you use it. At maximum power with any of the motorised attachments, you’re looking at six minutes of active usage time tops. Mayhaps less if you’re encountering particularly recalcitrant dust bunnies. On Min settings, it’s rated at about an hour worth of usage. Realistically, you’ll be using a combination of modes when cleaning so your usage time will be somewhere between. Charging the sole supplied battery takes close to 3 and a half hours. Unless you invest in a second battery, you’re looking at short spurts of cleaning a three or four times a day tops.
At RM3,599, the POWERstick Jet isn’t cheap but offers good performance with good suction power. It also has a variety of specially engineered features that give it an edge over the competition like swappable batteries, a bundled charging stand and a flexible adjustment tool that makes cleaning less of a potential hazard especially for older, less able users.
Some features like the Spinning Sweeper mode are an attempt at multitasking and are underwhelming at best while also requiring you to chunk out additional cash for expendables like the wet cloth pads. If the POWERstick Jet isn’t quite up your alley, Dyson’s V11 Absolute which we reviewed awhile back is a more refined alternative which retails for slightly less.
Even so, the POWERstick Jet is a compelling proposition out of the starting gate that’s well worth a look for those seeking a versatile cordless vacuum that’s chock full of features.
What we liked Unique mop attachment, swappable batteries, has a floor-standing charging stand, good performance
What we didn’t Underwhelming Spinning Sweeper mop mode acts more like a floor buffer, needs improvement in battery life
We say The Samsung POWERStick Jet cordless vacuum vies for primacy with a range of unique features like swappable batteries, a powered mop attachment and a novel array of additional accessories. Bar the underwhelming mop function, Samsung’s most powerful cordless vacuum is a solidly made offering that’s well worth consideration.
Dust container capacity 0.5L
Noise level 86 dB
Suction power 200W
Maximum consumption power 550W
Battery 21.9V Li-ion/3,000mAh (removable) / 60 minutes (quoted) / 210 minutes charging time
Size/Weight 250 x 1,136 x 215mm / 2.7kg
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. Check out the official page here.