Enabot EBO X review: A smart, but flawed robot companion
“The EBO X offers a host of smart home features, though it doesn’t excel at anything in particular.”
Heaps of smart home features
Built-in privacy shutter
Captures 4K footage
Awkward footage angle
Amazon Astro steals the spotlight when it comes to household robots, but there are plenty of other homebots looking to join your family. This includes the new Enabot EBO X — a premium little robot capable of serving the role of protector, entertainer, and everything in-between.
At its core, EBO X is a “smart guardian,” capable of patrolling your home like a robotic security guard. The tiny bot zips around on two self-balancing wheels as it uses a 4K camera and microphones to alert you to crying babies or grandparents that may have fallen, and monitor if anyone has entered customizable restricted zones. It also serves as a smart speaker with support for Alexa and can even be controlled remotely like an RC car.
There’s a lot going on with EBO X — and while it doesn’t always clear the high bar the company set for itself, it’s still a compelling smart home companion (if you can stomach its $999 price tag).
Easy on the eyes
The first thing you’ll notice about the EBO X is its gorgeous design. Essentially a sphere with two wheels and a pop-up camera, it looks futuristic, adorable, and incredibly well-built. It also benefits from a front display with two customizable “eyes” — making the little robot appear a bit more human than it should.
On top of the EBO X is its 4K camera. Not only is this stabilized for smooth viewing while in motion, but it can be rotated up and down to help you find the best viewing angle. If privacy is a concern, you can angle it all the way to the ground. Better yet, you can push the entire camera into the body of the EBO X — creating a streamlined appearance for the robot and ensuring nothing is being recorded.
A bunch of futuristic bezels, edges, and accents round out the EBO X body, making it a truly good-looking smart home gadget. Its two wheels are capable of rolling around on tile and hardwood, though you’ll notice a bit of slowdown when traversing thick carpet. EBO X does a great job of navigating, stopping automatically before it rolls into an obstacle and repositioning itself as needed.
EBO X is self-stabilizing, so as it cruises around your home, it’ll automatically adjust its positioning to stay upright. You can even disable or enable this self-righting ability at the press of a button — which can be useful if you need to point its camera toward the ceiling.
When not in use, EBO X will automatically head back to its charging dock.
Painful to set up
While the EBO X is designed like a premium product and has plenty of high-tech features to back up its looks, things quickly went downhill as I started the setup process. EBO X doesn’t use its own voice command system — so the first thing you’ll need to do is sync it with Alexa and enable a dedicated skill set.
This shouldn’t be a challenge, but I ran into a few hiccups that resulted in me updating my EBO smartphone app multiple times before it finally let me access all the Alexa commands. I expected this to run as seamlessly as it does with other smart home products, but, unfortunately, it was a clunky and frustrating process.
Once you’ve synced your Alexa account with EBO, the EBO X smartphone app gives you a few tips on how to use Alexa to access all its features. It’s not as comprehensive as you’d expect for a $999 device, and I was largely left to fend for myself after installing the app.
It would have been a much better user experience if the app held my hand and walked me through all the robot’s features. EBO X can perform dozens of unique tasks, and trying to figure out how to access all these on my own was unnecessarily frustrating. I wish the smartphone app would launch straight into a tutorial — similar to how things work with most robot vacuums or video doorbells.
Instead, I was left flipping through various menus and haphazardly entering tutorials as I encountered them.
Despite the steep learning curve and lackluster onboarding, the smartphone app works well and gives you incredible control over EBO X. But if you’re not tech-savvy or don’t have the patience to dive through dozens of menus, EBO X will leave you frustrated within minutes of unboxing it.
Jack of all trades, master of none
EBO X can do a lot of things, but it doesn’t excel at all of them. For example, you’ll find speakers throughout the homebot, allowing it to act as a smart speaker. But since the robot is so low to the ground, the audio becomes muffled when on carpet.
The same can be said of the 4K camera — there’s no denying it captures incredible footage, but the upward viewing angle is a bit awkward. It’s great for tracking pets, but recording humans is undoubtedly strange from its ground-level vantage point.
Mapping your home and using EBO as a security guard works well enough, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that a few dedicated security cameras would work better for most homes. You could literally purchase a dozen indoor cameras for the price of one EBO X, and you’d probably end up with a more robust system.
Still, the novelty of having so many smart home features wrapped into a single robot is appealing. Combined with its premium design, it’s well-equipped to serve as your robotic guardian and keep your home safe. Few devices serve so many purposes, and even fewer are as durable and well-designed as EBO X.
The Enabot EBO X gets a lot right. It’s built with premium materials, it offers a robust camera, and the ability to sync with Alexa gives you access to tons of useful commands and integrations. And compared to its rival, Amazon Astro, it’s much more affordable.
But for $999, it’s difficult to recommend the gadget to most homeowners. Instead of opting for EBO X, you could snag an Echo Studio smart speaker, a handful of Blink Mini indoor cameras, a Blink Floodlight, and still have money left over. You’d essentially have access to everything offered by EBO X, but with devices that were built from the ground up for a singular purpose — and execute that purpose better than EBO X.
Conversely, if you love the idea of a smart robot that can follow you around the home or be sent patrolling while you’re away, EBO X is a great option. Smaller homes will likely be better served by a few smart cameras and a smart speaker, but if you don’t want to kit out your sprawling abode with dozens of different cameras and smart speakers, you can bundle them all together with EBO X — and bring them with you from room to room.
EBO X is a well-rounded smart robot that does a bit of everything. If you don’t mind the price or finicky setup process and love the novelty it offers, then consider making it a permanent member of your home.