Excitement for a new gadget or tech is directly proportional to how relevant it is in this new age of work-from-home normal. If it solves a real problem, eases my workflow or even if it just means I can get my chores done faster, I’m all for it. The Dyson Omni-glide seems to tick all those boxes, in theory at least.
It’s not an all-new form factor for Dyson, but a significant rethinking of the principles that have made them a global powerhouse in high-tech deep cleaning. So, as the name suggests, the Dyson Omni-glide is designed with one very simple goal – to offer easy cleaning in all directions without any effort.
Not a size queen
It’s much smaller all around, including the packaging which deceptively looks like you ordered just the filter instead of the whole unit when it arrives in the courier! In reality too, it actually is the smallest stick vacuum that Dyson makes, and is designed specifically for small houses, flats, offices or anything that doesn’t have carpeted floors.
The in-line form factor remains but as you can imagine, everything is miniaturised. So you have a much smaller bin that holds 0.2L of dry dirt, the smallest Cyclone head that Dyson makes with eight cyclones instead of the usual 14 or 15 on the bigger models, and a revised version of the famed Dyson motor now christened “Hyperdymium”. Long-time Dyson fans will be glad to know that the suction power is still adequate due to the motor’s ridiculous spinning speed of 105,000rpm and some clever engineering on the business end of the stick.
Thanks to all the shrinking, even the battery life takes a hit. Dyson claims 20 minutes in Eco mode, but use a motorized cleaner head and throttle up to Max mode, and you’re looking at around 10-12 minutes. Good news is that the battery is easily swappable so you can keep back-ups. Battery charge time is also a leisurely 3.5 hours so if you have hyperactive kids or pets...or just general hand-eye coordination issues, it’ll help to have at least one spare battery!
Like with all their units though, Dyson includes a wall charging unit and even some super sticky tape in case you don’t want to bother with nails and holes on the wall so leaving it on the dock after every round of cleaning should keep enough charge for an unforeseen emergency.
Moonwalking around the mess
Since the primary design objective was heightened maneuverability, it’s the omnidirectional Fluffy cleaner head that is the real talking point here and before you get excited, no, it won’t work on any other Dyson vacuum cleaners. Designed to be narrower than the usual Fluffy head cleaners in the other models, the Omni-glide uses two counter-rotating rollers instead of the usual one, so it really helps wedge in stubborn debris from hard surfaces and sucks it in more efficiently.
Four stabilising castors move 360 degrees and along with the articulating neck that connects it to the stick, it makes for a truly magical glide across marble, wood, polished stone, or any flat surface you can think of. There is zero resistance from the cleaner head and in fact, the movement is so frictionless, you wonder if it’s even making contact with the surface at all! Changes in direction are rapid and effortless, allowing you to circumvent tables, chair legs and obstacles without ever lifting it off the floor and that reduces effort since you don’t have to “feel” the weight of the Omni-glide.
What isn’t as ergonomic as their other models though is the grip when you detach the long stick and attach tools directly to the bin for non-floor cleaning. The gun-like trigger and handle of the other Dyson models make it easy to grip them and balance weight when reaching for a ceiling corner or even while using the mini motorized brush tool on sofas.
On the Omni-glide, you only have the cylindrical stalk to hold, which also contains the battery and after a couple of minutes of moving your wrists around, you will want to change hands. Which is also probably why the Omni-glide is also the first Dyson cleaner with a power on/off button. It helps to conserve battery while you change hands, readjust the grip or swap tools.
Cleaning ability is top-notch, thanks to the tremendous motor and even though the 11W of air watts of suction in Eco mode might seem paltry in comparison to Dyson’s other models, it suffices for the job it’s designed to do, which is clean hard floors and soft surfaces. It’s the deep cleaning of carpets and picking up tough dirt from between the fibers that require more power, for which the bigger models are optimised.
Around the house, using the Omni-glide for a few days becomes second nature once it’s in plain sight, due to its ease of use and handiness. Mind you, its tolerance for wet dirt is very low so you will have to maneuver your way around spills and splashes but that’s also a limitation of the larger machines. It can handle a little dampness and moving around spillage is a lot easier, thanks to the rotational Fluffy head cleaner.
Dyson has patented the use of angled carbon-fibre filaments and they ensure that even finer dust has no escape, while the soft nylon brushes work on larger debris. Its unique five layer filtration system means that the air that is expelled out of the filter is actually cleaner than the air going in.
The cyclone design remains the single most important Dyson development in association with the powerful motors, helping create centrifugal forces high enough to separate the dust and other particles from the air, before sending it upwards towards the filter. This leaves the filter itself free of clogging and all the dirt stays in the bin, providing unrelenting suction power until the battery runs out. With no visual indicator of battery level though , it is a concern until you train yourself to do quick cleans and dock the Omni-glide back into its charging bay.
There are a few tools included in the box that enhance its portability and widen its appeal. The mini motorised brush for instance can be used to clean small rugs or couches, the combination tool with a soft brush and crevice nozzle is perfect for a quick car clean-up and a worktop tool that can be helpful for shelves and stuff.
As always, emptying the bin is a non-messy affair, shooting straight from the bin into your trash-can, without the need to get last night's ham in your hand. Due to its “hard-floor” only policy, it also doesn’t collect the really fine dust that the bigger Dyson’s do after an aggressive carpet cleaning session.
Like all things Dyson, Omni-glide is a product of intense engineering and has taken about 1.5 years to develop. This means it has all the bits and pieces that have made Dyson machines the last word in vacuum cleaners. Robust build quality blended with supreme ease of use and quick attachments that are easier to affix than Lego bricks.
But the catch here is that it is simply a limited device that is dangerously close in price to the much more comprehensive V8 Absolute+ and only a few grand cheaper than the V10 Absolute Pro, which is almost thrice as powerful with almost thrice the run time too. Had the Omni-glide been a sub-₹25,000 machine, it would almost make for a sell-out. But at ₹34,900, even with all the tech and elegance, it’s a big ask.