The Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua.
The Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua.

Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua

Cool factor 4/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 4/5

It has been easy to classify tech as "something with a motherboard" or, occasionally, "anything that uses a motor". And it is fair to say that household cleaning appliances were never really considered tech devices — until now.

But appliances of all shapes and sizes can today be categorised under the umbrella term. This is true also for cordless or battery-powered household implements such as vacuum cleaners.

Cords restrict our movement, with household chores, for example. Reaching underneath an untidy teenager’s bed or cleaning the garage are made more difficult because there aren’t plug points nearby.

That is why the Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua is so useful. It’s a cordless cleaner that can function for up to an hour on one charge.

The SpeedPro charges via a mount that can be positioned anywhere in the house, which keeps things especially neat. It can take three to four hours to charge the battery fully.

What makes this sucker stand out above competitors like the Dyson is the variety of attachments you get in the box. Along with the standard vacuum attachment for floors, there’s one for couches and chairs, which works great if you have pets that shed. The attachment’s small bristles help pick up even the slightest toy pom hair (I speak from experience).

The SpeedPro’s big selling point is meant to be the Aqua mop attachment. But I found this a bit gimmicky, as it didn’t do a better job than a manual Floorwiz mop would. Other than that, the attachments are useful; the base head contains a bristle attachment that’s brilliant for ceiling corners and getting rid of sneaky webs.

Further gold stars go to the vacuum cleaner’s overall manoeuvrability. The head is relatively thin and the main body of the machine can fold completely flat, giving you access to nooks and crannies under couches, beds and corner tables. The head is also fitted with LEDs, a standard feature on most cordless suckers that I found useful for very dusty spots.

You’ll also be able to clean during load-shedding, if that’s your thing.

This model retails for R10,000, but honestly, the basic SpeedPro Max, which comes without the Aqua mop attachment, will do all the good stuff for R8,000.

The Dyson cordless kit starts at R11,000. This means that Philips has a slight edge with its pricing as well as with the variety of the goodies you can attach to its head.