Samsung Motion Sync Bagless Upright Vacuum with Fully Detachable Handheld review: Samsung's pricy upright misses the mark

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Samsung's Motion Sync wheels. Colin West McDonald/CNET

Aside from that, it's pretty easy to use. The dust bin isn't hard to remove or empty. You don't have to stoop over to reach the power and brush roll on/off buttons. The separate handheld vacuum doesn't take too much effort to remove and it's very easy to operate. I had a little trouble opening the handheld dust bin, but it wasn't a major issue.

Performance

To test the Samsung vacuum, we scattered 1 ounce of fruity Cheerios, 0.2 ounces of pet hair, and 2.5 ounces of a sand and sawdust mixture onto hardwood, mid-pile carpet, and low-pile carpet. We also scattered long synthetic human hair to see how the brush handles potential tangles. We compared the Samsung's results to the Oreck Touch, the Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean, the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away, the Eureka AS1104A SuctionSeal Pet, the Hoover WindTunnel 3, the Dyson DC41 Animal Complete, the Bissell PowerGlide Deluxe, the Dyson DC50 Animal, the Dyson DC40 Origin, the Panasonic MC-UL429 JetForce, and the Dirt Devil Dash.

Cheerios, 1 oz. (percentage picked up)

Oreck Touch Bagless
92
97
95
Dyson DC41 Animal Complete
92
97
93
Bissell PowerGlide Deluxe
83
100
98
Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean
93
88
90
Eureka AS1104A SuctionSeal Pet
72
93
100
Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away
73
88
97
Dyson DC40 Origin
62
90
92
Hoover WindTunnel 3
68
65
60
Panasonic MC-UL429 JetForce
12
75
83
Dyson DC50 Animal
0
80
83
Dirt Devil Dash
15
55
63
Samsung Motion Sync
7
33
20

Legend:

Hardwood
Mid-pile
Low-pile

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

The Samsung upright completely failed the fruity Cheerios tests. It picked up 7 percent on hardwood, 33 percent on mid-pile carpet, and 20 percent on low-pile carpet. That's last place -- pretty far behind the Dirt Devil Dash's next-to-last-place results of 15 percent on hardwood, 55 percent on mid-pile carpet, and 63 percent on low-pile carpet.

The Samsung vacuum's score is largely due to its low-lying nozzle. While a lot of Cheerios clung to the outside of the nozzle (indicating powerful suction), it was much too close to the ground to let them pass. So instead, it pushed the Cheerios around the floor and occasionally, some would make it to the dust bin. I tested the detachable handheld here to see if it could act as a supplement. Things went well at first, but it got jammed with sticky cereal bits pretty quickly. I spent the majority of the time coaxing sugary Cheerios clusters out of its narrow vacuum tube.

Pet hair, 0.2 oz. (percentage picked up)

Dyson DC50 Animal
100
100
100
Dyson DC41 Animal Complete
100
100
100
Oreck Touch Bagless
92
100
100
Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean
75
100
100
Bissell PowerGlide Deluxe
0
100
100
Hoover WindTunnel 3
0
100
100
Panasonic MC-UL429 JetForce
0
100
100
Samsung Motion Sync
0
100
100
Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away
0
100
100
Eureka AS1104A SuctionSeal Pet
0
92
100
Dyson DC40 Origin
0
100
90
Dirt Devil Dash
0
92
92

Legend:

Hardwood
Mid-pile
Low-pile

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

The pet hair tests turned out a bit better for the Samsung upright. While it didn't collect any of the pet hair on the hardwood floor, it collected 100 percent of the per hair on both the mid-pile and low-pile carpets. That was a pretty consistent result for many of the models, including the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away, the Panasonic MC-UL429 JetForce, the Hoover WindTunnel 3, and the Bissell PowerGlide Deluxe. It's a decent score, but several vacuums were able to collect pet hair on hardwood.

Once again, I turned to the handheld vacuum to see if it could act as a backup. And it did very well with small clumps and small quantities of pet hair. If you have a shedding fiend, though, I'd opt for a broom on hardwood instead -- or a different vacuum.

Sand/sawdust, 2.5 oz. (percentage picked up)

Samsung Motion Sync
100
88
96
Hoover WindTunnel 3
98
87
95
Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean
97
80
91
Eureka AS1104A SuctionSeal Pet
99
91
77
Bissell PowerGlide Deluxe
99
83
79
Dyson DC50 Animal
98
68
77
Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away
92
86
59
Dyson DC40 Origin
98
77
64
Oreck Touch Bagless
97
61
71
Panasonic MC-UL429 JetForce
100
66
61
Dyson DC41 Animal Complete
98
68
58
Dirt Devil Dash
77
33
19

Legend:

Hardwood
Mid-pile
Low-pile

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

The Samsung upright excelled here, picking up 100 percent of the sand and sawdust on hardwood, 88 percent on mid-pile carpet, and 96 percent on low-pile carpet. That's the best overall sand and sawdust performance score out of all 12 vacuums. This demonstrated the suction potential of the vacuum, and those Cheerios would have been goners if only you could adjust the nozzle height.

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Cheerios test on hardwood. Colin West McDonald/CNET

We also scattered some synthetic human hair on all three surfaces to see how much it would tangle and how easy it would be to clean. The hair didn't tangle much on the hardwood floor since the brush roll wasn't activated. Instead, it collected at the base of the brush and was easy to remove. On both carpet types, however, the hair got very tangled around the rotating brush. Still, I was able to remove it without much trouble.

Conclusion

It's hard not to feel ambivalent about this vacuum. Yes, it's heavy and the angled wheel design actually hinders maneuverability, but it got the highest ever sand and sawdust score. On the other hand, it only did okay on the pet hair tests, and got the lowest ever fruity Cheerios score. To a limited extent, the detachable handheld vacuum can help with these deficiencies, but it comes down to this: I expect more from a $450 vacuum. The $650 Dyson DC41 Animal Complete may cost more, but it's a high-end model with better usability and a more consistent performance. The $299.99 Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean and the $399.99 Oreck Touch are worth a look, too -- they are the most well-rounded upright vacuums we've seen yet.

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