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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.