Hotpoint’s range of floor care has recently been boosted with the addition of two lightweight, battery-powered models. The Power Move HSMR4AZOUK is the entry-level model, promising up to 50 minutes’ run-time from its single, removable battery for a relatively affordable £170.
Used on its highest power setting, it delivers 25 minutes of reasonable cleaning performance on carpets and hard floors alike. It lacks suction grunt for deep-cleaning or edges, and there are no suitable tools for stairs or upholstery. It’s worth considering at this price – but its quirky controls can be seriously frustrating.
Straight out of the box, the HSMR4AZOUK is a bit of an enigma. While clearly marketed as a cordless ‘hand-stick’ vacuum, in truth it’s a little big for that. It’s much closer to the size and shape of a full-sized upright, which has allowed it to pack in a decent 0.9-litre dustbin. For comparison, a Dyson V6 bin is 0.5 litres and Vax’s SlimVac is 0.6 litres. This Hotpoint’s size and spec means it competes head-on with Vax’s Air Cordless uprights.
The name Power Move confused us a little too. We thought it might suggest driven wheels to help manoeuvrability. Not so. After extensive testing we have no idea what the name refers to. No matter, though, as the overall specification stacks up well against its sub-£200 asking price.
A little assembly of the cleaner is required, but it all clips together nicely. The battery is a peculiar shape but removable. Theoretically, you could purchase a second battery for extended cleaning time between charging.
The short hose extends to around 1.5m and terminates in a non-removeable crevice tool. The tool is a little shorter and chunkier than ideal – but so am I. A small dusting brush with medium stiffness bristles slides down the crevice tool for dusting duties.
Strangely, the crevice tool clips straight into the underside of the handle. It’s parked here for storage alone when you’re using the Power Move as an upright – the air doesn’t run through it.
A stiff lever on the back of the machine diverts the suction to the floorhead or the hose. Most machines do this automatically when they’re placed fully upright. Having to move the lever when you change from floor cleaning to detail cleaning is a bit of a faff.
Just below the lever is a solid-looking charging socket, hidden behind a duct cover. It’s a large three-pin affair, so no danger of this port becoming damaged over time. HEPA standard filtration is provided by two washable filters. A little filter light on the front of the cleaner illuminates when they need a buff.
Down at ground level there’s a good-width floorhead with powered brush bar. The bar has two rows of stiff bristles and can be removed for cleaning with two coin-turn clips.
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Behind the brush bar on the floorhead is a rubber blade to sweep hard floors. The head’s four wheels should provide easy rolling and the neck tilts and pivots with ease. The more upmarket Power Move HSMR2AZUB model also integrates an antibacterial UV light into the base. On our entry model you can see this slot blanked off.
The accessories roster is complete with a mains-powered charger with fly-lead. Promised numbers are up to 50minutes run time from a four-hour charge.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – Handling, features and emptying
The curved handle unclips from the main body and has its own wireless remote control for on/off and power. Two AAA batteries are supplied to power the remote. Fitting them requires a small cross-head screwdriver, good eyesight and the finger dexterity of a pianist.
Oddly, the handle’s nozzle is a simple blunt plastic tube with a slot cut in it. The shape is of little use for any sort of detail cleaning, and there are no tools or tubes supplied for it. The crevice tool connects the hose to the handle, so you can’t use that. Frankly, making the handle removable at all is pointless.
Thankfully, the remote control buttons do come in handy when the machine is used as an upright. Although, not without some issues. The remote control’s main power button only works if you have already pressed the power button on the machine itself, which rather defeats the object. Even then, the cleaner wasn’t always quick to respond to the wireless commands.
The Power Move offers three levels of suction, ranging from seriously asthmatic to fair for a battery cleaner. The suction isn’t in the same league as some of the top-spec cordless cleaners we’ve tested, but neither is the price ticket. There are up/down suction power buttons on the remote control and a single button on the body that scrolls through the levels.
Frustratingly, the Power Move doesn’t remember the last power setting. Even if you only stop the cleaner for a few seconds, it returns on the mid-power level. Just to top the handle’s ergonomic catastrophe, the control button position wasn’t good for me either. On awkward cleaning manoeuvres my hand would hit the power button and turn the thing off. Jackie didn’t have the same issue, though.
As an upright, the Hotpoint rolls and turns well. It’s lightweight at 4.9kg and the limited suction power means there’s no stick-down. It’s a very easy cleaner to move around on a variety of floors. The hose is quite stretchy and unclips from the handle without issue. You do have to remember to push the suction divert lever across to use the hose, though.
More likely, you’ll forget to put the level back afterwards. You’ll then carry on floor cleaning, seeing the brush bar grooming the pile, with no cleaning suction at all. I did that often – that’s not frustrating at all.
The bin clips off with ease and emptying is straightforward. We did get fluff caught around the cyclone, which required some poking around – but this isn’t usual. If you want to give the bin and filter housing a real spring clean then the manual suggests the whole thing can be disassembled without tools. Our samples cyclone was stuck fast in the canister, though.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – Charging and run times
From a flat battery charge time was around the four hours suggested. There’s only the one battery and no dock, however, so you do have to charge it in the cleaner.
Yellow illuminated battery segments on the front of the cleaner flash to let you know it’s powering up. All the lights go out when the unit is fully charged.
You can indeed get 50 minutes’ run-time out of the Power Move. The caveat being that this is on the lowest power setting. That doesn’t deliver enough suction to pick up anything using the floorhead. It’s okay for light dusting duties using the crevice tool and dusting brush, however.
On maximum power, we were pleasantly surprised at a solid 24-26 minutes’ run-time. The lower end of that was over carpet, where the added resistance on the brush bar drained a few extra watts. The default mid-power setting came in at ***XX*** minutes. Given that you can do an awful lot of vacuuming in 25 minutes, we’d opt for the more powerful maximum setting every time.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – How noisy is it?
The Power Move’s motor isn’t too noisy, but there is plenty of sound coming from the floorhead and the powered brush bar. The medium-stiff bristles do add noise over hard floors, with the hard surface tending to bounce any noise back at you.
Over ceramic floor tiles the cleaner measured around 65dB at ear level. That’s a lot quieter than some hand sticks, although still louder than the quietest mains cleaners.
Over carpet, the sound of the floorhead was much more suppressed, shaving 5dB off the output. Over deep-pile carpets the noise measured just below 60dB. That’s relatively peaceful for a vacuum cleaner.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – How does it clean hard floors?
Manoeuvrability on hard floors is good and that does make the Power Move easy to use. The limited suction power on even the highest settings means you’re never going to clean deep within the cracks of naked floorboards. There was enough side suction on high power to pull in pet hairs against the skirting, though.
While power level one has about the same suction power as a toddler with a drinking straw, there isn’t much to choose between levels two and three. Neither are outstanding, so the little extra oomph on the third level became our setting of choice. That meant manually increasing the power from its mid-setting default every use.
In a single forward pass the Power Move did a very good job of clearing our spill of oats. No particles were flicked out or pushed in front, and the rear blade ensured nothing was left behind. There was enough suction on level three to pull the oats and dust from the grouting grooves too.
Unfortunately, when cleaning in a more typical freeform style around the room, that rubber blade counts against. If you pull back over an area you haven’t previously rolled over forwards, the blade simply pushes debris backwards. As soon as you move forwards again it leaves a neat little line of detritus.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – How does it clean carpets?
The easy rolling does make for a nice and easy carpet cleaning job, and the powered brush bar works well. The bristles dip below the level of the base, so agitate the carpet effectively. You can see the bristles’ path in rows of groomed lines left in the pile.
As such, the results of our carpet test – with a mix of carpet powder, baking powder and talc – were fairly good. Using the highest power setting, a single pass of the Hotpoint Power Move saw the bulk of the powder beaten from the carpet and vacuumed up. The return path cleaned a little more for a reasonable overall clean.
Looking closely at the carpet afterwards, you could see plenty of the heavier carpet-cleaning granules left in the pile. Powder in the carpet dip near the skirting edge was largely ignored. The cleaner’s lack of suction and so-so head design meant you were going to need the crevice tool to clean edges. Just don’t forget to shift that lever back afterwards.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – How does it cope with pet hair?
Once again, the Power Move’s brush bar saved the day here. With our Labrador and Collie shedding fluff all over the house, the Power Move proved more than up to the two-dog task.
Loose hairs and rolling tumbleweed balls were sucked in well over hard floors. On carpets, too, the bristles did a good job of pulling entangled hairs from the carpet pile. The tufts of bristles on the brush bar are spaced well apart. That helps limit the number of hairs that became entangled on the bar itself.
When it comes to detail cleaning of pet hairs on upholstery or the dogs’ beds, the Power Move didn’t have an answer. There are simply no tools supplied that can address either material effectively. As a pet-owners’ cleaner, this model is okay for floors but has limited all-round fluff-busting appeal.
Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK – How easy is it to use on stairs?
Close to impossible. Few cordless cleaners we’ve tried have been quite so difficult to use on stairs.
With no suitable tools to clean carpeted steps with the hose, you’re forced to physically man-handle the whole cleaner. Suddenly, that 4.9kg doesn’t seem very light at all. Moreover, the main floorhead is way too wide to manoeuvre, and so long that the rear wheels fall off the back of most steps.
This Hotpoint is one for bungalows then.
Why buy the Hotpoint Power Move HSMR4AZOUK?
While the price is good for such a reasonably sized and well-featured cordless cleaner, the Power Move HSMR4AZOUK has limited appeal.
It’s easy to use and manoeuvre over hard floors and carpets alike, and cleaning performance is passable if not outstanding. You’ll need to use the highest power for effective cleaning and you get a very reasonable 25 minutes’ run-time on this setting. You can increase run-time for less suction gumption on the lower levels.
However, the Power Move’s real limitations come from its lack of effective small tools and some frankly bizarre ergonomics. They could well frustrate you for years to come.