Shark Detect Pro review: Vacuuming made easy

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


  • Very lightweight & compact
  • Detection features make vacuuming less of a chore
  • Headlights
  • Easy to empty bin


  • Runtime far less than 60 minutes if you use detection features
  • No HEPA filter
  • Ineffective combi tool
  • Small bin

Our Verdict

At its sale price, the Detect Pro is very good value. The detection features mean that everything is automated; you only need to roll the vacuum around and it’ll make all the decisions. That said, using those detection features takes a toll on battery life. We’re also dubious about the longevity of the dustbin seal and wouldn’t recommend this vacuum as an alternative to one with whole-machine HEPA filtration.

Price When Reviewed


Best Prices Today: Shark Detect Pro

The Shark Detect Pro is Shark’s answer to Dyson’s dust-detecting technology. As you vacuum, it’ll respond to the conditions around your home–how much dust and dirt it finds, whether it’s on carpet or hard flooring, if it’s vacuuming along a wall, how bright or dim the room is–and switch its power up or down accordingly, or turn on its headlights.

The idea is that the Shark Detect Pro can save you from messing around with settings as you vacuum, cleaning as efficiently as possible while also preserving battery life. But how well do these features work, and are they enough of a reason to buy? We’ve got the answers in our full review.

The detection features work as promised and do, without a doubt, make vacuuming less of a chore.

There are two buying options for the Detect Pro: you can get the vacuum alone ($299.99, on sale at the time of writing) or with the Shark Detect Pro Auto-Empty Station ($379.99). We haven’t had the opportunity to test the station, so this review will be focusing on the vacuum itself.

Design & build

  • 0.4-liter bin
  • Compact storage mode
  • Swappable battery

The Detect Pro is boxed in all-recyclable cardboard packaging, with the individual vacuum cleaner parts wrapped in paper; this commitment to minimizing plastic waste is something we always like to see.

The vacuum itself has a white plastic body with black trim and a matte gunmetal wand. The overall design is a bit retro-futuristic in a way that could be divisive. How you respond to the Buck Rogers aesthetic could determine how you feel about the Detect Pro.

The vacuum has a clear bin that’s small at 0.4 liters. This won’t be as much of a problem if you buy the self-emptying station; if not, however, prepare to make regular trips to the kitchen to empty it.

Despite its small size, the bin comes with a clever design. It opens lengthwise like a crocodile’s jaw, making it easy to empty without having to dig around inside to free bits of fluff.

Top tip: Make sure you figure out where the bin opens before you try to empty it the first time. I’m speaking from hard-won experience.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

The bin’s design means that there’s a long join sealed with a simple rubber lip. Although the vacuum is advertised as having an “anti-allergen complete seal” that will trap “99.9% of dust, allergens and irritants”, it won’t be as efficient as whole-machine HEPA filtration, and if any part of the seal is damaged or starts to wear, it will start leaking dust. We wouldn’t recommend it for asthmatics or people with hay fever or a sensitivity to dust.  

In the box, you’ll get the vacuum cleaner body, wand, main motorized cleaning head, combi cleaning tool, and plug. As the battery is removable, you can opt to pop it out and charge it separately, which means you don’t need to store the vacuum by a wall outlet.

This also gives you the option of buying a spare battery so you can keep one charged and ready. It’s difficult to find spare batteries for the Detect Pro at this stage, but Shark typically charges around $80 for them.

The Shark Detect Pro kit

Emma Rowley / Foundry

You can also remove the vacuum cleaner body and sit it on a cradle attached to the wand for more compact storage.

Shark Detect Pro in the corner of a room in storage mode

Emma Rowley / Foundry

I wasn’t wowed when I first unboxed the Detect Pro, but I liked it more as I used it. All the components click into place satisfyingly and it feels like a typically robust Shark build.

Performance & features

  • Detection features work well
  • Battery life display is basic

The Detect Pro’s controls are simple. Above the grip, there’s an On/Off button, while a mode button lets you cycle through the various cleaning modes.

You can see the mode on the LED display below. There’s also a battery indicator, but it’s very basic, just showing how many quadrants of the battery life you have left.

The focus of the display is on dirt detection, with a crescent indicator that’s either red, orange or blue in response to the level of dust and dirt around. In this regard, Shark is following Dyson’s lead: the V15 Detect and Gen5 Detect each display the size and volume of dust and dirt particles that are picked up.

In my opinion, these features are nice but not essential, and I’d prefer it if the Detect Pro had a clearer battery life timer, preferably displaying in minutes.  

Shark Detect Pro display showing battery and dust indicators

Emma Rowley / Foundry

The Detect Pro is extremely light at roughly 6 pounds and it’s easy to maneuver. But it doesn’t lie flat due to the shape of its grip, and its wand doesn’t twist, so it may not get all the way under your bed or sofa.

LEDs illuminated in a dark room

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Shark is advertising this vacuum as having “four deep-cleaning technologies” that respond to their surroundings. To some extent, this is just marketing hype: one of the four technologies is the strip of LEDs on the main head, which switch on automatically in dimmer rooms or along one side when edge cleaning.

It’s a handy feature but not exactly a deep-cleaning technology. Plus, if all the LEDs are on before it goes into edge mode, it responds by switching off the lights furthest from the wall, which is not necessarily useful.

The other “deep-cleaning technologies” have more to do with the actual cleaning side of things. The Detect Pro will ramp up its power when it finds more dust and dirt, or when vacuuming along a wall, to improve pickup right to the edge. It’ll also automatically increase the brush roll speed when it hits a carpeted surface. The power decreases again when it’s not needed, saving battery life as well as the hassle of needing to switch up a gear.

The detection features work as promised and do, without a doubt, make vacuuming less of a chore. You can pretty much just amble around and let the vac make the decisions for you.

The battery life is given as up to 60 minutes, but that’s only if you use the Shark Detect Pro in Eco mode, which means forgoing any of the detection features. It’s also unlikely that Eco mode will be strong enough to properly clean a carpet.

Realistically, for most forms of cleaning, you’ll want to use the Detect mode, which will only give you around 20 minutes of battery life. It’s hard to give an exact time, as the display doesn’t show minutes. There’s also a Boost mode, which will only last a few minutes, but you’ll only need Boost for cleaning up spills.

You can remove the wand and use the main cleaning head on the body of the vacuum to clean stairs. For other cleaning jobs, like upholstery, shelves, and blinds, there’s the combi brush and nozzle tool. It’s not brilliantly designed and if you use the brush setting, it’s hard to get decent suction.

Like many Shark vacuums, the Detect Pro has an anti-hair wrap fin on its roller. I found it to be very effective, even on long hair. However, the tiny wheels Shark typically uses at the front will clog up quickly with hair if you have a pet. Removing it is a fiddly job but you’ll need to do it to keep the wheels turning.

The Shark Detect Pro's brush roll looks clean even after useThe Detect Pro’s brush bar remained hair-free after use, but the small wheels at the front quickly become clogged with hair.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Shark is pretty cagey about the Detect Pro’s suction power, instead making some comparisons between this and another Shark model. In our tests, the Detect Pro performed well across both hard flooring and carpet, but only in Detect mode; we didn’t find Eco powerful enough for carpet. On hard flooring (again in Detect mode), it didn’t scatter debris and had good pickup close to walls.

Price & availability

This is a good time to buy the Shark Detect Pro. Although it was only recently launched, Black Friday promotions mean that it’s dropped from a list price of $379.99 to just $299.99 on Amazon.

The vacuum costs $449.99 with the base, but you can get the bundle for $379.99 on Amazon at the time of writing.

Should you buy the Shark Detect Pro?

All in all, the Shark Detect Pro is good value for its sale price point, so make sure you buy at the right time. It’s light and pleasant to use and its detection features mean you don’t need to change settings as you go.

However, we don’t think the Detect Pro is flawlessly designed. It’s not ideal as a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner, or as the sole vacuum cleaner in a large home. We’d also like to see better battery life information, along with a more effective combi tool for other cleaning jobs around the home.


  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 13.9 x 43 inches (WxDxH)
  • Dustin capacity: 0.4L
  • HEPA filter: No
  • Max runtime: 60 mins
  • Power settings: 3
  • Wattage: 240W

This review originally appeared on Tech Advisor, our sibling publication.



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