Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner review

 Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner.
Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner.

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner two-minute review

I’ve reviewed many of the best cordless vacuum cleaners over the years and the quirky home-grown Halo Capsule X is a sterling contender that thoroughly impresses on both carpet and hard floor. In fact I was amazed at how thoroughly it sailed through all my tests.

There are no fancy interfaces to get your head around, it’s comfortable in the hand despite the protruding motor and battery housing and, given the bulbous shape and size of its larger-than-average two-liter carbon-fiber bin assembly, it’s much lighter than you’d expect, too.

I personally love the fact that Halo has stuck to the good old-fashioned bagged system because it means far fewer trips to the kitchen bin and zero dust up the nose when emptying. It also means you can vacuum up the finest particles like fireplace ash and powdered sawdust without destroying the motor. The fact that the bags are comprised of compostable cardboard and brown paper means it’s good for the environment, too.

The Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner with its accessories
The Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner with its accessories

In some ways I think I prefer the earlier rear-handle design of its predecessor, the standard Halo Capsule, but given this vac’s remarkable pick-up performance on both hard and soft floors, its excellent maneuverability, decent battery life, huge two-liter bagged bin and current discounted price, I have no compunction in giving the Halo Capsule X Pet Max a full high five!

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner review: price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $499.99 / £299.99

  • When is it available? Available now

  • Where can you get it? In the US and UK

Halo appears to have taken the Shark approach to the pricing of its various Halo Capsule X bundles and the company couldn’t have made it more confusing if it tried. I received the Pet Max Bundle with two batteries which Halo is selling at a knockdown £299.99 and Amazon is selling for £319.99.

The pricing becomes very arbitrary when it comes to selecting other variants. For instance, the standard version with just one battery retails at an exceedingly reasonable £249.99 (instead of £515.95) while the same bundle with just twice the amount of dust bags costs a whopping £531.93. Clearly, discounts have been applied to some of its variants and not to others so I would recommend grabbing yourself an absolute bargain while you can because there’s no telling how long these low prices will last.

If you live Stateside, head to Amazon and Walmart where the standard single-battery variants retails at $499.99.

  • Value for money score: 5 out of 5 (on current UK discount pricing)

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner specs

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner review: design

  • Light in the hand

  • Excellent maneuverability

  • Comfortable to use

I love the funky design of the Halo Capsule X. Granted, it’s a wee bit toy-like but you don’t see many carbon-fiber composite cordless stick vacs on the market, and who doesn’t like a bit of carbon fiber? I think the bright blue details make this vac really stand out and, while looks aren’t everything, I do think it helps one enjoy the unenviable task of vacuuming a little more than cleaning up with something that’s bland in the hand. Actually, while I’m on the subject of looks, I think Halo may have missed a trick here because I can see this vac’s details being even more attractive to a wider audience were they available in a few different colors instead of just blue. How about dusty pink, bright yellow, orange, even white? Halo, you can pay me later.

Let’s start at the top of this vac because, well, why not? See that large rectangular box jutting out of the rear? That’s the battery, motor and HEPA filter housing. Yes, it looks ungainly and not as sleekly designed as this model’s predecessor (which is still on sale), but it never gets in the way of arm movement, unlike most Dyson models that have everything above the hand which inevitably gets in the way. With this model you can vacuum with a straight arm using a pendulum motion without anything digging into any parts of the hand or wrist, much like a Roidmi vac.

Close up of the Halo Capsule X Pet Max with a rug in the background
Close up of the Halo Capsule X Pet Max with a rug in the background

The Capsule X doesn’t have any fancy digital screens telling you how many microns of dust it has collected and it doesn’t even have any kind of automatic suction where the motor ramps up on the dirtiest sections. Instead all you get is an on/off button, a button to engage the motorized roller and another button to change through three levels of suction power. The Capsule X always defaults to the middle power setting when starting up but with the motorized roller off. I’d prefer to have it always start up with the roller engaged so I can turn it off rather than having to turn it on. After all, I’ll never use this vac without the motorized roller engaged because, well why would I when a motorized roller is so much more efficient than a non-motorized one. As for outright suction power… who really cares how many Pascals of power it has because this vac passed every test I threw at it. And that’s all you need to know.

The Halo’s battery is of the 32v Lithium-Ion variety and you get two of them with this bundle for greatly extended coverage. The battery simply unclips and charging can be performed by plugging in the charging transformer or charging it on the unit itself when attached to the supplied wall mount.

The Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner's filter
The Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner's filter

Just in front of the battery is the first of two filter systems: a corrugated HEPA paper filter that, after 10 days of vacuuming, still shows no signs of being used, and another thin spongy one positioned towards the back of the dustbin bag. One of the best things about bagged vacuum cleaners is that their filters remain far cleaner than any bagless model because there’s no pre-filter to get clogged up or require regular cleaning. Instead, all the muck goes directly up the suction tube and straight into the bin bag which acts like a filter in itself. It also means you could use this vac to occasionally suck up ash around the fireplace or plaster dust without destroying the motor. Why is the Henry vac system so popular with the construction industry? Because it’s bagged!

Moreover, where most bagless stick vacs have small bin capacities – 0.77 liters in the case of the class-leading Dyson Gen5detect – that are further reduced by the need for some kind of cyclonic thingamajig in the center of the bin, this model ships with a huge two-liter monster that won’t require emptying for at least a couple of weeks. And what’s more, the bin bag itself is made from recyclable brown cardboard and paper for conscience-free convenience.

I received 10 dust bags with the Capsule X and that should provide many months of vacuuming. Of course, when they run out I’ll need to purchase some more – and remember to do so. But since they only cost £7.99 for five, I don’t consider that a deal breaker.

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner on a rug
Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner on a rug

Right, let’s look at the business end of this model. The Capsule X comes with two main motorized roller heads: a 22cm hard floor head with towel-like roller and a smaller 20cm carpet brush with two sets of wavy bristles and an LED headlight on the front to illuminate dark areas. As you’ll see in our performance chapter below, both of these floor heads performed exceedingly well in all tests. To be honest, if your hard floors aren’t too delicate, you could just as well keep the brushed carpet head attached at all times because it cleans both hard and soft floors equally well.

Being of the ‘pet’ variety, this model also came with a small 12cm motorized bristle head that can be used in handheld or stick mode. It’s a very handy tool for cleaning pet hair and other detritus off sofas, dog beds and that most annoying of all materials, Velcro-like car carpet.

To supplement this, the box also contains a flat-headed detail tool and a nozzle for handheld use, plus a handy suction tube clip to accommodate one of them. All in all, it’s one very tidy package that will cover all cleaning requirements.

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner review: performance

  • Supreme hard and soft floor performance

  • Amazing dust capacity

  • Easy to use

This cordless vac has been a pleasure to use. Like most stick vacs, it won’t stand up on its own which can be a bit of a pain when you want to move furniture around in the middle of vacuuming. I’m used to that malarky and just prop it up somewhere convenient.

Four things have really impressed me when using the Halo Capsule X – its ability to swallow huge qualities of debris, how light it feels, its excellent maneuverability and how easy it is to empty the bin. In my opinion, these are the four many qualities required of any decent vac.

My first two tests involved a sprinkling of crushed biscuits with flour and, for the second test, a good dose of oats on both my wooden kitchen floor and a medium-pile rug in the lounge. For the hard floor I used the default medium power setting with the hard floor roller in motorized mode. It laughed at me as it gulped up every last crumb and oat flake in a single sweep with no scattering and absolutely no snow plowing. It did exactly the same thing on the rug, with no evidence of any flour remaining.

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner tackling corn flakes
Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner tackling corn flakes

Impressed by this performance, I then scattered a small cup of uncrushed Crunchy Nut corn flakes on the wooden floor and expected the Capsule X to at least snow plow some of them across the hard floor or perhaps scatter a few. But lo and behold, it just swallowed the lot up in a single pass – easily a match for the Dyson Gen5detect. Since I have several pets, I was equally impressed by the amount of hair it collected – far more than I thought possible – and also how well it performed on deep pile carpet, despite the wheel tracks it left in its wake.

The Halo Capsule X weighs just 2.6 kilos with everything in place and this is definitely on the lighter end of the scale when compared to other models on the market. However, it’s not just weight that makes a difference when vacuuming for longer periods of time. Just as important is comfort in the hand – at which this model excels – and the ability to steer round corners and chair legs with ease. This model’s brush heads aren’t quite as flexible as Dyson’s Gen5Detect and V15 detect – they swivel on a plane of about 30˚ – but they’re a lot more maneuverable than the Samsung Jet 85 I recently reviewed.

Halo Capsule X Pet Max cleaning oats off a rug
Halo Capsule X Pet Max cleaning oats off a rug

I’ve also been impressed by how low this vac can be lowered to the floor when vacuuming under beds and sofas. Yes, the carbon bin section measures a portly 14cm in diameter so there is a limit to how far it can reach under most furnishings, but I managed to push the entire unit under a bed by resting the battery housing on the carpet and simply shoving the vac forwards and backwards. I also found this vac easier than most to carry from room to room, partly because the smooth, rounded bin section feels so tactile.

However, the sheer size of the bin section makes it feel a bit clunky when used in handheld mode and there will be times – like vacuuming the car – where its sheer size prevents it from cleaning hard-to-reach areas. On the plus side, this vac is unlikely to annoy your neighbors because it measures just 72dB, which is pretty quiet for a stick vac. Mind, the sound level did increase to 80dB when the dust bag was near full.

Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner dust bag
Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner dust bag

Although the huge two-liter paper dust bag is a bit tricky to fit, the sheer easiness of simply chucking it away when full is a welcome change from the dusty norm. If you suffer from dust allergies, this is the stick vac for you.

You get two batteries with this ‘Pet’ bundle and they can be charged on or off the main unit. In my battery test – using medium mode on carpet with the head’s motorized brush engaged – the Capsule X’s battery maxed out at 20 minutes and 25 seconds.

I calculate that, if used on a combination of hard floor and carpet, this vac will go on running for about 25 minutes of non-stop cleaning on a single battery when used in medium mode with the mortised brush head engaged. As this Pet Max model came with two batteries, that amounts to a commendable 50 minutes of real-world vacuuming.

However as to be expected, I only got 12 minutes out of the turbo setting using the motorized brush. That said, you’d only ever need to use this setting in handheld mode when collecting detritus from car carpet or down the side of the sofa. The battery took just shy of two hours to charge from stone dead – a lot quicker than the stated three-hour time.

  • Performance score: 5 out of 5

Should you buy the Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner?

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How I tested the Halo Capsule X Pet Max vacuum cleaner

After taking the myriad parts out of its brown cardboard box I gave both batteries a full charge and got down to testing the unit on hard wooden flooring, linoleum and both medium and deep-pile carpet. I have been using this model for the past 10 days and it has quite literally sailed through every test – from powder-fine flour to cornflakes to pet hair – with consummate aplomb. I also checked the weight of the machine with brush head attached and measured its sound levels using a decibel app.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024