The Shark ION P50 is a very good cordless upright vacuum that can also be used in a handheld fashion. It’s quite maneuverable, features a pretty broad range of cleaning heads, and delivers strong performance overall. It has very little trouble clearing pet hair and large debris, regardless of surface, but struggles somewhat with sucking up small particulate matter on high-pile carpet. While there are a couple of parts you need to maintain, they’re all reasonably easy to access. So long as those components are serviced properly, this vacuum should incur almost no recurring costs.
The Shark ION P50 is great for bare floors. It’s fairly maneuverable and does a good job of sucking up most kinds of debris. Its cordless design means that it’s not too difficult to bring it where you need, while its battery life in low-power configuration should be enough to see you through your cleaning duties. It’s also quite easy and very cheap to maintain.
The Shark ION P50 is very good for low-pile carpets. On this surface, it has very little trouble with clearing pet hair and large debris, but it struggles somewhat with small debris like baking soda. It’s maneuverable enough to get to most hard-to-reach places, while its cordless design and integrated carrying handle make it easy to bring it wherever you need.
The Shark ION P50 is very good for high-pile carpet. It does a good job of sucking up large debris like sand as well as pet hair and is pretty maneuverable for an upright model. Unfortunately, it isn’t nearly as effective in clearing up small debris. While there are a couple of parts that need maintenance, recurring costs are almost totally absent.
The Shark ION P50 is excellent in terms of cleaning pet hair. It's highly effective at sucking up this kind of debris, regardless of surface. Hair can sometimes get stuck in the soft brushroll, but thankfully that component can be easily removed and cleaned.
The Shark ION P50 is great for cleaning stairs. Its cordless design and integrated carry handle make it pretty easy to bring up and down flights of stairs, even if it’s heavier than smaller models like the Shark ION F80.
The Shark ION P50 is good for car cleaning duties. Its cordless design and handheld compatibility make it easy to carry around a car while the included crevice tool makes it easier to clean up messes in tight spaces. Unfortunately, it does struggle somewhat with small debris.
There are two variants of the Shark ION P50, the IC162 and IC160, which differ only in terms of included peripherals. We tested the IC162, which comes with slightly more accessories and tools. Both variants are only available with a Limestone-colored body.
|Model Name||Included Tools and Accessories||Body Color|
|IC160||Crevice tool, dusting brush, wired battery charger, rechargeable battery||Limestone|
|IC162||Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery cleaner, battery charging cradle, wired battery charger, rechargeable battery||Limestone|
If someone comes across an ION P50 with a different configuration, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The Shark ION P50 is a very good cordless upright vacuum. It’s quite maneuverable, has minimal recurring costs, and features a pretty broad range of cleaning heads for different types of furniture. That said, it’s also somewhat heavy compared to smaller alternatives like the Shark ION F80, has a fairly large list of components that need to be cleaned, and only comes with one battery, somewhat limiting its out-the-box runtime.
The Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away is an improvement on the older Shark ION P50 Cord-Free Powered Lift-Away in most ways. While the vacuums are very similar in design, the Vertex has a slightly greater dustbin capacity, an LED display that shows you battery life and vacuum settings, and delivers better performance on bare floors and high-pile carpet. The older P50's fixed brushroll is easier to clean than the Vertex's multi-fin brushroll, though neither component is removable.
The Shark APEX UpLight is a better vacuum for most uses than the Shark ION P50 Upright, although they have drastically different designs. The APEX UpLight is a corded stick/handheld vacuum that's better-performing on bare floors and low-pile carpets, has a larger dirt compartment, and can be used for extended periods without worrying about draining a battery. Meanwhile, the cordless upright/handheld P50 is a little easier to carry around, especially up and down flights of stairs, and is more effective at sucking up most kinds of debris on high-pile carpet.
The Shark ION P50 Upright and the Shark ION F80 suit different uses, which makes sense given their differing designs. The upright/handheld P50 is more effective when it comes to sucking up debris on carpets, particularly large debris and pet hair. The P50's recurring costs are also lower, and it comes with a larger dirt compartment. On the other hand, the stick/handheld F80 is much lighter and is a bit easier to bring into compact spaces thanks to its flexible wand. The F80 also comes with an additional battery in the box, which can lengthen its overall runtime.
The Shark ION P50 Upright is a better upright/handheld vacuum for most uses than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The cordless P50 is easier and cheaper to maintain, far more effective at sucking up debris on carpeted surfaces, and can be easily carried around. However, the corded APEX features a much longer runtime courtesy of its wired connection and performs better on bare floors.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is more versatile than the Shark ION P50 Upright. The Pet Pro is more effective on bare floors and low pile carpet while also being lighter and easier to use in hard-to-reach areas. Conversely, the P50 has a large dirt compartment, lasts longer on a single charge, and does fractionally better on high-pile carpet.
The Shark ION P50 Upright and Dyson V7 have different advantages due to their different designs. The cordless upright/handheld Shark has a longer battery life and is more effective at clearing large debris, especially on bare floors. The Dyson employs a stick/upright design that's far more portable and does a better job cleaning small debris like sand or baking powder, especially on carpeted floors. The Dyson also features a wider assortment of specialized brush heads but isn't as well-built.
The Shark ION P50 Upright is a stronger performer in most categories than the BISSELL Featherweight Stick. The Shark is better-built, has a larger dirt compartment, and clears debris more consistently as its dirt compartment fills. Its cordless design also makes it more maneuverable, while its broader selection of tools and accessories make it more versatile. Meanwhile, the corded BISSELL is easier to maintain and much easier to carry around, courtesy of its lightweight plastic construction. Some users may prefer the hassle-free nature of its corded design too.
This vacuum has decent build quality. It’s primarily made of dense hard plastic, aside from the from a lightweight metal wand and rubberized grip. The clear plastic dirt compartment feels quite fragile and could crack if dropped or cleaned with an air duster can. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to reassemble the unit or to switch its configuration, although it should be noted that while the main head’s soft brushroll can be removed, the hard brushroll cannot.
This vacuum's ease of maintenance is passable. There are a couple of parts that need to be maintained but accessing and cleaning them isn’t especially difficult for the most part.
Any component listed as water-washable must be left to dry for 24 hours before it can be reinstalled.
This vacuum has virtually no recurring costs. If the HEPA filter and pre-motor filters are washed according to the manufacturer specifications, you’ll only need to buy replacements after a couple of years.
This vacuum has mediocre storage capabilities. Unlike the Shark ION F80, it can’t fold to reduce its vertical footprint. There’s also no onboard storage rack for the included assortment of specialized cleaning heads. Thankfully, a charging dock is included, which can be used to store the battery when the vacuum isn't in use.
The dirt compartment is decent. It’s large enough to not require frequent emptying and has a fill line to indicate max capacity.
The Shark ION P50’s range is decent. While its hose is quite short, the vacuum itself is cordless, allowing you to go wherever you need for however long the battery lasts.
The Shark P50 is decently portable. It’s a little on the heavy side, but the vacuum’s carrying handle makes it relatively easy to bring up a flight of stairs.
This vacuum's battery performance is very good. It has two power modes. ‘ION POWER’ is the default and allows the device to run for just under one hour with the handle attached. ‘ION BOOST’, as the name implies, boosts the motor’s output but drains the battery faster. Runtime falls to 23 minutes with the vacuum in its ‘ION BOOST’ mode in the carpet-cleaning setting and the wand and main head attached. Thankfully, the P50’s single battery features a trio of indicator lights, which gradually dim as the charge level drops and provide plenty of warning for when you’re about to run out of battery. The battery itself is removable and charged via the included battery charging cradle.
The Shark P50 vacuum comes with a couple of handy features. A button on the vacuum handle allows you to switch between the ‘Floor’ and ‘Carpet’ settings, but only when the main head and wand are attached. The ‘Floor’ setting slows the rotation of the hard and soft brushrolls while the ‘Carpet’ setting speeds them up. The ‘ION BOOST’ button on the left-hand side of the vacuum handle can be held down to increase suction power, which is helpful when cleaning a densely carpeted room. The ‘ION BOOST’ power setting becomes the default when the main head is detached and the specialized cleaning accessories are fitted. However, it lacks the newer Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away's 'IQ Display' screen, which lets you monitor remaining battery life and the current suction and surface settings.
The Shark P50, model number IC162, comes with a couple of specialized tools. The main hard brushroll can't be removed for easy cleaning, but the soft brushroll can. Its crevice tool comes with a soft bristle brush that can also be detached but can't be used by itself.
The Shark ION P50 can be used as either a cordless upright or a handheld vacuum.
The Shark ION P50’s performance on bare floors is impressive. Somewhat unusually, when clearing large debris like cereal, its performance increases as the dirt compartment fills. The inverse occurred with small debris like rice. In the vacuum's floor setting, pet hair should be mostly sucked up, although quite a bit may get stuck on the head’s soft brushroll. If you want something that's better on bare floors, check out the Shark ION F80.
This vacuum’s performance on low-pile carpet is great. It does a good job of cleaning pet hair and large debris like sand but struggles slightly with small debris like baking soda.
This vacuum’s performance on high-pile carpet is great. Pet hair should be cleared without too much of an issue, with very little remaining stuck to the brushroll. The vacuum does a good job of removing large debris from this surface but is much less effective in clearing small debris. Similar to the Shark ION F80, some large debris like sand can stick to the vacuum head, which may be due to static buildup.
This vacuum’s maneuverability is good. The rubberized handle provides a secure grip while lift-away mode allows for the user to lift the canister as a handheld unit, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas. The included assortment of accessories should make it easy to find the right tool for most types of furniture. Unfortunately, it sometimes gets stuck on rugs and tassels, forcing you to turn the vacuum off and remove the offending debris before resuming. Its bulky design also makes it difficult to clean under tables and chairs.
This vacuum has no automation features.