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Shark ION P50 Upright Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 06, 2020 at 08:32 am
Shark ION P50 Upright Picture
7.9
Bare Floor
7.9
Low-Pile Carpet
7.9
High-Pile Carpet
8.5
Pets
8.1
Stairs
7.7
Cars
Vacuum Type
Upright/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

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.

Our Verdict

7.9 Bare Floor

The Shark ION P50 is great for bare floors. It’s quite 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.

Pros
  • Maneuverable cordless design.
  • Has a HEPA filter.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
7.9 Low-Pile Carpet

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.

Pros
  • Maneuverable cordless design.
  • Has a HEPA filter.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
  • Struggles with clearing small debris on carpet.
7.9 High-Pile Carpet

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 maneuverable enough to reach most places. 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.

Pros
  • Maneuverable cordless design.
  • Has a HEPA filter.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
  • Struggles with clearing small debris on carpet.
8.5 Pets

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.

Pros
  • Wide array of specialized cleaning heads.
  • Has a HEPA filter.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
8.1 Stairs

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.

Pros
  • Maneuverable cordless design.
  • Wide array of specialized cleaning heads.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
7.7 Cars

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.

Pros
  • Maneuverable cordless design.
  • Wide array of specialized cleaning heads.
  • Excellent pet hair cleaning capability, regardless of surface.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has a lot of parts that need to be serviced.
  • Struggles with clearing small debris on carpet.
  • 7.9 Bare Floor
  • 7.9 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.9 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.5 Pets
  • 8.1 Stairs
  • 7.7 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

6.5
Design
User Maintenance

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.

  • Dirt Compartment: The dirt compartment requires occasional emptying and cleaning. It’s reasonably easy to clean, although the corners of the compartment are hard to reach and experience some dirt buildup, so cleaning with water may be required. Using compressed air to clear dirt buildup isn’t recommended, as it can damage the walls of the compartment.
  • Pre-Motor Filters: The two pre-motor filters consist of a white foam cylinder and the back plastic component. They can be accessed by unclipping the filter pre-motor cover at the top of the unit and should be cleaned every month.
  • HEPA Filter: The HEPA filter can be accessed by removing the battery and pulling the component out. It should be cleaned with water once a year.
  • Soft Brushroll: The soft brushroll can be detached from the head and cleaned with water.
  • Hard Brushroll: The hard brushroll can’t be removed, which isn’t ideal for user maintenance. That being said, you can remove the plastic head cover to clear stuck debris or tangled hair by hand or with a pair of scissors.

Any component listed as water-washable must be left to dry for 24 hours before it can be reinstalled.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XFFK160
HEPA Filter Part Number
XHEPA160

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.

6.3
Design
Storing
Height
45.08 in (114.5 cm)
Width
10.43 in (26.5 cm)
Depth
11.06 in (28.1 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
No
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

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.

7.1
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.16 gal (0.60 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The dirt compartment is decent. It’s large enough to not require frequent emptying and has a fill line to indicate max capacity.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark ION P50
  • Main head with hard brushroll
  • Soft brushroll
  • Wand
  • Dirt compartment
  • Hose with handle
  • Hard bristle brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Pre-motor filters (foam cylinder and black plastic component, already assembled
  • HEPA filter
  • Battery charging dock
  • Power cable
  • User guide

7.9
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
4.99 ft (1.52 m)

The Shark ION P50’s range is good. While its hose is quite short, the vacuum itself is cordless, allowing you to go wherever you need for however long the battery lasts.

7.3
Design
Portability
Total Weight
12.13 lbs (5.50 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.31 lbs (1.50 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

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.

8.0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
23 min.
Maximum Battery Life
57 min.
Recharge Time
198 min.
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

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.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
Yes
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

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.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
No
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
Yes
Hard Bristle Brush
Yes
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

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.

Design
Alternative Configuration

The Shark ION P50 can be used as either a cordless upright or a handheld vacuum.

Performance
8.3
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
96 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
91 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
97 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
93 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION POWER", Mode "FLOOR"

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.

8.3
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
101 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
91 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
88 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
66 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
63 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION BOOST", Mode "CARPET"

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.

8.2
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
97 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
85 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
83 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
47 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
43 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION BOOST", Mode "CARPET"

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.

8.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Good
Under Low Table
Good
On Furniture
Excellent
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Good

This vacuum’s maneuverability is very 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.

Automation
0
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
No
Schedule Programming
No
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
No App

This vacuum has no automation features.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Compared To Other Vacuums

 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.

Dyson V7 Animal

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. Conversely, the Dyson employs a stick/upright design that's far more portable and does a better job of clearing 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 quite as well-built.

Shark ION F80

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.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro is 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.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum

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.

BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033

The Shark ION P50 Upright is a stronger performer in most categories than the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033. 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.

Shark APEX UpLight

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.

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