How to choose the right Roborock robot vacuum cleaner

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Roborock Guide
© Kishivan /, Collage: NextPit

Roborock is one of the leading brands when it comes to smart robot vacuums today, coming under the Xiaomi subsidiary. The product range extends from entry-level models for small budgets to expensive models with suction stations and sophisticated mopping functions. If you're looking to invest in a Roborock smart vacuum cleaner, then this is the perfect guide for you. We hope to help you find the best Roborock model for your smart home in this comparison article.

  Editor's Choice Best quality/price ratio The best self-cleaning
Product Roborock S7 Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Image Roborock S8+ product image roborock s7 Roborock Station S7
  • Fast, uncomplicated setup
  • Sleek base station design
  • Excellent navigation and mapping
  • Detailed, user-friendly app
  • Off-peak charging available
  • Excellent suction performance
  • Automatic power increase on carpets
  • Cleaning prowess
  • Self-cleaning station
  • No cameras
  • 180-minutes run time
  • Vibrating mop
  • Mapping capability
  • Extremely easy to install
  • Hybrid tank for dust and water
  • Self-cleaning station
  • No cameras
  • 180-minute run time
  • Mapping capability
  • Expensive for a vacuuming and mopping robot without a fully automated station
  • No surveillance camera function
  • Emptying of the garbage can is noisy
  • Comes with only one mop
  • Emptying of the garbage can is noisy
  • Comes with only one mop
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What is Roborock?

If you're a slacker at heart and/or just like me, you've understood that technology is your friend, and you know what Roborock is. If you are unfamiliar with the name, let me explain: Roborock is a smart vacuum cleaner brand. If you don't know what a robot vacuum cleaner is, I invite you to read our guide.

For the record, Roborock was founded in July 2014 in Beijing. A few months later, Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi made the new American-sounding brand his pet project which incidentally is a subsidiary of the group he founded. Roborock's main mission back then was to develop smart and connected home appliances. Two years after its launch, Roborock, under the leadership of Xiaomi, launched its first intelligent robot vacuum cleaner.

In 2016, the Mi Home Robotic became the best-selling robot vacuum cleaner in China. There was no looking back since then, as the Chinese brand has been multiplying its technological prowess and successes with high-performance products that provide more than a decent challenge to its American and Chinese competitors in terms of functionality and price.

Today, Roborock is one of the leading brands of smart vacuum cleaners in the world and can be found on Amazon and many other online stores.

Different Roborock vacuum cleaners models and price range

If you've ever come across a Roborock robot vacuum cleaner at your neighbors', on the Internet, or on your way home, you've probably only read the Roborock letters that are plastered on the device. You should know that there are several types of Roborock models available, and although their names are not displayed as what is normally the practice of Asian-brands which feature a mixture of letters and numbers. At present, the letters that define the robot vacuum cleaner range from the Xiaomi subsidiary have the following variants: E, Q, and S.

Roborock's E line is what you might call Roborock's entry-level devices, simple machines with medium suction capacity that are also capable of scrubbing your floor with a mop. The Roborock E5 is the latest model in the series released to date.

While the robot vacuum cleaner can connect to the Roborock and Xiaomi Home apps, it's mainly aimed at people who don't care about them. Indeed, this range usually comes with a magnetic remote control known as MagBase (it is not MagSafe!) which is strong enough to attach to a freezer or refrigerator. The E range is also the most affordable from all the other Roborock robot vacuum cleaners. We are looking at an average of $200 for a device from this range.

The Roborock E5 works with a magnetic remote control. / © Roborock

The Q range is a middle range that is far more powerful in terms of suction power than the E range. It is suitable for those who do not want to hassle themselves of emptying their robot vacuum cleaner, as the latest Q7 version comes with its station capable of cleaning the robot after its tour of duty.

The robot vacuum cleaner was developed to be best used with an application and potentially, a voice assistant. The mapping is more capable and of better quality than with the E range since the Q range boasts LiDAR mapping that is currently widely used. For a device of this range, it will cost around $430 for the device and its charging station, and nearly $870 for the Roborock Q7 Max+ and its emptying station.

With the S range, as with Samsung, we enter the top of the range of Roborock. It is a flagship. On the latest S7 range, the performance of the device is increased tenfold. The S7 is equipped with a vibrating mop that increases its purchase price. In this range, we come across several types of devices such as the Roborock S7, a high-performance robot vacuum cleaner/mop.

There is also the S7 MaxV which has only a tiny charging station. The S7 MaxV Plus offers a station with a bag capable of emptying the dust from the vacuum cleaner. The S7 MaxV Ultra offers a complete cleaning solution that not only empties the dust from the robot, it will also wash your mop with its reserve of water. The price of the range varies from $700 to $1,400 for the S7 robot and the MaxV Ultra station.

As mentioned above, the S8 range has long been announced and will go on sale in a few days. MSRPs have been set at $749.99 for the Roborock S8, $999.99 for the Roborock S8+, and finally $1,599.99 for the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra. However, if you want to be an early adopter and pick it up in the first week of its release (i.e. until March 23, 2023), you might be able to take advantage of some local offers, so do check with your local retailer for any possible bargains.

We will only mention the Roborock H range briefly here. You should know that these are hand-operated vacuum cleaners, where the latest Roborock H7 model is nowhere near being as intelligent as its counterparts mentioned above.

Buying advice: What to look for in a Roborock robot vacuum cleaner?

Buying a Roborock robot vacuum cleaner requires careful consideration, but it's not particularly time consuming. Indeed, the latest Roborock models are adapted to your needs according to the different ranges presented above. The criteria that we develop will allow you to make the right choice that meets your daily household expectations.

Battery life and suction power of your Roborock robot vacuum cleaner

Roborock offers four types of suction: from silent to turbo mode. The premium range such as the S7 MaxUltra is able to detect different types of surfaces (parquet or carpet) and adapt its suction power accordingly. Of course, you can determine your vacuum mode in advance.

The suction power is defined in Pascal (Pa) and at Roborock the suction power varies from 2,000 Pa (for the E5 for example) to 5,100 Pa (for the S7 MaxUltra). The higher the suction power, the better the performance of the robotic vacuum cleaner. By activating the higher turbo level and the maximum suction power, you will probably vacuum almost everything but the noise level when you do your cleaning will obviously be louder. It can reach as high as 69 dB with the Roborock Q7+ Max.

The new Roborock robot vacuums offer a cleaning time of 45 minutes to 3 hours on average on a single charge. The suction mode will determine the battery life of your robot vacuum cleaner. If you use turbo mode, the high level of energy consumption required to enable such suction power will reduce the battery life of your robot to less than an hour. On mid-range models in silent mode, the robot vacuum cleaner will last more than two hours.

Mopping with Roborock

All Roborock robot vacuums released since the end of 2021 offer more than just vacuuming capability, with the possibility of cleaning the floor using water via an integrated mop.This "mopping" will differ depending on the range of robots chosen. The Roborock E5 will wipe your floor with a clip-on mop. The S7 range of robots are capable of mopping with a vibrating mop.

Roborock's VibraRise technology vibrates the mop for better cleaning. / © Roborock

The VibraRise technology that is integrated in the S7 models allows you to clean up small traces of mud left on the floor by your animals or the small squirts of dressing from your salad from the day before. VibraRise technology is more efficient at mopping, but is also more expensive, obviously.

Roborock mapping

The different ranges of vacuum cleaners offer different types of mapping, and the efficiency level differs. The Roborock E5 which can be used via its remote control, offering a summarized map on the application. It can detect walls and avoid obstacles, but will not be able to list and determine furniture in the application map. As with all Roborock devices, you can define "no-go zones" and specify the area to be cleaned.

The closer the product range gets to the letter Z, the more accurate its mapping accuracy. The Roborock Q7 offers 3D mapping without a built-in camera. The accuracy of the device even surprised Camilla during her recent review.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
The new Roborock S8 Pro Ultra detects obstacles even at night. / © Roborock

Roborock's latest product, the S8 Pro Ultra, makes it possible to determine the type of objects left on the ground, thanks to ReactiveAI 2.0 technology. 3D mapping is very accurate.

Roborock self-cleaning station

The S series, MaxV and MaxV Ultra robot vacuums come with self-cleaning and/or water refilling stations, such as those found in the Ultra range.

The S series and MaxV stations are capable of emptying your robot of fine dirt, vacuuming only the dust and small debris that has already been vacuumed by your Roborock vacuum cleaner. Do take note that these Roborock Series Self-Cleaning Stations are bagless. The station's reservoir can hold up to 6 weeks of dust, but you can also add a bag to the station to collect the accumulated particles more easily.

MaxV self-cleaning stations must be used with bags that can store up to 7 weeks of dust. The MaxVUltra stations are even more efficient as they offer collection bins, a water refill for the integrated mop and are also equipped with a dust bag. The MaxVUltra vacuum stations are even more efficient, as they offer collection bins, a built-in water refill for the mop and a brush that cleans the mop fabric after the mopping process is complete. When emptying them, however, the devices are a bit noisy, emitting an average noise level that falls between 54 and 70 dB.

Roborock application

To program your Roborock robot vacuum cleaner, you'll need to use the Roborock app, which is available on iOS and Android. The app allows you to begin cleaning, schedule them in advance, view your apartment in 3D, and check the progress of current or past vacuum sessions. You can also define the rooms in your living space, the order in which the vacuum cleaner will pass through each room, areas to avoid and/or on which the robot vacuum cleaner should focus.

La configuration du Roborock Q7 Max+ est rapide et après avoir cartographié la maison, vous pouvez commencer à nettoyer
The Roborock Q7 Max+ configuration process is fast and offers a 3D model of your apartment. / © NextPit

Roborock vacuum cleaners are also compatible with the Xiaomi Home application. This one works with the Roborock vacuums but remains less accurate.

Roborock accessories

As we already mentioned in our review of the Roborock Q7 MaxV, the Roborock Q7 MaxV has a cloth that you will probably have to replace once every two years depending on the frequency of your usage.

For cleaning station owners, once the 3 months of regular use of your Roborock and the two dust bags of the self-cleaning station are full, you will need to purchase new bags.The bags for the Q7 and S7 series stations are compatible with each other, and you should pay an average of $21 for a set of 8 bags. If you don't want to buy bags, but would like to have 6 weeks of cleaning freedom, you can opt for the Roborock Series, which offers the possibility of collecting dirt without bags.

The best Roborock vacuums

 Editor's Choice: Roborock S8+

Roborock S8+ in the base-station
Fresh on the market: the Roborock S8+. / © NextPit

Read the Roborock S8+ review

The Roborock S8+ proved to be a winner in Thomas's review, which attests to the device's fabulous suction and mopping performance. The cleaning accuracy was between 99 and 100 percent in our test trials, which offered top-notch performance for its price. The robot operates without the camera compared to last year's models, but navigation runs reliably even without the RGB camera.

The app is comprehensive and intuitive to use, and the mapping worked perfectly, which is usual for Roborock. The only drawback could be missing out on remote monitoring due to the missing camera, and keeping your home clean with this is not cheap at all with an MSRP of $999.99. We do not know if the Roborock S8+ is also available at a reduced price. Either way, the S8+ should also be available to the masses from March 16.

The best value for money: Roborock S7

Roborock S7
The Roborock S7 analyzes the different elements on the floor. / © Roborock

The Roborock S7 is a robot vacuum cleaner/mop sold with a simple station. Retailing for $650 thereabouts, this flagship model offers a very good value for money. The floor cleaning performance has been improved thanks to the integration of a vibrating plate for the mop. The robot vacuum cleaner that we did not review seems to offer a very precise cleaning thanks to its numerous sensors and its integrated camera.

The best cleaning station: S7 MaxV Ultra

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The cleaning station of the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is capable of storing 6 weeks of dust and filling the mop tray. / © Roborock

Unlike the Q range, whose latest model we reviewed, the Roborock Q7 Max+, the S range of Roborock is the flagship range from the manufacturer. The station can be purchased without the robot. Currently, the S7 MaxV Ultra from Roborock costs $1,159. The Auto-Empty dock of the S7 MaxV Ultra also cleans the robot's mop and fills its tank and collects the sucked dirt.

We'd love to hear from you: Which Roborock robot vacuum cleaner truly satisfies your needs? Share your preferences and experiences with us in the comments below!

This article was revised on March 15, and previous comments have been retained.

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Gabriel Robert

Gabriel Robert
Editor NextPit France

Born on a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, I travelled all over the world before settling in Berlin. Having worked for Forbes, Les Echos or Konbini, I don't let Apple take me for a ride, despite my weakness for its products. I am particularly interested in the sustainability and the social and environmental impact of our connected products.

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