Gradually, the range of vacuum cleaners from the Chinese manufacturer Roborock is expanding. The Roborock S4 is the brand's latest addition and is the core of the brand's range. We have been trying it for several weeks and here is our final verdict.
- ✓Easy to use
- ✓Good suction power
- ✓Real-time mapping
- ✓Scheduled and area-based cleaning
- ✓Value for money
- ✕No mop function
Roborock S4 release date and price
Officially released by Roborock on September 23, the Roborock S4 is currently only available in the United States at a price of $399 on Amazon. The vacuum cleaner robot should also be available in several physical stores. The device is delivered with its charging station.
Roborock S4 design and build quality
On the design side, the S4 does not differ much from the other members of the family (Roborock S6 and S5). This is an elegant robot vacuum cleaner, especially in its black dress, with a circular shape (no D-shaped shape like Neato for example). The device is also light (3.5 kg) and above all not very high (9.6 cm). This means that the Roborock S4 is able to easily fit under furniture and sofas.
At the top of the vacuum cleaner is the rangefinder used to analyze and map your apartment. This remains quite discreet and allows you to scan your room at 300 rpm, creating a real-time map of your home that is accurate to within +/-2 cm depending on the brand. There are 11 types of sensors that work together to help the S4 prevent falls, increase height sensitivity, anti-trapping capabilities, and more.
In the controls of the device, there are two main buttons on the front panel or rather a large circular button divided in two. This is a new feature at Roborock, which until now had used a whole series of small buttons. One of the two buttons allows you to send the robot back to its charging station while the other is used to start and stop the automatic cleaning of the whole machine.
No screen is present to indicate basic information (remaining battery, possible problems, cleaning mode, etc.). On the other hand, a loudspeaker is present on the vacuum cleaner.
Maintenance is as easy as ever
Roborock is known for the ease of use and maintenance of its vacuum cleaners, and the Roborock S4 is no exception. The device is equipped with a central brush in the middle to capture dust. A rotating brush on the side is also present to help send dirt to the central brush where the suction is located.
The vacuum has a capacity of 0.480 L. To empty it, the cover on the upper part must be lifted. A small mechanism is present to facilitate this. The filter can also be washed and dried and put back inside the vacuum cleaner.
Two applications available
The Roborock S4 has a Wi-Fi connection that allows it to be connected to your smartphone or tablet via the Mi Home or Roborock application. Honestly, there is no difference between the two apps but I must admit my preference for Roborock's more aesthetically pleasing one.
Downloadable free of charge on Android, they allow you to control, monitor and fully configure your vacuum cleaner robot. In addition to being able to remotely trigger the cleaning, adjust the cleaning power, check the cleaning status, change the voice of the vacuum cleaner, and clean a specific area, you can place non-displacement areas and virtual barriers if you don't like the way the S4 cleans your home. In case of problems during cleaning, the applications alert you and inform you about the status of the problem. They also provide you with information on cleaning histories and maintenance.
In general, both applications are smooth and very pleasant to use and multiple languages are available.
A Roborock S6 without the mop
Thanks to its laser rangefinder and 11 sensors, the S4 can automatically recognize obstacles. The vacuum cleaner then defines its own route. If you do not like it, you can always define it manually. However, I find that the Roborock is very good (and better than its competitors) at defining its cleaning areas, so the S4 is very fast to clean your home.
Above all, the S4 offers better obstacle management and this is really visible. The transmission prioritizes reverse, allowing the S4 to overcome obstacles and return to its route much more easily and quickly. However, due to its ability to overcome a 15 mm obstacle (compared to 20 mm for the S6), some thick carpets can be a problem. Overall, I was impressed by the cable management (often the big problem with vacuum cleaners), which is not perfect, but of a good level. I also appreciated this feature that offers stair protection to avoid any risk of falling.
The Roborock S4 is very fast to clean your home
In terms of suction quality, the Roborock S4 also offers a suction power of up to 2000 Pa (practical for carpets in particular) and there are different suction levels depending on the mode used. Overall, the quality is very good and nothing can resist dirt (hair, dust, pet hair...). The cleaning performance is therefore excellent for basic floors, carpet and small carpets.
In the end, besides the fact that the Roborock S4 does not allow you to mop up like the S6, the only major disadvantage of this Roborock S4 is the noise of the device, especially in high power mode (max). If you are at home, I advise you to use the more appropriate Quiet mode. Compared to its older brother, the S6, the noise level is therefore a little higher.
Roborock S4 battery
As always, it seems to be a constant at Roborock, the S4 carries a 5,200 mAh battery. The four cleaning modes available (Quiet, Balanced, Turbo and Max) obviously influence the final battery life of the device. When used with the classic mode, i.e. Balanced mode, more than two hours of cleaning can be expected. With the quietest (and least powerful) mode, three hours are even possible.
For example, my 50m² apartment was cleaned in half an hour, but the recharging time is a little long, you have to wait a good three hours before its full. Fortunately, when the battery is at less than 20 percent, the Roborock S4 returns to its charging station to resume the work where it stopped after it has recovered 80 percent of battery power.
Final verdict: your new best friend
Once again, Roborock succeeds in delivering a versatile, powerful, autonomous vacuum cleaner at a competitive price. Its suction, customization and above all its better obstacle management make the Roborock S4 a good everyday companion. Its maintenance is simple, as is its use. Compared to the Roborock S6, the vacuum cleaner loses its mop function but still remains one of the best value for money on the market for those who want to try out a vacuum cleaner.