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Roborock S5 Review

Roborock s5
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The Roborock S5 is the flagship model of Roborock since it departed from its mother company Xiaomi. Released in 2018, it has continued to dominate the markets.

Today, it has joined the likes of Neato in rivaling Roomba, which is arguably the best robot vacuum brand in the world.

But is it really worth the talk or it’s just another cheap Chinese brand? That’s what we want to find out in this Roborock S5 review.

Why Buy Roborock?

While Roborock may not be a household name, it is a trusted brand. It is the same company that has been manufacturing Xiaomi vacuums which have really excelled in terms of performance, and reliability.

Now, coming back to S5, it is important to note that there are several variants of the model.

We have the Roborock S50, S51, S52 and S55. The four vacuums are all the same – only the color varies.

To tell the difference, note the last digit of the model number, and the respective color match. 0 is for the white model, 1 is for Rose gold, 2 is blue (Inter Milan), and 5 is for black.

Attention

The Roborock S5 has been quite a success, and that’s the reason the Chinese company has gone ahead to release the Max model even after releasing the S5’s successor, Roborock S6. The Roborock S5 was released September 3.

Pros
  • Several color options – As mentioned above, you have four colors to choose from.
  • 2-in-1 cleaning – The S5 will vacuum and mop (wet and dry) simultaneously. You don’t need to buy a robot mop.
  • High suction – This robot vacuum delivers a maximum of 2000Pa, which is higher than what the likes of Roomba 980 offer.
  • Extended runtime – With the S5, you have no worries even when dealing with the large apartments as it offers up to 150 minutes and resumes cleaning automatically after recharging.
  • Zone Cleaning and Target Point – These two features enable homeowners to plot specific areas where they want the robot to clean.
  • Boundary Marking – No need for physical markers or Virtual Walls devices like with the Roombas. With the S5, draw the boundaries on the app.
Cons
  • No HEPA filters – The Roborock S5 doesn’t come with true-HEPA filters which are the best for homes with pets and allergy sufferers.
  • No manual scheduling – There’s no other way to set cleaning schedules unless you do it on the Smartphone app.
  • SLAM navigation – While it is a top contender for the best robot vacuum, the S5 comes with SLAM-based navigation while the high-end models use VSLAM navigation.

Now that we know a thing or two about the Roborock S5, let’s get into the finer details. To ensure you get the most out of this review, we will look at all the features that should inform your purchase decision.

1. Design and Aesthetics

The Roborock S5 sports a sleek and stylish design. While there are color variations, the interface is the same for all four models, and so is the dimensions/weight.

The interface has three small buttons at the top and a small turret at the center. Regarding the dimensions, it measures 13.8 x 13.7 x 3.8 inches. The height here is of importance, and while it may not be the thinnest, at least it can go under most furniture and household fittings like beds and kickstands. This is where most dirt is swept. On our kitchen scale, the entire unit, with the bin empty weighed just 7.75lbs, which is quite impressive.

2. Cleaning Performance

Several components are responsible for the cleaning performance of robot vacuums. These are; motor, brush system, filter system, bin capacity, and the different cleaning modes, as well as scheduling.

  • Cleaning orientation – The Roborock S5 will vacuum and sweep. Besides the primary function, it also includes a mopping cloth and water tank.
  • Suction – When it comes to the motor, the S5 packs a punch. It features a powerful and efficient NIDEC brushless motor which delivers a maximum of 2,000Pa when MAX mode is activated.
    The motor is multispeed meaning it runs on different power levels. We have the Quiet mode for vacuuming at night, and Balanced mode when doing general house cleaning. There’s also Turbo mode for handling the dirty spots and lastly, MAX mode for the high pile carpets, shag, and rugs.
  • Brush system – Next is the brush system, and here, there are two types of brushes; primary brush and secondary brush. The primary brush is dynamic, meaning it adjusts accordingly for maximum contact depending on the surface. This is a V-shaped bristle brush which reduces tangling, especially when dealing with the long pet hairs. There is also a single side sweeping brush which the wall edges.
  • Filtration system – This is an area we expect Roborock to improve now that all brands are moving towards true-HEPA filters. While the HEPA style filters used here are 99% efficient, they can’t filter down to 0.3 microns like true-HEPA. But the good thing is that they are washable, thus reducing maintenance costs drastically.
  • Bin capacity – This robot vacuum boasts a 480ml bin which can hold quite a lot of dirt. You don’t have to struggle with emptying the bin now and then.
  • Mopping system – The problem with most robot mops is leaks and water wastage.
    But with Roborock’s botanically biomimetic system and 140ml water tank, there’s uniform water seepage. You can get 40-60 minutes of mopping without having to refill the water tank. Besides, water seepage stops once the robot comes to a halt.

The microfiber cloth, on the other hand, wipes dirt, stains, and grime without damaging your floor, even the fragile hardwood.

3. Roborock S5 Cleaning Tests

Now, as usual, we put the Roborock S5 to stringent tests, using the ordinary household dirt, scattered on different surfaces, and here are the results we got.

 Bare floors   On bare floors, we scattered flour, sugar, kitty litter, pet hair, rice, cereals, and small sand pebbles. As you are aware, there are different power modes, so we tried first in Balanced mode, and the results were impressive. All the dirt was wiped out with ease. The only problem was a few cloudy patches of the floor, but when we turned it to Turbo mode, nothing was left. The hardwood floor was spotlessly clean after just a few passes. There was no need to use the MAX mode because it’s designed for the stubborn dirt that hides deep inside the carpet pile.

Bare-floors

We also tested the mopping ability using a few stains of broken eggs, grease spots, honey, and wet paw marks. We are glad it cleaned the paws marks effortlessly, but for the other smeared dirt, it struggled a bit. But upon adding a cleaning solution to the water, all the dirt, stains and grime vanished in just a few passes. Just a reminder, this vacuum is not ideal for larger messes. For such tasks, we recommend an upright vacuum or canister.
 Low pile carpets  On low pile, the results were not so good in Balance mode. Only the cereals, pet hair and kitty litter were efficiently picked up, but the small dirt – sugar, flour, rice, and sand pebbles remained behind. Upon switching to Turbo mode, there was a huge difference with only the finest flour particles and small amounts of sugar remaining behind. We stepped up suction by switching to MAX mode, and the results were fantastic. No dirt remained behind at all.

Results in Balance Mode

Low pile carpets balanse mode

Results in Turbo Mode

Low pile carpets turbo mode

Results in MAX Mode

Low pile carpets max mode

 High pile carpets   This is where the real test was, and we didn’t bother to try with the low power modes. We went straight to the MAX mode, and all the large dirt particles vanished in a flash. Here again, there were a few patches on flour left behind after two passes, but with the third and fourth, nothing remained. It is indeed a beast when it comes to high pile carpets, as long as you switch to MAX mode.

Results in Turbo mode

High pile carpets turbo mode

Results in MAX mode

High pile carpets max mode

4. Autonomy

Here, we are going to look at two aspects; battery runtime and power management.

The Roborock S5 is equipped with a 5200mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery which can offer up to 150 minutes when running in low power mode. However, when running in the high power modes, the runtime is shorter. We tested it and got 152 minutes in Quiet mode, 139 minutes in Balance mode, 118 minutes in Turbo mode and just 98 in MAX mode which is still impressive.

Now, on to power management, the Roborock S5 will dock when the battery levels go down. Unlike the cheap robot vacuums, this one will again resume cleaning automatically – you don’t have to prompt it.

5. Smart Connectivity

With the proliferation of smart home technology, you only want to buy a Smart appliance – one that can sync with your Smartphone and other smart devices.

The Roborock S5 comes with 2.4 GHz WI-Fi meaning you can seamlessly connect it with your Smartphone via the Xiaomi app (there is no app for Roborock as of yet).

6. Navigation and Mapping

While cleaning performance is critical, the navigation and mapping system of a robot vacuum is also an important consideration.

Navigation has to do with how the robot finds its way around the house while floor mapping is about how it plans its journey. In other words, how it sees your floor plan.

The Roborock S5 still uses a SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) algorithm. It relies on data from the sensors to know its position in relation to the walls.

Right now, the best systems are VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) based. These use sensors and a real-time camera for better accuracy when navigation the high traffic rooms.

But still, with the SLAM navigation, obstacle detection sensors, and anti-drop sensors, you won’t be finding your S5 stuck like these cheap models.

Important

When it comes to floor mapping, the S5 is one intelligent robot vacuum. It plans a systematic cleaning pattern, unlike most of the models which move randomly.

The S5 can handle up to 2691 ft2 / 250 m2, ensuring every spot in your house is reached. It will create a map of your entire house and choose the most efficient paths to follow. That’s the reason it cleans faster than its predecessor, the Xiaomi vacuum.

Three important extras come with the mobile app.

  • First, the S5 supports boundary marking. You can draw the areas you don’t want the robot to reach on the app, for example, the dog feeding area.
  • The other feature is Zone Cleaning, and this feature allows you to draw a zone that you want to be cleaned instead of the robot cleaning the entire house.
  • Last is Target Point, and this is similar to Zone Cleaning, but this time, you touch a specific dirty spot, and the robot will head there.

There you have it folks, the Roborock S5 review. As you have seen, it is quite a powerhouse, packed with raw cleaning power and a ton of convenience features. But how does it compare to its successor, the S5 Max?

Roborock S5 vs. S5 Max

roborock s5 max
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Now that the Roborock S5 Max is here, you definitely want to know which one is the best between the two. A lot of details are not out, but we will surely keep you posted.

As for now, we know that the S5 Max has a larger 280ml tank meaning it can mop for a larger floor area than the S5 Max which has a 140ml water tank.

The biomimetic technology is also enhanced, and now, you can control water seepage from the app. Also, the problem of the S5 mopping carpets has been resolved. Now, with virtual no-mop zones, you can keep the robot clear off the carpeted areas.

Another new feature is spring-loaded mop which presses against the floor, scrubbing off the stuck-on stains and grime. The result is faster mopping and cleaning altogether.

Roborock also promises up to 180 minutes of cleaning courtesy of a larger battery. That is a considerable amount of time compared to the S5’s 150 minutes runtime. Another battery feature is intelligent recharging, dubbed top-up charging.

The S5 Max doesn’t need to dock for the entire 3 hours recharge time. It calculates the charge required to finish cleaning and goes to get just enough juice to complete the job. This is the same Quick-Charge feature in the Neato D7 Connected.

Other features include Voice Assistance, laser rangefinder, powerful 32-bit quad-core processor, and integrated cable tidy. Make sure to catch our review of the Roborock S5 Max here on Robotbox.

Summary

We have now come to the end of our Roborock S5 review. I’m sure you’re stuck in between the Roborock S5 vs. S5 Max.

Definitely, the new model is the best – the question is, are the extra features worth the wait, and of course the extra few bucks.

If you like this article, please rate it.

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