A house can’t be considered truly neat without clean floors, but we don’t always have the time or energy to keep our carpets and tile their best. Kids, pets, and nature turn managing your floors into a never-ending task. This is why 93% of robot vacuum owners would recommend the products to others.
A 2018 survey from the American Cleaning Institute states 80% of people clean their floors on a regular basis, and consider it an essential part of tidying up. Floor-cleaning chores take up so much of our time, it’s no wonder the robot vacuum market is growing at such a fast pace. Robots make up for 20% of the vacuum cleaner market (as of July 2018), and this number is expected to grow by 11.2% annually until 2026.
Kids, pets, and nature turn managing your floor into a never-ending task. This is why 93% of robot vacuum owners would recommend the products.
Having the Roborock S5 Max at home found me joining the ranks of robot-lovers, but there is more to it than lounging on the couch and letting the robot do all the work. Like any other product, the S5 Max has pros, cons, and plenty of competition. Rivalry is particularly important for the Roborock S5 Max, considering its hard-to-afford $599 price point.
Android Authority’s goal was to find out if this is the robot worth your hard-earned cash or not, so read our Roborock S5 Max review on to find out.
What is the Roborock S5 Max?
The Roborock's primary selling point is that it works as both a vacuum and a mop.
The Roborock S5 Max is the latest floor-cleaning robot by Roborock. The Chinese company specializes in making these electronic sweepers and is known for collaborating with Xiaomi, which is why there is an obvious similarity between Xiaomi’s robovacs and Roborock-branded products.
The Roborock’s primary selling point is that it works as both a vacuum and a mop. It takes on both tasks simultaneously, making for a deeper and fuller cleaning.
Roborock S5 Max specs:
- Suction power: 2,000Pa
- Dust bin: 460ml
- Water tank: 290ml
- Battery: 5,200mAh
- Mapping and tracking: LDS and SLAM
- Noise: 60dB
Roborock S5 Max vs Roborock S6
Roborock may have sown some confusion into its product mix thanks to its naming convention, so we thought a good explanation was due. The Roborock S5 Max succeeds the Roborock S6, even though the latter would appear to be a superior product in name only. The S5 Max is the latest and greatest machine, though not by much.
The S5 Max surpasses the S6 in a few ways. It has a larger 290ml water tank, which is more than twice as large as the 140ml tank in the S6. Further, it manages water more intelligently thanks to the app, as opposed to the physical controls for the S6’s tank. This means you can specify different water usage terms for select rooms or surfaces, and manipulate the flow on-the-go. Another advantage of the Roborock S6 is that it is slightly quieter thanks to its air screen.
Dust bin capacity is slightly smaller with the Roborock S5 Max, but only by 20ml (460ml vs 480ml). Pretty much all other features are the same across both vacs — even the design is amazingly similar.
Also read: Roborock S4 review
How to set up the Roborock S5 Max
The Roborock S5 Max is very simple to set up. All steps are given to you in the app, but we will give you the general rundown to give you a better idea of how the process works.
Getting the robot ready to clean takes a few steps. After installing the dock and anti-moisture layer using the included adhesive tape, simply fill up the water tank and install the mopping module. Once you’ve got it pieced together, download the Mi Home app from the Google Play Store.
Open the application and log in your Xiaomi account, or create one if you don’t have one. Pressing the home and power buttons simultaneously on the Roborock S5 Max will reset the Wi-Fi. Then it’s a matter of adding your device, which takes a few steps. I would say I had the Roborock S5 Max ready to clean in less than 10 minutes after unboxing it.
How to use the Roborock S5 Max
Using the Roborock S5 Max is also a simple process, as it does most of the work on its own, but the machine has a few features you can use to dial in specific cleaning preferences. We will get into all of the main ones in this section.
Getting the Roborock S5 Max to clean
The application makes is pretty straight-forward and much of the work is done by the Roborock S5 Max’s intelligent system. Simply select the Roborock S5 Max, tap the button with the three squares and a “+” sign, and select your cleaning mode and water level. Once this is done, select Clean. The robot will begin scanning and cleaning the area.
The first run through of my 110-square-meter apartment took 147 minutes. Times get shorter as the system learns the ins and outs of your home.
Once done cleaning, the app will show a map of the area the robot cleaned. You can tap on the three-dot menu button and go to settings. Toggle the Map saved mode to have the Roborock S5 Max remember the house. The system is smart enough to analyze the map and find improved routes in future sessions.
Cleaning by zones
Now that the map is saved you can get into the fun features, like selective cleaning. To do this, select the Roborock S5 Max within the Mi Home app and tap on the Zone tab. Select an area you want clean by tapping and dragging a square. You can even tap the Add button to select multiple areas. When done just hit the Clean button and let the magic happen.
Creating invisible walls
You can create invisible walls and no-go zones to prevent your robot from going to certain places. For example, I made sure the robot stayed out of my closet, or got too close to the Christmas tree, or messed with my cat’s food and water bowls.
To do this, simply select the Roborock S5 Max within the device list, tap on the Map settings, and select No-go Zone. You can also use the same section to divide rooms and edit the saved map.
Other cool features
Secondary features include the ability to set a timer, send the vacuum to a specific location, use your phone as a remote control, look at the cleaning history, share the robot with other Xiaomi accounts, and more. Additionally, the Mi Home app can be linked to Alexa or Google Assistant to use with your smart home speakers.
Living with the Roborock S5 Max: pros and cons
Living with the Roborock S5 Max was pleasant. I can say my house is cleaner than it used to be, and I spend less time cleaning it. It is saving me about 30 minutes a day, which is the time it would take to sweep and mop my whole apartment.
It usually took the Roborock S5 Max about two hours to clean the whole place.
It usually took the Roborock S5 Max about two hours to clean the whole place — if it could on one charge. I achieved this by using the “balanced” cleaning mode. If I opted for “turbo” or “max”, the device would need to go back and recharge at some point in the middle of a cleaning session.
The manufacturer claims the Roborock S5 Max can work for up to three hours on a single charge, but I honestly don’t see that happening. In my experience it barely got to the two-hour mark, and it did so without much battery left when using the “balanced” mode. Using the “power” mode killed it way faster and forced the robot to go back and recharge in the middle of a session.
I also noticed that using low levels of water left streaks on the marble floor. The floors were clean, but the tracks were annoying. Using the highest water level fixed the issue by forcing the intelligent water pressure system to push more liquid into the mopping module, therefore keeping it more wet. And though I worried this would mean filling the water tank more often, the system turned out to be pretty efficient. I was able to use a single tank each time it mopped, with a bit of extra water left at the end.
The Roborock S5 Max's silent mode isn't quiet enough to let the vacuum run overnight.
One thing I will complain about: the “silent” mode isn’t exactly quiet enough to let the vacuum run overnight. I didn’t really notice a difference in sound to between silent and normal, to be honest, so I ordered the device back to its dock so I could fall asleep.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Roborock S5 Max requires a bit more maintenance than your traditional robot vacuums thanks to the mopping feature. A vacuum-only robot can clean a house multiple times without filling the dust bin. This true for the Roborock S5 Max when it’s only vacuuming, but mopping and the water tank necessitate some oversight. You will have to clean one and fill the other with water each time you want to use the robot for mopping.
After a time, it became second nature to fill the water and wash the mop every time the S5 Max finished cleaning, ensuring it would be ready for the next session. I loved being able to activate the S5 Max while I was away, or while I was working. This meant I had to be on task myself with respect to the reservoir.
I loved being able to activate the S5 Max while I was away.
How well does the Roborock S5 Max work?
Despite my few complaints regarding usability, the Roborock S5 Max gets the job done. It kept my floors clean and was able to collect trash efficiently. Its 2,000Pa suction power is no joke. Once I found a quarter in the dust bin, which is quite impressive.
Despite my few complaints regarding usability, the Roborock S5 Max gets the job done very well.
I appreciated the advanced features like invisible walls, no-go zones, voice controls, and the ability to map different cleaning parameters for different areas of the home. The device is smart enough so that you don’t have to worry about a thing once it is set up and knows your home. These are features you often only find in the higher-end machines.
Roborock S5 Max review: Value for money
At $599, the Roborock S5 Max isn’t exactly cheap. iRobot’s Roombas and Neato’s vacuum cleaners can be purchased for less if you go with the entry-level versions. The cheapest iRobot vacuum is the Roomba 614, which costs $274.99, and Neato’s D3 Connected goes for $399. These, however, are limited to vacuuming and can’t take care of your mopping needs.
The convenience of having both vacuuming and mopping functionality in one machine is very enticing. iRobot is the most popular floor-cleaning robot manufacturer and it does not offer a two-in-one solution like Roborock. You would have to buy a separate machine to take care of mopping, and iRobot’s cheapest mopping robot is the Braava Jet 240 at $199.
The Roborock S5 Max may save me as much as 180 hours of floor cleaning per year. To me, that is worth much more than $599.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded floor cleaning robot that can take care of both dry and wet cleaning, the Roborock S5 Max is a great contender at its price point. Though you can get two robots from iRobot for a little less, Roborock will save you the headache of dealing with two separate machines. The S5 Max also has a great feature set and a design that competes against the best.
Most importantly, the Roborock S5 Max may save me as much as 180 hours of floor cleaning per year. To me, that is worth much more than the $599 this machine costs. Want in? The Roborock S5 Max is available in the US from Amazon at a $60 discount. Just activate the coupon in the Amazon page to make a good deal even sweeter.
The Roborock's primary selling point is that it works as both a vacuum and a mop. It takes on both tasks simultaneously, making for a deeper and fuller cleaning.