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Roborock S7 review: Sonic mopping, unbeatable cleaning
Retail price: $649.99$649.99 at Amazon
What we like
What we don't like
Roborock has a few new tricks up its sleeve with the Roborock S7 robot vacuum. Sonic mopping, a VibraRise auto-elevating mop bracket, and a re-engineered main roller — that’s a lot of buzzwords to pique one’s interest. The TL;DR version? The Roborock S7 takes a tried-and-true robot vacuum formula and adds next-level mopping while improving upon standard features. Is it every bit as good as it sounds? Find out in our Roborock S7 review.
What you need to know about the Roborock S7
- Roborock S7: $649
The Roborock S7 is a combination robot vacuum and mop. It has three main modes: vacuum, mop, or both simultaneously. You can set different vacuum levels and scrubbing intensities in combination or activate mop-only mode for an even deeper clean. At $649, the Roborock S7 lies between the Roborock S5 Max and Roborock S6 MaxV in terms of feature set and price.
How to set up the Roborock S7
The Roborock S7 setup process is dead simple, especially if you’ve used a Roborock vacuum in the past. Unpack and assemble everything, plug the dock into an outlet, and charge the Roborock S7 battery fully, which takes about six hours. Then:
- Install the Roborock app (Android|iOS)
- Lift the lid on the S7
- Hold down the two buttons on either side of the robot’s power button
- You will see the Wi-Fi indicator light flash and hear the “resetting Wi-Fi” alert
- Tap the + in the app
- Tap the S7 icon in the app once the robot has been detected
- When the Wi-Fi indicator light glows steadily, it has paired to the S7
- Follow the prompts in the app to connect the S7
- Check for updates before using and install if available
How to use the Roborock S7
The Roborock S7 can be controlled by a voice assistant (Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa) or the Roborock app. Smart home hub apps like Google Home or Mi Home are also compatible with the Roborock S7. You can also control it with the buttons on the robot itself or via a remote control in the Roborock app. A handy child lock button has been added to avoid unexpected activations from adventurous kids or curious pets.
A child lock has been added to avoid unexpected activations from adventurous kiddos or curious pets.
My preferred control method for robot vacuums is via voice assistant, but the Roborock app is pretty detailed and useful. Even if you use voice commands most of the time, the app is a good place to start. Getting things set up exactly how you like them upfront is a great way to optimize the S7’s cleaning.
The first time you run the Roborock S7, it’ll map your space with LiDAR and automatically create rooms. These can be edited later and named whatever you like, as can the robot itself. The first mapping run takes a little longer than subsequent cleans but it’s surprisingly quick for such accurate mapping.
In the Roborock app, you can edit rooms to merge or divide spaces, set no-go and no-mop zones, start spot cleaning, set cleaning preferences on a room-by-room basis, and create a cleaning sequence for rooms (e.g. so the water is hottest for the kitchen tiles).
It’s not advised to use anything other than water in the Roborock S7 but using hot water in the tank is a great way to help budge sticky stuff. I should note that Roborock absolutely advises against this because it might warp the water tank but I like to live on the wild side of house cleaning — I don’t recommend you follow my example as you might void the warranty.
Getting things set up exactly how you like them upfront is a great way to optimize the S7's cleaning.
In the app’s settings, you can track component usage. This allows you to stay on top of when you need to replace parts or clean side brushes. You’re able to set regular cleaning schedules, designate do not disturb times, turn off the “breathing” battery indicator light on top of the S7, and tweak carpet settings. The Roborock S7 can create maps and customize settings for up to four floors in a home.
So it mops and vacuums at the same time?
Yes. The Roborock S7 includes a couple of nifty features for mopping and vacuuming simultaneously. Some robot vacuums simply drag the mop across carpeted areas, unless you physically remove the mop bracket. However, the Roborock S7 detects carpet and automatically lifts the VibraRise mop bracket up to avoid it. The mop also elevates when cleaning is complete or when the Roborock S7 is charging, so there’s no soggy area around the dock if you have carpet. You no longer need an unsightly plastic mat.
The Roborock S7 detects carpet and automatically lifts the VibraRise mop bracket.
The carpet settings area in the app lets you toggle Carpet Boost for extra suction and controls how the mopping pad handles carpet. The default setting for the VibraRise attachment is “rise”. In my testing, it worked flawlessly. This is really only suitable for low-pile carpets and rugs, as the amount of lift is only 5mm. Once detected, carpets will be visible on saved maps.
For thick shag carpets, you can tell the Roborock S7 to avoid carpeted areas entirely. If you have moppable mats made of rubber, or no carpet at all, you can safely set it to ignore. If you have a mix of carpet types you can use “raise” for the mop around low-pile carpets and set no-go zones for longer-pile carpeted areas and plush rugs. The Roborock S7 will simply resume its previous settings when it’s no longer on a carpeted surface.
The new all-rubber main roller better agitates dust in carpets and picks up even more hair, pet or human.
The Roborock S7 comes with a “floating brush” which adjusts its height on different surfaces for a more efficient clean. It’s hard to judge what’s going on underneath an active vacuum, but I got a similar level of cleaning from the Roborock S7 as I do from my Roborock S6 MaxV, which costs $100 more. In fact, the Roborock S7 uses the same beefy motor as the Roborock S6 MaxV, with both offering 2,500Pa max suction.
The main roller brush has been redesigned, so there are no more bristles. Instead, you get an all-rubber main roller that better agitates dust in carpets and collects even more hair (human or pet). I also found it a lot easier to remove accumulated hair compared to bristled versions.
How does sonic mopping work?
Technically, the center part of the VibraRise mop bracket vibrates at 50Hz, well within the range of human hearing. Sonic mopping simply means you can hear it. Changes in sound waves are also used for carpet detection via a small sensor on the bottom near the wheel.
The mop bracket itself doesn’t vibrate, making it quite slim. Rather, a metal prong on the bottom of the Roborock S7 connects to a vibration motor in the Roborock S7’s main chassis. The mop bracket simply slides onto this vibrating metal prong to jiggle the middle of the mop cloth. What’s more important than what it means or how it works, though, is how well it cleans.
See also: The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vaccum-Mop P review
I have two points of comparison here. The first is the usual mop-drag most robot mops offer, to which the Roborock S7 is far superior. The second is the oscillating mop bracket on the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8.
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 does a slightly better job at removing dried spills and has a larger coverage area for the vibrating component. That said, the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8’s oscillating mop is a lot louder than the Roborock S7 and is a $99 optional upgrade. It doesn’t lift itself up, so the Roborock S7 scores extra points on all those fronts.
How well does the Roborock S7 clean?
I like the simultaneous vacuuming and mopping feature with the Roborock S7. I appreciate not having to remove the mop bracket at all thanks to the VibraRise function. Carpet Boost is great, and the option for an extra-deep clean is even better.
The “deep” mopping option runs the Roborock S7 in a tight Z-pattern, covering each area of the floor twice. I found this to tackle most floor gunk in the kitchen. For comparison’s sake, the Roborock S6 MaxV also offers this feature but it just passively drags the mop across the floor twice whereas the Roborock S7 actively scrubs it twice.
The Roborock S7 offers excellent vacuuming and top-tier mopping in one powerful package.
The Roborock S7 cleans every bit as well as the Roborock S6 MaxV, if not better. The Roborock S7 has an improved main brush, enhanced mopping function, and the same-sized dust bin and water tank. While the Roborock S7 doesn’t have a camera or AI for better object avoidance, I didn’t find either of those features to make or break the Roborock S6 MaxV. The Roborock S7 offers excellent vacuuming and top-tier mopping in one powerful package.
You can set different cleaning profiles for each room, floor covering, or level of your home. Carpet Boost kicks in for max suction when on the carpet and does an excellent job of picking up crumbs, hair, and dust. The 470ml dust bin was more than large enough for a full clean of my grubby apartment.
The lone side brush on the Roborock S7 neatly sweeps larger debris into the vacuum path. Other robot vacuums normally fling it across the room. Tight corners remain elusive, but this is true for all robot vacuums beyond Neato’s D-shaped vacuums.
Don’t miss: Roborock S4 review
Battery life from the 5,200mAh cell is good, about the same as the Roborock S6 MaxV at just under three hours. That is more than enough to clean both floors of my 900-square foot/80-square meter apartment with juice to spare. Should the S7 run out of battery mid-clean it can recharge and resume cleaning where it left off.
Overall, I was very impressed by the Roborock S7’s capabilities. The vacuum’s mapping, route planning, vacuuming, and mopping performance were all top-notch. It is possible to get a slightly better clean elsewhere, but not at this price and not in such a complete package.
What about the auto-empty bin?
Roborock has announced an upcoming auto-emptying station for the Roborock S7. Sadly, there’s no word yet on the release date or the component’s price. I always have reservations regarding upkeep costs, so I’ll be interested to know if it uses disposable dust bags or a canister design. Absent any additional costs or a high purchase price, it sounds like it’ll be a worthy accessory.
Value and competition
The Roborock S7 offers a very similar — if not better — clean than the $100 more expensive Roborock S6 MaxV and more advanced base features. It dispenses with the camera but offers better fundamentals like a redesigned all-rubber brush design and more intelligent mopping.
Outside Roborock’s ecosystem, the Roborock S7 is most comparable to the equally priced Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 which it clearly has in its sights. The Roborock S7 is every bit as good as the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8, which I also rate highly. However, the Roborock S7 ups the ante a bit thanks to Roborock’s bundled approach to vibrating mopping. Ecovacs’ vibrating mop costs $99 extra.
Only the white S7 is currently available, the black one will arrive sometime in Q2, 2021. I’ve only seen the base station in black, so keep that in mind when ordering an S7 if you plan on buying the auto-empty station later and want your devices to match.
Roborock S7 review: The verdict
As you can probably tell by now, I wholeheartedly recommend the Roborock S7.
The best parts? The app, mapping, advanced cleaning, and customization. It’s also a fairly quiet robot vacuum, and I like that the vibrating mop function isn’t noticeably louder than regular vacuuming. The improved roller brush is a nice improvement and the VibraRise mop does what it says on the tin. It’s great to not have to remove the mop cloth straight after cleaning too.
The Roborock S7 more than earns its price tag. A premium robot vacuum cleaner is no small investment, but when the results are this good it's worth it.
There’s not much to complain about with this vacuum. So, let me nitpick a couple of things. The Roborock S7 is the heaviest robot vacuum I’ve used at 4.7kg. Roborock only plans to release the auto-empty station in black, so if you get a white Roborock S7 like I did, you’re going to have a housecleaning fashion faux pas on your hands. I told you I’d have to nitpick.
While it’s not exactly cheap, but the Roborock S7 earns its $649 price tag. At this price point, a robot vacuum is no small investment, but when the results are this good it’s worth it.