Before you dismiss the Roborock S5 as just another such model, note that Xiaomi, which is better known for smartphones, invested in the company.
A quality finish, excellent dirt pick-up, brilliant navigation and optional mopping sets this model apart from its budget competition. However, there are a few things holding it from top marks, including the lack of a carpet sensor and a very basic Amazon Alexa skill.
As with most robot vacuum cleaners, the Roborock S5 is wide yet short (350 x 253 x 97mm). The advantage of such dimensions is that the vacuum will happily fit under many bits of furniture, but it can be a bit too wide to fit through all gaps, such as those of dining chair legs.
There’s also a single edge brush, designed to sweep dust from the sides of your room into the main vacuum path. Brushes need replacing every three to six months, and you can buy a pack that contains the brush bar, side brush and filter for around 180 SEK.
You can start a clean by tapping the button on the front of the cleaner, with controls for a regular clean and a spot clean. The latter is handy if you want to clean a specific spill.
It’s through the Xiaomi Mi app (Roborock doesn’t have its own, yet) that you get to unlock the full potential of the robot vacuum cleaner. It’s fairly straightforward to hook up the robot to your Wi-Fi using the app.
When you first look at the app, the front screen is rather bare and just blue. Once the robot has made one cleaning sweep, it populates the homescreen with a map of your home.
- Improved power
- Now has a mopping functionality
- APP feature gives you more control on the areas you want to clean
- Larger dust cup capacity than the previous generation
- The smartphone app allows remote access
- Washable HEPA filter
- More expensive
- Mopping function will not remove dry stains – it’s only good for maintenance mopping on a relatively clean floor