Welcome Roborock S50 in our new review – this a new model of robot vacuum cleaner by Xiaomi. Here you will find out what makes this device different from the previous model, whether it has become better, smarter. What navigation systems does it use, how long can it work using just one battery charge? And, finally, whether this new robovac model is worth buying?
In autumn 2017 a new robotic vacuum cleaner by Xiaomi named Roborock S50 was introduced on the market. This device is a technically improved version of Mi Robot Vacuum and they are almost alike as for the appearance. Just compare these two devices and find at least two differences.
However, in our review we will look into these two models features and functionalities, but not their appearance. Now, let’s find out – what is this device actually? Is it really a brand new robovac model or just another marketing trick to pick your pocket?
The story behind the device
Robovacs market is growing rapidly and Xiaomi just couldn’t have passed by this opportunity. The initial version of Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum was manufactured in 2016. The model combined good characteristics and affordable price. Due to this it has gained popularity both on European and American markets.
This robotic vacuum cleaner has even got the prize IF Design Award, but despite its awards and recognition it has gained, still the device has some drawbacks, since Xiaomi engineers haven’t had any experience in robovacs production and design. Most of the device demerits became known after receiving users’ feedback.
The company has taken these into account, even the minor ones, and promised to design a new robot vacuum model in 2017. This is why the users were waiting for a new model to appear on the market.
What has changed?
Roborock Sweep One and its predecessor are very much alike. The robot vacuum is yet round shaped and is equipped with a laser ranging device (a lidar scanner), that now is located close to the device center.
This and other sensors ensure that the robot vacuum avoids obstacles and stairs, chooses the most efficient route and finds its charging base quickly. Suction power has increased at 10% and now it is about 2000 Pa (Mi model has just 1800 Pa).
The 5200 mAh battery (at 14.4 V voltage it is about 75 Watt per hour) is designed for 2.5 hours of off-line work which is equivalent to cleaning the room about 250 m² in area.
Now the robot vacuum can identify a carpet. As a rule it works in an ordinary suction mode, but when it starts cleaning the carpet the maximum suction level activates and provides high quality cleaning.
Roborock S50 Sweep One review
Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum vs Roborock S50
It’d be reasonable to base current review on a comparison with Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum. First of all because it is an upgraded version of this model and it is a good idea to make your judgment after considering all advantages and disadvantages of both devices.
Xiaomi decided not to use this nice white packing as for all the rest of its novelties, therefore they packed the device in a box made of recycled cardboard, as they used to do at the beginning.
So, as for the packing Roborock S50 has the same one as its predecessor. This is a box with a handler with another smaller box inside. Its outer wall has a pocket with a user manual inside.
The manual is in English, which is good news since Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum user manual was written in Chinese. This indicates that the company is serious about entering English speaking market. Besides, now the robovac comments its actions in English which significantly simplifies its usage.
The second distinction is its package of contents. There is a special container for water that you can install on the device and a cloth for whipping the floor. Wet cleaning function has become one of the new Roborock S50 functions.
The dock station
First of all it has become essentially smaller in size. Its dimensions now are the following: 13 cm wide (5.1 in), 10 cm (4 in) high and 16 cm long (6.3 in). The second change that was introduced is a special transparent plastic mat that comes in a set.
What is it for?
Since now Roborock Sweep One not just vacuums the floor, but also wipes it with the wet cloth, the mat protects the floor under the dock station from water drops ingress. The mat size is 40 x 40 cm (15,75×15,75 in).
This robot vacuum always starts cleaning from the room corners, goes around the room perimeter, but doesn’t leave it. At the same moment the device scans the space for possible obstacles and objects on its way.
The next step for the robovac is to divide the room into several areas and starts cleaning them by going back and forth. After cleaning one room it goes to another and so on. If you close the door or there is just one room in a flat, then after the device completes its work it reads its coordinates from the memory and stops.
The average time required to clean a flat about 60 square meters takes about 35-40 minutes. There is 60 % of a battery charge left after that and if it’s not enough to continue, it’ll go to the dock station to recharge and carries on the cleaning process from the place where it stopped. The robovac finds its charging base in 10 out of 10 cases – an excellent result!
If we don’t go into detail, the difference between Roborock S50 and Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum appearance is quite a minor one. However, even if we do, it is still insignificant.
The new model has a smoother plastic bumper with sensors. Now the device bumps into furniture less frequently and doesn’t cause any damage. Four proximity sensors help the device to avoid bumping. The additional side sensor ensures that the robovac stays 10 mm far from the wall.
There are three buttons on the device case. The previous model has two of them (turn the device on and send it to the dock station), though it didn’t have the third one. It turns on zoned cleanup mode.
The device dimensions have changed a little. Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum – 345-345-96 mm (13.6-13.6-3.8 in), and Roborock S50 – 353-350-96.5 mm (13.9-13.8-3.8 in). The new model has become 0.5 mm higher due to its increased manoeuvrability and road clearance (it was 1.5 cm and now it is 2 cm). This allows the robot vacuum to overcome doorsteps between rooms and decreases the number of cases when it gets stuck.
Besides the new model can overcome slopes up to 20 degrees high, while the old one can deal only with 15 degrees. The opposite situation is with the device weight – it has decreased from 3.8 kg to 3.5 kg (8.38-7.7 pounds).
To ensure efficient cleaning and utilization safety the robot vacuum cleaner has 13 embedded sensors.
- Laser detection system LDS
- Side sensor to control how far the device is from walls
- Dust sensor
- Crash sensor
- IR radar
- Coarse particles sensor
- Electronic compass
- Gyro sensor
- Drop sensor
- Fan rotating sensor
A few innovations were introduced. Firstly, the device has an IR sensor at the front, while the previous model has an ultrasound one. IR sensors ensure that the robovac overcomes obstacles more successfully.
Secondly, Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum used to get stuck under furniture because of its lidar is too high. Now, the lidar has a button on its top and when it is actuated the robovac goes back without entering the area where it may get entrapped.
Xiaomi wouldn’t have been Xiaomi, if it hadn’t designed a high-quality mobile application to control its robot vacuum cleaner. As we all have got used to it – everything can be set and adjusted in the branded Xiaomi Mi Home mobile app. On you smart phone screen you can see a map of your flat or house and by pushing on some specific zone you can direct the device to this area.
The application has the following interesting functions:
- Go – set the point where the device has to go
- Dock – the device gets back to its dock station
- Clean – start the cleaning process
- Zoned Cleanup – cleaning of some specific area in a flat
Besides, by means of a smart phone you can control the device just like by using a remote control. For example, you can set some area in a Spot mode and make the robovac clean it.
The application also has a room map, it shows how many square meters were processed, the battery charge level and how many time was spent on cleaning.
There are several operational modes including carpet mode – when the device defines the type of floor covering and automatically increases suction.
One of optional, but quite helpful functions of Roborock S50 is the ability to set the cleaning program: you can schedule the process minute by minute indicating what and where should be cleaned. It is very convenient. For example, if don’t want to be disturbed by this small moving device after a long working day, you can schedule it to perform the cleaning while you are away.
The main distinctive feature of not expensive robot vacuum cleaners from the expensive ones is that the latter make a room map and use it to navigate. What difference does this make?
Well, it’s very easy. Robovacs without navigation system just move around the room chaotically, bumping into the walls and as a result they may go over one and the same spot on the floor several times and ignore other areas. The device equipped with a navigation system creates a room map and goes around using it without leaving any areas that weren’t cleaned.
To navigate and develop proper cleaning route a special laser system is used (LDS). It allows managing the surrounding environment (with 360 degrees look-up angle) and displaying it by means of SLAM algorithm.
There is a very precise laser sensor (lidar) on top of the robovac case, it allows Xiaomi Roborock to identify itself on the ground and avoid obstacles. Besides this sensor helps the device to define the most efficient cleaning route around your room and detect its dock station to charge the battery.
Unlike other robot vacuums this one doesn’t just randomly move from one wall to another, it has an accurately developed map for this. Is this laser harmful for human eyes? Won’t pets be afraid of it?
Well, as for the pets – they don’t show any reaction on it. As for the human eye – it just can’t see this type of rays.
The battery capacity is 5200 mAh, it hasn’t changed as well as the power – 55W. However, at that the suction has increased from 1800 Pa to 2000 Pa. This means that while the device has the same battery and power, the new model sucks in dust and rubbish 10% more efficiently.
The robovac automatically returns to its dock station, when its battery charge is almost gone. As the manufacturer states Roborock S50 can function in off-line mode for 2.5 hours and it can clean about 250 square meters during this time.
Actually, these values are almost true. Since during the test the device has been working on its maximum power for 2 hours and 17 minutes and it has processed about 200 square meters of space.
This robot vacuum has a dust bin made of transparent plastic, which is quite convenient, since you can always see how full it is. Surprisingly, the dust bin volume has increased from 420 ml to 480 ml, while the robovac dimensions almost haven’t changed.
There is a special accessory that looks like a comb with a “nib” to clean the robot vacuum brush. The “nib” has a small metal plate with a sharpened edge on its end. With it it’s very convenient to cut off hair or sewings winded on the device brush.
Now this accessory is placed next to the dust bin and you don’t have to look for it, if you need to clean the brush or the bit.
HEPA-filter has already become a standard equipment for the best robot vacuum cleaners. In this device a HEPA filter takes up almost all dust bin back side. To get more firm adherence the device case has rubber surround along its perimeter. Due to magnetic sensor the robovac won’t start cleaning without its dust bin inside. You can take it off and clean if necessary.
And now we have come to the main distinction between Roborock Sweep One and Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum. Roborock is equipped with HEPA E11, which is a washable filter, while Mi Robot has a standard HEPA filter. At that HEPA E11 efficiency is a bit lower – it is 95% if compared to 99% of a standard one.
However, this difference is completely not essential if we are talking about the device maintainability and durability. Besides, a spare filter comes in the device set, therefore you won’t need to buy a new one for quite a long time.
- Intelligent planning path, memory family layout, cleaning every corner; WIFI connect mobile phone, Timing boot, Automatic Cleaning for Home and Office, Automatic charging
- 5200mAH Long-life Li-Battery, it can cleaning 250 square meters of the environment; 96mm Slim design enable this Robot Vacuum Cleaner working in the narrow space
- Anti-Collision Detection to Protect the Robot Itself and Furniture, nti-falling Detection and Turning Back In Front of 8cm Height Cliff; Tri-axis Gyroscope Accelerator to Grasp its Moving Attitude
- The Laser Distance Sensor ( LDS ) scans its surroundings 360 degree, 1800 times per second, to map out the interiors of your house
One of the device key features is a wet cleaning mode. In the bottom of the robovac case there is a container to pour water in it, a special cloth for wiping the floor in put on top of it. This cloth is used to perform wet cleaning. Full container with water is enough for 45-60 minutes.
Though don’t flatter yourself, this mode will never perform as a full-fledged floor cleaning. However, it is still quite good as an additional option. Especially, if you have kids who gather all the dust from the floor on their arms and clothes.
A special “carpet’’ mode was added. When the device detects a carpet Xiaomi Roborock S50 automatically increases its suction.
Well we can’t say that the device is noiseless, but you can’t say that this noise is annoying. The new model has lower noise level. Now at its maximum suction power the noise is 67 dB, and 54 dB at minimum. Earlier these values were 72 and 61 dB.
- All Roborock products with FCC certification are only sold by Roborock Technology Co. Ltd, other sellers may sale the unauthentic products. Mi-Home Smart Phone App Controls: Start, stop, recharging, schedule, route planning, cleaning mode switch, zoned cleaning, remote control and personalization. Compatible with iPhone & Android. Require to 2.4GHz WI-FI. Warranty: 12-month.
- Roborock Technology: Smart Laser detection, mapping and navigation system maps the room, route planning and scheduled. Full set of intelligent sensors guide the robot vacuum under and around furniture at 5 x 360 degrees per second with the LDS sensor, thoroughly cleaning without omission.
- Wet and dry: Cleaner sweeping and mopping performance. Uniform water seepage during mopping, and no water stain on floor with the botanical biomimetic tank. When it stops working, water seepage also stopped. Work well on all floor types, including hard floor, wood floor and carpet.
- Multiple modes: Quiet, Balanced, Turbo & Max and zoned cleanup meet all your request, specialized Carpet pressurization mode can automatically identify the carpet and turn on the maximum suction(2000Pa) to clean it, and restore to normal suction after getting off the carpet.
- 13 sensors make your robotic vacuum enable the cleaner to tackle complex working environment, and will not bumping around or falling off stairs. Automatic recharge and resumption from where left off. High-Capacity Li-ion Battery (5200 mAh) delivers up to 150 minutes of constant working.
What makes Roborock S50 different from its cheaper rivals like Ilife A6?
This robovac has 5200 mAh capacity, which allows it to clean the room for 2.5 hours and if the battery gets low the robovac gets to its dock station to recharge and then continues cleaning from the spit where it stopped.
What makes Roborock S50 Sweep One different from Mi Robot Vacuum?
At first sight it may seem that all the difference is about wet cleaning. The mode is quite useful but not everyone needs its. However, Xiaomi engineers succeeded to upgrade Roborock Sweep One up to each small detail making a new model up to 25-30 % more efficient.
Here is the list of improvements:
- The bumper is made of more smooth plastic
- The device has become more light weighted
- Suction has increased from 1800 to 2000 Pa
- The dust bin has larger volume
- HEPA-filter allows 5% more dust, but now you can wash it
- IR radar was added
- Lidar now has a button that prevents the device from getting stuck
- A sensor was added that increases suction when cleaning carpets
- Clearance has become 2 cm larger and the slope that the device can overcome is 200 degrees larger as well
Has the robot vacuum become better than Mi Robot Vacuum? Yes, decidedly.
Whether it is worth overpaying? It is for you to decide.
As for me, two points appeared crucial to me – frequent complaints on Mi Robot Vacuum lidar breakage after several years of usage and the fact that the company is going to remove the device form the market.
Anyway, the new robot vacuum is worth its money. If it seems to you that you can’t afford it – take a closer look at iLife A6.
Last update on 2018-07-17 at 01:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API