- Review of:
- 360 S5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- Brand name:
- Reviewed by:
- Natalie Red
- Published On:
- June 26, 2019
- Edited On:
- December 11, 2019
I'm pretty sure that with a price tag under $300, this device is a winner! I believe the 360 S5 deserves more attention. You can't find any robot vacuum under $300 with better features. This model can even compete with more expensive devices from famous brands. It has effective and precise navigation, powerful suction, good climbing ability and an amazing app with features such as intelligent zoning, blocked areas, zoned cleaning, separate room cleaning, multiple map storing and so on.
Table of Contents
- 360 S5 Highlights
- First impression and appearance
- Smart navigation technology
- Sensors that avoid collisions
- Noise Level
- Battery life and recharge & resume function
- Cleaning performance
- App control
- 360 S5 video review and cleaning test
- Things that can be improved
- Conclusion: Is the 360 S5 a good robot vacuum to buy in 2019?
Previously, we reviewed and tested an affordable and powerful robot vacuum cleaner - the 360 S6. Almost a year has passed, and I still use this vacuum as my main device (I have six robot vacuums currently) a few times per week, and I love it! Today, we are going to review the latest robot vacuum from 360 - the S5 model. Is the 360 S5 robot vacuum cleaner good enough considering its low price of $249 on GearBest? Can it compete with similar devices in this price range? Is it a good machine to buy in 2019? We'll try to answer these questions in the following detailed review.
360 S5 Highlights
- Strong suction of 2,000 Pa provides deep cleaning on carpets and bare floors
- Great climbing ability allows it to cross over thick carpets and door thresholds without a problem
- Lidar-based smart navigation system creates an accurate map of your house and builds the most effective path to clean it as fast as possible
- Real-time tracking
- Stores multiple maps, ideal for multi-floor homes
- Intelligent room recognition and ability to clean selected rooms
- Resumes cleaning after recharging if the cleaning cycle wasn't finished
- Ability to set restricted areas
- Ability to set zones for cleaning
- Smart navigation saves battery life by not going over the same spot twice
- Not loud, operates quietly in standard mode
- Alerts about what's going on with a voice report
- Intelligent carpet recognition and suction boost
- Improved charging dock hides the cable behind for a sleek look
First impression and appearance
The 360 S5 has a minimalist look and somehow reminds me of the Roborock S5 design. On top are two buttons: one starts and stops the robot while the other docks it to the charging base. Near the buttons, you will see a "head" with a laser distance sensor (LDS or Lidar) inside.
A 550 ml dustbin is housed under the lid; it is bigger than the previous 360 S6 model has. If you don't have more than one pet or your place is not too large, or if you run the robot a few times a week, the 550 ml dustbin should be enough for you. It is easy to pull out and empty.
Inside the dustbin, you can see a washable HEPA filter. I like that I can wash this filter and, therefore, I don't need to replace it too often (most of the robot vacuum cleaners come with non-washable filters). The HEPA air filter removes 99% of particles whose diameter is greater or equal to 0.3 µm. The filter can be easily detached and washed under water. Thanks to the HEPA filter, the 360 S5 is a good choice for people with allergies and asthma.
Underneath you will find two big rubber wheels and the main cleaning brush. The brush has detachable side parts, making it easier to remove hair. The main brush is a mix of rubber and bristles, a combination designed to get the best performance on both bare and carpet flooring.
The brush agitates dust and dirt from the floor and transfers it to the suction path where it gets sucked up into the dustbin.
There is also a side brush sweeper that catches debris along walls; it gets the smallest parts hidden away under furniture, sending them to the suction path.
I love the new charging dock. It is different from the previous model and other robot vacuums. It doesn't have a protruding platform with electrical contacts like most robot vacuum. Instead, the contacts are placed on the front side of the charging dock.
Thanks to this, the dock takes up less space and looks more elegant to me.
The new dock also allows for adjusting the charging cable length and hiding it behind so it looks sleek. It is worth mentioning, that I had a problem when the robot wouldn't dock because the charging station had been placed near a wall with a plinth. so, keep this in mind and place it tight to the wall. The robot will dock without any problem.
In the box, you get 5 types of AC power plugs for different countries. The previous model (360 S6) we reviewed had three different plug types in the box; it was the first robot vacuum we tested at the moment with plug options. Another thing I love is the cleaning tool, which you can use to remove hair from the main brush. It is hidden under the lid, something the Roborock S5 and S6 has of which I am a big fan. I don't have to run around my place searching for the tool; it's always in its place sitting under the lid, which is awesome.
Smart navigation technology
When the robot starts cleaning, it creates a map of the cleaning area using the Lidar located inside the "tower." The Lidar rotates 360 degrees and scans the surroundings. The data received from this sensor goes to the robot's "brain", a powerful ARM processor that creates a map (layout) of your house and allows tracking in real time, so I always know where the robot is (you can see it on the smartphone app). This feature makes navigation more efficient: the robot knows the layout of the house and moves back-and-forth across the cleaning area with straight Z-shaped lines, methodically covering the whole place without missing any areas or repeating cleaning the same spots a few times.
Compared to cheap robot vacuum cleaners that don't have this mapping feature, the 360 S5 finishes the job 2-3 times faster, covering 100% of your floors without missing any spots. This saves battery life. The mapping technology lets the robot know where it should clean and where it has already cleaned.
One of the coolest things about the 360 S5 is the ability to identify its location. If you move the charging dock or the robot after the map is created, the robot will recognize its location the next time you run it.
Sensors that avoid collisions
The 360 S5 has a bunch of sensors for more precise navigation and obstacle avoidance. Underneath, there are a few cliff sensors that protect the device falling from stairs.
On the right side is a wall sensor that helps the robot go as close as possible to walls and furniture without touching them. In most cases, the S5 will not touch walls or furniture since they are easily recognized by the LIDAR; however, if there are thin objects, for example, chair legs, it will slightly bump into them with its soft bumper on the front side, then will change direction to pass the obstacle.
There is an infrared sensor on the bumper that is used to detect objects directly in front of the robot. It also helps to find the charging dock when needed.
Even though the 360 S5 has strong suction power of 2,000 Pa, it is not as loud as other powerful robot vacuums such as the Roomba i7, Roborock S5 or Neato Botvac D7. The manufacturer claims that it makes about 65 dB of noise in max suction mode, and this sounds truthful. In balanced mode, it operates very quietly, without disturbing you, but you will eventually hear it if it's working in the same room.
Battery life and recharge & resume function
The 360 S5 is equipped with a 2,600 mAh battery that lasts up to 100 minutes in silent mode, ~70 minutes in standard mode and only ~35 minutes in powerful suction mode. I think the battery capacity is enough for cleaning a small to medium house.
If you have a big house and the robot can't finish the job on one charge, when its battery runs less than 30% of its energy, the robot automatically returns to the charging dock, recharges to 80% of capacity, then returns to the breakpoint to continue cleaning. The vacuum knows its location, so if you move or suspend it during cleaning, it continues without repeating previously cleaned areas.
I can't complain about the cleaning performance of this appliance. It's very decent, which is not surprising, considering the fact that it has very strong suction compared to the at least twice more expensive devices such as the Roomba i7, Neato Botvac D7, Roborock S6, etc.
We have measured airflow of the 360 S5 with a digital anemometer and were highly surprised by the result. According to our test, the robot shows ~24 CFM of the air flow velocity on powerful mode, which is impressive. I still can't believe this result since the Roborock S5 and S6 in our test shows only ~17 and ~15 CFM respectively. According to the manufacturers, all three models have 2,000Pa of suction power, but our test shows different numbers in the air flow velocity. Maybe there is a difference in the filtration system or other reasons that affect the result, so we'll test it more soon.
Thanks to the strong suction, this model performs well on all types of floors. I don't have pets, but I believe pet owners will be satisfied. In fact, this powerful robot vacuum will suck pet hair hidden in carpeting with ease. It provides intense cleaning of low and medium-pile carpets, catching all the dirt and dust hidden deep within.
I would not expect good cleaning performance of a high-pile carpet, but I can say the same about any other robot cleaners. They have good suction but not as strong as upright vacuums. It's also great that the 360 S5 has a feature called "carpet boost”; thanks to it, when the robot goes from a hardwood floor to a carpet, it automatically increases its suction to the maximum level. This helps save battery life since you don't need strong suction when cleaning bare floors. It will be increased only on carpets. I noticed that, sometimes, the device does n’t recognize my carpets. I have no idea if it depends on the carpet type or is for some other reason, but it's not a big problem to me.
A lot of cheap robot vacuums I have tested before had trouble crossing across my medium-pile carpet. Luckily, with the 360 S5, I have never had such a problem. It can easily cross over door thresholds and carpets lower than 2 cm (0.78 in).
I have long hair that gets clogged around the cleaning brush after every cleaning. I have tested a lot of robot vacuums and, usually, it is a headache to untangle hair from the brush. The 360 S5 has some hair around the main brush after cleaning, especially around the edges, but the brush has detachable parts, so it is easy to remove the hair. It might not be as efficient as brushless rollers, but it still takes a few seconds to maintain.
Medium-Pile Carpet Test
We put the 360 S5 through a test with sand on medium-pile carpet and were surprised with the results.
We had 360 S5/S6/S7, Viomi V2, and Roborock S5/S6 running on the carpet and that test showed that suction power and air velocity might not be as important as overall cleaning ability. For example, the Viomi V2 has the strongest suction among all of them and one of the highest air velocity but showed the worst result at picking up sand on carpet.
On the other hand, the 360 S6 that is the least powerful with 1,800 Pa of suction and has the lowest air velocity picked up the most sand. We also think it might be because of the cleaning pattern, it goes in parallel line during the first pass and in perpendicular lines during the second pass when both the 360 S5 and S7 only run in parallel lines twice. Also, the filtration system in the 360 S6 is different, it has a pre-filter which the S5 and S7 lack so the filter was clean after the test.
Even with that pattern, the 360 S5 and S7 showed one of the best results after we measured the dustbin when cleaning was over which lead us to conclusion that those models are ideal for homes with carpets. Only keep in mind, you have to keep the filter clean to have the best suction and cleaning performance.
The 360 S5 can be fully controlled by a smartphone app called 360Smart available to install for both popular mobile platforms iOS and Android. The app has a lot of useful features such as intelligent zoning, restricted areas, zoned cleaning, room cleaning, multiple maps storing, real-time tracking, cleaning history, scheduling and much more. It allows you to change suction mode and to switch between quiet, standard and powerful modes. If the new version of the robot's firmware is available, you can update it through the app. Let's talk about some cool features that I like the most.
The 360 S5 has a great feature called "Intelligent zoning". Only a few expensive robot vacuums have this function, so I'm surprised this affordable device supports it. When the robot finishes cleaning, and the map has been created, you can divide the house into separate rooms by choosing "Intelligent zoning" on the menu. You cannot change the way robot divides your home; you can only name each room. Yet the 360 S5 automatically has detected my rooms fairly accurate, so I don’t need to change anything.
You can choose the room or a few rooms to clean by tapping on the map: it is very convenient. Sure, we still have a zoned cleaning function but room cleaning is much easier to use. If you selected a few, you can set an order, including which one to clean first. When the rooms are selected, you can schedule the unit, but there is no possibility of setting the robot to clean different rooms at different times. Once you've set the living room and bedroom, the robot will only clean there. This is a great feature on only a few flagship robot vacuums, which costs much more. By the way, have the ability to clean separate rooms without a headache in one tap.
Specified zones work similarly to intelligent zoning. While intelligent zoning allows for choosing a room that needs to be cleaned, with the specified zone feature, you can draw a rectangle on the map to let the robot know where exactly to go. This option allows choosing how many cycles (up to 2) the robot should clean the specified zone.
I wish there was the ability to schedule the robot with specified zones; unfortunately, at this time, you can't do it.
Restricted areas (block-off zones)
The restricted areas feature allows for setting zones that the 360 S5 should not cross. This is useful when some parts of your home are cluttered, so the robot will not go there.
There is also the option of scheduling the robot with restricted areas. You can draw a rectangle around a zone you don't want the robot to cross and then schedule the robot to work at a specific time, and it will avoid the chosen area.
Maintenance and settings
This feature shows an estimated time when the accessories and filter should be replaced or cleaned. It's just a recommendation, of course; you can use the robot even when it shows that some accessories need to be replaced.
Storing multiple maps in the memory
The 360 S5 is a good choice for those with a multi-floor house. It can store up to 10 maps in memory, so you can save the map of each floor and choose it when needed. You can also save maps with restricted areas use it for different needs. It is a great feature, and only a few expensive models can store several maps.
While writing this review, I saw that the app had received an update with a few new features. In the new version, you can rotate the map and choose the language of the robot's voice. I like that the manufacturer continues to improve the app, adds new features and updates the firmware to improve navigation. Even with my previous model S6, I received updates quite often.
360 S5 video review and cleaning test
Things that can be improved
I wish this robot vacuum had a better battery. Sure, this battery will be enough for the average house if you use the robot in balanced mode. But if you have multiple floors, you will need to recharge the device after cleaning each one. Also, on max suction mode, the battery lasts only 30 minutes, not enough for the average house, so you will mostly use the balanced or silent mode.
Intelligent zoning divides your house into separate rooms, but there is no way to change something manually later. I hope this function will be added to the app in the near future.
Those who want to use the 360 S5 with their smart homes will be disappointed that the robot vacuum doesn't support Amazon Alexa and Google Home ecosystems.
Furthermore, this model doesn't have a wet mopping function, so it is not suitable for those who need mopping. I have used the mopping function in other robot vacuums a few times only, since I'm too lazy to refill the water tank each time and wash the cleaning cloth after each session. It's kind of headache, so think twice if you really need this feature before buying a robot vacuum.
Conclusion: Is the 360 S5 a good robot vacuum to buy in 2019?
I'm pretty sure that with a price tag under $300, this device is a winner! I believe the 360 S5 deserves more attention. You can't find any robot vacuum in this price range with better features. This model can even compete with more expensive devices from famous brands. It has effective and precise navigation, powerful suction, good climbing ability and an amazing app with features such as intelligent zoning, blocked areas, zoned cleaning, separate room cleaning, multiple map storing and so on.
What about reliability? The overall build quality is great: everything looks solid and reliable. I have owned the previous model 360 S6 for almost one year. It still works great without any significant issues, so I don't think the new model will be worse.