What Is the Difference Between the Roborock S5, Roborock Xiaowa Lite, Roborock Xiaowa E2/E3, and Xiaomi Mi Robot
Jan 30, 2019 8 min read
Roborock is a relatively new robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer who becomes famous two years ago when released their first robot vacuum cleaner (together with their partner and investor Xiaomi Inc.) called the Xiaomi Mi Robot. One year later, Roborock launched the second generation of their product: an improved model called the Roborock S5. The company positioning Roborock as a robot vacuum cleaner brand on its own, so that's why they remove mention of Xiaomi from their product names (Roborock Xiaowa and S5).
At this moment, Roborock has four different models of robot vacuum cleaners:
- Xiaomi Mi Robot (or the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner)
- Roborock S5
- Roborock Xiaowa Lite (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa Lite C1)
- Roborock Xiaowa (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3)
Some people confused by different model names of Roborock products. For example, the Roborock S5 can also be named by sellers as the Roborock S50, S55, S501, S551, etc. However, there are no differences between them, except color and plug type, it is the same S5 Series. The number behind "S5" represents the color. Sometimes sellers can add a third number to the model name, for example, Roborock S501, which means Roborock S5, White color, FCC (US) version. The Roborock S5 can also be called as the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum second generation; however, as I mentioned before, the correct name is the Roborock S5.
In 2018, Roborock launched a new product, the Roborock Xiaowa Lite, a budget robot vacuum with strong suction and random cleaning pattern. A little bit later they improved this model and called it the Roborock Xiaowa (without "Lite" ending). The Roborock Xiaowa has stronger suction, gyroscope navigation, and wet mopping function.
The cheapest and only one model that comes without mapping feature is the Roborock Xiaowa Lite. Sometimes sellers can add "C1" or "C10" to the Xiaowa Lite, but it's the same model, just released for different countries and regions.
The next generation, Roborock Xiaowa, also can be named as Xiaowa E2, E20, or E25, which is the same model, the difference is only in color. It is available to buy in white and grey colors.
The Roborock Xiaowa E3 (or E35) is a third generation of the Xiaowa series and has the strongest suction of 2,000 Pa.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot is the oldest robot vacuum in the family.
The Roborock S5 and Xiaomi Mi Robot use LDS (laser distance sensor or Lidar) for mapping and navigation when the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3 use a dual-gyroscope positioning and navigation system. The LDS is more precise than the gyroscope, so the Roborock S5 and Xiaomi Mi Robot have better navigation and create a more accurate map than the Roborock Xiaowa series.
Let's talk about similarities and what is different between each robot vacuum of the Roborock model line.
Roborock robot vacuums comparison
|Features||Xiaowa Lite (C1)||Xiaowa E2||Xiaowa E3||Xiaomi Mi Robot||Roborock S5|
|Suction power (Pa)||1,600||1,800||2,000||1,800||2,000|
|Battery life (min)||80||100||150||150||150|
|Battery size (mAh)||2,600||2,600||5,200||5,200||5,200|
|Dustbin volume (ml)||640||640||640||420||480|
|Climbing ability (in / cm)||0.79 / 20||0.79 / 20||0.79 / 20||0.59 / 15||0.79 / 20|
|Rated power (W)||50||54||57||55||58|
|Virtual boundaries / Blocked areas||no||no||no||yes||yes|
|HEPA filter type||washalbe||washalbe||washalbe||non-washable||washable|
|Cleaning modes||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max|
|Cliff / obstacle sensors||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Amazon Alexa / Google Home support||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
Mapping and navigation technology
Let's start with the cheaper Xiaowa Lite (C1). It navigates following a random cleaning pattern which means the vacuum might go over the same spots a few times because it does not remember where it has already cleaned. However, it's still a great competitor for all the robot vacuums with a random cleaning pattern, such as the Roomba 690, Roomba 890, Shark ION R85, Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S, Ecovacs Deebot N79S and so on. In this price range, the Xiaowa Lite is one of the best devices that you can buy for a small apartment.
The Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3 have dual-gyroscope positioning and navigation system. They clean in straight zig-zag shaped lines while systematically incorporating edge cleaning. The gyroscope is not as accurate and efficient as LDS though it is better than random cleaning pattern in therm of battery saving and cleaning efficiency. Gyroscope-based robots finish cleaning 2-3 times faster than those with a random cleaning pattern, and they don't miss any spots.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5 have the LDS (laser distance sensor or Lidar) navigation system. It scans the surroundings to build an accurate map of your home layout. After that, the robot vacuum calculates the most efficient way of cleaning following the created map until it covers all area. The LDS system is the most accurate and efficient navigation technology nowadays. Robot vacuum with the LDS can finish cleaning ~2 times faster than robot vacuums with a gyroscope and 3-4 times faster than robots with a random cleaning pattern.
When the Xiaowa Lite C1 battery is low, it returns to the dock automatically. Each of the Xiaowa E2, E3, Xiaomi Mi Robot, and Roborock S5 has "Recharge and Resume" feature, or breakpoint cleaning, which means that if the area is too large for one-time cleaning, the robot automatically returns to the charging dock, recharges, then returns to the breakpoint to continue cleaning. Also, if you manually suspend or move the robot during cleaning, after returning it to its original position, it can continue cleaning without repeating the previously cleaned areas.
All the units use the exact same cleaning mechanics. Side sweeper catches debris and dust along walls and corners; the main self-adjusting brush collects dust that it gets from the side brush and agitates it into the suction path of the vacuum motor. The dust and debris is housed inside the dustbin.
The Xiaowa E2, E3, and Roborock S5 are equipped with a water tank for mopping. Fill it with water, attach the mopping cloth and insert the mopping pad underneath by sliding it until it clicks.
Amount of water the container contains is enough for about 50 minutes of cleaning. You can fill it with water again and let the vacuum continue cleaning until the battery runs out of energy.
The Roborock Xiaowa, Roborock S5, and Mi Robot have one of the strongest suction in the industry for such price.
Even the weakest suction of 1,600 Pa that the Xiaowa Lite has can deep clean thin and medium-pile carpets. Along with carpet boost, the Xiaowa, and S5 do an excellent job at cleaning carpets.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot does not have carpet identification and can't go over rugs that are more than 15 mm height though it performs excellently on those that are thinner than 1.5 cm.
The Xiaowa series and Roborock S5 are equipped with an intelligent carpet recognizing. Once the robot "knows" it is on carpet/rug, the maximum suction is automatically turned on. Standard suction is automatically restored after leaving the carpeted area.
Unfortunately, the Xiaomi Mi Robot does not have this option.
Mi Home App
For all the robot vacuums you can do the following things: switch between modes, schedule the cleaner, start and stop cleaning, watch cleaning history, manually control your robot like a radio car, upgrade the robot firmware, see when the accessories need to be replaced, etc.
There is an option to track your robot vacuum in real-time. This is related to the Xiaowa E2, E3, Mi Robot, and Roborock S5. You can see how the vacuum is building a map, which rooms it finished and where it would clean.
The most useful part of the Mi Home app is the virtual blocked areas and zone cleaning which is available only for the Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5. If you don't want your robot vacuum to cross some rooms, you can just set virtual boundaries. Thanks to the accuracy of the LIDAR technology, it works perfectly. In case some high-traffic rooms need to be vacuumed more often, draw a rectangle on the map and let the robot to clean within it.
Design & first glance
Underneath all the machines have the same design. One side brush, one cleaning brush that is a mix of bristles and rubber, two large wheels.
The Xiaowa series look the same. There are three buttons on the top: spot cleaning, start/stop, return to the dock. Under the lid, you will find a 640 ml dustbox with a washable HEPA filter that lasts longer than a regular one. The Xiaowa Lite is only available in white color when the Xiaowa E2 and E3 come in black and white colors.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot has a tower on top where it houses the LDS. There are two buttons: home and power. Under the lid there is a 420 ml dust container.
The Roborock S5 looks similar to the Mi Robot. "Head" with the LDS moved closer to center, three buttons evoke start/stop cleaning, spot cleaning mode, and recharging.
The Roborock robot vacuums are claimed to be tangle-free, and it is partially correct. Thanks to the cleaning brush that is specially designed for picking pet hair, the robots are suitable for these purposes, but you still will need to spend some time to untangle hair from the brush.
- Xiaowa Lite delivers 1,600 Pa; the Xiaowa E2 and Xiaomi Mi Robot - 1,800 Pa; the Xiaowa E3 and Roborock S5 - 2,000 Pa.
- Xiaowa Lite and Mi Robot only sweep, other vacuums in the model line can mop and sweep.
- The Xiaowa Lite navigates randomly when the Xiaowa, Mi Robot, and S5 follow a smart algorithm moving in straight Z-shaped lines.
- The Xiaowa Lite battery lasts about ~80 minutes; E2 - ~100 minutes; E3, Mi Robot, and Roborock S5 - ~150 minutes.
- The Xiaowa E2 and E3 are equipped with a dual-gyroscope and LED motion tracking sensors to map a house and identify areas that have already been cleaned. The Mi Robot and Roborock S5 use the LDS system to map out a house. The Xiaowa Lite is not able to remember your floor plan, it is running around randomly and might re-sweep some spots a few times or miss some areas.
- With the Mi Home app, you can create virtual block offs to keep the robots from wandering off. It is related to the Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5. Virtual boundaries are not available for the Xiaowa Lite, Xiaowa E2, and E3.
- To clean a specified zone, you can draw a rectangle on the created map. The robot will stay within the specified area. This option is available for the Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5.
- All the machines, except the Mi Robot, use washable HEPA filter that lasts longer than non-washable HEPA. The HEPA filter catches up to 99.9% of allergens and dust.
- All the robots from the line, except the Mi Robot, recognize carpeted flooring and boost suction power to ensure deep cleaning.
- The Xiaowa and Roborock S5 have larger wheels and are able to climb an obstacle up to 20 mm tall which makes them suitable for thicker carpets.
Prices & where to buy
So far the Roborock Xiaowa E3 is only available to buy on Gearbest for $370.
What is each of the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners best for?
- The Roborock Xiaowa Lite is suitable for small homes. If you don't need mapping and are low on budget, the $200 Xiaowa Lite is an excellent machine for its price. Suitable for homes covered with carpets.
- The Roborock Xiaowa E2 is an upgraded version of the Xiaowa Lite. It is perfect for small and medium-sized homes with a mixed surface (covers around 150 square meters).
- The Roborock Xiaowa E3 comes with strong suction power and is excellent for both: bare floors and carpet. 150 minutes of battery life is enough to cover 200 square meter cleaning area.
- The Xiaomi Mi Robot is ideal for big homes with a mixed surface (no including thicker carpets that are more than 15 mm height). For the price, you get a robot vacuum with an accurate mapping system, long-lasting battery, and a highly-featured app with an ability to set blocked zones and customizing cleaning
- The Roborock S5 is one of the best high-end robot vacuum cleaners in the industry. It is indeed a champ when it comes to cleaning performance, app features, and battery life. It is not cheap but so does other flagship cleaners on the market. The S5 is suitable for all floor types, pet hair and any size of homes. If you are ready to spend some extra for a powerful robot vacuum cleaner - go with the Roborock S5. It is a smart machine that might cost a little bit more than other robots in our list yet it is not expensive compared to similar devices from other manufacturers.