Table of Contents
- All Roborock models
- Roborock robot vacuums comparison
- Which Roborock vacuum cleaner is right for you?
- Main differences between the Roborock robot vacuum model line
- Mapping and navigation technology
- Cleaning mechanics
- Wet Mopping
- Suction power
- Carpet identification
- Mi Home App
- 13 Reasons why the Roborock models are better than most of the robot vacuum cleaners?
- Prices & where to buy
- What is each of the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners best for?
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 its 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).
All Roborock models
At this moment, Roborock made six different models of robot vacuum cleaners:
- Xiaomi Mi Robot (or the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner)
- Xiaomi Mijia 1S Robot Vacuum (an upgraded version of the Xiaomi Mi Robot)
- Roborock S5
- Roborock Xiaowa Lite (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa Lite C1)
- Roborock Xiaowa (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3)
- Roborock S6 (check out our latest review)
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. Recently we made a full Roborock S5 review, so you can check it for more info about this robot vacuum.
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 the 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 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. In April 2019, released an improved version of this model — the Xiaomi Mijia 1S Robot Vacuum. It has an upgraded laser distance sensor and, in addition, a camera sensor with the AI image recognition that allows the 1S to recognize rooms and identify doors between these rooms, so now you can send a command to clean a specific room. Alongside with the Conrtex - A7 processor, it creates a more accurate map and has more advanced navigation algorithm. The company claims, the Xiaomi Mijia 1S provides more efficient cleaning, improved up to 13% compared to the first generation Xiaomi Mi Robot. The upgraded model can store multiple maps which makes it perfect for homes with more than one level. It also has a better suction power of 2,000Pa. Read more about the Xiaomi Mijia 1S in our latest article.
Roborock also released the newest model - the Roborock S6 in May 2019. It is an improved version of the Roborock S5. Luckily we managed to test both: the Roborock S5 and the Roborock S6.
The Roborock S5, Roborock S6, Xiaomi 1S, 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, Roborock S6, Xiaomi 1S, and Xiaomi Mi Robot have a 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
Roborock Xiaowa Lite (C1)
Roborock Xiaowa E2
Roborock Xiaowa E3
Xiaomi Mi Robot
Xiaomi Mijia 1S
|Suction power (Pa)||1,600||1,800||2,000||1,800||2,000||2,000||2,000|
|Battery life (min)||80||100||150||150||150||150||150|
|Map saving||no||no||no||no||no||1 map||up to 3 maps|
|Navigation System||Random||Inertial (gyroscope)||Inertial (gyroscope)||LDS||LDS + Camera||LDS||LDS|
|Battery size (mAh)||2,600||2,600||5,200||5,200||5,200||5,200||5,200|
|Dustbin volume (ml)||640||640||640||420||420||480||480|
|Climbing ability (in / mm)||0.79 / 20||0.79 / 20||0.79 / 20||0.59 / 15||0.59 / 15||0.79 / 20||0.79 / 20|
|Noise level (dB)||55||55||55||68||68||68||55|
|Rated power (W)||50||54||57||58||58||58||58|
|Virtual boundaries / Blocked areas||no||no||no||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Room recognizing / Scheduling by room||no||no||no||no||yes||no||yes|
|HEPA filter type||washable||washable||washable||washable||N/A||washable||washable|
|App||Mi Home||Mi Home||Mi Home||Mi Home||Mi Home||Mi Home||Mi Home|
|Cleaning modes||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max||silent, standart, strong, max, mopping|
|Cliff / obstacle sensors||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Recharge & Resume cleaning||no||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Amazon Alexa / Google Home support||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||yes||yes|
|Release date||Mar 2018||Jun 2018||Jun 2018||Sep 2016||Apr 2019||Oct 2017||May 2019|
Which Roborock vacuum cleaner is right for you?
If you are tight on budget and looking for a simple robot that would just run around cleaning your carpets, have a look at the Roborock Xiaowa Lite. Because of 60 minutes of battery life, the robot is more suitable for smaller homes.
For those who want a robot to mop and sweep but not going to pay $400+ on flagship models, go with the Roborock Xiaowa E2, the white version will cost you $250 which is fair enough for the given features.
If your home is covering with carpets, but you still want a robot that can do mopping as well, consider getting the Roborock Xiaowa E3. It is ideal for carpet flooring, has strong suction and longer battery life. With long battery life, the Xiaowa E3 is suitable for big homes.
If you want to get a robot based on LIDAR and have efficient mapping, have a look at the Xiaomi Mi Robot or the upgraded version Xiami MiJia 1S. The Mi Robot has a $270 price tag on Gearbest, and the MiJia 1S is not as expensive as the Roborock S5 or S6. Those are ideal machines for big homes with a mixed surface because even though they have strong suction, climbing ability is 15 mm only and lacks of carpet boost would not provide deeper cleaning on carpet. However, unlike the Roborock Xiaowa, the Mi Robot and MiJia 1S have LIDAR, allow interacting with the map, support restricted areas, zoned cleaning and even scheduling by room (MiJia 1S) and build an accurate map.
If you live in a big home, have carpets, need mopping, and want the machine with mapping and efficient navigation, go with the flagship Roborock S5. It is a powerful vacuum, suitable for big homes (thanks to 150 min on running), supports restricted areas and zoned cleaning. Also, it identifies carpet flooring and has a good climbing ability, which makes it ideal for carpet flooring. You can even buy it cheaper on Gearbest for only $440.
Finally, if you are okay with spending $600 on a high-end model, live in a multi-level house, and want some additional features the Roborock S5 does not have, get the Roborock S6. It has selected room cleaning, which is a useful feature when you want the robot only clean in a specific room. Also, it stores three maps, while the Roborock S5 only does one. The robot is perfect for pet hair thanks to the cleaning brush that has detachable parts. The Roborock S6 is a flagship machine with a reasonable price tag.
Main differences between the Roborock robot vacuum model line
- Suction power. Xiaowa Lite delivers 1,600 Pa; the Xiaowa E2 and Xiaomi Mi Robot - 1,800 Pa; the Xiaowa E3, Xiaomi 1S, and Roborock S5, and Roborock S6 - 2,000 Pa.
- Xiaowa Lite, Mi Robot, and Xiaomi 1S only sweep, other vacuums in the model line do mopping and sweeping.
- Navigation. The Xiaowa Lite navigates randomly when the Xiaowa, Mi Robot, Xiaomi 1S, Roborock S6, and S5 follow a smart algorithm moving in straight Z-shaped lines.
- Battery life. The Xiaowa Lite battery lasts about ~80 minutes; E2 - ~100 minutes; E3, Mi Robot, Xiaomi 1S, Roborock S6, and Roborock S5 - ~150 minutes.
- Mapping technology. 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, 1S, Roborock S5, and S6 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 Roborock S5, Xiaomi 1S, and Roborock S6. Virtual boundaries are not available for the Xiaowa Lite, Xiaowa E2, E3, Mi Robot.
- Zoned cleaning. 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. The Xiaomi 1S and Roborock S6 also support room cleaning by choosing the room you need on a created map.
- All the machines, except the Mi Robot and MiJia 1S, 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 and 1S, recognize carpeted flooring and boost suction power to ensure deep cleaning.
- Climbing ability. The Xiaowa, Roborock S5, and Roborock S6 have larger wheels and can climb an obstacle up to 20 mm tall which makes them suitable for thicker carpets.
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 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.
All the robots in the model line except the Xiaowa C1 remember your floor plan
The Xiaomi Mi Robot, MiJia 1S, Roborock S5, and S6 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 the 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.
The Xiaomi 1S btw not only has the LDS laser but also is equipped with a visual sensor to reach better mapping performance. Also, it has AI identification that helps the robot recognizing rooms by "seeing" the doors that lead to these rooms.
The Xiaomi 1S and Roborock S6 recognize rooms
When the Xiaowa Lite C1 battery is low, it returns to the dock automatically. Each of the Xiaowa E2, E3, Xiaomi Mi Robot, Roborock S5, and S6 has "Recharge and Resume" feature, or breakpoint cleaning, which means that if the area is too large for a 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.
The Roborock S6 stores up to three maps.
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 are housed inside the dustbin.
The Roborock S6, by the way, has a rubber side brush, something we have not seen before.
The Xiaowa E2, E3, Roborock S5, and Roborock S6 are equipped with a water tank for mopping. Fill it with water, attach the mopping cloth and insert the water tank underneath by sliding it until it clicks.
The Xiaowa E2, E3, Roborock S5, and Roborock S6 are perfect for homes with bare flooring
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.
Because of the upgraded mopping system, the Roborock S6 performs the best on bare floors
The Roborock S6 water tank has a switch that controls the amount of water you need depending on your cleaning needs. It comes with 2 microfiber pads and 10 disposable wipes. The Roborock S6 performs the best on bare flooring being able to soft even stubborn stains.
The Roborock Xiaowa E3, Roborock S5, S6, Mi Robot, and Xiaomi 1S have one of the strongest suction in the industry for the price (2,000 Pa).
Even the cheapest robot vacuum Xiaowa Lite that has 1,600 of Pa suction, ensures deep cleaning on carpets. Along with carpet boost, the Xiaowa, and S5 do an excellent job at cleaning carpets.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot and 1S do not have carpet identification and can't go over rugs that are more than 15 mm height though they perform excellently on those that are thinner than 1.5 cm.
The Xiaowa series and Roborock S5/S6 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.
Carpet identification helps the robot to provide better cleaning performance on carpets and rugs
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, Xiaomi 1S, Roborock S5, and Roborock S6. You can see how the vacuum is building a map, which rooms it finished and where it cleaned.
The Roborock S5, S6, Xiaomi Mi Robot, and Xiaomi 1S support zoned cleaning
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, MiJia 1S and Roborock S5. If you don't want your robot vacuum to cross some rooms, you can just set virtual boundaries (supported by the Roborock S5, S6, and Xiaomi 1S only). 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.
Make the Roborock S6 and Xiaomi MiJia 1S work in the kitchen by using the Selected Room Cleanin feature
The newest Xiaomi MiJia 1S and Roborock S6 support room cleaning. Thanks to the AI system in the Xiaomi 1S, you can divide a created map into rooms, name each and make the vacuum work within a particular room or two rooms. The Roborock S6 divides the map into separate rooms once it finishes cleaning. When the robot knows where each room is, you can make it work within a particular room or two or even schedule the robot to work in the living room at a specific time.
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 Roborock vacuum cleaners are safe for asthma and allergy sufferers thanks to the HEPA filtration
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 Xiaomi 1S looks almost the same; it only has the additional visual sensor on top.
The Roborock S5 looks similar to the Xiaomi Mi Robot. "Head" with the LDS moved closer to center, three buttons evoke start/stop cleaning, spot cleaning mode, and recharging. The Roborock S6 has a side brush made of rubber, one solid line of three buttons and the cleaning brush that has detachable parts which make untangling hair easier.
Thanks to the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S6 is the best for pet hair
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.
13 Reasons why the Roborock models are better than most of the robot vacuum cleaners?
- Most of the robots in the model line have the longest-lasting battery. The Xiaomi Mi Robot, Xiaomi MiJia 1S, Roborock S5, S6, and Roborock Xiaowa E3 work for the whole 150 minutes.
- Resumption. It makes the robot cover even more cleaning area in one cleaning cycle. All of them except the Roborock Xiaowa C1 resume cleaning after recharging.
- Three of them can sweep and mop at the same time.
- The Roborock S5, S6, Xiaowa E3, and Xiaomi 1S have one of the strongest suction power in the industry thanks to which the cleaner picks up even the smallest particulars on carpet. Even the cheapest Xiaowa C1 delivers 1,600 Pa of suction which is impressive; it performs excellently on carpet flooring.
- Carpet boost. Only a few models in the industry can identify carpets, and Roborock produced most of them. Even the cheapest Xiaowa C1 recognizes carpeted surface. This feature helps to provide deeper cleaning on carpet flooring automatically and saves battery life. Other robot vacuums that support carpet boost either twice or three times expensive than the Roborock or do not have strong suction to ensure deep cleaning on thicker carpets.
- Restricted area support. Not all the robot vacuum cleaners that are based on the LDS laser support virtual boundaries. Those that are equipped with a gyroscope or camera don't have this feature. The Roborock S5, S6, and Xiaomi 1S have this option.
- Zoned cleaning. The same as with the restricted area, this feature is a rare thing. Supported by the Roborock S5, Roborock S6, Xiaomi Mi Robot, and Xiaomi 1S.
- Washable HEPA. It makes the filter last longer. Most of the filters can't be washed. Only the Xiaomi Mi Robot and Xiaomi 1S are equipped with a non-washable one. The Roborock robot vacuums are safe for those who suffer from an allergy or asthma.
- 20 mm barrier cross height. It makes the robot perfect for thicker carpets. Only a few high-end models that come with a price tag of $500+ can climb an obstacle this tall. Remember that even the ~$180 Xiaowa Lite performs great on thicker carpets. The Roborock is a winner in this area not only among budget robots but also among flagship machines.
- Mapping. Thanks to mapping the robots build an accurate map and know your floor layout. The Roborock S5, S6, Xiaomi Mi Robot, and 1S create a more precise map. Only the Xiaowa Lite does not have this option.
- Tracking in real-time. You can watch the robots building a map in real-time.
- Price. With the given price tag each of the Roborock models offers great high-end features and provides great performance especially on carpet. These are the robot vacuum cleaners with the strongest suction power, the best climbing ability, carpet boost, mapping, and a reasonable price.
- Scheduling by room. Since both the newest models divide the map into separate rooms, the Xiaomi 1S and Roborock S6 support cleaning in a particular room or two at a specific time.
Prices & where to buy
Roborock Xiaowa E3 on Amazon — $350
Xiaomi Mijia 1S on Gearbest — $340
What is each of the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners best for?
- Get the Roborock Xiaowa Lite if you:
Live in a small place. 60 minutes of battery life provides better cleaning performance in smaller homes
Want a decent robot vacuum but don't want to spend more on an expensive model
Have a pet. Because of a big container, the robot holds more of pet hair, so you don't have to empty it in the middle of the cycle
Have thick carpets in your house. Strong suction and carpet boost work together to provide deep cleaning
Have a pet. Strong suction and a user-friendly cleaning brush help to get rid of pet hair
Don't need mapping.
- Buy the Roborock Xiaowa E2 if you:
- Live in a small or medium-sized house. 100 minutes of battery life and recharge & resume makes it suitable for smaller and medium homes
- Have a pet. Strong suction, big container, and the cleaning brush are ideal for picking up pet hair
- Want efficient navigation. Gyroscope navigation reduces a chance to redo the same areas that were already cleaned
- Want a mopping feature. This model is equipped with a water tank and mop cloth
- Your home is covered with carpets mostly. Carpet boost, strong suction, and excellent climbing ability work together to ensure deeper cleaning on carpets
- Want a powerful robot vacuum cleaner that does not make lots of noise
- Your home is about bare floor.
- Get the Roborock Xiaowa E3 if you:
- Need extra suction. The Xiaowa E3 has one of the strongest suction in the industry. Only flagship models usually deliver 2,000 Pa of suction
- Have a few pets. Because of a big container the robot holds more of pet hair, so you don't have to empty it in the middle of the cycle
- Live in a bigger household. 150 minutes of battery life + recharge & resume make the vacuum perfect for big homes
- Need mopping
- Want efficient navigation. Thanks to the gyroscope, the E3 doesn't go over the same spots again
- Have carpets all over your place. The Xiaowa E3 performs excellently on a carpeted surface
- Have occasional carpets and mostly bare flooring.
- Buy the Xiaomi Mi Robot if you:
- Live in a big house
- Need efficient navigation. LIDAR provides an accurate map, so the robot knows where to clean
- Want a machine that will create an accurate plan to offer better cleaning performance
- Have carpets not thicker than 15 mm
- Need extra features like zoned cleaning
- Want a robot vacuum that is featured with useful options but costs less than most of the smart cleaners.
- Get the Xiaomi 1S if you:
- Have a pet. Stronger suction picks up most of pet hair
- Live is a big house. Long battery life and resumption make the newest Xiaomi robot vacuum suitable for big houses
- Want an advanced mapping system. The laser scans a cleaning area faster than the Mi Robot. A visual sensor helps to build an accurate map
- Want an efficient navigation
- Want to set cleaning in a particular room at a specific time thanks to the AI recognization
- Live in a multiple-level house thanks to maps saving
- Your home has a mixed surface
- Need advanced features such as setting restricted areas and zoned cleaning.
- Buy the Roborock S5 if you:
- Have a pet. The Roborock S5 does a superb job at picking up pet hair
- Live in a big home
- Have thin and thicker carpets and want a robot that would provide a deeper cleaning
- Need mopping
- Your home is about bare flooring
- Need extra power
- Want a flagship machine for a reasonable price
- Need additional features such as restricted areas and zoned cleaning.
- Get the Roborock S6 if you:
- Need a robot with efficient mopping
- Want to schedule the robot to work in a certain room while you are not at home
- Live in a multiple-level house
- Have a pet. Because of the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S6 is ideal for pet owners
- You have many carpets
- Want to have a restricted area feature
- Have an Amazon-enabled device or Google Home
- Live in a big house
- Want a high-end robot vacuum for a reasonable price.
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 robot vacuums from other manufacturers.
[Update May 2019] The newest Roborock S6 is everything you love about the Roborock S5 with additional features. It ensures better mopping performance, cleans 20% faster, quieter than the Roborock S5 having the same strong suction. It stores up to three-floor plans and can be scheduled to work in a particular room. If you are ready to spend some extra, we would recommend getting the Roborock S6.