What Is the Difference Between the Roborock S5, Xiaowa Lite, Xiaowa E2/E3, and Xiaomi Mi Robot

By Natalie Red·Jan 30, 2019· 11 min read
Robot vacuums mentioned in the article
Name Price Best Offer
Roborock Xiaowa E20 $276.99
Roborock Xiaowa Lite C10 $169.99
Roborock S50 (White) $496.19
Xiaomi Mi Robot $369.90

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).

[Update, April 2019] Xiaomi has launched the newest robot vacuum with room recognizing, stronger suction, more efficient processor and an additional sensor to make mapping more accurate.

All Roborock products

At this moment, Roborock has six different models of robot vacuum cleaners:

  1. Xiaomi Mi Robot (or the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner)
  2. Xiaomi Mijia 1S Robot Vacuum (an upgraded version of the Xiaomi Mi Robot)
  3. Roborock S5
  4. Roborock Xiaowa Lite (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa Lite C1)
  5. Roborock Xiaowa (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3)
  6. Roborock T6 (the newest model currently available only in China, you can read more about it in our latest article)

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 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. 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.

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 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

FeaturesXiaowa Lite (C1)Xiaowa E2Xiaowa E3Xiaomi Mi RobotXiaomi Mijia 1SRoborock S5
Suction power (Pa)1,6001,8002,0001,8002,0002,000
Battery life (min)80100150150150150
Navigation SystemRandomInertial (gyroscope)Inertial (gyroscope)LDSLDS + CameraLDS
Battery size (mAh)2,6002,6005,2005,2005,2005,200
Dustbin volume (ml)640640640420420480
Climbing ability (in / cm)0.79 / 200.79 / 200.79 / 200.59 / 150.59 / 150.79 / 20
Rated power (W)505457555858
Virtual boundaries / Blocked areasnonononoyesyes
Zone cleaningnononoyesyesyes
Carpet identificationyesyesyesnonoyes
HEPA filter typewashablewashablewashablewashableN/Awashable
AppMi HomeMi HomeMi HomeMi HomeMi HomeMi Home
Cleaning modessilent, standart, strong, maxsilent, standart, strong, maxsilent, standart, strong, maxsilent, standart, strong, maxsilent, standart, strong, maxsilent, standart, strong, max
Cliff / obstacle sensorsyesyesyesyesyesyes
Recharge & Resume cleaningnoyesyesyesyesyes
Amazon Alexa / Google Home supportyesyesyesyesnoyes
Release dateMar 2018Jun 2018Jun 2018Sep 2016Apr 2019Oct 2017
Warranty (months)121212121212

What is the difference between the Xiaomi Mi Robot, Roborock S5, Xiaowa Lite C1, Xiaowa E2, and E3

Main differences between the Roborock robot vacuum model line

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.

mapping vs. random cleaning pattern

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, MiJia 1S, 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 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.

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 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.

Cleaning mechanics

Roborock robot vacuum cleaners underneath

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.

Wet Mopping

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.

Suction power

The Roborock Xiaowa, Roborock S5, Mi Robot, and Xiaomi 1S have one of the strongest suction in the industry for the 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 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.

Carpet identification

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 and Xiaomi 1S do 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, Xiaomi 1S, 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, 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 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.

The newest Xiaomi MiJia 1S supports room cleaning. Thanks to the AI system, you can divide a created map into rooms, name each and make the vacuum work within a particular room or two rooms.

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 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 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.

Prices & where to buy

What is each of the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners best for?

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.

Where to buy
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