Roborock S6 Hands On Review: What to Expect From the Newest Robot Vacuum

Review of:
Roborock S6
Brand name:
Roborock
Model:
S6
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Published On:
May 6, 2019
Edited On:
May 21, 2019

Summary

First, we really love the improved app. It is minimalistic, we love how the map looks and it is more user-friendly and intuitive. The new room division feature is fantastic! Second, the noise level. The Roborock S6 is not distracting. This powerful machine is not too loud. In terms of cleaning performance, all the Roborock models do a superb job: I have no complaints. The Roborock S6 is no exception: it picks up my long hair, can catch even the smallest particles in the carpet and does a great job on bare floors. I also love the new rubber side brush and main brush with detachable parts; this is essential for pet owners and those with long hair. Things I wish to be improved: small lags with connection in the Mi Home app; the dustbin and water tank should be larger.

In 2017, Roborock Technology Ltd., a Chinese robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer, released their second model - the Roborock S5. Since then, it became very popular. It had mapping, intelligent navigation, a wet mopping feature, and the S5 even remembers your home’s layout. It also comes with an app with many useful features such as restricted areas, zoned cleaning, etc. Thankfully, we had a chance to test the Roborock S5 ourselves and were really impressed with its cleaning performance. With a long-lasting battery, strong suction, excellent climbing ability, the Roborock S5 is ideal for cleaning carpets, and it does the job really well.

Meet the newest Roborock S6

Now take all these cool things the Roborock S5 is equipped with, add some advanced technologies and there you go - you have the new, improved version of the S5, Roborock S6. The robot vacuum is already available to buy on GearBest for $599 (use the coupon code GB-APRBS6 for $10 discount). We have a great opportunity to review the Roborock S6.

what comes with the Roborock S6 in the box
Roborock S6 and the package contents

The Roborock S6 takes everything we loved about the original Roborock S5 and adds some unique and impressive features: the ability to divide your house map into separate rooms, stores up to three maps in its memory, has a reduced noise level (compared to the S5 model) and improved navigation algorithms which provide ~10-20% faster cleaning. Many users have been wishing for these features since the release of the S5 model.

Meet the new Roborock S6
Roborock S6 charging on the dock

Now let's talk about other things that have changed. Don't waste a minute longer let's go for it!

Roborock S6 video review: unboxing, cleaning test, app screencast

Design and appearance

The first thing that comes to mind when opening the package - the new fantastic box of the Roborock S6. It looks much better than all the previous models we've seen from Roborock so far.

Unboxing: package contents
Unboxing: new package
The Roborock S6 accessories in the box
Unboxing: package contents

There is no significant difference in the design between the Roborock S5 and the newest Roborock S6. It has the same glossy finish, a tower with a LDS laser on top and the Roborock logo written on the lid. I have no complaints about the design; it feels like the Roborock is the iPhone of the robot vacuums world with the high build quality and attention to details. All in all, everything looks polished and well thought out.

The Roborock S6 the best robot vacuum on the market
The Roborock S6 can cross an obstacle up to 20 mm height

As with the previous model, the Roborock S6 has three buttons on the top: power, return to the dock, and spot cleaning. It is now a solid line with buttons instead of three small round ones.

The Roborock S6 new design
The Roborock S6 self-recharging sensor

Underneath I see the same cleaning brush block, two big wheels and a side brush made of a material that looks like rubber, which I will talk about later. The central brush has detachable parts, and I will also get into the details about that below.

The Roborock S6 underneath
The underneath view

When opening the lid, I see a detachable cleaning brush housed near the dustbin, which I love so much! I always know where I can find it, instead of searching for it around my house.

cleaning-tool
The cleaning tool is housed under the lid

The dustbin looks the same as the one in the Roborock S5.

dustbin
The Roborock S6 dustbin

It has the same size and washable HEPA E11-grade filter that captures at least 95% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers in diameter. It is a bit safer for those who have pets and suffer from allergies or asthma. It will last longer than a non-washable one.

Washable HEPA E11 class filter
The HEPA E11 class filter is washable

Now let's talk about the charging dock. It is a wow! It looks so much better than the previous one.

The Roborock S6 charging dock
The new charging dock

In the 360 S6 reviewed recently, I loved how I could hide the charging cable inside the dock so it would look sleeker. The Roborock S6 has the same solution. The dock is black and white, which is not surprising due to the overall minimalist design. Behind the base, there is a room where you can adjust the length of the cord. Now instead of me figuring out how to hide the cable, I just hide the amount I don't need behind, and voila! The whole construction looks much better.

The charging dock hides a cable inside
Adjust the charging cable behind the dock

Smarter and faster navigation: improved LDS and SLAM algorithms

The Roborock S6 has a tower on the top with an LDS (laser distance sensor) housed inside. The LDS sensor rotates 360 degrees and scans the surroundings. Alongside three powerful processors, it builds a map of the cleaning area in real-time.

The Roborock S6 remembers your home layout

The LDS sensor can see all obstacles, furniture and any walls around the robot, so the robot vacuum successfully avoids collisions and rarely bumps into anything. In my opinion, LDS mapping technology provides the most precise navigation and allows building a very accurate layout of your house, compared to robot vacuums that use other technologies based on a camera sensor, gyroscope, accelerometers and so on.

the LDS laser and wall sensor
The wall sensor keeps the robot close to the wall, the LDS sensor helps to create a map

Mapping allows the robot to clean faster by preventing it from going over the same already cleaned areas twice. Based on my test, the S6 cleans my apartment 10-20% faster than the S5 model. You can see how much faster the LDS navigation is compared to the gyroscope navigation technology in our previous cleaning test.

When the S6 scans with the LDS, it builds the most effective cleaning path to cover an entire room in one pass. It moves back-and-forth in straight lines methodically covering the entire cleaning area. Unlike other robot vacuums that don't have mapping, the Roborock knows where it cleans and sees the zones that are untouched.

The Roborock S6 cleans wide rooms horizontally and can switch to a lengthways path in long corridors, meaning it can clean rooms up to 20% faster than the S5 model. If you manually move the S6 to another room in your house, it will recognize its new location. The previous model just rebuilds the map in this case.

On average, the Roborock S6 cleans one square meter per minute.

Cleaning performance

In terms of cleaning, we honestly didn't notice any difference between the Roborock S6 and S5, which was predictable; they both have the same 2,000 Pa strong suction and climbing ability of 20 mm. We made a few tests on carpets with both models.

The significant difference, however, is in the side sweeper. It is made of rubber. I have never seen a side sweeper like this one before. I believe this new side brush is a little bit more efficient due to the fact that it is stiffer and can catch even the smallest particles hidden in carpets.

Rubber side sweeper
The Roborock S6 has a rubber side brush

The carpet identification works accurately, the same as we saw in the previous model; when the robot vacuum goes from hardwood flooring to carpet, it increases suction to the maximum level to provide deep cleaning. When in MAX mode, the unit does not boost suction on carpeting. The balanced mode is turned on by default in the app.

I don't have pets, but I have long hair, which is always a bit of issue, so I try to find the best robot vacuum with an easy-to-clean brush. So far, the Roborock S5 and S6 are the best I have tested in this area. The main cleaning brush in the new model located at the bottom of the device looks almost the same as the one inside the Roborock S5. It is a mix of rubber and bristles that work perfectly on bare floor and does a great job at picking dust and dirt on carpet.

The new cleaning brush with detachable parts
The cleaning brush is detachable and easy to clean

But it has one sufficient advantage over the previous model. First - the detachable parts of the cleaning brush. This is essential. The one inside the Roborock S5 is solid when the hair gets clogged in the edges, and it becomes challenging to clean the brush. The Roborock S6 has a brush with detachable side parts. this is incredible and it takes less time to unwrap the hair from the brush. As mentioned before, I have long hair, and this brush so far is the best I have seen. If you don't have pets and no one in your family has long hair, it would not be a big deal, but to me it is.

Strong suction, great climbing ability, and carpet boost provide great cleaning performance on carpet

When anything is going on during cleaning, the robot sends a notification to your smartphone so you are always aware of what is happening with the unit.

The new S6 model is quieter

Roborock claims that the newest model has strong suction but makes less noise. In MAX suction mode, it does work quieter (noise level: 58 dB) than its predecessor, the Roborock S5 (68 dB). You can hear the difference between the models in our latest video. The manufacturer has optimized motor vibration by reducing the fan speed and boosting the efficiency of the aero filtration system. It has also filled the sound insulation cotton and noise reduction air screen near the motor. I can't prove it is 50% quieter as the manufacturer claims, but I certainly can hear the difference compared to the S5. It will not disturb you when working in the same room you are in, especially when running in balanced mode. 

Huge thanks to Roborock: the S6 is amazing when it comes to noise level. So far we get a powerful machine that is not as loud when vacuuming, bravo!

Another thing I've noticed is the wall sensor improvements. Some users claim the Roborock S5 does not get close enough to walls. I don't know what has changed in this area, but the Roborock S6 noticeably gets closer to walls and other significant obstacles. Navigation around smaller obstacles such as chair legs also has been improved.

Another thing has changed - the Roborock's voice. The S6 has a nice woman's voice that somehow is more pleasant to hear.

Battery life: the longest-lasting battery in the industry

The Roborock S6 is equipped with the same 5,200 mAh battery that lasts up to 150 minutes on one charge.

In this area, Roborock didn't change anything compared to the Roborock S5. When the battery runs out of energy (less than 20%), the robot vacuum automatically returns to the charging dock to juice up to 80% and then continues cleaning from the same place it left off.

The Roborock S6 is perfect for big homes

Since my place is not big, I have never had to try the cleaning resumption. But I think this feature will be very useful for those with a big house. Typically, when the Roborock finishes cleaning my apartment, it still has more than 60% of battery life left.

Wet mopping

The mopping function also saw some changes. Now you can control the level of water dripping to the mopping cloth, depending on your needs. One level leaves the floors slightly wet and is suitable for everyday cleaning. The second level supplies more water to get rid of stains by softening them.

water tank switch for different mopping needs
Toggle the switch depending on your mopping needs

To change water supply speed, you need to toggle the switch on the water tank under the mopping cloth.

The new advanced water tank adjusts water level dripping depending on your mopping needs

There are two water filters in the mopping pad that filter water and supply it to the cloth. Those filters can be easily replaced as needed. From time to time, it's recommended to clean the filters since they can get clogged.

In the box are 10 disposable wipes and two microfiber mops, one of which is attached to the water tank. The water tank is not big, it is the same 150 ml container we've seen in the S5.

The Roborock S6 comes with an advanced water tank, microfiber cloths, and 10 disposable wipes
The Roborock S6 comes with an advanced water tank, microfiber cloths, and 10 disposable wipes

The manufacturer claims that the device is able to mop for about 50-60 minutes, but in my experience, it has never been longer than 40 minutes until the tank gets dry. In case it is not enough for you to cover the entire house, just fill the container with water again and let the robot continue.

disposable wipe
The disposable wipe for everyday cleaning

In mopping mode, the Roborock also follows the map it created navigating in straight lines. But how do you use the mopping feature if you have mixed carpet and hardwood flooring? There is an easy solution: you can restrict the robot to go across carpets when mopping by drawing blocked areas on the map in the Mi Home app.

App control: new amazing features

The Roborock S6 uses the same Mi Home app as the previous S5 model, but the user interface for the S6 model has been redesigned, and it feels and looks much better compared to the S5 model. The new app is more user-friendly, all the important buttons are on the main screen.

The Roborock S6 Mi Home app cleaning history
Mi Home app: the main screen

App usage is effortless: you need to create an account, press the button to add a new device and it will automatically find the available robot vacuum and connect to it in a few seconds. I don't know if Roborock improved something in the connection process, but it feels much smoother and faster compared to the S5 model, and I didn't have any issues.

Set virtual restricted areas around the places you don't want the robot to cross

When I connected the Roborock S6, there was a notification about the new firmware available for installation. It takes a few minutes to upgrade the firmware. The previous S5 model got updates every few months, so it looks like Roborock made the effort to improve the robot's firmware. We hope the S6 will get a lot of improvements in navigation algorithms and maybe new cool features soon.

The Roborock S6 automatically divides a created map into separates rooms

When you start cleaning the first time, the Roborock creates a map of your house and automatically divides it into separate rooms. You can edit the map anytime, merge or separate areas/rooms if you don't like the way it divided automatically.

The Roborock S6 zone editing & cleaning in a particular room
The Mi Home app features: room cleaning & zone editing

It's a huge improvement over the S5 model that can't do this. Now if you want to clean, for example, a kitchen, you can tap on the map, and the S6 will go to this room. Also, you can select a few different rooms to be cleaned. I like this feature so much, and it is much easier to use it compared to zoned cleaning.

The Roborock S6 is ideal for multiple level homes, it stores up to three different floor plans in memory

Multiple map storing
The Roborock S6 stores up to three different maps

On the main screen are all the necessary control elements:

  • The layout of your house with rooms marked by different colors
  • You can change suction power in four modes: the quiet mode provides noiseless cleaning with the maximum runtime, more than two hours of continuous cleaning; the MAX mode provides maximum suction power for deep carpet cleaning
  • You can switch between cleaning the entire house, separate rooms, or a specified zone (you can draw a rectangle on the map to specify where it should clean)
  • There are two buttons at the bottom of the screen: one for starting the cleaning and the second for returning to the charging dock;
  • The "Edit” button allows you to edit areas and rooms, set virtual boundaries, no-go lines and blocked areas. It can load a different map (for example, a map of another floor, if you have a multi-floor house)
  • At the top of the screen, you can see the battery status, cleaning history and areas cleaned
The Roborock S6 Edit map feature & 4 power settings: quiet, balanced, turbo, MAX
Edit map options vs. 4 cleaning modes

The Roborock S6 can be scheduled to work in a certain room at a specific time

Another cool feature of the app is the ability to schedule the robot vacuum for cleaning a certain room at a specific time. For example, you can schedule the Roborock S6 to clean a living room at 10:00 and a kitchen at 18:00. Awesome, right?

With the Roborock S6 you can set zoned cleaning or choose the whole room to make it work within this area

The Roborock S6 zoned cleaning and no-go zone/barrier tape feature
Zoned cleaning and no-go zone/ barrier tape features

What else you can do with the Mi Home app?

  • manually control the robot vacuum like a radio car
The Roborock S6 Remote control options: buttons vs. joystick
The Roborock S6 Remote control options: buttons vs. joystick
  • schedule the robot vacuum cleaner at a specific date, time, etc.
Scheduling by room
Scheduling by room feature
  • watch cleaning history: the map that was created during the cleaning process, how much time did it take and the size of the area cleaned
  • send the robot vacuum to a certain place in your house by tapping on the map
Target point option
Target point sends the Roborock S6 to a specific spot
  • read the user manual and support information, check the status of spare parts and when they should be replaced
Care information of the Roborock S6 parts
Care information of the Roborock S6 parts
  • check for firmware updates and upgrade the robot to the latest version if available
  • choose the robot's voice language (English, Italian, French, German, Chinese) and set the volume level
Manual and support
Manual and support app screenshot

Smart home integration

The Roborock S6 can be a part of your smart home system. It supports a few popular smart home solutions: Mi Home ecosystem, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Thanks to this, you can control the robot by voice command and enable automation, such as start the cleaning when a sensor in your smart home ecosystem triggers or receives a signal from other smart devices connected to it. However, I haven't tested this feature yet.

How about reliability and customer support?

Roborock makes the most reliable and durable products on the robot vacuum cleaners market. Hard to believe? Just check reviews on Amazon: all the Roborock models have almost 5-star ratings. It's impressive! At this moment there are no official service centers in the US and the EU, nevertheless, all of Roborock official sales partners will handle the repairs during warranty, so no worries about that. Also, Roborock is planning to open offices and service centers in the EU by the end of 2019.

All purchases of the Roborock S6 made from Roborock official partners' sales channels are entitled to a 2-year warranty, which is very impressive considering that competitors provide no more than a one-year warranty.

Where to buy the S6?

At this moment you can buy it on GearBest for $599 (use the coupon code GB-APRBS6 for $10 discount) and on Aliexpress for the same price.

Since the robot has three color options, sometimes there are two numbers in the model name (for example S60, S65). The second number of the model name represents color. The Roborock S60 means the robot is white; the Roborock S65 is the same robot vacuum in black, etc. These models are the same Roborock S6, only have a different color option. 

Specifications and Features

Specifications      Roborock S6
Max. Suction Power 2,000 Pa
Battery Capacity 5200 mAh
Run Time Up to 150 min, depending on the cleaning mode
Cleaning Area 250 sq. meters
Rated power 58 W
Dustbin Capacity 480 ml
Water Tank Capacity 140 ml
Mapping technology LDS + SLAM algorithms
Obstacle Cross-height Up to 2 cm / 0.78 inches
Wet mopping yes
Modular design easy-to-replace spare parts
Carpet detect yes, auto-increase suction and air pressurization when on carpet
Central Brush Type Easy-to-clean multi-surface detachable brush
Automatic Recharge and Resumption yes
Adjustable Water Supply yes
Reusable and Disposable Mop Pads yes
Filter type HEPA E11-grade washable filter
Types of Sensors 14 different sensors: 6 cliff (anti-drop) sensors, anti-collision sensors, wall sensor, laser distance sensor, infrared charging dock sensor, filter in position sensor, water tank in position sensor, clogged filter sensor
App features Zoned cleaning, real-time mapping, virtual barriers, and forbidden zones, intelligent room identification, editing and naming rooms, separate room cleaning, scheduled cleaning, store 3 different maps
Smart Home support Mi Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Available colors White/Black/Rose Gold
Weight 3.6 kg / 7.93 lbs
Size 353 x 350 x 96.5 mm

Conclusion & our thoughts on the Roborock S6

So what do we think of the newest robot vacuum from Roborock? Since we have tested a few models from Roborock such as the Roborock S5, Roborock Xiaowa Lite and now the Roborock S6, we have something to say about the latest one.

First, we really love the improved app. It is minimalistic, we love how the map looks and it is more user-friendly and intuitive. The new room division feature is fantastic! For example, in the newest Roomba i7+, you can change the map only once while with the Roborock, you can do it anytime you like. I was impressed that the robot divided the rooms automatically after it finished cleaning.

Second, the noise level. The Roborock S6 is not distracting. This powerful machine is not too loud, can you believe it?

In terms of cleaning performance, all the Roborock models do a superb job: I have no complaints. The Roborock S6 is no exception; it picks up my long hair, can catch even the smallest particles in the carpet and does a great job on bare floor. I also love the new rubber side brush.

No one loves cleaning a vacuum, and the Roborock S6 surprises with its new cleaning brush with detachable parts. This is essential for pet owners and those with long hair.

In short: we see a great robot vacuum with a new feature that allows it to schedule by rooms, has strong suction, does a great job on thin and thick carpets, can mop, navigates faster, remembers your floor layout and can be a part of your smart home system. What else can you wish for?

Things I wish to be improved

There are some lags when I'm using the app such as connection error messages that sometimes appear, for example, when I tried to load a map. I have no idea if this problem related to the cloud server or a weak Wi-Fi between my router and the robot vacuum. At least, the manufacturer updates the app frequently, so I hope it will be fixed.

I wish the dustbin would be larger. For big houses, you'll have to empty it after each cleaning especially if you have pets.

If you need a wet mopping function, do not expect an ideal result with this robot vacuum. The robot can clean fresh stains, but it can't handle stubborn stains. Also, if you have a medium or big house, you will have to refill the water container 1-2 times per cleaning cycle.

Where to buy

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Comments ()

  1. Paul
    14 may 2019, 06:22
    #      +1
    Any idea on when it will be available in Germany?
    reply   
    1. Natalie Red
      15 may 2019, 03:46(edited})
      #      0
      It should be available in Germany until the end of this week, you can check the
      official Roborock website for more info.
      reply   
    2. George J.
      15 may 2019, 03:09
      #      0
      what is the difference between the Roborock T6 and S6 models?
      reply   
      1. Natalie Red
        15 may 2019, 03:46
        #      0
        Basically, the T6 and S6 is the same robot vacuum. The Roborock T6 is for the Chinese market only when the S6 model is for the international market.
        reply   
      2. Tudor
        16 may 2019, 13:53(edited})
        #      -1
        The roborock S6 brings almost nothing new compared to the roborock S5. Only software. What Roborock doesn't seem to understand is that robot vacuums are not like cellphones to release one every year, or every year and a half. People don't go with their vacuums and put them on a bar so people see that they have the latest generation. They don't try to be cool with them. The robot vacuum no matter what brand stays in a corner or underneth some furniture and waits to be put to work. You care how well it improves your life. How well it can vacuum, how long it's battery lasts, how well it navigates (cover entire house, climb and go around obstacles, go underneeth furniture, etc), how much maintanance it needs (cleaning filters, emptying dustbox,etc), how long it lasts in time (you don't want to buy one every year), about it's mopping abilities. You care less about it's noise level since it mostly works when you're not home or about it's looks about the colorphones of the application. Even Apple, Samsung, Huawei understand that they have to release new software for previous models in order to keep their customers and to make the phones work good. Xiaomi Roborock (or just Roborock) doesn't seem to understand that. They don't care about their former customers. After a very bad warranty pollicy now they take the same thing, replace the buttons and try to sell it as a completly new and better product when the only difference is in the software (application). It is a lie that the S5 can't support multiple floors or room management. Since it can suport no go zones it means that it knows how the house (rooms) are deployied and how to «split» the house into different areas. They just give that option to some customers and to some others don't with the same product. Everyone would have understood if the robot where to have major improvements. Like a self emptying dock like the roomba i7+, a very good mop like narwal (what they did to the mop is useless upgrade + you can put it to the S5) or a much bigger vacuuming ability (it has the same 2000 MPa like the S5). A bigger battery life, it has still like the former model 5200 mAh battery. Noooo the only difference is the SOFTWARE,… This robot doesn't worth buying since the companys pollicy is to put one out on the market every year and not provide firmware support for their older models. Better buy a brand that knows how to value it's customers not spit on their face with warranty issues and cheat them with software.
        reply   

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