Roborock S5 vs. Xiaomi Mi Robot: Which One is Better?

By Michael Fisher·Dec 5, 2017· 9 min read
Robot vacuums mentioned in the article
Name Price Best Offer
Roborock S5 $496.6
Xiaomi Mi Robot $269.99

Probably everyone interested in robot vacuums heard about the Xiaomi Mi Robot vacuum cleaner since it had become very popular. The robot vacuum cleaners manufacturer Roborock which designed and developed the Mi Robot together with their partner and investor Xiaomi Corporation, has launched a new second-generation version of the robot called the Roborock S5 (also known as Roborock S50 and S55, the difference is only in color) we talked about in our latest review. The previous model, Xiaomi Mi Robot, comes with a bunch of features that make it one of the best in its price range, but the new one just blew our minds with all the high-end features. Both have a smart navigation system, perform great on carpets, and in general, are worth every penny considering their cleaning performance.

[Update, May 2019]: Roborock released the newest robot vacuum - Roborock S6, you can read our full review of this model. Also, there is a new version of the Mi Robot - the Xiaomi MiJia 1S with AI image recognization and stronger suction.

What makes these robots the best budget smart cleaners on the market?

The Roborock S5 vs. Xiaomi Mi Robot — what is the difference between the two? Which one is better?

Specs Mi Robot Roborock S5
Suction Power (Pa) 1,800 2,000
Working Time (min) 150 150
Battery capacity (mAh) 5,200 5,200
Noise in min/max mode (dB) 61-72 54-67
Dust Bin Capacity (ml/oz) 420 / 14 480 / 16
Water Box Capacity (ml) - 100
Amazon Alexa/Google Home Support yes yes
Mopping Function no yes
Infrared Sensor yes yes
Mapping yes yes
Intelligent carpet identification no yes
Virtual Wall magnetic tape; zoned cleaning in the app zoned cleaning and block offs in the app
Number of sensors 12 13
App Mi Home Mi Home
Filter HEPA Washable HEPA
Barrier Height (in/cm) 0.59 /1.5 0.78 / 2
Rubber Bumper (in/cm) no 0.07 / 2
Weight (lbs/kg) 8.37 / 3.8 7.7 / 3.5
Height (in/cm) 3.78 / 9.6 3.79 / 9.65
Width (in/cm) 13.58 / 34.5 13.77 / 35
Lenght (in/cm) 13.58 / 34.5 13.9 / 35.3
Warranty 1 year 1 year
Accessories charging dock, adapter, cleaning brush charging dock, charge cable, mopping pad, water tank, cleaning brush
Where to buy GearBest / Amazon / GeekBuing GearBest / Amazon / GeekBuying

The difference between the Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5

Roborock S5 vs. Xiaomi Mi Robot main features

The Roborock S5 and Xiaomi Mi Robot are similar yet different. They share the same long-lasting battery, both have the LDS laser inside to create a map, both have a minimalist design. Even though the Xiaomi Mi Robot is one of the budget cleaners that provide great cleaning performance on carpeted surface, the Roborock S5 does it slightly better. What are the main features both of them have in common?

Design & appearance

The Roborock «head» moved from the top of the lid to the center. The 2nd version has three buttons: spot cleaning mode, home, and recharge. It is still the same minimalist black&white design that looks slightly different from the previous version.

Cleaning performance

  • The Roborock S5 can now mop the floor. It works for about 45-60 minutes in this mode, making the robot suitable for bare floors, thin and medium-pile carpets that are not thicker than 20 mm.
  • The Xiaomi Mi Robot is ideal for homes with mixed surface and thin carpets.

The HEPA filter can be washed and is meant to be last several years

Robot vacuums mentioned in the article:

Mi Robot vs. Roborock S5 Features

  • Both: the new Roborock S5 and Mi Robot come with the LIDAR system. The LDS laser that is located inside its "head" helps to map out a cleaning area. The Mi Robot comes with 12 sensors while the S5 has 13 sensors. The sensors help the robot to navigate around most efficiently without bumping into furniture and falling from stairs. The LIDAR doesn't need a light on in the room when vacuuming;

The Xiaomi Mi Robot and Roborock S5 remember your floor layout

  • Both models are equipped with the longest-lasting 5,200 mAh battery that lasts up to 150 minutes;
  • Intelligent carpet identification (only supported by the Roborock) — once the device recognizes a carpet, it turns on the maximum mode and reverts to the regular mode when the robot is off the carpet providing deep cleaning;
  • The Roborock S5 comes equipped with a water tank and mopping cloth to provide wet mopping on hardwood floors.

The Roborock S5 can mop and sweep at the same time

  • Obstacle climbing ability has increased from 1.5 cm in the Mi Robot to 2 cm in the Roborock. It matters when it comes to cleaning medium-pile carpets;
  • The feature "recharge & resume" allows the device to get back to work after recharging in case the battery runs out and the robot doesn't finish its job. Both can run for about 150 minutes before need to recharge;
  • While the Mi Robot is equipped with a regular HEPA filter, the new S5 has a washable one. The washable HEPA lasts longer and is better for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.
  • Forget about tangling hair because the new Roborock is designed to prevent motor hair from getting stuck. Not a big deal, but anyone would love to think less about things like this, right? Please note, that hair will be stuck anyway but not as much as in the previous model;
  • The omnidirectional pressure sensor helps the Roborock to avoid an area where it bumps with its «head»;
  • Although the new generation has more suction power than the Mi Robot, it comes with closed silence cotton and porous air sieve that makes it work quieter, producing only 54-67dB of noise compared with 61-72 dB in the first gen;
  • The upgraded smartphone app allows creating zones that should be cleaned, setting block offs (in the Roborock only), and send the robot to the point you want just by tapping on the map on your screen, etc.;
  • Both robot cleaners support Alexa-enabled devices and Google Assistant.

Mi Home App

There are three processors inside the newest robot cleaner that track its movement in real-time which you can watch on your smartphone. You can see the robot creating a map in real-time.

You can navigate the device using the new app just by tapping on a specific area you want to clean, and the robot will do the rest, and there is an ability to manage its movements as a radio car manually.

In the Mi Home App, you can track the robot in real-time. Also, you can watch it creating a map

You can create digital block offs as many as you want, so the Roborock will not go through it just by drawing the area you'd like the robot to clean on the map. The feature is excellent precisely because you have the possibility of managing the vacuum when you are away. The Mi Robot supports zoned cleaning only. To wrap it up: the Mi Home app allows you to monitor the cleaning process, schedule the cleaning time whenever you want, even multiple times in a day, create zones to be cleaned, set block offs, choose the name of your new friend and so on.

How the Roborock builds a map

Price & Where to Buy

For the price of around $300 and $500, both robot vacuums can compete with twice more expensive robot cleaners.

Roborock S5
Xiaomi Mi Robot

*Please note that prices on Amazon and Gearbest may change

The Roborock S5 Video Review



Roborock S50 - second generation of robot vacuum

The Xiaomi Mi Robot Video Review



Why should you or shouldn't buy the newest model Roborock?

There are reasons to buy the Roborock S5 instead of the previous cheaper vacuum, the Xiaomi Mi Robot, even though both robots are among the best in their price range. The powerful motor of the Roborock provides deeper cleaning on all carpet types (except thick ones) without having an issue with hair tangling (thanks to the tangle-free design). This design makes the latest robovac from Roborock ideal for pet owners.

The Xiaomi Mi Robot also does its job well on carpets even though it has 1,800 Pa of suction power, while its brother has 2,000 Pa. Both robots are equipped with a 5,200 mAh battery that lasts the whole 2.5 hours on a single charge.

Both devices come with the mapping feature and smart navigation system. The Roborock is 2-in-1: sweep and mop, making it perfect for hardwood floors, carpeting, and mixed surfaces. Its older brother, the Mi Robot, can only sweep.

Along with its smart navigation, the newest robot vacuum cleaner has carpet identification that helps the device to recognize a carpet and switch the maximum cleaning mode automatically.

Please note, the Roborock can climb up to 20mm height obstacle which in addition to carpet boost and stronger suction makes it better when it comes to carpet cleaning.

The Xiaomi Mi Robot works well on thin carpets and area rugs which makes it suitable for mixed surfaces.

Buy the Roborock S5 if you...

  • Want stronger suction
  • Have thick carpets
  • Want mopping
  • Want the ability to create restricted areas
  • Want to spend less time on cleaning the main brush especially if you have pets.

So, if you have some extra money and you want to buy a robot vacuum, consider the Roborock S5 because even though the device is more expensive than the first Xiaomi Mi Robot, it provides better cleaning performance on carpets and can mop.

UPDATE: If you want a robot vacuum that is as powerful as the Roborock, take a look at the newest 360 S6. It has a beautiful design, great build quality, very similar features such as intelligent mapping, strong suction power, wet mopping, etc., yet costs less.

Where to buy

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Comments ()

  1. Jim
    27 january 2018, 09:17
    #      0
    How do you setup digital virtual walls?
    1. Michael
      29 january 2018, 07:40(edited})
      #      0
      Hi Jim,
      As I understand, after Xiaomi Roborock mapped your house you can use the smartphone app and set the area wherever you want to clean. Check the video (start at 0:41):
      Also, there are magnetic virtual walls on the market:
    2. Obseco
      30 march 2018, 04:52
      #      0
      First gen vacuum also resumes work after charging if it falls under 20% of battery power while cleaning. It goes back to the dock, charge to 80% and then it resumes from the last point
      1. Michael
        03 april 2018, 01:54
        #      0
        Thank you for noticing, I've changed it. Not sure why I didn't notice it when writing the article.
      2. Moty
        14 july 2018, 06:03
        #      0
        thank you for your review, please note you have switched the Accessories between the two robots.
        1. Michael
          16 july 2018, 09:10
          #      0
          Thank you:) I've fixed the comparison table.
        2. Ninja Gaiden
          20 october 2018, 07:55
          #      0
          Saying that the new Roborock comes with a feature allowing to create 'virtual walls' is misleading. There is no such feature as far as I know. What you call «virtual walls» seems to be zone cleaning, which is very different in purpose: it's for instructing the robot what should be cleaned, as opposed to where the robot should not go. The fact that zones cannot be saved nor scheduled makes this feature even less useful, but calling it «virtual walls» is truly far-stretched. The only way to create virtual walls is to use a magnetic tape, and the Roborock is no different in this regard from its predecessor.
          1. Michael
            22 october 2018, 03:19
            #      0
            you are right, it's not correct to call this feature «virtual walls». I've corrected the text. However, I have heard that the «Blocked areas» feature will be added to the Mi Home app this November. It would be nice to have this feature, especially if it will work with scheduling. The 360 S6 robot vacuum that we reviewed recently, that is cheaper than the Roborock, already has zoned cleaning and blocked areas and it works with scheduled cleaning.
            1. Ninja Gaiden
              22 october 2018, 04:33
              #      0
              I agree that having true «virtual walls» (or «blocked areas») on the Mi would be awesome. I did read your excellent review about the 360 S6 and then I thought that perhaps I should have bought the S6 instead :) But Roborock is slightly lower (-0.4 cm) which makes a difference in my case. I think part of the problem is that Roborock has troubles with mapping, ie. it doesn't recognize past maps, and has even troubles recognizing the last one sometimes (it occurs sometimes that it re-maps my floor area rotated by 180 degree, like it would be a totally new place). But perhaps these are things that Xiaomi can fix in software. Would be really really great.
              1. Michael
                23 october 2018, 03:58(edited})
                #      0
                Great news! The new firmware (version 3.3.9_001632) with the «blocked areas» and «Map saving mode» is already here. You can use those features after updating the firmware. However, you can update the firmware only if you switching the server location to «Mainland China» in the Mi Home app. I think it will be available for all server locations a little bit later.
                1. Ninja Gaiden
                  23 october 2018, 07:57
                  #      0
                  That's excellent news indeed! I did switch to Mainland China, and was able to update the firmware to v3.3.9_001632 then, but unfortunately the app detects that I am not actually in China, and refuses to let me access the Roborock unless I change the server to something else :) I had to switch back to Europe servers and there the feature isn't present — yet. Hopefully the new firmware should spread to all server soon. Yay!
                  1. Michael
                    23 october 2018, 09:50
                    #      0
                    Looks like you have an «International Edition», mine robot is «Chinese edition» and it works with Chinese server. I guess this issue somehow related to GDPR law. I tried a few different server locations but those features work only on «Mainland China» server at this moment. Check this thread, maybe there is some solution how to make it work with Chinese server:
                  2. PHAN QUOC TRUNG
                    06 november 2018, 03:34
                    #      0
                    The new firmware (version 3.3.9_001632) still have not «blocked areas» and «Map saving mode»
                    1. Michael
                      06 november 2018, 09:42
                      #      0
                      As I mentioned in the comment above, at this moment it works only when you are connected to the Chinese server. Go to the Mi Home settings and change the server location to «Mainland China». After that, the blocked area icon should appear in the top-right corner, like on this screenshot:
                      1. Adam
                        12 november 2018, 18:05
                        #      0
                        Is this new feature available both for 1st and 2nd generation?
                        1. Michael
                          22 november 2018, 02:55
                          #      0
                          Sorry, don't know if this features work on the 1st gen.
            2. kalbaro
              19 april 2019, 07:20(edited})
              #      0
              Łukasz Kalbarczyk

              Apr 19, 15:51 CST

              I have a question, maybe you'll know the solution :)

              When the vacuum cleaner does its job and maps the flat back to the dock, I click «map saving mode» hoping that the map will never disappear, and I will be able to use the cleaning zones and locks. Unfortunately, wanting to run his cleanup by physically clicking on the «Clean» button on the robot, the entire map disappears. Another situation is that we assume I have designated a cleaning area — the vacuum cleaner has started. However, at that time I realized that I made a mistake and I want to clean another place so I give it a stop in the application and change the cleaning area and then the entire map disappears.

              I am currently in the region of Poland, but a few minutes ago I changed to China region and I was able to install the latest version 3.39_001748, which is not available in Europe. Unfortunately, the newest firmware has not changed anything.

              In general, the use of the «power» button deletes the entire map. In this situation, I can not start cleaning by clicking the button. It does not make sense.

              Any hint solution?:)

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