Life is getting busier and time is more valuable than ever so anything that can save some time is worth considering. Perhaps you just need a little help and hand and are looking for an easier way to maintain the floors in your home. I’ve spent the last few months testing the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra to see if the high price tag is justified.
I have reviewed quite a few robot vacuums over the last few years and all of them were excellent in their own way, but the S7 MaxV Ultra is the most advanced and feature-rich I’ve tested to date. It comes complete as a package with the S7 MaxV robot vacuum along with a separate docking station that has three large containers. You can purchase the S7 MaxV on its own but the docking station not only charges, but also cleans the mop, refill the clean water and even empties the dust bin for the ultimate in automation and convenience.
The S7 is your typical circular-shaped robot vac with two large spring-loaded wheels underneath, a rotating brush, and a rubber brush bar that gobbles dust and dirt, which is then sucked up by the powerful motor. The brush is rubber rather than bristles and this prevents pet hairs from getting tangled, further reducing maintenance.
The all-black S7 MaxV has a sizeable plastic bumper around the front but unlike other robot vacs I’ve tested, it gentle touches rather than bangs into obstacles like furniture. There’s also a Lidar scanner on top as well as a slew of sensors around the vac. On the front, there’s a camera that can be used as a live view to see what’s happening around your house but this is turned off by default for privacy reasons. Of course, I turned this on for testing purposes and to keep an eye on my pets when I was away. It also has a built-in mic and you can have a two-way conversation with others through the vacuum speaker.
While this might seem like a trivial use for the camera its real purpose is in working with the Lidar sensor to recognise things such as socks, cables and other objects that might get stuck in the brush or wheels of the vacuum — it can even detect pet poop.
Most of the time it will just avoid a recognised object and work around it. During the few months of testing, there have been several updates that continue to improve the robots' obstacle avoidance.
Three buttons are included on the top of the robot vacuum that can be used to turn it on or off, start a spot clean, or return it to the charging station. Above these buttons is a semi-circle LED light that swipes back and forth with white when vacuuming, blue when mopping, and green when charging. The light strip is very futurising and reminds me of the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.
The dust bin sits under a flap on the top of the unit and can be emptied manually, but I’ve never had to since the docking station sucks the contents after each cleaning cycle automatically. The robot vacuum can wash and sweep hard floors thanks to a small water tank and a semi-circular mopping pad. The S7 mopping system has a section in the centre of the mop that uses sonic vibration technology to scrub hard floors 3,000 times per minute. There are three levels of scrubbing intensity to choose from along with five suction power settings for a combination of three different cleaning modes.
The docking station is where the S7 MaxV charges itself and this can be set to only charge during off-peak times like at night. This was a convenient feature for me since I have night-rate electricity.
The Dock has three containers — one for fresh water, another for the dirty water that it extracts from the S7 MaxV when cleaning the mop and the third container holds the dust bag. With my daily cleaning regimen, I did need to empty the dirty water and refill the new water typically, once a week. The app will remind you and a red light will alert you that the docking station needs attention.
Not only does the docking station empty the dirty water and top up the fresh water, but it also cleans the mop with a hard bristle brush. I found I needed to clean the filter in the mopping cleaner once a month. While it’s not a pleasant chore, it only takes a few minutes.
The free Roborock app for Android or iOS is easy to use but incredibly comprehensive. If you prefer, you can set schedules to clean and leave it at that but there’s a lot more you can do in the app.
The S7 MaxV will map and store your floor plan in the app. You can edit the maps into rooms, zones and sections and even create no-go zone areas where you don’t want the vacuum to clean. It can detect furniture like couches or TV stands but if it gets the recognition wrong you can manually edit the map and correct the furniture types.
The app can render 3D maps of your house and not just the standard 2D ones. And, if you’ve got an iPhone 12 or above you can use its camera to create a matrix map, to capture information about the types of furniture and floors, so you can begin a clean that may only include, for example, the area around your bed or dining table. While this is pretty cool tech, it’s not a must-have feature.
Additionally, the S7 MaxV works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can start the robot vacuum cleaning without opening an app, just tell it to start cleaning with your voice.
No matter how good a robot vacuum cleaner is you will still have to do a comprehensive cleanse every now and again because dust gathers in corners and crevices where it just can’t reach. However, a daily cleaning schedule keeps your floors clean and dust-free with little effort on your part.
While the S7 MaxV is one of the most powerful robot vacuums around, it’s also impressively quiet. Sure, it does get louder at maximum suction power but it’s not as loud as my Henry. Even on the lowest power setting, it easily removes bigger debris, as well as small dust and most importantly, pet hairs from hard floors. I don’t have any carpets in my house but I put down a rug to test its ability to pick up dirt. On the low-pile rug, it automatically raised the mop to ensure it didn’t get wet and it ramped up the suction power. The latter is a setting you can enable but if you don’t have carpets it can be turned off.
If you think it needs it you can set the suction power manually to the quietest mode or maximum suction power. The only time the system gets loud is when it’s emptying the dustbin into the dock which takes a couple of minutes.
My daily cleaning schedule was set to 7am each morning. The results have been outstanding and with little to no effort on my part. I used a mop and clean routine and while the mopping function isn’t as good as good old-fashioned elbow grease with a sloppy wet mop for tough floor stains, it does an incredible job of maintaining a high standard of cleanliness. The mop’s ‘sonic’ tech really works and is much more effective than typical robot vacuums that simply wipe your floors with a wet mop.
The Lidar sensor combined with the camera and spotlight can accurately scan and map your floors and detect things like furniture even in darkness. This allows the robot to intelligently clean the entire floor systematically rather than like dump bots that just bump and go until the battery runs out.
The battery lasts up to 180 minutes between charges and takes up to four hours for a full charge. Actual usage really depends on suction power, cleaning type and even the type of floor. If you have a large floor area and it can’t finish cleaning on a single charge it will return to the dock, charge and then finish the session.
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the ultimate solution to keep your floors clean with the least amount of interaction and maintenance from the user. You can keep things really simple or dig deeper into all the features the system has to offer via the app.
The only two things that I didn’t like are that the S7 MaxV is 96.5mm high and wasn’t able to fit under my couch and the docking station takes up a lot of space. Despite these minor niggles and the high price tag, the S7 MaxV Ultra is easily one of my favourite tech products this year and is well worth the money for what you’re getting.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra Roborock