Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is a robot vacuum and mop that really does it all

New to the world of robotic vacuums this year is the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, which combines the company’s most advanced stand-alone vacuum with a self-service docking station. The station is where the vacuum cleaner recharges itself and where you can automatically empty the dust and dirty water from the mop, refill it with fresh water and wipe the cleaning cloth.

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I’ve tried a few robot vacuums over the years, including a very comparable competing vacuum recently, and the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is easily one of the best I’ve used. It has serious technology built in that it uses to (mostly) avoid obstacles. Your docking station saves time. Their mobile app is easy to use. Also, it cleans the floor as well as I could.

When the push comes, there are some downsides: the docking station is a bit ugly and the price is a serious compromise. But if you’re willing to shell out the cash, this is the vacuum cleaner you should consider first.

TL;DR

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Privacy is highly praised with map images remaining local
  • Satisfactory vacuuming and cleaning results

Cons:

  • The unit got stuck in the same location several times
  • High Price

Coming soon to Roborock.

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Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
There are multiple cameras on board the vacuum to help you map your home for cleaning.
TYLER HAYES

For the S7 MaxV series of vacuums, the differences between the Ultra, Plus and regular models largely reflect whether they come with an advanced docking station and how much that station can do. I tested the state-of-the-art Ultra, which has the ability to automatically wash the mop, clean and refill the water tanks, and empty the dust on its own.

Unless you only have carpet and aren’t going to mop, I think these extra features around emptying and refilling water are key to the entire self-cleaning experience. It’s more hassle than it’s worth to empty and refill the robot’s water after every cleaning.

All S7 MaxV series vacuums have feature parity with features like ReactiveAI 2.0 obstacle avoidance, 5100Pa of suction, 180 minutes runtime, ultrasonic carpet detection, high speed sonic cleaning and more. (Opting for a vacuum without a cleaning station is a way to save money without losing advanced technology.)

To do all the visual intelligence, the vacuums include an RGB camera, lidar and 3D mapping to detect obstacles and avoid them before running over or bumping into them. This is an area I was most interested in seeing how it worked in my home.

In the past, the mid-level quality of vacuuming a provided robot was not worth the extra work of moving items my kids left on the floor. Once our family got a dog, however, the equation changed with the daily need to clean the animals’ fur. I spent a few weeks with the S7 MaxV Ultra, and Roborock managed to sway my opinion of vacuum cleaners for the better.

After my experience with the S7 MaxV Ultra, I am now more convinced of the robotic vacuum concept than ever before. I no longer need to constantly monitor the vacuum and hold my breath to know if it would be harmed by a jacket. Even leaving your shoes out is less of a concern than ever.

Of course, even though its object avoidance is pretty good, Ultra still hasn’t been able to figure out the Bermuda Triangle area in my living room between an end table, sofa, and fireplace. She became obsessed with a plush rug and a little gold metal table. A few tweaks to the areas outside the boundaries of his map resolved the anomaly, and the vacuum was able to clean up without further human intervention. It’s liberating to have a gadget doing a respectable job of cleaning it on its own.

The biggest problem here and with all automated vacuums in 2022 is that it costs around $1,000 or more to get the promised experience in this product category. The price gets easier to justify the longer you go without having to vacuum up the dirt or mop the floor yourself. Cost is a big investment, no matter how you cut it.

cleaning performance

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The docking station will clean the mop, empty the dirty water and fill it with clean water.
TYLER HAYES

The S7 MaxV Ultra only has a rotating brush to help you reach crumbs and other bits of dirt. The lack of multiple spinning brushes didn’t seem to stop him picking up a lot of dust and pet hair off the floor. I didn’t measure how much dirt the vacuum collected, because most of the time I was judging its cleaning performance in other ways: I was monitoring whether my wife felt the need to pull the Dyson vacuum or if the robot was doing a job. good enough to satisfy your opinion of cleanliness—and it did.

Our hardwood floors make it difficult to tell the level of detail of cleanliness, but based on the feel of walking barefoot on them, the cleanliness was great. When I tried to use the vacuum and mop on the glossy tile floor, there seemed to be more water hazards than the hardwood floors, or maybe it was just more visible.

To be clear, the S7 MaxV Ultra is not a substitute for the level of cleanliness a human can perform. If that’s what you’re expecting, you’ll probably still be disappointed. However, it will cover all light cleaning needs, making deep cleaning less necessary.

Roborock mobile app

Out of the box, the S7 MaxV Ultra is smart and does a remarkable job of mapping a home, but it’s not perfect. To get to the point where I was satisfied with its routing, I took some time with the Roborock mobile app.

For example, I needed to add some no-go zones, and because it was quite easy, I added some no-go zones to be more cautious. I’m impressed with how Roborock manages to pack all of its controls and settings into a portable interface, yet still makes it easy to use and understand. This is a direct comparison to the Ecovacs mobile app, which I found a little more difficult to use quickly.

Using the Roborock app, I set up schedules. From time to time I did some cleaning on the spot. I set up zones that spanned the boundaries of the room. I had no problem using all the options available within the app.

The app also includes the novelty of being able to remotely view through the vacuum’s camera – and it’s a fun trick. You need to enable remote viewing explicitly with the physical buttons in the vacuum. This is to make the resource more difficult to abuse without your knowledge.

Interesting to me was what Roborock calls his stance on privacy. Yes, it’s a vacuum, but it’s also roaming around mapping your home with an advanced camera system. Roborock says that all images used for mapping remain local. It’s not uploading images to someone’s servers. This is important because even if you trust Roborock not to do anything malicious, once the data gets out it can be targeted by other entities. This should not be possible in this case.

Battery life and miscellaneous notes

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The docking station will charge the vacuum and collect its dirt.
TYLER HAYES

Cleaning my 200 square foot living room takes about 20 minutes to vacuum and mop. That seems efficient. That means I won’t need to listen to it for long, and it means it has plenty of battery life to take up a lot of rooms.

Even when cleaning the living room, kitchen, dining room and living room, I never saw the battery drop below 60%. Of course, it was often necessary to visit the docking station midway to empty and refill and it could be adding a little battery life during this time, but ultimately battery life was never an issue.

The noise the vacuum cleaner makes to empty dust into the docking station is extremely loud. It lasts about 10 seconds but will wake up a sleeping child or dog in that short amount of time. This feature is one of the reasons scheduling cleaning while you’re away from home would be smart.

Even if the vacuum empties and clears itself, a human still needs to take care of the docking station. I tried to pay attention to any smell coming from the docking station, but I never noticed an odor—until I poured the dirty water down the sink. Letting dirty water sit for several weeks will create a smell. I’ve found this to be true not just for the S7 MaxV Ultra, but for other similar products. There is a cleaning solution that can be added to the tank to help prevent smells if opening the dirty tank is too much to handle.

The multifunctional docking station looks like a vacuum cleaner station. It’s not elegant or very attractive. In that sense, it’s a bit ugly, especially compared to a similar one from Ecovacs. Still, the Roborock docking station feels as compact as possible and is short enough to tuck away next to a sofa. The tanks are easy to remove and replace, and there’s an indicator light that turns red when something needs your attention. The docking station does its job and works well, even if it’s not the most elegant.

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The bottom of the S7 MaxV Ultra has chunky wheels, a vacuum with a red rubber brush in the center, and the mop on the back.
TYLER HAYES

Should you buy the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra?

If the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra were cheaper, I’d be raving that everyone should be using a vacuum cleaner right now, particularly this one. I would be proclaiming that this type of product is finally delivering on its promise. But as it stands, the price of a vacuum that can see well enough to avoid most objects is prohibitively expensive for many people. Add a docking station to do it all so you don’t have to fiddle with the vacuum and the price goes up even further.

Still, if price isn’t a concern, or if you’ve reached the point where you’re willing to trade a little more money for added convenience, I recommend this vacuum. I found it helps with cleaning and really saves time and energy. Now, these types of vacuum cleaners need to learn how to climb the stairs on their own so they can actually clean the entire house without help.

Coming soon to Roborock.

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