Tested by a pedantic aesthete and an engineer in love with technology
Although we have always found the idea of no longer having to vacuum ourselves attractive in theory, the high price of powerful suction robots has meant that we have so far stuck with a conventional model of vacuum cleaner with cable.
In addition, we were always sure that a battery-powered vacuum cleaner would not meet our requirements anyway.
We therefore did not approach the test of the Roborock S50 unbiasedly. The aim of the test was to put all functions of the device through their paces over several days. The evaluation was then based on the completely different points of view of the two testers.
Scope of delivery
In addition to the suction robot itself, it is also included in the scope of delivery:
– the charging station with base plate
– one power cord
– the wiper mop attachment with integrated water tank
– two wipes
– Spare nozzles for the water tank
– a replacement hepa filter
– a comb to remove hair from the cleaning brush of the robot
All parts already make a very high-quality impression when unpacked.
First test run
The Roborock S50 is a technologically mature device that stands out from the very first spontaneous commissioning without the use of the compatible Xiaomi app. While the aesthete is particularly impressed by the appealing puristic timeless design, the engineer is impressed by the high-quality feel, the laser tower and the sensitive sensors. In fact, these sensors are set so sensitively that the robot only moves very gently against objects and then immediately turns around. No problem for furniture.
With the control without app, the suction robot scans the entire room and virtually scans it. In the end, even in this unprogrammed mode, every single spot was really vacuumed. All in all, it was in operation for more than two hours during the first operation without interim recharging. The battery power is sufficient without any problems for two passages of a 4-room apartment and convinced us completely.
What caused unanimous enthusiasm was the performance of the cleaning brush. It had brushed lint, dirt and hair out of the runner, which our high-end standard vacuum cleaner could not remove all these years despite the high suction level. At the end of the first test run, the 480ml dust container was completely filled. This was not the case again even after vacuuming the entire apartment. Now the container is always about half full after the cleaning of 110qm living space.
But even on smooth floors the Roborock S50 convinced all along the line: Due to the small rotating side arms, it also cleans edge areas, such as cabinet edges, excellently. The arms sweep dirt onto the machine’s travel path, where it is picked up by the cleaning brush consisting of rubber lamellae and bristles and transported into the dirt container.
Particularly noteworthy is the test run on a dirt trap mat, which was soiled with small stones, sand, dried clay stains, and fluff. Contrary to expectations, the Roborock had managed to brush all impurities out of the mat and absorb them. After this result we were almost in shock.
The 140 millilitre water tank can be used conveniently without having to lift the robot. The nozzles distribute water evenly over the wipe, which is fixed to the tank with Velcro. The amount of water that emerges is just right so that the floor is wiped moist but not too wet.
In wiping mode, the Roborock easily removes light stains and marks from smooth floors. It was to be expected that the Roborock would not be able to completely wipe a heavily dried tomato stain off the kitchen floor. This was a case for the hand scrubber. However, we noticed positively that the Roborock had detected the stain via sensors on the underside and drove several times over the corresponding spot to master it.
While the wipe function is used, the suction mode is still active, i.e. the robot performs two work steps in one pass.
Technical features and general data
The Roborock S50 has a diameter of about 35cm and a height of about 9,7cm. It is very maneuverable and even makes it under our sofa. The laser tower on the device allows you to map the environment in real time, even in total darkness. The sensors on the side and on the underside prevent collisions with objects as well as the crash of the suction robot, for example at a staircase.
The Roborock S50 automatically returns to its charging station when required or when the cleaning process is complete, where it initially stores the location. Although the base plate supplied with the machine initially catches the aesthete’s eye, the engineer was able to prove its usefulness immediately: The transparent plate prevents the damp cloth from softening the parquet floor during the loading process. If the device is only used for vacuuming, you can simply leave it out.
According to the manufacturer, the powerful rechargeable battery makes it possible to clean a living area of 250 sqm with a running time of 2.5 hours – in our opinion, this is by no means an exaggeration.
Best of all, the Roborock S50’s control via App
The suction robot can also be operated without an app – as described above, but it offers great possibilities for more precise adjustment and more efficient use.
Based on the data generated by the robot, room plans are created on which it is possible, for example, to mark areas that should not be accessed. For example, you can have the device wipe around a runner or program the particularly strong carpet mode when it is driving on carpets. For hygienic reasons, we decided, for example, not to allow the Roborock to drive near the toilet. The intuitive app made it easy for us to program in this special request.
Different modes can also be selected in the app. We particularly liked the automatic mode, in which the device perceives the condition of the substrate itself and automatically switches its suction power up or down depending on the area.
A useful function is the possible remote control of the Roborock S50. It can be especially helpful if the robot gets stuck in a place when you are not at home. By moving the robot forwards and backward in a targeted manner, it can then be brought back into the right lane like a remote-controlled car and the area can be delimited in the app for further cleaning operations.
Overall evaluation of the suction robot
We didn’t expect the Roborock S50 test to bring us to this conclusion: the suction robot impressed us from an aesthetic point of view as well as in terms of cleaning performance, functionality and technical sophistication. We really did put the machine through some difficult tasks and even placed dirt in hard-to-reach places – but none of the challenges were too big for it. In the end, only one question remained unanswered: How could we live so long without the Roborock?
cover photo: reichelt