Roborock S7 review: Sonic mopping makes this your hard floor friend

Mopping up the competition, the latest Roborock is fantastic

Roborock S7
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You certainly can’t accuse Roborock of sitting back; the Chinese robot vacuum cleaner giant has now launched six new models inside 12 months.

However, with ever new model, Roborock made a conscious effort to bring new features to its robo cleaner line-up.

New to the range is the Roborock S7, which gives you all of the features we’ve come to love, plus a new sonic mop that scrubs your hard floors.

Sure, it makes this one of the most expensive robot vacuum cleaners in the Roborock line-up ($649), but if you have lots of hard floors in your home, it’s money well spent, as the new mopping system is incredible.

Read on to find out why, especially when it comes to mopping, the Roborock S7 should be your top pick ahead of its stablemates such as the S6 MaxV, the S5 Max and the S6 Pure.

Roborock S7: Design and build

Roborock S7 review

If there’s one thing that Roborock doesn’t like to change its the design of its robots. Once again, the S7 is a circular robot that’s less than 100mm tall: short enough to dart under a lot of furniture, but a little wide to fit through all gaps.

This model is available in black or white and, as it’s the flagship model, has three buttons: power (start/stop a clean), home and spot clean.

The latter is there so you can place the robot where you want and let it do a quick clean of a 1.5m x 1.5m area. Is this of any use?

Well, no, not really, as you’re better off using the app to pinpoint the exact area you want to clean.

Roborock S7 buttons

Open the lid and you get to the 470ml dustbin that lifts out and flips open for emptying.

Depending on the area cleaned and how often you use the robot, the bin will most likely need emptying a couple of times a week. This bin has a single washable filter inside it and it's easy enough to pick up cheap replacement Roborock filters online.

Roborock S7 dust bin

There’s no longer a razor tool for cutting away hair from the roller, as Roborock has used a new rubber floor brush underneath, with the S7.

The new brush is designed to prevent hair from getting stuck, as there are no bristles to cause tangling. The system mostly works, with just the occasional hair getting caught.

This brush is also mounted in a new floating suction unit, which moves up and down to maintain the best contact with varying floor surfaces from hard floors to carpets.

This kind of contact is almost as important as the suction power, as you need good agitation to release dirt so that it can be picked up.

Roborock S7 new rubber brush

As standard for Roborock vacuum cleaners, the S7 also has a single side sweeper brush that can move debris from the edges of your room into the main suction path.

Things get a bit different when you get to the back of the vacuum cleaner, as Roborock has completely redesigned the mopping section.

Now, there’s an independent 300ml water tank (enough for up to 200m2 of floor cleaning), whereas previous cleaners, such as the S5 Max, combined the mop pad and tank.

Roborock S7 water tank

The new design makes it easier to refill the S7’s tank when it’s out of water.

There’s now a separate mopping bracket, which takes a slide-in microfibre cloth. If you look at the back of the bracket, you can see the middle section moves: this is for the ultrasonic scrubbing.

Roborock S7 review: Sonic mopping makes this your hard floor friend

Thanks to the new design, the S7 can now lift its mop off the floor. The lift feature, which Roborock is calling VibraRise, means that the S7 can avoid mopping short pile carpets automatically, and it also means that once the cleaner has finished mopping it will return to the dock without rubbing the cloth over the clean floor.

As the S7 parks itself in the dock with the mop lifted, you no longer need the plastic floor protector that shipped with previous Roborock mops.

Although the dock is basically the same as with other Roborock models, there’s one change: there are two little brushes on it that wipe the charging contacts clean.

Roborock S7 review: Sonic mopping makes this your hard floor friend

Roborock S7: Features and in use

We’ve said it before, Roborock has the best mapping and navigation, and the S7 is no exception.

It uses LIDAR to map your home, as well as a series of sensors around the robot. As a result, navigation is brilliant on this model, and it quickly and effortlessly finds its way around.

Even in a kitchen with lots of chairs, the S7 managed to get in and out without getting stuck. We barely had to tidy up first to use the robot.

This robot has a brand-new ultrasonic carpet sensor. This lets you set an automatic rule for when the S7 detects it’s on carpet when the mop is attached.

The default option is to raise the mop out of the way, but you can select to avoid the area completely. There’s also an ignore option, but that’s only suitable if you have mats down that can survive being mopped.

There’s a 2,500pa suction rating for the S7, the same as on the S6 MaxV. Combined with the new floor brush, the S7 does an excellent job of picking up mess, even doing a good job at the edges of rooms.

In fact, it’s so good that you won’t need a regular vacuum cleaner often; when you do need to vacuum by yourself, you’ll find the job is much easier and faster.

Roborock S7: Mopping function

Roborock has been improving its mopping ability, with more recent models allowing you to control water flow. This model goes one step further with ultrasonic scrubbing.

Using the same kind of technology that powers your toothbrush, the S7 can vibrate the centre of the mopping bracket up to 3,000 times per minute, with a user-selectable mopping intensity mode. And, you can put the robot into Deep Clean mode, cutting the power of the vacuum cleaner, forcing the robot into a tighter Z-shaped navigation pattern and making it cover each area twice.

Sonic mopping makes a huge difference. While previous Roborock mops could deal with a fair amount of dirt, they struggled with tougher ground-in mess.

The S7 breezes through tough challenges, picking up those tougher stains at the same time as it vacuums. For moderately dirty floors, the S7 does such a good job that it’s rare we have to get out the steam cleaner.

On our floor, three cats often traipse in huge amounts of mud, particularly when it has been raining. The S5 Max couldn’t cope, but the S7 can do, particularly when it’s put into Deep Clean mode after performing an initial vacuum.

Roborock S7 mopping cloth

If you’ve got hard floors and want to put the minimum amount of effort into keeping them looking good, the Roborock S7 is the cleaner for you.

It would be nice to have a spare microfibre cloth in the box, as after a deep clean the one provided is filthy and needs to be washed.

Robrock S7: App and digital assistants

You control the S7 through the Roborock app. The first time you run a clean, the S7 will map out your home and can even split your home in to rooms automatically. If the robot gets things wrong, you can edit the map manually and divide your home up the way you want.

You can store multiple maps, and the S7 can work out where it is. If you’ve got a multi-floor house, it means you can clean it all with one cleaner and you just have to manually carry the S7 where you want it.

Having your home split into rooms makes manual or scheduled cleaning easier, as you can get to define exactly how your home is managed, say vacuuming and cleaning a hallway more than the living room.

If you want to clean the entire house, you can even tell the robot which order to tackle rooms in.

Thanks to the ultrasonic sensor carpets and rugs are highlighted on the map with a crosshatch pattern. This makes it much easier to place the No-mop zones accurately.

It’s the combination of No-mop and automatic carpet options that makes the S7 so powerful: you can have it raise the mop for short pile carpet, but tell it to avoid some rugs or deep pile carpet. In short, the S7 can adapt better to your home, so you’ll rarely need to remove the mop bracket and still get to vacuum in most locations.

Of course, if you remove the mop bracket, then the S7 switches to vacuum mode and can go anywhere in your home that doesn’t have a No-go area marked on the map.

Roborock S7 mopping areas in app

From the app you can start a clean manually, where you can select both the vacuum power and scrub intensity for the mop (assuming the bracket is attached), or you can use the Deep Clean mop-only mode.

Settings can be for the entire clean, or you can set your preferences per room, say giving the kitchen a more intense clean than a dining room.

You get a choice of four vacuum modes (Quiet, Balanced, Turbo and Max). It’s not clear what the difference between the last two options is, but we found that Turbo worked well for us. There are also four mop modes: it’s worth experimenting with them to find out which one works best for each room.

Roborock S7 settings

As well as cleaning your entire home (or a selection of rooms), you can start a zoned clean, selecting how many times you want to cover an area, up to a maximum of three.

This is the reason why the Spot Clean button isn’t that useful, as the app gives you a more targeted way of doing something similar.

Roborock S7 review: Sonic mopping makes this your hard floor friend

Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are supported and offer similar features. However, only the Google Assistant allows you tell the robot to return to its dock.

Roborock S7: Battery Life and maintenance

There’s a 5200mAh battery inside, which Roborock says can last for up to three hours on Quiet mode. With the mop attached and the vacuum set to Turbo mode, we found that we could vacuum our kitchen once, then give it a deep mop, and still have enough juice left to tackle the downstairs and first floors.

You shouldn’t run out of power, but if you do, the S7 can return to dock, recharge and then carry on where it left off.

Rated at 67dB, the S7 is as quiet as the S6. In real terms, it’s loud enough that you can tell it’s on, but quiet enough that you can have a conversation over the robot or even carry on watching TV.

You get notifications in the app when it’s time to clean the filter, brushes and sensors. Spares are also available at reasonable prices online.

Roborock S7 early-bird price now live
Roborock S7 early-bird price now live

Roborock S7
Robot vacuum cleaners are built to make our lives easier, and none has made our lives so easy as the Roborock S7. Not only is it a brilliant vacuum cleaner, but it’s also an amazing mop. Sonic cleaning makes a huge difference, and this cleaner can tackle hard floors with ease. Of course, if you don’t have hard floors, then you’re paying a lot for the S7 and the S5 Max is probably a cheaper alternative. For those that need all of its features, though, the S7 is a brilliant way to keep your home in its best condition.
  • Best Roborock available
  • Powerful mapping
  • Excellent mopping, even with really dirty floors
  • Smart app and configuration options
  • Quite expensive
  • No spare cloths in the box
  • Spot-clean button not useful

TAGGED    robot vacuums

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