Roborock S7 vs. S6 MaxV vs. S5 Max

Roborock S7 vs S6 MaxV vs S5 Max

We’ll be comparing three Roborock products in this article – the S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max. These variants are the only options in the Roborock product line with an electronic water tank.

Since the unveiling of the S7, I thought it is proper to publish something to compare it with the other two.

Let’s first start with a quick look at the specs.

Roborock S5 Max

Roborock S5 Max
  • Airflow: 17.74 CFM
  • Navigation: LIDAR
  • Dust bin size: 460 ml
  • Deep Cleaning: 84.75%
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 4
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion
  • Run Time: 180 mins.
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: 290 ml.
  • Type: Electronic
  • Noise: 62.4 dB

Roborock S6 MaxV

Roborock S6 MaxV
  • Airflow: 15.68 CFM
  • Navigation: LIDAR + Front-camera
  • Dust bin size: 460 ml
  • Deep Cleaning: 77.65%
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 4
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion
  • Run Time: 180 mins.
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: 297 ml.
  • Type: Electronic
  • Noise: 65 dB

Roborock S7

Roborock S7
  • Airflow: 13.91 CFM
  • Navigation: LIDAR
  • Dust bin size: 470 ml
  • Deep Cleaning: 78.85%
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 4
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion
  • Run Time: 180 mins.
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: 300 ml.
  • Vibrating pad: Yes.
  • Type: Electronic
  • Noise: 69.8 dB

Introduction to the Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S7

Roborock is quite active with its product launches. In 2020 alone, they’ve released quite a few, namely the S5 Max, S6 MaxV, E4, and S4 Max. That’s four in one year, which is relatively high, considering other brands like iRobot release an update once a year or so.

The Roborock S7, I believe, is more than just an upgrade, with a redesigned mopping module, a new brush roll design, plus the lift feature that automatically raises the pad when it detects carpet.

Regardless, most of the S7 upgrades are geared toward improving its mopping functionality. Are you willing to pay a premium for it?

Roborock S7: Best Option for Mopping Floors

Roborock S7 Top

The new vibrating feature introduced in the S7 adds an agitation facet absent in previous Roborock robots. Instead of just dragging a wet pad on the surface, a second motor vibrates up to 3,000 times per minute.

I’ve tested this feature extensively, and it does work and cutting the mopping time by more than half. It works best on dried, non-sugary stains like red wine.

The following new feature is the rise feature, where it lifts the pad 4 mm if it detects carpet. It solves the issue of whether or not to remove the pad on mixed surfaces. However, it won’t avoid carpets automatically.

I like the new bristle-less design as it’s easier to clean, especially hair. With the detachable end caps, you won’t need a scissor or blade to dislodge it.

Roborock S6 MaxV: Best At Avoiding Obstacles

Roborock S6 MaxV top view

If the S7 is the best at mopping, then the S6 MaxV is the best at avoiding obstacles, thanks to the AI technology and front-mounted camera. Unlike the Ecovacs T8 AIVI that only has one lens, the S6 MaxV has two lenses, giving it a 3D perspective.

Roborock has constantly updated the S6 MaxV firmware to fine-tune its obstacle avoidance capability.

One advantage over the S5 Max and S7 is avoiding smaller objects below the laser’s line of sight as long as it falls within the camera’s radius. Unfortunately, the front camera has blind spots, and if obstacles fall in those areas, it won’t avoid them.

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04/21/2021 12:45 am GMT

Roborock S5 Max: Value for Money Alternative

Roborock S5 Max

Last but not least of the trio is the popular S5 Max. This variant was the first Roborock equipped with an electronic water tank. It continues to be one of the best-performing robot vacuums both at vacuuming and mopping – a big reason why it’s so popular.

It has the highest airflow of the three (over 15 CFM), despite having the lowest suction at 2000 Pascals.

It’s a huge reason why it did so well in cleaning tests with percentages. The S5 Max was the best at cleaning embedded dirt than the S6 MaxV and S7.

For me, the best all-around option would be the S5 Max, if you don’t mind not having the S7 mopping upgrades.

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04/20/2021 07:47 pm GMT

Similarities between the Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max

We’ll look at how these three variants are similar in this section.

1. Navigation

All three robots utilize LIDAR and SLAM for navigation, meaning it relies heavily on a laser sensor to track its location. One advantage laser has over a camera-based sensor is its non-reliance on a light source.

You can use these robots even in pitch black conditions, unlike other brands that rely on a camera sensor like a Roomba I6.

These robots are very efficient in this area and some of the best at traversing through tight spots.

The only difference is the S7 implements the crisscross pattern, which I believe was primarily for mopping. Roborock confirmed that this feature would be rolled out to older models like the S5 Max and S6 MaxV – except for discontinued variants (S4 and S5).

2. Electronic water tank

Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max water tanks

These variants utilize electronic water tanks, providing better control on water flowing through the pad. I’ve tested these extensively and found them to work as advertised. The larger capacity enables it to cover more ground, and the water usage is very efficient.

One difference is capacity. The S7 is slightly higher at 300 ml or 3 ml more than the other two.

3. Two-in-one functionality

Users will benefit from the versatility each brings to the table as a robot vacuum and mop, doing both tasks well.

4. Base app features

Roborock S7 containment

When I say base app feature, I’m talking about core functionality. These include live maps, map saving, containment (invisible wall, no-go zones, no-mop zones), selective room cleaning, unlimited scheduling, etc.

I’ll cover specialty features in the differences section. So scroll down to see that information.

5. Battery and run time

All options have a 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery and will run for up to 180 minutes in its lowest setting.

Combine the lengthy run time, and smart navigation makes these robots usable even in large homes. It is capable of navigating through multiple rooms without getting lost.

6. Brush layout

Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max brush layout

All Roborock products have the same brush layout – one side brush and the main brush flanked by two wheels.

7. Dimensions

Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max dimension

The S7, S5 Max, and S6 MaxV have the exact dimensions of 13.8″ wide and 3.8″ tall.

Differences between the S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max

Next, we’ll look at what’s different between the three. Some features I’ll talk about here are unique to a specific model.

1. Improved mopping (S7)

Roborock introduces VibraRise with the S7. Vibra refers to the vibrating mopping pad that adds an agitation facet previously missing. It improves the S7’s efficiency at removing stains. Not only will it drag a wet cloth, but the vibrating feature also helps dissolve the stains quicker.

2. Intelligent mop lifting (S7)

Roborock S7 intelligent mop lift

Rise refers to the intelligent mop lifting feature that automatically raises the pad five millimeters when it detects carpet.

3. Carpet detect

The carpet sensor also draws these shaded portions on the map, which indicate areas with rugs or carpet.

Unfortunately, the S7 won’t avoid these areas automatically. But you can use these shaded zones as a reference to draw no-go or no-mop zones.

4. Front-mounted camera (S6 MaxV)

Roborock S6 MaxV Intro

The S6 MaxV is the only option with a front-mounted camera, helping it track and avoid obstacles. While the technology isn’t perfect, it allows it to evade smaller objects below the laser sensor’s line of sight.

However, the technology isn’t perfect as there are blind spots, and when the objects are in these areas, the robot will not avoid them.

The camera doubles as a CCTV so users can monitor their home from the robot’s perspective. Roborock added authentication measures, so there’s an added layer of security.

5. All-rubber brush roll (S7)

Roborock s7 vs S6 MaxV brush

The S7 and S6 MaxV brush, side-by-side.

While the S5 Max and S6 MaxV use the same brush roll, Roborock introduces a new design with the S7. It has an all-rubber design with fins spiraling around the roller. Not having any bristles means better longevity, and it’s easier to clean.

I mentioned in the video that the S7 brush fits into the S5 Max and S6 MaxV, but the two metal hinges on the brush cover will rub on the flaps and create friction. So it’s not usable without any modifications.

Roborock S7 roller on S6 MaxV

6. Auto empty dock (S7)

Roborock S7 auto empty dock

Roborock will soon introduce an auto-empty dock (compatible with the S7) that empties the bin automatically. It’s a similar feature found in robots like the Roomba I6, Ecovacs T8 AIVI, and Honiture Q6.

7. Sequence (S5 Max & S6 MaxV)

Strangely, only the S5 Max & S6 MaxV has the sequence feature where users can adjust the order by which rooms are cleaned. However, since this is an app feature, I believe Roborock can easily fix this.

App Features of the Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, and S5 Max

We’ll go through the different app features of these models.

1. Live maps

Roborock S7 live map

This feature shows the real-time location of the robot on the map. So users can see exactly where the robot is and its progress.

2. Map saving

Roborock S7 map saving

Users can save up to four map levels, with the option to split areas, name rooms, and add as many containment zones as needed.

All Roborock products in all their S-Series line have automatic room recognition, which detects the correct map based on the initial scan. There’s no need to manually select the right floor plan if you move it to a different level.

3. Containment

Roborock S7 containment

All homes have areas that aren’t ideal for robots. I call these off-limit zones, and all these robots have features for blocking such places through the app. There are three options – invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones.

Invisible walls are lines drawn on the map, blocking the robot from areas past it.

No-go and no-mop zones have similar functions, which is to block square and rectangular spaces.

The intelligent mop lifting feature in the S7 reduces the need for such as it raises the pad automatically when it senses carpet.

4. Room naming

Roborock S7 customize maps

Users can split and use custom names for each area. This feature is helpful as it helps you immediately identify different zones on the map at a glance.

5. Selective room cleaning

Cleaning specific rooms is possible with selective room cleaning by tapping on a particular zone on the room tab.

Furthermore, users can specify a power level suitable for each room. For example, on areas with hard floors, you can use a lower setting to maximize battery life and turn on carpet boost.

6. Four water level and power settings

Roborock S7 vacuum and mop settings

With recent app updates, Roborock now has four power and water level settings. In older versions, there were five power settings.

However, only the S7 has the standard and deep mode. Standard enables the robot to vacuum and mop simultaneously while deep turns off the vacuum motor and makes tighter turns. So the latter is a dedicated mop-only option.

7. Unlimited scheduling

One of my favorite features of the Roborock app is the option to schedule unlimited runs without any minimum gap in-between, which was the case with the iRobot app. Users can choose power and water level settings, even the map.

Airflow comparison

Reading the media teaser for the S7, Roborock says it has 2500 Pascals of suction – the same number as the S6 MaxV and 500 more than the S5 Max.

However, airflow tests reveal otherwise.

Power Comp
Roborock S7
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6 MaxV
Quiet
8.2 CFM
9.8 CFM
7.9 CFM
Balanced
9.68 CFM
12.49 CFM
9.8 CFM
Turbo
11.33 CFM
15.68 CFM
12.32 CFM
Max
13.91 CFM
17.74 CFM
15.68 CFM

The S5 Max has the most airflow, with up to 17.74 CFM at its highest setting. Next is the S6 MaxV at 15.68 CFM, and the S7 is last at 13.91 CFM.

One possible reason why the S7 recorded a lower number is the larger surface area of the brush. Unlike the previous design that has isn’t as dense, the S7 roller covers most of the opening may hinder airflow.

Cleaning comparison

Next, we’ll look at how well these robots clean different debris types. I tested it on various types such as quaker oats, quinoa, pet litter, hair, sand, cheerios, etc.

First, here are the scores.

Roborock ModelS5 MaxS6 MaxVS7
Overall
94.68%
93.9%
94.31%
Hard Floor
100%
99.75%
99.7%
Sand on hard floor
99.8%
99.7%
99.8%
Carpet (Surface Pickup)
99.31%
98.5%
98.9%
Carpet (Deep Cleaning)
84.75%
77.65%
78.85%

Overall, the S5 Max has better scores than the S7 (slightly), followed by the S6 MaxV. But the difference isn’t much. One determining factor is the higher deep cleaning results, thanks to the higher airflow.

It was better across the board, and if you don’t mind not having advanced mopping or obstacle avoidance features, it’s my recommendation of the three.

Which is better on hard surfaces?

Based on scores, the S5 Max is the best. You can’t go wrong with any of the three. I like the S7’s new roller as it picks up cleanly with very minimal residue on the brush or assembly.

The crisscross pattern also gives it a slight edge in thoroughness.

The S7 and S5 Max have identical results in the sand on hard floor test (99.8%), while the S6 MaxV isn’t far behind (99.7%).

Edge cleaning comparison

All three options are decent at cleaning this area.

Check out the before and after photos of the S5 Max.

Roborock S5 Max cleaning edges

S6 MaxV edge cleaning results.

Roborock S6 MaxV edge cleaning

And S7 results.

 

The S7 and S6 MaxV were better than the S5 Max, leaving less debris based on the eye test. However, the difference isn’t much, and don’t expect it to clean equally well as D-shaped robots like the Neato D6 or options with twin side brushes like the Ecovacs T8.

Hair wrap comparison

Another comparison we’ll look at is how well these robots resist hair tangles from five and seven-inch strands.

The S5 Max was the best of the three, picking up the most hair strands, at least in the 5-inch test.

Roborock S5 Max hair inside dustbin after 5 inch test
  • 5-inch test: 0.95 grams (or 95%) inside the dustbin and 0.05 grams (or 5%) around the brush
  • 7-inch test: 0.48 grams (or 48%) inside the dustbin and 0.52 grams (or 52%) around the brush

Next in line is the S7 with these results.

Roborock 5 inch hair wrap test
  • 5-inch test: 0.75 grams (or 75%) inside the dustbin and 0.25 grams (or 5%) around the brush
  • 7-inch test: 0.44 grams (or 44%) inside the dustbin and 0.52 grams (or 54%) around the brush

Here are the results of the S6 MaxV

Roborock S6 MaxV hair on brush roll
  • 5-inch test: 0.71 grams (or 71%) inside the dustbin and 0.29 grams (or 29%) around the brush
  • 7-inch test: 0.54 grams (or 54%) inside the dustbin and 0.46 grams (or 46%) around the brush

Of the three, the S7 is the easiest to clean since there are no bristles that get in the way. Just pull the hair sideways, and it comes off. No need for a scissor or blade to dislodge.

These results indicate the need for upkeep, especially if you’re spouse or housemate has long hair.

Which is better on carpet?

The S5 Max, with its higher airflow, had better results than the S7 or S6 MaxV. It picked up close to 85%, whereas the other two picked up below 80%.

With surface debris, the results were much closer. My pick for cleaning embedded dirt would be the S5 Max. The other two options are still decent if you value the features they bring to the table.

Mopping comparison

We’ll look at how well these robots mop different types of stains in this section. I did a lot of retesting to get an accurate feel on how these variants compare.

I tested each on stains like red wine, grape juice, and tomato juice – not tiny droplets, but a large area to stress test it and see the potential downsides.

First, let’s look at before and after photos.

These pictures show how effective these products are at removing stains, even large ones.

Roborock S5 Max results

Roborock S5 Max on red wine stains

The S5 Max did well on red wine stains.

Roborock S5 Max results on grape and tomato juice

Results mopping grape juice and tomato juice stains.

S6 MaxV results

Roborock S6 MaxV mopping results on red wine stains

The S6 MaxV did fairly well at mopping red wine stains.

Roborock S6 MaxV on grape juice and tomato juice stains

Before and after photos of the S6 MaxV on grape juice and tomato juice stains.

Roborock S7 results

Roborock S7 results on red wine stains

Results of the S7 on red wine stains.

Roborock S7 mopping test on grape juice and tomato juice stains

The S7 did well at cleaning grape juice and tomato juice stains.

What it doesn’t show is the time it took to clean. The S7’s vibrating feature cuts the mopping time significantly. While it took the S5 Max and S6 MaxV two separate runs to clear the stains, the S7 removed everything by the second pass (red wine).

Please watch the video at the intro for a more descriptive explanation of the results.

However, I wouldn’t recommend using any of these to clean sugary stains, like grape juice. The sticky surface may trigger an error code (8). I noticed the S5 Max and S7 stalling during several tests on grape juice and tomato juice stains. Granted, these are large messes and may not be the case for smaller ones.

Another thing to consider is the time it takes to clean up the components underneath from stain residue.

If you use any of these to clean stains with sugar, cleaning must happen immediately afterward, or expect ants to come crawling.

Run time comparison

All robots will run for up to 180 minutes or 3 hours thanks to the 5200 mAh li-ion battery at the lowest setting. The good news is all options have decent pick up even at this mode, which makes that number realistic.

Even with the higher modes, these vacuums will still run longer than other brands like Roomba because of the higher capacity battery.

Recharge and resume further extend the range since it continues cleaning if it doesn’t finish the task.

Noise comparison

The S7 is the noisiest option peaking close to decibels at the max setting.

Check the table below for the complete results.

Power levelRoborock S5 MaxRoborock S6 MaxVRoborock S7
Quiet58.2 dB
58.1 dB
59.4 dB
Balanced
59.3 dB
60.3 dB60.1 dB
Turbo61.2 dB
60.5 dB
64.6 dB
Max
62.4 dB
65 dB69.8 dB

One reason for the increased noise is the higher suction. All three are relatively quiet at the lowest setting, at under 60 decibels.

Maintenance

All robot vacuums will require a level of upkeep to function at their peak. With the mopping feature, extra layers of maintenance are needed, which I’ll summarize below.

  1. Brush roll: Check this component at least once a week and clean any hair or build-up, especially from the axles. If you’re using any of these vacuums for mopping, increase the frequency (once per day). Wipe any residue from stains on the brush. You also could wash this using water to remove any sticky build-up.
  2. Side brush: Remove any hair caught on the arms or the base. Wipe with a damp towel if there’s stain residue.
  3. Wheels: Use a clean microfiber towel to wipe the caster and side wheels. If there’s sticky residue, switch to a slightly damp towel to remove the stickiness.
  4. Dustbin and filter: Empty the dustbin after every run to eliminate the risk of dust mites breeding. Both the HEPA filter and container are washable, so it’s easier to give it a thorough clean.
  5. Mopping cloth: Wash the mopping pad after every cycle. I’d suggest getting extra if you’re using this to mop daily.
  6. Water tank: Use distilled water if possible to prevent mineral build-up from tap water. Empty it if you’ll use it only for vacuuming.
  7. Body: Wipe it down once every two weeks to remove any fingerprint marks and residue.

Availability of Parts

The S5 Max and S6 MaxV have the advantage over the S7 since they’re older models. Availability for parts like the filter or mopping pads is better, plus there’s the option to purchase from third-party manufacturers, which lowers the cost.

The S7 being a new model, will initially have issues with product availability. But eventually, manufacturers will catch on and make parts like the filter, brushes, and pads available.

Product Specifications

Model
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6 MaxV
Roborock S7
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6 MaxV
Roborock S6 MaxV
Width
13.8"
13.8"
13.8"
Height
3.8"
3.8"
3.8"
Filter
HEPA
HEPA
HEPA
Navigation
Smart Navigation
Smart Navigation
Smart Navigation
Run time (Turbo mode)
180 mins.
180 mins.
180 mins.
Recharge and Resume
Yes
Yes
Yes
Map Saving
Yes
Yes
Yes
Number of Maps
4
4
4
Dustbin capacity
460 ml
460 ml
460 ml
Water tank capacity
297
297 ml
297 ml
Airflow
17.74 CFM
15.68 CFM
13.91 CFM
Warranty
1-year limited
1-year limited
1-year limited
Price

Where can I buy these robots?

You can buy any of these robots from online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest prices.

Disclaimer: I’ll earn a commission if you purchase from any of the links above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!

Which is the best option, the Roborock S7, S6 MaxV, or S5 Max

So the million-dollar question here is which one is the best? Are the upgrades in the S7 enough for the premium?

There isn’t much of a difference between these three options in terms of cleaning performance. While the S5 Max is better overall, the gap with the other two isn’t much. It’s my choice if you need something to clean carpets extensively and not want to spend as much.

The S6 MaxV is excellent if you value obstacle avoidance.

4 Reasons to choose the Roborock S7

  1. Better mopping performance: The vibrating feature works and cuts down mopping time significantly with the red wine stain I tested it on (at least).
  2. Mop lifting: A carpet sensor underneath tells the robot to lift the pad when as it goes over carpet.
  3. Crisscross pattern: This feature adds a level of meticulousness not found in other robot mops. It helps the S7 take full advantage of the vibrating feature to dissolve stains.
  4. New brush design: The bristle-less design is much easier to clean.

4 Reasons to buy the S5 Max

  1. Best at embedded dirt: The S5 Max picked up the most embedded sand in the deep cleaning test at close to 85%.
  2. Value for money: This variant is the least expensive option of the three.
  3. High airflow: The high airflow enables it to be one of the best robot vacuums at cleaning surface dirt.
  4. Above-average mopping: Despite not having the vibrating feature of the S7, the S5 Max was still decent at cleaning stains.

4 Reasons to choose the S6 MaxV

  1. Obstacle avoidance: The S6 MaxV is the best of the three at avoiding obstacles thanks to the front-mounted camera and AI.
  2. CCTV potential: Users can use the S6 MaxV as a stealth CCTV with its front camera to see what’s going on inside their homes.
  3. Decent at cleaning debris: This variant is decent at cleaning surface and embedded dirt – almost at par with the other two options.
  4. Mops well: There isn’t much difference between the S5 Max and S6 MaxV at mopping stains.

The Verdict: What Feature Do You Value Most?

Choosing between these three robot vacuum/mop hybrids will boil down to the feature you value most.

Folks who want value for money should strongly consider the S5 Max. If obstacle avoidance is a top priority, then the S6 MaxV is a good choice as it also doubles as a CCTV camera.

The S7 is an excellent choice for those who want the best mopping efficiency. With VibraRise, the S7 delivers here as the vibrating pad cleans stains faster than the older models.

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