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> Xiaomi Roborock S50 Vacuum Robot vs Human, The Definitive Test

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TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:16 PM, updated 10h ago

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Full Disclosure -
- This review is written based my own real life usage and all opinions are my own
- This comparison is based on my own needs and purposes
- Nobody paid me for this review and I do not have any affiliate links for this product
- This product is paid for with my own funds
- No cereals was harm during the testing of this product

There are many Roborock S50 reviews by others but they all comparing with either the first generation Mi Robot or other vacuum robots. These are all good but what I really wanted to know is can it do a better job than a human.

I also won’t be using any cereals as my test object as I do not have cereals all over the floor. What I do have, and plenty of them, are 3 things - Dust, Dust and more Dust. Oh wait, and human hair as well. Okay 4 things.

First the Human
I clean my apartment with a microfibre padded flat mop (see exhibit A). I have been using this kind of mop for about 3 years now and am very satisfied with the results. It picks up dirt and hair like a magnet. And it doesn’t kicks up dust like a broom. It takes me only 15 minutes to go thru my whole apartment with it. Fast and efficient.

exhibit A
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This is how much dust it has picked up after I am done -
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Then I vacuum off all the dirt (with a regular canister type vacuum cleaner)
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And I do a second pass on the whole apartment again. Now I do not normally do a second pass and this is solely done for the purpose of knowing how effective my cleaning was with the first pass. This is how it looks like after going thru the whole apartment again. I know it looks like there is still quite a bit of dust there but it’s just the lighting-lah. In real life, the dust collected is significantly less than the first pass, trust me. dry.gif

user posted image

This post has been edited by idoblu: Dec 16 2018, 08:49 PM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:16 PM

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Then the Roborock
Now that the human has a done a very good job of cleaning the house, let’s see what the vacuum bot can do. This is done on another day of course. We need to accumulate more dust and hair in a natural way before we can do our little test.

Btw this is my very first time using a vacuum robot. The closest thing to a cleaning bot that I used previously would be my Everybot RS700 which is a pure mopping bot from Korea.

It took the bot about 1hr 45mins to clean an area of 112 sq meters (1205 sq feet). The human only needed 15 minutes to cover the same area. Human wins the speed test.

It also fell into one of the bathroom’s floor which means the cliff sensor fails to detect that the bathroom is lower. Strange that it can detect the other bathroom okay but fell into this particular one.

I do not have carpets so I cannot tell you how well that works. I do have a light rug and instead of going over it, it pushes it around and bunch it up. This won’t happen if your rug has a stiffer backing or heavier. If you have carpets, do turn the Carpet mode On.

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The noise level of the bot is quite acceptable. It is less annoying than a hair dryer. The current mode is set to Balanced. There are 5 modes of cleaning - Mop, Quiet, Balanced, Turbo, and Max. The more powerful the cleaning mode, the more noise but I feel that the difference between them all is just very slight about 3 to 4dB. Even the most powerful Max mode is not irritatingly noisy. The specs says the noise level is between 54 to 67dB.
user posted image
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:17 PM

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So after finishing the job and returning to base, the battery level still has about 45% juice left after cleaning an area of about 1200sq ft or 112sqm. Not bad at all. Oh one more thing, before it went back to dock, it tried to clean the same area where it dropped on to the bathroom floor earlier. I opened the door to see if it can drop again and it did, stupid bot. So I closed the bathroom door again. It then paused there for a minute and announced that it has had enough and going back to base.

user posted image
This is what it has collected. Not bad lah, almost as good as the human. But any robot vacuum worth it’s salt should be able to do this. What’s more important is not how much dirt it has collected but how much dirt is left on the floor.

Then I turned the bot over to see how much hair it has tangle up on the wheels and brushes. Ha! I found two strands of hair on the side brush.
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After a closer look at the main brush and wheels, I am quite surprised. Nothing there. No tangle mess of hair like I had expected.
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Later I found out that the main brush, side brush and wheels are designed to be tangle-free.
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Now to see who had done a better job, once the bot had finished, I went over the whole apartment with my flat mop to see what is left on the floors. This is the final result -
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Compare this to my “second pass” results, I must say I am very impressed. I can’t believe this. I have to try again tomorrow to see if there is a fluke somewhere that I missed. But for now, Roborock wins in the cleaning test. I think I am out of a job sad.gif

This post has been edited by idoblu: May 25 2019, 11:58 AM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:17 PM

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The Roborock comes in a sturdy double box. It weighs quite heavily at 6.3kg for the entire box and it’s contents. The bot itself weighs 3.5kg according to the specs.

It comes with the following -
Robot vacuum itself - 1x
Charging dock - 1x
Water tank - 1x
Docking Mat - 1x
Power cable with Type A plug - 1x (You can buy a longer cable with UK plug here - https://www.ikea.com/my/en/catalog/products/10402855/)
Mopping Cloth - 2x
Filter wick - 6x (4 spares and 2 already installed)
Washable HEPA filter - 2x (one already installed in the bin)
User manual - 1x (mine in Chinese)

You can easily get spare parts for everything like the side brush and main brush. Those do get worn out. You can also buy the battery, the navigation wheel, the main wheel, dustbin, and even the LDS sensor. And yes, you can be easily replace them by yourself. There are plenty of YouTube video instructions on this.

The consumables are the mopping cloth, filter wick, and washable HEPA filter. Beware that there are compatible parts out there so don’t buy those that are very low in price unless you don’t mind. Here are the parts and it’s official pricing
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


This post has been edited by idoblu: Dec 14 2018, 08:03 AM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:18 PM

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MiHome App

You will need the Mi Home app to control the bot. There is quite a lot of settings and what it can do and I will just quickly show you as I go thru them. With this you can pretty much control your bot from anywhere in the world.

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Main Page (from top to bottom of screen)
Current Status
Map
Edit map icon
Cleaning area
Remaining battery
Cleaning time
Go - drop a pin on your map where you want the bot to go. (this only tells it to go there and do nothing else so don’t expect the bot to start cleaning)

Dock - sends the bot back to the charging dock

Pause - pause whatever Roborock is doing

Zone Cleanup - draw a box where you want Roborock to clean specifically

Go - drop a pin on your map
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Vacuum Settings -
Map Saving Mode (turn this on before cleanup if you want to save a map. turning it off will reset previous saving)
Robot’s time zone - set the city that you are in
Volume setting - turn up/down robot’s voice volume
Carpet mode - if On, it will increase suction automatically when it detect carpets
DND mode - set a time when it shouldn’t clean or play voice prompts

Timer - you can set a scheduled cleanup
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Cleanup Mode - select the 5 cleaning modes available. Stronger is more noisier.
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Voice Pack - you can select other voices here. All Chinese except one English
Notifications - turn On/Off notifications to your smartphone. You be notified when it finished cleaning and also if any problems arises


General Settings - (self explanatory)
Change device name
Share device
Check for updates
Delete device
Network info
Feedback
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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Cleaning History - shows you the history of your recent cleanups with map, time spend and area cleaned
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Care - tells you the lifespan of your consumables in percentage
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User Manual & CS - tells you your bot’s serial number and also lets you read the user guide.
Remote Control - use your phone as a manual remote control for your bot. It’s very difficult to steer the bot with the remote buttons. Better to use the joystick
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Find my robot vacuum - when you press this, the robot says “Hi, I am over here”

This post has been edited by idoblu: Dec 13 2018, 10:40 PM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:18 PM

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Navigation
The best feature of the Roborock is its superb navigation. It uses something called LDS or Laser Distance Sensor to map out your entire house. After that it uses the map to systematically clean your floors row by row. It doesn’t misses any spots unless its a place that it can’t reach. It doesn’t bang into your furniture like other bots. The only piece of furniture of mine that it seems to have trouble with is my Eames rocking chair. Since it doesn't have legs like normal chairs, it couldn't go around the legs so it confuses it a little. Sometimes it may seem strange that it cleans half a room then go and clean half of another room. Don’t worry about that, just leave it alone to do its thing. It won't leave any spots as you can see in my map above. All the white lines are the path it vacuumed. Most of my furniture are raised enough so the bot can clean the underneath. Only exception is my sofa as you can see in the map above (L shaped dark spot). It’s quite amazing to see this thing navigate around.

user posted image
Currently you can only save one map so using it on another floor, it will have to build a new map for that floor. It is really not a problem, it can still clean the other floors. Able to save a map means you can put virtual barriers and also designate no-go zones for your bot. Now I can put a virtual barrier to stop it from falling off onto my bathroom floor. The difference between virtual barriers and no-go zone - barrier is just a line and zone is a box. To add these, click on Edit at the map screen. Then just drag your finger on your map where you want to put them. You can resize them as well. Please note that you can only edit the map when the bot is back at it’s dock. With a map, you can also tell it to go to a particular spot and you can designate clean-up zones. Maybe future firmware will allow us to save a few more maps or give rooms a name. If you got several zones to clean, make sure you draw a box in each section even though some sections are side by side but separated by a wall. If you just draw a box over both sections, it will only clean one. The first box you draw will be the first zone it will clean and so forth.



Sensors
This thing has many sensors.
LDS (as mentioned above) - this is the round thing sitting at the top of the bot
Cliff sensors (4x) - to prevent falling
Pressure sensor - to prevent bumping its head
Drop sensor - stops the vacuum when you pick it up. It is located at the two main wheels.
Double Electronic sensor - to detect virtual barriers
Infra-red sensor - helps find the dock
Ultrasonic Wall sensor - helps to prevent bumping into objects
Rubber bumper sensor - to detect objects
10mm Laser edge sensor - to detect edges and identify walls
It also has sensors to detect the dustbins


Automation -
These are the If and Then automation rules for the bot. You can also use voice assistance like Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistance to tell it to do things although there's not much you can do with it except start/stop and ask the bot to return to base.

Then
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If
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This post has been edited by idoblu: Dec 9 2018, 07:46 AM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:19 PM

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Mopping
Before using the mopping mode, remove all rugs and carpets or set it as no-go zone. Vacuum first before doing mopping. During mopping mode, the suction is greatly reduced and therefore much less noisy. So far I have tried it on my laminated flooring. I filled up the water reservoir with Method’s Wood Floor cleaning liquid. It doesn’t need any rinsing and has a nice almond smell. I mixed a little bit of the cleaning liquid with warm water and pour it into the reservoir. If you use too much cleaning liquid, your floors might get sticky. Remember to wet the mopping cloth and squeeze out all the water then install it onto the water reservoir. This gets the water flowing from the two water filter elements. Slide the mopping module into the back of Roborock. It should click into place.

I feel the mopping (which is just dragging a wet cloth around) is not as good as my Everybot’s spinning action which gives it a more rigorous cleaning. But I think it is great for light mopping. If your rooms are fairly clean to begin with, running a wet microfibre cloth around the floor, especially on laminated floorings, really helps. I don’t use my Everybot on my laminated floorings but now I will use the Roborock instead. Reason are the Everybot’s spinning motion leaves swirl patterns on my laminated floors which I do not like. The Everybot is also too tall and does not clear my wardrobes and other furniture. 

I have to try the mopping mode on ceramic tiles to give you a better opinion but as of now, I will definitely use it on my laminated floorings. It really depends on how dirty your floors are. Use the mopping mode more often to keep your place clean.

One thing I like to point out, just because it can do wet mopping, doesn’t mean you can use it to mop up spilled liquids. The liquid will get suck in and could possibly ruin the bot. One more thing, after it has done mopping one room, it will reset back to Balance Mode so if you gonna mop another room, make sure you set Mopping Mode again. Next time I will try selecting Multiple Zones. This way it might finish all selected zones without resetting the cleaning mode.

Update - ok setting multiple cleaning zones is the way to go. Set several areas as clean-up zones before doing a mopping sequence or vacuum and the bot will only do those areas. Mopping on ceramic tiles - I find if the floor is not too dirty, it can do the job. I'm quite happy with the mopping feature. I think it can replace my Everybot.

Maintenance
One of the reasons I waited this long to get a vacuum robot is the fear of cleaning the darn thing itself. But after a week of using Roborock, I say it is not too bad at all. After every cleanup, I will vacuum the dustbin and the HEPA filter. I use a canister type vacuum to do that. Once a week I will turn it over and clean the wheels and the 4 cliff sensors. I will also remove the main brush and clean the compartment that holds the main brush. This part gets really dirty from the brush spinning around (see photos) and it is quite difficult to clean.
user posted image
after cleaning -
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I wash the mopping cloth after every mopping session and rinse the reservoir with clean water. And leave the rubber stopper open to let the inside to air dry.
This is after mopping three bedrooms - (stains on the cloth can be easily to wash off after)
user posted image

Here is a video how to maintain your bot


This post has been edited by idoblu: Nov 30 2018, 07:52 AM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:19 PM

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Specifications
Firmware Revision -
3.3.9_001518 (revision came with machine)
3.3.9_001632 (with save map capability)
3.3.9_001658 (released on Nov 27th 2018)
3.3.9_001702 (released on Dec 5th, 2018)
3.3.9_001710 (released on Jan 8th 2019)
3.3.9_001720 (released on Jan 30th 2019)
3.3.9_001748 (released on Mar 7th 2019)
3.3.9_001768 (released on May 5th 2019) - my current version as I do not update to latest anymore
3.3.9_001864 (released on Jun 27th 2019) - DO NOT UPDATE - PROBLEMS DETECTED
3.3.9_001886 (released on July 19th 2019)
3.3.9_001898 (released Aug 2019)
3.5.4_001910 (brand new firmware released on Oct 10th 2019) - did not update



Do I need Global Version?
Global Version - cannot set to China Server so if your other Xiaomi stuff are using China Server, make sure to buy the Chinese version.
Global Version has CE mark at the label at the back of the robot. The Chinese version has CCC mark. Both versions can be in English. I suggest to buy Chinese version if you intend on adding more Xiaomi smart stuff. The label is also on the box itself.


Model - S50 (silver trim, white), S51 (rose gold trim, white) , S55 (black), S52 Inter-Milan color (blue trim, white)
Suction power - 2000Pa
Battery - 14.4v 5200mAh Li-ion
Battery working hours - 2.5hrs
Dustbin capacity - 480ml
Water tank capacity - 140ml
Noise level - 54-67dB
Filter - washable HEPA
Climb - 2cm obstacle climb max
Size - 353 x 350 x 96.5mm
Weight - 3.5kg

User Manual in English -https://d1fb82fn3hudwn.cloudfront.net/uploa...ile/Manuals.pdf

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


All Models Compared -
For those of you planning on getting a Xiaomi type robot and confused with the many models available now, hopefully this chart will help you a bit. It only list those models using LIDAR for navigation

Attached Image

This post has been edited by idoblu: Today, 10:02 AM
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:19 PM

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Conclusion
I have always being skeptical of using a robot vacuum. I didn’t believe these small little thing can suck much. And those known good ones are very expensive. I also think they take too long to do the job when I could finish it in a fraction of the time. Then the need to maintain the bot itself, to untangle all the hair, empty the bin, etc. I wonder if it’s worth it.

After using Roborock for only a week, I do regret a bit. Regret that I didn’t buy one sooner. I have full confidence in it after seeing how it cleans row by row every part of my apartment. It really gives my apartment a thorough cleanup. Much much better than what I can do. This part really surprises me as I thought I was doing a pretty darn good job all these while.

And the price of this thing is not bad at all for all the features it has and what it can do. Seriously if you are thinking of buying a robot vacuum, look no further. Get the Roborock S50! thumbup.gif

This post has been edited by idoblu: Nov 8 2019, 04:15 PM
kllonely1
post Nov 28 2018, 09:31 PM

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QUOTE(idoblu @ Nov 28 2018, 09:19 PM)
Specifications
Current firmware revision (Chinese model) - 3.3.9_001658 (Nov 27th 2018)
Model - S50 (silver trim, white), S51 (rose gold trim, white) , S55 (black), S52 (Inter-Milan colors (blue trim, white)
Suction power - 2000Pa
Battery - 14.4v 5200mAh Li-ion
Battery working hours - 2.5hrs
Dustbin capacity - 480ml
Water tank capacity - 140ml
Noise level - 54-67dB
Filter - washable HEPA
Climb - 2cm obstacle climb max
Size - 353 x 350 x 96.5mm
Weight - 3.5kg
English User Manual - https://d1fb82fn3hudwn.cloudfront.net/uploa...ile/Manuals.pdf

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*
What is the price of Roborock?
TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 09:34 PM

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QUOTE(kllonely1 @ Nov 28 2018, 09:31 PM)
What is the price of Roborock?
*
around 1500 - 1600
muncheno
post Nov 28 2018, 10:09 PM

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Nice write-up.
Having one for myself and one for mum.
Very happy with it. Been using it for almost a year.
For mopping, I actually put few drops of floor detergent and occasionally drops of beech to clean the water tank itself.

TSidoblu
post Nov 28 2018, 10:20 PM

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QUOTE(muncheno @ Nov 28 2018, 10:09 PM)
Nice write-up.
Having one for myself and one for mum.
Very happy with it.  Been using it for almost a year.
For mopping, I actually put few drops of floor detergent and occasionally drops of beech to clean the water tank itself.
*
Thank you
I’ve been using it only for a week so I have lots to learn still

This post has been edited by idoblu: Nov 28 2018, 10:22 PM
angie_velvetice
post Nov 28 2018, 11:25 PM

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Yes!! Thanks for tagging! Great that you did focus on the write up on human hair. Am gonna get one!
TSidoblu
post Nov 29 2018, 04:49 AM

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QUOTE(angie_velvetice @ Nov 28 2018, 11:25 PM)
Yes!! Thanks for tagging! Great that you did focus on the write up on human hair. Am gonna get one!
*
I watch a lot of robot vacuum reviews, strange not many talk about human hair problem.
Thanks for reading
enduser
post Nov 29 2018, 05:45 AM

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Nice review
very informative

Will get one later smile.gif
wallaby
post Nov 29 2018, 11:24 AM

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The Roborock is a no brainer... to have... Price wise competitive, Functionality wise comprehensive... I have three units so far, and they don't disappoint (the black one looks hella cool btw)...

However, no matter how good Roborock may perform on ground level, there are areas whereby I still need to use the Rainbow, no doubt the Roborock does contribute much in keeping the floor clean, in general.
TSidoblu
post Nov 30 2018, 07:58 AM

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QUOTE(enduser @ Nov 29 2018, 05:45 AM)
Nice review
very informative

Will get one later smile.gif
*
thanks. it really is a good buy thumbsup.gif
Winning11
post Dec 4 2018, 05:13 PM

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Any reccomended seller in Malaysia that you guys bought it from?

The Xiaomi shop in Malaysia have yet to sell s50, right?
TSidoblu
post Dec 4 2018, 05:15 PM

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QUOTE(Winning11 @ Dec 4 2018, 05:13 PM)
Any reccomended seller in Malaysia that you guys bought it from?

The Xiaomi shop in Malaysia have yet to sell s50, right?
*
Lazada. There’s a few offer going around 1480 during the sale from 10 to 12th Dec.

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