180 Minutes battery life
LDS + SLAM Navigation
2000pa Suction Power
Sweeping and Mopping Functionality
Packed Full Of Features and Still Getting Better
The Roborock S5 Max’s cleaning ability is easily as good, and in a lot of cases better than the more well-known brands.
The hybrid vac/mop functionality has not compromised its cleaning ability and only offers more value from an already well-priced product.
And the continued support from the manufacturer is welcome, with new features being released regularly through firmware updates.
Review Criteria Ratings
- Superior navigation
- Great mapping functionality
- Multiple maps can be saved
- Selective room cleaning
- Set vacuum power/water amount per room
- Floor moisture protector pas slips away from the dock
- Map can take 15-30 seconds to load on app occasionally.
Should You Buy It?
If you are after a feature-packed robotic vacuum that doesn’t need you to check on it every 10 minutes and just does a great cleaning job, then this is the unit for you.
Don’t hesitate to check out the Roborock S5 Max.
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Roborock s5 Max Features and Benefits
A lot of people are skeptical about a robotic vacuum’s ability to properly clean the floors. And this is totally understandable – their small size leads to the perception that their vacuum power is less than adequate and as far as mopping goes? Worthless?? Not at all.
The Roborock S5 Max rivals any full-size vacuum cleaner when it comes to its ability to vacuum. The mopping isn’t quite as impressive, but it still surprised me with its effectiveness.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the cleaning ability of this unit.
The vacuum power of the Roborock S5 Max is where its real strengths lie.
The app gives 4 different suction strengths which can be set by room:
My testing shows that all of these modes were effective at cleaning. The max setting has an amazing amount of suction, but at the same time, the quiet setting is not useless and does a good job while being noticeably less noisy.
Carpet cleaning was very effective, with all tests showing almost 100% of debris being picked up. The only items that I found the unit has problems with were bits of fluff that were physically intertwined with our high pile carpet.
The wheels on the unit do leave noticeable marks on high pile carpets, so just be aware of this if you find that sort of thing annoying.
I was VERY skeptical of the mopping ability, but am pleased to report that I am now pleasantly surprised.
While it is not going to replace your regular mop and bucket, it does do a good job of giving your tile or hardwood floors a clean in between your proper mops.
The app allows you to select the water amount used for each area, and no mop zones can also be programmed easily.
The water tank size is more than adequate, and even on the highest water setting, I have not had our unit run out of water mid mop yet.
Tip: only insert the water tank and mop cloth in the unit when you actually need it to mop. If your S5 Max is primarily on vacuum duties, then store the water tank away till needed.
Dust Bin Size
As you can imagine, the dust bin size is understandably limited in a small vacuum such as this. Our house has a large downstairs and upstairs area and while I usually empty it after each clean, most of the time it is under halfway full.
There is also a filter that needs to be cleaned regularly.
Tip: emptying the dustbin after cleaning has finished is a good habit to get into to maintain full suction power throughout your next clean.
Smart Phone App & Mapping and Navigation
As far as I am concerned, one of the main features of any robotic vacuum cleaner is its ability to map out its area of use and to navigate around that area effectively.
The S5 Max doesn’t disappoint when it comes to mapping and navigation.
Smart Phone App
The smartphone app has a lot of features, almost to the point where it becomes difficult to navigate around. But personally, I would rather have that problem than not have the ability to do what I need to use the unit as I want to use it.
As with most smart products these days, you will need to create an account through the manufacturer’s app before you can use it. This is a simple process and once you are logged in, you won’t have to worry about it again unless you want to install the app on a new or different phone. Speaking of which, you can log in using the same details on multiple devices at the same time with no problems at all.
To use the S5 Max for the first time, you will need to plug in its dock and start it cleaning. It will then navigate and clean the entire area, mapping out rooms and objects as it moves around. You can see all this happening in real-time on your screen and it is quite fascinating to watch. If it takes more than one battery charge to map out the location, then the unit will return to the dock when its battery is low and continue when charged.
Once a full map has been completed, then the rest of the features of the app are available to use.
You can then use some of the more advanced features such as setting no-go zones, no mop zones, and invisible walls – all of which work as you would expect with no problems at all.
A feature that I love is the ability to tell the robot to clean a room or a zone to clean more than once. So if the area is extra dirty, you can instruct it to clean that particular area 2, 3, or even more times in a row.
The home screen of the app allows you to select your Roborock device (should you have more than one). Once you have selected your device, the active map will be displayed along with the location and status of the vacuum.
Also clearly visible is the area cleaned, the battery percentage remaining, and the cleaning time.
If the vacuum is in the process of cleaning, you can see where it has been and the path it has taken.
I could really go on forever about the abilities of the app, but I’m sure you don’t want to read a novel!
Here are some of the other notable app features worth mentioning that work well:
- Ability to separate the map into rooms
- Allows you to set a cleaning order
- Allows you to set vac power/mopping water amount per room
- Gives the ability to do a single room clean
- Ability to separate the map into zones
- Can tell the unit to clean a particular zone
- Pin n Go feature
- Tells the vac to go to a certain area and clean in a certain radius (spot cleaning)
- Maintenance reminders
- Filter cleaning
- Sensor cleaning
- Brush replacing
- Remote control
- Ability to manually control the vac
- The kids love it, the cat hates it!
- Set voice language and volume
- Set cleaning schedules
- Set a DND mode
- Vacuum won’t automatically operate between the DND hours set (e.g. overnight)
Multi-story dwellings are more and more common these days, and the S5 Max’s ability to be able to map multiple levels is a very handy feature.
After carrying out a complete clean of a new area, the unit will detect and save a new map in its memory. From that point on, you can simply pick the vacuum up, take it upstairs, and hit the clean button. It will detect that it has been moved, and announce that it is positioning. Once it has detected out its location (takes about 30 seconds – 1 minute) it will start cleaning the floor you have it on.
Tip: For the first clean, move the dock to the new area and let it complete a new clean – after the clean is completed, you can move the dock back to the original location.
I was quite impressed with the S5 Max’s ability to avoid objects which aren’t a permanent feature of the map. Examples of these are chairs, clothes, toys, etc.
The laser navigation system does a great job at picking up these temporary obstacles, navigating around them while still cleaning as close to them as possible.
For moving obstacles such as people or pets, the vacuum will slow down when it detects a person or animal approaching, and return to normal speed when the moving object has passed.
Stairs or ledges are also no problem, the device has built-in cliff sensors and they work as intended. Our test unit has not had any accidents on our stairs at all.
The docking station is quite compact and comes with a long lead.
If you leave the mopping tank and pad installed on your unit then you will want to use the supplied plastic pad to protect your floors from any residual moisture.
I did have one complaint here, and that is that the double-sided tape on the bottom of the plastic pad is not really fit for purpose, especially on carpet. The movement of the vacuum on and off the docking station is enough to dislodge the plastic pad from the carpet and it occasionally blocks the charging contacts causing the unit to notify you of a charging error.
The built-in 5,200 mAh battery gives about 180 minutes of cleaning time, which should be enough to do a vacuum of a single level of most houses.
I wouldn’t say this is a super impressive battery life, but it is sufficient for its design.
My house is quite large with about 1,180 square feet (110 m2) of area to be cleaned on the ground floor. It takes almost all 180 minutes to carry out a complete vacuum of that floor.
S5 Max Alternatives
If you decide that the S5 Max isn’t what you are after, then there are a couple of alternatives that are worthy of consideration.
Roborock S6 MaxV
The S6 MaxV is the S5 Max’s slightly bigger brother.
Offering a larger dustbin and 25% more suction power, if you want to spend a bit more, then this model is worth consideration.
Read our S6 MaxV Review.
IRobot Roomba I7
If you feel safer spending your money with a more well-known brand, then the iRobot Roomba i7 is a good choice.
Keep in mind though you are paying a lot just for the name, and the feature set is not as good.
The Roborock S5 Max is a great robotic vacuum cleaner packed full of features. When you consider that you would pay hundreds of dollars more for the same feature set from a more well-known brand, it makes the S5 Max the smart choice.
Roborock is fast becoming a very well-known and respected name in the robotic vac industry – jump on the bandwagon while it’s still affordable!