The Roborock S5 Max looks like what a “Roomba” looks like. Especially in the Anglo-Saxon language area, the vacuum cleaner robot pioneer is often called synonymous with the entire device category made up of round, about hand-wide, suction cups.
The S5 Max is available in either black or white plastic, after a few weeks of testing our white model looked about as aged as a Berlin S-Bahn wagon since the turn. Admittedly, the test sample has probably also been confronted with a similar amount of waste since it arrived in Berlin.
On the top of the S5 Max, Roborock houses a hectically rotating laser navigation system that continuously measures the space. Together with the shock sensor on the front and the underground sensor on the – surprise – underside, the vacuum scrubber simultaneously maps the housing for optimal cleaning without premature death due to a fall.
If you like squats or can't find your smartphone, you can press two buttons on the top. The former is used for switching on and off, the latter sends the S5 Max back into the dock. Said dock is about the size of a one-liter tetra pack and is used for charging. So that the potentially wet wiping cloth on the underside does not mess up your old parquet, the cleaning aid comes with a plastic underlay that is provided with adhesive strips and unfortunately looks extremely cheap.
When vacuuming, I can only give the top grade: “unobtrusive”. After the S5 Max is clocked so that it is only in the empty apartment, it shines through – just – inconspicuity. However, what was noticeable during the test period was the absence of dust and cat hair, and not just on the floor! Due to the regular vacuuming, there are generally much fewer small particles in the apartment, so both furniture in the living room and my children in corona quarantine (or exempt from school) dust much less on the couch.
Technical data Roborock S5 Max
|Dimensions||35.3 x 9.65 x 35.0 cm|
|Maximum suction power||2,000 Pa|
|Dust container volume||460 milliliters|
|Water tank volume||290 milliliters|
|Vacuum + wipe||Yes|
|Battery capacity||5,200 mAh|
|Area performance||250 square meters|
|Battery charging time||about six hours|
|Maximum obstacle height||up to two centimeters|
Parquet, standard carpets and doorsteps up to a centimeter high do not pose any problems for the cleaning robot. However, higher obstacles. Here the sucker doesn't get any further and gives up. According to the manufacturer, the maximum height is specified as two centimeters. However, I could not reproduce this result.
Another point of criticism is in combination with my shaggy carpet. This sets the S5 Max in a surge like tax returns to the incumbent US President: first maximum speed, then complete disorientation followed by refusal to cooperate. Apparently the sensors of the S5 Max get mixed up here and the robot criss-crosses. I tried the whole thing with a short pile carpet. Here, on the other hand, the S5 Max works flawlessly and performs perfectly.
Admittedly, the S5 Max doesn't have much to do with wiping with a mop, gloss cleaner, etc. The manufacturer prohibits the addition of any cleaning agents so as not to clog the nozzles. Instead, the Saubermann pulls a rag moistened from the internal 460 ml tank behind it, which at best absorbs light dirt. While the battery cleans your feudalistic 150 square meter loft without any problems, depending on the setting, the mini tank runs dry after a fifth.
Incidentally, the S5 Max does not inadvertently turn your carpet into a wetland. The sensors on the underside can differentiate carpets from laminate & co. And reduce the water supply accordingly. On carpets, on the other hand, the vacuum cleaner competes directly with the pubescent car aisles from the nearest village McDonalds and eagerly plays with the speed.
The setup works very simply: Set up the station, use the robot, pair the app, and off you go! The first shutdown of your premises takes a little longer due to the mapping. Then the Roborock S5 Max scrubbing in Z pattern, only occasionally interrupted by the shaggy carpet, my cat and wild decorative shishi on the living room floor. Especially with the shiny silver candlesticks, the S5 Max basically disagrees with my wife when it comes to the arrangement.
And then there is the specialty of us Berliners: the zones. Restricted areas for the cleaning robot can be set up in the app. Let's put it this way: Before the turn, the S5 Max would probably not have been particularly happy. Because the Robo drove into the defined zones from time to time and didn't care that I had declared some areas to be a no-go area. Something like that can get in the eye of some cities. But we're good here.
However, one must also say that the app and its zone management are not necessarily self-explanatory. And so it may also be that I am simply operating the app incorrectly and the S5 Max therefore does not avoid certain defined zones.
In general, the app is the real Achilles heel of the Roborock S5 Max. The Xiaomi Smart Home app is recommended in the instructions for use. To put it mildly, this was not very clearly designed. Thank God there is also a Roborock app that I searched for in the App Store – and found. This did not solve the zone problem described above. But it is fancier and easier to use.
There are also some nice functions. In addition to cleaning histories, which can also be viewed afterwards, there is one in particular timer and the function Pin-and-go, both of which I find worth mentioning.
The timer can be used to program fixed times at which the S5 Max should start its cleaning routine independently. With Pin-and-Go, the vacuum cleaner can be told where the robot should go and start vacuuming without having to clean the entire apartment straight away.
No, I don't want to give it up anymore. There have been critical voices from the community over the past year as far as vacuum robots are concerned. The Roborock S5 Max was my first – and I won't let it go anymore. The work that takes the device off is noticeable. The floors of the apartment shine after an S5 suction unit as if you had just swept through the room with a wiper and vacuum cleaner.
I even catch my children repeatedly blowing crumbs on the table after breakfast on the floor and apologizing with “we'll turn the robot on anyway”. In fact, no remnants remain afterwards and everything shines like new.
But my new friend regularly drives me to despair when he completely uncoordinated ignores and circumvents all decorative items (candles) on the floor. Or just one or the other carpet is not recognized as such and the vacuum cleaner crisscrosses the room without logic. Oh, and the app … phew! It really needs more love and attention. After all, you control and set a lot about it. The only positive thing about it from my point of view is that it is in German. At least, most of the time.
Admittedly, we (fortunately) did not try one thing: What will happen if the S5 Max drives over a “pet accident” with the wiping function activated? I'm afraid that due to the liquefaction effect, the result will be more disastrous than with a standard suction-brush model.
But what else did the Romans, uh, Roborock do for us? I like to repeat my judgment: A lot! I don't want to miss the S5 Max anymore.