Roborock s5 Vs Roomba i7. Let's compare them

Last updated on Jul 28, 2021 Robot Vacuum Cleaners
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The future of smart homes is bright especially with the ever-increasing advancements in automatic robot vacuum cleaners on the market. If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that will leave your floor and carpets spot clean, you definitely do need some help in finding the perfect cleaner you’ve always wanted. Today, we are going to take a look at the roborock s5 vs roomba i7.

To a make decision between the two, we evaluate their pros and cons alongside their features and functions. Understanding this will make your choice and cleaning experience worthwhile. You can jump to our conclusion if you are in a hurry and need to know our winner for this comparison.

We always want an easy sweeping or mopping experience, don’t you? With the many products on the market we decided to zero down on these two products, the Roborock s5 vs Roomba i7. Both vacuum cleaners have given a new face to a smooth and seamless process of cleaning, but which of the two should you go with? Let us find out the different features, pros and cons for the two automated robot vacuum cleaners and then decide what’s best.

Summary of the Roborock s5 vs Roomba i7

Our winner for this comparison for this comparison is the Roborock S5.

Why is the Roborock S5 better than the Roomba i7?

  • It has a bigger battery life of 5200 mah
  • It has a bigger dustbin size of 480ml
  • A longer runtime of 180 mins when in quiet mode
  • Roborock S5 also has a cool mopping feature that can come in handy

image of roborock s5
roborock s5

What is the Roborock s5?

The Roborock s5 is a robot vacuum cleaner which is manufactured by the Beijing Roborock Technology Co., Limited. It was launched on the market in October 2017.

image of roborock s5
roborock s5

Roborock s5 Vs Roomba i7 Part 1: Special Features of the Roborock s5

Multiple Cleaning Modes

The Roborock s5 vacuum cleaner has a variety of cleaning options, depending on the floor or power-usage you prefer to use. These include:

  • Carpet: For cleaning carpets.
  • Quiet: For a less noisy operation. It also uses less power.
  • Mopping mode: The mopping function is detachable. It effectively uses its water-can to wet mop as it vacuum dries the floor at the same time.
  • Balanced: This mode is for medium power.
  • Turbo: This is a bit faster than the balanced mode.
  • Max mode: The robot uses maximum power with this model.

With this multi-mode functionality, you can switch flexibly to meet your needs of different floor types.

Mopping functionality

The Roborock s5 vacuum cleaner has an external mopper that can be attached to the cleaner. This can be cleaned and attached to its water pack. This water pack automatically disperses water in small proportions while the mopper is cleaning.

To make your mopping experience even easier, it is advised to include some liquid soap into the water pack. As we continue looking at the features of the roborock s5, you should know that in the roborock s5 vs roomba i7, it is only the roborock s5 with this functionality inbuilt.

Zoned cleaning

The Roborock s5 uses a LiDar navigation sensor that helps it clean particular zones of your house. With the user app, you can create a map of your house. With this, you can clean systematically, from one room to the next. Here is how it works.

If you have a big home, the Roborock app helps you create an outlay of it, from which you can create segments of your house. This outlay or map is generated the first time your Robot navigates your house. This usually takes longer, since the Robot needs to know the turns and corners around the house, and then automatically generates a mapping of the whole house. Every segment can be cleaned one after the other, with the map available. This way, the Roborock s5 cleans while avoiding obstacles like a shelve or a wood board directly on the wall or a glass/clay vessel with your plants in it.

image showing roborock s5 zone maps
roborock s5 zone map

This is efficient since your Robot vacuum cleaner doesn’t have to make random movements or always be monitored and seared around. The fun part of all this is that the whole process can be automated.

More to it, this same feature helps you create no-go lines or areas where you do not want the robot vacuum cleaner to go. This is all done by the phone application, which we will talk about in the next segment.

NOTE: You can also steer the cleaner in real-time, with the phone app. This is in case you prefer cleaning while you handle all the controls yourself.

The Roborock Application

In order to make use and take total control of your Roborock s5 vacuum cleaner, you will need the Roborock App. The application should be set up first before you can start your automatic cleaning experience. Here is how to do it in seconds.

How to set up the Roborock application (for the first time)

  1. Download the Roborock app from the Google Play Store or App store.
  2. With the app installed, open it on your smartphone
  3. Sign up with your user details
  4. Add the Roborock vacuum cleaning device to the app. There is a “+” button at the top of the app, which helps you search and add any new devices
  5. Ensure that your internet connection is on, and the robot vacuum cleaner is turned on.
  6. Input your home wifi connection details into the Roborock app
  7. After, tap the “Connect to robot Wi-Fi” button.
  8. After adding the robot vacuum, you will see the Enter Robot button
  9. When you click on it, you will be able to enjoy a vast number of cleaning options and controls.

For set-up details, follow this guide from the official Roborock website support.

The Robot application gives you a vast number of cleaning options.

  • An option to clean the whole house at once
  • An option to clean an entire room
  • Create cleaning schedules when away
  • Choose a particular section of a room to clean
  • Clean a specific room section multiple times, either 2 or 3 times.
  • Saving of cleaning maps
  • Select a no-go zone or set-up no-go boundaries for areas you do not want the robot to mop

To make your work even easier, the Roborock app enables you to set up voice controls and commands to run the robot vacuum cleaner with Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri. (This depends on the device’s compatibility, be sure to check it before buying the app)

The Battery life

With a battery size of 5200 mAh, you can enjoy approximately 2 hours of constant battery time with the low-power function.

Even with newer Robot cleaners that have better battery life than the Roborock s5, this is not a bad place to start.

It doesn’t stop at that. The Roborock s5 has a recharge and resume capability. What does this mean?

When your Roborock s5 runs out of battery, it will automatically return to its charging docker to recharge. And after it is fully charged, it returns to the exact place where it stopped and resumes its cleaning. Isn’t that nice?

roborock s5 key performance metrics
power,crossing, suction

Roborock s5 Pros

  • A user-friendly app: The interface of the Roborock application is easy to use, any new user can navigate the app without much difficulty.
  • Enough battery life
  • Voice control options
  • Recharge and Resume capability
  • Ability to cross fairly high obstacles. (Some obstacles, however, can be mistaken for dust like a feathery or too fluffy carpet on the sides or a very thick carpet)
  • Supportive user community: The Roborock family of users has a lot of available online communities, for example, Facebook groups, Reddit chatrooms and an online chat forum on the official roborock website from where you can easily ask guidance and get help

Roborock s5 Cons

  • One main brush: This brush easily picks up hair bristles and since its plastic, it may be damaged in case it lands on a hard rubbish object.
  • False error detection: Many users have complained about false error detection like the brush getting stuck when it isn’t stuck. These and more false errors lead to the robot not working when there is no way to detect the actual problem  
  • Noisy cleaning experience: Since the Roborock vacuum cleaner has many cleaning modes, the higher the mode, the louder the noise. This is because higher modes use more power.
  • Sensor defectivity: The more you use the vacuum, the cliff sensors can get covered with dust. When this occurs, they are unable to detect their motion patterns and thus may fall off the stairs or any steep drops.
  • Sophisticated maintenance experience: Once in a while, you must open the Roborock and clean it up on the inside. You need a screwdriver, and cleaning cloth. For a newbie, this experience might not be easy, since the robot is made up of many parts. You may also need to change parts to newer better functioning ones and this needs a bit of technical proficiency.
  • High price range: The Roborock s5 is expensive, as compared to other players on the market. Being that it comes with almost similar functionalities, one might run off to other competitors.

Roomba i7 Review

The Roomba i7 is a vacuum robot cleaner, which falls in the "i" production series of smart cleaners manufactured by iRobot company. It was launched on the market in September 2018.

Forget dirtying your hands, the Roomba i7 vacuum cleaner has joined the club of automated cleaning, bringing both user-friendliness and affordability in one package.

Here are the special features and functionalities of the Roomba i7.

Roborock s5 Vs Roomba i7 Part 2: Special features of the Roomba i7

Mapping of the house

Like many other robot vacuum cleaners, the Roomba i7 can traverse a whole floor and create a map for it. With this map, it supports splitting of a floor into segments.

This enables cleaning of particular rooms and areas within the house.

image showing how roomba i7 maps
roomba i7 mapping

Virtual Wall Barrier

In case you do not want the Roomba i7 to enter certain areas of your house, the set up comes with a virtual wall barrier. This is a cylindrical device, which is placed in a particular area, and it creates a virtual wall with lasers. In case the Roomba i7 detects this virtual wall with its sensors, it doesn’t go beyond that area.

This cylindrical device may or may not come with your new Roomba i7 unboxing. However, that shouldn’t worry you.

The iRobot home application comes with a functionality for setting up virtual barriers within the app. This can be done after setting up a whole outlay of your house.

image showing roomba i7 virtual wall barrier
virtual wall barrier

Easily removable dustbin

The Roomba i7 makes it very seamless to do away with the dust by placing their dustbin on the side of the vacuum cleaner. The eject button too makes it easy. It is just a click away.

The iRobot Home application

From its mother company iRobot, the Roomba i7 can be triggered with and set to carry out automatic cleaning with the iRobot home application.

The application is available for both iPhone and Android users.

To start using your Roomba robot vacuum, you have to set up the application and connect it to the robot. Here is how it is done for first-time users.

 How to set-up the iRobot home application with the Roomba i7

  1. Visit the Google Play Store or App store and search for the iRobot home app
  2. Download and install it on your mobile handset
  3. Activate the Roomba Wi-Fi signal by first making sure that your Roomba i7 has docked well into the charger. Connect the charger into a power plug.
  4. Turn on the Bluetooth on your phone. This will help connect the Roomba to your phone.
  5. Open your iRobot home app, and select the Vacuum cleaning robot option
  6. Click on the Add Roomba option
  7. Select your Wi-Fi hotspot in the app, enter your password to continue.
  8. Activate the Roomba i7’s internal Wi-Fi network by pressing the Home and Spot clean button at the same time for around 2-5 seconds, until you hear a tone.
  9. Confirm the next step by checking the “I pressed all buttons” box and press Continue.
  10.  From this point all, if all steps are successful, you will be able to adjust and control your Roomba i7 from the irobot home app.

The setup guides you simply and easily, from one interface to the next.

The irobot home application enables you to carry out the following functionalities.

  • Set up virtual wall barriers either with a physical cylindrical device or with the phone app
  • Map out your whole house and separate it into segments
  • Saving of cleaning maps
  • Schedule your cleaning patterns, and the cleaning will be done automatically on the chosen days.
  • Customized cleaning experience

Roomba i7 Pros

  • Cliff sensors: These can detect an edge or a ladder drop. This prevents the Roomba i7 from falling down the ladders.
  • Two Rubber brushes working together: The Roomba i7 rubber brushes easily do away with hair stains. More to that, the I7 rubber brushes cannot be broken, like their counterparts from roborock s5, whose main brush is one, and has weaker plastic that can be broken by hard rubbish objects that get stuck during the cleaning process. These rubbers, however, can get stuck in thicker rubbish, like any other robot vacuum cleaner. So when considering the roborock s5 vs roomba i7, it is important to note that the roomba i7 has stronger brushes.
  • It also suggests extra cleaning, in case the room is not clean yet.

Roomba i7 Cons

  • Requires more cleaning times for a spot clean room
  • The device is heavy and large, as compared to its competitors
  • It can get noisy over time
  • It has no mopping functionality unlike the Roborock s5 which does have a mop functionality. This is a major difference in this roborock s5 vs roomba i7 comparison.

Roborock s5 Vs Roomba i7, which is the best?

The Roborock s5 and Roomba i7 both come with great specs which make automated cleaning an easy and swift process. In the table below, we compare the different functionalities of the two robot vacuums. Here are the results.

Roborock s5Roomba i7
Smart MapsYesYes
Recharge and ResumeYesYes
Dustbin size480 mlNot specified by the manufacturer, but smaller as compared to Roborock s5
Drop DetectionYesYes
Run time180 mins (Quiet mode)70 mins
Battery Size5200 mAh1800 mAh
Color optionsBlack, WhiteBlack, White
Water Tank140 mlN/A
Maximum Suction 2000 paNot specified by the manufacturer, but highly recommended for its suction power
Voice Command OptionsSiri, Google Assistant, Amazon AlexaSiri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Final verdict: Roborock s5 vs Roomba i7

The Roborock s5 vs Roomba i7 wars have to be settled at this point of the review journey.

From my vantage point, the Roborock s5, even though it is a bit pricey, can be more reliable and has better specs than the Roomba i7. The definite winner here for us is the roborock s5 because of its better battery power life, mopping feature and bigger dustbin size.

Other than that, both vacuum cleaners are worth a try and you can still check out the roomba i7 if you feel its what you would want.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Roborock s5

1. How many maps can the Roborock s5 cleaner save?

The model S5 can save up to 3 maps. But these maps are not for different floors. You can only create maps for different floors if you have the multi-floor feature supported and enabled.

2. Can I add a small amount of white vinegar to the tank to improve the cleaning outcome?

Usually, adding anything to the water is not advised because the bubble made by the chemical substance in a cleaner may block the filter and cause no water to flow out. You can try it though, and see the outcome. If all is fine, then it is OK to add.  If anything happens to go amiss while mopping, you should clean the tank with water and stop using the cleaner.

3. How does the Roborock s5 work on tiles or uneven tile places?

The user is advised to use it on flat ground. The cleaning performance may be affected on uneven tile places.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Roomba i7

1. If I purchase the roomba i7 can I add the auto empty feature later on?

Yes, you can add the auto empty feature later on. Some users actually buy the i7 separately and then add the bin later.

It is a simple plug and play operation. Simply unplug the old docking station and plug in the new one. The i7 goes right into it without any further programming.

2. Does the Roomba i7 require Wi-Fi or the Wi-Fi is only required if you do it remotely?

No, it does not require Wi-Fi to work. However, if you want to take advantage of all the features you do need a Wi-Fi connection so that the app can sync well with your Vacuum Robot. The app has many more functionalities as we explained in this article.

3. I have a very large home; do I need multiple Roomba i7 devices to clean the whole house?

No. The i7 can cover very large homes of up to 1300 sq. ft. It will actively mop for about an hour, and in case its battery dies out, it automatically goes back to the charging dock. After charging, it will restart from where it stopped.

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