We take a look at the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, one of the most popular robot vacuums to date. Spoiler – the reason it is so popular, is because it’s pretty darn good.
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra builds upon the success of its predecessor, the standard S7 model, which has become a popular choice among robot vacuum enthusiasts. The MaxV Ultra was the first fully automated floor cleaning robot that can be set and forgotten for up to two months. It is available in three versions: Ultra, Plus, and Standard, all of which share the same robot but with different dock features.
The normal version of the MaxV Ultra comes with a regular base that requires daily emptying. In contrast, the Plus version includes an auto-emptying base, similar to the S7 Plus. The Ultra version takes it a step further by not only emptying the vacuum but also refilling the mop and cleaning the mopping pads. In this review, we will focus on the Ultra version, but most aspects discussed here apply to the other models as well.
So, what’s new on this robot compared to its predecessors, the S6 MaxV and the standard S7? First and foremost, it boasts an impressive 5,100 pascals of suction, making it twice as powerful as the S7 and in line with other flagship robots. While suction power doesn’t always directly correlate with cleaning performance, we put the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra through our standardized tests to demonstrate its cleaning capabilities thoroughly.
The “MaxV” in the name refers to the obstacle detection system. Unlike its predecessor, which had two cameras that struggled in shadowed areas, the S7 MaxV combines a camera with a 3D LDS sensor, resulting in a more robust and efficient obstacle detection system. The performance of this system is showcased in action later in the video, proving its effectiveness.
In addition to these key features, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra offers improved room recognition and cleaning recommendations, along with 3D mapping capabilities. It also includes a light, a two-way mic and speaker system, and various other enhancements that contribute to its overall functionality.
One standout feature of the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is its Ultra base, which has excited many users. Some enthusiasts have even dubbed it the “Rock-Dock.” Traditionally, when mopping floors, users alternate between cleaning the floor and the mop itself. However, the Ultra dock enables the robot to mimic this process. Users can initiate a cleaning session, and the robot will vacuum and mop the floor. When the mopping pads become dirty, it will return to the base to wash them and refill the water tank. The robot then resumes cleaning from where it left off, avoiding unnecessary repetition. The frequency of docking can be adjusted through the app, offering flexibility and convenience. This innovation is a significant step forward for robot mops, as it ensures effective cleaning without smearing dirt around the floor. The Ultra dock features a 3L clean water tank and a 2.5L dirty tank, providing ample capacity for extended cleaning sessions.
When it comes to navigation, the Roborock S7 MaxV sets a new standard. Having used it in various houses, including larger ones, I can confidently say that its navigation capabilities surpass those of any other robot vacuum I’ve tested. It still relies on LiDAR technology, which involves a constant scanning of the room using lasers. While most LiDAR robots are impressive, the MaxV takes it a step further with its exceptionally precise and methodical navigation, thanks to enhanced software.
What sets the MaxV apart is the integration of 3D sensors that contribute to proactive route planning. Unlike other robots where object detection cameras simply prevent the robot from getting stuck, the MaxV’s 3D sensors actively assist the robot in planning its path. The effectiveness of this feature is remarkable, and it ensures smoother and more efficient cleaning.
The quick mapping feature is another noteworthy addition to the MaxV. Although it’s currently a bit hidden in the app, it offers significant time-saving benefits. With quick mapping, the robot scans each room individually instead of attempting to clean the entire house while learning the map. This feature is particularly valuable for those new to robot vacuums, as it eliminates the need for extensive setup and learning time. Additionally, the MaxV’s mapping capabilities include virtual barriers, allowing users to draw lines in the app to prevent the robot from crossing certain areas. This feature proves incredibly useful and is a must-have for any robot vacuum.
The smart mapping capabilities of the MaxV are equally impressive. Users can assign the robot to specific rooms through the app and even customize water flow rates and suction levels for each room. The robot recognizes the type of furniture present in each room and provides tailored suggestions for optimal cleaning settings. However, it’s worth noting that like other LiDAR robots, the MaxV may inadvertently detect and include outdoor areas through glass doors or windows in its floorplan. Fortunately, this can be easily addressed by adding invisible walls in the app.
While the 3D mapping feature shows potential, it still feels somewhat gimmicky at this stage. However, it may improve over time with further development. An interesting capability of the MaxV is the option to scan a room using your phone for enhanced accuracy, utilizing the LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pros and above. This feature gives a glimpse into the future possibilities of robot vacuums.
The remote access feature, allowing remote viewing and communication through the robot, may be considered a gimmick by some. However, for those who want to monitor their pets or keep an eye on their home, it can be a valuable addition. I know some people are wary of allowing cameras into their home… this it outside my paygrade, but if you are concerned, you may prefer the S7 or the newer S8 Pro Ultra.
As for mopping, the MaxV utilizes the same ultrasonic mopping system found in the standard S7 model. This system, characterized by rapid pad vibrations, effectively cleans and maintains floors. While the MaxV performs slightly better due to its weight, the ultrasonic system remains on par with other advanced mopping options available. It excels at regular maintenance but may not remove deep stains. However, the MaxV’s ability to keep the mop clean and pre-soak it before cleaning greatly enhances its effectiveness in everyday cleaning tasks.
The inclusion of 3D object detection in the MaxV is a significant improvement over the standard S7. This feature helps the robot avoid small objects on the floor, such as cables, socks, or shoelaces, which could otherwise get jammed in the roller brush. The MaxV’s 3D camera and additional laser array on the front bumper efficiently identify potential hazards and provide accurate notifications in the app.
It’s actually scarily accurate at spotting shoes, cables, and even the dreaded pet waste. While no robot vacuum guarantees to never get stuck, Vacuum Wars has recently conducted an awesome comparison with alternatives from other brands that confirms the S7 MaxV is as good as it gets.
With most robot vacuums, you usually have to do a lot of house preparation before sending the robot out. However, I believe the S7 MaxV will be fine in most homes without any prep at all, thanks to its advanced system.
But let’s talk about some minor cons. Firstly, despite the increased suction power, the S7 MaxV still has the same 5,200mAH lithium-ion battery as its predecessor. This means that using the full suction power regularly drains the battery quickly. In reality, you probably won’t need maximum suction power for routine cleaning. Instead, you’ll likely customize it to use full suction only in specific areas and leave it on medium suction the rest of the time.
Secondly, while the S7 MaxV performs really well on standard mode, it isn’t the absolute best for pet hair on carpet. It’s still quite good, but it may struggle a bit with specific types of hair, like rag doll cat hair on deep pile carpet. However, this is a very specific scenario, and most users won’t encounter any issues.
Another limitation is that the S7 MaxV’s mop lifting feature only lifts 5mm. While this is sufficient for most homes, if you have particularly deep pile carpet, especially if it’s white, the wheels may sink in a bit, preventing the mop from lifting adequately. However, it’s important to note that no other robot vacuum offers this function at all. If you do face this issue, you can simply set a “no mop zone” in that area to avoid any complications.
One additional consideration is that if you have multiple levels in your home, the S7 MaxV can’t return to the base to clean the mop pads. In such cases, if you have multiple small levels, the Ultra base may not be justified.
Overall, I believe the S7 MaxV can claim to be the first fully automated floor cleaning system. Its advanced features and intelligent mapping capabilities make it the smartest robot on the market. Despite the hefty price tag, I don’t think anyone will regret investing in this top-of-the-line vacuum. I highly recommend it, especially for large homes, as it can save multiple floor plans and performs equally well on carpets and hard floors.
However, I understand that the price may be a determining factor for some. If you’re considering whether to go for the S7 MaxV or opt for the S7 Plus or the basic S7 due to their significantly lower prices, it really depends on your specific requirements and budget. As someone who generally prefers spending the minimal amount necessary to achieve the desired result, I would typically recommend the basic S7. But in this case, I’m surprised to say that the S7 MaxV Ultra justifies its price tag. Its features enhance the fundamental purpose of the robot, making it more automated and convenient. If you can afford it, I believe the S7 Max is worth the investment. However, don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch that far. The S7 standard version will still do an excellent job with all the basics.