We’ve seen rapid developments in the home-cleaning appliance game. First, upright vacuums slimmed down to become cordless stick vacs. Next, robotic vacuum cleaners came and took the market by storm. But nowadays, we expect more from robots, and just vacuuming won’t do the trick. That’s why manufacturers are creating more robot-mop combo bots to kill two very annoying birds with one disc-shaped robot.
Two very highly regarded robot vacuum cleaners are the Roborock S5 Max and S6 from Xiaomi. The S5 Max is the newer model with a ton of different upgrades, leaving the original S5 in its proverbial dust. But how does it fare against the likes of the time-tested Roborock S6? Let’s find out together.
S5 Max and S6
Both of these Roborock models can deliver up to 2,000-Pa of pressure on their highest setting. Even though this isn’t the strongest suction available in a robotic vacuum, Xiaomi boasts that these two robots are able to lift heavy AA batteries without choking! With this much suction power, removing ingrained dirt from medium-pile carpeting is a breeze for these bots.
Total Water Shutoff
S5 Max and S6
One of the most dangerous things about vacuum-mop combo bots is a leaky water tank while docked. If the tank leaks, not only does it pose a problem to its sensitive electrical circuitry, but the leak may also create a slipping hazard for you and your loved ones. Both the S5 Max and S6 are equipped with Total Water Shutoff – a feature that prevents leaking from occurring to save water and leave enough for their next mopping cycle.
Full App Control
S5 Max and S6
As you would expect, the latest Roborock vacuum cleaners come with Wi-Fi connectivity. When you download the Mi Home App on your smartphone, you will gain access to several of these robots’ programmable features, the most noteworthy of which we’ll discuss later next.
S5 Max and S6
Many modern robots can be blocked from entering a certain room or space of your home by setting up physical towers. These Roborock robots don’t need such a system; instead, using the downloadable app on your smart device, you can edit stored map to create digital barriers to create no-go zones for these robots. You won’t need to worry about accidentally tripping over physical barriers and towers to set up these robots.
The great thing about these robots’ navigation systems is that they allow the robot to store a digital layout of your home. This not only saves battery (doesn’t need to re-scan the area every time it’s booted up), but it also gives the robot a chance to create the most efficient path. The S5 Max lets you store one floor of your home. When moving the robot to different floors, sadly, it’ll save over the map of another floor.
You don’t have this problem with the S6. Instead of having just one save slot for one floor, the S6’s system offers three slots for three different floors of your home. Unless you live in a mansion, one Roborock S6 will suffice at cleaning multiple floors in your home without needing to re-scan the area every time it’s turned on.
Conclusion: You can probably already grasp the convenience of the S6’s three-map storage. Of course, this can be overkill if you live in a one-floor apartment or home, where the S5 Max’s memory would be just fine.
Selective Room Cleaning
S5 Max and S6
The great thing about the Mi Home App is that it allows you to select which particular areas of your home to clean. By accessing the map, you can simply tap which areas you’d like these robots to vacuum and mop, and they’ll never cross any digital thresholds. This works sort of like setting up wide no-go zones, but you don’t need to take the charging dock’s location into account when choosing rooms.
You’d think that creating no-mop zones would be standard with digital barriers, but in fact, the opposite is true. The S5 Max’s mapping system covers this by letting you select which areas of your home don’t need mopping. By accessing the map, you can mark which areas of your floors are covered in carpeting, and the S5 Max will keep its wipe and tankful of water away.
Unfortunately, the S6 does not provide this feature. The good news is that you can still technically create no-mop zones simply by detaching the wipe from the robot’s bottom before setting up different cleaning zones. Of course, that’s just how it is in most vacuum-mop combo bots.
Conclusion: This is an extremely helpful feature if you have rooms covered in carpeting. Even with the water tank on board, you won’t need to worry about the robot accidentally wiping your carpets with its moist pad. We’re a bit saddened that the S6 doesn’t have this feature, but there are several ways around it.
The sad truth about robotic vacuum cleaners is that although they’re extremely convenient, they’re not perfect. For instance, they mapping sensors may not be able to detect every room, and you’re left working with whatever’s missing on the digital map. The S5 Max’s mapping system completely eradicates this problem by allowing users to create rooms and partitions when accessing the map. No area of your floors will ever be left uncleanable since you have full editing control over the stored map.
The S6, though one of the most advanced vacuum-mop bots out there, doesn’t offer the same map modifiability. If the robot doesn’t scan a certain part of a room, you’ll need to send to bot to head back and re-scan the area to detect hidden spaces.
Conclusion: This is one of the most notable upgrades from the S5 Max’s navigation compared to its predecessor. Even the S6, a new model with supposedly more bells and whistles than the S5, is missing mad editing. The good thing is that these robots aren’t notorious for missing areas while scanning – this is just an insurance measure to ensure that the S5 Max won’t skip any vacuum-able areas.
S5 Max and S6
Adaptive routing teaches these robots how to create the most efficient cleaning path to save as much battery as possible. Compared to the original S5, the S5 Max and S6 are, according to Xiaomi, able to clean up to 20% more per charge. Of course, with auto-recharge and resume, you probably won’t need to worry about these robots being unable to complete an entire vacuuming and/or mopping cycle on its own, but we’re glad to see that they don’t travel a seemingly random path.
S5 Max and S6
The old S5 was only able to run for about 150 minutes continuously on standard power mode. Now, the S5 Max’s battery can match that of the S6 – both of them can run for up to 3 hours constantly before needing to recharge. When their sensors indicate a low battery, they’ll run straight to their charging docks to refuel before picking up where it left off.
Even though auto-recharge and resume are extremely handy features, Xiaomi found a way to improve these functions on the S5 Max. Before the S5 Max goes back to charge, it’ll calculate how much of its cleaning cycle has yet to be completed. If, for instance, your floors are 20% from being fully vacuumed, the S5 Max will recharge its battery only to enough to complete its cycle. Afterward, it’ll chill in charging dock until called upon.
The S6 doesn’t have this feature. Like many other robotic vacuum cleaners, when it senses a low battery, it’ll head straight to its charging dock to completely refill its battery. After reaching 100% capacity, then it’ll jump out and pick up where it left off.
Conclusion: The smart top-up feature of the S5 Max is an upgrade we foresee will become commonplace in future robotic vacuum cleaners. When there’s only a few square feet of floor left to clean, the robot won’t have to wait for 3 hours to fully charge – instead, the S5 Max will charge for as long as it takes to complete the its cleaning cycle.
We’re happy to report that the Roborock S5 Max is a lot – a WHOLE lot – better than the original Roborock S5. Its upgraded features put it at a higher level than the S5 could ever hope to achieve. But that’s not what you’re here for; if you’d like our take on whether the S5 Max is superior to the Roborock S6, then our answer would be a resounding maybe. The S6’s multi-map storage is something that many homes would benefit from. Of course, you could always let the S5 Max roam free in different floors of your home to scan the layout prior to vacuuming, but doing this every time you switch floors can be more than annoying.