Review: Roborock Q5+ robot vacuum & empty station

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Erin Lawrence

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewRoborock is probably one of the top three best known robot vacuum manufacturers in the world. To keep on top of the market, the company releases new vacuum products often. The latest release is the Roborock Q5+.

Because there are so many different products with all kinds of different features and options, it can be tough to understand exactly what you’re getting. In this review I’ll share with you what happened after I spent a few weeks with the Roborock Q5+ (and the plus in the name simply indicates that the auto empty base and recharging station is included in the package).

What is Roborock Q5+?

This robot vacuum is a bit of a puzzle for me… I’ve reviewed quite literally dozens of robot vacuums, and for the most part they all have one or two key features that make them stand out. With this one I’m kind of struggling to figure out what that is.

With some bots they are ultra low priced. With others they add a scrubbing mop, or even a car wash style self cleaning base. This one to me kind of just seems like a basic vacuum robot with an automatic disposal base. You’d probably put this one in the same category with something like the iRobot J7+.

What’s in the box?

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewInside the box you’re getting the Self-Empty Dock, with an extra vacuum bag, plus the Q5 bot.

The dock comes in two parts that you will simply screw together.

The dock is where your robot will go to automatically empty its onboard dustbin into a 2.5 L dust bag which Roborock says should be good for up to seven weeks of cleaning, depending mostly on your frequency of use. The dust bag also helps to filter the air and remove 99.7% of pollen to keep the air clean.

Set up: easy as pie

Getting this vacuum robot set up is fairly straightforward, as has been my experience with pretty much every Roborock but I have tried. You plug-in the base station and let the vac get a full charge. Then use the Roborock app to connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi.
Next up you’ll want to send it out to create a map of your home so you can really take advantage of the robot’s smarts.

Laser LiDar navigation: Roborock

The Roborock Q5+ has the ability to ‘see’ around obstacles in your home thanks to its navigation technology which it also uses this to draw a really detailed map of your home. With the map drawn, you can name specific rooms for room by room cleaning. That laser mapping also means the vacuum doesn’t accelerate into table legs and walls, so it cleans a bit more gently.

After just one outing, my vacuum had created a usable map, and that’s significantly faster than some other pricier bots. Also, unlike a lot of other bots, the Roborock Q5 is ready for you to label and customize your home map right from the get-go (other bots need days of repeated passes to create the map).

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewUsing the Roborock app

Not surprisingly you can start, stop and direct your robot home using the buttons on the top of the vacuum, but the real power comes in the Roborock app: You can start and stop cleanups, set multiple schedules, create virtual barriers or no-go areas, choose your cleaning power and adjust your home maps or re-label rooms.

The app lets you create dividers between rooms, merge spaces and label them for more specific cleaning. The app is easy to understand and to find the controls and settings for things, so I was able to get my home labeled quickly. Dividing, merging and labelling my rooms was a breeze.

The next time I wanted to do a targeted clean of my hallway, I was able to choose that area on my map, and send out the bot. I was also able to schedule vacuuming of different rooms on different days.

3D mapping: looks cool, feels gimmicky

Roborock uses what it calls PreciSense LIDAR mapping that enables it to produce a 3-D map of your home so both you and the robot can have a clearer understanding of your homes layout and interpret it accordingly.

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewWhile the bot will draw a 2-D floorplan that’s quite accurate, if you want to fool around with the 3D maps, you do need to go in yourself after that 2-D version is created. From there you can use what’s called the Matrix to scan the rest of your home and the furniture, to create an even more detailed map. You can even identify the different types of flooring for your robot. (See how it works in my video review.)

Now while this looks pretty cool and I do definitely feel like I’m wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses and talking to Keanu Reeves while using the app… I’m not clear that it actually does anything more than the two dimensional map does. I suppose it might help you orient yourself better when you are looking for targeted areas to be cleaned, but apart from that it feels a bit gimiciky. But it does work well and it’s accurate.

Supports multiple floors

The Roborock Q5 supports multi-storey mapping. All you have to do is put the robot down on whichever floor (no additional docks, and no need to identify different levels inside the app) and the robot will figure everything out for you and draw a detailed map of each floor in your app. Up to four levels are supported inside the app.

How well does Roborock Q5+ clean?

With all my robot vacuums I put them all through the same tests; I sprinkle finer flour, spill bits like oatmeal or rice, and drop larger cracker pieces onto both carpets and hard floors. In these cleaning tests the Robo rock you 5+ did an outstanding job at picking up almost every last speck of dirt. Its cleaning abilities are extremely thorough. Check out the cleaning tests in the video review.

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewThe robot was great at going out on a cleaning mission and then returning to the base station to empty it’s on board dustbin. Unlike another bot I have been testing recently, it seems to have no issue with anything clogging on the inside, and it is successfully able to evacuate it’s insides without issue.

It also has carpet boost, where the robot recognizes when it’s on carpet and boosts suction, to power dirt from fibres better. This feature is noticeable due to an audible rise in noise and suction airflow, and it seems to keep carpets very clean.

Battery life, runtime & charging

With a high capacity 5200 mA hour battery and 470 mL dustbin you get long lasting cleaning that can easily tackle most homes in a single outing.

I can confirm that the Q5 was able to clean my entire main floor of about 1000 ft.² in a single outing. It did not need to come back to the dock to recharge.

Google and Alexa support

roborock Q5+ robot vacuum reviewI’ve been reviewing several robot vacuums over the last few weeks and a few of them have given me major problems. So it was refreshing to find the Q5 connected to my Google Home app all on its own, and I was easily able to ask Google Assistant to send it out for a cleaning.

Overall review: Roborock Q5+

Overall this robot vacuum is refreshingly easy to use, easy to set up and it cleans amazingly well. In all of my cleaning tasks performed flawlessly, I never had any issues with the app or software, and overall the entire device is a joy to use. When it comes to downsides, this is perhaps not the most attractive robot vacuum and bass station combo out there; there are slightly more refined designs available. But that’s me being nitpicky. There’s absolutely nothing you won’t like when it comes to the entire Q5 package.

I can absolutely recommend Roborock Q5 plus to you for all of your smart home cleaning needs. It sells for about $699USD with the self empty dock, and $429 for just the robot.


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