I’ve never been a person who prioritized cleaning the floors. I love a clean house, but I can never find the time to do it. So a few years ago, when I decided to start reviewing robot vacuums, I knew my cleaning prayers were answered. I’ve recently been able to test out some new models of robot vacuums, and the Roborock S4 Max is one of them. I had a chance to have one running in my home for about 4 weeks to test it out and in this review I’ll tell you about its key features, how well it cleans, and about any troubles I had with it.
Roborock S4 Max: What is Roborock S4 Max?
This bot is a straight up robot vacuum, controlled by a smartphone app. While some models can double as mops, this is not one of them, but that’s okay. This robot, just like some other much more expensive models has laser guided navigation and smart mapping built in, which we’ll get to.
What’s the difference between Roborock S4 and S4 max?
The S4 Max is the premium vacuum from Roborock. This version has advanced Multi-level mapping that lets you use it on up to 4 different floors or storeys of the home, it has Automatic Carpet Boost to power dirt out of carpet fibres, a slightly longer cleaning time/battery life so it can clean larger spaces on a single charge. The dustbin is also slightly larger on the S4 Max (S4 Max Dustbin = 460ml; S4 Dustbin = 420ml) and it has a slightly higher threshold climbing capacity, meaning it can get over bigger bumps and humps than other vacuums.
What you get with Roborock S4 Max
In the box you get the botvac and its compact charging base.
Let’s take a quick tour of your bot; it’s got roller brushes underneath and a corner brush. The bot has big 4×4 style wheels to help it get around challenging spaces and on the other side under the hood, is the dustbin.
Laser LiDar navigation: Roborock
So what does Lidar do? This lets the bot ‘see’ around obstacles and in bouncing its lasers off the walls and furniture it can draw a really detailed map of your home; then it knows where it can and can’t go, it knows which obstacles to avoid, and you can delineate specific rooms for dedicated room by room vacuuming. The laser map guidance also means the bot doesn’t slam into table legs and walls at top speed, so it treats your stuff a bit more gently.
After just one pass, my bot had a viewable map, and that’s significantly faster than some other pricier bots. Also, unlike a lot of other bots, the Roborock S4 is ready for you to label and customize your home map for room-specific cleaning right from the get-go (other bots need days or weeks of repeated passes to create the map).
Using Roborock app
I’ll quickly point out you can start, stop and send your robot home using buttons on the top of the device, but the real power comes in the free Roborock app; it’s your control center for cleaning; you can start and stop cleanups, set multiple schedules, use virtual walls or no-go zones, choose your cleaning power and create your home maps and label rooms for room-by-room vacuuming.
Roborock says it’s hard to trap: true
Roborock makes a point on its website of saying the S4 is “hard to trap” and that it’s “engineered to escape the areas where others would get stuck.” I can say I found this to be true during my testing; I was also reviewing another very similar botvac at the same time and that bot would get stuck constantly, while the RoboRock S4 was able to give me a thorough clean, and return to base without incident. I never saw it get stuck once.
In terms of its ability to get over taller obstacles, I can say that’s true also; it was never hung up on trim, edges or rugs while that other bot was.
I can confidently say that of all the robot vacuums I’ve ever tested, this one probably got stuck the least; it needed almost zero rescuing or help from me.
Suction power on carpet: How well does Roborock clean?
Roborock says the S4 is “built for a Deeper Clean, with Intense suction, able to lift AA batteries, easily lifts dust off floors and pulls it out from inside carpets.” Powerful HyperForce™ suction creates up to 2000Pa1 of suction power, pulling dirt and pet hair off wooden floors as easily as it dredges it up out of carpets. Ideal for picking up after messy kids and hairy pets.
That’s the marketing pitch, but I can say I was quite impressed with how well the Roborock S4 was able to clean the carpets and rugs in the house.
When I emptied out the dustbin I noticed it picked up everything from very fine dust to bigger debris, pet hair to pieces of plastic.
Different floor surfaces: How well does RoboRock S4 clean
The Roborock S4 was easily able to handle the different types of floor surfaces in my space; I had carpet, rugs, tile and hardwood and it cleaned each one well, and was even able to navigate some taller transitions without getting stuck, unlike another bot I tried. It got dirt out of grout and from inside grooves.
I tested it on dedicated messes I created, and had it pick up flour, oatmeal, and cracker pieces and I can say it does a great job with all of it.
Dustbin emptying: needs to happen often
The onboard dustbin on this vacuum is what I’d call (after reviewing more than a dozen other robot vacuums) standard size. It really needs to be emptied after every use. Oddly I didn’t seem to get any kind of alerts from the app if this bin was full; neither push notifications nor passive alerts. That would be nice if it could issue reminders.
Battery life & cleaning time on Roborock S4 Max
The robot stays on its charging base so it should always be ready to go. With a full battery, Roborock says the S4 will non-stop for up to 180 minutes, equivalent to almost 300 square metres (3200sqft).
I can confirm the bot cleaned my entire main floor space, about 1500 square feet, in one pass, without needing to recharge.
Easy to manage maps: delineate rooms for specific cleans
The mapping function of the robot is great and I was able to see a detailed and accurate map of my home. The robot becomes even more useful when you can use that map to better control it.
After about 2 weeks of three times per week use I decided to explore the room and mapping functions. There was already a map created, and the app prompted me to save it and add labeling.
The app lets you draw lines between rooms, merge areas and label them for more specific cleaning. The app is easy to use and manage and I was able to get my home labeled in no time, then 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. Brilliant. This allowed me to simply and easily clean different rooms on different days, which means you can do quicker and more targeted cleanups so you don’t always need to do a whole house clean.
Noise level: is Roborock S4 Max noisy?
Of course, folks always want to know how noisy these bots are. I’d say the Roborock S4 Max is about average when it comes to noise levels, and maybe a touch quieter than that. It does make a noticeable boost in noise when it hits carpets, but it’s not deafening.
Overall review RoboRock S4 Max
Overall I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been with this botvac. Having never tried Roborock before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was blown away by the premium features, the deep clean and the ultra-easy to use app. I can definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a robot vacuum.
Available from Amazon’s US store, the Roborock doesn’t appear to be shipping to Canada right now, but I hope it will be soon because I really like it and think my Canadian friends would as well!