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The ULTIMATE robot vacuum? I review Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vacuum & mop in my home

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Erin L

Erin L

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewUltra. Max. Pro. Robot vacuums are apparently on the smartphone train when it comes to updates and new iterations, not to mention naming conventions. It seems like each year brands release a new botvac model that promises to do more and clean better. Roborock has launched its new for 2023 Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vacuum and mop. So what’s new, does it clean better, and it it worth the high price tag? In this review I’ll put it to the test in my home, see how well it cleans and what the new features are all about. I’ll wrap things up by telling you if I think I can recommend this vac-mop for you.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
5

Summary

Roborock has another winner here. While the upgrades aren’t massive or game changing, they’re thoughtful and go the distance to making this a must-have bot-vac-mop. Primarily the new design tweaks make it a little nicer to look at, and the suction increase has produced improved cleaning in my tests, meaning it’s able to do its job masterfully.

 

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning power
  • Thorough vacuuming
  • Mopping works well even with flat pad
  • Carpets stay dry while mopping
  • Self cleaning is excellent
  • Never gets stuck
  • New design is nicer

Cons

  • Base station is large
  • Price may be a barrier
  • Some users may prefer scrubbing pads to flat mop plate

What is Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and what can it do?

In short, this is a robot vacuum that mops, going beyond that to also empty its onboard dustbin into a sealed bag, then wash and dry its mop to avoid musty odors. It has advanced object recognition and hazard detection which should mean it’s supremely able to avoid getting caught on everything from socks and cords, to rug tassels and curtains. With a vibrating mopping pad that’s washable it can help scrub light dirt from floors too.

Unlike some other bots, this one uses a vibrating flat pad to mop the floors, as opposed to scrubbing round microfibre brushes.

What’s new with Roborock S8 Pro Ultra?

If you’re looking at this vacuum, chances are you’ve already scoped out the Roborock S7 Max V Ultra. Launched about a year ago, that was the flagship vacuum mop from Roborock that had some pretty advanced features. I was a big fan of that roving floor cleaner, giving it high marks in my full review of the S7 Max V Ultra. Even so it had a few flaws; key among them was that it wasn’t as thorough at vacuuming.

What’s the difference between Roborock S7 Max V Ultra and Roborock S8 Pro Ultra? In truth, not very much at all. The major upgrades are the design of the waste and water bins which now have a plastic enclosure wrapped around the front, there’s a slight upgrade to the suction on the S8 (up to 6,000Pa from 5500), and better ‘brush lifting’. The S8 also adds automatic mop drying which the S7 Max V Ultra didn’t have. Those minor improvements aside, it seems like Roborock has also increased the price. Base price on the S8 Pro Ultra is now $1599, while the S7 Max V Ultra is $1399US.

Battery life, dustbin and tank capacity, battery size and runtime all hold steady.

Set up

Getting the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra set up was quite easy. Though the box is huge and there seem to be a lot of parts and pieces, everything goes together intuitively and it’s easy to get things set up.
In the box you get the base station, and the robot unit itself. In the base station there are three bins; one holds a sealed vacuum bag for emptying the robot’s on-board dustbin, the other is a fresh water tank, and the third holds dirty water.

After unpacking everything and plugging it in, you’ll just fill the fresh water tank, and there is already a vacuum bag installed for you. Then use the Roborock app to get connected to your home’s Wi-Fi and gain control using the app.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewGetting things paired takes just a few clicks and includes entering your home Wi-Fi password. In under five minutes my S8 robot was ready to go.

Design

One of the knocks I had on the S7 version was that it was very plastic-forward and looked kind of utilitarian. In the previous version, each of the bins was visible and it seemed like a Roborock was more concerned with showing off what it could do, and less concerned with having it blend in. I’m glad to say it looks like there’s a bit of a compromise that’s been made here since the new iteration now features a plastic faceplate across the front that gives it a bit of a smoother look. While it’s still not what I would call pretty, it is an improvement and I appreciate the effort.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewThe Roborock S8 Pro Ultra does take up a very large space in your home, however given all this bot-vac and mop does is probably not surprising. The footprint of the full device when docked measures about 17 deep x 18 high x 20 wide and you will definitely need to find dedicated space for it to live, where the bot also has enough space to back out of its garage easily. You also need access to a plug.

Cleaning performance

When I test out a robot vacuum in my home, I try each one out in the same way: I spill flour, sugar, rice or oats and crackers on both carpet and hard floors.
When, like this robot, they’re also mops, I also spill juice or sauce just to see what they do, though I will note vac-mops like these are not designed to sop up large or wet spills. They’re simply designed to give your floors a light wipe to keep dust and light dirt at bay.
I was really happy with the cleaning prowess of the S8 Pro Ultra. The bot was easily able to clean all types of dust and dirt from my hardwood floors and the mopping pad is a helpful follow up to the vacuuming, since that damp wipe-down helps keep any lingering dust at bay.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewWith small liquid spills, again, this is not designed to vacuum them up, but to wipe them with the damp mop. While my testing showed liquids did get smeared around a bit on initial passes, in subsequent passes it wiped up every last spot.

One thing that might be worth noting is that this mop cleans with water only. The bot will fill its hidden and inaccessible onboard water tank with clean water, then use that to saturate the mopping pad. It then uses the pad to wipe across your floors, hence, my calling it, a light wipe down. While I would really love to see Roborock introduce the ability to use soap in this machine, that’s not yet an option.

I will say I reviewed a bot that does used cleaning solution recently, the Narwal Freo, and while it’s lemon basil cleaner was nice, the robot did a terrible job which you can learn more about in my full review. So maybe soap is overrated.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewSince the onboard water tank for the mop is quite small, the base station keeps it full and in my testing it took about 2 weeks of semi-regular use for it to need refilling. You can hear it draining and filling during the cleaning process, and a re-filling cycle takes about 2-3 minutes.

On carpets I can say that in my testing the S8 Ultra performed better than its predecessor in my tests. It was able to do a thorough job on its own with daily dirt, then with dedicated tests like spilled oats or rice, it was able to get about 99% of the debris.

Getting stuck: not a problem

Roborock vacuums have an outstanding ability to avoid obstacles and keep from getting tangled and stuck. That Narwal Freo robot I mentioned earlier got the worst score ever for obstacle avoidance. That vacuum got stuck on every single cleaning mission to the point where I couldn’t get weight to get rid of it. So I was a bit jaded, going into testing the S8.

I am more than thrilled to report that in my several weeks of testing this robot, vacuum and mop did not get stuck one single time on anything. The object, recognition and hazard avoidance is bar-none in this robot. In fact, of the several dozen robots I’ve tried over the last few years, I’d say with confidence Roborock get stuck the least of any brand.

Features

Self Cleaning

With many robot vacuums, you absolutely need to empty their onboard dust bin and or refill their mopping tanks at least once per day or after every cleaning outing. While it’s not a major chore, some think it’s a dirty job and most of us would rather not deal with it. That’s where the Roborock Empty Wash Fill Dock comes in.

When the S8 is finished it returns to its base for recharging. While it’s there the Empty Wash Fill Dock evacuates the vacuum’s onboard dustbin into a sealed vacuum bag, it refill the mop’s on-board water tank, then it runs a wash cycle on the mopping pad. Following the wash, there’s a warm air drying cycle, which is a new feature since the S7 Max V Ultra.
The drying cycle takes a couple of hours but it’s virtually silent. When I first reviewed the S7 I wasn’t entirely convinced the robot self-cleaning was doing much. Because it’s happening inside the base station and underneath the bot, there’s really nothing you can see.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewHere’s what’s really going on: water floods the tray underneath the mopping pad and then it gets suctioned up. Then a wand rolls underneath and squeezes the dirty water from the pad, and inhales that dirty water into the bin for later emptying. The proof is in that dirty water bin: When I dumped it, the water was brown and stinky, so something is definitely getting done under there.
In short, I feel like the Empty Wash Fill Dock is a great feature of this robot that cuts way down on the amount of emptying, refilling and maintenance you need to do.

VibraRise mopping system

If you’re asking yourself how your robot vacuum and mop avoids moistening the carpets, there are two key features at work; one is that the robot can sense carpet, and the other is that when it does, it has the ability to lift it’s mopping plate from the floor. Roborock dubs this VibraRise and the effect is subtle but noticeable; the mopping plate lifts and clears most carpets by a few millimetres and means your carpets never get even the least bit damp. This technology is impressively successful. New on the S8 Pro Ultra is improved mop lifting, which should make it even more effective on higher pile carpets.

Camera is there but not accessible?

The S7 Max V Ultra has a camera in the front of the bot which played a role in navigation but you could also use it as a roving security camera. The camera still exists in the S8 version, but I can no longer see that there’s a way to access it and view the feed. This is fine as far as I’m concerned since it wasn’t a feature I wanted, needed or actually used anyway.

App: room labeling, smart scheduling, voice control

Some of these other features won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s had their eye on a robot vacuum or mop. Using the Roborock app, it’s possible to create rooms and zones in your house so you can schedule room by room or zone-specific cleaning.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewWhen the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra first heads out it will use all of its technology and visualization to draw a map of your home which is saved inside the Roborock app. The map is generated after just one outing; it’s that good. Then you can go in and delineate rooms and label them. This will allow you to set timed cleaning schedules to have various rooms vacuumed on specific days, or to do a daily swipe and wipe of the hallways, for example. Roborock’s app is extremely easy to navigate and pretty easy to figure out how to manage your rooms in the app.

Clean zones

In the same way you can name rooms, you can create specific cleaning ‘zones’ in your house inside the Roborock app. Zones differ from rooms in that they are moveable, or they can be special areas that allow you to focus the cleaning on a particular area within a room. One example of this would be busy work triangle in your kitchen or the high traffic area around the front door. Establishing these zones is done with a few clicks inside the app and if you name them intelligently, you can even ask your virtual digital assistant to clean them.

Google & Alexa voice control

Speaking of our digital butlers, you can link your Roborock app to either Google or Alexa and even set up commands for Siri for hands-free voice control. Just say things like, “Alexa, clean the kitchen,” or “OK Google, wash the hallways” and your robot vac-mop will head out for its mission.
Depending which assistant you want to use, there are different methods of set up, which I’m not going to take time with here. I had my bot connected to Google Assistant in minutes and was easily able to ask it to clean.

Adjustable suction & waterflow

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewThis floor cleaning robot is able to adjust both the vacuum suction power ( 4 levels from Quiet to Max) and the mopping scrubbing intensity (3 levels from Mild to Intense)

Overall review: Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Overall, Roborock has another winner here. While the upgrades aren’t massive or game changing, they’re thoughtful and go the distance to making this a must-have bot-vac-mop. Primarily the new design tweaks make it a little nicer to look at, and the suction increase has produced improved cleaning in my tests, meaning it’s able to do its job masterfully.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vac reviewIt obliterates any of the tedium of robot vacuum ownership like forgetting to empty the dust bin, fill the water tank, or wash the mopping pad. The maintenance tanks are large and give you lots of cleaning time before you need to tend to them. The mop washing process seems to work very well and the robot stays tidy and stink-free. When it comes to overall cleaning power, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is a very capable vacuum that’s easily able to keep my floors clean. I appreciate that the mopping and vacuum suction are adjustable; able to give me a quick quiet vacuum if I’m on a Zoom call, or a full deep clean while I’m out of the house. It also cleans extremely well, it avoids virtually all possible hazards and it never gets stuck.

The mopping, while not a substitute for a full floor mop, does help keep dust, dirty dog paw prints and light dirt managable.

So what are the downsides? Primarily that the base takes up a lot of floor real estate and some owners may find it challenging to place it. But overall if you want a dual purpose robot vacuum and mop with all the basics and a host of special features too, that can clean and maintain itself, I can definitely recommend the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra.

It sells for about $1599USD and you can get it from Roborock’s website.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

4 Comments

  1. Joseph on June 5, 2023 at 5:34 am

    Great review as always Erin!

    • Erin L on July 11, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks so much Joseph!

  2. Pauline on June 4, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    What a time saver,Seeing as the whole household has a different shift.Thankyou for the review

    • Erin L on July 11, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks Pauline!

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