The Roborock S6 MaxV is the best of the Roborock line and one of the most impressive robot vacuums we've come across. It'll do an excellent job of keeping your floors clean and avoiding obstacles, though you can get similar performance out of cheaper models too.
Quick, smart operation
Generally effective cleaning
Intuitive mobile app
You still need to tidy up first
Not the cheapest
Can't climb stairs (yet)
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One minute review
With the Roborock S6 MaxV, how much it appeals to you is going to depend not just on how good it is (which we'll get into), but also how comfortable you are with a robot doing your housework.
We're going to assume you are at least some way inclined towards robo-vacuums if you're reading this review – and if you think one of these gadgets could be a good investment for you then the S6 MaxV will impress you.
Every robot vacuum like this shares a similar set of skills, but the Roborock S6 MaxV is intelligent, easy to operate, and pretty affordable too. It's Roborock's most powerful and advanced model yet, with two cameras and even LiDAR on board to make sure it's efficient in its cleaning and unlikely to get stuck anywhere.
After several hours of cleaning, we came away impressed with just about every aspect of the Roborock S6 MaxV. It can mop as well as vacuum, and left our floors looking pretty spotless – though this does depend to an extent on how dirty they are to begin with, and what settings you have the S6 MaxV configured with. There's 2.5 kPa of suction power here, too, which is more than the average hand vacuum.
Price and availability
The Roborock S6 MaxV is available to buy now, from Amazon and other retailers – you'll need to part with around $749 / £659 (around AU$1,030) to get your hands on it. We'd like to see it sold in a few more places, but this isn't unusual for something from a Chinese manufacturer.
As you'll see if you take a browse around the Roborock website, it has plenty more robot vacuum cleaners in its portfolio if you don't want to spend quite as much as the S6 MaxV costs. At the moment, this is the top of the Roborock range: it's the quietest and most powerful model, with the most suction and the longest battery life.
Design and app
- Simple setup
- Well built, sturdy design
- Intelligent app features
Robot vacuum cleaners are necessarily big, and at 48.8 cm x 40.6 cm x 15.6 cm (19.2 inches x 16 inches x 6.1 inches) this one takes up a significant amount of floor space as it trundles round. The Roborock won't get under every sofa or through every pair of chair legs, but it can make its way up on top of carpets, mats and rugs. It tips the scales at 6.34 kg (13.98 lbs).
Design perhaps isn't the most important factor in a robot vacuum buying decision, but Roborock has done a decent job with the S6 MaxV (it's had plenty of practice, after all). The unit is sleek, well built and robust, with a generous 460 ml dustbin and 300 ml water tank capacity.
Setup shouldn't take you very long at all – you need to find a flat space near a wall to install the dock, you need to download the app, you need to turn on the S6 MaxV itself, and that's about it. Most functions are handled through the app, from cleaning routines to firmware updates, but there is a 'quick start' mode you can start from the device itself that will just clean the current room.
We really like the flexibility you get with the bundled Roborock app: you can set areas and rooms you don't want the droid cleaner to go in, tell it to concentrate on one particular room, and instruct it when to mop and vacuum and when to just vacuum, for example.
There's no real learning curve – everything is straightforward as soon as you open up the app, and that includes switching between the different cleaning and mopping modes.
As an added bonus you can start off a cleaning cycle using your voice, if you connect up the Roborock device to Alexa or Google Assistant through your phone first. The app will also alert you to any maintenance tasks that need to be carried out.
- Strong suction and cleaning
- Optional mopping action
- Does well at avoiding obstacles
Thanks to the dual camera setup on the Roborock S6 MaxV, it can quickly get the lie of a room and adjust its journey across the floor accordingly. If it finds obstacles in the way – a pedestal, a pair of trainers – it will mark these obstructions on the map and even take a photo to show you what they are inside the app. The app will apply a little AI processing to try and identify what the obstacle is, which works most of the time.
You've got five different vacuum power settings to play around with, but even on the 'balanced' one in the middle, we found the S6 MaxV picked up just about everything, leaving wooden laminate and carpet alike looking very clean. If you've got pets at home, you might need to ramp up the suction power accordingly, too.
We were impressed with the way the robot vacuum worked out an efficient way across the floor, and the speed that it worked at too – it covered about 20 square meters (215 square feet) in about half an hour, dropping from 100 percent to 80 percent in terms of battery level. That's a very decent level of performance, especially when you consider the robo-vacuum can go back to its charger if it needs to.
How loud the vacuum cleaner is again depends on the setting you've got it on: in our testing it varied from the level of a quiet hair dryer to the level of a loud hair dryer. It's not going to wake up the neighbors, but you're going to notice it from several rooms away.
The S6 MaxV certainly works as advertised, and it works more quickly, more quietly, more intelligently, and with more suction than a lot of the robot vacuum cleaners we've seen in the past. To some extent these improvements are being seen across models from all the manufacturers in the field as the technology gets better, but the Roborock S6 MaxV really does seem to be helping to lead the way at the moment.
Should you buy the Roborock S6 MaxV?
Buy it if...
You have pets
The Roborock S6 MaxV will ask you if you have pets when you set it up for the first time – and if you answer in the affirmative, it'll make special adjustments for animal hair. It can even avoid pet poop if there's any left behind by your pets.
You have a messy house
We came away from our testing with a great deal of admiration for what the Roborock S6 MaxV could do in terms of obstacle avoidance. Even if you leave a power strip or a pair of shoes in its way, it's smart enough to avoid them until next time.
Don't buy it if...
You're on a tight budget
The Roborock S6 MaxV is by no means the most expensive robot vacuum cleaner on the market, but nor is it the cheapest either – you only need to look at Roborock's own line-up to see that. You might find better value elsewhere, depending on your needs.
You don't want to clean ever again
The Roborock S6 MaxV isn't going to turn a tip of a home into something spotless – these devices aren't yet good enough to replace some serious cleaning from a human being. So you're still going to have to get the normal vacuum cleaner out every once in a while.
- Best vacuum cleaner: from Dyson to Shark and everything in-between
Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.
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