This robot cleaner is one of the smartest yet. It can identify and avoid obstacles (including pet poop) and its suction power is top tier. Plus, it has a full-colour camera that you can view remotely from your phone for a robot’s eye look at your home.
But all that comes at a price, and in the case of the S6 Max V, that price is measured very literally in the large number of notes you’ll have to shell out to take it home. But could it be worth it? Read our full review to find out.
If you’d like to see our top-reviewed robot cleaners and find out how the S6 Max V measures up, have a look at our round-up of the best we’ve tested.
With a couple of exceptions, robot cleaners tend to look much the same and while the S6 Max V shares the inevitable oversized puck shape, it’s a little more polished. It has a subtly sparkly finish and the Lidar tower has a metallic sheen.
It has a 35cm diameter and it stands approximately 10cm high. If you’re considering buying this, or any robot vacuum cleaner, it’s a good idea to measure under your sofa and other key pieces of furniture so you’ll get an idea of how much of your home the vac will be able to tackle.
There’s no display. Rather than beeping or showing error messages you have to interpret, it announces its actions in what is, surprisingly, a relatively normal and non-terrifying voice. (There’s a wide selection of languages you can choose from.)
The S6 Max V is the successor to the S6, which we rated highly when we reviewed it. The new model ups the suction power by 25% and adds a host of new features.
In terms of suction, the S6 Max V is the most powerful Roborock cleaner yet. It has a suction capacity of 2500 Pa. (For comparison, the Eufy RoboVac 30C has 1500 Pa and the Deebot Ozmo 920 has 1200 Pa.) It’s more than enough to properly clean a carpet, which some, lesser powered robot vacs struggle to do.
It has a maximum runtime of 180 minutes, but bear in mind the cleaning time won’t be anything like this if you use the maximum power cleaning mode. However, the battery life should be more than enough to clean a floor of your home, or the whole place if you live in a flat. The bin also has a reasonable capacity (60ml), so you won’t have to empty it mid-clean.
The S6 Max V is the ultimate in laziness – not the machine’s laziness, but mine. It uses a twin camera system to estimate the size and shape of obstacles, identify them, add them to its map and choose a path around them. I found this to be very effective and left wires and shoes where they were (in the name of a challenging testing protocol, of course). The only preparation I did for the clean was to lift my feet from the floor to the sofa.
You can choose to switch off the object recognition function, but if you leave it on, it improves each time you use it.
Only once did I have to stop the machine to perform emergency surgery in the form of the removal of a USB lead from its innards, after it strayed slightly too close to a cable and swept it up.
But your mileage may vary. If you’ve never used a robot vacuum cleaner, you should do a quick survey of your home before considering buying. Its effectiveness will be inversely proportional to the amount of stuff you have on the floor.
If you live in a state of spartan minimalism, with hardwood floors, buy a robot vacuum cleaner immediately. It will change your life. As soon as you notice a few crumbs or a bit of fluff, set it off and before you know it, your floors will be perfectly clean again. You’ll only need to get your vac out every now and then to get behind furniture and into all the spots the robot vac can’t reach.
If you live in cosy clutter or have a lot of items on your floor, a robot cleaner will be much less useful. Having to move half of your possessions before starting it up negates much of its lifestyle benefit.
However, the S6 Max V’s excellent mapping system means that you can zone your home on the app and declare rooms off-limits. That means you don’t have to pick up your bedroom floordrobe if you just want the robot vac to give the living room a once-over.
Early on in the evolution of robot cleaners, there were horror stories about people coming home to find that their robot vac had rolled over pet poop and spread it all over their home. The manufacturer claims that this won’t be an issue with the S6 Max V.
Obviously, I had to test that out, so I placed a chunk of cake in its path (while briefly contemplating the life choices that had led me to the point of trying to outwit a cleaning robot) to see what it would do. The Roborock passed the test easily, navigating around the obstacle, no matter how many times I moved it into its way. It even added a (smiling) poop icon to the map as an obstacle to avoid.
The S6 Max V has a 297ml water tank for its mopping system, which you can also programme in advance, setting up exclusion zones and choosing the water flow for each room. It’s the best I’ve seen but I’m still not convinced that it’s as effective as cleaning a floor yourself. If you want a cleaner to give a kitchen floor a light going-over, this will do the job but it won’t target tea spills and sticky patches the way a person does.
There’s also an automatic carpet identification mode that can be toggled on and off. When on, it’ll go into maximum mode whenever it moves from a hard floor to carpet.
And there’s a pet mode, which lets the vac know that there may be small creatures roaming around.
You can schedule cleaning, spot clean a specific area, set exclusion zones, choose the order in which it cleans your rooms and you can even use your phone as a remote control, driving your vac around like a toy car.
This is where things get interesting, as the latest firmware update for this cleaner means you can access the colour camera from your phone and watch in real-time as your robot vac cleans your home – or control it yourself with the remote function.
This means you can also use it to check on pets and reassure yourself that your home is safe while you’re out.
If you’re worried about security (and rightly so), the images the robot uses are instantly deleted and nothing is ever saved, stored or sent to the cloud.
The app is free to download and use and it’s easy to change the settings and access the S6 Max V’s many features. The robot vac is also Alexa-compatible, if you link your Mi account to your device.
You can also use the app to monitor how long parts such as the filters and brushes have before they need to be replaced.
Price & availability
The S6 Max V is currently available from Amazon in the UK and will be rolling out to other territories in the near future. It’s priced at £709.99.
The S6 Max V is a seriously impressive robot vacuum. While by no means a budget option, the S6 Max V has far more features and better cleaning power than some of its more expensive competitors.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Learn more.