We tested Roborock's most advanced (and expensive) robot vacuum

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Over nan people of my time astatine Mashable, I've been obsessed pinch uncovering a robot vacuum that performs existent magic connected carpets and bare floors — but possibly not arsenic (healthily) obsessed arsenic our in-house vacuum aficionado/expert Leah Stodart. I've been peculiarly intrigued by nan elusive robovac class cognize arsenic "hybrids," which are fundamentally mop-and-vac combos that return 2 of nan astir dreaded family chores disconnected your to-do list.

As often happens successful life, products (and people, cough cough) that committedness excessively overmuch extremity up providing less-than-satisfactory results. This includes hybrid robot vacuums that often extremity up sacrificing mopping expertise for powerful vacuum suction, aliases vice versa. No early robot vacuum purchaser wants to cheat themselves retired of spotless floors by investing successful an underperforming item, which is why I took it upon myself to trial the most costly and the most intelligent Roborock vacuum you tin bargain correct now. Enter: The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra photographed from a sligh elevation, showing nan existent robot and its dock

This Roborock has a beautiful sleek and minimalistic design, albeit a bulky base. Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

Roborock, a champion marque successful nan robot vacuum industry, unveiled a caller S8 merchandise bid back successful April 2023. The hype astir nan S8 Pro Ultra was particularly strong, but we return each specified internet hype pinch a fat atom of salt.

That's why, high Amazon rating notwithstanding, I decided to spot for myself whether nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra making out 1,300 quadrate feet of my level pinch flawless results aliases whether it made maine retrace each of its steps pinch a dustpan and broom successful hand. Here's what followed (dramatic Morgan Freeman voice).

In-app features are stunning, but setup was a chore

As pinch astir robovacs, to get nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra up and moving you person to link it to nan Roborock app (available connected Android and iOS) via a bid of intricate, ancient rituals (read: either scanning nan QR codification connected nan vac itself aliases pairing your telephone and vac to nan aforesaid WiFi network). I went pinch nan second method since, for nan life of me, I couldn't find nan QR codification connected my caller Roborock.

Attaining a coagulated WiFi relationship was a process that progressive a batch of loading and buffering. This is wherever I docked a fewer points successful nan S8 Pro Ultra's personification friendliness category. After this velocity bump, however, nan remainder of nan setup process was measurement smoother.

My parents already programmed nan vac pinch their ain Roborock app earlier I moreover laid my hands connected it, which meant that, erstwhile I was connected to nan point connected my app, I saw our afloat first level representation correct successful nan halfway of nan screen. Roborock seamlessly transfers level representation information betwixt different accounts for nan aforesaid vacuum — definitely a time-saver worthy of immoderate appreciation.

While we're connected nan taxable of level maps, it took nan Roborock an alarmingly short magnitude of clip to maneuver astir 1,300 quadrate feet of my floors for nan first clip ever and sorb nan findings — just 10 minutes. Let maine put this metric successful perspective. When I tested retired nan Yeedi Mop Station, I wrote nan pursuing astir its mapping time: It took nan vacuum "more than a time to tally its people aggregate times astir nan rooms and get a ocular of their afloat layout. In different words, nan vac started this process astir 4 p.m., sewage tired, docked, and only vanished nan occupation astatine manus by midday nan adjacent day." Yeah, awesome props to nan Roborock for doing it astatine record-breaking speeds and ne'er erstwhile getting fatigued.

Screenshot of nan representation layout created by nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra that nan writer tested

The layout of my first level surviving area that Roborock successfully (and speedily!) mapped. Credit: Screenshot: Roborock

In-app screenshot of nan vacuum's mop lavation wave settings

Just 1 illustration of really personalizable nan vac's in-app settings are. Credit: Screenshot: Roborock

The Roborock app interface itself was sleek and cleanable compared to different ones I've familiarized myself pinch successful nan past. Nonetheless, getting nan vacuum to really commencement a cleaning occupation wasn't arsenic elemental arsenic I hoped it would beryllium — owed to nan sheer magnitude of settings and options offered by Roborock. Did I want to move connected "less collision" mode to foresee walls and furnishings successful advance? Would a modular cleaning way versus a zig-zag 1 beryllium better? How often did I want nan S8 Pro Ultra to lavation its mop... aliases did I wish for it to do truthful aft each room?

Once I was much "fluent" successful nan functions of this vac, specified intricate and friendly features were a godsend, but, successful nan beginning, it was each a spot excessively overmuch to return in.

High-tech cleaning options provided not-so-high-tech results

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra allows you to take from room by room, area by zone, all-over clean, aliases moreover spot cleanable options. The second turned retired to beryllium redundant because of really imprecise it is — when I tried to navigate nan vac to a peculiar "trouble area" by tapping my digit connected its approximate location successful nan app, nan vacuum missed nan spot by a fewer inches. For nan astir part, I stuck pinch nan all-over cleanable option: a really stress-free measurement of cleaning your full space, particularly since nan vac empties itself automatically.

I besides attempted to power nan vacuum manually (as if successful a video game) done nan distant power setting, which allows you to move nan bot via buttons aliases a joystick-esque controller. Feeling for illustration nan Roborock's puppeteer was somewhat disconcerting, and it turned retired that this characteristic is hella undercooked — the vacuum would only move guardant and to nan right. Backwards and to nan near were retired of nan question. No deal.

Though I didn't fiddle pinch these settings myself, Roborock besides gives nan action of creating definite "no-go zones," which are perfect for pet households and maximalists pinch a ton of furniture. Additionally, you tin customize level aboveground connected nan app (choosing from carpet, tile, thing called "entrapping threshold," and more).

No different robot vacuum I've tested successful nan past gave specified monolithic DIY privileges to its users, truthful I was thoroughly impressed astatine first blush. I personally chose to group my mop lavation wave to 20 minutes, nan washing mode to "balanced" (which nan Roborock app said was suitable for medium-sized homes), scrub intensity/water travel to "intense," and suction powerfulness to "turbo" (the 2nd highest and frankincense 2nd loudest suction level). This isn't a strict look — the use of this Roborock is that it fits nan needs of your household.

Despite nan plethora of cool cleaning options Roborock serves up connected a platter, amount overshadowed value successful this case. In different words, I didn't spot a awesome quality betwixt cleaning pinch carpet suction boosting powers connected versus disconnected (or other cleaning pinch “clean on level direction” connected alternatively than allowing nan vac to, literally, spell against nan grain).

Screenshot of nan S8 Pro Ultra's spot cleanable option

The S8 Pro Ultra has a spot cleanable option. Credit: Screenshot: Roborock

Screenshot of nan S8 Pro Ultra's joystick power option

You tin moreover power it via joystick (kinda). Credit: Screenshot: Roborock

When it came to vacuuming up messes, nan S8 Pro Ultra ate and near crumbs

If you've publication immoderate of my past robovac reviews (don't show me, I don't want to know), you're acquainted pinch nan Graham Cracker Test I transportation retired (patent pending) to trial nan products' vacuuming capabilities. The trial fundamentally revolves astir crushing up graham crackers that are past their s'mores premier and scattering them successful cardinal areas of nan house: In this lawsuit a heavy carpet, a bladed level mat, astir nan limb of a broadside table, and on nan separator of a hardwood floor. The adjacent portion is monitoring my canine truthful that he doesn't gobble up nan crackers and besides seeing whether nan vacuum will prime up each crumbs during its cleaning.

Pictures speak louder than words, aliases nevertheless that saying goes, truthful return a look astatine nan before/after results for a consciousness of really nan S8 Pro Ultra performed connected nan test:

Collage of 4 pictures showing crumbs connected various level types, pinch nan connection "before" overlaid successful each caps

Graham Cracker Test (before cleaning). Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

Collage of 4 pictures showing remaining crumbs connected various level types, pinch nan connection "after" overlaid successful each caps

Graham Cracker Test (after cleaning). Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

Yeah, intelligibly it didn't do truthful basking (especially erstwhile it came to vacuuming astir nan limb of nan array and nan separator of my bladed level mat). Now, was this research typical of a real-life scenario? Probably not, arsenic you're improbable to time off specified precise messes and specified large crumbs while going astir your regular activities. But anything can happen, and nan S8 Pro Ultra proved that it's not needfully fresh to grip that "anything" erstwhile it comes up.

I'm a reliable grader, but I do springiness in installments wherever in installments is due, truthful I person to applaud nan magnitude of particulate particles, hair, debris, and different unsavory molecules that nan vacuum did suck up complete nan people of my clip utilizing it. After 5 days of collecting gunk done erstwhile aliases twice-a-day cleanings, this is what I recovered successful its dustbin:

The author's image of what remained successful nan vacuum's dustbin aft 5 days of cleaning

Pardon nan dust. Literally. Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

Those are tangible (and allergy-inducing) results correct location — irrefutable grounds of nan truth that nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra doesn't conscionable clone cleanings. It mightiness not swoop up each nan crumbs connected your floor, but your abstraction is undoubtedly made cleaner acknowledgment to its difficult work. Maybe nan Roborock's DuoRoller brushwood is responsible for this achievement. The marque advertises it arsenic a brushwood that "will rotation successful other directions, which tin amended nan prime up of hairs connected carpet and debar tangled hairs... pinch an accrued grip spot for carpet cleaning, floors, and immoderate different surfaces."

Though I did person to rescue nan brushwood aft parts of a works sewage stuck successful it (and sewage damaged arsenic a result, which I will mourn forever), I ne'er had to untangle immoderate yucky hairs arsenic per Roborock's promise. Count your blessings, people.

Spotty mopping was compensated for by self-refilling vessel and self-washing/drying mop pads

As I mentioned earlier, it's very uncommon that a robot vacuum (even 1 that costs complete $1,000!) is capable to supply A+ vacuuming and mopping astatine nan aforesaid time. One usability usually takes a backseat while nan different rides shotgun, and it was nary different pinch this Roborock.

When I ran it connected vac and mop mode, it didn't do nan second portion very good — the areas that it did mop were mopped well, but it besides missed a bunch of spots connected my bare hardwood floors for nary peculiar reason. I will opportunity that nan move assistance mounting soothed my bosom pinch nan knowledge that, erstwhile nan vacuum detects a carpeted surface, it lifts its mop pads and stops h2o flow. Soaked rugs are not a vibe, truthful this was a positive.

Other points to see connected Roborock's database of positives: its self-refilling h2o vessel and self-washing/drying mop pads, which really lavation themselves well. After conscionable 1 afloat auto/all-over clean, nan soiled h2o vessel (the S8 Pro Ultra besides has a cleanable h2o vessel that you're responsible for replenishing) was dirty. We're talking mucky-gray, I-must-empty-this-out-now-before-I-throw-up dirty, which is impervious affirmative that nan vac cleans its pads efficaciously for early mopping rounds.

The vacuum's 2 h2o tanks — one for soiled h2o and 1 for cleanable water

The vac's guidelines has 2 tanks, and it self-refills pinch cleanable water. Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

Picture of nan vac's soiled h2o vessel aft a mopping session

The h2o wrong nan vac's soiled h2o vessel was sufficiently dirty. Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

BTW, too self-refilling, washing, and drying, this vacuum besides self-empties aft each cleanup — you don't person to interest astir replacing its particulate container for up to 7 (!!) weeks. This timespan beautiful overmuch checks out, fixed nan contents of nan particulate container that revealed themselves erstwhile I peeked into it aft 5 days. However, aft those 7 weeks, you do person to bargain a caller container from Roborock (six particulate bags astatine nan retailer will costs you a whopping $31.99 and nan value stays nan same erstwhile shopping for them via Amazon). Regularly having to put successful accessory replacements is really they get ya, but buying nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is already a sunk cost. You mightiness arsenic good dainty your caller helper to nan very best.

Battery life is akin to astir higher-end robovacs connected nan market; value is unnecessarily high

To way nan S8 Pro Ultra's artillery life, I started moving it connected nan vac and mop mounting astatine 1 p.m. (fully charged) and monitored really agelong it took nan vacuum to tally retired of juice/run backmost to its location guidelines for a recharge. It ended up doing truthful astatine 3:50 p.m., which intends it has a artillery life of astir 2 hours 50 minutes. This checks retired pinch nan 180 infinitesimal runtime Roborock promises.

For reference, different hybrids that I tested — primarily, nan Yeedi Vac Station and Yeedi Mop Station — had runtimes of up to 200 minutes and 144 minutes, respectively. This intends that nan S8 Pro Ultra is not performing artillery miracles, but it's surely not an outlier based connected really often it needs recharging, either.

Now that we've thrown imaginable title into nan mix, it's clip to get down to nan juicy stuff: How does nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra comparison to different vacuums, and is it worthy paying an MSRP value of $1,599.99? (Though it's often $400 disconnected astatine Roborock and Amazon.)

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra "hiding" among planters and plants successful a surviving room setting

My Roborock looking each shiny, new, and overpriced. Credit: Stacia Datskovska / Mashable

The S8 Pro Ultra mightiness beryllium loaded pinch tons of perks that different robovacs don't moreover dream of having (like 6,000 pascals of suction power, a PreciSense LiDAR Navigation strategy that allows it to activity astatine nighttime while you sleep, and more), but its existent capacity doesn't warrant jolting your savings relationship for illustration that.

After all, moreover comparable robovacs from Roborock's S8 bid — like nan S8+ hybrid, which our reviewer Timothy Beck Werth awarded pinch a ~Werthy~ Mashable people of 4.4 — cost nary much than $999.99. If nan only added benefits nan S8 Pro Ultra brings are self-washing and self-drying mop pads, then... it's not really worthy it. The Yeedi Mop Station Pro, aft all, (though not arsenic caller and shiny and cool arsenic nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra) has self-washing pads, too, and doesn't complaint complete $799.99 for each of its features combined.

If you person bucketloads of money to blow, you mightiness want to put successful this high-end robot vacuum. If, however, your New Year's solution is redeeming immoderate dinero, nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is conscionable not worthy nan splurge.

Mashable writers, editors, and contributors person tested dozens of robot vacuums successful caller years. The Mashable Shopping squad has tested nan apical robot vacuums and mops from Roborock, iRobot (the shaper of Roomba robot vacuums), Shark, Yeedi, and different celebrated brands. For our Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review, I performed weeks of hands-on testing — specifically utilizing nan merchandise to mop/vac 1,300 quadrate feet of abstraction successful my house.

When testing robot vacuums, nan instrumentality is evaluated according (but not limited) to nan pursuing criteria:

  • Vacuuming: How overmuch suction does nan bot offer, and really good does it cleanable carpets, tile, and hardwood? For this robot vac successful particular, I checked whether it performed good erstwhile suctioning up crumbs connected a heavy carpet, bladed level rug, on nan separator of a wall, and astir nan limb of a broadside table.

  • User experience: Is nan robovac easy to group up and use? Likewise, does nan brand's app activity good aliases does nan amount of its features overshadow their really quality? I gauged nan personification acquisition metric by paying attraction to really quickly I could get nan vacuum from container to its first, full-fledged cleanable (keeping successful mind that mapping nan level takes time).

  • Special features: For vacuums pinch further features (such arsenic distant power cognition aliases level aboveground customization successful nan Roborock S8 Pro Ultra's case), I ensured these devices worked arsenic advertised. Spoiler alert: More often than not, they don't make overmuch of a difference.

  • Value: Though merchandise worth is simply a beautiful subjective measure, we ever comparison nan latest models we trial pinch their predecessors and marketplace counterparts — ultimately making nan determination of whether a precocious value is justified by a much rigorous, satisfactory cleanable aliases whether nan vac is not worthy your money.

For hybrid robot vacuums and mops, for illustration this one, we besides measure really efficiently nan instrumentality cleaned floors pinch its mopping pad. With each these factors successful mind, we springiness nan robot vacuum an wide Mashable people and see it for inclusion successful our shopping guides.

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Stacia Datskovska is an NYU publicity awesome (graduating this December). Her activity has appeared successful USA Today, Boston Globe, Teen Vogue, HuffPost, Bustle, and more. When she's not penning thing aliases other, Stacia tin beryllium spotted crying complete poetry, making a home-cooked meal, aliases stepping connected an NYC pier. For her much half-baked thoughts: @staciadats connected Twitter.

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