Robot vacuums are becoming increasingly popular in this country. In view of the great support that the smart household helpers offer within their own four walls, this is not really surprising. However, anyone looking for a suitable model is now overwhelmed by the gigantic selection. Robots from Roborock have always been considered the spearhead. With the S8 series, the Chinese company with a focus on modern household appliances now wants to climb the vacuum throne again. We want to take a closer look at whether this succeeds in today’s Roborock S8 Pro Ultra test.
|5,200 mAh (up to 3h runtime)
|Volume dust container
|Volume water tank
|Yes, Xiaomi Home app or Roborock app
|LiDAR sensor, object detection, carpet detection, fall sensors
|35.0 x 35.3 x 9.65 cm
|€ 1,499.00 *
Scope of delivery
Let’s start with the scope of delivery. A look inside the packaging once again reveals that Roborock packs its packages exceedingly smartly. The competition, which sometimes randomly puts their devices and accessories in large packages, can definitely take a leaf out of this book. However, the content is not really lavish. This is mainly due to the fact that the manufacturer delivers the robot vacuum cleaner and the suction station in a pre-assembled state. Thus, we only find a second dust bag for the station in terms of accessories. A small cleaning tool or second wipe would certainly have been appropriate in view of the lavish price.
Vacuuming robot in a familiar design
- Classic Roborock design
- Available in black and white
- Great workmanship
Moving on to the looks. I could immediately assign the Roborock S8 to its family of brands. This is not least because I have been using a Roborock S7 (test) for quite some time. Compared to its predecessor, nothing has changed in terms of shape. Thus, the S8 also relies on a circular design, which has meanwhile become a common denominator in the field of vacuum robots. The manufacturer is also true to the color. You can choose between black and white. Our test model comes in a matte black shade, which I would honestly not prefer as a color.
After all, experience shows that the black devices attract dust almost magically. So, if you don’t want to regularly dust the housings of the robot vacuum cleaner and the suction station, you’d better go for white. Otherwise, only nuances have changed in the color. For example, the orange accents that were used in the Roborock S7 for the switches for the water tank and wiping cloth attachment, among other things, have been dropped.
The robot vacuum as the heart of this system once again scores with an excellent build quality. Everything here feels wonderfully valuable. On the one hand, there are the buttons on the top, which convince with a great pressure point. On the other hand, Roborock once again uses brushes without classic bristles. Instead, these consist of rubber lamellae.
Suction station no longer open-hearted
- Suction station blends in better with the living space
- Three containers for dust, fresh water and dirty water
With the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, you get the latest generation of vacuum robots in full equipment, so to speak. In addition to the S8, there is also the matching base station, which in a sense provides the all-round service for the robot vacuum cleaner. It supplies the smart household helper with fresh water, cleans the wiping unit and vacuums the collected dirt. When it comes to the cleaning station, Roborock shows itself to be much bolder in terms of design changes.
Thus, especially the housing has changed quite a bit. While you could still see the individual water tanks and the access to the dust container in the predecessor, these are now hidden. Thus, the manufacturer swims a little with the flow of the competition. Since the complete systems including the extraction station take up a lot of space, the design plays an increasingly important role. The best example is certainly the Ecovacs X1 OMNI (test), which was even supported by the world-famous design team Jacob Jensen.
Personally, I’m happy about the small but nice update with the S8’s suction station. After all, it now harmonizes better with the homely ambience of the living room, as you can no longer see the technology too much. In terms of build quality, the station again resembles that of the predecessor like a glove. So you get the best quality here again, where many competitors simply can’t keep up.
Packed with sensors
- LiDAR sensor works reliably
- Object detection noticeably improved
- Carpet and drop detection works reliably
So that the Roborock S8 does not wander disoriented through your own four walls, the manufacturer once again relies on an extensive set of sensors. The LiDAR tower, which is once again enthroned on the device, is certainly the most striking. With the help of the laser technology inside, the smart household assistant can recognize its surroundings during the day as well as in the dark of night. In addition to mere orientation, the focus is of course also on protecting the robot itself as well as its surroundings.
For this, sensors are used on the front to detect objects that get in the way of the S8. The sensor package is rounded off by additional sensors on the device’s side and the bottom. The latter are not only supposed to detect whether the robot vacuum is driving on a carpet in order to start the powerful carpet mode. On top of that, the sensors save the S8 from unintentional falls down stairs, as they reliably detect chasms.
Object detection has been improved
In practice, I was again completely convinced by the orientation using laser technology. However, anything else would have surprised me. After all, this already worked reliably in the predecessor. Thus, the vacuum robot drives briskly and purposefully through your rooms. But what happens when a LEGO brick or other obstacles get in its way? Object recognition is the Achilles’ heel of many vacuum robots. Roborock has also only been able to show half-baked results so far.
However, the manufacturer has noticeably improved on the S8. The detection has noticeably gained in precision compared to the predecessor. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pair of slippers, a book or a cable. The smart household helper quickly and reliably avoids obstacles. The robot only has problems with very flat objects. For example, a crown cap was overlooked in the test. Small LEGO bricks also proved to be a challenge.
With this, the object detection is still not a bull’s eye, but an improvement can definitely be felt. The other sensors can again be attested absolute reliability. Thus, the S8 always detected chasms and did not fly down my stairs. Furthermore, the carpet detection worked flawlessly and the robot always raised its suction power when it drove onto a carpet.
The camera drops
Actually, in the field of household as well as consumer electronics, an update lives from the increase in features or their improvements. For the most part, this is also the case with the S8 Pro Ultra. However, Roborock has cut back on one feature. That is the integrated camera of the robot vacuum cleaner. For example, you could use the Roborock S7 MaxV as a surveillance camera on wheels. Even though very few people will have done that and it was nothing more than a small gimmick, the omission of a feature always pisses me off a bit. Others, on the other hand, might see the whole thing as an advantage. After all, one or the other is afraid of too much camera technology in their own four walls, which is connected to foreign servers.
Let’s come to the supreme discipline: the cleaning performance. Of course, I didn’t just put the suction performance under the microscope as part of my test. On top of that, I put the wiping function through its paces and took a look at the suction station.
In terms of suction power, the models from Roborock have always been first class. But in the meantime, the competition from Ecovacs and Dreame has caught up. Accordingly, the manufacturer has sat down on the seat of its pants and has once again made major improvements to the suction function. And that has paid off! On the one hand, there is the performance itself. This increases from 5,100 Pascal in the Robrock S7 MaxV Ultra to a remarkable 6,000 Pascal. And you can feel that. No matter whether tiles, parquet, vinyl or carpet. The smart household helper delivers remarkable results everywhere here, which are on a par with the Dreame L10s Ultra (test).
The S8 also benefits from its revised roller design. Instead of one rubber roller, two of the same type now rotate during the suction process. As a result, the S8 collects even more dirt than its predecessor. Furthermore, the robot vacuum cleaner is now able to lift its suction chute without further ado. This is supposed to be particularly helpful when vacuuming liquids, since it prevents the shaft from getting dirty and thus ensures better device hygiene. All in all, the suction performance convinces me a lot. Thanks to the small but fine improvements, the device then once again tops its predecessor.
Nowadays, it is complicated to find a vacuum robot that comes without a wiping function. Even entry-level devices now offer the option of damp mopping. The Roborock S7 revolutionized the field of vacuuming and mopping robots almost two years ago. After all, it didn’t just drag a damp cloth behind it. Instead, vibrations ensured that the floor was mopped with a certain amount of pressure. The results stood out accordingly from the competition. However, the latter has caught up strongly over time. For example, the flagship models from Dreame and Ecovacs now offer two rotating mops, which can thus exert significantly more friction on the floor. Unfortunately, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra cannot keep up with the great results of models like the Dreame L10s Ultra or the X1 OMNI. Still, it offers very good results.
To further strengthen the cleaning, the manufacturer did not change the shape of the wiper unit. Instead, the motor has been expanded. Now a double wiping motor is used, which is supposed to increase the vibration even more. The result is a clean result on all hard floors. You will only have to wipe dried stains by hand or let the robot work on them via area cleaning in intensive wiping mode. Personally, I find it a bit of a shame that Roborock has only upgraded the motor. Changing the wiping format to round wiping surfaces would certainly have provided far better results. However, only my strict view as a tester with a focus on vacuum robots brings this to light. Anyone who lets such a device drive through the apartment for the first time will be thrilled by the wiping ability.
The Roborock S8 comes in three different models. In addition to the Roborock S8 and the S8 Pro Plus comes just the Pro Ultra model that we tested. Just like the Plus model, this has a practical station with suction function. After each cleaning tour, the small smart household helper takes a seat in it and vacuums the collected dust. The waste then ends up in a dust bag, which in my opinion is a decisive disadvantage compared to the predecessor. The latter relied on a dirt bin without a bag. If Roborock had continued this with the S8 series, it would not only have been more environmentally friendly.
On top of that, the manufacturer would have refreshingly set itself apart from the competition, all of which now require their customers to buy new dust bags at regular intervals. However, the robot vacuum is not called Ultra for nothing. It earns it through the other features that the station has up its sleeve. The station cleans the wiping surface during and after cleaning. To fight odor and ensure hygiene, the station uses hot air to dry the wipe after cleaning. This worked surprisingly well in the test. Last but not least, the station supplies the robot with fresh water. Thus, the base of the small household helper offers you an all-inclusive service that is impressive and ensures a high level of operating convenience.
There’s actually not much to say about the app control. Once again, it is as intuitive as usual. You can choose between the in-house Roborock app or the Xiaomi Home app from the parent company. My smartphone was able to find the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra quickly, so I was able to connect the vacuum very quickly to my home network. Once the smart household helper was registered, the quick and uncomplicated setup begins. Here, the app first asks you a few basic questions.
For example, it wants to know if you have a pet in your home. Once you have answered these, the first ride begins. During the maiden voyage, the Roborock creates the first basic map of your home. Several floors can be saved without any problems. The pure mapping mode is cool. Here, the vacuum cleaner does not clean your floor and instead concentrates entirely on scanning your rooms. That saves a ton of time!
Individual cleaning settings
At the end of the first trip, you’ll find your floor plan again in the app. Here you can then set various things. For example, no-go areas can be defined or invisible walls can be created. Furthermore, the app automatically divides your apartment into different rooms. If that’s not right, you can of course easily make changes here. Of course, the app doesn’t just let you check the floor plan of your apartment. You also have access to various cleaning settings. As a vacuuming and mopping robot, the Roborock S8 Pro is capable of different cleaning modes.
Thus, the robot can choose to vacuum only, mop only, or both. Besides the way of cleaning, you can also regulate the intensity. This applies to both suction power and water flow rate. This way you can set exactly the cleaning needed for each room.
For example, while very damp cleaning is good for rooms covered with tiles, it should be rather dry for wooden floors. Rooms with carpeted floors, on the other hand, can be run with normal settings. Here, the carpet detection provides an automatic cleaning adjustment if you don’t deactivate it within the app. This means that the robot not only increases its suction power. On top of that, it raises its mop plate to prevent the carpet from getting wet. This works great with short pile carpets. Long pile carpets, on the other hand, can get a bit damp. But that should not be a problem. Otherwise, you can of course teach the smart household helper routines. For example, he starts his daily cleaning tour at 8 o’clock in the morning while you are on the way to work.
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is a really good vacuuming robot. But there is a noticeable difference in the S8 series compared to the S7 series. For example, the competition has made a significant leap forward in recent months. This ensures that Roborock’s nose is no longer as clearly in front as it was with the old generation. Instead, the new top model lines up with our front-runner in the form of the Dreame L10s Ultra. Once again, the robot vacuum primarily scores with its technology. In terms of navigation, the LiDAR technology again provides really great results.
I am also completely convinced by the object detection and in my opinion it is the best on the entire market. In terms of cleaning performance, the S8 Pro Ultra is also really good. In particular, the vacuuming results are beyond reproach. The mopping function, on the other hand, is “only” good. But that’s all. The competitors have simply developed the better system with their rotating wiping surfaces. However, we can probably expect that Roborock is already working on a revision of the wiping unit in its back rooms. Until then, the manufacturer will have to be satisfied with a tie.