Review: Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra

Dynamite on the floor

Roborock's new flagship model doesn't boast a stylish design. On the other hand, the S8 MaxV Ultra is quiet and efficient.

Published 2024-06-10 - 8:00 am
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra
Natasja Broström

Roborock’s robotic vacuum cleaners have done well when we’ve had them in the editorial office. So well, in fact, that the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra was this year’s darling in the Best Smart Home Product category in Household & Interior Design. Its successor as the latest flagship model, the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra, therefore has something to live up to.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra requires space. According to the manual, there should be about half a metre of space from the edge of the robot’s ramp. The robot uses the space in front of the ramp to rotate and position itself before and after a task is completed and when it returns to the stand.

Attach the cord to the back and plug the other end into a power outlet. Roborock switches on with a melody that can best be described as a waltz. Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra follows the template almost to the letter when it comes to setting up a smart device. The front of the robot’s lid is removed so you can scan the QR code and download the Roborock app. The lid is magnetic, so it easily finds its way back into place when you put it back on.

The  lid on the two included containers for clean and dirty water is difficult to open. The corners of the structure can collect dirt. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

From the app, connect to your Wi-Fi and hook up the device. You do this via Scan to Connect or Search for Device. When Robocrock is on, it will appear in the app. Only 2.4 GHz is supported.

Pour clean water into the container with the blue drop symbol on the lid. Already here the design shows weaknesses. The two containers are difficult to open because the click-locks on the lids bind.

The handle is flexible, so the container can swivel in your hand. Place the containers on a flat surface before opening and closing them. Only use cold/moist water. Otherwise the plastic of the container may be damaged and change shape.

Remove the cover on the front of the base station and add detergent to the container on the right. There is no detergent included. The brand Omo produces a detergent for Roborock devices. Expect a price of around €20 for about half a litre.

Roborock has a small side boom with an attached brush and two rollers under the belly that effectively collect dirt. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

To the left of the container is the vacuum cleaner bag, which is pre-inserted. The bag holds 2.5 litres, which is less than the 3.2 litres that Dream’s bag can hold. How quickly the bag fills depends on usage and the amount of dirt in the home. A pack of 3 new bags costs €25.

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Once the water, detergent and vacuum cleaner are fully charged (takes about 4 hours), Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is ready to show what it can do.

First venture onto the floor

In terms of design, we’ve gone one step down from the Roborock Q Revo, which we tested at the end of 2023, as the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra has the same canisters as the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, which we tested a year ago. Let me say it right away: I’m not happy with these canisters. They’re angular and hard to open without spilling the contents. They don’t look good either. The S8 MaxV Ultra is open at the top, so the containers are visible.

Design is a matter of taste, so the S8 MaxV Ultra should of course also be judged on its performance in practice. I put the robot to work mapping my home and got a taste of how fast and efficient the S8 MaxV Ultra is.

The Roborock app is similar to other apps in the same genre, but it is well and intuitively designed. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

The robot scanned my living rooms in minutes and wasn’t bothered by me occasionally passing by. The scan of my two living rooms of approximately 60 square metres was completed in under 3 minutes. The final map with relevant details such as tables and sofas was completed and saved in the app in under 7 minutes.

Unlike what I’ve seen with other robotic vacuum cleaners, Roborock had no tendency to invent dining tables where they don’t exist. Or placing a sofa where in the real world I have a fireplace.

Cleaning room by room

The S8 MaxV Ultra can be set to clean in specific ways, for example to only vacuum. You can also select zones, individual rooms or the entire home. The robot has the strongest suction power to date for a Roborock vacuum cleaner, 10,000 Pa. The robot has an ‘arm’ that shoots out from the side to reach around all edges and into corners. Obviously, Roborock calls the design FlexiArm.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra can pass obstacles with a maximum height of 2 cm. However, the robot had little trouble with my 2-3 cm high doorsteps (Photo: Natasja Broström)

When Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is out on the floor, I’m again annoyed by the slightly cheesy design. The robot shakes and jumps when I run it at maximum vacuum power. However, it doesn’t affect the result. On my nubby sisal carpet, Roborock was good at getting it all in.

Thanks to AI, the robot should be able to recognise small objects, such as toys. However, the same AI is not able to make the robot avoid larger objects. The S8 MaxV Ultra repeatedly drove under my sofa and had a date with my yoga mat, which is tucked away there.

Conversely, the robotic arm on the Roborock is highly functional. The arm’s side brush and a mop system with extra rotation is where the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra really shines.

Roborock easily swept everything on the tiles in front of the fireplace thanks to the special robot arm with brush. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

On the tiles in front of my fireplace, the brush crawls into all the bumps and the mops do the rest. The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra delivers a really good result and comes in where the Dreame X40 Ultra had to give up.

App and fine-tuning

Good, efficient cleaning doesn’t help much if the app won’t play along. Fortunately, Roborock’s app does. It’s easy, almost intuitive, to use for simple tasks and for fine-tuning the cleaning.

I could use the map to designate rooms and specific areas to be cleaned and change parameters such as power and mode, while the S8 MaxV Ultra was out on a ‘task’. This is great.

The ultimate intelligence test in the home: The labyrinth of chair legs. Roborock passed with flying colours without knocking against the legs. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

To my surprise, Roborock had an easier time passing my 2-3 cm high doorsteps. On paper, Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra can only pass a maximum of 2 cm high, but Roborock did the job on its own.

Furthermore, the voice control of Roborock is easy. The commands are predefined in the app, so the voice control is integrated into Roborock’s own ecosystem.

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Then just say ‘Hello Rocky’ + a command. If you forget what the robot can and should do, a pamphlet, a voice control card, is included in the box. It can be displayed and shows commands in six languages. It sounds basic and analogue, but it works. Just like there are so many other simple and basic things that also work with Roborock S8 MaxV.

Conclusion

In terms of design, Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra looks like an industrial machine. The robot sometimes sounds like this when it’s at work or emptying its dust chamber into the stand. I’m not thrilled with the angular design. I’m particularly bothered by the awkward containers with corners where dirt can collect and the open top where dust will accumulate.

Collecting tap water was not a success. Roborock swept most of the liquid around instead of sucking it up. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

However, design is a matter of taste, so it shouldn’t be the downfall of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra. On the contrary, the robot vacuum cleaner is easy and efficient to use. The app and robot are a pleasure for the home’s floors and for the home’s occupants.

My floors, carpets and tiles were generally clean after meeting Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.

The S8 MaxV Ultra is efficient and does what I set it to do without wandering off into other rooms of the home. The voice control works, and talking to your vacuum cleaner – almost – doesn’t feels foolish. Especially when it responds nicely and obeys.

Karakter
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra
High End

Efficient cleaning with minimal messing around. Has few problems with doorsteps. Easy and intuitive app. Good voice control. Quite noisy in use. The design looks cheap and the containers have corners where dirt can settle.

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