CES 2022, an annual exposition of all things cutting-edge, brought big breakthroughs in many sectors of residential living — from developments in pet-monitoring devices to monolithic, multipoint routers.
Don’t forget robot vacuums. Those much-loved sentient dust-busters that keep our domiciles near-spotless. Two robot vacuum companies that flexed hard at CES 2022 were Roborock and Ecovacs, the former with the all-new S7 MaxV Ultra and the latter with the Deebot X1 Omni.
If you’re thinking about nabbing one of these bots when they hit shelves, you may be wondering which of the two is best for you and your home? Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve pitted the S7 MaxV Ultra and Deebot X1 against each other, weighing in on criteria like suction power, battery life, and price to help you decide which vac you’ll be taking home.
Cleaning and performance
The S7 MaxV Ultra brings some incredible advancements to Roborock’s already solid object avoidance system. The latest avoidance tech is called Reactive AI 2.0, a blend of 3D mapping and neural processes, and it helps the bot do a number of things. For starters, it’ll be better able to recognize what to vacuum and what not to vacuum. It’s never fun when you have to physically pick up your vac as it attempts to suction your laptop charger into its dustbin. AI 2.0 will make incidents much less likely to occur.
Furthermore, the Roborock app will now allow owners to tell the S7 MaxV what pieces of furniture it’s actually okay for the bot to vacuum, as well as do things like create no-go zones in every room of the house.
In addition to a whopping 5,100Pa of suction power, the S7MaxV will also see improvements to floor-type recognition, allowing the vacuum to automatically adjust suction and scrubbing power based on the type of surface it detects. Oh, and let’s not forget how much dirt the dock itself can collect — about seven weeks’ worth.
On the other side of the court is the Deebot X1 Omni. Delivering 5,000Pa of suction, the new vac combines an AIVI 3.0 camera with TrueDetect 2.0 laser scanning for super-intelligent object avoidance and a home-mapping system (more on that below). The vac is also equipped with TrueMapping 2.0, a type of navigation tech found in some of today’s self-driving cars.
Equipped with two spinning mop heads that whip about at 180 revolutions per minute and a three-stage filtration system, the Deebot X1 Omni will be smart enough to return to the charging dock when it needs extra juice or if it needs to deposit dirt and other debris.
And don’t forget about the dedicated onboard voice assistant, Yiko. Yes, we’re guessing you’ll still be able to teach Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri to pilot the X1, but it’s nice to have an integrated A.I. companion for those of us without Alexa in our lives.
With a flurry of features announced for both vacs, we’re hard-pressed to say exactly which unit will clean better at this time. For now, we’ll call this one a draw, but we’ll be sure to update once we see both robot vacuums in action.
Home mapping and navigation
The Roborock S7 MaxV uses 3D scanning and a lidar navigation profile called PreciSense to build customizable maps of your home. This is also what the vac will use to pilot the bot around the blueprints it draws up. Additionally, the onboard camera and live-mic will allow you to view and communicate with pets and family members while you’re away from home.
In the Roborock app, users will now be able to view rooms in 3D, 2D, and matrix layouts, allowing you to get a better grasp of what rooms the vac needs to tackle and what places you want it to stay away from.
The Ecovacs Deebot X1 combines mapping and navigation tech for a single hardware/software suite called AIVI 3D Tech (a blending of the AIVI 3.0 camera and TrueDetect 2.0 laser scanning). Out of the box, the vac will take a detailed scan of your home, storing these drawn maps in the Ecovacs app, where you’ll be able to build a customized cleaning schedule, set no-go zones, and locate the vac along its cleaning path.
Right now, we’ll award this category to the Roborock S7 MaxV, mostly for the mapping and layout changes you’ll see in the companion app.
Winner: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
One area where robot vacuums tend to have trouble is autonomous mopping. There are a number of vacs that are equipped with water tanks and disposable mop-heads, but when it comes time to actually do some mopping, results are often mixed. Both Roborock and Ecovacs are aware of these shortcomings, loading both the S7 MaxV and Deebot X1 Omni with some incredible mopping features.
On the S7 side of things, the new vacuum comes equipped with Roborock’s optional Empty Wash Fill Dock. This cleaning apparatus is especially great for mopping as the self-washing feature automatically scrubs the robot mop during cleanup and after a mess is dealt with. The vac is also capable of re-filling its own water tank and will be able to clean up to 300 square meters before you need to step in for a manual water top-off.
Then there’s Ecovacs’ take on high-end mopping. The Deebot X1 Omni’s charge dock will be equipped with two water tanks — one for depositing dirty water and a second for replenishing the vac with clean water. The dock will also be able to wash and dry the vacuum’s fabric mop heads.
With big scrubbing advancements for both brands, we’re calling this category a tie.
Price and availability
Considering today’s leading robot vacs can be quite expensive, it’s important to know just how much change you’ll be laying down for an amazing flagship vac. A fair warning: Neither Roborock nor Ecovacs is touting modest digits for their premium bots — although this should be expected in the world of robot vacuums, with industry-leading iRobot products costing over a thousand dollars for many years.
Arriving at Amazon in Q2 2022, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra will sell for $1,399. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni will be priced at $1,549 and is due to hit shelves in March 2022.
Winner: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra and Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni seem to be changing the game for what we’ll expect from premium robot vacuums going forward.
Based purely on specs alone, it sounds like the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra will have a slightly better shot at the title of “best vac,” thanks to its price and a few of its extra cleaning and mapping perks. That being said, we may be totally floored by the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni once we get our mitts on it.
As soon as we test both vacs, we’ll be sure to report back with our hands-on impressions. Until then, we can only dream of what these titans of cleaning will do once they’re powered, sweeping, and scrubbing.