Before jumping into the full review, I want to note that everything I have to say about the robot vacuum itself also relates to the other S7 MaxV models. The only thing that makes the model I reviewed “Ultra” is its auto-emptying dock that also serves as a self-cleaning and refilling station.

Superior Specs and Cleaning Performance

The Roborock S7 MaxV is like most other robot vacuums in terms of design and basic functionality. It’s a round appliance that drives around autonomously picking up debris, all while only being a little more than a foot in diameter and several inches tall. It also features three physical buttons that can be used to turn the vacuum on/off, send it back to its dock, activate a spot cleaning mode, and more.

Unlike very early robot vacuums that randomly drove around your home, bouncing into walls and furniture, the S7 MaxV uses a combination of lidar, an RGB camera, and 3D structured light to map out and navigate your living area. Having a self-generated “blueprint” of your residence allows the device to calculate the most-efficient route to ensure your place is thoroughly cleaned.

Additionally, the use of an optical camera in conjunction with lidar allows the S7 MaxV to identify objects and avoid them. For example, using what Roborock calls “ReactiveAI 2.0,” the device is capable of spotting electrical cables, pet waste, and other obstacles that might become damaged or make a mess if the vacuum were to come in contact with them.

I should also mention that the S7 MaxV has a 5,200mAh battery and an estimated runtime of about 180 minutes. I’ve never had the vacuum run out of battery while cleaning my home, but if it ever did run out of juice, the robot is designed to go back to its charging station, recharge to whatever percentage is needed to clean any untouched areas, and then head back out.

So the S7 MaxV is great at navigating a room, but is it any good at vacuuming and mopping? The short answer is that it’s fantastic.

Suction power is hard to calculate on robot vacuums, but Roborock claims that the S7 MaxV is capable of 5,100Pa when fully charged and using the most-powerful cleaning mode. This is an incredible improvement from the 2,500Pa advertised in last 2021’s S7 and the same 2,500Pa that the top-of-the-line Roomba s9+ is estimated to be capable of.

From my month of testing the S7 MaxV, I can say it’s capable of picking up any and all debris. Roborock’s website states that 2,000Pa of suction power is capable of picking up a AA battery, but what I really cared about is if 5,100Pa was enough to suck my golden retriever’s fur out of carpeting. Other robot vacuums have failed at this task, but it was no challenge for the S7 MaxV.

The mopping functionality is also better than most other robot mops. Instead of simply dragging around a wet cloth, Roborock uses sonic vibration technology to scrub your floors as it roams your home. According to the company, the mopping module vibrates in such a way that it scrubs up to 3,000 times a minute.

Having the scrubbing feature handy is a huge plus for cleaning up messes that have dried up on your floor. But something to keep in mind is that the S7 MaxV (by default) only uses water to mop. So while dirt and other grime are being cleaned up, your floors aren’t necessarily being disinfected.

If you have carpets, you don’t need to worry about them getting wet. The S7 MaxV automatically raises the entire mop module as soon as it detects any soft surface. It’s honestly amazing watching the vacuum seamlessly move from my laminate floors to a surface rug, all without a single drop of water transferring over.

I’ll sum up my thoughts on the S7 MaxV’s vacuuming and mopping features with this: I think robot vacuums are close to replacing standard upright vacuum cleaners, but they aren’t there just yet. Roborock has created a device that, if run regularly, can keep your home clean, but I still recommend a deep clean every couple of weeks using a dedicated vacuum, mop, and cleaning solutions.

No More Daily Maintenance

One of the most significant pain points with most robot vacuums is the amount of routine maintenance needed to ensure consistent cleanings. For example, I have always run my robot vacuum on a daily basis to help clean up after my dog that sheds a lot. To ensure the built-in dustbin (which comes in with a capacity of 400ml/13.5oz) is never overfilled, I’d need to empty it every day or two.

The same goes for the mop. The robot routinely cleaned a 430-square-foot area of my house. With a water tank capacity of 200ml/6.7oz, I needed to refill it every couple of days. Oh, and let’s not forget having to remove the mop to manually clean it just as often to remove any debris.

Enter the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra with its large and extremely useful docking station. Now, self-emptying docks have been around for several years, but they typically only collect debris from the robot’s dustbin and store it in a vacuum bag. The Ultra’s dock does so much more.

First, we should talk about the automatic mop washing functionality. To ensure you’re not scrubbing the floor with a dirty cloth, this brush system (pictured below) washes and removes any debris from the mop multiple times during a cleaning. You can configure the mop wash frequency to either clean the mop every 10 to 50 minutes or between rooms in order to avoid any cross-contamination.

This mop-cleaning area is also supposed to clean itself, but as you can see, some dirt has accumulated. A quick wipe down every couple of weeks should be more than enough to keep this area looking good.

Second, the Ultra’s dock also acts as a water tank refilling station. Up top, you’ll find three separate sections. Two of these are water tanks and the third is the cover for the vacuum bag. One tank is used to house clean water that’ll be used to mop the floors and clean the robot, while the other collects the dirty water.

I ran the S7 MaxV Ultra every morning, mopping less than 430 square feet each time, and only had to refill the clean water tank every 7 to 9 days. You’re alerted in the Roborock mobile app and on the dock itself when the fresh water tank is empty and needs to be refilled.

A quick word of warning: You’ll know that the mop and the cleaning system are working when you go empty out the dirty water tank. It stinks. Fortunately, you aren’t able to smell the grimy water while the tank’s lid is sealed. While you could go more than a week without emptying it, I definitely recommend making it a weekly routine.

And lastly, the dock also houses a disposable vacuum bag that collects roughly seven weeks of debris. Even with the amount of dog fur my S7 MaxV Ultra picks up, it isn’t full after a month, so the seven-week estimate appears to be pretty spot on. I don’t know how expensive additional vacuum bags will be as they aren’t for sale at the time of writing, but you can get a 12-pack for the last-gen Roborock S7 for $42.

As previously mentioned, the Ultra dock is quite large. Coming in at 16.6-inches wide, 19.8-inches tall, and 16.5-inches deep, you’re going to need a decent amount of space in your home to house the machine. Thankfully, the matte black color helps disguise it.

I also recommend routinely flipping over the S7 MaxV and checking for hair build-up around both of the brushes. I found dog fur, loose threads, and other debris wrapped around the rotating brush and inside the rolling brush. This is a common issue with all robot vacuums, but thankfully it’s easy to clean out.

Controlling the S7 MaxV: Everything Lives in the App

The Roborock app (available for iPhone and Android) is the S7 MaxV’s control center. It is used to set up the robot vacuum, schedule cleanings, adjust vacuum and mop settings, track when various parts need cleaning or replacing, check cleaning history, and so much more.

The app’s most fun feature is the ability to remotely control the S7 MaxV. Thanks to the robot’s optical camera, you can literally drive the robot around your home. And if you really want to scare your family or pets, you can speak to them using the built-in speaker.

But don’t worry, in addition to Roborock working with TUV Rheinland to certify the S7 MaxV as a safe and secure smart home device, the robot audibly announces when anyone is remotely viewing the camera feed every 10 to 20 seconds.

Should You Buy the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra?

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the best robot vacuum I’ve ever tested, but it also has a price tag much higher than most. Coming in at $1,399.99, it’s $150 more expensive than bundling iRobot’s top-of-the-line Roomba S9+ and Braava jet m6 Robot Mop.

You have to decide if the convenience of weekly maintenance of the robot vacuum instead of daily care is worth the money. The S7 MaxV Ultra goes on sale on May 2, 2022, if you think it’s a good fit for your home.

If that’s a bit too high for your wallet, you can grab the S7 MaxV with just the charging dock for $859.99 or the S7 MaxV Plus which comes with an auto-emptying dock for $1,159.99. The S7 MaxV and S7 MaxV Plus are both available for purchase at the time of publishing this review.