(Pocket-lint) - The Roborock Xiaowa E25 is another robot vacuum cleaner that promises similar cleaning finesse to the Roborock S5 - but with a more affordable price tag.
At first glance this new bot appears pretty capable too. It's packed full of sensors, gyroscopes and cleaning tech that's designed to get the job done efficiently and effectively. But just how good is it?
Design and features
- 2600mAh lithium-ion battery capable of 1.5 hours cleaning
- Dual-action tangle-free main brush system
- 640ml dust bin with washable filters
- Included cleaning tool
The Xiaowa E25 looks fairly similar to the Roborock S5 we reviewed previously - and that's no bad thing. Many of the same design features are present here including the charging dock, main cleaning brush, side brush, multiple sensors and bump rail.
The E25 is cheaper, so there are some compromises in various areas - the battery, for example, is less capacious, while suction power is also slightly lower than its S5 brother. It makes up for this with a larger dust bin and a slightly quieter operating volume though.
Highlights to E25's design include a dual-action brush system which sports both rubber fins and traditional brush bristles. This allows the bot to clean effectively both on carpet and hard flooring when moving from room to room. The rubber fins make light work of dust and dirt on hard, tiled or lino flooring while the bristles help pick up debris from carpets.
Basically this smartphone app-controlled, intelligent-mapping, all-floor cleaning and mopping bot is designed to clean whatever surface you throw at it. Well, assuming you're not going to put it on a gravel driveway or anything bonkers like that (please don't do that).
We thought highly of this simple, yet brilliant, brush design on the Roborock S5 - and the feeling continues in the E25 too. It's also designed to be tangle-free, meaning it's less likely to get wrapped in hair and fibres. If it does get messy, however, then there's also a cleaning tool supplied with a sharp blade built right into it. This tool can be used to easily cut hair from the main brush to keep it cleaning effectively.
The bot comes supplied with two washable filters as well, meaning there's no regular extra expense having the replace them when they get dirty.
If you don't want to use the accompanying smartphone app (download links for Android and iPhone devices available here) then the E25's exterior has three buttons which let you control the robot - sending it off for a standard clean, pausing it mid-action, docking for a charge, or start spot cleaning.
Setup and cleaning cycles
- Android/iPhone app
- Remote control functionality
- Scheduled, zone cleaning and mopping system
Setup of the Roborock Xiaowa E25 is joyfully easy. Once it's charged, you simply need to download the Mi Home app (as above, it's available for either Android or iPhone smartphones). That app then scans for any nearby Roborock robots (just, y'know, in case you have half a dozen of them in your mansion house) and allows you to pair them with your phone before adding them to your home Wi-Fi network.
Within the app, you then have access to a variety of settings for getting the E25 setup the way you want it. Set automatic cleaning schedules, adjust suction levels, update the firmware, view cleaning logs, and more.
The bot can be set to come out on a daily schedule on weekdays, weekends or entire weeks. You can set a custom schedule to have it clean whenever you want. You can set the bot to come out cleaning multiple times a day and even with different suction levels if you so choose.
For more general use, you can also remotely set the bot off on a cleaning pass via controls within the app. You can also pause it or send it back to the dock if it's come out at an inconvenient moment. Maybe you've got that important telephone interview for an epic job. Or you're trying to get your automated banking system to hear your voice.
Remote controlled cleaning is also available with the use of a virtual joystick and directional controls, so there is a multitude of cleaning controls available. Just don't play with this bot like it's Gran Turismo.
If you're the proud owner of an Amazon Echo device, there's also an Alexa Skill that allows you to start and stop this robot vacuum cleaner, which is great. The skill can't do much beyond that though, so it's pretty simple.
- High precision laser-detection scanning
- In-app mapping system
- Dual-gyroscope navigation system with laser and LED motion sensors
- 13 sensors for monitoring deceleration, collision detection, cliff sensing, motion tracking and more
- Real-time monitoring of cleaning progress
The Roborock Xiaowa E25 uses a variety of sensors not only to help it get about, but also to ensure it avoids bumping into household objects, knocking things over or getting stuck.
It has cliff-detection (for use with stairs, really, not the White Cliffs of Dover) and anti-fall sensors to make sure it doesn't tumble. There's also an accelerometer and deceleration sensor which allow it to move at the right speed for the size of the room. This means it doesn't charge about like a cleaning maniac knocking over or bumping into everything it in its path, but instead carefully makes its way about your home.
However, this system means the robot at first appears to be not quite as clever as some others. It seems to stop mid-clean, pause and look about a bit before carrying on. It's only when you realise why that you appreciate the design and how it works. It's far less likely to bump into things or get stuck and does its job without much fuss.
The combination of these sensors and motion-detection capabilities allow the Xiaowa E25 to work out where it is and where it has been inrelation to the room. This results in a real-time cleaning map that's visible within the app. The cleaning logs keep a record of these maps and represent a virtual history of each and every clean, which can make for a useful reference if you're not sure the robot has done its job properly.
This mapping isn't quite as intelligent as the system in the Roborock S5, as in the E25 it's a new map for every outing and you cannot draw virtual barriers - but it's a nice visual aid to a successful clean.
We found during testing that the Xiaowa E25 made its way around rooms with fantastic ease. It rarely got stuck or had issues moving from room to room. The only problems came when it mounted children's toys or things that had been accidentally left strewn around the house. That's the thing with robot vacuum cleaners - you have to be fairly tidy in the first place for them to work without any fault.
We were thoroughly impressed with the way this bot moved about in fact. It proved more than capable of returning to its charging dock when it needed some extra juice or had finished a clean successfully - even when that dock was tucked away in the corner of the room. An impressive feat given that many other bots would often get stuck in such a small space.
It doesn't really matter where the E25 starts its cleaning duties from either, as it still manages to find its way back to the charging dock - even if you pick it up and move it to another room for a spot clean rather than starting it off from the dock. Just don't take it to your mates house, as that'll be a step too far for the poor blighter.
If it does get stuck or lost then there's an option in the app to "locate" the vacuum. This makes it pipe up "Hi, I'm over here!" to let you know where it is. This voice capability is also used to give you an audible warning if there are problems, or to let you know what the bot is up to (returning to dock, starting a scheduled clean, and so forth).
Room cleaning capabilities
- Multiple suction levels: Silent, Standard, Strong, Max
- Spot cleaning and mopping mode included
- 1800Pa pressure suction with automatic carpet sensing
On a scheduled clean, the Roborock Xiaowa E25 behaves in a similar manner to the Roborock S5. It makes a single pass of all the flooring areas it can reach before returning to the charging dock. Where most other robot vacuums will keep cleaning until they run out of battery, this robot stops when it has completed that pass. This isn't necessarily a problem, as the bot is more than capable of delivering decent results on a regular basis.
The E25 is equipped with large wheels that allow it to mount and easily pass over small thresholds, rugs and other obstacles. This design allows it to easily move from room to room, cleaning as it goes.
There are multiple suction levels available to choose from including silent, standard, strong, and max modes. Add to this the carpet boost mode which automatically adjusts to a more powerful suction level when the robot detects it's not cleaning hard floor and you've got a capable cleaning bot.
One of the complaints we had with the Roborock S5 was the size of the dustbin - which measures a measly 480ml - but the E25 offers a 640ml bin, which makes quite a difference when it comes to frequency of emptying. We still found that we were emptying it daily if not bi-daily though (we can probably blame our puppy for that) - which is a testament to the cleaning prowess of this bot.
Maintenance of the bot isn't difficult either. Every now and then you just need to remember to lift the flap on top, remove the dustbin and dispose of the small bails of dust contained within. The dustbin is also washable, just like the filters, so it's easy to keep the bot clean - an essential task to ensure it continues to be efficient at its job.
This bot vacuums by moving across the room, side-to-side in a z-shaped pattern, leaving satisfying wheel tracks in thick carpet as it goes. Once that's done it then proceeds to do an edge clean too.
If you require it, there's also a spot cleaning mode, where you can pick the bot up (or use the remote control) and move it to a problem area then set it loose. This mode sees the robot clean outwards in a spiral pattern, picking up dirt as it goes. We enjoyed watching the bot perform in this mode as it also successfully accounted for objects in its path rather than getting stuck.
This robot vacuum sports a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery that's capable for around an hour and a half of continuous cleaning. Realistically - unless you live in a mansion - you won't need the bot to be out that much. We found several rooms were often cleaned in under half an hour, but you can easily combine cleaning and mopping passes with one charge of the battery.
As well as standard cleaning, this Roborock robot vacuum is also capable of mopping. It comes supplied with a detachable mopping system with two microfibre cloths. These cloths are moistened by the water reservoir as the robot works. It provides only a cursory mopping of your floors, certainly not a clean good enough to replace a full sized mop, detergent and bucket system, but more than enough to keep floors in reasonable shape.
The Roborock Xiaowa E25 is yet another capable robot vacuum cleaner from Roborock that we've enjoyed having to help with day-to-day cleaning. It's bristling with sensors that make it more than able to get around the house and back to its charger without fuss.
It's also packed full of cleaning features that we love, but like the Roborock S5, it's perhaps the little things that make the biggest differences. The large dustbin, the accompanying maintenance tool, the dual-action brush and the mopping system are all excellent highlights to this bot.
The real topper is the E25's price. This is one of the most affordable and feature-packed bots we've tested and we'd be hard pressed not to recommend it.
Others to consider
The Roborock S5 is the more expensive sibling of the Xiaowa E25. It has a bigger battery, more suction power and a more intelligent mapping system that includes an interactive map where you can add virtual lines to block the cleaner from going places you don't want it to. Those extras come at a price, but it's still worth every penny in our book.
iRobot Roomba 980
The iRobot Roomba 980 is one of the more powerful bots we've tested. It provides brilliantly regimented cleaning results and is capable of cleaning on any surface. It also features Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatibility too, making it well worth a look.