Roborock recently released a new range of robotic vacuum cleaners available to Australians. The Q7 Max sits in the middle of the range at $999, with a solid foundation of features and technologies that should suit most homes. Spending more money will get you things like an auto-emptying docking station, whereas the Q7 Max comes with a simple charging station. Still, there’s lots on offer, including impressive suction power, 3D navigation, a long battery life, mopping capability and more. We tried it out in our home for a couple of weeks to see what it can do.
In this review, we won’t be detailing how a robot vacuum works, but if you’d like to know more – and whether a robot vac is right for your home –check out our definitive GadgetGuy Guide.
In the Roborock Q7 Max box you’ll get:
Roborock Q7 Max robotic vacuum and mop cleaner
Dock charger with official Australian power cable
Washable HEPA Filter
English user manual
The Q7’s standout features include 4200Pa of suction, a cleaning capacity of up to 300m2, a roomy dustbin and water tank (470ml / 350ml each) and large 5200mAh battery. This means that the Q7 should be able to clean larger homes and manage it on a single battery charge per cleaning, with a max runtime of 180 minutes (in Quiet Mode).
For navigation, the Q7 features a cutting edge PreciSense LiDAR scanner that helps it ‘see’ using lasers, in kind of the same way that radar lets submarines ‘see’ with sound. This technology separates the Q7 from cheaper vacuums and enables it to create a virtual map, down to 2 centimeters, to accurately map your home. And the better the map, the better the cleaning. Lastly, there’s a floor mopping function, which helps keep wood and tile floors cleaner than vacuuming alone.
Getting started was surprisingly quick and easy. We plugged in the charging station, set the Q7 on the charging connectors and downloaded the Roborock app. From there, the app steps you through connecting the vac to your home’s Wi-Fi. Once this was finished, we could see our Q7 in the app, and start the initial mapping phase. You are given the option of letting the Q7 roll around your house to create its first map, as well as clean and map at the same time. We choose the latter.
This process took about 30 minutes, and the Q7 started its tour of discovery of our flat, using its LiDAR sensor to map out the space. We could watch this process in the app, where a 2D map started to form, along with the Q7’s location and lines showing where it had been. This is a handy way to remotely check in on where your vac is and the work done so far.
Once the process was complete, we could then make some edits to our home’s map. The LiDAR scanner did a great job figuring out the shape the rooms, but as we have a lot of floor to ceiling glass, LiDAR sees through this and interprets it as space. Not that this would cause the Q7 to roll through windows as it has bump sensors that stop this, but you can set no-go zones, invisible walls, no-mop areas and other tweaks with the map editing tools. You can also name rooms, create cleaning zones and even switch on a nifty 3D map view!
How it cleans
How you use the Q7 is up to you. There are Start, Pause and Spot Cleaning buttons on the top of the unit, so you can simply press one of these to start or pause a clean, or set the vac near some dirt and press the spot clean button. Spot Cleaning will tell the Q7 to clean in a spiral pattern around the area and stop once finished.
Otherwise, you can open the control app and manually start a clean, or create a cleaning schedule. You can customise cleaning too by selecting one or more rooms or zones, or mix it up and create a ‘cleaning routine’. I like the ‘after meals’ routine, which includes our kitchen and lounge area only, and a great way to collect crumbs and other bits dropped while preparing and eating meals. Lastly, you can even assign voice commands to use with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can simply ask your vac to start and it will happily oblige. We set ours up with Siri and it worked quite well (we also ask Siri to turn on our lights and play music and are accustomed to using voice commands). The only trick is remembering exactly what to say, such as “Start robot vac” to kick things off, but this is customisable.
During our tests, the Q7 vacuumed our flat six or seven times. During this period, there was never an occasion where it was unable to find its way back to the charging dock. Even if we picked it up and placed it in any room, it would simply figure out where it was using its LiDAR and map and then plot its way back to base.
In terms of cleaning, we were surprised how much dust and dirt it picked up even after using a Dyson V10 stick vac to clean the area beforehand. The 470ml dust container would fill up by about a third for each full cleaning. We were also surprised that it successfully navigated the different surfaces including a tasselled rug, wood-to-rug edges, table legs and dining room chairs and across the raised base of our coffee table.
As there’s a little sweeper brush, this can help the Q7 get into corners and whisk dirt beneath the main brush. This is of the floating variety, so it has some latitude to move up or down depending on what the vac is rolling over. Keep in mind that the Q7 is limited to picking up dust and smaller items, such as crumbs, fluff, flakes, rice and so on. It also did a fair job cleaning up pet hair, but this was the shorthair variety. It can’t manage larger, heavier items, such as a thick carrot slice or large dog biscuit.
The suction power can be manually selected from ‘quiet’ to ‘balanced’ to ‘turbo’ and ‘max’ settings, which will also impact noise and battery life. Ours was on ‘balanced’ which provided a good combination of charge range and cleaning, while not scaring the cat too much. Actually, we thought the robot vac would terrorise her, but at a max of 67dB, it’s not very loud or all that fast moving. Kitty slowly walked into another room rather than running for her life.
‘Mopping’ is really dragging a moist cloth across a wooden or tiled floor. It’s okay for keeping surfaces clean and getting rid of the odd sticky spot or muddy pet tracks. The system uses a washable cloth that can be removed and cleaned, along with an electronic water reservoir. You will need to tell the Q7 where to mop, and it will also vacuum the area at the same time, but it can’t raise the mop head while it moves across carpets to get to a wooden floor area – you’ll need to consider the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra for that feature. Overall, a proper handheld mop is the best solution for cleaning properly mucky floors, and not what the Q7 claims it is capable of doing.
Charging and app
In terms of charging, there was never an issue where the vac ran out of juice before it could make it back to its charging station. Our flat has about 60m2 of cleanable surfaces, whereas the max cleaning size is 300m2. The vac can charge from zero to full in less than 6 hours but it will just return automatically to its base when getting close to empty and manage recharging itself.
Using the app is handy, and it’s quite simple to navigate through the settings. You can see important stats like cleaning area, battery level and elapsed cleaning time along the top row. You can delve into options like reviewing cleaning history, set schedules, or check maintenance settings for cleaning the filter, main brush, side brush, sensors and mop.
When it comes to opening up your home to technology, it’s always important to consider your privacy. The Roborock app can collect a map of your home, along with information about your cleaning habits and house size.
Overall, the Roborock Q7 Max surprised and impressed. It was very adept at navigating the different surfaces, objects and furniture in our home and, with its powerful suction, was quite effective at picking up dirt, dust and fur. The app makes it easy to control remotely, and even works with voice assistants. Once it was all set up, we could simply forget all about it and come home to a freshly vacuumed floor, without ever needing to rescue it from a place it couldn’t manage. Of course, all homes are different, and some layouts don’t suit robots, but the Q7 Max is a great example of how far the technology has come.
Roborock Q7 Max
A great combination of LiDAR mapping, strong suction, long battery life and an easy to use app make the Roborock Q7 Max a genuinely useful choice for your home.
Value for money
Ease of use
Strong 4200Pa suction power that picks up a lot of dirt and dust per clean
Accurate LiDAR that maps your rooms very accurately so the Q7 Max doesn't get lost
Good object avoidance and navigates table and chair legs, gets under things
Long battery life to clean large spaces in a single charge
Easy to use app with plenty of cleaning, scheduling and mapping features
Mop is OK for basic floor wiping but can't scrub surfaces