Roborock E4 Review
Pros: Great navigation, low price
Cons: Could be better with pet hair, so-so cleaning performance
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$209.99 at Amazon
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$149.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great navigation, low price||Automatically empties its collections bin, good navigation, plenty of smart features||Great value, excellent cleaning abilities||Inexpensive, decent set of smart features||Inexpensive, good navigation|
|Cons||Could be better with pet hair, so-so cleaning performance||Pricey, poor performance with pet hair||Good, not great at navigating||Mediocre cleaning abilities, poor at picking up pet hair||Mediocre cleaning abilities, limited smart features|
|Bottom Line||If you are shopping for a low-cost robotic vacuum, then we think this product is one of the best bargain options out there||The automated dirt disposal is a neat feature but this pricey product didn't score too well in our tests overall||This is the best choice by far if you are shopping on a budget but don't want to sacrifice performance||If you absolutely have to have a robot vacuum and are shopping on a tight budget, the Ecovacs is a decent option||While this robot vacuum is one of the cheaper options out there, we weren't too impressed with its overall performance|
|Rating Categories||Roborock E4||Roomba i3+ with Cle...||Neato Botvac D4 Con...||Ecovacs Deebot N79S||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Home Coverage (20%)|
|Carpet Cleaning (15%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (15%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Smart Connect (10%)|
|Specs||Roborock E4||Roomba i3+ with Cle...||Neato Botvac D4 Con...||Ecovacs Deebot N79S||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|12.5" x 13.2" x 3.9"||13" diameter
|Measured Weight||6.6 lbs||7.1 lbs||7.4 lbs||5.2 lbs||5.9 lbs|
|Warranty||1 year limited||1 year limited||Robot - 1 year limited
Battery - 6 month limited
|1 year limited||1 year limited|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Charge time||Up to 4 hours||2-3 hours||2-3 hours||4-5 hours||5-6 hours|
|Multi-Room Navigation (Cleaning)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Barrier Type||Physical (magnetic strip, not included)||Virtual (not included)||No Go Lines (in App) and Physical (magnetic strip not included)||None||None|
|Filter Replacement Cost||Washable
2 for $33
|3 fr $35||Standard 4 for $20
High Pre 2 for $20
Ultra 2 for $30
|3 for $25 (accessory kit)||6 for $15|
|Brush Width||6 1/2"||6 3/4"||10 3/4"||5 1/2"||5 1/2"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In particular, we are extremely impressed by the navigation abilities of this robot. It handled cluttered areas much better than many of its competitors and would be one of our top recommendations if you have a labyrinth of furniture for your robot vacuum to navigate.
Our first round of tests scored and compared how well each robot maneuvered around furniture, how quickly and cleanly they located their charging dock, and if high-contrast can trip up their edge-detection sensors. The Roborock E4 delivered an exceptionally impressive set of results, earning it one of the best scores of the entire group.
This vacuum flawlessly navigated its way through our test course of furniture and never trapped itself to the point where it needed assistance. We found that this robot could essentially go wherever it could physically fit.
We also found that the Roborock E4 is exceptionally proficient at finding its way back to its docking base. It would go straight for it every time without getting lost — even when the robot was in a different room than the charger.
This robot also didn't have any problems with areas with high-contrast flooring, with its edge-detection sensors never registering a false positive as it transitioned from light to dark floor or vice-versa.
Our next set of trials for these robots rated and scored how much of your floor they could effectively clean. We awarded points based on how well each product handled multiple rooms, how well their spot clean functions worked, if they can automatically pause cleaning, recharge, and restart where they left off, and if you can implement barriers to keep the robot from entering certain areas to clean. Additionally, we also conducted a side-by-side comparison in our test room to see exactly how effective each robot is at cleaning in all the corners and nooks and crannies of a room. The Roborock E4 again did very well, earning one of the better scores of the bunch.
The Roborock E4 systematically creates a map of your home while it is cleaning, meaning that it can handle multiple rooms with ease. This also means that it can pause cleaning to recharge and then pick up where it left off if the battery becomes too depleted during the process.
However, we did find that this robot doesn't clean the biggest area when you start its spot cleaning functions, covering just under 13 square feet. It spirals out from the center point, then spirals back in, so it does at least perform two cleaning passes.
You can also use magnetic strips to block access to certain areas of your home, though none were included in the packaging for the Roborock E4. This robot did exceptionally well in our single-room side-by-side test, cleaning the entire floor where it could physically fit. It never omitted areas and delivered one of the top performances overall.
Our next three sets of tests focused on the actual cleaning power of these automated vacuums, starting with their performance on soft floors. We used flour, rice, oats, and mini-wheats on both low-pile and medium-pile carpet to see how each vacuum stacked up, as well as looking at how well each product cleans along walls and in corners. The performance of the Roborock E4 dropped a bit in this metric, with this robot delivering a fairly average performance.
This robot does decently well at cleaning along the edges and the corners of the room, leaving a strip of debris behind that measures about 3.5" across on the edges and a small triangle that can be up to 5" across in the corners of the robot pen we made to test this.
It did about average with the flour, cleaning up a good portion of it but leaves a noticeable residue behind.
The Roborock E4 did do very well in our rice test on the flatter carpet, successfully collecting all of the grains we spread out. However, it did a bit worse with the fluffier carpet, leaving behind any rice that had fallen deeper into the piles of the carpet.
This vacuum performed about the same when it came to collecting oats. It delivered a practically perfect performance on the flat carpet but left a bit more behind on the fluffier carpet. This vacuum also did very well with the mini-wheats, having sufficient clearance to easily collect them on both types of carpet.
Hard Surface Cleaning
We performed an identical set of tests for our hard floor metric with the Roborock E4, replacing the low-pile and medium-pile carpet with laminate floor. This vacuum performed about the same, earning a score in the middle of the group.
This vacuum did a little better in our corners and edges test, leaving a slightly thinner strip along the edges. However, it left slightly more debris in the corners with the wooden floor.
Unfortunately, it did a very poor job at cleaning up the flour, leaving plenty behind on the surface and in the cracks of the floor.
This vacuum did do much better with the rice and the oat, picking just about all of them up and leaving a negligible amount behind. However, this vacuum lacks the clearance to pick up larger items when on a hard surface, causing it to fail to collect a single mini-wheat in our test. Instead, it merely shoved them around while cleaning.
Our last cleaning metric rated and ranked how each robot vacuum did at cleaning up pet hair — one of the most difficult tasks for these products. Unfortunately, the Roborock E4 didn't perform the best, earning a score below average.
This vacuum got about 25% of the hair we laid out from the fluffy carpet but only managed to successfully collect around 14% from the flat carpet.
There was plenty of visible hair remaining on the floor after both tests and a decent amount was tangled up in this model's rotating brush, rather than making it all the way to its collection bin.
Our last testing metric looked at all the smart features and functions that each of these products have, such as if you can integrate them into your smart home, if they have a companion smart home app, if you can set a cleaning schedule, and if there are onboard controls. The performance of the Roborock E4 rebounded considerably in this metric, earning it one of the better scores of the group.
We found this robot to be quite reliable when it came to connecting to wifi and we almost never had issues with it throughout the course of our testing. It does have a companion app that lets you locate the robot, view a map of its cleaning progress, and view its cleaning history. It also allows you to adjust settings like the number of cleaning passes. You can connect this 'bot to an Alexa, IFTTT, or Google Home smart home ecosystem, though we didn't find a way to link it to an Apple home.
It also offers a versatile set of scheduling features and a set of onboard controls if you don't want to pull out your phone to start it on its cleaning cycle.
Overall, we think this robot is a fantastic value and highly recommend it to anyone shopping on a budget. It costs a fraction of what the top-tier models do and holds its own.
The Roborock E4 is the perfect option for anyone who needs a robot vacuum with top-tier navigation skills and is shopping on a reduced budget. It almost never required assistance and could wend its way around cluttered furniture with ease. It might not have the best overall cleaning skills if you are looking to entirely supplant your conventional vacuum with a robot but it can definitely keep your floors cleaner in between traditional vacuuming sessions and won't get stuck while doing it or blow your budget.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer