Let me preface this review by saying that I’ve owned various robot vacuums over the last 20 or so years, and the technology has improved dramatically the past several years. I still remember my first iRobot Roomba. It was the dumbest vacuum in the world, and would get stuck so often. I used to hilariously watch it just bounce around, then eventually get stuck in the same corner for 20 minutes before the battery finally died. Rest that Roomba’s soulless corpse of e-waste. I then lived without a robot vacuum for several years, as we lived in tri-level townhouse, which made a robot vacuum not very practical. I eventually upgraded to a better iRobot Roomba maybe 10 years ago, but that one had smarter mapping abilities, but still bounced around a ton, before it “learned” the layout of your home. Most recently, I got a Roborock S4 Max, which is a sub-brand of Xiaomi, which this SmartAI S7 Max is also.
With the move to many homes with tiles, hardwood floors, engineered wood, luxury vinyl plank, etc., it makes more sense to get these robot vacuums. Run this guy daily or a few times a week. And supplement it with your normal stand-up vacuum. We actually have two, a Dyson ball-based for our deep cleaning, and also a Dyson V8 stick vacuum, for cleaning up quick messes.
Onto the SmartAI S7 Max. First a quick unboxing.
Brown box, nothing too glamorous. It’s what’s inside that counts.
Included in the Box:
-SmartAI S7 Max Robot Vacuum Cleaner
-mop cloth + water-bin
-Docking station + power adapter (various international plugs)
-spare HEPA filter
-brush cleaning tool
-2 x left and right brushes each
-remote control (batteries not included)
Now onto the fun stuff of setting the robot vacuum. The first thing you want to do is download the SmartAI app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Then you open up the app and you will see an option to “Add Device”.
The robot vacuum will start to search for any available Wi-Fi connections. Unfortunately, this is where I ran into my first, minor hiccup. From my experience, many of these Smart Home, IOT (Internet of Things) devices only support 2.4Ghz. If you happen to, like me, run a mesh router, or even a dual band (2.4Ghz/5Ghz) router, you’ll likely have to disable the 5Ghz radio temporarily. In my case, I can only adjust the power output levels of the 5Ghz frequency, but luckily that did the trick.
Then you should be able to add the robot vacuum to your network like normal. You do have to hold down a button on the robot vacuum itself to put it into pairing mode.
Once it was added, I could see the “SMARTAI S7 MAX” robot vacuum as active and it’s status. It also immediately prompted me to update to the latest firmware.
That took a minute or two, and I was onto running it for the first time. You are able to start the robot vacuum by either pressing the “Play” button on the device itself or by pressing the “Smart Clean” button in the app. The first time it runs, it will have to run a full cycle in order to map out the layout of your home. Similarly to the Roborock S4 Max that I already owned, the SmartAI S7 Max also uses a combination LiDAR navigation technology and other sensors to map out your home as well as to avoid objects.
You’re going to want to go grab a beer at this point, or pick up any loose toys, loose rugs, etc. so that the robot vacuum doesn’t suck it up. It’s going to take a bit depending on how large the layout of your home is.
After a full clean, you will be shown a nice layout of your home, in which you can now create boundaries, name the various rooms.
You may also want to create no-go zones, for areas where you may have a pet, loose toys, a plush rug, etc., that might get the robot vacuum stuck. I had a plush rug around my coffee table, which was an issue, so I created a rectangular no-go zone.
As you can see from the screenshot, the robot vacuum is very smart as far as it’s navigation ability. It cleans your home using a snake pattern, with some overlap, to clean up as much surface area as possible.
Here’s a few videos of it in action, doing the snack pattern.
There is a ton of automated/smart home type functions, but I haven’t had time to test them all. The S7 Max also has the ability to mop your hardwood floors, with the water-bin and mop cloth. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, I haven’t had time to test that functionality. Within the app itself, it allows you to schedule start/top times, isolate cleaning to only certain areas, etc. If you have a multi-level home, the app can map multiple floors, and automatically recognize which floor it’s cleaning even if you move it. It does a pre-scan of it’s surroundings prior to starting a clean, and will determine which map it will follow. Pretty awesome feature.
All in all, I was very impressed with the functionality and the ease of usage of the SmartAI S7 Max. It certainly should learn the layout and any minor changes to it over time and help to keep my house in order. Robot vacuums in general really force you to keep a somewhat tidy house, else you’ll learn quickly once you chew through a few charging cables or eat up some toys. I look forward to experimenting with the scheduling features, Google Home and Alexa functionality, and the wet mop feature.