What’s the difference between the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max?

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A cartoon of robot vacuum cleaners battling.

While not the latest models, the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max, along with their respective variants, remain very popular among customers looking for a helping hand in cleaning their home. This detailed comparison will highlight the differences and commonalities of the three models, allowing you to make an informed purchasing decision.

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First to the scene, the Roborock S7 gained plaudits for its introduction of sonic mopping, making it the first 2-in-1 robot vacuum cleaner and mop that actually did a decent job wiping floors. The Q7, and then the Q7 Max, complement the S7 as mid-range and budget variant.

The tl;dr of this comparison is that while the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max are all very capable robot vacuum cleaners, the S7 is better suited to those that require mopping. The Q7 has a smaller, gravity-based water tank and a non-vibrating mop. It is also incapable of lifting the mop over carpets. However, it does have a higher suction power and larger dustbin. While the Roborock Q7 Max does feature an electronic water tank, which should be more capable at pumping an accurate amount of water, it also doesn’t feature the sonic mopping or lifting functionality.

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Table of Contents

When were the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max released?

The Roborock S7 was made available on March 24, 2021, while the Q7 followed up in December of the same year. While the Roborock S7 is generally the pricier model, the difference in cost can vary depending on discounts. The Roborock Q7 Max followed up in January 2022. Price-wise, it sits between the two other models.

Why is there a Roborock S7+, Q7+, and Q7 Max+?

The + in the name indicates that the robot vacuum cleaner comes with an auto-empty dock. The inclusion of the self-emptying dock does add a ~USD150-200 premium to the price, but as someone who just made the switch, I can highly recommend it.

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There are vanilla variants of each model available. Depending on your needs and available space, these might be the better choice for you. Do keep in mind that the auto-emptying dock is significantly larger than just the charging dock.

What do the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max have in common?

Everything not related to vacuum cleaning or mopping is comparable on the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max. They use LiDAR navigation to create precise maps of your home, which allow you to select rooms or zones for cleaning. One advantage the S7 does have over the other models in this comparison, is the ability to store multiple floors. The Q7 and Q7 Max will act as dumb robot vacuum cleaners whenever they are placed in an area they do not recognize.

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Each robot vacuum cleaner uses the same 5200 mAh battery, and according to Roborock, they are suitable for areas up to 300 ㎡. That battery lets them do their job for up to three hours in quiet mode, while the volume in balanced mode is also equal at 67 dB. The similarities don’t end on the inside, as each model is available in either white or black.

The Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max will all return to the dock to top up the battery if they do not have enough juice to complete a clean-up. Similarly, they will also return to the dock once a clean-up has been completed. Speaking of cleaning, the air exiting the dustbin is filtered by a washable E11 air filter, which is great for those with allergies.

Other commonalities include the ability to be updated over the air (OTA), the inclusion of downloadable voice packs, and the inclusion of a do not disturb mode in the app. Even when bought with the self-emptying dock, the dustbin can and should be removed and cleaned regularly.

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Is the S7, Q7, or Q7 Max the better robot vacuum cleaner?

When it comes to vacuum cleaning, numbers aren’t everything. On paper, the Roborock Q7 Max should be vastly superior to the S7 and Q7. With a suction power of 4200 Pa, it trumps the 2700 Pa of the Q7 and 2500 Pa of the S7. Based on the numbers alone, the Roborock S7 should fall behind significantly, but it does have a trick up its sleeve.

The Roborock S7 robot vacuum cleaner in black.
High-end: Roborock S7
Mid-range: Roborock Q7 Max
Budget: Roborock Q7

What the Roborock Q7 and Q7 Max do not have, but the S7 does, is a floating brush. This allows it to more effectively track the ground. The most noticeable difference the floating brush makes is on carpets. Independent testing has shown that it outclasses both the Q7 and Q7 Max, and can even match them on hard floors. As you can tell, it’s not all about the power, but how you use it.

There might be one other reason why this apparent anomaly exists. The Roborock S7’s main motor is rated at 68 W, while the Q7’s and Q7 Max’s top out at 50 W and 58 W, respectively. It would appear that Roborock possibly got a bit creative when measuring the suction power of each model, or perhaps they changed their testing methods between releases.

Should you buy the Roborock S7, Q7, or Q7 Max for mopping?

If decent mopping is what you are after, your only option is the Roborock S7. While the Roborock Q7 Max does at least use an electronic water tank, it can’t compete with the sonic vibrations of the Roborock S7’s mop. Both the Q7 and Q7 Max will struggle to clean up stains from any hard flooring.

If the Roborock S7 isn’t in your budget, the Roborock Q7 Max is the next best option. Besides actively pumping the water to the mop, it also pushes the mop down with a 300 g force. The Q7 will just drag the mop along. What both the Q7 and Q7 Max lack is the ability to lift the mop. When using the Roborock S7, you can leave the mop attached, even when cleaning carpets, as it can lift the mop a couple of millimetres that suffice to avoid getting any fabric wet.

Because the Q7 and Q7 Max can’t lift the mop, they neither include any sensors that detect them. The Roborock S7 not only uses these sensors to avoid getting carpets wet, but it will also automatically increase the suction when it detects one.

Differences in the auto-empty dock

The auto-empty docks of the Roborock Q7 and Q7 Max are identical. It exclusively uses a 2.5 l bag which can, according to Roborock, last for up to 7 weeks. The design is narrower and taller than that of the Roborock S7, although neither auto-empty dock is wider than the robot vacuum cleaner itself.

The Roborock S7’s auto-emptying dock features two distinct, tubular chambers. In one the motor and electronics are located, in the other, transparent chamber, the dirt goes. For those wanting to waste less, this dock has the advantage of coming in two variants: one uses a bag and the other is bagless, making use of cyclone technology. Roborock claims that this dock can empty the dustbin for up to six weeks.

Differences in design between the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max

The three robot vacuum cleaners are strikingly similar when it comes to their respective design. You would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a Roborock S7 and Q7 Max at a distance, even though there are a few subtle differences. The Roborock Q7 is slightly more unique, but at the end of the day, I don’t think design should be a consideration when choosing from the three models.

Roborock S7
Roborock Q7 Max
Roborock Q7

The plastic encircling the LiDAR sensor has a wave shape in it. While the Q7 Max doesn’t have this feature, it does have a few coloured circles in the same place, giving it a similar appearance. There are three buttons towards the front of both models.

The Roborock Q7 loses a button and doesn’t feature any waves or patterns. Instead, it has a more prominent Roborock (stylized as roborock) logo embossed on a glossy plastic bar that extends from the LiDAR sensor. On top of the LiDAR is the now rather unfortunate Roborock logo.

Conclusion: You get what you pay for

As might be obvious by now, Roborock has priced the Roborock S7, Q7, and Q7 Max, according to their functionality. The Roborock S7 wins in both vacuum cleaning and mopping, despite having the lowest suction power on paper. The Q7 Max is a decent option if you have mainly carpets in your home and don’t require frequent mopping. Whenever you do use it for mopping, it does an okay job. The Roborock Q7 is clearly the loser in everything but price. It will still do a good job, especially if you don’t own any pets, but its pricier siblings are clearly superior in all aspects.

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