Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review: Superior cleaning

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is a great robot vacuum cleaner, but its high price will put it out of the reach of most.


Pros Cons
Good overall cleaning performance Single pad mopping could be better
Remote viewing capability works well Remote pet finding is less successful
Choice of voice assistants, including inbuilt Rocky Expensive!

Score: 4/5


Buy The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra! Buy On Amazon

In this review

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Specifications
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Design
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Installation
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Performance
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Conclusion


Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

A lot of robot vacuum cleaners, especially in the premium price tier where the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra very definitely sits try to stand out visually some way. In the case of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra, it’s by… looking like a small office printer. Or at least that’s the story for the black model I’ve tested with in my view.

That’s not a bad thing per se, but the stark lines of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra will make it stand out somewhat in a lot of home décor, unless you’re lucky enough to have a large enough nook to place it in. As is nearly always the case, you’ll need some spare space around the dock to accommodate it working properly, including the 419x409x470mm of the base station itself.

While it’s not the most stylish design to speak of – none of the Narwhal Freo X Ultra’s smooth lines here – what you don’t perhaps get in style you get back in spades in terms of utility and easy access. The two water containers (clean and dirty) are easy to access while still having a decent capacity at 4L clean/3.5L dirty.

That’s important in two respects; firstly it means you’re not always replenishing water, but equally they’re not so big as to be hard to carry from a sink to wherever you have the dock placed. From the looks of it, Roborock does have a plumbed model that sidesteps that issue in international markets, but that’s not being sold here in Australia.

The same easy access is true of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra’s dust bag, which hides behind a front compartment with an easy fold-down action. There’s a separate compartment for cleaning solutions if you use them, but all I’ve done for the purposes of this review is mopped with fresh water.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The actual robot mop part of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is your classic rounded design with a few notable tweaks, including an extendable brush arm and a relatively prominent LIDAR bump at the top. I do tend to prefer a black robot vacuum, simply because the nature of their work means that white models almost paradoxically tend to show more dust. Robot vacuums are still all about being somewhat lazy with your cleaning (let’s be honest here), and who wants to spend time cleaning a robot?


Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The physical installation of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is actually quite easy, with only a baseplate to snap into position on the dock and a power cable to connect. You then pass over to the Roborock App for iOS and Android to actually install the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra via scanning its onboard QR code.

Here I did hit an issue with both models of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra that I tested with, specifically with iOS devices. The core idea here – common to most robot vacuums – is that it sets up an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network that you connect your phone to in order to transfer over your home’s WiFi network details.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

All good and fine, and while an iPhone 15 Pro could see the network and connect to it, for whatever reason the Roborock app rather consistently failed to then finish the handshaking and pass the details over.

It’s notable that the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra only supports 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, not 5Ghz at all, but I don’t think this was the issue. Switching to the Android version of the Roborock app on a Google Pixel 8 Pro neatly solved this conundrum. Because each Roborock robot is tied to an account, I could then switch back to the iPhone for actual operation; there’s really no difference in app compatibility beyond this.


Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

This review has taken me a little longer than anticipated, and that’s mostly because the first Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra I got in for testing failed with a LIDAR detection issue. I can’t ignore that, but equally I can’t judge the whole line on one product, and to its credit, Roborock was very efficient in providing feedback, trying to diagnose the issue and providing a replacement product. These things happen, but it’s also a nice reminder to keep receipts and be aware of your own broader consumer rights.

Once I had a unit set up and working, I could test out just how well it actually handled my somewhat complex home, which incorporates fixed floor, floating floor and multiple carpets.

The short answer here is: Very well indeed. Initial mapping is very quick and quite intelligent, noting out where it detects specific items of furniture and naming them correctly, as well as some cable locations.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

Roborock’s claim is that it can also detect and avoid pet bowls to minimise spillage of food or water, and this was mostly handled well too, though not always for my cat’s food bowls. It’s not like my cats leave even the slightest skerrick of food uneaten, though, so this was never an issue.

The Roborock app covers the basics of cleaning rooms, entire floors or areas intelligently, and it gets the basics of why anyone would buy a robot vacuum cleaner dead right. It’s about making a chore into a simple process, best run every day as a maintenance level clean.

On the vacuuming side I had few complaints, with mess quickly detected and picked up by the robot arm that can extend out to get very close – not quite full distance, but closer than most – to the edges of furniture. It’s also kind of cool just to see the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra fire up its light when cleaning under some furniture, or just because the lights are out – it gives it that proper “I’m living in the future and have a robot” vibe.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

No dirt shall escape, even if it's hiding in the dark.

While the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra was reasonably smart about cables, it did have a notable issue with wool if you have a craft-centric person in your house. Unwinding a ball of wool wrapped around a robot brush arm isn’t much fun, though thankfully this only happened once.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)


On the mopping side, Roborock’s opted for a single mopping pad with a high vibration rate to clean up spills and polish floors. Roborock’s contention is that this is better than rotating mop heads… and I’m not 100% convinced that’s true, though the reality here is that both are still doing basic maintenance mopping, not absolute detritus cleaning.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

You should always keep the front of your Godzilla cabinet shiny and clean.

A sample test with slightly-too-much-flour dropped on my kitchen floor did leave a little to be desired with some material left over, though realistically unless your home was super filthy to begin with it probably wouldn't have that much grime on the floor most of the time -- or at least you'd hope not. The name of the game here is very clearly maintenance mopping, however.

Overall, however, the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra performs well, managing the trickier parts of my floors without getting stuck too often. On deeper carpet areas it did slow down – every robot vacuum cleaner does – but the higher than typical 20mm lift meant that even if I was also mopping other floor areas, there was little in the way of dampness getting into my carpets.

Roborock also provides a remote access function for its cameras, so you can use it to track the robot as it cleans, make remote calls or even theoretically track and find your pets. I say theoretically, because in the time I’ve been testing it, while it does trundle around the floor checking nooks and crannies, it doesn’t seem to be that good at actual pet detection. Either that or my cats are invisible to it, even though I’ve seen them through the Roborock app myself.

One nice feature here is that remote viewing has to be activated via physical access to the robot itself, and it’s protected with a pattern gesture to at least provide a simple level of security. Of course if you don’t want those features you can just leave the camera access entirely inactive. I can’t quite see the point of using a robot vacuum cleaner as a calling system when you’d have the camera at foot height, unless you’ve got some very Tarantino-esque fetishes.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra supports multiple voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home. It’s also Matter certified, which gives it plenty of scope for incorporating into a wider array of smart home appliance setups. If you’ve got none of that, Roborock also includes its own voice assistant, Rocky.

Rocky only understands some very specific instructions, but it’s clear that (once enabled) it’s listening all the time for its wake word – not surprisingly, it’s “Hello Rocky” – to kick into gear.

The one problem here is that its comprehension of “Hello Rocky” is a little… well… rocky.

I’ve had Rocky complain it couldn’t understand an instruction given because it picked up the word “Rocky” from my coffee machine grinding beans, which was just downright weird. Rocky is I guess OK if you don’t have other voice assistants in play, but it’s definitely an assistant that needs a little fine tuning to become truly useful.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra: Alex’s Verdict

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra (Photo: Alex Kidman)

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is really good robot vacuum cleaner – but then, for $2,999 it absolutely should be. That’s top tier robot vacuum cleaner pricing, and while it does its primary function well, that price is almost certainly going to be the sticking point for most wanting to adopt a labour-saving home cleaning robot.

Pricing and availability

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra retails in Australia for $2,999.

Buy The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra! Buy On Amazon

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