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Roborock impressed us with its model S5, an excellent robot vacuum that does double duty as a wet mop. Its hefty price tag could be stumbling block, however, for anyone working with a tight budget. A better fit might be Roborock’s newest cleaner, the Xiaowa Plus E35. It also mops in addition vacuuming, but gives up a few features in pursuit of a price tag that’s about half that of the S5.
The Xiaowa Plus E35 has a pretty standard robo-vac design. It measures 13.9 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches and weighs just over 6.5 pounds. It’s powered by a 14.4V, 5200 mAh battery that delivers a 2.5-hour running time—one of the longest we’ve seen—on a single charge. Paired with a 0.64-liter dustbin, it’s ideal for large rooms.
The vacuum has whopping 2000Pa maximum suction. You can cycle down to three lower levels—silent, normal, and strong—when you don’t need all that vacuuming power. One roller brush and one spinning brush do the dirt agitating, and a washable HEPA E11 filtration screen ensures the dust and debris don’t escape into the air.
In addition to the charging dock, the E35 comes with an attachable water tank and cloth for mopping your hard floors, and a waterproof pad to keep any residual water from dripping on your floor when the vacuum is docked.
Setup and usage
The E35 takes about three hours to fully charge. Before you charge it, you need to attach the waterproof mat to the charging dock. It slots onto the edge easily and two tabs keep it in place as long as you keep it on the ground. While the vacuum is charging, you can download the Mi Home companion app and add the device. It swiftly guides you through the wireless connection process.
I first had the robot vacuum the downstairs of my condo, which includes carpet, hardwood, and linoleum. The E35 doesn’t use a laser sensor to navigate like the S5; instead, it cleans in a Z-shape pattern, relying on its various sensors to guide it around obstacles. Once the whole area is covered, it then moves to clean along the walls. The E35 maps the space as it goes, so it knows where it has already cleaned and where it hasn’t.
The E35 was able to transition over the different flooring without issue, and generally worked its way around furniture without any hangups. Other obstacles gave it trouble, though. It got stuck on a floor mat in the bathroom and couldn’t negotiate a stray pair of shoes on the floor, but these interruptions are to be expected. The E35 emits a voice alert and pushes and notification to your phone. Remove the obstacle or free the vacuum from its snare, and it resumes cleaning.
The E35, however, frequently stalled when there was no real “obstacle” in its path. This happened most often when it was cleaning in the entryway. It stopped and gave an error alert a half dozen times in a span of about 10 minutes. The first time was when it encountered the front door. Instead of changing direction when its bumper sensor came in contact with the door, it just stopped and told me I needed to “clear the obstacle.” The remaining “errors” all occurred when it was cleaning along the baseboards. As it does this by making a small turn into the wall then straightening out, inching forward and repeating that cycle, I could only assume it was sometimes misinterpreting the wall itself as an obstacle.
In none of these incidents was there anything stuck in the vacuum’s brushes or under its wheels. I’d merely press the cleaning button to resume the job and he E35 would continue until the next time it got stuck.
To mop hard floors, you fill the mopping module and slot it under the E35’s dustbin. A mopping cloth comes pre-attached and a spare is provided.
As the E35 vacuums, it drags the damp cloth over your floor in its wake. (There is a dedicated mopping mode that reduces dust collection, but this must be enabled in the app.) This is adequate for getting rid of surface grime, which made it great for daily mopping of my two highest-traffic areas—the entry way and kitchen. Any spots of built-up dirt, though, still required a stick mop and some elbow grease.
It’s important to note here that the E35 doesn’t know what type of floor it’s on, which can present an issue if you have carpet and hard flooring in connecting rooms. The E35 manual recommends putting down magnetic tape to create a virtual barrier in front of any carpeted room to keep the vacuum out when using the mopping module. This tape is provided with many robot vacuums but not the E35. That meant I had to stand watch when I was mopping my kitchen to make sure the E35 didn’t stray into the living room and soak the carpet.
In addition to letting you start, pause and cancel cleaning jobs, the Mi Home app provides cleaning data, battery level, and a mapping visualization in real time. Other features include a scheduling option, detailed cleaning history, and consumables tracking that lets you know how much the filter, brush, and other components have been used, so you know when to replace them. The app also includes two remote controls—one key style and one rocker style—for manually directing the E35.
The Xiaowa Plus E35 is a competent cleaner with excellent app control. Its large dustbin and crazy long battery life make it ideal for large rooms, and its uncommonly strong suction power is superb for extracting pet hair and other debris from carpet fibers.
It’s a pity, then, that we had so much trouble with erroneous obstacle alerts. The frequency of cleaning interruptions this causes makes it hard to give the E35 a strong recommendation until the issue is corrected. In the meantime, a better option is the Ecovacs Deebot OZMO 930, which isn’t quite as temperamental and knows to avoid carpeting while it’s in mopping mode, so you don’t have to babysit it. It can be had fairly affordably from third-party sellers on Amazon.