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Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra vs. Narwal Freo X Ultra: Which is the best premium robot vacuum?

Few robot vacuums and mops are as well-rounded as the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and Narwal Freo X Ultra. The two premium robots will vacuum and mop entirely on their own, before returning to their docks to automatically clean their mopheads and empty their dustbins. That sort of functionality doesn’t come cheap, with both products carrying hefty price tags that’ll put a big dent in your budget.

Because they’re so expensive, you’ll want to pay close attention to the differences between these two robot vacuums. Both are great additions to any household, but one might be a better fit for your needs than the other.

From suction power and mopping chops to mobile apps and more, here’s everything you need to know about the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and Narwal Freo X Ultra before adding one to your home.

Pricing and availability

Narwal Freo X Ultra with dock in home
Narwal

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra launches on April 20 and will cost $1,800. That makes it one of the most expensive robot vacuums on the planet. By comparison, the Narwal Freo X Ultra seems cheap at $1,400. It’s also frequently discounted to $1,200, making it considerably more affordable than the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.

Winner: Narwal Freo X Ultra

Vacuuming

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra vacuuming.
Roborock

When it comes to suction power, both of these robot vacuums knock it out of the park. Compared to robot vacuums from just a year ago, these are considerably more powerful. With the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra, you’ll get a staggering 10,000 Pa of suction. The Narwal Freo X Ultra provides up to 8,200 Pa of suction. Those are both incredible numbers, and both vacuums do an excellent job of sweeping floors and untangling hair or pet fur from carpet.

Both can hold up to seven weeks of dust before needing to replace their dustbin. The Roborock achieves this with a dustbin inside its docking station, which receives the dirt collected by the robot after each run. Narwal uses compression technology to hold the dust directly inside the robot itself. The Narwal also works with both replaceable and reusable dustbins — giving you the option to choose either a convenient or eco-friendly option for your cleaning cycles.

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra has a few additional tricks up its sleeve, too. Aside from massive suction numbers, it uses a dual roller brush to better pull debris out of carpets and prevent tangles. It also features a swinging sidearm that can deploy a brush to clean crevices and corners. That results in better coverage of your home and an overall superior clean.

Winner: Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra

Mopping

Narwal Freo X Ultra cleaning up spill
Narwal

Roborock and Narwal tackle mopping in two very different ways. Narwal uses two rotating mopping pads that apply downward pressure, while Roborock uses a single vibrating mopping plate to remove stains. Both work well at removing stains and spills — and both can be further enhanced by adding a cleaning detergent to your docking station.

The large mopping pads on the Narwal are great for saturating hard floors and giving them a superior scrubbing. The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is no slouch either, and because it also has a small side mop to clean edges, it will end up cleaning more of your floors than the Narwal. That means you’ll essentially need to decide which is more important — cleaning the edges of your rooms or giving a better clean to highly trafficked areas. If it’s the former, you’ll want the Roborock. If it’s the latter, opt for the Narwal.

Regardless of which you pick, you’ll benefit from a dock that cleans and dries the mop after each cycle.

Winner: Tie

Additional features

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra placed in its dock.
Roborock

There are a bunch of extra features on the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra. This includes the ability to make video calls to check in on your home (or pets), a voice assistant (Rocky) to activate cleaning cycles without the need for your smartphone app, and a model that connects directly to your plumbing for automated water refills and dirty water emptying.

The option to connect to your plumbing could be a huge selling point for some customers, though it might require additional expenses and may not be a good fit for all homes depending on how your plumbing system is set up.

Aside from that, these products can do many of the same things, such as setting restricted zones, creating a cleaning schedule, running a customized cycle, and incorporating AI and dirt detection into their routines to give you an optimized clean.

Winner: Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra

Which is the better robot vacuum and mop combo?

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra hits all the right notes, making it a better robot vacuum than the Narwal Freo X Ultra. With more suction, a unique swinging sidearm, a built-in voice assistant, and the option to connect it to your plumbing, the S8 MaxV Ultra keeps your home remarkably clean with little effort.

However, the Narwal Freo X Ultra is a great alternative. Not only is it much cheaper, but it cleans nearly as well as the S8 MaxV Ultra. It’s not quite as elite (due to lower suction numbers and fewer premium features), but shoppers unwilling to spend $1,800 on a vacuum will find the Narwal Freo X Ultra to be the ideal compromise between price and performance.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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