360 S6 Sweeping Robot Vacuum Robot for $285.37 (US Warehouse)
Xiaomi has dominated the vacuum robot market for quite some time and the two top models of the Chinese tech giant, the Mi Robot and the RoboRock Sweep One, are responsible for this. The manufacturer 360 Mobiles has made a name for itself in China over the last few years with budget smartphones and wants to shake the Xiaomi monopoly. With the 360 S6 Sweeping Robot the chances are not too bad. We have tested it.
- 360 S6 Sweeping Robot Vacuum Robot
|Suction force||1800 pa (comparison: Mi Robot: 1800 pa, Xiaomi RoboRock: 2000 pa)|
|Noise level||65 dB (slightly less than the volume at which people talk to each other)|
|Battery||3200 mAh (Mi Robot: 5200 mAh)|
|Working time||2 h|
|Charging time||2-3 h (other models: 5 h)|
|Dust chamber||0.42 l (comparison Xiaomi RoboRock: 0.48 l)|
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 10 cm|
|Features||room measurement, mapping, room layout, app control, wipe function, various functions, Suction modes, carpet detection|
Scope of delivery
The packaging reminds optically very much of the Xiaomi cartons, after the first opening no plastic smell was to be noticed. The scope of delivery includes next to the vacuum robot:
- Charging station with EU charging cable (many adapters included)
- 0.15 l water tank with wiping mop
- additional HEPA filter (washable)
- small cleaning tool
- Operating instructions in English
Design and workmanship of the 360 S6: A Xiaowa with a dome?
Visually, the vacuum robot looks as if the new Xiaomi Xiaowa had a dome on its top. We know this dome from the two Xiaomi vacuum cleaners, where the laser distance sensor is located, over which the robot measures the premises. The 360 S6 Sweeping Robot creates a map of the four walls on it, which can be displayed in the app. More about this later.
With dimensions of 35 x 35 x 10 cm, the vacuum robot is quite high due to its top-mounted dome, which must be clarified before purchase. If you want to vacuum under furniture, this is definitely not possible for everyone.
The weight of 3.5 kg is average, so lifting the vacuum robot by hand is not quite as heavy (but also not easy). Despite many control options at a distance, the vacuum cleaner is sometimes lifted.
The controls on the top look exactly like those of the Xiaowa, except that the mini room work mode button is missing. The power button starts and stops the vacuum robot (turns it on and off), the button with the charging cable symbol sends it to the charging station to charge the battery.
The processing is flawless, no errors can be found anywhere. When it comes to design, Xiaomi has definitely copied something from this, but that’s not bad. After all, the Xiaomi models don’t only have so many fans because of their functionality. 😉 As the first product of this kind from the manufacturer, they also don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A CE mark can also be found on the underside of the robots.
In summary, the vacuum robot is not my personal favourite when it comes to design, but you can’t say that 360 Mobiles has any bad taste here either. A completely flat vacuum robot like the ILIFE A6 or A7 looks a little better (but can also do less).
Smart: If you press the “Open” button above the dust box, it jumps up immediately. The dust chamber, which has a filling capacity of 0.4 l, can be removed and emptied in a single movement.
The dust chamber contains a three-layer filter consisting of a primary filter, a sponge filter and a HEPA filter. Dust allergy sufferers like me are happy when they can remove and empty the chamber without after-effects.
Charging station and working time
If you want to vacuum quickly, you don’t have to wait long: The charging time of 3 h is quickly bridged and very short compared to the standard 5 h of other models. Where you place the charging station in the four walls is up to you, but it helps the robot if the position does not change. From time to time the robot uses the station as an orientation point for navigation or cannot otherwise find it again.
Rubber linings are provided under the station to ensure that the charging station is held securely and stable, so that the station does not slip or be pushed away when it comes into contact with the vacuum robot. A CE mark is also included here.
The charging cable can be conveniently placed in the charging station so that there is less chance of cable clutter and the cable does not just lie around. These are also the small things if you want to convince all around.
A highlight: If the 2 h working time is not enough for the complete cleaning of the premises, the vacuum robot automatically returns to the loading station. There it recharges the battery and continues where it left off. Up to 200 m² should be possible with one battery charge, at least up to 120 m² I can confirm.
Navigation of the vacuum robot
The cards created can also be saved and used the next time the vacuum robot is used. This means that the vacuum robot does not have to invest any additional time to re-measure the premises. This means that the vacuum cleaner can also be used on several floors with several maps. In addition, there is also the room division, with which the vacuum robot can be given on the map where it should not vacuum. More about this soon.
The 360 S6 proceeds as follows during a vacuuming process:
- Robot rotates around itself, scans the environment with LDS-LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
- An infrared sensor and SLAM algorithm (SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) create a map of the premises.
- The fastest route is planned and vacuumed.
The SLAM technology, by the way, comes from the 360 Mobile Team, which deals with self-propelled cars and develops them. Accordingly, the manufacturer has knowledge of autonomous driving.
The App “360Smart”
An app is like the heart of a vacuum robot with space measurement and mapping. The App 360Smart (Android, iOS) requires every conceivable access (for whatever reason) when downloading. This is no longer a rarity with apps, but it is still annoying and must be considered before buying the robot.
Registration in the app
Then comes the next, from a data protection point of view critical bang: To use the app you have to enter your mobile phone number. Then you get a verification code via SMS to your mobile phone number.
Here you can at least take precautions: Since you never need the mobile phone number again after receiving this code (unless you forget your password or reinstall the app), you can also use a fake mobile phone number. There are enough providers on the internet who provide such numbers.
Note: For whom the app registration does not work: Simply register via the camera app of the manufacturer 360 Mobiles, then you have an account with which you can also log in to the app for the vacuum robot.
From then on it becomes more pleasant: With the Xiaomi models you often have the annoying problem that not every mainland is always available for everyone and that changes are always made.
With the 360 S6 you have a huge selection of available countries in the app. Of course, long-term experience still has to show whether the update policy of 360 Mobiles is better than that of Xiaomi in the long run.
Connection of the vacuum robot with the app
After installation and registration in the app, the 360 S6 must be integrated into the WiFi so that it can be controlled via the app. Fortunately, this is also very simple and possible with both 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. This is how you proceed step by step:
- Press and hold two buttons on the top for about 3 seconds.
- Vacuum robot announces “Reset WiFi” and LEDs light up purple.
- Enter WLAN with password (Important: Smartphone and robot are in the same WLAN).
- Robot announces “Robot starts binding”.
- After about one minute, the vacuum robot is connected, the LEDs light up light blue after a short purple phase.
App control of the 360 S6
As soon as the vacuum robot is connected, the first notification for a firmware update pops up. Due to the Chinese text in the update description, it is not easy to understand what the update is about, obviously some bugs have been fixed. Due to a good update policy the RoboRock and the Mi Robot learnt the room measurement, accordingly one can be glad about firmware updates (mostly).
Firmware updates can only be performed at the charging station because the vacuum robot consumes a lot of battery depending on the size of the update to be downloaded. Not much can happen hanging on the station. After each update, the S6 restarts (switches off and on again).
Functions in the App
The app offers an overwhelming variety of functions and settings at first sight, for the sake of clarity I list the most important ones here:
- List of stored cards
- remote control
- Set suction force (800, 1300 or 1800 pa)
- Battery level indicator
- Locate the robot (answers with “I’m here”)
- push notifications
- Scheduling working times
- DND mode (Do Not Disturb): Set when the vacuum robot is not allowed to move.
- Define the volume of the “voice” ( 10-100 %)
As a user you have the feeling to be in a differently designed Mi Home App, many elements were certainly taken over here consciously – only that everything works and works here consistently cleanly. No server problems, the saving of the map works perfectly and also the scheduling of working hours is fast and simple.
As far as working times are concerned, it is possible to choose when the vacuum robot is to perform its duty (time + weekly, daily, only during the week or on weekends) and with what suction power.
On the map there is a very small symbol for the charging station and one for the robot. This live transmission of the mapping does not always work one hundred percent at the same time, and now and then the vacuum robot is already further ahead with its work than indicated on the map. It helps to return to the home screen of the app and then back to the vacuum robot.
The remote control works very well and fluently, also the retrieval of the charging station is done within seconds by the room measurement. The app also contains an operating manual in English.
Laser room measurement with mapping and room division
We already know the laser room surveying system from Xiaomi’s vacuum robots, but as a tester you also have the feeling of watching the Mi Robot or RoboRock SS50 at work. From the charging station, the 360 S6 scans the premises, drives down the walls and thus knows where to vacuum. It also recognizes how much space is still behind the walls. See for yourself:
The mapping works perfectly, the vacuum robot looks for the fastest way through the four walls.
Practically speaking, the robot also has a room divider, which allows it to draw areas on the map that it should avoid. On the other hand, it is also possible to explicitly define areas that the S6 then travels through individually (adjustable up to two times in a row).
Example: You have a breakfast with half of the croissant landing on the floor and don’t feel like doing it yourself. Mobile phone out, area drawn in, the vacuum robot comes to your aid. Yes, you have to be careful not to get too lazy. 😉
The forbidden zones remain on the stored maps, but can also be deleted with two finger movements. This means that unwanted areas do not have to be redrawn each time the maps are sucked in.
High suction power, yet quiet
The 360 S6 is equipped with Nissan mini turbines, which can also be heard during a vacuuming process. The user can choose between three different suction levels in the app: 800 pa (silent mode), 1300 pa (normal mode) and 1800 pa (max mode).
At the lowest suction level, the operating volume is only 55 dB, which makes it easy to make phone calls or watch TV. With the maximum suction power this is no longer possible undisturbed with 65 dB (comparison Mi Robot: 68 dB). After all, one can vary here.
For comparison: We humans talk at an average volume of 60 dB.
Slopes, obstacles and carpets
With a vacuum power of 1800 pa, the 360 Sweeping Robot achieves the same result on the scoreboards as the Mi Robot, making it very absorbent and suitable for carpets. This is also supported by the carpet detection, whereby the 360 adjusts the suction power to 1500 pa and “thorough cleaning”.
It detects carpets within a few seconds – but not early enough to avoid them with the attached wiping function. Fortunately, there is the room division so that the vacuum cleaner can be pre-set where it should not drive with the mop attached.
The 360 Vacuum Robot overcomes obstacles of up to 1.5 cm in height and can climb gradients of up to 15° – provided these gradients are evenly steep and are not recognized as obstacles by the robot. Door thresholds are therefore normally no problem, otherwise you have to buy a small ramp for the vacuum robot or build it yourself. From a height of 2 cm the overcoming of obstacles is definitely over.
The wiping function
As if that hadn’t already been a lot of features, the 360 Sweeping Robot also comes with a wipe function. A 150 ml small water tank and a mop are included. Unfortunately, the vacuum robot cannot vacuum and wipe at the same time. This is how you prepare the wiping:
The water tank is a little too small to wipe larger areas well. But: The S6 succeeds in putting some pressure on the mop and thus reinforcing the wiping. Comparable to what a person can do with muscle power, only of course much weaker.
The wiping function is a real relief for combating everyday household dirt, but vacuum robots are not yet ready to completely replace the wiping mop. Not even the 360 S6. But if you are looking for a vacuum robot with a wiping function, you have a model that doesn’t form puddles, doesn’t let too little water on the floor and actually gets the floor cleaner.
Conclusion: Xiaomi competitor?
With the name “360”, it’s quite possible that you copied something from Dyson. In the same way, the app interface and design of the vacuum robot have certainly been copied from Xiaomi. But: It has been implemented even better in many parts. The 360 S6 also does the few points that interfere with the Xiaomi models right.
In terms of price it is even below the RoboRock Sweep One and belongs to the more expensive models from China. On the other hand, the vacuum robot also offers the currently maximum possible amount of features (except Alexa control). Especially the update policy of 360 Mobiles will be exciting to follow, also whether the manufacturer will follow other household robots.
If, as a vacuum robot tester, you have to think long and hard to name negative points on a model, you know that you are dealing with a top model. I don’t like to write entirely positive about a model, but in fact the 360 S6 can hardly be cut back except for the small dust chamber and a somewhat annoying registration process in the app. But Xiaomi can catch up with the S6 with one or two good updates, especially the card storage would be a welcome innovation.
Even if you have to be careful with such statements: 360 Mobiles has currently the best vacuum robot on the market with the S6 Sweeping Robot. So I couldn’t help but buy the robot for my own household. Maybe RoboRock will be able to add with its two new models, maybe ILIFE will get back into the race with the new X800. At this point, however, there is a new king on the vacuum robot throne who now has to convince us in further long-term tests.
To the gadget