Review Alfawise V10 Max vacuum robot for $220: Budget model with LDS
Of course, an LDS is no longer a unique selling point, after all, laser space measurement via the small turret on the top is the ultimate in precise measurement. Every new top model comes with the technology. Now also a budget model: the Alfawise V10 Max. You can read here why this is something special with this robot.
- Coupon: ALFAV10MAX
Technical data: Comparison to Roborock S6
|Alfawise V10 Max||Roborock S6/T6|
|Suction power||2200 pa||2000 pa|
|Navigation||Laser Space Surveying||Laser Space Surveying|
|App||Laser Robot (Android, iOS)||Xiaomi Home (Android, iOS)|
|Operating Volume||65 dB||58 dB (at highest suction level)|
|Battery||4300 mAh||5200 mAh|
|Dust chamber/water tank||0.45 l/ 0.45 l||0.48 l/ 0.16 l|
|Charging time||3-4 h||3 h|
|Working time||2 h||2.5 h|
|Weight||3,5 kg||3,6 kg|
|Dimensions||34 x 34 x 10 cm||35.3 x 35.0 x 9.65 cm|
|Gradients||up to 1,5 cm||25°, over 2 cm with larger tyres|
Yes, it really says so: The no-name robot has just as much suction power as Roborock’s flagship S6. But we know: …good navigation is more important than suction. But the table also makes it clear that the S6 has one or two important functions more in the operating system.
Alfawise is one of the many own brands of the Chinese shop GearBest. The robots are not manufactured by GearBest itself, but by manufacturers experienced in this field such as ILIFE, Roborock and others. Who produced the V10 Max was unfortunately not revealed to us, but here again an “ODM”, an “Original Design Manufacturer“, was at work. If I had to guess the choice of engine, parts and functions, I would rely on Roborock. But that’s just speculation.
The V10 Max is not the first Alfawise model, almost chronologically the V8S Pro E30B and V9S BL517 appeared before. The latter also brought a laser distance sensor (LDS). At least visually, the models are very similar to the Xiaomi, Roborock and Qihoo models, but the general round shape plus LDS also offers little scope. And in order to choose (gender-)neutral and nevertheless modern colors, the robots are all black or white.
Scope of delivery of the Alfawise V10 Max
It is a budget model, that must be clear in advance. Nevertheless, I was a bit shocked when, after opening the box, a not exactly subtle plastic smell enveloped me. Although this has now disappeared, it does allow us to draw initial conclusions about the processing – and how the low price is achieved. From my point of view, however, this is far from being a criterion for exclusion from purchasing the robot.
In the scope of delivery you will find the vacuum robot as well as:
- Charging station with charging cable
- two additional brush heads (two already mounted on the bottom side)
- 0,45 l large water tank
- small cleaning tool under the flap
- Attachment with attached microfibre cloth
- additional microfiber cloth
- Attachment for direct suction (good for animal hair)
- additional filter
- Operating and app instructions in English
For a robot that costs around $200, the scope of delivery is very generous. Yes, the parts are made of not too high quality plastic, but that’s what it’s all about. Even more: The attachment for direct suction (i.e. without roller or brushes) is well suited for animal hair.
Design and processing
Probably the most critical point for the V10 Max. Understandably and laudably Alfawise prefers to save on the materials used rather than on the software and functions. Result: The vacuum robot looks rather cheap compared to the models from Xiaomi, Roborock or Ecovacs. Not so much that one should be ashamed of it, but not so much that one could overlook it. Those who attach importance to it currently either have to pay more money or take a closer look at the Mi Robot.
Processing defects cannot be found, and from below the robot is even very similar to the Roborock models – albeit with two brush heads instead of just one. In addition, there is a roller that processes dust and dirt that has been vacuumed up before the filter. In the end, everything ends up in the 0.4 l dust chamber (average size), which can be replaced under the flap by the 0.45 l water tank (above average size). One for vacuuming, the other for wiping – logical.
The dimensions 34 x 34 x 10 cm make the V10 Max an average high and width vacuum robot with LDS. Even the weight of 3.5 kg does not stand out, on the underside there is also a CE mark. On the upper side are the typical operating elements; two buttons with which the vacuum robot is started, stopped and sent back to the charging station.
Why not try to save money in production at every turn and bring out an affordable model with good functions? I like the approach, design and material are secondary for me.
Working time and charging station
The charging station is strongly reminiscent of the Xiaomi/Roborock stations, not only because of the black and white color choice. On the underside we have rubber surfaces that make sure that the station does not slip – for example when the robot drives onto the charging contacts and should not push the station away with it. The charging cable cannot be rolled up on the back and is therefore sometimes in the way.
Autonomous retrieval of the charging station after cleaning is no problem thanks to the laser room measurement, provided it has also been started from there. However, the latter is also absolutely necessary for the mapping to work without errors. After a working time of 2 h, the robot returns autonomously to its charging station and recharges the battery completely within 4 h. Average values.
Operation, navigation and suction power
With the help of the laser distance sensor (LDS; the little tower on top) the robot scans the premises. Inside the robot, an AI and a SLAM algorithm (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) is working, which allows the creation of a visual map. The collision sensors prevent frontal collisions and falls from heights, such as stairs.
The V10 Max works with two brush heads and a main brush on the underside, which alternates with rubber lamellas and bristles. The brush heads at the front push the dirt to be vacuumed in the direction of the main brush, which is located above the feed hood. The 2000 pa suction power was given to the 1S as well as to the new S6 and is the current top value on the scoreboard.
To create a visual map in the app, the robot should always start from the charging station so that it has a local reference point. Like many top models, the Alfawise divides the premises into quadrants and then drives them in straight lines. Once it knows where the outer edges of the room are, it drives straight ahead until it encounters an obstacle. Then he turns around 90°, drives a few centimetres and turns around 90° again to drive in a straight line to the next obstacle. You can see this very well on the visual map in the app.
The Alfawise V10 Max detects most obstacles early, brakes and has hardly any collisions during our several days of testing. The only thing that stands out negatively here is the working speed. For larger premises it takes considerably longer than comparable top models.
For those who like to use Amazons Alexa or Google Home at home, the voice control is certainly interesting. However, as with most current models, this is limited to the voice commands “Stop”, “Start” and “Back to Charging Station”.
App integration and control via “Laser Robot”
When registering in the app “Laser Robot” (Android, iOS) one still has the feeling that the app has been programmed quite elaborately. Sure, it is, but compared to others you quickly notice when you look at the interface: Large range of functions, no attention to design. The app is only available in English. WLAN, Bluetooth and tracking must be active.
As always at this point the note: Like most vacuum robots, the V10 Max can only be integrated into a 2.4 GHz network.
If the connection with the robot should cause difficulties, you can reset the WLAN by pressing and holding both buttons simultaneously (for about 3 seconds). If you still experience difficulties, simply describe your difficulties in the comments.
Functions within the app
For a $200 robot, you can get a lot of functionality here – but in a less appealing app look. The functions and settings are listed:
- vary suction power (three suction levels)
- Schedule working hours (cleaning once a day is possible)
- DND mode (Do Not Disturb; time during which the robot should not work)
- Zone cleaning (Go-To-Zones, send robots to predefined positions by means of “square drawing”)
- Room division (draw in rooms by means of squares)
- is not divided up independently
- Send vacuum robot back to the charging station
- Remote control
- Spot-cleaning (rotates in increasing circles around itself, here called partial)
In addition, the cleaning process can be traced with the completed journeys and also the condition of the individual parts. The latter is useful to be able to understand when to look for spare parts. Firmware updates can only be downloaded when the robot is at the loading station.
In fact, sometimes a device where it is relatively funny to leave the robot’s voice on. It greets its user with “Hello Master” when switched on and says goodbye with “Goodbye Master” when switched off. Noble.
Mapping and No-Go-Zones
The V10 Max replaces the previously used card as soon as it detects only minimal differences in the apartment. In itself, it should update it as soon as it detects a new obstacle – but here, the card memory is lacking in the functional scope. Accordingly, the robot does not become smarter over time and does not optimize its cleaning path. What is interesting, however, is that the V10 Max first moves all rooms horizontally and then – if it still has battery power left – continues them vertically again (see screenshot below right).
This procedure has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is clear, the rooms are cleaned more thoroughly. However, the disadvantages are that it requires more battery power and, in case of doubt, it will not reach all rooms of an apartment or house before the battery is empty. Since it is already a little slower than other models, you should also look at the more expensive competition for rooms above 100 m².
But I am actually positively surprised that the live-mapping of the $200 robot is really “live”, you can see where the robot is at any time (even on the road). In addition, the obstacle detection is very precise and is drawn in great detail. Somehow I can’t get rid of the feeling that Roborock was at work here as a producer…
Zone cleaning and room partitioning
As if mapping wasn’t enough for a robot in this price range, the Alfawise V10 Max does in fact include zone cleaning and room division. But this works a bit differently than what we are used to from other household helpers (such as the Ozmo 950). The V10 Max doesn’t divide the rooms on its own, but lets its owner do it. So first you let the robot create its map completely, then you assign zones (rooms) on the map yourself. You can also name these zones, i.e. “Bathroom”, “Living room” etc.
Once you have defined the zones, you can control them individually – for example, you can tell the robot to vacuum only in the bedroom. A theoretical disadvantage of dividing up the rooms yourself can of course be that you cannot see where a room begins and/or ends. To do this, you need to know your four walls a little bit and you need a little practice, but then you’ll get the hang of it.
Oh, and for the sake of the robot, we better not talk about the wiping function. 😉
Conclusion: Buy Alfawise V10 Max?
We like competition on the market, even if it’s getting a bit confusing with the many manufacturers and models. “Think less, enjoy more” is written on the packaging of the Alfawise V10 Max – and it’s not at all inappropriate. The vacuum cleaner is so cheap that you don’t have to think much about this variety of functions – as long as you are aware that you are buying a budget model here. A solid household helper that doesn’t shine with high-quality materials, a chic app or a big brand name.
But with a really solid software package and a really more than fair price. If there wasn’t the Xiaomi Mi Robot in this price range (at least with a bargain price), the V10 Max would be my recommendation for round about $200. I like the idea of not attaching importance to appearances and thus keeping the price low. Of course it must be clear that there are many better models in general; it’s a question of money and demands. You shouldn’t expect more than is described here in the article, then you can be quite satisfied with the V10 Max.
What do you think about budget models?To the gadget