Everyone who has ever encountered robotic vacuum cleaners knows that these devices’ effectiveness is primarily determined not by the autonomous operation time, not by the suction power, not by the charging duration, but by the spatial orientation system. When testing robots of various brands, we often encounter a situation where a poorly implemented algorithm for bypassing the premises negates engineers’ efforts – a well-made apparatus turns out to be ineffective in real-life conditions.
Most traditional robotic vacuum cleaners use infrared sensors to detect obstacles in their immediate vicinity. Having “groped” a wall or piece of furniture a couple of tens of centimeters from the device, its circuit decides to change the direction of movement or speed. The principle of orientation of such devices is not too different from the behavior of a person walking around an unfamiliar room blindfolded and outstretched. However, recently, robots have appeared on the market that work according to a different scheme and are guided in the room using a laser rangefinder (LDS).
Using a lidar, which is usually located in a “turret” that rises above the lid’s surface, such devices continuously scan the environment, determine the distance to obstacles outside the range of conventional sensors, and get an idea of the configuration of the entire room at once. Vacuum cleaners with LDS do not blindly feel obstacles but see them.
|Model||S7 Robot Vacuum Cleaner|
|A type||Robot vacuum cleaner|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Cleaning type||Dry, Wet|
|Number of side brushes||1|
|Sensor type||LDC (lidar)|
|Battery||Lithium-ion, 3200 mAh|
|Battery life||120 minutes|
|Charging duration||180 minutes|
|Waste container capacity||500 ml|
|Noise level||65 dBA|
|Overall dimensions||Diameter 350 mm, height 145 mm|
|Network cable length||1.5 m|
The hero of our today’s review, the 360 Vacuum Cleaner S7, belongs to such “sighted” vacuum cleaners. The household appliances of this Chinese manufacturer are not widely represented on the Russian market – here, he is better known as the developer of a good antivirus 360 Total Security. All the more curious, we were to get acquainted with the hardware product of this company.
The device’s packaging is straightforward and laconic: a brown cardboard box with a schematic representation of the vacuum cleaner and its name. The package contains exactly the S7 model. We learn only by looking at the sticker’s small text on the upper edge of the box, next to the plastic handle.
Opening the box, inside we found:
- the vacuum cleaner itself with a garbage container, a module for wet cleaning, and a rag;
- charging base;
- power supply unit with a set of plugs of different types;
- envelope with documentation.
At first sight
360 S7 has a traditional round shape and is made of white plastic without any “architectural excesses”: its only decorations are the manufacturer’s logo on the lidar turret and a light brown edging of the top panel.
The chassis is also traditional: one steering wheel and two driving wheels. The smooth surface guide is in a plastic sphere and can be rotated 360 °. The leading protectors have pronounced lugs, and their suspension allows you to change the robot’s clearance from 1 to 3.5 cm.
There is a single side brush to the left of the idler wheel. It is fixed with a screw and is not a consumable, like most similar devices (in any case, the device does not include a second brush).
Four optical (infrared) surface sensors are placed along the front part of the bottom panel’s perimeter, designed to protect the device from falling from a height.
We found a couple more sensors that facilitate orientation in space on the sides of the vacuum cleaner.
The back half of the bottom panel is a removable module for wet cleaning, consisting of a water tank and a soft cloth. At the “stern” of the vacuum cleaner, there are two metal contacts designed to charge the device.
The cloth for cleaning floors is moistened through the small holes in the bottom of the module and is attached with Velcro.
There is a sticker in the center of the water tank with instructions for handling this module. The filler cap is made of black rubber and has a simple design.
A turret of a laser rangefinder with all-round visibility protrudes from the top panel. It significantly increases the height of the device.
The top cover of the device can be folded down to open access to the waste container.
Next to the niche of the trash can is a nest for storing a brush with a blade, which is used to clean the filter and cut off the inevitable threads and hairs that wind around the motor brush. A very convenient solution: the cleaning accessory is always at hand. On the right side of the case, under the cover, there are two holes: one of them contains an indicator of network activity that blinks during pairing, the other includes a button for resetting the robot’s settings.
The bin is made of gray translucent plastic. Its inlet is closed by a valve that prevents debris from spilling out.
The fine filter is located on the opposite side of the container and is a rectangular HEPA element.
The base of the device is made of the same white plastic. On its front side, we see a window covered with IR-transparent glass: sensors make it easier for the robot to find the charging station. There is a charging indicator window on the top side.
The vacuum cleaner is connected using two spring-loaded contacts with a small stroke.
Any excess charger cord can be stowed away in a recess on the back of the base. The niche design allows the cord to be routed to the left or right, depending on where the power outlet is located.
The power supply is supplied with four interchangeable plugs – European, American, Australian, and British.
The documentation set for the robot vacuum cleaner is packed in a cardboard sleeve and includes an operating manual, a quick start guide, and instructions for installing a mobile application.
The Quick Start Guide is an 8-page brochure to get you started as soon as you read it – everything you need to get started, including getting started and taking care of your device, is included.
The instructions for installing the mobile application contain a QR code for downloading and a short description of a smartphone’s installation process.
There are two buttons on the top panel of the robot vacuum cleaner – start cleaning and return to the base.
Long, more than three seconds, pressing the start button turns the device on and off, a short press starts cleaning in automatic mode. If you poke the button with the power plug, the cleaning will be interrupted, and the vacuum cleaner will go to charge.
In principle, these two buttons are enough for the 360 S7 to function, but its full capabilities are revealed using a mobile application.
To control the robot vacuum cleaner, you should download and install the 360Robot app (at the time of writing this review, more than 100 thousand downloads, the average rating is 3.1).
To create an account, you need to create a pair of username or password (or log in through Facebook or Google services) and enter a verified phone number or email address. Then you can add the device.
Before choosing a model of vacuum cleaner, you must accept another permission – to access the location. We recommend that you agree.
Synchronizing the vacuum cleaner with a mobile app is easy. First, turn on the device by long-pressing the power button. Then, by simultaneously long-pressing both control buttons, the Wi-Fi network connection mode is activated.
The user is required to select a network and provide the application with a password for it. Only the 2.4 GHz band is supported. The device does not know how to work in a 5 GHz device (this is bad news for residents of apartment buildings with very noisy ranges). The setup takes about one and a half minutes. The connected vacuum cleaner offers to download and install a package of voice messages for the Russian language. Still, we decided to postpone the download for the first experience – the robot’s English is quite understandable.
You can start the first cleaning. A couple of minutes after launch, the application draws a very accurate map of the room. Walls and large furniture are shown on the map in white, the area available for sweeping is shown in lilac. The white line marks the path traveled by the robot.
Please note that the vacuum cleaner shows on the map the room in which it is located and those parts of the apartment that have not yet been visited but only “looked” with a lidar.
In ten minutes, we had a detailed map of the room removed by the vacuum cleaner, and in less than half an hour, 360 S7 reported on the completion of cleaning and returned to the base. After that, the application offered us to edit the apartment scheme, marking it at our discretion.
Rooms on the plan can be renamed using predefined templates, and areas for cleaning by sector can be mapped. Within one industry, you can set the thoroughness of sweeping (indicating, for example, that to clean the kitchen, you should walk through it twice, and in the living room, one pass is enough).
In the settings section, you can grant control of the vacuum cleaner to another user (for example, family members), set the time at which the device is prohibited from working, adjust the volume of voice messages, turn on or off the light indicator on the case, control some other functions, and also reset the settings to the factory state.
The application is perfectly Russified. We have almost no complaints about its interface: it is organized thoughtfully and efficiently, and some layout defects do not make it difficult to use. It pleased us: we did not have any emergencies in getting to know the program.
Not so long ago, product developers that appeared on the Russian market demonstrate high-quality software, which would be worth learning from many domestic manufacturers with a long history.
Before starting work, the base must be installed correctly. To prevent the vacuum cleaner from pulling it out of the socket during operation, the excess wire must be reeled up and placed in a compartment on the back of the charging station. For correct operation, the space in front of the base should be at least one and a half meters free, and at the sides of it – at least half a meter. The station should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
As with all cordless appliances, the vacuum cleaner must be fully charged before using it for the first time. Full charging time is just over three hours. It is recommended to hold the new device on the base a little longer.
It’s a good idea to install a mobile application and get ready to build a cleaning map during this time.
Once in a new room, the robot walks around each place around the perimeter and then snakes along the inner space. Depending on the area and configuration, the device can divide a room into two or more sections and, in this case, processes each of them in turn.
Before starting the vacuum cleaner, the manual recommends removing unnecessary items from the floor, especially wires or unstable or fragile items. However, in an apartment, areas are challenging to overcome. Meeting with such, 360 S7 remembers their location. If the difficulty of movement occurs two or more times in one place, the robot offers the owner to mark the problem area with the label “forbidden sector”.
The red color on the map shows areas in which the vacuum cleaner should not appear: for example, a space with an uneven floor, fragile floor vases, or wires stretched to the computer system unit. Blue sectors are areas where wet cleaning is prohibited (for example, areas covered with carpets). In green, you can mark areas of the room that need to be cleaned more thoroughly or places where partial cleaning should be done. Virtual walls on the apartment map are drawn with a red line – the vacuum cleaner will not cross this border.
The surface sensors of the 360 S7 work very well: getting to the top of the stairs, the vacuum cleaner changes direction. However, during the cleaning process, there is a possibility of objects moved by the robot falling from the steps, so it is recommended to protect the top of the stairs with a virtual wall.
In the mode of automatic cleaning of the entire room, the robot goes around each room of the apartment sequentially and evenly, without appearing at each point more than once.
In the mode of cleaning by sectors, the device visits the green rectangles marked on the apartment plan, processing only them – once or twice, depending on the sector settings. If double processing is specified in the settings, the vacuum cleaner goes through the sector “snake” twice, once along, and the second – across.
If the battery charge drops to a minimum of 20% during operation, the robot interrupts cleaning and goes to the base. After the battery is fully charged, the job will resume from where it left off. However, if the Do Not Disturb mode has started by this time, cleaning will not begin until the next morning.
The vacuum cleaner reports to the owner about any problems with a voice message and push-notification in the application. The voice of the device is female, with a slight southeastern accent. The message history can be seen in the corresponding section of the application.
The device has flexible settings for cleaning according to the schedule. Tasks can be configured for weekdays or weekends, scheduling at the right time to clean the entire apartment or its respective areas. For example, during test operation, we set up a morning vacuuming of the whole apartment at eleven in the morning on weekdays. On weekends, when you want to sleep longer, the general cleaning begins only at fourteen o’clock. After dinner, at nine in the evening, the vacuum cleaner heads to the kitchen and tidies up there until it’s bedtime.
When cleaning the floors, the robot leaves an evenly moist trail – without streaks, drops, and smudges – and dries out rather quickly. However, it would help if you did not leave the vacuum cleaner on a charge with a wet cleaning module to avoid waterlogging and damage to the coating.
A single side brush turned out to be quite enough for high-quality cleaning: the S7 moves along walls and obstacles in such a way as to bend around objects only from the side of the rotating antennae.
The vacuum cleaner bypasses the base very neatly, but very close – no more than 10-15 centimeters of uncleaned floor remains around it.
The instrument’s navigation system is excellent. The accuracy of determining the room’s configuration and pieces of furniture allows 360 S7 to correctly navigate the most challenging areas of the apartment and build a very effective cleaning plan. However, the laser orientation system has two disadvantages. The vacuum cleaner does not see large mirrors (for example, mirrored doors of wardrobes), considering their reflections as part of another room behind the glass. Although mechanical sensors in the bumper stop the robot’s movement when it hits an obstacle, it is better to install a virtual wall in front of such objects or mark them with red sectors. Reflective nickel-plated items such as metal furniture legs also make it difficult for a vacuum cleaner. Having driven into the space between the mirrored legs of the chair, the vacuum cleaner is initially lost,
Suppose you need to use two or more maps (for example, in a two-level apartment or multi-story cottage). In that case, the application allows you to conveniently switch from floor to floor without having to rebuild the room map each time completely. But you still have to move the device and the base manually – he, alas, does not know how to move up the stairs.
The dust container and filter should be cleaned at least once a week. The manufacturer allows the garbage container and the HEPA-element to be washed under the tap, thoroughly dry it before putting it back into the vacuum cleaner. Our experience shows that frequent washing of fine filters degrades their quality, and we traditionally recommend limiting ourselves to mechanical cleaning. However, the filter is a consumable item: it is recommended to change it every 6-12 months.
The main brush should also be cleaned once a week. To do this, it is convenient to use a cleaning device stored in a compartment under the lid of the device: the blade cuts off the threads and hair wrapped around the rotor, and the brush part removes debris from the bristles. The same tool can also be used to clean the fine filter. The manufacturer recommends replacing the brush every six months or a year. The side brush should be cleaned at least once a month. To remove it, you need to use a screwdriver. The service life of the side brush is 3-6 months.
Wipe the sensors of the device with a dry cloth. You should also make sure that the charging contacts on the vacuum cleaner body and base are clean. They should be cleaned monthly.
The service intervals and life of the consumables given in the manual are approximate and depend, of course, on the intensity of use of the vacuum cleaner. The mobile application allows you to determine the period of service or replacement more accurately.
The app provides detailed information about the wear rate of each component.
Before starting the tests, we allowed the vacuum cleaner to walk around the range for five minutes to get acquainted with the room’s layout and obstacle configurations. Then they returned it to the base, drew a sector with double cleaning on the map, and started the device in automatic mode.
The video below was shot from one point with full coverage of the cleaned area; part of the video sequence was accelerated 16 times during processing.
In the first ten minutes, the robot walked around the room around the perimeter. It then began to move in a uniform “snake” parallel to the walls, carefully avoiding obstacles and carefully sweeping around them.
After completing the detour, the device began the second cleaning cycle – perpendicular to the first, and managed to process three-quarters of the floor before the end of the allotted time. After the first test period, we paused it. In total, 97.9% of the garbage was collected at the early stage.
At the second stage of the test, the vacuum cleaner finished processing the remaining quarter of the surface, reported the completion of cleaning, and returned to the base. We usually weigh the collected garbage four times – after 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes of work, but after reviewing the results of the first thirteen minutes of work, we realized that there was no point in continuing further – the test was completed in record time with impressive results.
The results of both stages are presented in the table.
IntervalTotal cleaning time, min.% (total)
First ten 97.9
Second 13:40 99.6
At the end of the automatic operation, the 360 S7 robot vacuum cleaner removed 99.6% of the debris, leaving less than a dozen rice grains on the floor (mainly in the base’s immediate vicinity). We rate the cleaning quality of the test room as excellent.
The maximum duration of autonomous cleaning, recorded by us during the test operation, was 137 minutes – significantly longer than the time declared by the manufacturer.
Depending on the selected power mode, the vacuum cleaner’s noise varies from 52 to 62 dBA. The 360 S7 is a very quiet device.
The robot, which got to the base at the end of its work in automatic mode, charges on average within 3 hours and 20 minutes. During charging, the bottom of the device consumes from 10.2 to 18.4 W. In standby mode, its power consumption is 0.6 W.
Robot vacuum cleaner 360 Robot Vacuum Cleaner S7 impressed us with record performance, good runtime, and low noise level, allowing you to use it even in the evening without the risk of disturbing sleeping neighbors.
Thanks to laser rangefinder, its navigation system provides quick, efficient, and uniform cleaning of any complex premises. An adequate battery capacity will allow using this vacuum cleaner in apartments and houses of any size without frequent interruptions for charging.
We are also pleased to note the excellently developed mobile application, thanks to which it is convenient, easy, and simple to operate the vacuum cleaner.
The only thing we can’t praise the 360 S7 for is the package bundle. Only one side brush and one wet cloth are supplied in the box with the device. The number of consumable accessories could be more.
- great navigation
- great app for smartphones
- high-quality cleaning
- long battery life
- low noise level
- possibility of wet cleaning
- relatively high price
- no additional consumables included