Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Review: This vacuum sucks (dirt)


As always, South Africa struggles to keep up with new tech. While Americans sit comfortably with their 5-year-old Roomba’s, we don’t have that many automated vacuum cleaners to choose from. We still have to get up, pick up our Hoovers and go at it.

Luckily, Chinese company Xiaomi has developed a fully automated vacuum cleaner that can do everything for you. Whether it’ll be just as thorough depends on your level of OCD. What makes the Robot Vacuum special, though, is its ability to map out and navigate a room/house using its various sensors. Which means that it’ll go ahead on schedule and vacuum the room without you having to get up.

The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum is one of only a few automated vacuum cleaners readily available in South Africa, which already makes it one of the best options. It’s priced at around R5,900 — just around what any decent cleaner will cost you once off.

Sensing your mess

What makes this little dude unique, is that not only will your cat/small child try to ride it through the house, it is fitted with a whole bunch of smart laser tech. These are called Laser Distance Sensors (LDS), and they scan the surroundings 360 degrees, 1800 times per second. Using the accumulated data of your filthy house (sorry not sorry), it maps out the interior of the room using a 3D mapping system.

You’re probably asking ‘then wtf makes it smart?’. Well, this robot is fitted with three processors that work together to track the Mi Robot Vacuum’s movements in real-time. This allows it to use its Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm to calculate the most efficient route through obstacles for cleaning. Its 5,200mAh Li-ion battery can keep it running for about 2.5 hours — but the little dude is so smart, it’ll go back to dock on the charger so long as the charger is connected to power.

Like every piece of hardware these days (or what feels like it at least). The Mi Robot Vacuum comes with a companion app. Using the Mi Home app, you can switch it on, as well as remotely control the robot. You can even change the cleaning modes and set schedules. Like, for when no one’s at home throughout the day for example.

Creepy crawly

Let’s say you’ve got pristine tile or hardwood floors and no pets or children. This is probs the ideal situation when using the Mi Robot Vacuum. In reality, if you’ve got carpeted bedrooms and five cats that shed, this little dude is gonna have a bad time.

The brushes tend to pick up a lot of hair — which is a good thing unless it’s like a lot of hair. It’ll display an error message every time you need to empty the brushes, which will stop the cleaning process completely. If your house is littered with floofs, it’ll more than likely be a struggle keeping the Mi clean and on the go. We’ve met many-a-vacuum that can handle more floofs than this one before it complains.

But on the flip side, it’s hella efficient. It’ll get into nooks and crannies that haven’t seen a vacuum in months. Because of its size, it should fit underneath most normal-shaped furniture. If you’ve got a waterbed flat on the floor you can fuggetaboutit. The little rotating brush up-front will get into small corners and pick up light debris that tends to get stuck on rough carpets.

Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Verdict

If you’re in the market for an easy-to-use vacuum that will open up some time for you to do something other than clean, the Mi Robot is nifty as hell. It’s easy to set up and use, with little to no complications. We had just one incident where the little guy got stuck under a chair and couldn’t find his way out — but that’s easy enough to manage. Just take it out and restart operations.

You can get one from Takealot for R5,900 right now.


About Author

Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.


  1. @Nicky got mine from Loot. was the cheapest. Works great. A little concerned about parts though. So I am starting now already to look for filters and brushes. (could just be due to lockdown)

  2. I just bought the one that does mopping as well from takealot, am very impressed with how much dirt it picks up, Looking forward to seeing how it does with the mopping. Sharing Kevin’s concerns on spares.

  3. Bought one from Takealot, but they cancelled my order for replacement filter at the beginning of lockdown. Now they not stocking the filters / brushes, and I cant find them.

  4. Hi, I am considering to buy the Xiaomi robot with the mop feature.

    I’m just concerned regarding supply of parts and repairs should it have any issues, since I’m not sure if there’s an official distributor In SA?

    Many thanks

  5. We recently got a Roomba i7 and love it. But we were wondering if adding a mopping robot would be worth the extra expense? I’m not convinced they’re as good at mopping as the vacuums are at sweeping.

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