Have you heard of the Xiaomi Mi robot vacuum that has taken the vacuum industry by storm? Well, it’s time to say hello to the younger sibling, the Xiaomi Xiaowa robot vacuum.
Xiaomi Roborock has expanded their line of robot vacuums and we are ready to put their most inexpensive model to the test. Will the Xiaowa have the same impact that the Xiaomi Mi did? There’s only one way to find out!
Continue reading below to discover if the Xiaomi Xiaowa is the right robot vacuum for you.
- Cleaning Tests 94%
- Usability 92%
- Value 90%
- Maintenance 65%
- Maneuverability 93%
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- Excellent cleaning performance even compared to more expensive robots.
- A pretty solid value overall.
- Replacement parts are not currently available and there is no definite timetable when they will become available.
- The vacuum kept repeating an error code while running, however there was nothing apparently wrong with the vacuum (nor did it stop cleaning).
The Bottom Line
The Xiaomi Xiaowa is inexpensive but a fine choice. The overall value of the vacuum is excellent, with cleaning performance exceeding our expectations. If you are in the market for a robot vacuum and don’t necessarily need the expensive models with tons of bells and whistles, the Xiaowa is a wonderful option.
The Xiaomi Xiaowa robot vacuum has a simple, yet sleek design. The overall look is somewhat similar to the Xiaomi Mi, but there are a few unique aspects about this Roborock robot vacuum.
DESIGN | The Xiaowa has a circular build, much like most of the robot vacuums we have tested. There is also a bumper ring that surrounds the perimeter of the unit. This bumper ring allows the Xiaowa to bump into objects and return to work immediately, while also protecting the robot vacuum and the obstacle it runs into.
SENSORS | This Xiaomi robot vacuum has 10 built-in sensors that allow it to navigate your home with ease. The sensors are able to identify objects around your home, as well as the edge of stairs, walls, curtains or drapes, the changing of a floor type, etc..
The sensors are also able to map out your home, creating an efficient cleaning cycle the more the unit is used.
AESTHETIC | Just like the rest of the robot vacuums within the Xiaomi Roborock line, the Xiaowa offers an all-white color scheme on the top of the unit mixed with a gray bumper ring and a black sensor screen along the side of the vacuum.
Overall, this robot vacuum has a sharp, modern look.
How Xiaomi Xiaowa Cleans
The Xiaomi Xiaowa robot vacuum uses a fairly standard cleaning method:
- Map out your home
- Drive around vacuuming up your floors
- Scan the room while maneuvering around your home
- Adjust for floor types and obstacles
MAPPING | The Xiaowa uses its sensors to help create a map of your home. Therefore, the robot vacuum is able to create a path at which it will follow while cleaning.
CLEANING MODES | This robot vacuum utilizes several cleaning modes to ensure your floors are cleaned to the best of the robot’s ability. The spinning brush housed on the bottom of the vacuum is able to sweep dirt and debris into the suction path of the vacuum while the brushroll activates itself, depending on the floor type.
The Xiaowa is able to clean around corners and obstacles, in tight spots without getting stuck, on all indoor floor types, and much more.
How big is the Xiaowa robot?
The Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite is a fairly standard size. Similar to most robot vacuums, the Xiaowa is 13.8″ wide and 3.6″ tall. This unit also weighs 6.6 pounds.
- Width – 13.8″
- Height – 3.6″
- Weight – 6.6 pounds
This robot vacuum does not include a large number of extra parts and accessories. The only included pieces with this vacuum are:
Charger: A charging base and power cord are included with the purchase of the Xiaomi Xiaowa. The robot is able to scan the charging base with a 360° recharging signal.
Cleaning tool: A small cleaning tool is also included with this robot vacuum. The cleaning tool can be used to cut and remove hair, strings, or other potential tangles that may occur on the brushroll of the Xiaowa.
While there are not many accessories included with the Xiaomi Xiaowa, the included accessories do allow you to begin cleaning almost immediately.
The only other extra parts you may need would be a filter (when it needs to be changed), another brushroll as it wears out, and potentially another dust bin if it were to break. All of these can be purchased online.
The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Xiaomi Xiaowa robot vacuum performs on different surfaces, picking up a variety of debris types.
We test on three different floor types, including:
- hardwood floors
- low pile carpet
- high pile carpet
- Hardwood Floors 100%
- Low Pile Carpet 93%
- High Pile Carpet 89%
For each floor type we test the vacuum cleaner against:
- Rice – 3 ounces
- Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
- Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
- Sugar – 3 ounces
Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.
Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:
- Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
- Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
- Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
- Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
When testing the Roborock Xiaowa Lite on our hardwood floors, we found that the robot was able to clean up all four debris types with ease. Each debris was cleaned up to a level of 100%, with the exception of kitty litter, which reached a level of 99%.
The Xiaowa was virtually flawless on hardwood floors.
- Hardwood – Rice 100%
- Hardwood – Cereal 100%
- Hardwood – Kitty Litter 99%
- Hardwood – Sugar 100%
Low Pile Carpet
The low pile carpet tests were another success for the Xiaowa. The only test where we noticed much of a difference in the cleaning performance was the sugar test. On the low pile carpet, the Xiaowa was able to lift 70% of the sugar, as compared to 100% on the hardwood floor.
This can be a direct cause of the sugar falling into the pile of the carpet, which means the Xiaowa has to work harder to remove it from the carpet. Although the Xiaowa tried to do so, it did pick up 30% less than on hardwood floors.
The overall performance on the low pile carpet was still exceptional.
- Low Pile – Rice 100%
- Low Pile – Cereal 100%
- Low Pile – Kitty Litter 99%
- Low Pile – Sugar 70%
High Pile Carpet
Last but not least, the high pile carpet tests. Again, another successful run by the Xiaomi Xiaowa. Rice and cereal were cleaned up to a level of 100%. Sugar and kitty litter, however, were not.
Kitty litter was still cleaned up to a level of 90% but sugar fell much shorter, coming in at 56%. Once again, the thicker the carpet got, the harder it was for the Xiaowa to lift the sugar.
That said, after turning on the carpet boost feature in the Xiaomi app, we found that the Xiaowa was able to clean up 30% more of the sugar, hitting a final number of 86% total sugar lifted from the high pile carpet.
As we watched the Xiaowa, vacuum the high pile carpet, we noticed the speed at which it traveled was much slower. It was as if the Xiaowa noticed the carpet was thicker, meaning it had to slow down and really focus on certain areas to ensure the debris was lifted.
Although there was no systematic cleaning method to the Xiaowa, the overall performance was nothing shy of impressive.
- High Carpet – Rice 100%
- High Carpet – Cereal 100%
- High Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
- High Carpet – Sugar 56%
Using the Xiaowa Lite is not difficult. There are a couple of different ways to use this robot, but they are both simple.
MANUAL BUTTONS | Users have the option of using the physical buttons, located on the robot, to control it. The three buttons on the unit are designed to send the robot back to turn the robot on and off, return it to its charging base, and place it in partial are cleaning mode.
WIFI APP | There is also the option of controlling the Xiaowa with the smartphone app. By using the app, users are able to take complete control over the robot via the app on a smartphone or tablet. This allows more of a hands-free approach to controlling the vacuum.
The app also gives you updates about its cleaning cycles, both past, and present, as well as automatic notifications. Both of these can be helpful if you’re not around the robot if it just so happens to encounter an issue.
DAILY USE | Using this Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite robot vacuum on a daily basis is simple. The vacuum can remain on the charger at all times, allowing users to place it into action quickly, knowing that it will have a full battery.
There is no strenuous setup or assembly required with this robot vacuum. Simply unbox it, charge it, and set it loose. Most of the work is done for you.
Overall usability is similar to what we’ve seen from most traditional US-based robot vacuum companies, including Roomba.
TURNING | By utilizing a circular design, the Xiaowa is able to turn 360°. This means it can make full circles around furniture or other obstacles, in addition to making extremely tight turns around walls in your home.
SIZE | Standing at 3.6″ tall, this robot vacuum is also able to slide under furniture with ease. This is an area where most stick or upright vacuums struggle, but the Xiaowa robot vacuum is able to go completely under most household furniture, vacuum your floors, and slide right back out from underneath without getting stuck.
APP CONTROL | Another bonus you receive from the app the ability to maneuver it directly from your phone. If you’d like to let it run in a random fashion, you are able to just click a button and forget about it.
You may also control every turn the Xiaowa makes by using the directional pad located within the app. Therefore, giving you the ability to clean a specific area much faster than on random mode.
Absolute directional control is a fairly rare feature among robot vacuums. It’s not something we’ve seen offered many other places.
RELATED – For other vacuums that are great at squeezing in, under, and around tight spots, see our best small vacuum cleaner guide.
The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the vacuum. However, your individual experiences may vary
|Accessory / Part||Replacement Frequency||Replacement Cost|
|HEPA filter||2 months||Not currently available|
|Spinning brush||6 months||Not currently available|
|Rolling brush||6-12 months||Not currently available|
|Battery||24 months||Not currently available|
Maintaining the Xiaomi Xiaowa is not challenging, but important. There are some key areas you will want to pay attention to when maintaining this robot vacuum:
- Replace the HEPA filter – The HEPA filter should be changed every 2 months, depending on how often you are using the vacuum. The HEPA filter helps prevent certain allergens from getting into the air, helping reduce floating particulates within your home.
- Replace spinning brush – Replacing the spinning brush can be done less often. This is the brush that helps sweep dirt and debris in front of the vacuum. Therefore, if this brush is damaged or worn out, it will not be able to complete its job properly.
- Check rolling brush – The rolling brush could acquire tangles from hair and strings, which need to be removed with the included cleaning tool. That said, this specific robot vacuum is designed to have its brushroll spin the opposite way if it detects a tangle, which should lead to fewer tangles overall.
- Replace the battery – The battery is the lifeline for the vacuum. If this dies, the Xiaowa is useless. Which means you will need to pay close attention to the battery’s performance (charge time and runtime).
Currently, it’s unclear how much these parts are going to cost. During our research, we were unable to find replacements parts for the Xiaowa Lite.
This is by far the biggest con with this robot vacuum. As long as there are no replacement parts easily available it really takes a significant hit, in my opinion.
I reached out to my contact at GeekBuying.com to ask them if they knew when parts would be available. They too did not have an exact timetable for when they would be released. However, they did say that it was a similar situation with the Xiaomi Mi Generation 2.
It was 6 months after launch until replacement parts were available. It seems reasonably likely we’ll see the same with the Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite as well, but only time can tell.
How loud is the Xiaowa Lite?
All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level approximately 3′ away from the vacuum.
The Xiaowa Lite came in on the quieter end of the spectrum (compared to other vacuums) at 65′ dB.
How long can the Xiaowa battery run?
All robot vacuum reviews on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.
|Charging Time||2-3 hours|
|Run Time||2-2.5 hours|
LONGEVITY | As expected, most batteries are going to fade away at some point. When this time arrives, you will need to replace the battery to continue using your robot vacuum. The life expectancy of the Xiaowa’s battery is 2 years.
CAPACITY | The Xiaomi Xiaowa has a smaller battery than some of the other Roborock robot vacuums, coming in at 2,600 mAh. For comparison, the Xiaomi Mi’s has a 5,200 mAh capacity battery. For more information on the Xiaomi Mi Generation 1, see our full review here.
REPLACEMENT | Unfortunately, the most difficult part about replacing the battery is finding another one. It doesn’t seem like there are replacement batteries currently available.
The Xiaomi Roborock Xiaowa Lite offers a great value. With such a low cost, you would not expect the performance to be as solid as it was. Nevertheless, this robot vacuum is one of the best performers we have tested to date.
Throughout our cleaning tests the Xiaowa robot vacuum was able to vacuum up each debris type on each of the floor types, with ease. There was hardly any struggle from the Xiaowa when cleaning.
Maneuverability was another strong suit of this vacuum cleaner. The circular design allows it to turn 360° and the small stature gives it the ability to slide under furniture.
Maintenance is not difficult with this Roborock robot vacuum. However, at the moment replacement parts are not available. That’s a huge con (but we would hope they’ll be available by the end of 2018).
With regard to warranty and returns, Xiaowa offers a 1-year warranty and a 30-day return policy.
Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite:
|Model||Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite|
|Floor Type||All (indoor)|
|Dust Bin Capacity||0.64 L|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer|
The Xiaowa Lite could be a great choice for many consumers that are looking for a robot vacuum.
I would recommend the Xiaomi Xiaowa if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum:
- Want a robot vacuum with a WiFi app – This unit also comes with access to a WiFi app, meaning you can control the vacuum directly from your smartphone or tablet.
- Want a strong performer – The cleaning performance of the Xiaowa is hard to beat. it moves quickly but cleans thoroughly. There may come a time where you need to use an upright vacuum for a deeper clean, but for the most part, the Xiaowa will be able to get the job done on all floor types.
- Want an inexpensive unit – The lower cost of this robot vacuum could be good for those who are restricted by a budget or simply just want to save a few bucks on their purchase.
Surprising Performance, Low Cost
- Cleaning - 94%94%
- Usability - 92%92%
- Maneuverability - 93%93%
- Maintenance - 65%65%
- Value - 90%90%
- Returns - 100%100%
- Warranty - 100%100%
- Company - 100%100%
The Xiaomi Xiaowa is an inexpensive robot vacuum with a solid cleaning performance, a sleek look. As a part of the Roborock robot vacuum line, the Xiaowa is the most basic version offered. That said, it is still a top performer and certainly worth the money. If you’re in the market for a robot vacuum and want to save some cash while still receiving a well-rounded unit, the Xiaomi Xiaowa Lite is a great choice.
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.