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Roborock E4 vs. Roborock S4: What's the difference and which should you buy?

Roborock E4 In Action
Roborock E4 In Action (Image credit: Roborock)

Roborock E4

Roborock E4 Versus

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The Roborock E4 is not only one of the most affordable robot vacuums on the market, it's also one of the best. With excellent suction and navigation plus integrated mopping, it'll keep your house efficiently clean. The trade-off is that there are no bells and whistles like virtual boundaries or onboard AI.

Roborock E4

The biggest bang for your buck

Reasons to buy

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Incredible price
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Fast navigation and excellent cleaning performance
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Huge dustbin for easier upkeep

Reasons to avoid

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Lack of smart mapping functionality in the app
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Mop must be purchased separately
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No object recognition or onboard AI

Roborock S4

Roborock S4 Reco

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The Roborock S4 has a lot in common with the Roborock E4. They both have roughly the same specs, including suction power and runtime. Where the S4 comes out ahead, however, is in its navigational capabilities. With LIDAR sensors and onboard AI, it's a much more intelligent vacuum than the E4 - though the lack of mopping capabilities does sting a little.

Roborock S4

A bit of added smarts

Reasons to buy

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Extremely effective on non-carpeted floors
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Intelligent navigation and high-powered drivetrain to avoid getting stuck
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Selective room scheduling and virtual barriers

Reasons to avoid

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A little bulkier than most robot vacuums
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No mopping capabilities
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Not great on carpet

Ultimately, there's no clear winner between the two — it depends what you're looking for. If you want an efficient, affordable combination robot vacuum and mop, and you don't much care about bells and whistles, pick up the Roborock E4. If, however, you want a smarter, more precise vacuum, the Roborock S4 is the better choice.

Power at an unbeatable price: the Roborock E4

Roborock really came out swinging with the Roborock E4, proving that you don't need to drop an arm and a leg in order to get yourself a decent automatic vacuum cleaner. With 2000Pa of suction, a carpet boost feature, a massive dustbin, and an optional mop attachment. Discounting higher-end robot vacuums, it's also one of the fastest in Roborock's portfolio, capable of vacuuming and mopping up to 2,152 square feet up to 10% faster than previous models.

You can control the Roborock E4 either via the Roborock app, a set of onboard switches, or with voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You have 6 different cleaning modes to choose from, and will automatically return to its station to recharge during longer jobs. There are, of course, a few trade-offs.

At this price, there has to be.

Roborock E4Roborock S4
Suction Power2000 Pa2000 Pa
Dustbin Capacity640 ml420 ml
ControlsVoice (Assistant/Alexa), app, physicalVoice (assistant/Alexa), app, physical
MopDual vacuum/mopping (sold separately)No
MappingYesYes
NavigationDual Gyroscope/OpticEyeLDS LIDAR
Runtime200 minutes150 minutes
Battery Capacity5200 mAh5200 mAh
SchedulingYesYes
Cleaning Area2152 square feet2690 square feet
Zone CleaningNoYes
Automatic RechargingYesYes
Threshold Height0.7 inches0.59 inches
Carpet DetectionYesNo
Weight11.28 lbs14.42 lbs
Height3.54 inches3.78 inches
Room RecognitionNoYes
Virtual BarriesNoYes
WiFi2.4 Ghz2.4 Ghz

The Roborock E4 is more focused on functionality than bells and whistles. As a result, you aren't going to be able to do anything fancy with the app. While the vacuum will still map out your house, you won't be able to set virtual barriers or configure the E4 to do room-specific cleanups

The E4 also falls a little behind the S4 in terms of navigation, as it's only equipped with two gyroscopes and OpticEye motion tracking compared to the S4's LIDAR, fortified by onboard AI. That said, there are things the E4 does better. For one, it's the only vacuum of the two capable of mopping, as the S4 is strictly a vacuum, with a significantly larger dustbin.

Finally, it performs slightly better on carpet than the S4, athough it's edged out by the S4's performance on regular floors.

Smarter, faster cleaning: the Roborock S4

Roborock S4 Lifestyle

Source: Roborock (Image credit: Source: Roborock)

Of course, you're not just paying for features like room recognition and virtual barriers if you pick up the S4. For just a bit more than the Roborock E4, the S4 is almost unbelievably precise in its navigation. That said, it has a slightly lower threshold height than the E4, meaning it's a bit more sensitive to things like throw rugs or uneven flooring. In addition, its awkward height means it may be unable to clean under lower furniture.

Still, it makes up for those minor shortcomings with a powerful drivetrain, allowing the S4 an impressive amount of mobility and agility. The S4's battery is the same size as the E4, and both have roughly the same runtime. The S4 still edges out ahead here, if only slightly — owing to its more powerful internals, it's capable of cleaning with a bit more speed than the E4, meaning it can cover a slightly larger area on a single charge.

You aren't likely to notice that, though, as both vacuums have an automatic recharge function that allows them to will see it make a quick return to its dock if it starts running out of juice. The S4 also really shines in its in-app functionality. In addition to room recognition and virtual barriers, you can direct the S4 to clean specific, configurable zones in your home.

How smart do you want your vacuum to be?

At the end of the day, the Roborock E4 and the Roborock S4 share a lot in common. They're both incredibly solid models, and both at a lower price point than most other offerings on the market. What it really comes down to is personal preference.

Do you want a barebones vacuum/mop combo that's nevertheless a cleanliness powerhouse, or do you want to drop a bit more on a slightly fancier pure vacuum with better navigation and more customization and control over your cleaning jobs?

Either way, you can't really go wrong.