May 07, 2024

Ezviz RS2 review: A multi



If you’re going to get a robot and mop in one, then it makes sense to find a robot like the Ezviz RS2, which is genuinely good at both. This robot can vacuum as well as any robot but, perhaps more importantly, it also makes a decent job of mopping the floor, with two rotating pads that make a mockery of the drag-and-wipe mops seen on the vast majority of combination devices.

The downside of such prowess is that it costs £1,200. Even discounted to £900, as it was at the time of writing, it could easily be one of the most expensive domestic appliances you’re likely to buy for your home.

In both price and function, it’s firmly setting its sights on the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, a robot with a very similar mopping function, decent vacuuming and a base station that dominates any space you put it in.

At first glance, the Ezviz RS2 looks much like any other recent robot vacuum cleaner. It’s a white, puck-shaped device that’s 360mm wide and 106mm tall, including its LiDAR turret.

Underneath, it has the usual configuration of two traction wheels on either side of the suction inlet and brush roller, plus a third coaster wheel at the front. It also has two corner sweeper brushes, one on either side, positioned towards the front.

Where it stands out is that it has two magnets for connecting its rotating mop pads. You have to attach these the first time you use the robot but after that they’re added to and removed from the robot automatically by the docking station.

The robot also has a front-mounted camera that performs a couple of jobs. Its primary responsibility is navigation and object detection but it can also be used as a ground-level mobile security camera. The robot can be moved around remotely using the accompanying smartphone app allowing you to see through the robot’s “eyes”. It’s a tad gimmicky but perfect for those “did I close the back door?” moments.

It’s the base station that’s going to dominate any room you put it in, though. Measuring 450 x 470 x 503mm (WDH) it has a slightly larger footprint than the dock for the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, but is significantly shorter. It’s also white, rather than black, which I found blended in a little better with the decor in my kitchen, but it obviously depends on the colour of your surrounding walls and furniture.

The footprint is taken up by a roll-on ramp. The robot turns and reverses onto this to dock, so that its mopping pads can be removed, rinsed and dried. If they get too dirty, you can remove the machine-washable pads from the discs and swap them for a pair that are stored away in a cupboard just above the robot’s parking bay.

The dock is hefty because it contains two large water tanks, one that holds clean water, and the other that holds dirty water. The clean water is used to fill the reservoir in the robot that keeps water flowing through the mopping pads while in use, and also to rinse through the pads after mopping to keep them clean.

Dirty water from this process is pumped from the floor of the base station and into the dirty water tank. Both tanks have a handle moulded into the top, so they are easy to lift out, to fill or empty, and just slot into place when returned to their places in the base unit.

What the charging station doesn’t have is a self-emptying mechanism for the dirt from the collection bin – something the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni handily includes.

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Setting up the Ezviz RS2 is a simple, straightforward process, performed through the Ezviz smartphone app (available for iOS and Android). You need to enter in your Wi-Fi details and scan a QR code on the robot itself but the rest is simple.

Before performing its first clean, the robot detects it’s been set up in a new area and performs a mapping run. This is fast and efficient, using the LiDAR to quickly scan areas and build up a map, moving around to fill any gaps. It scans even large areas in minutes.

The map is then immediately available for editing, so you can set up no-go areas before the robot has reached them on its first cleaning run. The app automatically chops this into sensible chunks based on the room layout of your house, too, although you can tweak the boundaries at a later date if you wish.

Adding a second map is as simple as placing the unit in a new area and setting it off. It will detect that it’s in a new place and start a new mapping run, automatically creating and switching to a second map. It can store up to four maps at a time. I did come across a handful of language translation issues in the app but in general use, the robot has few foibles.

Because this isn’t a self-emptying robot, you have to do that bit manually. This is slightly awkward because the robot backs into the docking station for mop pad maintenance, blocking access to the collection bin. There is a button on the top of the dock you can press to bring the robot out and off the ramp, however, having to do this after every clean is annoying.

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We’re getting used to LiDAR-based vacuum cleaners being extremely good at finding their way around and the Ezviz RS2 is no exception. Its constant scanning of its environment means it always knows where it is, and it navigates walls and between rooms with great skill.

The obstacle-detecting camera works well, too, and although the RS2 still bumps into things, it’s very gentle, so it’s hard to imagine it damaging anything but the most delicate of objects. It isn’t quite as good as we’ve seen on the iRobot Roomba j7 and the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, however. Although it detected a dropped sock and a charging cable, it failed to spot our joke-shop pet poo, instead riding right over it.

When cleaning an area it travels around the perimeter first, then fills the gap in the middle by travelling in consecutive parallel stripes. If it’s blocked at any point, it turns and goes back. Sometimes this means it leaves a gap on the other side of an obstacle but it always returns to finish the job when it has finished its main clean.

The only navigation problem I encountered during testing was mop related. Because the device loads the mop from the docking station and leaves it behind when vacuuming, the mop always has contact with the floor when it’s attached. If you want to mop a room on the other side of a ‘no mop’ area, the robot won’t be able to reach it and will fail the task. You can carry it into place, though.

Good navigation and a decent app are important but the area where the Ezviz RS2 truly excels is in its cleaning. I tested it with our usual suite of tests, challenging the robot to collect measured quantities of rice, flour and pet hair from carpet and hard floor.

To pick up each spill, I set the robot an area to clean by drawing a rectangle around it in the app. The RS2 then travelled around the perimeter, as it would with a regular room clean, and methodically covered the area in the middle in stripes as usual.

In the rice tests, the RS2 was right up there with the best, collecting 99% of the spill on carpet and 98% on hard floor. The sweeping brush didn’t scatter the rice so far away that it couldn’t be collected, although more rice was pushed out of reach on hard floor, where the grains can roll a bit further.

Flour is a tougher task for a robot but the RS2 was above average here, too. On hard floor, it collected 85% of the flour, although this dropped to 55% on carpet, with a smear of flour left behind. The average across every robot is 82% on hard floor and 54% on carpet, so it’s only slightly above average, but these are tough tests.

Where it excelled, however, was the pet hair test. Here, I drop a measured quantity of dog groomer’s clippings on both surfaces, spread out and worked into the surface where possible. This is a new test and we’ve only performed it on three robots to date but the RS2 put in by far the best performance, gathering all the dog hair we dropped. The best performer we’d seen previously – the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ – only collected 40%.

The mop uses two rotating pads to wipe the floor, a system that works far better than the more common drag-and-wipe systems many rivals use. And those mopping pads don’t take any extra time to get damp, either, because the water tank in the base station moistens the mopping pads before it sets off on a cleaning mission.

In testing, the dual action of the forward movement of the robot and the rotating motion of the damp pads did a good job of mopping muddy paw prints from hard floor. Stubborn dried-on stains weren’t lifted immediately but each pass diminished them further.

After mopping and vacuuming, when the robot returns to the base station, it goes through a cleaning routine. If the mop pads have been used, they are rinsed and dried. There’s also a roller cleaning mechanism that removes some of the detritus from the brush bar.

However, you’ll still need to do some manual cleaning. The pads need popping in the washing machine occasionally and the roller will need to be cleared of hair as there’s no anti-tangle tech here. You’ll also have to clean the base station every now and then. There’s a button on the top that flushes it with water, so you can give it a scrub with the supplied brush.

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The Ezviz RS2 is one of the most expensive robot vacuum and mops we’ve reviewed to date but it’s also one of the best. If you’re going to invest in a robot that can both mop and vacuum, you want a device that can do both things well, and the RS2 certainly ticks the boxes.

Its vacuuming ability is above average and it’s one of the best mopping robots we’ve come across, with only the Ecovacs Deebot Omni X1 matching it. The one thing it doesn’t do is automatically empty its dust collection bin.

Where mopping is less important than vacuuming and object detection, the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ may offer a good alternative. Its mop isn’t as effective but its vacuuming is solid, there’s less maintenance needed on its rollers and its app is best in class.

Ditch the mopping and you can get much better value for money. For example, the Eufy RoboVac X8 is a reliable and effective robot with a good app and decent cleaning capability. It doesn’t come with a mop attachment but it costs less than half the price of the other models I’ve mentioned here.

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