Using the Somlos S1 has left me in two minds about robotic vacuum cleaners. On one hand, I live in a small enough place, that using a traditional vacuum cleaner takes me about 10 minutes to whip it around the entire house. On the other hand, my small place is almost a perfect scenario for robotic vacuum cleaners due to their limited capacities to hold dust, and also battery life. I’ve been using the Somlos S1 Robotic Vacuum cleaner for about two weeks now, and for the most part, things have been good. There have been a few hiccups along the way, but it’s definitely something I’m going to keep plugged in and powered up for the long term.
The SØMLØS S1 is a small disk-shaped robot, that mirrors pretty much all other robotic vacuum cleaners on the market. It’s covered in matte black plastic and is measured at around 33cm wide and around 6cm tall. It’s not very big at all, and when it was working in my home, every time it went into my bedroom and went under the bed, it either got stuck or took on some damage, like the scratch that runs the entire width of the unit. Not sure where it got that from. The SØMLØS S1 can fit underneath units, sofas, beds and anything else that stands above 6cm.
On top you can find two buttons; one for power and one to send the unit home if you didn’t want it running anymore. Home is the charger, and the S1 does a pretty great job of remembering where that is. There’s also a quite flimsy lid, which yes while thin, is pretty robust and snaps into place when closed. Underneath this flap is where the 300ml dust bin is held, and it’s also where you can install the 300ml water tank for the mop cleaning feature.
The unit itself once Home will take around five hours to charge for around 90 minutes worth of cleaning time which scheduling can help with this, to put more cleaning times in place throughout the week. This also tracks inside the app, so the vacuum cleaner doesn’t go over the same ground twice until its entire cycle is complete. This is why I mentioned at the start that robot vacuums suit small places. It’s also worth noting as well that it isn’t very loud at all, and the motor measures at under 68dB and for a vacuum with a suction of 2000PA, that’s not bad at all. The S1 relies on two rotary side brushes, which extend out the front of the vacuum and rotates enough to move dust and grime towards the centre of the machine. The main rotary blade which again is bristled sucks up the dust.
The SØMLØS S1 vacuum cleaner relies on LDS laser mapping technology which helps it navigate your furniture. It has a 360-degree lidar scanner on top, and for the most part, does a great job of dodging physical objects. However, it did struggle to make its way around my office chair, and even the tripod and microphone stand I use to make videos. But these kinds of things may not be in a conventional house setup. I will say though, make sure your floor is clear of small objects. It won’t detect them and will run over them. Same with cables. Make sure they’re bunched up, otherwise they will get tangled in the side rotors and cause an issue. If your floor is clear, then you shouldn’t have a problem. The S1 maps pretty effectively thanks to its five pairs of collision sensors and four pairs of falling sensors.
Setup was fairly easy, once I spoke to Somlos that is. I had a job to get the unit attached to my WiFi network. It just kept telling me I needed to reset the machine, which got very tedious. But, the Somlos app does have a manual mode to set up their smart products, which requires you to follow the on-screen instructions, and when prompted, enter your phone’s WiFi settings to manually connect. The password for your S1 will be in the box.
When it’s all up and running though, the app’s interface isn’t actually too bad, for a robot vacuum. Smart products tend to be a little hit and miss, but everything on the Somlos app is clearly laid out. Open up the app and you are greeted with the map of your home that the S1 has drawn out, followed by the status of the robot as well as battery life. There are several options here, starting with the main four at the bottom for recharge, start, suction/water and More which will take you to the timer and schedule settings, a button to find your robot in your house (if you’ve lost it under the bed for example) and the health of the brushes on the bottom. After a week’s use, mine hit 99% from 100%, and you do get spare side brushes in the box to use if the original ones break.
Back on the home screen, you can also find settings for the forbidden zoning, which tells the robot not to go near that area, like under your bed, and an auto-clean function which is pretty self-explanatory. While cleaning, and once the robot has mapped out your house, it will follow an S type pattern, similar to a mower cutting a football field, or a Zamboni at an ice skating rink. This ensures the entire surface area of a room is covered effectively. I have my S1 come on at 12pm every day to give my house a quick once over, and for the most part, it sucks everything up, and the only things it didn’t actually manage to pick up is a bit of charcoal from when I was cooking. It flicked it around a bit with its blades, as these aren’t particularly strong, but didn’t clean it. Nor does it do edges of the room too well either, and that’s really the nature of the beast. This thing is round, whereas the corners of your room are square right? It’s just impossible.
You can map out individual rooms and give the S1 instructions on what to do with those rooms too, whether that be a spot clean, or part of your scheduled time. You can also add Forbidden Zones too, so like I said for under beds or units, and I even added one to my desk area, as I didn’t want the bot to get caught up in all my lighting and PC cables, as this can be a bit of a nightmare. To use the mop functionality, you need to set an area clean first, to tell the S1 to only start cleaning your kitchen and nothing else, otherwise, you’ll get water all over your carpets, and that won’t be good.
So the SØMLØS S1 robotic vacuum cleaner is a neat bit of kit, which can help keep your house clean from general dust. It can’t do chunks of food that might fall on the floor in the kitchen while cooking, but that’s expected. The app is a delight to use and very simple to instigate all functionalities of the robot and the actual unit itself looks decent and very modern. I didn’t really use the mop function all that often, as the only moppable area is my kitchen really, and it was a bit time consuming to empty the standard dust bin, to then fill up a separate tank, for it to do the kitchen when I could be done in a few minutes mopping it manually. You can find the SØMLØS S1 online for 650-Euros which again, is pretty expected for one of these, but for the most part, it’s a nice vacuum cleaner. If you wanted to pick one up for yourself, our affiliate link is here.