Tesvor S6: An affordable, but ultimately frustrating, robot vacuum and mop
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Knowing that we would be spending much of last year at home, we became intrigued by the idea of a robot vacuum to lighten the load of the increased housework that we would be doing. Vacuuming is one of the tasks that we needed to do more frequently and mopping the non-carpeted floors that we have. Fortunately, Tesvor reached out and asked if we wanted to try its S6, a dual-brush vacuum cleaner that could integrate with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. The Tesvor S6 also has a mopping function, giving it more versatility than some cheap robot vacuums.
Tesvor kindly supplied the S6 at no cost to us, but it did not have any say on the copy contained in this article. The company did not request, nor did we offer, approval of the article before publishing it.
Currently, Tesvor sells the S6 on its website for US$259, although it is also offering an additional US$20 discount as part of its Easter sale. By contrast, Tesvor sells an equivalent model on Amazon for US$314.49. The company has a US$70 coupon on Amazon purchases too though, for reference. While that may seem expensive, it makes the Tesvor S6 cheaper than comparable Proscenic and Roborock vacuums, to name but a few competitors.
Theoretically, the Tesvor S6 has plenty going for it, but our experience with it has been mixed to say the least. The S6 does not have a reset button, so when our first unit stopped working after a firmware upgrade, we had to exchange it with Tesvor for a replacement. Apparently, Tesvor can only reset the S6 at the factory.
To Tesvor's credit, returning the first unit was painless and it dispatched a replacement quickly. However, we cannot comment on what Tesvor's customer service would have been if we had bought the S6, instead. Suffice to say; we would not feel comfortable upgrading the Tesvor S6's firmware again.
Unsurprisingly, the Tesvor S6 functions like practically every other robot vacuum. The device has two brushes that operate at up to 2,700 Pa and it navigates rooms using LiDAR. On the whole, the Tesvor S6 picks up hair and other debris well. The vacuum has three cleaning modes, which Tesvor calls Quiet, Normal and Turbo. You can switch between these on the WeBack app or by using the bundled remote control. We would only recommend using Normal or Turbo mode though, as the vacuum seems does not collect much debris when in Quiet mode.
Additionally, the vacuum approaches obstacles by hitting them, rather than sensing that they are there and avoiding them, as more expensive alternatives like the Roborock S5 Max do. This may seem trivial, but it often leads to the vacuum becoming trapped in a room in our house.
We have no complaints about its mopping performance, though. Tesvor has equipped the S6 with a 350 ml water tank, which should be large enough for most rooms. Unfortunately, the Tesvor S6 cannot mop and vacuum simultaneously. Instead, one must swap the dust bin and water tank over, which is not a problem with our Roborock S5 Max.
We found other gripes too, such as the inability to switch off the vacuum's power, home and network lights. As it stands, the Tesvor S6 illuminates a room at night, which is unnecessary. While this a minor gripe, it is one that does not exist on other robot vacuums.
Overall, the Tesvor S6 has left us with mixed feelings. We like that the vacuum supports Amazon Alexa and Google Home, because you can set the vacuum off without diving into the app. The vacuum does its core jobs well too, even if you have to swap over the dust bin and water tank every time you want to switch from vacuuming to mopping.
The physical power button is useful too, as is the option of charging the Tesvor S6 without using its dock. The lack of a reset button brought about our first unit's demise, though. Consequently, we would not feel confident updating our second unit's firmware.
In short, the Tesvor S6 offers a lot of functionality, especially for under US$300. Unfortunately, the vacuum lacks the elegance and refinement of more expensive alternatives, which left us feeling frustrated whenever it shut itself in a room, or it failed to violently bumped into various pieces of furniture.