Roidmi F8 cordless ergonomic, modern design convertible stick/handheld vacuum packs a powerful punch in a small package, and includes attachments for any need.
Upright, cannister, handheld or convertible stick vac? There are more choices than ever within the universe of vacuums. Not everyone needs or wants an upright. Once upon a time, Hoover, Kirby Eureka, Electrolux, and Royal, among others, were dominant in the upright field. Now, everything has changed in form but not in function. There are numerous products with peculiar brand names I have never seen.
Vacuums suck! That is their job. What is your preference? What is your need? Corded or cordless? Robotic? And a veritable plethora of other feature/benefit considerations too lengthy to cover here. It’s enough to make the average consumer crazy with anxiety!
I suggest that most of us would liketo have a handheld that is both efficient and convenient to use, ready to grab and go when a quick pick-up is needed. Can you say Black & Decker Dust Buster? That brand popularized the handheld category and is still a force in the market. From here, it’s a customer preference as to handheld as well as all the other categories and considerations. I have thoughts on the subject. Not surprised, are you?
I’m for bagless. Are you? Not all are equal. Irrespective of most other considerations, I want fuss-free operation with a minimum of service or maintenance required. One of my biggest turn-offs in vacuums is a filter than requires regular and time consuming attention or a belt that requires attention or regular replacement. Some bagless models with replaceable filters work best with or require extensive filter maintenance after minimal use. I am not a fan! Too much work.
I still like uprights, and will not ditch my big, reliable Dyson Ball Animal model anytime soon, but it is seeing little use of late. Why? Because, at present, what I am about to describe has replaced the regular need for that big sucker, big Dyson. I have, as you may, rethought everything about MYneed for a vacuum cleaner. Thanks to Roidmi, following is the tale of my revised thinking on the subject.
A strong, longtime Dyson advocate, I was contacted by a Roidmi representative asking if I would like to give their F8 its fair due, and I was only too pleased to accommodate the request. Again, I was not expecting to like this little gem, but I have been quite pleased with it. “Don’t judge a book by its cover . . .”
Expecting to be mightily unimpressed, my uninformed impressions in advance of a customary hands-on were . . . WRONG! This is further confirmation that readingabout or looking at a product is not a substitute for actually using it. Come along with me, please, as I experience the very likeable Roidmi F8.d
CONCLUSION and other information up front – Roidmi F8 is a surprisingly capable multifunction vacuum, delivering performance and value! Not at storefront retailers, buy through Amazon, currently priced at $299 for the “kit” reviewed, which is also known as “Roidmi 18500Pa.”
Purchased from Amazon, Roidmi F8 is covered by the maker’s two-year warranty. Purchased through another online marketer, Aliexpress, for a little less and with a three-year warranty.
A slightly lower-powered Roidmi model, the F8e, also known as Roidmi 17000, is available from Amazon for $219 (at this writing). This product also comes with fewer accessories, ideal as a starter kit for smaller spaces. The same model can be purchased from Aliexpress when searching the link above, also with a two-year warranty.
Confused about what model to get and where to buy? Welcome to my world! My advice? Read my review, decide the model that speaks to you and meets your needs, shop at the links found here and make your purchase. Be certain you are buying from Roidmi or its authorized marketers. There should be an indication of the seller on the listing page. Look for Roidmi (on Amazon), Roidmi Official Store, Xiaomi or “Authentic Original Roidmi Official Brand Guaranteed” (from Aliexpress).
Curious about the battery, I asked what if it fails during the warranty period? According to my company contact, “All shipping fee[s] will be covered by ROIDMI during the 2 years warranty period.” (Or three-year warranty if purchased from Aliexpress through the link above.)
I think the manufacturer is working towards consistency in their marketing and messaging, and they are not quite there. This does NOT in any way detract from the quality and from my conclusions about the product.
Moving past this distraction, let us continue.
What about battery replacement post warranty? Lithium batteries do not last forever. Again, my contact wrote, “The replacement batteries will be available to purchase online later on with an affordable price and customers can replace the batteries by themselves easily with the tool provided.” Pricing is not yet announced. I will update when the information becomes available. Not a deterrent to me!
What about customer service in general? While US phone support is not currently available, “Customers can contact us by email [email protected] for any support and after sale service enquiries. We will reply within 24 hours.”
Roidmi is an unusual and unconventional name, to be sure. Not the first time we have encountered a head-scratcher of a product name, is it? Fear not. It is part of the huge Chinese Xiaomi technology and product universe. Roidmi F8 is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Red Dot Design Award and 2018 IF Design Award in Germany, and other design awards.
Packaged in a neatly laid out two-level shipping box, unboxing was reminiscent of diving into an Apple product. White product in plain, minimalist, nested inner boxes of thin, crisp cardboard with a modern high tech-looking font labeling each of them, and form-fitting uneven-surfaced cardboard sections that cradle each component beneath the boxes above.
Among the first things that grabbed my attention was the home-country power plug, not intended for use in the US. No, I am not in China. Fortunately, I have travel adapters to convert the built-in Chinese plug’s dual round ends to our twin-bladed US standard end. This is now remedied, according to my Roidmi contact, “US customers will receive a power supply made for use in the US with our two-blade design.” Not a deterrent.
Onto the charger went the vacuum while I read the manual to familiarize myself with the subtleties of the F8. Not lost on me was the obvious design homage to the aforementioned Dyson brand.
Direct comparison to my old, still fully-functional handheld Dyson DC31 Animal is not a fair fight. Roidmi F8’s design is more closely compared to the newer Dyson family of V10 and V11 models. Those updated Dyson products feature slimmer profiles and in-line orientation of the motor down through to the dust cup that is similar in design and execution to this Roidmi F8. Other operational and design specifications appear to be similar to Dyson products.
Both products use powerful DC-motors and cyclonic vacuum design. Both sport an easy-empty dust cup, accomplished differently. The dust cup on Roidmi F8 must be removed from the F8 in order to empty. Dyson products in the handheld/stick category allow dumping the dust cup contents without removal.
Roidmi F8 is also the first vacuum I’ve tested that has an available smartphone app. I downloaded and effortlessly used the iPhone app. More on the app later. It is not a requirement that the app be used. Ever. However, the app provides invaluable information AND features not otherwise available to users of the F8, so why not take advantage of it?
The handheld base is notable for its small dust cup and clever handle design, allowing it to be comfortably top- or back-held during use. It will take some adjustment for this brain to think first to adjust the grip as a short handheld, and to hold differently when vacuuming with the long tube attached for the carpet and floor heads. Again, it will take some time to become accustomed to the design and unavoidably top-heavy weight.
Another notable difference between Dyson and Roidmi designs is the power switch. Dyson favors a trigger-like switch. Grip and pull to turn it on. Release to switch it off. Roidmi F8 allows a constant ON stance with its power button. Press to switch on and hang on to the handle. Then, press to switch it off or use another nearby button to change from lowest power setting to the highest setting. Dyson’s concept is a forced conservation of power. Why have the machine using power when NOT vacuuming, when just moving about or sitting still? This does make sense.After all, each of these products needs power ONLY while at work at the business end. In this way, Dyson professes to conserve power, resulting in stated greater battery, though true runtime is stated to be similar on both makes.
On the other hand, having to pull and hold the trigger during use could be awkward and difficult for some users with hand, arm and wrist issues, and for others among us who just find the trigger scenario cumbersome and even tiresome. Something to think about!
The thoughtful design challenged me to find uses for each of the attachments. Be sure to have a good look at the product Website, scrolling down through the entire page to see all the possibilities. Then, watch the embedded video demo at the top of the page linked in the previous sentence.
Check out the User Manual.
Anxious to get started, I assembled the base with the slim handheld extension and set about trying it out. I brought along the entire kit on a visit to friends who had recently moved to a new house. With tile floors and few carpeted surfaces, I went to work!
Principal differences between my Dyson product as well as newer ones, and Roidmi F8 include a smaller dust cup and locked-in internal battery on Roidmi F8. Digging deeper, the Roidmi F8 feels as if it has greater suction at the highest performance level and more versatile capabilities than my Dyson. Roidmi has a smaller dust cup capacity than do Dyson V10 and V11 products, and it is smaller overall. Also, the Dyson products above are approximately twice the weight, at just shy of six pounds versus about three and one-half pounds for the F8.
Dyson models feature virtually forever, washable filtration. Roidmi F8 is supplied with two replaceable and washable filters (hit the link at the left to learn about the filter and its integration within the app) that will require eventual replacement at a current Amazon cost of $10 for a two-pack with Prime. I do not suppose that replacing filters will be often required. Not so bad.
Roidmi F8 provides three “speeds,” the middle of which is accessible only through the app under the “Device control” area, explained later. Dyson has its own higher-wattage, higher-performance settings on the back of its units.
Using the F8 initially with the slim solid extension often called a crevice tool, I had no difficulty roaming about, pointing and vacuuming at anything discovered. Even on the lowest suction setting, I rethought the concept of different power settings and realized that a vacuuming product would either pick up the dust-bunnies and debris, or it would not. Why change to higher suction if it is not required for the task at hand? On the lowest power/suction setting, battery life is pegged at up to an impressive 55 minutes. Current Dyson models cited here tout up to one hour of use at the basic, lowest suction level per battery charge. It’s a push.
After my point-and-vacuum expedition, I inserted the handheld’s short brush attachment into the end of the short, slim extension and worked on body-height horizontal areas that had collected dust. I hit ledges in the bathrooms and elsewhere, around the glass inserts in doors and window tracks, plus sliding door and window tracks.
All the while I kept my eye on the battery level indicator lights, watching for them to go from the maximum four lights to successively fewer as usage continued.
Also notable was the noise level that was lower than anticipated. I did not break out my decibel meter, but I did notice that the motor was not terribly loud in any mode. The doubt that the noise level should not prove to be of concern to any user. It is quieter than an upright and seems quieter than my Dyson handheld..
When keeping track of the dust cup performance, there are two considerations. First, the appearance as it fills, noting if the dust cup visuallyappears to be full or possibly over full. Second, note any loss of suction as the cup fills with debris. Here is an area in which the app can come in handy.
Here’s the drill. After downloading and setting up the app on my iPhone, I clicked to connect the app via Bluetooth to the F8. It is more intuitive and less awkward than it might appear to users without actually using it as I have.
As the dust cup filled and appeared to be impacted with debris, I checked the app. Sure, I could have easily stopped cleaning, walked to the waste can and emptied the dust cup, but that would have defeated the purpose of the app’s test AND the ability of the Roidmi F8 to muscle through at peak performance even with a considerable load in the cup.
In my tests, I ultimately chose to empty the dust cup out of convenience rather than waiting for an over-full flashing light warning on the F8 or the audible warning from the app (which is only operational IF the F8 is Bluetooth-connected to the app).
Emptying the dust cup is accomplished by pressing the dust cup release, removing the dust cup entirely and pressing the bottom cover release over a trash can. At this time, the filter can also be very easily removed from the top of the dust cup. Once the filter is out, a little D-shaped handle springs up, inviting removal of the top cover of the cylindrical cup, which, in turn, reveals the center filtration mechanism for removal and added cleaning. This neat puzzle goes back together without fuss, then the dust bin can be snapped back in place, with Roidmi F8 ready for more work.
When emptied all three times during its FIRST BATTERY CHARGE, it was visually and factually jam-packed with debris yet never lost suction nor did the app sense the need to warn me of dust cup over-stuffing. I am impressed! More on battery performance later.
A few thoughts about the app. Smooth sailing with installation, connection and usage through my iPhone. There is but one review at the Apple App Store, and it is not mine. Though the software was easy for me to use, I must admit that most others are not geeks and not likely to find it as easy to maneuver. I enjoy the process of discovery and have the necessary patience and interest to do all of this, especially for the purpose of this review.
The same success cannot be reported when installing and in attempts to connect using a friend’s modern, up to date Android phones. After several attempts, we could see that the app was trying oh so hard to connect, but it just could not finish and connect. From the many reviews at the Google Play Store, I can see that most users who provided a review reported poor results for the Android software. I can only hope the software will be better designed and implemented for BOTH platforms. The company can do better!
Back to my cleaning tale.
Looking for every opportunity to put the Roidmi F8 through its paces, I tackled the hard floors with the extension tube and the multi-angle brush. Smooth and tangle-free, it was handy on the tile stairs where there are pieces of carpet laid on top of each step. This attachment effectively aided coverage into the corners and the articulating head was a pleasure to use.
A surprisingly bright and effective LED lit the way when an ambient light sensor dictated that it should be ON. It is only on when conditions require it and ONLY available in the multi-angle, powered brush head. There is no manual control, so there is nothing for the user to do here. A very nice and welcome touch!
Two brushes are included in the Roidmi F8 kit. One, called the Rolling Brush, is a carbon fiber-type said to be useful “for floor, tile and short wool carpet.” This is the brush pre-installed in the articulated, powered brush head. I used the rolling brush for much of my evaluation tasks. The other brush included in the Roidmi F8 kit is a “soft velvet rolling brush” that “can be used for floor tile, wooden floor, etc. and polished [floors]. It is recommended not to use soft velvet rolling brush to clean the carpet.”
Finally, a smaller, non-lighted, powered “Mattress brush” is “suitable for cleaning dust and mites on the surface of bed, curtain and other textile materials.” This will be the perfect tool to vacuum the cloth seats in my car, and on the carpeted floors and floormats. The brush is easily removed from this head. Either a quarter or nickel are able tools to give a little twist to the end marked with a slot. Remove the end cap to allow the roller slight outward capability, and the whole roller then comes out of its seat and can be removed for cleaning from the other end, the one that has the sprocket-like end, mated to the drive mechanism. Reverse the process to put the brush back in the head. Note which is the correct end as it came out and re-insert it properly. One end has a notch that fits in the turning rotating drive. The other end, the one facing the screwed on cap, is not the drive end. Done.
As I watched debris rolled up under the larger brush head, then disappear up the tube to reach the dust cup, it was a surprise that little to no lingering debris became attached to the roller. The small guide rollers on the underside of brush head accumulated some debris, which was easily removed by popping the rollers out from their nested seat with a small flat screwdriver. Once out, it was easy to remove all the foreign matter. The Roidmi F8 sucked up everything removed from this exercise and into the dust cup went all of it. Good job, Roidmi!
Further into my cleaning quest, I found it easy and comfortable to vacuum underneath the free-standing bathroom vanities all the way to the wall. Steering the head with a twist of the wrist became second nature within minutes of use.
Heading into dark walk-in closets and at virtually every turn, that head made quick work of workers’ leftover little screws ‘n things as well as all the other accumulated dust, dirt and debris from the moving process.
All the while, monitoring remaining battery power from this single charge, I became pleasantly surprised at the robust reserves.
Switching to the handheld short extension and attaching the sofa brush, I attacked furniture to pick up some of the dirt found on a couch. Next, I used this brush, assuring it was free of dust bunnies, to vacuum a couple of computer keyboards. Easy!
A flexible, corrugated, expandable attachment is useful as a flex-snorkel to go into drawers, up and over the top of tall objects and the top of furniture, and for other hard to reach areas, with a slightly pinched inlet, not quite as extreme as the end on the crevice tool.
Note that the long extension tube also carries seamless power connector pins required for powered brushes. The other attachments not requiring power do not have the power connectors, yet can also be used on the end of this extension tube.
Also note that I continuously evaluated the effectiveness of debris pickup on the basic, lowest motor speed. Only in a few short bursts did I try the two higher suction rates, though throughout my nearly hour-long cleaning expedition, it did not seem necessary to use the higher power. Pressing and holding the so-called “Shift Switch” at the rear of the handle for a moment or two toggled between normal, 80-Watt power, and maximum 180-Watt power. ONLY while using the app can the medium, 130-Watt power setting be accessed and selected.
From within the app, and while the product is in use, any of the three power settings can be selected and like magic, Roidmi F8 changes accordingly.
For security purposes, after a non-specific time of app inactivity, when the app is launched it is necessary to have a code sent to the user’s email, then that code must be entered appropriately into the app. Yes, it is a bit awkward, even tedious, but I am here to report my experience and impressions, and nothing here was a bother to me.
Once connected via Bluetooth, note the three dots at the upper right. A click reveals three choices that are under the heading of “Settings” – “Device control,” “Manage Device” and “Add Device.”
Within Settings and under “Device control,” users may select a “Dust full reminder” that automatically sends an alert tone through the phone speaker. As well, “Abnormal prompt tone” may be selected for any eventuality during which a fault is detected.
“Device upgrade” is a setting used that, when new firmware is detected, downloads to the phone and then updates the F8.
Under the “Battery information” heading lies a “Last_battery” line to indicate the current state of charge. “Battery standby time” indicates remaining power this Roidmi F8 can be expected to maintain if unplugged from power, unused. This indication does so only when the device is nearby and connected to the phone via Bluetooth.
“Current gear endurance” shows the approximate time of use available at the current power setting, which at this time, as set to 80 Watts, shows “55min.” In practice, this is only an approximation and not a reliable estimate.
“Current electricity” is an indication of real-time rate of charge, if plugged in. Now, as this unit is connected to power with a 100% charge, it does not require charging, so the reading shows 0.00A (for Amps). In other words, the battery is full, and not receiving any electricity to charge an already fully-charged battery. This is a good thing, preventing overcharge of the internal Lithium battery!
The final indicator under the Battery information panel is “Temperature,” as shown in Celsius. Not so great for us US people, most of whom do not speak the Metric system. There is no facility to select Fahrenheit instead of Celsius at this time. Maybe in a future update? The current reading of my at-rest Roidmi F8 is 37.20ºC, or, for all of us speaking Fahrenheit, 98.96º. This is a reflection of internal component temp, I am sure, and not ambient temperature, which most certainly is considerably less and more comfortable than nearly 99º. As other apps do, how about allowing users to choose their app-wide units of measure, whether Celsius or Fahrenheit, inches or centimeters, Roidmi app developer??
Further down the Settings page on the iOS app, and after Battery information, is “Filter and statistics.” Found there is a resettable time-of-use approximation that correlates to remaining life of the currently installed filter. Mine is at 90%. This remaining life stat is merely a guide value based on time-of-use and not a dynamic actual measurement of the effectiveness of the currently installed filter. Use it accordingly, buyers. Capability to reset this value is included in the app.
When maintaining Roidmi F8, users are provided with a small “Cleaning Brush,” one end of which has approximately one-inch long bristles for dusting the filter. The other end looks similar to a slit-type letter opener with a cutter at the deepest recess of a “V” groove. This end of the tool can be handy for cutting any strings that become wrapped around the rolling brushes. Note from comments above that the rollers are easily removed for cleaning.
An installed brush in a motorized head is easily removed by pressing a red release tab on the underside of the large powered head.
Battery life was approximately as advertised. I roamed about the house, upstairs and down, emptying the bin as described until this Roidmi F8 stopped running, shutting down automatically. I could see it was on its last power legs when the array of four LEDs dwindled to one of four for a bit. There was no loss of performance right up until it simply quit working after working hard for just about 55 minutes. Nice, very nice. It was nearly enough time for me to finish cleaning up this two-story, four-bedroom, four bath home, and showing off this beautifully designed tool.
My enthusiasm is tempered with a dose of realism regarding battery performance. Sure, it did a fine job on the basic, 80-Watt power setting, and it didgo the distance at about 55 minutes, most of which was with a motorized head. It is to be assumed and reasonable that at either the mid- or high-power setting, runtime per charge will be significantly lower.
Note my additional runtime stats below. It’s physics at work here, not magic.
• Running this Roidmi F8 fully charged with a motorized brush on full power, it lasted a few seconds past 9 minutes until automatic shutdown.
• At full power without a powered attachment, it ran just shy of 10 minutes before auto shutdown.
• At the middle power setting (accessible only through the app), with the largest motorized brush, it lasted 29 minutes on a full charge.
• At middle power without a motorized brush, runtime until auto shutoff was at just about 31 minutes.
Every user’s experience may be different. Maybe a user will use theirs more vigorously than I. Maybe less. My conclusions are subjective to MY personal usage.
I found it awkward when putting the Roidmi F8 in a resting position while roaming about in handheld trim, starting and stopping vacuuming. Its rounded design does not provide a flat resting “pad.” The F8 wants to roll over onto one side or the other of the handle. The design shows this anomaly in any photo. Other than this design decision with which I do not agree, there is nothing else about the design I do not like.
How is Roidmi F8 designed stored when the work is done, for now? Designers included parts for semi-permanent or permanent mounting. A wall-mounted base can be attached with included screws OR by another, no-drilling method. Instructions specify the recommended height of the wall mount to be 88cm above the ground (that’s a skosh under 34.65 inches). Here is why. THAT is the standing height of the F8 when assembled with the tube and wide powered brush, with the brush resting on the floor in position as if in use. It is restingon the floor below, and leaning into its magnetically-held base on the wall. It is NOT hanging on the wall mount, with the wall mount bearing the weight of the unit.
How is it done? Start with an included peel-and-stick thin and transparent wall sticker/plate which is for sticking to a clean, non-porous surface, such as a painted wall.
Then, pull the tab from the peel-and-stick backing already on the mounting plate. The last step is to set the mounting plate onto the plastic disk stuck on the wall at the specified height. Be sure to hold the F8 in place, configured in its resting position at the wall as confirmation of mount height BEFORE committing to the mount placement location. Now, the handle can be magnetically attached to the mounting plate on a wall that is either attached with screws or using the sticky method.
I am not sure how this will play out for most users. Once mounted, regardless of the method, the charger must be plugged in to what hopefully will be a nearby wall plug and the other end, the Roidmi F8 end may be stored near the plug OR draped over the mounting plate through its feed slot awaiting the cord.
I found and ordered an alternative online. This is a stylish (?) Roidmi-branded “Storage Bag for Roidmi Vacuum Cleaner Accessories and Other Similar Vacuum Cleaners Tool Kits Accessory Holder Organizer”.
Will I continue to use this Roidmi F8? Yes! I am looking forward to using it for quick pick-ups as well as for more extensive vacuuming duties here at Gadget Central, and I look forward to next-generation Roidmi-branded vacuum products.