Roidmi F8 review: A fantastic cordless vacuum cleaner

If you probably never heard of Chinese cleaning company, Roidmi, before, I don’t blame you. But if you’re looking to buy a new vacuum cleaner, particularly the cordless type, it deserves more than a cursory look.

It’s one of those subsidiary companies that sits under Xiaomi’s multi-billion pound tech umbrella and it specialises in producing Dyson lookalikes such as the Roidmi F8. And it’s no fly by night, either. Designed specifically to take on the Dyson V8, the F8 has been positively received pretty much everywhere it’s been reviewed, and has also claimed a design award from Red Dot in the category of Cordless Vacuum Cleaner.

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Roidmi F8 vs Dyson V8: What you need to know

The Roidmi F8 is a cordless vacuum cleaner in the same vein as the Dyson V-series. It has 415W motor unit and dust collection bin unit at the top and this, in turn, is mounted to a motorised floor-cleaning head via a long, skinny tube.

As with Dyson cordless vacuums other attachments can be added to the end of the tube and the wand can also be removed, too, if you need to clean in tight spaces. In fact, the Roidmi F8 comes with no fewer than six accessories and attachments: a motorised soft roller and a motorised brush head, a small powered head for stairs and small spaces, a standard crevice tool, a flexible hose for cleaning on top of shelves and cupboards, plus a furniture brush.

That’s on a par with the Dyson V8, which is the cordless vacuum the F8 is designed to compete with. Even the motor specifications look similar. Just like the V8, the F8 has a fast-spinning digital motor that runs at 100,000rpm (the Dyson’s spins a little faster at 110,000) and this produces exactly the same level of claimed suction at 115AW (air watts).

Power levels aside, the F8 has one significant advantage over its main competitor: with the motorised head it has a quoted battery life of 55 minutes in normal mode and ten minutes in “Max” mode. By comparison, the Dyson V8 runs for 25 minutes and 8 minutes.

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Roidmi F8 review: Price and competition

The other advantage the Roidmi F8 has over the Dyson V8 is that, at £285, it’s a whole lot cheaper. The Dyson V8 Absolute costs £400; the Dyson V8 Animal (the same but without the soft roller brush) is £349 and even the model down from this – the Dyson V7 Total Clean – is £319.

Other cordless vacuums you might also want to consider are the Shark DuoClean Cordless IF200UK for £229 (our current favourite mid-price cordless) the AEG FX9 at £375 and the Vax Blade2 at £250.

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Roidmi F8 review: Features and design

Despite costing significantly less than the Dyson V8, the Roidmi F8 is exquisitely well-built. The motor unit is clad in white soft-touch plastic finish and it feels great – I’d even go as far as saying it’s the best looking, best built cordless vacuum cleaner there is, surpassing even the Dyson V11 in terms of pure aesthetics.

The Roidmi F8 is sensibly designed, too. It has a sturdy handle that wraps around the top and back of the motor unit, which makes it easy to manoeuvre both on the ground and when you lift it up to get at those cobwebs.

In terms of controls, there’s a rubber power button on the top of the handle and a boost button further down. Unlike the Dyson, the F8 doesn’t use a sprung trigger: it remains on until you press and hold the button again.

Four LEDs on top of the device indicate remaining battery capacity (you can also check the exact percentage through the Roidmi app) while a fifth status LED shows blockages and Bluetooth connectivity. To charge the machine, there’s a DC power input under a rubber flap at the bottom of the handle.

As stated above the F8 comes with plenty of accessories, including both soft and bristle-based rollers for the main powered head. In addition to those cleaning tools you also get a magnetic wall mount, a spare HEPA filter and a cleaning brush with a blade for cutting free hair when it gets wrapped around the brushes.

All these tools work well; I particularly like the LED lights at the front of the main brush head, which make it easier to see fine debris in low light. The LEDs adjust instantaneously to changes in ambient light, too, which means they’re not using up battery capacity when they’re not needed.

My only complaint with the Roidmi F8’s design is the size of the dust collection bin and its opening mechanism. First, it’s small at only 0.4-litres so you’ll have to empty it out frequently, although that’s a common feature of cordless machines like this.

Second, and more seriously, the bin’s plastic latch feels pretty flimsy. Also, unlike the Dyson, the F8 doesn’t have a mechanism to scrape dirt from the chamber as you open it. To get at anything that’s stuck in the bin, you’ll need to tease it out manually or push the filtration system out in its entirety to get access to it.

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Roidmi F8 review: App

You can operate the Roidmi F8 like any old dumb vacuum cleaner if you want but if you did that you’d be missing out on some key features. For starters, it’s the only way to adjust the suction levels. By default, this is 7.5kPa (kilopascals), rising to 24kPa when the Boost mode button is pressed. Through the app, you can change that default suction level to either 11kPa or 14kPa.

The app also provides a detailed breakdown on the health of the non-removable battery, displaying temperature, voltage and standby time. The latter displays how long the vacuum cleaner can sit in an idle state without being used. There’s a graphic showing the effectiveness of the washable HEPA filter and an indication as to when it should be changed. Through the app, you’ll also be able to upgrade the Roidmi F8’s firmware.

On the whole, I found the app useful and, while it isn’t pivotal in day-to-day use that extra layer of information does set it apart from its competitors.

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Roidmi F8 review: Performance

The Roidmi app isn’t the only feature that stands out. The F8’s performance is also outstanding for a machine of its class. It starts with the battery life, which is nearly double that of the Dyson V8.

With the brush head installed and the lowest power setting selected, it lasted 46mins 23secs in our test, and that time fell to 9mins 54secs in Boost mode. With the Direct Drive head on the V8, Dyson quotes a 25-minute runtime, where Boost mode drops this figure down to a mere seven minutes.

That’s impressive, especially when you consider that the Roidmi’s suction levels aren’t that much different from the V8.

But, while suction levels are a general indication of a vacuum cleaner’s effectiveness, you shouldn’t lend them too much credence. Other factors such as brush and head design have an equally significant part to play.

This is why we also conduct real word tests on hard floor and carpet to fully evaluate cleaning performance. With the F8’s brush head installed I set about testing in both the lowest power setting and in Boost mode, using a scattering of Cheerios to start with and then moving onto flour. This way, I can get an idea of how a vacuum cleaner performs in picking up the largest and the smallest particles.

On hard flooring and in Boost mode with the non-soft brush installed, the Roidmi picked up all of our errant Cheerios perfectly, but they got jammed in the inlet tube just before the dust collection bin and, when I switched it off, they fell back down the tube, all over the floor. Oddly, this didn’t happen in low power mode so stick to that when cleaning on hard floors.

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With flour scattered on hard floor (with the standard brush and in max mode) the Roidmi coped much better, cleaning everything in one pass. In this test performed better than the Dyson with the standard direct drive head, which needed a few passes to clear the flour. It is worth noting that if you attach the soft roller head to the Dyson V8 it also cleans in a single pass.

Move to short pile carpet and the cracks start to show, though. Both the Roidmi and Dyson struggled to clean flour completely in this test; even after several passes both vacuums let a noticeable residue remaining. If anything, the superior suction of the Roidmi F8 does means it’ll yield slightly better results, though.

The same comparison can be drawn with the Cheerios on short-pile carpet. The Roidmi F8 cleaned our test spillage in one quick pass, where the Dyson V8 required an additional pass to match the F8’s performance. This is down to the F8’s brush head sitting slightly higher than the V8’s, which pushes some particles forwards as you clean. The Roidmi F8 here, even outperforms the Tineco Pure One S12 and the Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited – two machines that cost far more.

Roidmi F8 review: Verdict

On the whole, the Roidmi F8 is an exceptionally good vacuum cleaner. Granted, it has a limited bin capacity of 0.4 litres and it struggles to sweep up very fine debris on carpet but these are the only two negatives I can think of after using the vacuum cleaner for just under a month.

It cleans as effectively as the far more expensive Dyson V8 and it’s both lighter and more manoeuvrable than the Shark Duoclean. In short, at the price of just £300, there’s simply no better cordless vacuum cleaner on the market.

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