Roborock Q5 Vs Shark AI Ultra: A Head-To-Head Comparison

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In this article, I’ll compare two of the low-priced robots– from two industry behemoths: the Roborock Q5 vs Shark AI Ultra. These two models are similar in some areas but different in many ways, and the Roborock Q5 is the winner after all. The Roborock Q5 has an admirable overall cleaning performance and offers more features via the app, while the Shark AI Ultra AV2501S is one of the cheapest self-cleaning robots on the market.

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#1 WINNER
roborock Q5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Strong 2700Pa Suction, Upgraded from S4 Max, LiDAR Navigation, Multi-Level Mapping, 180 mins Runtime, No-go Zones, Ideal for Carpets and Pet Hair
#2 RUNNER-UP
Shark AV2501S AI Ultra Robot Vacuum, with Matrix Clean, Home Mapping, 30-Day Capacity HEPA Bagless Self Empty Base, Perfect for Pet Hair, Wifi, Dark Grey
Model
Roborock Q5
Shark AI Ultra
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.78 x 3.78 inches/7.05 lbs
13.7 x 4.1 inches/6.92 lbs
Shape
Round-Shaped
Round-Shaped
Navigation Technology
LiDAR
LiDAR
Map Saving
Number of Maps
4
1
Obstacle Detection
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
1 x Combo Bristled Roller/1 x 5-Prong Brush
1 x Combo Bristled Roller/2 x 1-Prong Brushes
Dust Tank Capacity
0.47 Liter
0.48 Liter
Filter
E11
HEPA
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
180 minutes/6 hours
150 minutes/6 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
$429.99
$430.00
#1 WINNER
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roborock Q5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Strong 2700Pa Suction, Upgraded from S4 Max, LiDAR Navigation, Multi-Level Mapping, 180 mins Runtime, No-go Zones, Ideal for Carpets and Pet Hair
Model
Roborock Q5
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.78 x 3.78 inches/7.05 lbs
Shape
Round-Shaped
Navigation Technology
LiDAR
Map Saving
Number of Maps
4
Obstacle Detection
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
1 x Combo Bristled Roller/1 x 5-Prong Brush
Dust Tank Capacity
0.47 Liter
Filter
E11
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
180 minutes/6 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
$429.99
More Info
#2 RUNNER-UP
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Shark AV2501S AI Ultra Robot Vacuum, with Matrix Clean, Home Mapping, 30-Day Capacity HEPA Bagless Self Empty Base, Perfect for Pet Hair, Wifi, Dark Grey
Model
Shark AI Ultra
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.7 x 4.1 inches/6.92 lbs
Shape
Round-Shaped
Navigation Technology
LiDAR
Map Saving
Number of Maps
1
Obstacle Detection
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
1 x Combo Bristled Roller/2 x 1-Prong Brushes
Dust Tank Capacity
0.48 Liter
Filter
HEPA
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
150 minutes/6 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
$430.00
More Info

Roborock Q5 Vs Shark AI Ultra: Differences

The Roborock Q5 defeats the Shark AI Ultra with a final tally of 3-2. Keep scrolling to uncover the differences that set these two contenders apart, as well as the features they share in common!

Cleaning Performance

Winner: Shark AI Ultra

Suction Power

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
Max Suction (Pa)2700N/A
Max Airflow (CFM)≈ 16.9≈ 18.1

Shark doesn’t publish the suction power of the AI Ultra, but it achieved impressive peak airflow in my tests, about 18.1 CFM compared to the 16.9 CFM maximum airflow of the Q5. Given the small margin of difference between their airflow stats, I wasn’t surprised by how close these bots are to each other in my cleaning tests.

Hard Floor

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
≈ 98%≈ 98%

Both robots performed admirably on hardwood floors, with each scoring an awesome score of 98%. They effectively eliminated nearly all the debris, with only a negligible amount left behind

Carpet

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
Low-pile Carpet≈ 97%≈ 95%
High-pile Carpet≈ 94%≈ 96%

In my carpeting tests, they weren’t perfect, but they would be more than good enough for most homes. The Q5 cleaned my low-pile carpet better, with an average of 97%, whereas the AI Ultra performed better on the high-pile one, scoring an impressive 96%.

Hair

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
5-inch Strands≈ 78%≈ 61%
10-inch Strands≈ 51%≈ 48%

When it came to dealing with hair, the Q5 was decent, while the Shark AI was poor. Both machines faced challenges with 10-inch strands, which is common with most robot vacuums. Their combo roller also resisted tangles well from 5-inch strands, but they did poorly with longer 10-inch hair. So, despite the AI Ultra’s roller being labeled as self-cleaning, regular maintenance is a necessity, and the same goes for the Q5’s roller.

Design & Usability

Winner: Roborock Q5

First Look & Dimensions 

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
Dimensions (W x H)13.78 x 3.78 inches13.7 x 4.1 inches
Weight7.05 lbs6.92 lbs

Both indeed have a similar design to other robot vacuums: a sleek, circular shape with a raised tower and a raised tower on the top where the LiDAR sensor resides. They don’t have any built-in cameras, earning them brownie points for folks who are concerned about privacy issues.

The Shark AI Ultra comes with a self-emptying home base that is bagless. I personally always love self-emptying robots, but not this one. Having no dust bag means you still have to empty something at the end of the day and are prone to exposure to allergens, just less often. That being said, this one isn’t really a godsend for guys with allergies.

Extractor & Side Brush  

both use a single combo brush
Both use a single combo brush

These bots use brush roller combos but in different patterns: the Q5’s roller has a V-shaped design, whereas the one on the AI Ultra uses alternating rubber pads with bristles. Shark calls its roller “self-cleaning” or “tangle-free,” but I found this wasn’t really true. As for the Roborock Q5, it is compatible with the new generation rubber roller, which has the upper hand in terms of both durability and ease of untangling.

The AI Ultra uses a pair of 1-prong corner brushes to sweep grime from both sides. The Q5 features a single 5-arm brush, which also does the job well. It is worth mentioning that the Q5 stand’s side brush stands out for its durability, thanks to its all-rubber structure.

MAPPING & NAVIGATION

Both use a LiDAR (or Light Detection and Ranging) tower with 360° vision and use lasers to avoid obstacles and draw a map of your space with high precision and accuracy. Then you can separate the map on the companion app into specific rooms, add no-go areas, and more. Using laser navigation means that these bots can operate in low-light conditions.

lidar tower
LiDAR tower

Unlike most modern robovacs, the AI Ultra can’t save multiple maps. As a result, if your home has multiple floors, you’ll be better off with the Q5, which has the ability to remember four maps.

The Q5  and AI Ultra aren’t obstacle-avoidance robot vacuums, so you’ll need to move some objects, especially power cords and pet waste, to get the best cleaning performance. Just do that, and they can navigate the space in straight lines and return to the home base without getting stuck or having any issues.

Battery Life

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
Battery Life≈ 98-164 mins≈ 82-151 mins
Charging Time≈ 172 mins ≈ 183 mins 

They both use a powerful 5200 mAh battery for a super long working life. And just like most new robot vacuums, they can recharge automatically when needed and resume cleaning without being prompted or requiring human involvement. 

Control

Winner: Roborock Q5

Manual Control

Controls are quite basic and simple for both, leaving most of the features accessible via the companion app. They have two buttons: one to start/stop a cleaning cycle and the other to return the robot to the home base.

the control panel
The control panel

App Connectivity

This Q5  is compatible with the Roborock app, while the AI Ultra works with the SharkClean app. And, as you guessed, they can both be downloaded for free from your favorite app store.

First, both apps allow you to add rooms and name them for selective room cleaning. The Roborock app allows for partitions, whereas the SharkClean app lets you draw boxes to specify rooms. Another difference is that the Roborock app allows you to use custom names in addition to the existing ones, while the SharkClean app limits you to pre-existing names.

add zones on the sharkclean app
Add zones on the SharkClean app

The Roborock app has a live map, enabling you to keep an eye on the robot’s location and its cleaning route in real time, and sadly, the SharkClean app lacks this nifty feature. Another thing that the Roborock app has over SharkClean is 3D mapping, which shows the saved map from a three-dimensional perspective and allows you to add some pieces of furniture to make it look “real.”

Both apps allow for adding no-go zones or no-entry zones to block the robot from entering some areas, eliminating the need to use physical obstacles. Unique to the Roborock app is the option to add invisible walls that act like walls to block the robot from going past them, while the no-go zones block the robot from entering square or rectangular zones. Additionally, the Roborock app facilitates spot cleaning with its zoned cleaning feature.

set no-go zones and invisible walls on the roborock app
Set no-go zones and invisible walls on the Roborock app

As for the remaining features, both apps are almost the same. You can check out the past cleaning cycles, modify suction power, and monitor the condition of consumables. Both apps also have a scheduling feature to automate cleaning runs, but the Roborock app allows you to schedule multiple runs in a single day, while the SharkClean app doesn’t.

Cleaning & Maintenance 

Winner: Shark AI Ultra

Similar to numerous modern robot vacuums, the AI Ultra comes with a self-emptying base. The Q5 doesn’t have such a base, and you need to spend more on the Q5 Plus to get this.

the ai ultra's clean base
The AI Ultra’s clean base

 If the AI Ultra’s onboard dustbin fills up during cleaning, it will navigate back to its base, deposit the debris, and then resume its cleaning task. The base doesn’t need a dust bag to work, and its extra-large tank can house up to 60 days of debris. That means your consumables list is a bit shorter, but just be careful when emptying the base’s dustbin to prevent the inadvertent dispersion of dust.

The AI Ultra’s home base has a HEPA filter to prevent microscopic dust and allergens from escaping into the air. The AI Ultra itself has a washable HEPA filter, whereas the Q5 uses an E11 filter that is rinsable, too. 

the ai ultra's clean base features a hepa filter
The AI Ultra’s clean base features a HEPA filter

Other Features

Winner: Roborock Q5

Noise

Roborock Q5Shark AI Ultra
Working≈ 59-64 dB≈ 49-56 dB
Self-EmptyingNone≈ 78 dB

The noise levels for both robots are average, but the AI Ultra may be loud enough to disrupt a conversation when it empties its bin at the base station. So given its smart feature to recharge and empty itself autonomously, I strongly advocate for programming it to perform cleaning tasks during times when the house is unoccupied.

Mopping Ability

Both the Q5 and AI Ultra aren’t equipped with a mopping module, so they just vacuum and leave the rest of the work to you. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, as, after all, most hybrid robots that do include mopping functions tend to offer just poor or decent mopping performance.

Quick Rundown Of Roborock Q5

roborock Q5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Strong 2700Pa Suction, Upgraded from S4 Max, LiDAR Navigation, Multi-Level Mapping, 180 mins Runtime, No-go Zones, Ideal for Carpets and Pet Hair
  • 【Deeper Cleaning with Powerful 2700Pa Suction】: Roborock Q5 is the upgraded version of S4 Max.With powerful 2700Pa suction, the Roborock Q5 easily picks up pet hair, dust and finer dirts from floors or carpets. When a carpet is detected, it will automatically increase its suction to the maximum for deep cleaning.
  • 【Convenient App Control】: Control every element of Q5 through the Roborock app, including viewing the exact vacuuming route, setting cleaning schedules, adjusting the suction power, creating No-Go Zones, Invisible Walls, and much more. All from anywhere you have internet.
  • 【Precision Mapping with PreciSense LiDAR】: LiDAR navigation creates accurate maps, and Q5 can save up to 4 maps. Use 3D Mapping to view your home in 3D and add furniture and floor materials to recreate your home virtually.
  • 【Handle Large Homes Easily】: 180mins runtime using a large onboard battery means up to 3230 sqft of cleaning on a single charge. A Large dustbin (470ml) means less emptying so you can tackle a large home without pause.
  • 【Close to Floors】: The multi-directional floating rubber brush stays close to the ground, ensuring effective cleanup even on uneven surfaces.
Pros
  • Great mapping and navigation.
  • 3D mapping.
  • The live map for tracking the robot’s location.
  • Works with a helpful app.
  • Save 4 different maps.
Cons
  • No obstacle avoidance.
  • No clean base.

Quick Rundown Of Shark AI Ultra

Sale
Shark AV2501S AI Ultra Robot Vacuum, with Matrix Clean, Home Mapping, 30-Day Capacity HEPA Bagless Self Empty Base, Perfect for Pet Hair, Wifi, Dark Grey
  • INCREDIBLE SUCTION: Powerful Shark suction picks up dirt and debris on all floor types—tackling even the toughest of messes in your home.
  • NO SPOTS MISSED: With Matrix Clean Navigation, the vacuum cleans in a precise matrix grid taking multiple passes over dirt and debris for whole home, deep cleaning coverage.
  • IT EMPTIES ITSELF: The bagless, self-emptying base holds up to 30 days of dirt and debris while its true HEPA filtration captures and traps 99.97%* of dust and allergens (*down to .3 microns).
  • PRECISION HOME MAPPING: 360° LiDAR vision quickly and accurately maps your home so your robot can methodically clean detecting and avoiding objects in its path, day or night, adapting to everyday changes in the home.
  • PERFECT FOR HOMES WITH PETS: With powerful vacuum suction, Shark’s self-cleaning brushroll, and HEPA filtration system the robot captures pet hair, dust, dander and allergens with ease.
Pros
  • Comes with a (bagless) clean station.
  • Good navigation and mapping.
  • The base has a HEPA filter.
  • Works with a feature-rich app.
  • Uses a large battery.
Cons
  • Not 100% tangle-free.
  • Saves one map.

Product Videos

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