The Tineco S5 Pro changed my life. Not in any profoundly huge way, but it did take the act of mopping out of my life, which is a win for my lazy arse. Recently, I got to review the S7 Pro, the latest iteration of Tineco’s Floor One range. So, how does it compare to the S5 model?
The TL;DR is that the vibe is still very much the same. The S7 mops and vacuums at the same time, turning two very annoying jobs into one oddly satisfying one. It’s cordless, it still cleans itself and is relatively quiet.
What’s the difference between the Tineco S5 and S7
In terms of the main differences, everything’s just a little bit bigger. The 3.6-inch LCD screen is bigger, brighter and more animated, the battery lasts longer (40 minutes, to be specific – about 5 mins more than the S5), the dirty and clean water tanks are bigger and the price tag is bigger at $1,299 (the S5 is $999). Essentially, it’s a souped-up version of the previous model.
How all of the pieces fit together and come apart for cleaning is pretty much exactly the same – the water tanks clip in on the front and back, the roller slides neatly into the bottom and the cover fits over the top of that. Everything feels high quality – maybe even a little nicer than the S5 – and clicks together in a satisfying way. The unit comes with a charging base, cleaning accessories, a spare filter and roller, and a bottle of cleaning solution.
Aesthetically, the vibe is the same, the S7 is just a little bigger overall and has what I guess you could call a slightly more “premium” look and feel to it. Not to discount the S5 in any way, which is still very nice, the S7 is just clearly going for that little bit extra with its looks and finish.
The S7 has an intuitive quick start guide the first time you turn it on, so while it seems like there are more controls to work with on the unit itself, you’re shown exactly how to use them from the get-go. There’s also app connectivity, as there is with the S5, but I still don’t feel like it offers a lot of extra value outside of being able to monitor the cleanliness of the unit itself. Anything you can do on the app can be done on the vacuum itself.
What’s the Tineco S7 like to use?
At first glance, you wouldn’t think there’d be much difference in the operation of the S7 compared to the S5, and you’d be kinda right. There are, however, some key improvements which make it a superior cleaner, in my opinion.
The first is the self-propulsion system. The S5, as soon as it’s switched on, is perpetually propelled forward, making the forward push practically effortless. The downside, though, is that it can make manoeuvring tight spots tricky and often results in the cleaner driving itself into walls.
The S7 has a new system which detects when it’s being pushed and will turn the motorised wheels on, whether it’s in a forward or backward motion. It makes for a smoother experience and feels a lot more natural, but you do need a little effort to get started. Still, I definitely prefer it to the S5.
When it comes to cleaning, the S7 packs a punch, as you’d expect. I wouldn’t say it’s leagues above the S5, to be honest, but I do feel like there are gains. Stubborn spots are usually picked up in a few passes, whereas the S5 would require maybe five or six passes. However, I definitely noticed the S7’s improved ability to suck up the water it uses to clean. The floors are left a little drier than the S5 would leave them and there’s less of the little puddle that’s left behind in the spot where you turn it off.
The self-cleaning function has also received an upgrade. Instead of the standard self-clean, which would blast water from the clean water tank through the pipes and over the roller, the updated version gives you two different options. One is the aforementioned 2-minute clean and the other is a deeper 6-minute clean. The latter does everything the former does, plus a little extra, including drying the brush roller.
I naively thought this new and improved self-clean would negate the need for the secondary clean that I would usually do after each use. Instead of taking everything apart for a quick rinse and leaving it to dry, I just emptied the dirty water tank and left it at that. The next time I used it a few days later, I got that familiar, mouldy smell I got when I let the S5 sit in its own filth for just a little too long.
It’s disappointing that a deeper clean still results in the same outcome, but like I’ve said before, the entire maintenance process is still way faster than the process of having to vacuum and mop, so you’re still getting a net gain where time is concerned.
The iLoop sensor, which detects the level of dirt and grime in front of it and adjusts the water flow and suction accordingly, operates more or less the same as the S5. I do feel like this works better on the S7, though. The S5, at times, would kick into overdrive at the sight of a slightly darker patch in a floor tile, whereas the S7 seems more ‘aware’ and only kicks things up a notch when the floor in front of it is indeed filthier than its surroundings.
The S7 has four cleaning modes, Auto, Max, Suction and Ultra. I never feel the need to move away from Auto mode and am happy to let the unit decide when more power is needed. While the suction-only mode does exist, I still wouldn’t recommend using the S7 to clean carpeted areas. The roller is still a wet piece of kit and you don’t want that getting onto your dry carpet.
In terms of sound output, it’s pretty well bang-on the same as the S5, hovering around the 75dB mark. As I said in my review of the previous model, it’s far quieter than any traditional vacuum I’ve used in the past.
The S7 uses the same cleaning solution the S5 does and as far as mileage goes, it’s pretty much exactly the same. I did the maths in my review of the S5 and worked out that a bottle should last you around six months, depending on how often you use it and the size of the area you’re cleaning. The solution retails for around $25, or you can get it as part of an accessory kit for $50, which also contains a new roller brush and filter.
Should you buy the Tineco S7?
If you’ve already got the Tineco S5 and you’re happy with how that operates, I don’t think upgrading to the S7 is worth your time. It’s a nice improvement on the former, sure, but at the end of the day, the S7 doesn’t really save you any more time than the S5 already does.
The maintenance factor still exists and despite the addition of the longer self-cleaning option, you still have to take everything apart to wash and dry. The exception, however, would be if you have a relatively large space that requires more charge or clean/dirty water tank capacity to get through in one go. If you find that very particular issue annoying, this upgrade could be worth your while if you can justify the price.
If you don’t already own a Tineco or any other all-in-one mop/vacuum situation, then the S7 is a premium entry point into that world. The price tag is hefty, but the bells and whistles are plentiful and quite handy. In this case, my opinion hasn’t really changed from the S5 – if you’ve got a large hard-floored space, a messy toddler, a dwindling supply of free time and/or a disdain for housework, it’s absolutely worth the price.