I switched my Dyson with the Xiaomi-backed Roidmi F8 – and it performed way better than I thought it would

The Roidmi F8.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

I’ll admit it: I have no energy to clean my house.

Cleaning the house is usually the last and final thing my husband and I have to attend to every night, after making sure the baby is fed, bathed and asleep.

And while cleaning can be therapeutic on some days, picking up dirt at 10pm after a long work day is quite a pain.

Usually, we rely on our handy cordless Dyson V7 Absolute to get pesky dust out of the corners our baby likes to put his fingers in, but a recent charging problem (after a year of use) has rendered us helpless.

When I was first approached about trying out the Roidmi F8 vacuum cleaner, I had never even heard of the brand.

I later found out that Roidmi was a brand created by Ruimi Technology, a Chinese company co-founded by Xiaomi Technology, Shunwei Capital and Haiquan Fund.

A brand representative told me that Ruimi has had “a number of core technology patents”, and that the F8 previously won the iF Product Design Award as well as a Red Dot Design Award in 2018.

Having zero knowledge of the brand meant I did not know what to expect at all, and to be honest, I was very skeptical of its claims of being on par with big brands such as Dyson.

After a month with the unit, I’m happy to report that it surpassed all my expectations (although those expectations were very low at the start).

Here’s what using the Roidmi F8 was like:

In Singapore the F8 is available via Aliexpress at prices starting from US$199.99 (S$274, RM835) with free shipping to Singapore and Malaysia.

It comes in a white box with a handle.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Three small boxes sit on the top tier when the packaging is opened. These boxes contain different parts of the vacuum cleaner, namely the rolling brush, power adapter and a magnetic wall mount to park the unit.

Business Insider/Jessica Lin

There is also a small white folder containing the user manual and the unit’s stick handle wrapped in translucent plastic.

The boxes were easy to remove, thanks to holes which allowed me to pull them out by their sides.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

On the bottom tier, there are all the different heads and parts of the vacuum cleaner. Here’s what they look like after being unboxed.

Business Insider/Jessica Lin

And here’s what was in those boxes in the first tier.

As you can see, the F8 was designed with mainly clean and minimalist colours. This is in stark contrast to Dyson’s vacuum cleaners, which are often bright and feature bold reds and flashy purples.

Everything was white and grey or orange in colour.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Here’s a look at what was inside the envelope.

Smaller parts or accessories can be found here.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

The first problem that I encountered with the F8 was its badly translated instructions. While I can read Chinese, I’m not great at it and it was a bummer to come across English instructions that I did not understand at all.

Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Here’s what the F8 looks like when fully assembled. I really liked how sleek it looked, especially since most of the gadgets in my home are white in colour and minimalist in design.

The F8 has a minimalist look, perfect for people going after the Apple or Muji look.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Another thing I really liked was the simple white wall mount it came with. The mount blended into the wall and was almost unnoticeable.

I was also able to attach and detach the vacuum cleaner from the magnetic mount without any hassle.

The third thing I appreciated about the F8 was the LED light that illuminated the ground before it. This made cleaning in dark corners so much easier.

Look how much dust is hidden in this dark part of the room – the F8 cleaned it up in no time.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Switching on the cleaner was easy as well. Instead of pressing down on a trigger (like on the Dyson that I have), all I had to do was press a button and the vacuum cleaner would light up.

I have no preference for either method as they are both effortless, but I did like the way the F8 lit up once the device started up.

Of all the different cleaning heads the F8 came with, I appreciated the smallest one the most. It helps that the nozzle is attached to a bendy tube, making it easy to reach the hard-to-get areas.

My husband also tried the cleaner out in the car, which was littered with biscuits and crumbs that slipped out of our son’s tiny hands over the week.

The result was a clean carpet in less than three minutes, although we did have a bit of trouble getting the vacuum to take dirt out towards the very end.

Pretty quick fix for a very dirty carpet.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

The F8 did get stuck twice more when I was cleaning the house later on. The first congestion was caused by a small piece of paper (around 4cm by 4cm), while the second instance was caused by dirt trapped in the cleaner’s head. Although I have never encountered congestion with my Dyson cleaner before, I must admit that I used it a lot less frequently than the Roidmi.

Now for the part where I say adios to all the dust I collected: this is where the dirt is collected on the F8.

Pardon the grossness.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

I made the mistake of not removing the dust cup over a bin while detaching it. This is the result – trapped dust on the outside of the cup spilling all over the floor.

This was a bit disappointing, as I did not expect so much dust to get stuck on the exterior of the cup after just a few days of use.

I had to pick up the spilled dirt with my hands instead.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Emptying the can was relatively easy. All I had to do was push a button and the cup fell out.

However, there was still a lot of dust and hair trapped inside the cup and on the filter, so I had to use my hands to wipe them clean. This was much more of a hassle, compared to the Dyson which ejects almost all the dust with one push of a button

Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Overall performance:

In terms of power, my husband and I both felt that our Dyson was a little more powerful, but we also found it slightly noisier.

That’s not to say the suction power on the Roidmi F8 was bad. It was actually way more powerful than I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it cleaned.

The Roidmi F8 didn’t seem as powerful as the Dyson V7 Absolute, but was sufficiently effective and cleaned up really well.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Being primarily sold online, there is no way to test out the F8 before deciding whether or not to buy one. Based on my time with it, I would say the Roidmi is a great option for people who are looking for an efficient cordless vacuum cleaner that won’t cost anywhere close to half-a-grand.

The sleek design of the entire unit is also great for those who prefer a minimalist look in their homes. Extra bonus points too, for the clever placement of an LED light.

However, the messy emptying process and having a to clean out dirt that was stuck three times in a row took off some points for the F8.

 The F8 definitely wins in terms of value and design, but those who are looking for something a bit more heavy-duty may want to first explore other options on the market.