Ultenic MC1 robot vacuum and its docking station

Ultenic MC1 review: Affordable and autonomous cleaning

The world of robot vacuums is constantly evolving, with increasingly efficient and autonomous models. Sadly, these cost over a grand, making them unaffordable for many. However, the Ultenic MC1 is a particularly affordable robot vacuum and mop combo, costing less than $900.

It offers a good balance between autonomous cleaning and a lower price tag. The MC1 features a self-cleaning base with two water tanks and a dust bag, similar to products like the Roborock Q Revo. It can therefore autonomously wash and dry its mops, in addition to emptying its dust bin.

Ultenic MC1

Vacuuming efficiency
Mopping efficiency
Obstacle avoidance
Battery life
Value for money
Design & build quality

Not bad

The Ultenic MC1 is one of the the most affordable robot vacuum and mop combos. It comes with self-cleaning and emptying capabilities and offers overall good results. However, it’s important to consider its limitations, including sub-par mopping efficiency, complex maintenance and care, and lack of obstacle detection. If these aren’t critical to you and you have a limited budget, you should definitely consider the Ultenic MC1 for autonomous floor cleaning.

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A stylish and complete dock

The Ultenic MC1 follows the classic formula of autonomous robot and mop combos. It features a self-cleaning dock with two water tanks and a dust bag. These are placed side by side on the top part of the station and are covered by a flap. The front panel elegantly boasts the Ultenic logo and black sensitive buttons, making for a distinguished design.

Ultenic MC1 robot vacuum charging in its docking station

Like competing products, the dock uses a plastic washboard with pins to wash the mop. However, the entire module is removable and clips into the dock. This approach makes it much easier to wash, as it can be scrubbed in the sink, for example.

Picture of the Ultenic MC1's removable washboard

The robot itself is circular, and comes in the same color as the dock. It features LiDAR navigation, but lacks proper obstacle detection, as there are no IR sensors or a RGB camera.

In addition to its built-in HEPA filter and dust bin, the Ultenic MC1 uses a bristled brush roller to capture dust and dirt. This tends to be effective for cleaning grouts, but is also harder to maintain.

Ultenic MC1 underside, showing the brush roller and mop pads

When it comes to mopping, the robot uses two rotating pads. These are manually removable, but can’t be lifted. It means the pads continuously mop the floor. What’s more, the robovac doesn’t come with a built-in water tank. This means it has to regularly return to the base to wash the pads, as they tend to dry out after a while.

Picture of the Ultenic MC1's water tanks

To finish, the overall build quality is decent, especially given the price. Not everything feels as sturdy as a flagship device, but this is to be expected given the price. Moreover, Ultenic provides plenty of replacement accessories in the box. These include two mops, a filter, a dust bag, a cleaning brush, and even a detergent to mix with clear water.

Basic app with limited features

The Ultenic MC1 can be controlled using the app, the quick access buttons on the robot and the dock, as well as Google Assistant and Alexa.

During the first use, the MC1 maps its surroundings accurately and automatically distributes the rooms. Once the map is created, you can rename, split, or merge them, as well as create no-go zones. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t allow you to create no-mop zones, as they are neither liftable nor detachable automatically. The MC1 can however manage several maps and also allows you to define custom cleaning settings per room.

Once the map is created, the app displays the robot’s status, battery percentage, and stats about the latest cycle. When in use, or after cleaning, it shows the robot’s path, helping you review where it has cleaned. It also offers options to adjust the suction power, send the robot to clean a specific room or spot, collect dust or start cleaning and drying the mop pads. Unfortunately, though, there is no option to adjust the mop dampness, as the robot doesn’t have a built-in water tank.

There are also a few advanced settings to fine-tune some cleaning options. For instance, you can adjust the mop pad washing frequency, allowing you to control how often they need to be re-humidified. The app also allows you to adjust how often the dock should collect dust, and whether it should use a silent or quick drying setting for the mops. Lastly, there’s an option to control the robot’s behavior around carpets. You can decide to boost the robot’s suction, or avoid carpets entirely. This latter option is preferable if you have carpets, as the robot would otherwise moisten them with the wet mops.

Convincing vacuuming efficiency

The Ultenic MC1 has a significant suction power of 5,000Pa, similar to that of competing products in its category. Overall, it manages to rid floors of dirt and dust, and its nylon brush effectively reaches into grouts. Sadly, hair and fur easily get tangled in it, making it a poor option if you have pets or loose a lot of hair. I’ve put it to the ultimate test and launched it to clean the floors after coming back from walk in the forest with my dog. It managed to vacuum all the dirt and sand we brought back with us in a single pass.

Ultenic MC1 robot vacuum cleaning a carpet

The robot can also distinguish carpets and adapt its suction power to clean them deeply. However, its brush is not the most suitable for carpets, and a double roller brush like that of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra would be more suitable for carpets and thick rugs.

What’s more, the Ultenic MC1 performs best when used on a medium setting, as a powerful one tends to blow dirt sideways. Lastly, I’ve found it doesn’t always effectively remove dirt from corners, despite its side brush.

Mixed mopping results

The Ultenic MC1’s mopping mode is more of a mixed bag. As mentioned above, the dock washes and humidifies the mop pads, but the robot itself doesn’t have an onboard water tank. This means that they tend to dry up after a few minutes, so the robot needs to return to the station frequently. Also, since the robot can’t lift its pads, they moisten carpets when passing over them, or even drag dirt from one room to another.

Ultenic MC1 docking station with the removable washboard

On lightly soiled floors, the mopping results are satisfactory, especially when the mop pads are washed frequently. However, I’ve found that despite applying pressure when mopping, the MC1 isn’t able to remove hard stains, even when adding detergent in the clean water tank. For instance, it couldn’t remove dried carrots and oil that splashed out of my dog’s bowl.

Closeup shot of the Ultenic MC1 dock with the water tanks and dust bag

Finally, unlike newer models, the Ultenic MC1 doesn’t offer baseboard cleaning. This means there’s a small area of about a few centimeters that doesn’t get mopped.

Reliable navigation but poor obstacle avoidance

The Ultenic MC1 is a good navigator, and manages to move from room to room without issues or getting stuck. During my tests, I sent it to clean specific rooms and spots, and it did a brilliant job. This is even more important, since the MC1 needs to return to its station quite often to clean its mop pads. It can also climb over small thresholds, up to 2cm.

Ultenic MC1 robot vacuum cleaning a carpet

I need to nuance this, though, as the robot often tends to incorrectly update its map. Indeed, this has happened when I launched to clean while my bedroom’s door was closed. It interpreted the door as a wall and ended up removing the room entirely from the map.

Unfortunately, the robot does not have obstacle detection, and can potentially drag slippers, bowls, toys, and other objects left on the floor. Similarly, it does not “see” towels and cables and can therefore try to vacuum them and end up getting stuck. This is not a defect per se, but a point of attention if you have children or pets, or tend to leave things lying on the floor.

Silent cleaning and good battery life

The Ultenic MC1 is a particularly quiet robot. When using medium settings, I’ve been able to have calls, conversations, and even watch TV. Naturally, when using stronger suction power, the noise level gets higher, without being unbearable.

On the other hand, the dock is very noisy and can be annoying. When collecting dust, the noise level is irritating, although it lasts for just a few seconds. What’s more, the mop drying system produces an ambient noise that’s quite audible. It’s similar to a fridge, which can be annoying, depending on where you place the dock.

Ultenic MC1 robot vacuum and its docking station

As for the robot’s autonomy, it can handle about 100 m2, both in terms of battery life and water usage. Ultenic says the robot can run for up to 200 minutes in the most economical mode. During my tests, I estimated the real battery life in high suction power settings to be about 90 minutes. This remains largely sufficient to clean a surface of approximately 100 m2. If the battery were to run out, the robot can automatically return to recharge before resuming work, thus ensuring fully autonomous cleaning.

Complex maintenance, despite innovative design

Thanks to its fully removable washboard, the dock is particularly easy to care for. Indeed, being able to remove it and clean it in a few minutes with a brush under clear water greatly simplifies its maintenance. However, this design also means it’s harder for the station to rinse itself and effectively drain dirt from the board. Overall, despite being easier to clean, I’ve found the dock gets dirty more often than competing models.

Picture of the Ultenic MC1's dirty washboard

Also, caring for the robot is quite complex, especially if you have pets. Indeed, using a hybrid brush with nylon fibers means that hair and fur get tangled in it and are difficult to remove. I’ve actually had to cut my dog’s hair to remove it from the brush roller. Not only is maintenance more complex, but the efficiency of cleaning is also greatly impacted if you don’t pay attention.

As for the mops, the MC1 cleans them relatively well and dries them, to avoid bad odors. However, it is preferable to machine wash them once or twice a month for better hygiene.

Picture of the Ultenic MC1's underside, showing dirt and hair tangles

This being said, I’ve found the robot’s underside gets very dirty, with hair tangled around the front wheel and side brush, in addition to the brush roller. This may be due to the fact that the robot doesn’t lift its mop pads, and wets the dirt.

Overall, it’s a pity Ultenic thought of an innovative design idea for the washboard, but didn’t think of the robot’s maintenance and care.

Is the Ultenic MC1 the right robovac for you?

The Ultenic MC1 offers a good compromise between fully autonomous cleaning and affordability. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a reliable robot cleaner that offers good vacuuming and mopping, without breaking the bank.

If you have pets or lose hair, steer clear of the MC1, as hair tangles will make maintenance a nightmare. Similarly, keep in mind the MC1 isn’t the best option to scrub floors and remove hard stains, but is instead a reliable option for daily cleaning.

Lastly, although the MC1 is a good navigator, it doesn’t come with obstacle detection. Although that’s not a problem per se, it can be if you tend to leave cable or slippers laying on the floor.

Overall, the Ultenic MC1 is a cost-effective option for those seeking a robot vacuum and mop combo with autonomous cleaning capabilities, without bells and whistles. While it offers several advanced features, potential buyers should consider its limitations in obstacle detection, complex maintenance requirements, and mopping efficiency before making a decision.

Lastly, while it’s officially listed for $900, it can be purchased for just $600 when on sale, making it a great bargain.

AffordableComplex maintenance and care
Stylish designNo obstacle detection
Silent cleaningNon-liftable mops
Plenty of accessories included in the box


Does the Ultenic MC1 have good obstacle detection capabilities?

No, the Ultenic MC1 lacks proper obstacle detection, as it does not include IR sensors or an RGB camera. This could be a limitation in environments with many obstacles or in homes with pets and children.

Can the mop pads on the Ultenic MC1 be lifted to avoid wetting carpets?

No, the Ultenic MC1’s mop pads are not liftable. This means they continuously mop the floor and can moisten carpets when passing over them.

Can the Ultenic MC1 mop and vacuum simultaneously?

Yes, the Ultenic MC1 is capable of mopping and vacuuming at the same time. This dual-functionality allows for efficient cleaning by saving time and ensuring a comprehensive clean of the floor surfaces.

Is the Ultenic MC1’s maintenance complex?

Yes, maintenance can be complex, especially for pet owners. The nylon brush tends to entangle hair and fur, requiring frequent cleaning. Additionally, the robot’s underside needs regular cleaning due to dirt and hair accumulation.

Can the Ultenic MC1 automatically wash and dry its mops?

Yes, the Ultenic MC1 has a self-cleaning dock that automatically washes and dries its mop pads. This feature enhances the convenience of the cleaning process, as the robot vacuum can autonomously clean its mops after use, reducing manual intervention and maintenance.

Kyle Lakewood

Based in New York, Kyle combines his passion for smart home products with a commitment to honest, unbiased reviews. As the founder of Smart Home Critic, he guides readers in choosing the right products for their needs. Living with his partner and dog, Kyle brings a personal touch to his work, involving his whole family in the review process to ensure each product is thoroughly tested and family-approved.