If you are considering buying a robot vacuum, I bet you are “a little bit” outraged by the price tag of Roomba or Neato models. The latest units go between $500 and $800. Not to mention the $1200 Dyson is asking for their new 360 Eye. The basic idea you may infer is that you can’t find a quality robovac which costs less than $500 – $600. However, you couldn’t be more wrong, as today I’ll present the Beatles Chuwi iLife V7 a great automated cleaning unit which is on sale for under $150. Before I move into details, I would like to emphasis that I’ve received this robot for free (by the courtesy of GearBest.com). However, the views are still 100% impartial. The VGMrv given is 100% objective and the conclusions and discussion are not influenced by any entity (other than myself).
iLife is a small Chinese company focused on developing vacuuming, sweeping and washing robots. The full name of the company is Shenzhen Zhiyi Technology Co., Ltd. As its name says, it’s based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, one of the most crowded places in the Orient. According to their official site, at full capacity they can produce around 80k units per month, which is not much when compared to iRobot, but may still count as a medium sized producer on the robovac market.
The product is round, just like most robot vacuums out there. It has a 3 inch spinning side brush which helps it reach near the walls and baseboards. Here are some photos I’ve taken:
and here’s a video made for me by my good friend Radu:
Considering the medium sized air intake and the low sound produced by the motor (<55db as measured by my iPhone), it’s has a relatively good suction power. Don’t expect to get deep cleaning out of this unit, but I’ve seen better suction only in the latest Roomba models (880 and 980), the Botvacs from Neato and the Eye 360 from Dyson. It is comparable i.e. with bObsweep Bobi, Ecovacs DEEBOT DM85 or the Bissell SmartClean Robotic Vacuum 1605. Given the mopping pad, it is very similar to the Infinuvo Hovo 650. However, all these units are much more expensive. If you want a value for suction, I believe the flow could be measured at 30 CFM.
Input Power / Battery Life
At this chapter, iLife pleasantly surprises us. The robot can work continuously for 120 minutes, thanks to its lithium 2600 mAh battery. This means if can vacuum an area of 1600 sq ft before returning back to base for recharge. Speaking about recharging, this operation lasts approximately 5-6h.
The bin can accommodate 10 oz. That is definitely not the largest bin capacity in the world, yet nor the smallest either. I guess you can empty it once every 2 days, if you’re using the robot 1-2h per day and if you are vacuuming regularly, at least once a week.
The V7 comes with an extensive sensorial system. 10 IR bumper sensors will protect it from running hard into obstacles. That means it will still touch most of the things, but it will slow down and completely reverse as soon as the process of collision detection starts. Also, 4 cliff detection sensor groups will prevent it from falling down the stairs. As for the movement logic, it has 4 operating modes: automatic cleaning, focus cleaning (or spot cleaning, as I like to call it), border cleaning and appointment cleaning. The automated cleaning mode allows it to move in a semi controlled zig-zag manner. Thanks to a technology called Smart Route Planning, the robot tries to cover most of the working area. Focus cleaning lets you define a certain spot which needs to be vacuumed. Border cleaning is trivial: the robot will clean only along baseboards while appointment cleaning is a combo between scheduled and automatic cleaning.
Doesn’t feature a HEPA, but comes with 2 different filters, one located on the dirt bin, and one located just before the output of the airflow. There’s not much more I can say about filters, except they are replaceable (their recommended lifespan is 6 months to 1 year).
Weight and dimensions
Another great thing about this robovac is that it’s completely round, with a radius of approximately 13.5 inches. It has only 3.2 inches in height, allowing it to easily go under furniture. It also weights less than 7 pounds.
Comes with a 1-year warranty.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with virtual walls like most premium robotic vacuums out there. All it features is a remote control with batteries, a cleaning brush, an extra pair of filters, an extra sweeping pad and an extra side brush.
For starters, it can be controlled via a smartphone app. There is literally no unit under $500 which features this capability. The application works via Bluetooth and can show dynamic variables in real time.
The rubberized wheels are wide and with an off-road profile, which allows the unit to climb over half an inch obstacles. The air intake is large, much larger than in other units. The brushroll is designed in double v, and features both bristles and soft rubber wipers, a design which is perfect for gathering both light dust and pet hair. Moreover, the roller can be easily removed to be cleaned from tangled hair. The microfiber mop cloth is washable.
At the moment it is retailed around $130 on GearBest.com. I have a gift for you: You can use the code GBCWV7 to get a discount and free shipping.
UPDATE!!! You can also find other deals on these resources:
VGMrv and Conclusion
In conclusion, there are plenty of people who don’t really need the best product to be happy. They just need the best product for their money. In this case, iLife happened to build an unit which surpassed my expectations, bringing to the table a great price/quality ratio. Here’s the VGMrv:
So, what do you think, would you buy one of these for your loved one, now that the Valentine’s Day is getting close?