Over the last months I played with a lot of robot vacuum cleaners from iLife sent to me by GearBest.com: the A4 which I’ve just reviewed, the V7, the V5 Pro and the X5. They all have their positives and negatives, but none of them costs as low as $100. To reach this price, iLife pulled out a “magic trick” by stripping down several secondary systems. The result is V1, a robot vacuum cleaner without a remote control or a charging base, but with lots of good features to compensate for. If you’re in the market for a nice yet simple robot vacuum, the iLife V1 might be what you’ve been looking for. I find this product to be a nice addition to the iLife line, and with just a couple of months to go until the 2016’s Black Friday and the winter holidays, timing is perfect. Here’s what you’ll know after you browse through this review:
- what are the real and complete specs of the iLife V1
- how well it vacuums on different types of floors
- which systems did the manufacturer let go, in order to reach such a good price tag
- from where to get this product cheap and fast
As usual, here are some photos which I’ve taken with the product:
and here is a brief video review:
Suction and cleaning power
Handling dust with ease, one could have the messiest home and this would still do itself justice. The motor delivers an air pressure rated at 500 Pa. Picture it now: dust bunnies amuck, and then this thing comes along and decimates them easily. Actually, after doing the usual tests with cheerios, rice, cornflour and paper, on both carpet and hard floors, it turns out this robot vacuum works more than decent. I believe one of its strong points is the usage of 2 powerful side brushes, which agitate debris hard enough to get it sucked into the air flow.
Comes with a 2600 mAh Li-ion battery (some sites report incorrectly that it features a 2200 mAh battery). Other iLife models are also equipped with 2600 mAh batteries. This battery is very good. In these parameters, the V1 stands ahead of the competition. For example, the newest cheaper iRobot Roomba version, the 960, only manages to work continuously for 75 minutes, while costing 6-7 times more than the V1. The V1 on the other hand may run continuously for up to 90 minutes (depending on the surface it vacuums). This means if can clean as much as 2,000 square feet on a single charge. Speaking of charging, this robot needs approximately 4-5 hours to fill up completely.
The matrix of infrared proximity sensors, called by the manufacturer as the OBS All Terrain Detection System can detect nearby obstacles and adjust the speed and trajectory of the unit as to avoid them. As a last resort against obstacles which pass by undetected by the infrared sensors, the robot is equipped with a front bumper. The navigation is semi-random. The robot controller has a few cleaning modes hard-coded. It can for example do the wall following or the spot cleaning maneuvers seen in common robot vacuums. The robot also comes with 3 sensors installed on its base, which prevent it from falling down the stairs. Last but not least, as the product doesn’t come with a charging dock, it has installed a light sensor which allows it to stop in places with more light (the logic behind being that the owner will see it faster if the robot stops in open space, than under some furniture).
Comes with a 10 oz. dust cup which can be easily removed from the top of the case. It’s not the biggest dust bin, but I’ve seen smaller.
Filtration is made easy. Using 2 filters, a primary and a HEPA, this thing is easy to clean up after. All you have to do is remove the dust bin and empty it. Detach the 2 filters from the plastic part. The primary filter is washable, and the HEPA is replaceable. Luckily, the producer included 4 extra HEPA filters in the package, which should last you at least one year, under moderate usage.
The accessories for this device are simple, yet not quite menial. From ways to enhance the value of the product to filter sets, anything can happen with the iLife. The V1 doesn’t have a cleaning mop, a virtual wall, a remote control or a charging dock. However, it does come with:
- 4 extra HEPA filters
- 2 extra side brushes
- 1 cleaning brush
- 1 adapter
- the User Manual and the Quick Start Guide
Thanks to the light sensor I was talking about above, the robot finishes it’s job in a lighted place, easy to spot by its owners. Other than this, there aren’t any special features to talk about.
Weight and Dimensions
Weighs as little as 4.5 pounds. By comparison, the Xiaomi Mi I’ve reviewed a few days ago has twice this weight. It’s 11.8 inches in diameter and has less than 3 inches in height. These are the ideal dimensions for a robot vacuum. It can fit under your couch, it can even vacuum under your bed.
As all iLife products, it comes with a 12-month warranty, meaning you are safe in the unlikely event that it breaks. Depending on the wholesaler from which you get it, you may also receive 45 days of money-back guarantee and 3 days of dead-on-arrival guarantee (i.e. if you buy it from GearBest.com).
The V1 is ready to go as soon as you get it out of the box. A thing I really needed but is missing is the remote control. Just like the Xiaomi Mi or the Botvac line from Neato, this product doesn’t have one of these. On the other hand, it’s good because it cuts down the production cost, and with the optionally included AAA batteries. And because it’s so light, one can always lift it up and place it exactly where needed. The sound produced is reasonable (around 64 db, as measured by my iPhone). Works well on both carpets and bare floors.
On GearBest.com you can get it for about $100. They also hold a V1 giveaway within their Fantastic Fall Sale event, and if you hurry up you may use the coupon code HOME12OFF to get 12% off all their Home and Garden products.
I would say this is an excellent vacuum for the price. For $100 and even less at some outlets, it can combat dirt and dust bunnies automatically. What draws me to this robot is its capability to clean and clean well. With a good suction power and HEPA filtration, there aren’t really any similar products to match the budget. Capable of running on both carpet and hard wood, you can’t go wrong with this iLife.
- no remote control
- no charging dock
- no scheduled cleaning
Conclusion and VGMrv
A new realm of technology will open for many in years to come. Robot vacuums are among the standard technologies of the beginning of the XXI century. I see the this product entering the homes of many people this year. IMO, the lovely appearance will tame even the most skeptical consumers. I’ve seen a lot of folks which have even named their robot vacuums. I’ll leave you with the VGMrv:
VGMrv table for iLife V1
|Weight and Dimensions||10|
(VacuumsGuide.com Mark for robo-vacs)
I hope you liked my piece. Please comment if you have something to say or ask, and share if you found it useful.