Robot vacuums are no doubt the future of home cleaning, and ILIFE is one of the many companies at the forefront of this technology. The company’s A4S model is the most popular product on Amazon in its class, which isn’t surprising since the price sits at $199.99. Additionally, the A4S is a revision of the older A4 model with only minor changes.
We got the chance to play around with the ILIFE A4S robotic vacuum to see if it is worth owning. At $200, it’s far cheaper than the Roomba 980 and the latest Neato Botvac, so there’s no way it can compete with those products. This is a device designed for the budget friendly consumer who wants to take their first step into the world of autonomous house cleaning.
Let’s talk about the design of this thing
Like most robot vacuums, the A4S is circular with a flat body. This allows it to go around and under objects with relative ease. I had little problems with the device navigating around furniture, but it did manage to get stuck under the refrigerator.
Additionally, it tends to knock against objects on a regular basis. The sound of the A4S hitting the wall or the foot of a table could be a problem for some, but I found it bearable. Speaking of bumping into things, it comes with a bumper at the front that protects the robot from shock when hitting any surface.
Overall, there’s nothing unique about the design of the A4S. It’s the same as most robot vacuums, and that’s not a problem because it works as one would expect.
Can the A4S tackle your carpet with ease?
Here’s the thing, this robot will dominate your carpet, which is due to the increased suction over the older A4. From my testing, it had no problems moving from floor to carpet, though it might depend a lot on how high and fluffy your carpet is.
Cleaning wasn’t perfect with one of our carpets due to the design of the surface. It’s like a gutter, and when the A4S navigates there, it tends to get stuck during its cleaning. Here it requires manual removal to get the product back on track.
Get the ILIFE A4S at Amazon for $199.99
This is not entirely surprising since the written manual did state that the robot will quit navigating should it ever find itself in a position where it’s unable to move freely. To get around this issue, users may have to set up a barrier around areas where the robot won’t function properly for better performance.
What about cleaning performance? Let’s talk about that
The ILIFE A4S does an excellent job in cleaning an entire room. In fact, it cleaned my kitchen, dining, and living room in a single sweep. There was no need for interactions with the robot as it automatically moves from one area to the next.
Not to mention, it picks up most of the debris found on the floors and the carpets. Interestingly enough, there are times when it failed to grab debris in the corners. Nonetheless, the device does support edge-to-edge cleaning, so you’ll see it clinging to your walls as it tries to pick up as much dirt as it can.
Sadly, the robot’s navigation is completely random, and this means it will at times fail to clean properly. This might change in future versions, but for now, it’s a problem that’s unavoidable.
Check out the ILIFE A4S in action:
It’s also important to mention that the ILIFE A4S comes with a remote, so there’s no smartphone app here. The remote makes it possible for users to schedule the robot to clean on certain days or every day of the week.
Using the remote, users can set the A4S to take advantage of edge cleaning, auto cleaning, scheduled cleaning, and spot cleaning.
After cleaning, the robot automatically returns to the charging base to replenish its battery for the next time it needs to do your dirty work.
Will the A4S recognize stairs?
Yes, it does. It has a sensor that can tell when the robot is near a staircase, so worry not, it will not fall over your stairs to its untimely doom. The feature list says it can avoid obstacles, but in my testing, that didn’t happen much.
All-in-all, the ILIFE A4S robot vacuum is a solid product that works well. It isn’t perfect, but for $200, there’s not much to complain about here.