The iLife A4S is a great entry level robot vacuum cleaner with an affordable price. It’s best for bare floors and pet hair, but it has a navigation that users find …
- 1 Verdict: Should You Buy It?
- 2 How Good Does It Clean?
- 3 Is It Good for Cleaning Carpets?
- 4 Is It Good for Cleaning Pet Hair?
- 5 How Much Space Can It Clean?
- 6 Does It Often Get Stuck?
- 7 How Loud Is It?
- 8 How Long is the Battery Life?
- 9 Is It Easy to Set a Schedule?
- 10 What You Get With This Vacuum
- 11 Possible Troubleshooting
- 12 Where Can You Buy the iLife A4S?
Verdict: Should You Buy It?
The iLife A4S is among the most affordable options for a robot vacuum cleaner. It’s a little demon that can cut your cleaning time in half. It’s best for cleaning hardwood and bare floors, and carpets up to 12 mm thick.
This robot vacuum can cover around 1,100 sq ft during its two hours runtime before it needs to charge. It’s strong enough to keep pet hair under control, though you need to clean it after every round, especially if hair gets tangled in the main brush.
It doesn’t have any mapping function. Therefore, it will run around in random paths until it cleans the area, taking up more time than a robot vacuum with internal mapping. Still, at this price point, the iLife A4S provides a solid choice for an entry level robot vacuum.
YES, the iLife A4S is a great robot vacuum if it’s your first time owning one. It’s best for homes with mostly hardwood, tile, and bare floors, and low-pile carpets. It can pick up pet hair though some hair might get tangled. The navigation is rather quirky and takes time to cover the area.
How Good Does It Clean?
The iLife A4S has surprising suction power for a little robot. You can use it mostly on hardwood, tile, and laminate floors, and it does a decent job for low-pile carpets. This robot vacuum won’t perform well on thick carpets, and dark colored floors due to the infrared navigation system.
For the surfaces for which it’s designed, the A4S performs exceptionally well. If you have a family with children and dogs or cats, this bot can become a very helpful assistant. It can pick up dirt, dog hair, cat litter, sand, and other gunk tracked in by your loved ones.
It has four cleaning modes to fulfill various needs. Normal Mode is for ordinary cleaning, Max Mode gives you more suction power at the cost of shorter duration, Edge Cleaning is for running along walls and baseboards, while Spot Cleaning is for tackling any messes in one area.
It comes with an extra large 450 mL dustbin, making it able to cover a large area in one run. This robot vacuum is suitable for small spaces, beginning at 700 sq ft, all the way up to 2,000 sq ft. Note that the larger area you clean, the more preparation you will need to make.
For optimal cleaning and machine lifespan, make sure to remove any cords, cables, or objects along the floor that can get in the way of the A4S. If the vacuum gets tangled or eats a cable, it will stop and shut down and alert you to untangle it. Read more about how to avoid this problem below.
A quirky trait about the iLife A4S is that it doesn’t vacuum in straight lines. It cleans in random lines, covering the area slowly until it does the job. Some users find this behavior irritating, and prefer a robot vacuum that runs in straight lines. If you have that preference, you may want to choose a different brand.
Is It Good for Cleaning Carpets?
Robot vacuums in this price range aren’t the best choice for cleaning carpets. The iLife A4S itself is good for carpets up to 12 mm (around 3 inches) thick. Carpets thicker than that may be to steep for the robot to climb automatically.
It doesn’t do well for carpets that have black or dark borders. The navigation system will tell it to turn around instead. Another issue is the bot can push up or lift up kitchen mats. You may want to clear the area of mats before the robot vacuum cleans it.
Is It Good for Cleaning Pet Hair?
Living in a home with one or several pet that shed a lot can make you pull your hair. Fortunately, the A4S is capable of picking up dog or cat hair with no problems. It’s a little demon that picks up all pet hair, filling up the dustbin and keeping fur under control.
Many pet owners are surprised at how much pet hair the A4S picks up, even after they sweeped or vacuumed the floors before. Since the dustbin fills up, you ought to clean it out after every use. While doing that, it’s a good idea to untangle any hair that can get wrapped around the main brush.
However, in some cases, heavy pet hair can clog up the brush or not pass through the filters. This is a problem that doesn’t occur often, but it can be a consideration if you plan to get the A4S primarily for cleaning pet hair.
How Much Space Can It Clean?
The iLife is a match for studio apartments with an area about 700 sq ft consisting of a bathroom, living room, and kitchen. In small spaces like these, the A4S cleans thoroughly, leaving zero grit and making the floor feel spotless when you walk barefoot.
For larger areas up to 2,500 sq ft two story houses, this robot can be used but with some caveats. The battery can run up to two hours, covering about 1,100 sq ft or space. If you have a living space larger than that, the bot will have to charge before it can continue.
Make sure that there is nothing on the floor that can get in the way of the robot. A small floor plan with many corners and furniture may be difficult for the robot’s navigation. A large floor plan with open spaces will cause the A4S to take time to cover all the rooms.
Due to the random path it takes to clean, it may look like the A4S misses spots. But over time, it can cover all the areas properly. As long as you don’t micro-manage it, it will get the job done.
Does It Often Get Stuck?
Navigation is the most challenging aspect for the A4S. It does not have automatic mapping, so it will clean around randomly every time you run it. The lack of a mapping feature means the bot takes a long time cleaning since it has to do “trial and error” every time it runs.
You need to place the charging dock with 1 m free space around the sides and 2 m on the front, or else it will be tough for the bot to return home.
The bot uses infrared sensors that help it avoid falling down the stairs or off ledges. This mechanic means it also avoids dark floors or carpets. Some owners put white tape over the sensors so the bot doesn’t avoid dark colored floors. You can do this if you use the bot only on the ground floor of your home.
The machine has a 15 cm height, meaning it can go under furniture with that amount of clearance. The A4S can get stuck under furniture if the clearance is a tight fit, allowing it to enter but not exit. If it does get stuck, the robot will make a beeping sound, asking for your help to pick it up.
The beeping sound also happens if the bot gets tangled on cables or other cords. It has an algorithm for freeing itself, but in case it can’t untangle itself, it will beep and shut off. If that happens, you will need to untangle it manually.
For some owners, it’s not a big deal to get the vacuum unstuck. However, other users feel its too much of a hassle getting the A4S from under the couch and other areas it gets stuck.
They get annoyed when the bot gets stuck at night or when they aren’t at home. Not only does it become a game of hide and seek, it also means the floors aren’t cleaned and the batteries need to recharge before the bot can run again.
How Loud Is It?
The A4S emits a very quiet sound that’s barely noticeable. Some owners are able to sleep while the vacuum runs. You can watch TV or talk on the phone while having the bot do it’s routine. Note that the Max Mode will create a sound twice as loud as Normal Mode, so you may want to use that mode when noise isn’t bothersome.
How Long is the Battery Life?
The battery for the A4S is one Lithium ion battery that can last up to 120 minutes (two hours). It has a 200 – 350 minute charge time (around four to six hours). Once the battery runs out, the bot will automatically return to the charging dock to recharge the battery.
Some owners have a problem with the A4S not returning to the charging dock, even when ordered to do so. The bot passes in front of the dock and instead of returning home, it continues to wander around the house until the battery runs out.
On the other hand, most owners have no problem with the docking issue. Even in some spaces where the charging dock isn’t placed in an open area, the iLife bot can still find the dock easily.
Is It Easy to Set a Schedule?
You can use the A4S manually by turning it on when you want it to clean then put it into the dock once it’s finished. You can also program cleaning schedules, but only one schedule, such as every day at 8 AM. Unfortunately, the A4S doesn’t connect with smart home hardware, such as Alexa.
What You Get With This Vacuum
- iLife A4S robot vacuum cleaner
- Remote control
- Charging dock
- AC power adapter
- Extra set of filters
- Extra set of side brushes
The A4S comes with a one year warranty from iLife. Customer service is fast to respond, and in some cases, customers receive a replacement should their appliance malfunction.
The vacuum has a Japan Nidec high speed motor that gives it a powerful suction. It has a three stage filter beginning with a prefilter, a foam filter, then a HEPA filter so that it doesn’t trigger allergies when it’s cleaning dirt and dust.
Other than the navigation issue, another main complaint that makes users disappointed with the iLife A4S is when it malfunctions. In some cases, the vacuum starts to develop problems over a period of time.
Some problems that occur include the robot only travelling a short distance and then shutting off. Even though the user has cleaned all the parts, it doesn’t solve the problem. In these error cases, iLife often offers a replacement if the original device still has a warranty.
Where Can You Buy the iLife A4S?
The iLife A4S is available through the link below.