Chinese manufacturers are busy these days with the production of robotic brooms. And the Alfawise A6 is one of the latest in the GearBest line.
This product provides two-in-one functionality for a standalone vacuum and mop.
Since the water tank is built into the mop holder, you can actually use this for a wet mop and a vacuum cleaner at the same time.
A very useful function for surfaces such as tile or granite where dirt and grime accumulate.
According to Gearbest, this robot has 5 cleaning modes – spot cleaning, special rebound cleaning, S-shaped cleaning, edge cleaning and spiral cleaning, but what does it all mean.
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We’ll find out in this review and if all of these modes translate into a cleaning performance that’s worth your money’s worth.
As with the majority of robot vacuums in this price range, it really uses a random cleaning pattern using infrared sensors. But when I tested a group of these brands, I found out that there are nuances and this robot has its own characteristics and you will see what they are in the videos.
Quick look at the features
- 5 cleaning modes to help this robot clean your home
- Intelligent anti-fall and anti-collision system prevents this robot from falling off stairs and hitting furniture
- When the battery runs out of charge, it automatically returns to the charging base
- It only works at about 65dB
- 3350mAh large capacity Ni-Cd battery will work for about 1 hour
- 800Pa suction
- The app is available for download to control this robot
- 1 year warranty
- At least good performance on the open floor
- It has the ability to get wet and empty at the same time
- Good suction on the open floor
- Decent sized dirt box
- The charging dock contains a brush cleaning tool
- You can schedule this to clean at different times for each day of the week (it gives you some flexibility)
- The collision sensor is turned off by default, and you will have to turn it on to avoid bumping into the furniture
- Cleaning mode is inactive
- NiCad batteries are heavy, prone to power fade and do not hold a charge like a lithium battery
What do you expect from Alfawise A6?
Before continuing, watch this video where I open the chest of the bot and share with you the various features…
This robot looks a lot like the robot vacuums sold on GearBest. It has dual side brushes, a wet wipe and is best used on bare floors.
In terms of aesthetics, I don’t like the pink and white color scheme, but I like that it uses easy-to-read and bright LEDs.
The interface is easy to read and well laid out. The five icons you see are buttons and not just for display.
All these functions are also accessed using the remote control which I will show you later.
But first I will explain the function of each of the buttons I have indicated in the image …
It starts or stops the robot but only after you turn it on. This button will be disabled if the robot is docked. It also doubles as a battery indicator that flashes red when low.
Turns the engine on or off. Again, you can press this button only after the bot is turned on.
To turn the UV light under the robot on or off. The manufacturer claims that this will sanitize the surface but with a grain of salt.
It allows you to set the time in minutes how long you want the robot to run. You can set it between 10 and 80 minutes in 10-minute increments.
When this feature is turned on, the robot avoids bumping into things and starts in automatic cleaning mode, which simply means that it will cycle through the different cleaning modes I mentioned earlier depending on the situation.
However, if you turn this feature off, the robot will act like a ram and will hit furniture or wall frequently.
View from the bottom
Here is a view from below with the mop attached…
As you can see, it has two side brushes and even with the mop installed, the motorized brush is still visible which means you can use the wet mopping feature and the vacuum cleaner at the same time.
It also allows you to turn off the vacuum motor using the remote control just in case you want to use the wet wipe feature and let it run longer.
Without the mop it looks like this…
You will notice a silver stripe below the dirt basket and this is the UV light. GearBest says this is a UV light that disinfects the floor.
I’m not sure if a little bit of light can actually kill bacteria, so take it with a grain of salt.
This robot has a robotic bristled brush. The bristles are not as hard as ILIFE A4 or V7 but these filaments are attached to a hard plastic, see the picture below…
In my tests so far, although it lacks stiffness, it still performs relatively well on the bare floor.
High capacity nickel cadmium battery
You will notice that out of the box the batteries came separate from the robot, it turns out that this product uses a high capacity 3,350 NiCad battery which you will have to remove if you are going to store this robot for an extended period of time.
While it could run for over an hour in my testing, it didn’t hold its charge well if you didn’t use it for an extended period of time, something that the lithium-ion battery doesn’t have a problem with.
The NiCad battery also adds to the weight and size since the NiCad is larger and heavier.
This bot also comes with a virtual wall that blocks the bot’s path in areas you don’t want it to go. Such as the wet area in your kitchen or an area in your home where your pet sleeps.
The default wall range (or the default blocker as he manually calls it) is about 10 feet. Goes to standby mode when the robot is turned off.
It uses two AA batteries.
The Alfawise charging station is unique in that this is where you will set the time and schedule the robot for when you want to clean it.
Unlike ILIFE bots that only allow you to schedule them at the same time for 7 days, this bot allows you to schedule them at different times each day so you can schedule them to clean at 7:30 AM on Monday and maybe 10:30 AM on Tuesday.
The A6 can also be cleaned automatically again after recharging without having to wait.
All you have to do is press the start button on the dock and you will see the screen showing the auto icon.
I love the flexibility this feature gives you.
The dock also has a brush cleaner stowed in the back. It also has clips where you can hang the wire on.
Cleaning performance and mobility
on bare floor
I did a couple of cleaning tests on a bare floor and I have to say this robot at least exceeded my expectations.
Here are some pictures of my first test…
This robot did a very good job of picking up most of the scattered dirt I had, including the massive mess in the middle…
Prior to testing, I had some doubts about this robot’s ability to keep dirt inside the trash. It’s an issue with Ainol and to some extent MinSu T2015.
Even with the softest bristles, it was still able to pick up at least the majority of the dirt you scattered around the room.
This is the second cleaning test I’ve taken…
My biggest concern would be navigation. In my first cleaning test (see the first video), I noticed that this robot sometimes acted like a tamper hitting a wall multiple times.
It also got stuck between the door stopper several times.
When I looked at the manual I noticed that it has a feature called “soft touch” which prevents this robot from bumping and bumping but at the expense of cleaning the edges but as you saw in the video above it worked decently on the edges but didn’t clean everything.
I took some pictures of the mess as well as the results…
This is a picture of the area near the tripod where I record…
He actually did a very good job cleaning up the edges even though he left bits and pieces.
If you watch the entire recording, you’ll notice that he didn’t clean the edge very much, most of the time he focused on cleaning the middle of the room but towards the end of the video he cleaned up the edges and cleaned up the majority of what you spilled.
Where can I buy this?
This robot cleaner is available at GearBest for about $160.
This robot is actually a pretty good performer on the bare floor picking up about 62 of the possible 70 grams of oats and powder you sprinkled in the room.
Navigating wise, I find it quite jittery and even with the soft touch feature on, it occasionally hit snags but not the swiping ram style bump with the feature turned off.
You won’t hug the edges as if the ILIFE robot would, cleaning the edges is unaffected, but the brush is long enough to sweep debris toward the center where the brush roll is.
The dirt container is well designed as it is airtight and easy to empty.
Being able to schedule at different times each day is a plus, but the soft bristles on the carpet worry me, but I’ll have to test it out and see how it works.