When it comes to robotic vacuum cleaners, the first brands that will likely come to mind are iRobot and Neato.
I wouldn’t blame you because these two brands have been around for a while.
But there’s a new kid on the block making some noise. Technically, ILIFE is not new because they have been in the field since 2015.
The previous major alternative, the A6 introduced the “double-V” rubber brush that got rid of bristles. The new ILIFE A8 adds a camera to the equation.
What does this mean? It means more efficient mobility. Instead of using a random cleaning pattern, the A6 uses a predictable cleaning pattern similar to the Roomba 980.
When ILIFE first told me about this product, I was excited because it was another step in the right direction.
In this review you will find out how this robot has performed, what is in the box and what to expect.
Quick look at the features
- All-new navigation system using 360 degree live view camera
- It has three built-in data chips and CV-SLAM graphics algorithm that helps it to plan its path
- Three-stage cleaning system that includes two side brushes, a motor brush and a suction
- Only 7.2 inches (or 2.83 inches)
- The voice prompt tells you the status of the robot whether it is cleaning or any error code
- Out of the box, you’ll get a bristle brush for carpet and a double V-shaped rubber brush for the bare floor
- The new mobility makes this robot very effective in cleaning the room
- The low-profile design will allow it to fit a lot of furniture
- decent performance
- Comes with 2 brushes that work well on bare floor on carpet
- Cheaper than iRobot Roomba 960 and Roborock S5
- Not very accurate
- Carpets will not be deeply cleaned
- There is no smartphone app
- Edge cleaning is almost absent
What to expect from this new flagship robot vacuum from ILIFE?
Before reading the rest of the article, please watch this detailed review I made about ILIFE A8…
At first glance, you might think this product is an A6 but ILIFE’s improvements are huge.
The largest will be the camera installed above the robot. ILIFE calls this PanView which scans the room in 360 degrees in real time.
It looks like the Dyson 360 Eye and Roomba 980 but the good news is that this robot won’t cost much.
Under the camera are 3 built-in data chips that are controlled by the CV-SLAM algorithm that helps the robot to plan cleaning paths.
What does navigation look like? Well, just watch this video and see for yourself.
Compare it to any of the previous generation of ILIFE robots and you will see a huge difference. The first thing you’ll notice is that it travels in a predictable back-and-forth cleaning pattern while the previous ILIFE robot only works in a random direction.
The second thing is that the room will be divided into different sections. In the video above, he started cleaning the right section of the room first and then the left one.
The robot took less than 6 minutes to complete the task. Talk about efficiency.
Unfortunately, it may be too effective for its own good based on the cleaning test you had.
I missed several points and had to run it to get a similar result with the A6. But here’s the thing even if you add up the time of these two cleaning cycles, it’s still less than any previous generation of ILIFE robots.
Resume cleaning after charging
ILIFE says that if the battery is low, the A8 will charge and remember the last place it was cleaned and return to that spot and resume cleaning in the same area when charging is finished.
The A8 retains the same design as the A6 – a deep black paint with gray accents and a single center button. This button activates the default cleaning mode for the robot.
One thing that is different is the camera on top which helps it track its location.
View from the bottom
Turn this robot over and it has the same design as the A6 and A4S. It contains two side brushes, one motorized brush and two rubber wheels. The position of the container is the same as in the back.
A6 and A8 have the same type of container and can hold approximately the same amount.
Unfortunately, the A8 does not come with a smartphone app. You will need to use a remote control to schedule and operate this device.
Even with the new design, the functionality remains the same. There is a big button in the middle that tells the robot to clean the room in default mode.
The arrow buttons that surround it are directional buttons that allow you to control the robot like a remote control and set the time you want to clean.
Other buttons include the in-place cleanup and scheduling button.
You can schedule the robot to clean your house once a day, seven days a week.
This automates the process further but you can only schedule it at the same time for 7 days.
To give you an idea of how this bot performs, please first have a look at these pictures.
Overall, the Double-V rubber brush performed slightly better than the bristle brush.
Of the 40 grams of dirt, the dual V-shaped brush picked up 39 grams while the bristle brush picked up 37 grams. So that’s a difference of 2 grams and it’s not much.
While the numbers are impressive, my biggest tragedies are the places I missed.
You will clearly see in the video (please watch everything) that the middle part didn’t work well and edge cleaning was questionable even though it was able to clean most of the dirt at the edges.
The motor and brush performance is not the problem but the mobility. If ILIFE could add a second cleaning cycle, this robot would seriously challenge the Roomba 960 even without the app.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy ILIFE A8 from Amazon for less than $300. This will be eligible for free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.
Amazon also offers extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.
Despite the lack of precision and edge cleaning, I still love the new ILIFE A8 robot vacuum. It is a clear step in the right direction and evidence that ILIFE is ready to change things despite the success of previous robots.
This is a good cheaper alternative if you can’t buy a Neato BotVac or Roomba 960 (or 980). It comes with an effective (possibly very effective) cleaning mode that relies on the camera to navigate.
This means that you may not be able to use this in the case of black because the camera needs light to function. The cleaning performance is decent but you may need to run this a few times just to make sure everything is covered.