If you’re a consumer, the past four years have been very exciting.
Roomba added WiFi, Neato now has a side brush, Dyson finally made the Dyson 360 Eye available to the US market after much anticipation and we now have access to a vacuum cleaner for under $200 thanks to ILIFE.
ILIFE is one of several Chinese brands that have emerged off the scene in an effort to capture a slice of this growing market.
I have tested many brands like Jisiwei and Alfawise to name a few and this brand is currently the best in terms of value and performance.
It currently has 9 variants in its expanding product line.
ILIFE X5 is designed to be a bare floor cleaner with a vacuuming and wet mopping function thanks to a water tank that slowly drips water onto a microfiber towel that can be attached to the bottom of the vacuum cleaner.
Quick look at the features
- Four cleaning modes – (1) automatic, (2) border cleaning, (3) scheduled, (4) clear
- It has the dual function of being a vacuum cleaner and a mop
- It produces only 40 decibels
- Comes with an infrared remote control
- Comes with a virtual wall
- 19 Watt vacuum motor produces between 550 and 850 Pa
- Li-ion 2600 battery will work for 90 minutes (charging time is about 5 to 6 hours)
- Equipped with a washable HEPA filter
- 2 side brushes
- Not too noisy – at low setting produces only 40dB
- It has dual functions – it can vacuum and mop
- Low profile allows it to fit under a lot of furniture (only 3.03″ tall)
- Equipped with HEPA filtration
- One of the cheapest robot vacuums on the market right now
- No motorized brush – won’t work on carpet
- The mop is not great for dirty floors
- small dirt mask
- Some quirks with scheduling, instant cleaning, and edges
- While you can use the remote control to determine which direction it’s going, it only rotates 45 degrees – that’s not very user friendly
What do you expect from ILIFE X5?
At first glance, the ILIFE X5 looks similar to the Roomba 700 series – at least with how the controls are positioned but when you flip it around you’ll notice that they’re very different starting with the existing vacuum intake.
This variant does not have any motorized brush, it only relies on pure suction as well as the double-sided brush to direct dirt into the vacuum hole and then takes over the suction.
So basically, this robot will only work on exposed floor surfaces like linoleum, hardwood, and tile. It doesn’t produce a lot of suction at just 19W, but the good news is that it’s not very noisy.
Out of the package you will get…
- X5 Robot
- Dirt container 300ml
- 300ml water tank
- Additional HEPA filters
- 2 side brushes (plus extra set)
- brush cleaning tool
- Battery remote controls
- Virtual wall (and batteries)
- Manual in English and Chinese
Dirt box and water tank
If you take a closer look at the water tank, you will find that it does not have any opening except for the two small holes at the bottom that work by slowly dripping water when the scanning software is running. Drops of water slowly drip onto the microfiber towel at the base.
The downside is only 300ml of water capacity so it won’t cover a large area.
Other features of the X5 are pretty standard when – rubber wheels, two side brushes, a remote control and a virtual wall.
There are two ways to control this robot, one through the four buttons on top of the robot’s broom itself and the remote control.
But it’s not as straightforward as you think, there are some quirks you should learn first before using this one.
The first thing is that you always need to hit the Clean button first before you can use Edge Clean or Spot Clean. There is no in-place cleaning option on the remote control, only on the bots interface.
You will also need to press Clean first before you can steer the bot with the arrow buttons.
Here is another feature, you can just use the left and right buttons if you want to use the RC feature and every time you change direction, it turns at a 45 degree angle.
Up and down arrows are reserved for scheduling.
Another advantage is the scheduling feature, when you set the minutes, you can only do it in 15-second increments.
It’s hard to get a sense of how this bot navigates but to give you an idea, watch this video and see for yourself…
You could say it goes in a random direction similar to iRobot but the difference is that it doesn’t bump into things as hard.
I’ve noticed that it alternates between going crosswise and cleaning the edges, so I’m going to use this, just hit the clean button and let it do the work.
The low profile is an advantage here because it can pass under overhangs like this…
In our master’s bedroom he is still crammed under the protrusion.
Good thing someone spotted him, gave him some push, and resumed cleaning.
ILIFE does not determine if this robot is able to clean multiple rooms but in my testing, as long as you leave your doors open, it will go to another room.
A rather random cleaning pattern means that he will miss a few places here and there.
As far as edge cleaning is concerned, I’d say the X5 scores very high because it really hugs the walls.
Make sure to clean wires and loose items in your room
To make sure this robot does its job well, be sure to arrange and remove any loose wires and toys and remove chairs if possible so the robot can clean up as much space as possible.
When placing the docking station, be sure to pull the cord (or clamp it to the wall) as this is a potential entanglement point for the robot.
The biggest problem spot will be between the legs of the chairs if they are narrow enough.
To prevent this, I suggest you remove all chairs or move them as far away as possible.
Also remove things like slippers, phone cords, power outlets, etc.
If you have bunk beds with legs like this you may want to remove them first or else…
This is where the X5’s climbing capabilities are at a disadvantage. It has enough clearance to get past the initial obstacle but the wheels aren’t big enough to clear a guy. FYI: The diameter is just over an inch.
I tested this robot on the second floor of our house which consists of two rooms and a hallway. He was able to clean all the rooms but he missed some spots.
When the battery was low it was able to find the charging base on its own.
Even if it can clean multiple rooms, I recommend spreading this one room at a time to increase efficiency and miss fewer spots.
Climbing shouldn’t be a problem because it has rubber wheels that provide good traction.
In one of our rooms, the robot was able to climb over a rubber mat close to an inch.
Executing floor cleaning
The first time I ran this robot, I used it on the second floor of our house. Our house is not particularly huge – only 40 square meters.
This is how much dirt I was able to pick up after 45 minutes of use.
Around the vacuum opening, you’ll notice rubber flaps or squeegees that act as a funnel to make sure dirt, dust, and debris get inside the dirt box.
Although the narrow opening impairs the cleaning efficiency because it will need more time to clean the room.
Switching to mop mode is straight forward – simply remove the container and attach the water tank in place.
Once the robot detects the water tank, it shuts down the vacuum motor but the side brush will continue to rotate.
Make sure not to exceed the maximum fill line to avoid water spilling on sensitive electronic parts.
There are holes under the water tank and it will drip, so be careful when placing it inside the robot.
Regarding the scraping feature, it is a very useful tool for wiping relatively clean surfaces. You will not want to use this on a dirty or oily floor.
Here’s the mop after a 30-minute session in our waxed kitchen/dining area…
If there’s one complaint I have – it’s the size of the hole where you fill it in, it’s way too small.
Someone asked me to make a video about cleaning the X5 stains.
Here’s a demonstration of cleaning the X5 with dried (mostly well) Sostershire sauce…
One thing I have noticed is that the water tank relies on gravity to distill the water.
It does not have any mechanism that regulates the flow of water.
So when you plan to use the scanning feature, make sure to get the bot up and running as soon as possible.
Leaving the water tank inside the robot can create a large puddle of chaos and may even damage the robot.
Here is the before and after picture…
It’s not exactly clean but in terms of rudeness or simplicity in how it does its job it is very good.
If you’re talking about your floors in OC mode, you might not like the bot scanning for you because you’ll do a better job yourself but for jobs like this. does the work.
Yes, there is a scheduling feature in this bot where you can set the time this bot cleans on its own but there is one nuance.
Instead of being able to tell the exact time of day, you’ll need to do a little math.
Let’s say you set it at 6:00, it won’t clean up at 6 AM. Instead, it will start cleaning after 6 hours and will be cleaned at the same time in subsequent days.
Some notes on the charging base
If you are using this for the first time, the easiest way to charge this robot is to press home on the remote control and the robot will dock itself on the charging base automatically.
A full charge will take about 5 hours.
Make sure to clear at least 1 meter to the left and right of the curb and at least 2 meters in front so that the robot is anchored correctly each time it is turned on.
Finally, place the charging station on the wall, so when the robot is docked, it won’t move.
Another way to charge the robot vacuum is by connecting it directly to the outlet.
Make sure the power switch on the side of the robot is turned on before starting.
the show length
Even with maximum power, the X5 I tested was able to run for about an hour and a half before returning to the charging base.
Where can I buy this?
The X5 is not available for sale on Amazon but you can buy it from GearBest. To check the latest prices, click on any of the links below.
I’ve also included some coupon codes shared with me by GearBest for even more savings.
- US warehouse / Los Angeles
The ILIFE X5 is a great alternative to more expensive brands like Roomba and Neato if you have a home with only bare floors. It has a low profile that matches most furniture and overhangs.
After using it for several days, I think this is a good everyday tool that you can use to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on your floors. Just be sure to arrange those wires and other loose items on the floor.
While there are some quirks in terms of scheduling and use of other features, it’s still a good product considering the price point. It will clean your room and return to the charging base when the battery is low.
It’s not too noisy as I was still able to have a good conversation while the bot was running at full power.
Despite the lack of premium features found in other brands like Dyson or Neato, the X5 performed very well considering the cost.
For a budget robotic vacuum, it has good portability that won’t bump hard against furniture and will clean almost everything on the bare floor.