Love them or loathe them, robot vacuum cleaners are a mixed bag (if you8217;ll excuse the pun). Some are packed with every possible feature you could ever want and some you don8217;t, while others are built to do a simple job with as little fuss as possible. And the iLife V8s sits somewhere in the middle.
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If you8217;ve never heard of the brand then don8217;t turn your nose up just yet, as the iLife V8s is certainly as interesting as it is useful. Not only is the robot cleaner capable of day-to-day scheduled vacuuming, it also comes with the ability to mop hard floors too.
- Onboard LCD display and mechanical control keys
- 750ml dust container/300ml water reservoir
- Anti-tangle wide nozzle
- 2.7kg body weight
The iLife V8s looks much like any robotic vaccum: a round body, two front brushes, a bump-rail, and onboard controls. But there8217;s more than meets the eye: remove the easily swappable dustbin and replace it with the mopping reservoir and the iLife dispenses water as it moves instead of using its suction dust fan.
Otherwise, the iLife V8s doesn8217;t feature the bells and whistles of other more expensive robot vacuums. There is no accompanying smartphone app, there8217;s no voice-assistant compatibility, just a simple control system that involves onboard programme buttons and a remote control.
We like the design of the iLife too; the top of the robot gives the appearance of a brushed aluminium finish (it8217;s actually plastic) which is easier on the eye than it sounds. We think the V8s has an understated design that will fit nicely into any home.
Like other robot vacuum cleaners, the iLife V8s has its own charging dock that it automatically returns to when it8217;s running low on juice. But this robot cleaner also offers the ability to manually charge it with a power input on its side. This means if you8217;d rather pop it out of sight in a cupboard when not in use then you have that option too.
- Cleaning time up to 100min
- 2600mAh battery; 200-350mins charging time
- Automatic and manual charging abilities
- Auto, Point (spot), Border, Path and Mopping cleaning modes
- Manual cleaning via remote control
Initial setup includes docking the V8s to charge its battery and then manually programming the robot8217;s internal clock as well as setting a schedule of cleaning for each day of the week. This is a fairly straightforward process and, although we8217;ve seen easier programming on app-controlled bots, it8217;s hassle-free enough. You can even programme a different time for each day of the week.
The iLife has multiple cleaning modes, including Auto, Point, Border, Path and Mopping. It also has a choice of two different suction levels, with high power obviously getting the house cleaner, while lesser power offers a more peaceful clean.
The selection of different cleaning modes allows the bot to cater to your specific needs. For everyday use, the automatic cleaning mode gets the job done by splitting a room into multiple parts and working on each region separately.
The other modes are fairly self explanatory 8211; there8217;s Border/dge cleaning, which sees the robot cleaner carefully move around the edges of the room cleaning as it goes 8211; while Spot mode cleans a specific area that needs extra attention (the robot creating carpet doughnuts until the designated spot is clean). You can easily switch between these modes with the remote control or buttons on the cleaner, so it8217;s an absolute breeze to use.
The remote control also allows you to manually control the robot and its direction of movement 8211; meaning you can basically lead it around the house cleaning areas you want vacuumed without the actual effort of lifting, pushing and pulling a vacuum cleaner.
In terms of longevity, the iLife V8s just keeps on going. It8217;s capable of up to 100 minutes of cleaning time, which is more than enough to get multiple rooms clean. When it needs to the 8216;bot is capable of returning to its charging base on its own devices 8211; we never had an issue with automatic docking, unlike some other cleaners.
Once one room is cleaned, the V8s moves onto another and keeps on going until it starts to run low on charge. As the design includes large 8220;Road Rover8221; wheels it can get over thresholds and small objects all while moving freely about the house. However, as it8217;s not a super intelligent cleaner this will sometimes mean multiple passes of a room.
- Obstacle and drop detection sensors
- Compatible with carpet, tile and wooden floors
- Capable of crossing 12mm tall thresholds and obstacles
- Large 8220;RoadRover8221; wheels
The iLife V8s includes capable obstacle and drop detection systems that allow it to get around the house without falling down stairs or smashing into everything around it.
The iLife V8s offers some pretty impressive cleaning capabilities. Unlike many other robot vacuums it has no large underside brush. Instead this robot includes a large suction hole, which makes it capable of pulling in large amounts of dirt, debris and pet hair with ease. It also means its capable of dealing with hard floors easily. We8217;ve tested it on tile, laminate, carpet and more without any issues.
The other problem is that it can become easily clogged with large debris. This results in poor performance that can sometimes go unnoticed – when it swallowed a stray sock and a junk mail leaflet it just kept on going, without sucking anything up. If you ensure the floors are clear when the robot sets off, then it shouldn8217;t be an issue.
The suction is surprisingly good, so regular daily cleaning offers great results. We found we were emptying its dustbin every day, which is always a good sign of a successful cleaning in our book. You8217;ll need to keep an eye on this, too, as the iLife doesn8217;t warn you when the bin is full.
Another downside of this design is its filter system. A replaceable filter is included in the box, but these filters are not washable, so you8217;ll need to buy replacements – and the company recommends replacing them every month. It might be possible to prolong these with compressed air or a thorough blow dry, but it8217;s an extra expense to consider.
One of this bot8217;s unique selling points is its intelligent mopping system. It8217;s easy to setup: after removing the main dustbin, you can replace it with the mopping reservoir instead. Two machine washable microfibre mopping cloths are included 8211; one of which is simply strapped to the underside of the reservoir. You then fill it with water and set the robot loose as you normally would 8211; taking care to ensure it can8217;t accidentally make its way into a carpeted room while it cleans.
There8217;s an 8220;i-Dropping8221; intelligent water dispensing system which dispenses the right amount of water to clean the floor as it goes. This water dispensing system can be adjusted/increased on the fly when in mopping mode too.
Like the vacuuming, the mopping mode is more of a cursory clean than a deep rinse of the area, but we did find that mode got the floor wetter and cleaner than other robots we8217;ve seen that offer similar functionality.