ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner: Our 2-Minute Review

ILIFE a4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner

The ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner is an inexpensive but highly capable robot vacuum cleaner.

It intelligently navigates the floor using a brush and powerful suction to pick up dirt and debris. It also cleans corners and along the walls using side brushes.

While it’s not ideal for thick shag carpets, it works great for most other floor types including hardwood and tile.

The A4S comes with two HEPA filters (one is a spare), a primary filter, a sizable dustbin, a scheduling function and a remote control. But no smartphone app.

For navigation, it uses several smart sensors.

Our Impression : ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review
4.4

Summary

Great for:

  • Hardwood and tiled floors.
  • Thin carpets.
  • Homes with pets.
  • Apartments.

Avoid if:
You have a high-pile carpet or want to control it using your phone.

Price:

Price of Roomba 880

Overall Impression

Compared with other popular robot vacuums, the ILIFE A4s is one of the most affordable.

But it’s really simple – and this isn’t as bad as it seems.

It doesn’t have WiFi connectivity or an app like higher-priced Roomba vacuums do, but it comes with all the essential features needed to clean one room at a time, in your home.

I especially love its low profile design, because it allows the robot to fit just about anywhere, including under very low sofas, chairs and beds.

The sensors are not very sophisticated, but they are smart enough to keep the robot from bumping much into furniture or falling down the stairs.

The battery life is surprisingly long. You’ll get 120 minutes on normal mode and 140 minutes in booster mode. That better than many premium robot vacuums.

Overall, we think the ILIFEA4s is a great bargain robot vacuum.

It’s perfect for anyone who needs a relatively powerful and efficient vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors and low-pile carpet, without spending $300 or more.

Note that the A4s is an upgrade of the ILIFE A4. Comparing ILIFE A4 vs. A4s, the A4S has notable improvements in design, efficiency and battery life.

If you want see how this unit compares to other robot vacuums, check out our buying guide.

Cleaning Ability

ILIFE a4s

The ILIFE A4s is a fine single-room cleaner.

Most owner feedback online is positive, with many saying it cleans just as well, if not better than, an upright vacuum.

Its ability to reach hidden areas and clean along the wall is especially praised.

One thing that most customers are grateful for is how easy it is to set up and operate the A4s.

Perhaps the lack of WiFi is a blessing in disguise? You don’t need to connect your router or download an app. The A4s is essentially ready to clean out of the box.

But before you get started, the manual recommends charging the robot overnight. Follow the instructions for setting up the charging dock, making sure there are no obstructions around it. This ensures the robot can return to home base and auto-charge when it gets low on battery.

When you have charged the vacuum, it’s ready to use. Press the AUTO button on the vacuum or the CLEAN button on the remote control to start robot vacuum.

The robot will start cleaning on an auto cleaning mode. It automatically selects the best settings and power depending on where it’s cleaning. If it gets onto a carpet, for instance, it uses more power for a deeper clean.

Other cleaning modes include Edge Cleaning for along the walls, Spot Cleaning for when you want it to clean a specific spot and Schedule Cleaning which you set up using the remote control.

There is also a mini-room cleaning mode where the robot deep cleans a single room. Make sure you close the door since the A4s doesn’t come with virtual wall beacons.

As I mentioned, the robot’s low profile (2.8 inches high) means it can easily fit under sofas, beds and other furniture.

It uses a double V-shaped bristle brush to agitate stuck dirt for easy suctioning. The bristles are especially effective on carpeting. They easily pick up cereal, crumbs, dirt and other debris stuck inside the carpet.

The side brushes help sweep dust into the path of the main brush, which picks it up for suctioning. The side brushes are also handy for corners and edges where the main brush cannot reach.

The 3-stage cleaning system – side brushes to main brush to powerful suction system–leaves your floors spotless.

On a single charge, you’ll get 140 minutes cleaning time on normal power. If you engage the power boost, you get 120 minutes. When in Auto Mode, the cleaning time will range between 120 and 140 minutes depending on the type of floor and how dirty it is.

Navigation

The ILIFE A4s doesn’t have the most advanced navigation technology. But it’s still able to navigate around the room without bumping into everything on the way.

Like most robot vacuums, it’s a good idea to clear the floors before you set the robot to lose. Things like clothes, toys, and bags can get the robot stuck.

The robot uses some anti-drop and anti-collision sensors. It can sense when it’s about to hit an object, and it will either turn back or go around it.

When it gets close to the stairs, a drop sensor sends a quick warning, and the robot turns away. You never have to worry that the robot vacuum will tumble down the stairs and break.

It uses the same sensors to find its way back to the home base when the battery runs low. Make sure the charging dock is clear of obstacles for at least 1 meter on the sides and 2 meters at the front. Otherwise, the robot’s sensors could get confused, and the robot will not dock.

You’ll know the vacuum is charging when the signal light is flashing orange. If the orange light is solid, it means the battery is low and not charging. If there is no light at all and it’s plugged in, the battery is full. When the vacuum is cleaning, the signal light turns green solid until the battery gets low and it becomes orange.

Generally, the navigation is not perfect. The robot will occasionally bump into a wall or chair. It may also have some trouble finding the home base sometimes. But it runs well most of the times.

Automation and Scheduling

ILIFE a4 vs a4s

You can schedule the A4s to clean at a specific time each day. The scheduling is not as flexible as in a WiFi connected Roomba, but it’s good enough for most people’s needs. For instance, you can’t set the robot to clean at different times each day. You also cannot set a schedule for specific days such as Monday and Friday only or every other day.

Before you schedule, make sure you adjust the clock on the remote control to your local time. You should also be pointing the remote towards the robot (which should be on)for it to receive the scheduling signal.

Press the clock button to bring up the time setting and use the directional arrows to set the time. Press the clock button again to save the current time.

With local time set, set the PLAN time on the screen. Again, make sure the remote has batteries and is pointed towards the vacuum. Use the arrows to set your preferred schedule on the timer. Press the PLAN button on the remote control to save the schedule settings.

You should hear a beep from the vacuum to confirm the setting. If you don’t hear it, repeat the procedure. Make sure the vacuum is on (press CLEAN to wake it up), and the remote is pointed towards it.

Note that the schedule will clear if the robot ever turns off. So make sure it gets back to the charging dock when it finishes cleaning and never switches off power to the home base.

To clear the schedule, just switch the vacuum off then on again.

The scheduling feature is handy if you have to go to work every morning. Just set the timer for 10 am (or whichever time you want), and the vacuum will wake up automatically and start cleaning at that time.

Setup

This is one of the easiest robot vacuums to set up. There is no WiFi to set up, no app to download and smart device to connect.

The most important thing is to remember to charge it overnight before you use it. This ensures full functionality and longevity of the lithium-ion battery.

It’s pretty easy to set up the charging dock. Place it on a hard flat floor (no carpeting)and make sure there are no obstacles closeby.

The remote control uses two AAA batteries. The robot uses one rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The vacuum comes with a comprehensive manual with simple, clear instructions on getting started and using the A4s. There is an error guide and a troubleshooting section to help you figure out what’s wrong when the robot behaves in an unusual way.

What It Misses

The ILIFE A4s lacks a few popular features and capabilities.

The scheduling feature is limited, the navigation isn’t the best, and you cannot remotely control it using an app.

It also cannot vacuum high-pile carpet very well, something the manufacturer states.

But generally, it provides much more than what we’d expected at its price point.

For people who just want a robot that can clean one room consistently well without frustrations, the ILIFEA4s is a great choice.

Maintenance

ILIFE a4s Review

Maintenance is about average for most robot vacuums.

Make sure you empty and clean the dustbin after every cleaning. Refer to the manual for steps on ejecting the bin. Before putting the dustbin back, check whether there is any debris stuck inside the vacuum and remove it.

Twice a month, take out the HEPA filter and clean it to keep it working properly. Replace it every six months. The robot comes with a spare filter so you won’t have to buy an extra one for the first year. You should also regularly clean the primary filter and replace it twice a year.

Other components to keep an eye on and replace as needed include the wheels, brushes, and dustbin. As one customer noted, the durability of the robot vacuum depends on regularly replacing worn out parts.

Once or twice a week, take a soft dry cloth and clean the sensors and charging pins. If dust accumulates on them, the robot will not charge properly, and navigation will be affected.

Pros

Cons

Specifications

Dimensions: 12.2 x 12.2 x 2.8 inches

Weight: 4.8 pounds

Running time: around 2 hours (120-140 minutes)

Charging time: 6 hours

Dustbin capacity: small

Self-charging: yes

Boost mode: yes

3-step cleaning system: yes

Recharge and resume: no

Scheduling: yes

Tangle-free brushes: yes

Spot cleaning: yes


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