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It provides 2-in-1 vacuum and mop functionality, an auto-scheduling feature and solid cleaning for hard-surface floors.
While it lacks most of the smarter features of Roombas and other pricier robots, the value for money is hard to beat.
Continue reading for my full review of the iLife V5s Pro.
If you are looking for something more powerful and with more features, then take a look at the new iLife V8s vacuum + mop.
You can also read my recently-updated robot vacuum buying guide for more top recommendations.
Our Impression – iLife V5s Pro Robot Vacuum Mop
iLife makes a series of low-cost robot vacuum cleaners for those who don’t want to spend $500 or more on a Roomba.
The iLife V5s Pro is a recent upgrade from the V5s. It comes with several significant improvements including better navigation, improved vacuuming and mopping performance and longer battery life.
For less than $200, the V5s Pro comes with a surprising number of features. There are sensors for smart navigation, a scheduling system for those who are busy, powerful suction and auto-recharge.
All of iLife’s V series robot cleaners include its unique 2-in-1 vacuum + mopping functionality. The V5s Pro is no different.
You can quickly change from the large dust bin with filters to the water tank with an attached mop cloth in a couple of seconds.
This robot vacuums pretty well, although it’s only really designed for cleaning hard floors. It doesn’t work that well on low-pile carpets.
It also mops well and can quickly clean fluid spills and dust on the floor.
It isn’t as smart as a Roomba when it comes to navigation, so it takes a bit longer to get the floor done. The V5s Pro also tends to bump a bit too hard into objects.
But it doesn’t leave any uncleaned patches, and when it’s done it will usually find its way back to the charging dock.
I love that you can manually control its movements using the remote control. The scheduling feature is great too.
Most customers buy the V5s Pro without high expectations. It costs less than $200, after all.
But I am pleasantly surprised at what this robot can do for the price. And a whole lot of other owners who’ve used a Roomba before say that the V5s Pro is just as good.
Thanks to its powerful suction, the V5s Pro robot picks up everything from fine dust to pet hair. If you want even more power, there is a max mode that increases suction for a deeper clean.
Dual filters capture all that debris and dump it into a relatively large bin.
The V5s Pro is only useful for cleaning hard floors, however. It doesn’t vacuum carpets, not even thin-pile ones.
This is because it has only two small side brushes designed to sweep-in dirt and pet hair from a hard floor. These brushes are ineffective on a carpeted floor.
There is also no roller brush underneath the robot to pick up pet hair on carpets or to agitate dust for easy vacuuming.
As for the mopping – it does a fine job.
You first need to insert the water tank with the mop cloth attached. As the V5s robot moves across the floor, water drips onto the mop cloth to keep it damp.
The mopping pad is easy to remove, and you can clean it in the washing machine.
Overall, the V5s Pro does an impressive job cleaning a hard floor. It takes a bit longer than pricier robots to finish cleaning, but it gets the job done.
If you don’t need smart features like WiFi and app control and you don’t have a lot of carpet to clean, then save yourself some money and buy the V5s Pro.
The iLife V5s Pro comes with several cleaning modes that you can activate using the included remote control or using the buttons on the robot.
Here are the cleaning modes:
This is the default operation mode. The robot chooses the best settings and mode depending on the type of floor it’s cleaning. It uses smart sensors to select an optimal cleaning path and avoid obstacles.
The robot moves in a spiral pattern around one area. This mode is ideal for cleaning areas of concentrated dirt.
The robot checks whether there are a wall and moves alongside it to clean the edge.
Roombas come with advanced navigational capabilities that scan the size and shape of the room and memorize them for fast and efficient cleaning.
The iLife V5s Pro is not as advanced. It doesn’t have smart room mapping sensors. Instead, it mostly relies on random movement to cover the entire floor, which means going over the same areas more than once.
As a result, it takes longer to finish cleaning compared with smarter robot vacuums.
Thankfully, the battery is up to the task: it lasts up to 2 hours.
When the battery gets low, you won’t have to bother taking the robot back to the charging base. It’ll find its way back automatically.
Because it doesn’t exactly have the best navigation smarts, it may wander around for a few minutes before finding the charging dock.
The V5s Pro has an easy time getting over door thresholds and moving across different types of floors thanks to the large rover wheels. The robot rarely gets stuck; and when it does, it can usually wiggle its way out.
But keep an eye out when the robot is mopping. The wet floor reduces traction and can cause the robot to get stuck.
Some owners also complain that the robot tends to bump a bit too hard into furniture. But it usually doesn’t leave any marks thanks to the soft front bumper -although I’d recommend getting anything extra-delicate out of the way.
Also make sure toys, cables, clothing are cleared from the floor before the V5s Pro cleans. It can quickly get caught on small items.
Note that this robot vacuum + mop doesn’t use cleaning boundaries (walls, beacons, etc.). You will need to use a physical barrier or close the door if you want to confine it to a specific area.
But you don’t have to worry about the stairs. The V5s Pro has cliff sensors to prevent it from tumbling down the staircase.
Automation and Scheduling
The iLife V5s Pro doesn’t have much in the way of automation.
Its lack of WiFi means you can’t control it from your phone or using an Amazon Echo smart speaker.
But if you don’t need these smart features, the V5s Pro is an excellent choice. You still get automatic recharge and a convenient auto-clean schedule.
Note that it only has auto-recharge – there is no auto-resume. That is, it will not automatically resume cleaning where it left off after recharging. So if it hasn’t finished cleaning, you’ll have to restart it manually.
The scheduling feature is handy if you are not at home. Just set the robot to clean at a particular time every day using the remote.
The V5s Pro is quieter than most robot vacuums so you can schedule it to clean at night without worrying about it making too much noise.
What It Misses
The V5s Pro may be great for cleaning, but it’s still a budget robot vacuum. There are plenty of features missing.
I’ve already mentioned the lack of WiFi which means no app control and no smart home integration.
Other areas like navigation are a bit lacking, too.
The V5s Pro doesn’t have smart mapping function, so it relies on random movements and obstacle sensors to move around on the floor. It can take well over an hour to clean just a single room.
Unlike pricier robots that can handle an entire level on a go, the V5s Pro works best in a single room.
The main limitation, however, is the lack of a roller brush. This confines it too hard floors only. It can’t even vacuum a low-pile carpet.
This is not a problem if you don’t have carpeting in your home.
But I’d recommend you check out alternatives if you have a large carpeted area. See our buying guide for top recommendations.
Maintenance is more comfortable than with most robots because there are fewer parts.
What I especially love about the V5s Pro is how cheap it is to replace parts like the side brushes and mop pads.
Currently, an accessories pack of 2 mop pads, two side brushes, and two filters costs just $15.
The most important thing when it comes to maintenance is to keep an eye out for the various parts and components. Make sure there is no debris lodged in the airways or wheels and that any worn out part gets replaced immediately.
After each cleaning session empties the bin and cleans the filters and brushes. If the robot was mopping, drain any remaining water and clean the mop pad.
Wipe the dust off the cliff sensors as well as the suction inlet.
The filters should be washed every 15-30 days and replaced every six months. Side brushes and mop pad should be replaced when they start to wear out.
To make sure you don’t forget just replace everything at once every six months. Get the accessories pack with everything you need to keep the robot working properly.
- One of the cheapest robot vacuums – great value for your money.
- 2-in-1 functionality.
- Great at cleaning hard floors.
- Easy to use and maintain.
- Auto-cleaning schedule.
- No smart features like WiFi.
- Doesn’t vacuum carpets.
- No intelligent mapping – doesn’t navigate as efficiently as pricier robots.
Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.8 x 3 in
Running time: 120 minutes
Recharge time: around 4 hours
Remote control: yes
Recharge and resume: no
Multi-room navigation: no
Entire level cleaning: no