Skip to main content

iLife A7 Review

iLife's A7 is a new budget option in the robot vacuum cleaner market with simplistic controls and app integration. We see how well this thing can clean.

  • $249.99
The A7 (or Valerie as she is known in our home), is iLife's latest robot vacuum cleaner. A rounded model with a relatively low profile for getting under furniture, she has a glittery black top coat that makes her look that bit more fancy than other robots we've tested, and her price is just as pretty.

Available now from Amazon for £249.99/$249.99, the A7 is a third of the price of some robot cleaners you can buy. She's not true budget-end - you can find much cheaper models under £100 - but she offers a good compromise between affordability and functionality.

(You'll also like: Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners 2018.)

Something that will appeal if you have carpeted floors in your home is the bristled roller bar. Also in the box is a rubber version for hard floors, and you can swap these over as suits.

It would be easier, of course, to have the pair running at once - we have both carpeted- and hard floors in our home - so it's a tad annoying to have to swap them over. In the end we left Valerie running upstairs where most of the flooring is carpeted with her bristle brush installed.

We found the A7 did a pretty decent job of clearing up hair, fluff and other bits of dirt from our short-pile carpet, and we encountered no instances of her throwing herself down the stairs, which is always handy. She is, however, partial to a USB-C cable, so you need to make sure you properly prep the area before vacuuming. (To be fair, this is true of most vacuum cleaners.)
As well as the roller bar the A7 is fitted with two spinning brushes at the front, which help to draw in dust from the corners. These get clogged up with hair just like any others, but we were impressed with how closely the robot stuck to the wall as it attempted to clear out all the nooks and crannies.

Even though its cleaning pattern seemed rather random the A7 did a good job, especially in max suction mode, in which we found the 2600mAh battery lasted an hour and 15 mins before the robot returned to its dock. (Recharging takes longer, at up to five hours, but you need vacuum your home only so many times a day.)

You can manually override the cleaning pattern, too, or put the iLife in spot-cleaning mode.

The dust box has a 0.6l capacity, which will likely need emptying after each couple of cleans (it won't tell you when it's full), or more often if you have particularly dirty floors. It pulls out very easily from the back of the unit, but emptying the box is more fiddly since you first need to move the dusty filter out the way.

You'll notice the iLife A7 is missing a mop function. We've yet to see a robot vacuum cleaner we'd trust to properly mop our floors, and think they'd be better sticking to what they do best, but if this is a feature you're looking for you'll need to look elsewhere.

It's worth pointing out that a mop function can be problematic if you have no way to cordon off carpeted areas in any case. Some cleaners come with a virtual wall device, or you can set no-go zones in the app. This isn't possible with the iLife A7.

As with all robot vacuum cleaners, it's unlikely that the A7 will replace your main cleaner. However, for interim cleaning it's a useful device to have around the home, especially when you consider that you can schedule the cleaner to run when you're not around to get in its way, and even remotely control it from afar thanks to app integration.

iLife supplies the same remote control that is used by all its robot vacuums (and if you have more than one at home it controls them all, which can be confusing fun). It's simplistic, with a home button, buttons for auto-, spot- and edge cleaning, an option to change the suction strength, a go/pause button and navigational controls.

This paired with the LCD screen on the device itself makes operation easy. It can be even simpler still, with basic operational buttons on top of the vacuum itself.

Our preferred mode of operation was using the companion app, which we installed on our Galaxy S8. The most difficult part of setup is putting the robot into pairing mode and connecting it to your Wi-Fi network, but it's all explained in the user manual. After this it remains connected and is intuitive in use.

It's significantly easier to set up cleaning schedules using the app, and you can also remotely trigger cleaning from afar. The only problem we found with this is that a single press of the clean button merely wakes the A7, and you need a second press to send it on its way.

If you're not at home and you don't have some sort of CCTV installed we presume it would be quite easy to think it's cleaning when it's not. And it's not like you can check its history to see if it actually has cleaned your floors before recharging itself when you return.

Something we also like about the app is that it monitors the life of the replaceable parts - the spinning side brushes, roller brush and HEPA filter. You'll find a spare HEPA filter and pair of side brushes in the box, but after this you'll need to buy replacements.

There's a Find Robot command, too, which initially we giggled at - how are you going to lose a robot vacuum cleaner that's 330x320x76mm and quite easily audible in use? Then Valerie trapped herself under a suitcase we'd left out to air and stopped cleaning so we couldn't hear her. The command in the app causes the A7 to emit a beeping noise for nine seconds, which is enough to relocate the device.

  • Auto/Edge/Path/Spot/Max cleaning modes
  • 0.6l dust box
  • HEPA filter
  • hard/bristle roller brush
  • 2x spinning side brushes
  • 120-150 mins battery life
  • charges in up to 300 mins
  • 2600mAh battery
  • 330x320x76mm
  • 2.5kg
View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Like Fan Page