ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S, Chinese vacuum cleaners who want to compete with Roomba

The suction robots there is usually no middle ground : either you adore them and they seem to be the best inventions in history or you use them once and leave them dusting in a corner for centuries. I belong to the first group: with two cats that release more hair than they seem to have, allergy to dust and little time for housework, a Roomba that I bought three years ago has become my perfect ally.

Although iRobot Roomba models are among the best known, more and more brands are daring to take the leap and bring to market their own attempts. And some do it even with very reduced prices if we compare them with the original Roombas. Over the last few weeks we have been testing two models of ilife, (ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S), a Chinese brand with robot vacuum cleaners in the price range between 100 and 200 dollars, and these are our impressions.

ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S, technical specifications

iLIFE V5 PRO

iLIFE V7S

DIAMETER

300 mm

340 mm

HEIGHT

70 mm

80 mm

WEIGHT

2.05 kg

2.95 kg

DEPOSIT CAPACITY

0.3 L

0.4 L

CLEANING MODES

Automatic, Spot, Borders and Scheduled.

Automatic, Spot, Borders and Scheduled.

BATTERY

2600 mAh

2600 mAh

AUTONOMY

130 min

120-150 min

LOADING TIME

280 min

300 min max

ACCESSORIES

Remote control, side brush replacement, cleaning brush, reservoir and wiping cloths

Remote control, filter and side brush replacement, cleaning brush, reservoir and wiping cloths

PRICE

137.84 dollars

177.50 dollars (Pro version, the analysis is previous model)

At first sight, both robots are very similar and have similar functionalities. The only notable differences, at least initially, are the size (the V7S is larger and heavier) and the placement of the brushes in the lower base. While the V5 Pro has two arm-like side brushes, the V7S has only one.

Note: Blue cloths are only used for wet cleaning; For cleaning in dry it is necessary to remove that piece.

ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S
Image Source: Google Image

What’s in the box?

ilife V5 Pro: Robot vacuum cleaner with tank, charging base, two side brushes for spare parts, special tank for water, piece that is coupled for wet cleaning, two wipes for cleaning in wet, brush for cleaning filters, Distance (batteries included), quick start guide and complete instructions.

ilife V7S: Robot vacuum cleaner with tank, charging base, spare filter, spare brush, special tank for water, piece that is coupled for wet cleaning, two cloths for cleaning in wet, brush for cleaning the filters, Remote control (batteries included), quick start guide and complete instructions.

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How they work and cleaning modes?

The tank of both models is at the top: you have to press on the lid to open it. Inside you will find the plastic tank with a small handle that allows you to extract it easily and inside it are HEPA filters, interchangeable. This same tank can be replaced by the specific one for wet cleaning with a cloth (yes, both models have a scrubbing function).

Both ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S include three cleaning modes : automatic (which is activated by default), spot mode (which allows you to clean a particular area that is dirty with a spiral path and after Which the suction robot stops) and the “edges” mode (to clean the areas close to a wall).

These last two are activated with the remote control that is included, with which you can also ask the robot to return to the base and with which you can tell him to start cleaning within X time. Regarding the programming, I recognize that it is not a functionality that has used too much, but it works correctly: you tell what time you want it to start and the robot starts to work. Of course, if you use it in this mode, make sure the vacuum cleaner robot can easily detect your “home”, or you will have hours wandering until the battery runs out.

ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S, Chinese vacuum cleaners who want to compete with Roomba 2

Well in aspiration, autonomy and in noise level …

They suck in, suck (and I swear I clean it, but these robots take out dust every time you use them)

The method I follow for cleaning with my Roomba is the following: I remove anything that may have fallen to the floor of a room, put the Roomba in it and place the virtual wall at the entrance of it so that the robot vacuum cleaner can clean inside it without having to close the door. I have verified that it is more efficient as well and you lose less.

As soon as I opened the two ilife I realized two things that, without being serious at all, I did not like them too much: the first is that they do not bring virtual walls (you can always, of course, put another obstacle that makes a physical wall or close the door); the second, that they do not have any type of handle that can facilitate the catch them. Two minor details, yes, but flashy.

Another aspect that does not influence too much in the operation but which I had to get used to: that the robots open by pressing their circular surface. It is not annoying … unless you have a cat that understands the mechanism and is dedicated to make weight to be able to lift the lid. In my opinion, a less accessible and less mechanical system would be more comfortable, because I understand that it can be a problem over time (although to this day I continue to function as the first day).

At the time of aspiration, and if we talk about the aspirate itself, the two ilife give the size. Not only do they have enough power and leave the rooms very clean, but the noise they make is much less than that of my old Roomba 631. According to official specifications, the ilife V5 Pro does not exceed 50db of noise and the V7S is by below 60dB. In practice, surprise how quiet they are.

Both models can detect if they are heading towards an obstacle and stop a few centimeters before arriving. This has an advantage, and is that do not give “blows” to furniture and other elements of the house. The disadvantage is that it is more difficult to clean edges: in one of my tests, I could clearly verify that my Roomba has greater range and is able to remove more dirt in the corners, for example.

They do not have any type of intelligent algorithm that makes that the aspirator robot passes once per zone, but its route is completely random. This is common in low budget robots and does not become a major problem if you leave them a while running.

Regarding the battery, the truth is that its autonomy has pleasantly surprised me. The V5 Pro continues, months later, reaching the 2 hours that promise in its official specifications, although the one that has given better result is the ilife V7S: it has gotten to me to endure sessions of 3 hours.

ilife V5 Pro and ilife V7S, Chinese vacuum cleaners who want to compete with Roomba 3

… but need to improve on the rest

Yes, they suck relatively well … when they get sucked, of course. For me the big problem of both vacuum cleaners is that, I imagine, for their own height, they are not designed to save simple obstacles, such as climbing a “high” carpet. In my case, in addition, on several occasions they got stuck in some places where my Roomba had never given any problems, such as the base of my cat scraper, narrow voids or with some carpets.

Something strange has also happened to me, and it is only on some isolated occasion that the suctioning robots have returned to me after sucking at the base. The most common thing is that both of them stay sucked eternally, until the battery was finished and they were lying in the middle of the room. I imagine they require a base placement without any obstacle nearby, but this is difficult to get in many homes today. It’s not that it’s a serious problem, but it’s a bit of a task never to know when they’ve really sucked.

Another pending subject: the scrubbed mode. In addition to the normal dust tank, both models include a water tank and an accessory that is placed on the bottom for wet cleaning. In practice, this accessory is quite uncomfortable to place (and, above all, to remove, since it is press fit) and I have not noticed noticeable cleaning results. Sometimes they release water, in others they do not but they do not remove stains … I would say that they are not made for cleaning in the wet.

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