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Note: GearBest provided us with the ILife A4 free of charge for this review. We appreciate they have the confidence in us to write a fair and honest review. Even though it’s not the fanciest on the market, we found we really love this little vacuum! AND – it doesn’t have the high price tag of some of its competitors.

FAQs

How does it work on dog and cat hair?

It’s amazing how well this little vacuum picks up cat and dog hair. It even picks up cat litter from a hardwood floor (a job most upright vacuums won’t even do).

Does it get caught up in cords and fabric?

Like any robotic vacuum cleaner, you do need to make sure there aren’t obstacles in its path. This includes any long drapes, shower curtains, bedspread or any other fabric that “puddles” on the floor. Also be sure you have any cords up off the floor prior to cleaning. It does a good job of getting itself untangled, but it’s best to not even worry about it.

Some users are concerned it may shred cables or cords, but we found it doesn’t do that. Instead, it will get tangled up a bit but manages to find its way out of the mess. The suction power is plenty strong enough for the floor but doesn’t seem strong enough to suck up even internet cables or thin phone charger cables.

Is it quiet?

It’s very quiet when operating. It’s about the same decibel level as any household fan. In fact, many users say it’s quieter than the Roomba (it’s also a lot less expensive).

Is the cleaning pattern random?

Yes, like most robots, this one seems to have to logic to its cleaning process, so it seems to go every direction. However, it still seems to hit all the dirty spots and get everything clean.

How do I stop it from going into rooms or areas where I don’t want it?

There are no barriers or virtual walls with this ILife, so if there are areas you don’t want it to go, you really need to just block them off or close the door. Even putting a cardboard box on the floor between rooms or at the beginning of a hallway will do the trick.

Does it work well on carpet?

It seems to do a good job on carpet. While it’s not heavy enough to really dig in (like any robotic vac), it still manages to do a good job.

How does it do with long hair?

I’ve used this vac four times, and I’ve had to clean out the long hair tangled around the brush roll once. I compare this to my upright vacs which I have to turn upside down and cut out the hair about every other time I vacuum. Overall, I’m really happy with it in this regard.

I’ve found the best way to avoid this is to vacuum more often. The less hair there is to pick up, the less chance the brush roll will get stuck. With the ILife, this is easy to do since it’s programmable.

Does it fall down the stairs?

The sensors on this vac work really well. Not only does it not bump into things hard enough to scratch furniture, but it also won’t fall over the edge of your stairs.

Will it work on a marble floor?

It does great on wood, linoleum and marble and doesn’t leave scratches. It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t dig in.

Can I use it in two floors of my home?

You can use it on separate floors without moving the charging base. Just know that once the battery starts to run down, it will start looking for “home”.

Any changes need for floor transitions?

The ILife goes from carpet to tile to hardwood floors all on its own. There are no settings you need to change. We tested it in a home with hardwood floors, tile and thick area rugs, and it did a great job on all of them.

Does it work well on dark colored floors?

Some robotic vacuums have trouble with their sensors on dark colored floors (think black or espresso-colored wood or laminate). That doesn’t seem to be a problem here. This ILife doesn’t have camera sensors, so there’s nothing to trip it up with color. Instead, it just has bump sensors so it doesn’t bang hard into furniture and cabinets.

How long does it run?

In some user reviews, it’s said to run 2.5-3 hours before returning to the charging base. In the home where we tested it that is mostly bare floors with some carpet, it ran over four hours before needing a recharge.

Will it run until the job is done?

If you put the A4 into a small room, it seems to run until the job is done. Then it returns back to the charging base. However, if you live in a larger home that needs more cleaning, it may run until it needs a charge – then it will return home.

Will it return to charge by itself?

Generally, yes. However, this only seems to work if it’s in the general vicinity of the charging station when the battery needs to be charged. In our tests prior to this review, we ran it four full cycles. Three of those times it did not return to the charging base.

While this seems like it can be an annoying problem, for the price of this unit, it doesn’t really bother us.

Stats

  • Cleans up to 2000 square feet
  • Anti-collision system
  • Cliff sensors
  • Programmable
  • Low profile
  • Remote control
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs.
  • Size: 12.2″ length x 12.2″ width x 2.99″ height

Package Contents

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • 1 Extra HEPA Filter
  • 1 Charging Base
  • 1 Remote Control with Batteries
  • 2 Extra Side Brushes
  • User Manual

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Cleans great
  • Light weight
  • Low profile

a4-brushesCons

The only problem we had with this vac was it returning to the charging station on its own for a recharge. It seems to only do so when it’s in the general vicinity when the battery gets low. However, it still did a fantastic job of cleaning, so we aren’t bothered by this little glitch. We’ll keep you updated in further tests to let you know if this continues to be an issue.

Conclusion

Overall, the ILife A4 is a very impressive machine. At a low price point, it’s a way for users who want a robotic vacuum to get one without breaking the bank. In user reviews, it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars, and it’s a well-deserved rating. If you’d like to get one, GearBest has it on sale for under $200 here.