ILIFE A4S Review: Improved Agitation and Longer Run Time
Just a few days ago I published a review about the ILIFE A6 – their latest in the A-series robotic vacuums.
Now we’re going to have a look at the A4S.
First let’s quickly dive into the differences between these 3 variants then focus solely on the A4S.
There are three major upgrades found in the two newer models, these are motor, algorithm and brush roll.
The A4S and A6 come with the 2nd generation motor that improves efficiency. The beater bar in the A6 does not have any bristles. This translates to easier maintenance.
Take note that all ILIFE robots come with brushless motor that’s more efficient than a brushed motor.
Having a newer motor does not translate to more power unfortunately. Both these robots will produce the same power output as the A4 which is 1,000Pa.
The bigger upgrade in my opinion would be the motorized brush. A4S comes with a stiffer brush that ILIFE says will work better on hair and dust.
Bearings also have upgraded to provide better efficiency and agitation. This improves efficiency on carpet.
To help guide you through this review I’ve prepared a table of contents section…
- Pros and Cons
- What to expect from the upgraded A4?
- Bare Floor Cleaning
- Carpet Cleaning
- What comes in the box?
- Product Specification
- Wrapping It Up
- 5x more suction compared to the A4 helps it perform better on carpet
- 3 stage cleaning system
- Max cleaning mode enables max suction for carpet
- 120 to 140 minute run time
- 2nd gen algorithm makes this robot smarter and more efficient
- Upgraded tangle-free sensors
- Mini-room mode automatically shortens the time robot will run to preserve battery and lengthen the lifespan
- Scheduled cleaning is available once a day, seven days a week
- HEPA filtration
- 1 year warranty
- Improved motor improves efficiency and run time by 30 mins
- Mini-Room feature shortens run time to clean a smaller room
- Even with all the upgrades it’s still one of the cheapest robots available
- Low profile design will fit under most furniture
- Long run time
- HEPA filtration
- Still uses a random algorithm that makes it inefficient
- Lacks power so it can’t deep clean carpet
In terms of looks this robot aesthetics this robot looks exactly like the A4. It uses the same outer shell, has the same color and bin.
From the outside looking in, it looks exactly like the A4. Both use the same color scheme and have the same layout underneath.
Nearly all parts inside the A4 have improved in the A4S.
List of upgrades include:
- Better navigation
- The use of a brushless DC motor
- Larger Li-Ion battery
- Upgraded bearings for the beater bar
- Stiffer bristles for the motorized brush
These upgrades are all aimed to improve efficiency of this robot and make it last longer.
The brushless DC motor is a huge upgrade because these are known to be more efficient that older brushed motors.
Typically these are more expensive because of the more complex manufacturing process which is reflected of the price in Amazon. But GearBest somehow has managed to keep their prices down compared to the original A4.
ILIFE has added a feature that small homeowners like me will appreciate. They call this the Mini-Room technology.
Now to understand how this technology works, you’d have to first understand how the robot works without this feature.
When you press the clean button it engages the default cleaning mode of the robot. In simple terms, the robot cycles through its cleaning pattern until it detects that battery is at 20% or below. After that happens it automatically shuts off the motor in order to find home base.
The problem arises when cleaning a small room – let’s say 100 square feet. It will run for more than two hours before docks. While I love the thoroughness, it isn’t practical to run the robot for that long in a small area.
Eventually battery degrades at an accelerated level and you’ll have to replace it sooner than later.
The Mini-Room technology alleviates this issue somewhat by reducing the amount of time the robot cleans.
The A4S retains the same 2,600 mAh Li-ion battery that offers fade-free power that will run between 120 and 140 mins.
Why the longer run time? It’s because of the brushless DC motor that runs with efficiently compared to a brushed motor.
Underneath the front caster wheels is an infrared sensor that instructs the robot to back up just in case it gets stuck on something.
I haven’t tested this robot but I’m guess that since it has virtually the same power as the A4, performance will be roughly the same.
The video above shows gives you an idea how this robot will navigate on carpet, how it transitions on different surfaces and the amount of dirt it was able to pick up
It really isn’t a cleaning test per se but until I have the actual robot I wouldn’t be able to test it.
Out of the box, you’ll get…
- A4S robot
- 1 extra HEPA filter
- Charging base
- Remote plus 2 AAA batteries
- Brush cleaning tool
- 2 extra side brushes
- English user manual
Comparing the specs of the A4, A4S and A6…
|Anti drop off & Collision|
|Gen 2 Motor|
12.2 x 2.99
12.2 x 2.99
12.2 x 2.8
110 - 120 mins
120 - 140 mins
140 - 160 mins
There are only a few places to buy this robot – Amazon and GearBest. The most expensive would be in Amazon where it will cost over $200.
GearBest offers this for less than $170 and you can get more savings by using the promo code “ILIFEA4S”.
The A4S offers some neat upgrades here. My favorite would be the Mini-Room technology that cuts down the time this robot will run in a small room.
This feature lengthens the life of the batteries because you don’t have to drain it as often.
A brushless DC motor adds almost 30 minutes to the run time. This allows it to clean larger homes without having to dock as often. Again efficiency is the name of the game here.
Improvements made isn’t dramatic, most of it are geared towards efficiency and run time.