ILIFE A6 Review: More Power and Better Agitation

ILIFE has come a long way since unveiling their first robotic vacuum the V1 years back.

Each variant is a stark improvement over the previous generation. The A6 is the latest in the A-series product line that includes the A4 and A4S.

This sleek, piano black robot is a thing of beauty.

It also is shorter than the current A4 – at only 2.8 inches that makes it shortest robot available right now.

The low profile design allows it to go under a lot of furniture – something a Dyson can only dream about.

One of the biggest improvements found in the A6 is the motorized brush that no longer has bristles.

ILIFE calls this the Bladeaway spiral blade rubber brush that has replaced a traditional bristle with rows of rubber blades.

A6 also has an upgraded “Gen 2” motor that generates 10 times more air power on carpets and rugs. Strangely ILIFE rates this at 1,000 Pa – exactly the same as the A4.

Let’s a look at the features of the latest A-series robotic vacuum:

  • The new Gen 2 Cyclone Power 3-stage system that has better agitation and suction for better cleaning performance
  • Bladeaway spiral blade rubber brush does not have bristles which means less maintenance
  • New battery enhances run time up to 160 minutes
  • Comes with an advanced dual mode virtual wall that blocks areas you don’t want the robot to go to
  • Only 2.8 inches tall – perhaps the shortest robot cleaner right now
  • Large RoadRover wheels allows this machine to clear obstacles
  • Scheduling is available once per day / seven days a week
  • Larger dirt box compared to the A4
  • Max mode cleaning is available for carpet cleaning

What to expect from the A6?

The video below is a previous of what you’ll get out of the box if purchased from Amazon. It does not necessarily show any cleaning test. It’s mostly an unboxing video and a rundown of features so enjoy…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ1Fqr1MvYI

ILIFE was pretty generous in terms of what comes in the box. Not only do you get two extra side brushes, batteries for remote and virtual wall, it also comes with an extra Bladeaway spiral blade.

You won’t get this much extra consumables when from a Neato or Roomba. And still this is cheaper compared to both.

Top View

The top view screams sophistication thanks to the piano black finish and gray accents.

Layout is pretty simple – it has a single button that engages the default cleaning mode.

Bottom View

Underneath, you’ll notice is has a similar layout as the A4 and A4S. It has two side brushes at the sides, beater bar in the middle and dirt bin at the bottom.

How is this different from the A4?

Even if this robot looks drastically different from the original A4 with its glossy piano black finish, it still retained a lot of the features.

It still has twin side brushes that flank the motorized brush in the middle. And it retains the same size – at least in diameter.

Shorter

ILIFE was able to shave off 0.19 inches from an already short A4. This results in an absolutely sleek robot that will go under a lot of furniture like cabinets, sofas and beds.

The A6 is almost an inch shorter than the Roomba and Neato. Compare it to the Dyson 360 Eye and this machine is a dwarf!

New Motorized Brush

Perhaps the biggest upgrade in my opinion would be the bristle-less beater bar that requires less upkeep. ILIFE calls this the Bladeaway spiral blade that uses several rows of rubber “blades” for agitation.

From the reviews I’ve read, this new design is promising and does well even on carpet.

Improved Run Time

The original A4 would run for about 120 mins before needing to dock and recharge. But thanks to a software upgrade and more efficient motor ILIFE was able to extend run time by 40 mins max.

So this robot will be able to run for more than two and a half hours before needing a recharge.

Virtual Wall

A virtual wall for those who aren’t familiar is a device that emits a signal to block the path of the robot from going to areas you don’t want it to.

In essence that signal acts as a “virtual wall”. This is something that’s not included with the A4 and the A4S. This is certainly better than getting a box or something large to physically block the robot from going to the pet area inside the kitchen.

It has a reach of about 10 feet.

In my opinion this is a better solution than what the Neato and Xiaomi offers which is a magnetic tape. It’s certainly more cost efficient.

Bare Floor Performance

The original A4 was a pretty good performer on bare floor and held its own even against something more powerful like a Xiaomi.

And with all the improvements made in the A6 I would not be surprised if performed better compared to the A4.

Rugs/Carpet

First I have to get this out of the way. If your home has carpet, make sure to have an upright vacuum on hand. You cannot rely on a robot vacuum to deep clean carpet because it cannot.

It will not match an upright in terms of power and agitation. Expecting such wouldn’t be fair and you’d be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Using these machines everyday will decrease the need for you to bring out the upright because it does the work for you.

You’ll still need to deep clean carpet on occasion but the need will decrease.

I must warn you that this robot will not go over anything black. So if you have rugs that have black patterns or such don’t expect this go clean those parts.

Price

Right now the only place you can buy the A6 would be in Amazon where it costs a shade under $280.

Conclusion

ILIFE has done it again by coming up with a relatively cheap robot that performs. When you compare this even to the more Roomba 650, you’ll get more value-wise.

It comes with a remote, two extra side brushes, extra HEPA filter, virtual wall and even an extra beater bar! All these for under $280 which is a lot of value!

The Roomba 650 that costs almost $100 more does not even have a remote and it’s almost an inch taller.

Being taller means it won’t fit in areas the A6 can. When you compare cleaning performance the difference really is negligible.

It will not reflect on the price difference.

The A6 does not have the advanced SLAM-based navigation of a BotVac Connected or a Roomba 960 but it only costs a fraction of those two robots.

You can buy 3 or 4 of these for a price of one of those robots and still have extra change to spare.

This robot is a must have for people looking for a hands-free tool to keep their homes clean without breaking the budget.

 

Garrick Dee
 

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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