Ainol A – S11 Smart Robotic Vacuum Review: Could This Be The Smartest Robot Mop in the Market?

Ainol A - S11 ReviewOne of the biggest issues with the mopping feature of the ILIFE robots is the lack of a mechanism that prevents water from constantly dripping on the floor.

This vacuum I’ll feature here may have solved that issue and much more.

Meet the Ainol A – S11, the latest robot vacuum slash mop from GearBest.

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How is this different from the other mop and vacuum hybrids I featured here?

Well a lot, it has some unique features not found in the ILIFE or Jisiwei.

At first glance it looks similar to the Jiwiwei I3 but this robot is much different.

According to GearBest this robot has 4-in-1 functionality that is it vacuums, vacuums and sweeps, wet mops and dry mops and has UV sanitation.

Unique feature

One unique feature that this robot has over the other robot mops I tested is the water tank that’s capable of regulating the flow of water to the mop.

In the other brands that I’ve tested namely the ILIFE X5 and V7S, water will just keep on dripping until it runs out. So the result would be an overly damp floor if you leave it on for a long period of time.

Another feature that’s unique to this is the UV sterilization that the manufacturer claims to kill germs.

But you have to take this with a grain of salt has it’s just a UV light and we have no way of finding out if indeed if that light is bright enough to kill any bacteria.

Disclaimer: I got this product for free in exchange for a detailed review and I will do my best to be as objective as possible. If I see that this product does not perform up to par I will say so and not hold back.

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A quick look at the features

  • Has 4-in-1 functionality – vacuum, vacuum + sweeping, 2-in-1 wet mopping and vacuuming and 3D UV sterilization
  • The 2,200 mAH lithium ion battery will run between 1.5 and 2 hours
  • Dual side brushes (with 2 extra inside the box)
  • HEPA filters (with one extra inside the box)
  • 1,200 suction power (max)
  • 900ml dust bin capacity
  • 650ml water tank capacity
  • Low noise: produces only 65 decibels
  • Comes with a virtual wall and remote (batteries are not included)

Pros

  • Strong suction
  • Lots of flexibility in terms of cleaning set up – you can use it as a vacuum and wet mop simultaneously
  • Long run time – over 2 hours!
  • Large dirt bin and water tank – perhaps the largest in the market
  • Oversized dirt bin can hold up to 900 milliliters of dirt

Cons

  • Motorized brush is made from hair which might be too soft on carpet
  • Random cleaning pattern isn’t efficient but it is thorough
  • Based on my cleaning tests, this robot struggles cleaning large amounts of dirt – not all of it gets sucked into the bin

What to Expect From The Ainol A – S11?

Let’s start from the top of the robot where the control interface is located. Here’s how it looks like…

Top Interface

If you take a quick look, it does look like that there are a lot of buttons laid out there but those are just indicator LED lights that tell you the status of the robot.

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory but here are some that may confuse you.

Full go

When you activate this feature the robot goes through its cleaning then goes back to recharge when battery is low then goes back out again for another cleaning cycle.

Use this feature if there is a room that hasn’t been cleaned for let’s say a couple of weeks.

Bin full

When the robot’s dry dirt bin is full, the robot will stop and this light will flash in addition to a voice prompt.

Water seeping method

This will light up when water level in the water tank runs low on water.

Top View

Top view

Bottom View with the Motorized Brush

View with motorized brush

And without it

Without motorized brush

Herein lays the beauty of this product which is versatility in terms of functionality. You can use it as a vacuum, a vacuum + wet mop, a vacuum + dry mop, with or without the motorized brush – depending on the floor type and your preference.

Navigation

As I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the video I’ve shared above on how this robot navigates around a room.

Under the hood, this robot pretty much uses the same navigation system as the ILIFE and the Jisiwei and other robot vacuums the same price range which is an IR based system that uses a random navigation pattern.

But each of these brands has their own nuances when it comes to navigation. The Ainol looks mechanical when turning unlike the ILIFE that turns smoothly.

I mentioned on the video that it seems to be turning on an axis when it tries to change direction and when it detects more dirt in an area it goes into its spot cleaning mode and then increases suction to the max.

And when it detects battery is low, it goes back to the charging station.

It also has a special mode that tells the robot to go back out and clean one more time after recharging. This mode is called the “Full Go” mode.

Bare floor cleaning

In my first cleaning test (check the video above), I was actually pleased with how this robot performed on bare floor, even with the soft brush roll it was able to pick up the small amount of rolled oats and powder I scattered on the floor.

But when I upped the quantity it struggled. To see what I mean, just watch this video…

A lot of the oats and powder got wedged in-between the motorized brush and dirt bin.

dirttrapped2

And here’s how the bin looks like, it was not even half full!

dirt bin

This was a major disappointment for me. I figured it could be the motorized brush maybe it was too soft so I removed it and used the other bracket and the results were much worst…

A third cleaning test

I did a third cleaning test because Ainol as reached out to me if I could do another to see if all the dirt goes inside the bin and so I did. I must admit that I had my doubts that this robot but it did better in the third test.

Cleaning test part 3

But the other issues remain like the inefficient navigation that focuses too much on spot cleaning rather than edge cleaning which cost it a lot of time.

If you are going to use this robot, don’t expect it to clean multiple rooms well. It will be best served cleaning one room at a time.

Wet and Dry Containers

Here’s what the water tank and the dry dirt bin looks like…

Water tanks and dirt bin

The dirt bin is the largest I’ve seen by far I’ve seen when reviewing Chinese-manufactured products at a crazy 900 milliliter capacity. It easily dwarfs the ILIFE V7S that has a 600ml dirt bin.

The design is such that dirt does not easily spill when you empty it.

On the opening it has a plastic cover that opens the vacuum turns on and closes when vacuum is off. This is a simple but effective feature to keep dirt inside.

Here’s the dirt bin opened…

Open dirt bin

It has a three stage filter that combines mesh and a HEPA filter at the end to prevent microscopic allergens from coming back out.

The water tank is also large being able to hold around 650ml of water. And I noticed that it has a couple of pins for current.

Water tank upside down

This must be for the mechanism that regulates the flow of water and when the tank is empty it sends a signal to the robot that lights up an LED on the top interface.

Battery and Run Time

This robot uses a 2,400 mAh battery that GearBest says will run for around 140 mins and clean an area up to 220 square meters in a single charge.

Remote Control

Remote

This robot uses a slim black remote that looks like a TV remote with buttons laid out nicely. It’ll give you access to all functionality of this robot.

You can use the remote to schedule when this robot will clean, access the turbo cleaning mode, spot cleaning mode, edge cleaning mode or the full go mode.

It also has directional buttons that allow you to control the robot manually like an RC.

The remote also allows you to turn off the UV light which is on by default or turn off the water regulator and leg the water seep down faster.

Virtual Wall

You’ll also get a virtual wall that blocks the robot from areas that are off-limits.

Virtual wall

One unique feature of this virtual wall is that it blocks two directions instead of just one at a distance of around 4 meters in both the x and y axis.

It gives you the flexibility of using just one or both of these signals depending on the need.

But you will need to by two C-batteries separately.

Charging Base

Charging station

I like how they designed the charging base – it’s all-white with a thick black stripe that is the IR receiver that tells the robot where it is at all times.

The downside to an IR-based system is range. If you’re looking to clean a larger home, there is a likelihood that the robot may not return to home base if it is cleaning a very large area which make this more suitable for small to medium sized homes.

What comes in the box?

What's in the box?

In addition to the Ainol A – S11 robot you will get the mop bracket, two microfiber mops, 4 side brushes, charging base, plug, remote control, virtual wall, dust box, water tank and English manual.

Unfortunately the remote does not come with batteries.

Where can I buy this?

Right now the Ainol A – S11 is available in GearBest for just under $150.

Conclusion

It is hard for me to recommend this robot vacuum as your primary robotic vacuum because of the design flaw that it has with cheaper more efficient robots available like the ILIFE X5 and V5 Pro that also have the same mopping functionality as this.

This robot may struggle cleaning a huge pile of mess as you’ll see in the cleaning test. Dirt gets in between the bin and suction chamber.

But for light messes it will do okay. The way this robot navigates is also another issue. It seems to be swinging on a pendulum when it makes a turn. And while the dirt detect system looks good on paper, it decreases efficiency.

Initially I thought this was a winner but it isn’t.

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