ILIFE probably has the most variants of the robot vacuum brands in the market.
This company started in the mid-2010s and has more than 20 options spanning different price brackets.
The ILIFE A11 is one of the latest and their second with LIDAR after the A10 (which I also reviewed).
But this variant is a much better option with better navigation and mopping than the previous option.
This robot reminds me of another brand, the Viomi V3, which uses the same design elements and navigation.
How good is the ILIFE A11 robot vacuum? I’ve put it through a grueling series of tests the past week to find out and learn more in this review.
Better Than The Older ILIFE A10?
ILIFE A11 Review
ILIFE just released its second LIDAR robot vacuum, the A11, and it’s a vast improvement from the A10. This latest option addresses the deficiencies of the previous model, like the lack of a multi-pass run and the overall navigational improvements. It has the same design elements as the Viomi V3, including the back-and-forth mopping motion, making it more efficient for this task. Do these enhancements make the A11 a better option than the more popular brands? Most of the results point to it being a better version than the A10.
- Better overall product than ILIFE’s previous model – the A10
- Efficient navigation with a two-pass run
- Above-average cleaning performance on hard floors
- Easy to empty dustbin
- A large mopping cloth helps it mop larger areas better
- The ILIFE app can save multiple map levels
- Sub-par surface and deep cleaning performance on carpets (with the combo brush)
- No invisible wall option
- It lacks an auto-empty feature
- 1 Better Than The Older ILIFE A10?
- 2 Introduction to the ILIFE A11
- 3 App features
- 4 How does the ILIFE A11 navigate?
- 5 How much power does the ILIFE A11 have?
- 6 Cleaning performance
- 7 Mopping result
- 8 How noisy is the ILIFE A11?
- 9 How long will the ILIFE A11 run?
- 10 Maintenance
- 11 Product Specifications
- 12 Where can I buy the ILIFE A11?
- 13 Is the ILIFE A11 worth it?
- 14 The Verdict: Excellent Low to Mid-Price Smart Robot Vacuum Option
Introduction to the ILIFE A11
ILIFE has been revamping its products. The previous ILIFE product I reviewed, the A10, is their first with a LIDAR sensor.
This variant improves upon the A10’s deficiencies, particularly navigation.
The ILIFE A11 has a similar design to another brand – the Viomi V3 with the rear-mounted LIDAR and the extra dustbin/water tank hybrid.
It also has the Y-pattern mopping pattern, which is excellent for removing stubborn stains on surfaces like tile – a massive improvement over the A10’s subpar mopping performance.
First, we’ll look at how the A11 features. One feature ILIFE hasn’t adapted is the self-emptying feature more brands have integrated into their products.
Only time will tell if ILIFE goes in the same direction, but we’ll focus on this robot.
The ILIFE A11’s interface is massively different from the A10. First, the LIDAR sensor is moved from the center to the rear.
There are two buttons upfront – the default cleaning cycle and dock button.
Folks will need to download the ILIFE app to unlock all the features.
And while the A11 comes with a remote, I’d prefer to use the app because of the many options.
The A11 utilizes a single side brush and one primary brush, a standard design for most robot vacuums.
It slightly deviates from the A10’s dual side brush design, but I think the single side brush design is better because less debris is scattered.
One flaw with the A11 design is the brush roll is fixed. The lack of upward or downward movement limits its vacuuming potential (at least with the combo brush).
This deficiency is seen in the cleaning experiments where it didn’t do well on carpets (again, with the combo brush – more details below).
However, it’s excellent on hard floors, factoring in its Y-pattern mopping motion (more later).
Two brush rolls
The A11 comes with two brushes – a standard combo brush and an all-rubber brush.
There isn’t much variance in the cleaning performance of these brushes, at least on hard floors, but the all-rubber brush did much better in the deep cleaning tests (73.85% vs. 38.38%).
Dustbin and hybrid container
Aside from having two brush rolls, the A11 also comes with two containers.
The first (top) is a standard dustbin container (450ml) with the front door as the default option for vacuum-only tasks.
The second container is a hybrid combining a water tank with space for dry debris.
Combining the two reduces the capacity for dry dirt (300ml) to make room for the water tank (200ml).
Next, we’ll look at the A11’s mopping pad, and its placement behind the primary brush roll means this robot can vacuum and mop simultaneously.
I like the large pad because it increases the coverage and mopping performance.
Again, the A11 has a mopping mode that moves back and forth (much like a mop).
The pad doesn’t have an agitation mechanism, so it relies on this movement to clean stains.
Single side brush
The A11 uses a single side brush with bristled tips.
I’m not a fan of this design because these wear out faster than an all-rubber side brush, but it’s one way to keep production costs down (the A11 is at the lower price bracket).
It clips in place, so there’s no need to use a screwdriver, making it easier to detach.
The ILIFE A11 is compatible with the ILIFE app. Consumers can scan the QR code underneath the robot or search “ILIFE robot vacuum app” on Google Play or the app store.
Overall, the ILIFE A11 app has excellent features given its low price. It has most of the features consumers will need from a robot vacuum.
It has a live map, can save multiple maps, and offers in-app containment, a must-have inside (nearly) all homes.
One grip I have is that you cannot use some features simultaneously.
An example is the “scrubbing mode.”
It’s not possible to use this feature with the area cleaning, something I do in the mopping tests to save time because the robot only focuses on a fixed area.
I had to use the virtual wall feature to block the robot from going past the camera for recording purposes.
You could see the different modes (left screenshot). Several include the edge, scrubbing, spot cleaning, area, twice, etc.
As I’ve said, consumers can’t use specific features simultaneously like spot clean and scrubbing.
But it’s possible to use “twice” and “scrubbing,” which is a huge plus since it improves mopping performance two-fold with the two-pass run.
1. Live map
The A11 has the live map feature, where consumers can see (in real-time) the cleaning run and its status through the lines.
One advantage of LIDAR (or laser sensor) is that it provides a more accurate map layout than a camera-based robot.
It (also) shows the cleaning area, battery status, and time elapsed.
2. Map saving
Another plus for the ILIFE A11 app is it can save more than one map level.
So far, I’ve saved four levels, which is more than enough inside my three-story home.
Once the map is created, consumers can add partitions and name areas.
After creating partitions, consumers can proceed to name these areas – custom room naming is available!
3. Selective room cleaning
The next feature we’ll look at is selective room cleaning, where consumers can select a specific area (or room) they want to be vacuumed, mopped or both.
This feature complements the previous aspect (room partitions) and helps folks more options on deploying the robot inside their home.
4. Area cleaning
Area cleaning is a variation of selective room cleaning, but folks can choose an area instead of a specific room.
I like this feature better than the spot cleaning feature because it provides better control.
Unfortunately, consumers can’t use this with the scrubbing feature simultaneously.
5. Spot cleaning
Spot cleaning is another option for cleaning a smaller area where folks can select a small square area on the map to clean.
This feature is similar to area cleaning but more limited because the box size is fixed.
You can use this option with the two-pass run, but not the scrubbing run.
6. Edge cleaning
The next cleaning mode is edge cleaning, where the robot focuses on vacuuming (or mopping) the edges.
Again, this feature is usable with the two-pass run (or twice).
The scrubbing mode tells the robot to move back and forth Y-pattern. It’s best utilized for mopping sealed surfaces like tile.
I used this during the mopping tests, and it was (pretty) decent at cleaning food-based stains.
You’ll notice the zigzag lines (on the map) in the screenshot. That’s a snapshot of how the robot will move using this setting.
Yes, containment is available in the ILIFE app – they call it a “virtual wall.”
But technically, it’s not a virtual wall since it blocks a fixed (square or rectangular) area, so it functions like a no-go zone.
There’s no way of drawing diagonal lines, which is the only drawback of not having an “invisible wall” type feature.
The records tab shows the list of the previous cleaning cycles. It’s similar to the cleaning history function of other brands.
But ILIFE’s version is more organized as folks can view the cleaning cycles per floor level.
Consumers will see the time, area size, and duration, plus the corresponding map for each run.
Lastly is the scheduling feature. ILIFE provides several options in this tab.
Consumers can choose the map, cleaning (and mopping) mode, the number of passes (or twice), days, and whether to repeat (or not).
It’s beneficial to automate the process, but unfortunately, the A11 doesn’t have a self-emptying feature, so consumers will (still) have to empty the dustbin manually.
The most significant improvement in the A11 is its navigation.
It retains the LIDAR navigation but with a better algorithm.
While the ILIFE A10 only had a single-pass run, the A11 can go around twice. Plus, it incorporates edge cleaning – something most LIDAR robots have.
These refinements help the A11 clean better than the A10 and make it a better robot vacuum.
Efficiency test results
I tested the A11’s efficiency in my small room by scattering quaker oats to see how much it picks up after a two-pass run.
Here’s the result after the two-pass run.
You could see a faint line in the middle, which was the missed spot, but aside from that, it picked up nearly every crumb.
It took a little over 19 minutes to complete the run, which is one of the best scores from smart robot vacuums.
How much power does the ILIFE A11 have?
Another (slight) upgrade over the A10 is airflow, which is my preferred metric because there’s a correlation between high airflow and cleaning performance.
Here are the results for the A11.
- Eco: 9.33 CFM
- Standard: 13.10 CFM
- Turbo: 15.33 CFM
The 15.33 CFM is a 7% bump over the A10’s 14.2 CFM, not significant, but it had higher overall cleaning test scores because of the algorithm upgrade.
Next, we’ll look at how the ILIFE A11 did on various debris types: quaker oats, coffee grounds, pet litter, sand, and quinoa.
- Overall: 85.87%
- Hard floor: 98.9%
- Sand on hard floor: 98.18%
- Carpet: 90.27%
- Deep cleaning: 56.16%
Some notes on the results above.
I did most of the experiments with the combo brush, negatively affecting the deep cleaning test.
The A11 was excellent on hard floors, thanks to the slight airflow bump and navigation improvements.
The all-rubber brush improved the A11’s pick-up in the deep cleaning test (73.85% vs. 38.45%). And it’s one reason the averages dropped to 56.15%.
Hard floor results
- Quaker oats: 99.6%
- Coffee: 99.2%
- Quinoa: 98.2%
- Pet litter: 98.6%
Sand on hard floor
One metric I use to determine a robot vacuum’s performance on hard floors is sand, and I did several experiments.
The first is with the combo brush, which picked up an average of 97.86%.
It was better with the all-rubber brush, with a 98.5% average after two tests.
These experiments prove that the all-rubber brush is a better option than the combo brush on hard floors.
One concern I have for round-framed robots is their limitations in cleaning the edges, but the ILIFE A11 did well in. this category.
It got most of the debris, and I scattered a lot. However, the low airflow affected its pick-up on the small quarter-inch crevice.
Still, this is an excellent result for a round-framed robot vacuum with a single side brush.
Another critical metric for robot vacuums is hair tangles. Again, I tested both the combo and all-rubber brush.
Overall, the all-rubber brush did better, picking up (much) more in the five-inch experiment.
- 5-inch strands: 94%
- 7-inch strands: 25%
It got this much hair inside the dustbin.
And this much wrapped on the brush.
Unfortunately, it didn’t do well with seven-inch hair and this much wrapped on it.
One plus with the all-rubber brush is it’s easier to clean since there are no bristles that get in the way.
Next, we’ll look at the results with the combo brush.
- 5-inch strands: 58%
- 7-inch strands: 31%
It was worse with five-inch strands, only picking up 58%, and slightly better at longer seven-inch hair, getting 31%.
The combo brush struggled with short strands (see photo below), as it only picked up 58%.
More hair clearly wrapped on this brush compared to the all-rubber roller.
However, it was slightly better than the all-rubber brush on seven-inch hair. (31% vs. 25%).
Despite the higher pick-up, a lot of hair is still wrapped on the roller, so I wouldn’t recommend the A11 for cleaning long hair.
One apprehension before testing the ILIFE A11 is how it’d perform on carpets because the Viomi V3 did poorly on this surface.
I tested the A11 on the same debris on low and mid-pile variations and listed the results below.
- Quaker oats: 91.4%
- Coffee: 82.6%
- Quinoa: 97.6%
- Pet litter: 95.6%
The A11 is surprisingly good on low pile carpet but struggles most with coffee grounds.
It picked up a high percentage with quinoa and pet litter, though not as good as high-end options like Roborock.
I initially thought the fixed brush was a significant factor in why it didn’t do well, but another possibility is the combo brush (more details below).
- Quaker oats: 90.2%
- Coffee: 83.8%
- Quinoa: 93.8%
- Pet litter: 87.2%
However, it wasn’t as good on mid-pile carpet. It picked up a lower percentage overall, and it’s not something I’d recommend to clean thicker pile rugs or carpets thoroughly.
Deep cleaning result
Another vital test on this surface is the deep cleaning test to check how much of the 100 grams of sand it picks up (on mid-pile carpet).
Again, I did experiments with the combo brush and the all-rubber brush.
The ILIFE A11 did poorly using the combo brush, only picking up an average of 38.45%, but it was much better with the all-rubber brush, picking up 73.85%.
The latter was a massive surprise for me and shows that brush roll design is another critical aspect of robot vacuum selection.
Next, we’ll look at the A11’s mopping capabilities, where I tested it on red wine and grape juice stains.
It has a scrubbing run where the robot goes in a back and forth scrubbing motion in a Y-pattern.
This movement is similar to other brands such as the iRobot Braava and Viomi V-series.
The back and forth motion help disintegrate and dislodge stains compared to a robot vacuum that merely drags a wet pad on the surface.
So how did the A11 did with these stains?
Here are some before and after photos.
First, we’ll look at red wine stains.
It didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. You couldn’t see it in the photo above, but the A11 didn’t clear the stains.
There’s faint residue and it took three passes to get to this result.
The back-and-forth motion wasn’t enough to disintegrate these blemishes.
Next, we’ll look at how it did on grape juice stains.
Grape juice stains are notoriously tough for any robot vacuum without an active agitation system.
The A11 was decent, but not great with grape juice stains. You could see fragments of it left after the two-pass mopping run.
Again, even with the back-and-forth motion, it wasn’t enough agitation to remove the stains.
Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend any robot vacuum and mop hybrid to clean stick stains because of the residue afterward.
How noisy is the ILIFE A11?
I used a sound meter to check the noise levels of the ILIFE A11 in its three power settings, and here are the results.
- Eco: 60.1 dB
- Standard: 63.1 dB
- Turbo: 66.8 dB
It ranged between 60 and 66 decibels, which isn’t loud compared to other high airflow robot vacuums like Roomba, Ecovacs, and Yeedi, especially in the max setting.
Plus, I tried the A11 in its lowest setting, and it picked up a good chunk of dust.
It even picked up this small lego plate.
These prove that the A11 has enough suction in the eco setting, so consumers can use it without worrying about noise levels.
How long will the ILIFE A11 run?
The ILIFE A11 utilizes a 4900 mAh lithium in battery with a claimed run time of 150 minutes. I
t has recharge and resume, which helps it clean larger homes with minimal intervention.
Again, this variant doesn’t have a self-emptying feature, limiting its autonomy – you’ll need to empty the dustbin manually.
Al robot vacuums need a level of maintenance to function efficiently and not break down.
The ILIFE A11 is no different, and I’ll enumerate what components need cleaning or replacing and the recommended intervals.
- Primary brush roll: It’s the most abused component of a robot vacuum as hair and dust accumulate over time. Clean this part once a week and remove hair wrapping around the axles to prevent unnecessary friction and wear.
- Side brush: Another area where hair builds up. Remove the side brush and clear any hair that wraps on the base.
- Dustbin: Empty the dust container after every run to prevent dust mites from breeding.
- Filter: Dust and other contaminants will accumulate on the folds. One way to dislodge these is by tapping the filter on an old newspaper or trash bin.
- Drop sensors: Use a clean microfiber towel or cotton buds to clean the drop sensors underneath the robot and prevent an error code from firing (disabling the robot).
- Wheels: Wipe the wheels (side and caster) to remove any dust accumulation.
|Battery||4900 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 150 mins.|
|Dustin/Water Tank Capacity||200ml (water tank)
300 ml (dustbin)
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||450 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Where can I buy the ILIFE A11?
This robot vacuum is available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing information.
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through the link above, but at no extra cost, so it’s a win-win for us!
Is the ILIFE A11 worth it?
ILIFE made excellent strides in improving their previous product (the A10) with the A11 enhancements.
This variant address the navigation issues plaguing the A10 by improving the algorithm and adding a second pass.
It provides excellent value for money, and the current pricing makes it a highly compelling option if you don’t mind its limitations on carpet (at least with the combo brush).
4 Reasons to purchase the ILIFE A11
- Reasonable price: The A11 hovers around the low to midrange (with the discount) while offering some high-end features.
- Surprisingly good deep cleaning performance: This variant picked up an average of 73.85% in the deep cleaning test using the combo brush – an excellent score for a robot in this price range.
- Efficient navigation: ILIFE’s Advanced LiDAR 2.0 algorithm is a massive upgrade over the A10’s more primitive navigation that lacked thoroughness and an edge cleaning run.
- Scrubbing mode: The A11 has a scrubbing mode to help remove stains more efficiently.
The Verdict: Excellent Low to Mid-Price Smart Robot Vacuum Option
I wasn’t expecting much from the ILIFE A11 when I got it, but the test results, especially on carpet were excellent.
It’s a vast improvement over the earlier A10 model that lacked thoroughness and didn’t clean carpets well.
The A11 navigation is much better and is a significant reason why the A11 was better in most of the cleaning tests.
Another improvement is the scrubbing motion, which makes mopping hard surfaces like tiles more efficient.
Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the ILIFE A11 for folks looking for a reasonably priced intelligent robot vacuum.
Better Than The ILIFE A10?
Navigation - 96%
Surface Cleaning - 95.78%
Deep Cleaning - 56.16%
Quality - 94%
Design - 95%
Value - 95%
The ILIFE A11 checks most of the boxes for a smart robot vacuum. It has smart navigation with a two-pass run and decent enough agitation to pick up debris on hard floors and carpet. ILIFE did an excellent job at improving on the deficiencies of their previous product, the A10 which I didn’t recommend. The A11 is an excellent option inside small to medium-sized homes with its smart navigation, above-average cleaning performance, mopping, and efficiency.