ILIFE A4S Review: Improved Agitation and Longer Run Time
Last updated on September 8th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
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 3 major upgrades that include improved charging run time, brush and motor.
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.
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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…
- 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
All these upgrades aim to improve run time, agitation and service life of the robot.
Using a brushless DC motor improves will extend the lifespan of the robot because it’s more efficient in terms.
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 has the same remote as the A4 with directional buttons and a max button to activate max suction. You could actually use the remote on different on all ILIFE robots with the except of the V1 which does not have one.
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.
The front caster wheel has an sensor that tells the robot to back up when it detects no movement. So this means that if the robot climbs over a door stopper and finds itself stuck, it will try to back up.
I’ve recorded a video to show you the similarities and differences of the A4 and A4S.
Most of it is the non-visible stuff – brush, battery, bearings and software. According to GearBest, the A4S will run longer and upgraded brush. The new brush has a bigger bearing and supposedly easier to clean.
In terms of stiffness, both brushes are similar. I don’t see much of a difference to be frank with you.
And if you watched the whole video up to the cleaning test, the A4 did better in terms of cleaning but it was much less efficient taking 10 minutes more to clean the room.
To be fair with the A4S, I did add a bit more powder so that could be a factor why it picked up 3 grams less.
I scattered 50 grams of oats, powder, hair and dust on our linoleum floor to test out how this robot will do.
This is the result after 31 minutes…
It was able to pick up 44 out of the 50 grams scattered on the floor. A bit underwhelming because I expected more but it’s just the first test.
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 3.15
110 - 120 mins
120 - 140 mins
140 - 160 mins
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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 better efficiency and longer run time.