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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 is actually a little bit taller than the A4 and A4S.

Despite the low profile design, it still can go under a lot of furnitures – 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.

All these upgrades comes at a cost – currently this product sells for just a little under $230 in GearBest (and get more savings by using the coupon code below). It is also available in Amazon if you prefer to buy there and get it faster thanks to their 2 day shipping should you sign up to Amazon Prime.

Editor’s note: Check out ILIFE’s latest coupon codes in this page for the best deals across their product line. They also offer discounted prices for accessories like side brushes, filters, etc.

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

Pros

  • Low profile design allows it to reach under a lot furniture
  • New blade design performs well
  • Long run time
  • Piano black finish looks really nice
  • Cheaper than a Roomba

Cons

  • Still uses the same random navigation as the A4 and A4S

What to expect from the A6?

The video below is a preview of what you’ll get out of the box if you buy this from GearBest.

This product is also available in Amazon at the same price but you can get a deal from GearBest just scroll down to the “Price” section to see the latest coupon codes.

I got this as a sample to test so please watch the entire video as I show you the features, contents inside the box, noise level and performance test.

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.

It retains the same architecture as the A4/A4S, meaning the bin loads from the back. But the placement of the release lever is different.

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.

A little taller than the A4/A4S

When this robot first came out, ILIFE said that this robot was the shortest in the market at around 2.8 inches tall.

But when I got on this, it is different. Here’s a photo I took…

This is actually a little bit taller than A4. GearBest says that this is 8cm tall which translates to 3.15 inches.

The A6 is almost half-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.

Here’s a comparison between the A4 and the A6 brush.

In terms of size, the A4 has a slightly wider coverage but the A4 has the advantage of being easier to maintain when hair wrap up.

If you have lots of pets at home it will make more sense to get the A6 over the A4 because of this brush design.

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”. You will not find this in the A4 or 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.

What comes in the box?

Out of the box, you’ll get…

  • ILIFE A6 robot
  • Charging base and plug
  • English manual
  • 2 extra side brushes
  • Extra rubber brush
  • Virtual wall
  • Extra HEPA filter
  • Remote

The remote and virtual wall also comes with batteries. And this product is auto-volt meaning it will work in 110 or 240 volt outlets.

Bare Floor Performance

The A4 was able to hold it’s own even against a more powerful robot like the Xiaomi.

And with all the improvements in the A6, I think it will perform better.

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.

Product Specifications

Battery typeLithium ion
Charger typeCharging dock
Charge timeN/A
Dirt capacity (dry)0.3 liters
Run Time 160 mins.
Net weight (with battery)5.62 pounds
Shipping weight10.99 pounds
Diameter12.01 inches
Height3.15 inches
Multi Room
Yes
Self docking
Yes
Remote control
Yes
HEPA filtration
Yes
Cliff detection
Yes
Self adjusting
Yes
Side brush
Yes
Full bin indicator
No
Stair Cleaning
No
Cleaning sessions per week 7
Extra Filter1
Containment None
Brush cleaning tools1
Accessories includedCharging base

A/C adapter

Remote (AAA-batteries included)

1 extra HEPA filter

1 brush cleaning tool

2 extra side brushes
Voltageauto volt
Manufactured inChina
Warranty1 year (learn more)

Price

The A6 is available in Amazon for around $250. But a better deal could be found at GearBest for a little under $230 and if you use any of the coupon codes below you’ll get more savings!

You’ll get it a lot faster when you buy it from Amazon but if you’re willing to wait I’d go with the GearBest offer.

To Wrap It Up

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 $250 which is a lot of value!

The Roomba 650 that costs almost $40 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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