Last updated on December 11th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
The A7 is one of ILIFE’s latest robotic vacuums in their A-series line.
I don’t know why it took ILIFE this long to add this but I’m sure that they did.
I’m talking about WiFi connectivity that allows remote access to this robot.
This actually makes a lot of sense because a lot of consumers now in developing and developing countries have smartphones.
And a lot more will have access to one in the coming years so adding this feature is a must.
In this review, we’ll be having a close look at the ILIFE A7, its features, cleaning performance and if it is worth the $300 price tag.
A quick look at the features…
- Two suction modes – normal and max (500Pa and 1,000Pa)
- Comes with two types of brushes – a double V brush (rubberized minus the bristles) and the standard bristle brush
- Twin side brushes help this clean better at edges and corners
- Multiple cleaning modes gives you more options
- 600ml dust bin capacity
- WiFi connectivity and smartphone app
- Also comes with a remove if you prefer not to use your smartphone
- 2,600 mAh lithium ion battery that will run for up to 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours)
- Redesigned interface with an LED screen on the robot
- Only 2.99 inches tall
- Long run time
- WiFi connectivity allows access to this robot even if you’re not physically present
- Large bin capacity means less trips to the trash bin
- Low profile design allows this to clean under a lot of furniture
- Has HEPA filtration
- More expensive than the ILIFE A6
- Short warranty
What to expect from the ILIFE A7?
One of my biggest gripes with ILIFE is the lack of top-of-the-line features like WiFi and Alexa compatibility.
And this is the future of our world right now. If you go to homes in the United States, a lot of them have Alexa.
The A7 is the first ILIFE robot that comes with WiFi connectivity – something which I thought would be present in the A8.
But this robot is closer in terms of features to the A6 than the A8 in terms of features which is a good thing because the A8 was too efficient in my opinion missing a lot of spots.
Before I continue, please watch this video to see what’s inside the box, features and performance test.
The A7 is part of the second generation A-series robots that started from the A6.
Out of the box, you’ll get two beater bars – one standard bristled brush and another rubberized brush minus the bristles.
The first brush works best on low pile rug and carpet while the second brush works great on bare floor.
Another improvement made by ILIFE in the A7 would be the top interface. This variant has a total of 5 buttons and an LED screen on top of it. The LED screen shows you several things – battery status, scheduling, cleaning mode, error code and when to cleaning the brush or empty the bin.
It comes in a black finish with silver marble-like flakes that screams elegance and modernity.
At the bottom, you’ll see a lever for the dirt bin.
Flip the robot over and you’ll see a layout similar to the ILIFE A7 – two side brushes and rubber wheels flanking a motorized brush at the middle.
The difference with the A7 is that you don’t need screws to hold the side brushes in place. It just clips in place making it easier to remove when hair wraps around it.
Also absent is the small plastic wheel behind the bin.
Despite having WiFi and a smartphone app, ILIFE decided to include a remote in the A7. This gives you another option just in case you don’t want to use the smartphone for whatever reason.
The remote design is pretty standard across all second generation ILIFE A-series robots.
You’ll notice that it does not have any screen anymore because the robot itself has a screen for scheduling purposes.
If you ask me personally, I’d prefer using the smartphone app because scheduling is easier. And you can schedule multiple times per day at a specific time you want.
The app itself is pretty responsive and easy to use. Installing it is simple. All you need is a router that will act as a bridge to the robot and smartphone.
But before attempting to connect make sure to activate WiFi on the robot by pressing the Spot Cleaning button for a few seconds.
Once the WiFi on the robot is on, the app will detect this and facilitate connectivity. After the app and robot connect, just enter the WiFi username and password.
Here are some screenshots of the app.
Interface is pretty simple and there’s little to no lag. Take note that my phone is a few years old and does not have the fastest processor so if it doesn’t experience any lag, it’ll be a better experience on newer phones.
On the lower right portion of the screen you’ll see the battery status. On top of the battery status icon is the scheduling feature where you can set how often the robot will clean your home.
One neat feature would be the ability to schedule the robot at different times each day or the same time at a specific day of the week. Suppose you want the robot to clean your home at 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, that is possible with this app.
At the very bottom are the three main options – return to home base, default cleaning mode and spot cleaning.
The A7 has a slightly larger compared to the A6. It has a total capacity of around 0.6 liters of dry dirt while the A6 only has 0.4. So that’s around a 50% increase in capacity.
It has the same triple layer filtration that includes a mesh, foam and HEPA filter. The first two layers are washable but the HEPA filter is not.
One way to extend the life of the HEPA filter is to use a handheld vacuum with a brush like a Dyson V7 Trigger to clean it.
This will extend the life of the filter to up to one year.
This robot has two cleaning modes – default, spot and path mode.
The default mode of the A7 is similar to the navigation of the A6, the only difference is the A7 goes cleaning the edges first before going to the middle.
In spot cleaning mode, the A7 simple goes spiral in an area. This option is great if you want to clean one specific area in a room.
Path mode is somewhat similar to the one found in the ILIFE V8S Pro. In this mode, the robot goes in a predictable back and forth cleaning pattern. You’ll notice that the robot will first clean the edges up to a certain point then clean the middle portion of the room.
To give you an idea how this robot fared against a huge pile of dirt (40 grams worth of “real dirt”) here are a few before and after photos.
Now the dirt you see on the photos isn’t just rolled oats and powder, it’s dirt I collected from around the house. It’s a combination of dust, some oats, hair and all sorts of debris.
It’s not something that you’d normally clean on a daily basis. But I did this to test how the robot performs in extreme conditions.
Here’s the result after close to an hour of cleaning in default mode.
It picked up 33 out of the 40 grams of dirt which is disappointing considering that the ILIFE V8S Pro did a much better job in a previous test.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy this at GearBest for a little under $300. Buying this in Amazon is a lot cheaper – you can get this for a little less than $230. One advantage buying in Amazon would be the 2-day free shipping if you join Prime but extended warranty isn’t available.
To wrap up
The ILIFE A7 is a good option if you’re looking for something that with WiFi connectivity and decent cleaning performance. It isn’t as good as the ILIFE V8S Pro in terms of performance but it is thorough.
Between the A7 and the V8S Pro I would go with the latter because it is more efficient and cleans better.
One concern for me would be price. This variant is more expensive than the A6 and the a little more expensive than the hybrid mop and vacuum, V8S Pro.
The addition of a WiFi is a nice touch but it would have been better if it had Alexa.