A few months ago I was privileged to test the ILIFE V7S courtesy of GearBest.
It was a huge success and one of the bestselling robotic vacuums until they stopped selling it.
Why discontinue something that sells so well?
It’s simple, if something better comes along it’s time to move on and that’s the case with the new and improved ILIFE V7S Pro.
These new improvements include a brand new water tank and the ability to schedule the robot to mop.
In terms of functionality both this and the original V7S have the same exact look.
Both of these robots come with a pink (or Rose Gold as ILIFE likes to describe it) face with a white outer shell with a single “clean” button at the upper middle part.
The size of the mop is exactly the same and you can actually interchange both of them.
- New and improved water tank – it now comes with a pump that regulars the flow of water
- Upgraded software that improves charging rate and now allows you to schedule the robot to mop on its own
- Has mopping, dry mopping and wet mopping functionality
- Anti-collision system (a series of sensors) on the bumper protects furniture
- 450 ml water tank
- 500 ml dirt bin (with dual filtration)
- Also has HEPA filtration
- Produces less than 60 decibels
- 2,600 mAh lithium ion battery
- 1 year warranty
- Improved water tank now comes with a valve that regulars flow of water
- Long run time
- Large water tank can mop a larger area
- Large bin
- HEPA filtration
- Decent cleaning performance even on carpet/rugs
- Less noise
- Inefficient cleaning pattern
- Mopping navigation has not improved over the V7S
- Will not go over black rugs
Before reading the rest of the review, please watch this video where I unbox, discuss the features (plus compare the water tank of the V7S and V7S Pro) and perform a cleaning test…
One of the biggest issues with the first V7S would be the water tank.
Once you fill it up, it starts dripping even before you place it inside the robot itself.
And if you’re not careful water can seep through the case and go inside the motor – something that has happened before.
Since I don’t really use these robot vacuums for mopping, it isn’t an issue for me. But if you often use it for such then it could be an issue for you.
If you’ve watched my video, I mentioned that you need to plug the holes with your fingers to prevent it from dripping.
Removing the tank can be a messy process because it continuously drips even when the robot stops. You’d have to remove it ASAP or risk having a big messy puddle.
New water tank
If there was a chink in the V7S armor – this would be the biggest one.
GearBest told me that this new water tank has solved the issue by adding a pump to it to regular the flow of water.
This mechanism will stop water from dripping when the robot stops. Upon closer inspection, this pump looks more like a valve.
Here’s a photo of the water tank…
You’ll notice that it has a hose flowing from the side of the housing towards the middle – that is the part of the pump mechanism that controls the flow of water.
And here’s the comparison between these two water tanks…
See the difference?
The V7S’s water tank does not have the visible hose while the V7S Pro has it. So when you pour in water in the V7S tank, it will immediately drip if there is enough water. Not so with the latter.
Next up let’s look at some photos, I’ll start with the top…
In terms of aesthetics the V7S and Pro version are like identical twins, both having the same dimension, color and layout.
Here’s the bottom view with the mop attached…
And without the mop…
Again both these machines are basically the same, each with the same “double-V” brush which is a design similar to the Neato Botvac. It is basically a combination of a bristle and squeegee design.
The V7S Pro has a 500ml dirt bin which is one of the largest capacity bins in the market right now. It is exactly the same as the first generation V7S with a two-stage filtration system – a primary mesh and then a HEPA filter.
I must warn you though that the HEPA filter here isn’t washable but you can use the cleaning brush to clean it and extend the service life. The primary filter is fine but fine dust particles will still seep through.
Remote and Scheduling
This also comes with a remote control that allows you to select a cleaning mode or schedule.
Both the V7S and V7S Pro have the same remote and same functionality.
GearBest says that you can schedule the V7S Pro to mop but that’s something the V7S can do as well.
But since its water tank has no valve, you can’t store it inside the robot. With the V7S Pro this isn’t an issue because it has that release valve.
All but one ILIFE robots (only the V1 doesn’t come with a dock) come with a charging base where the robot docks and recharges.
Navigation and Cleaning Performance
If you’ve watch the whole video above you’ll see how this robot performed on bare floor where I scattered 70 grams of oats, powder, dust bunnies and some strands of human hair on our linoleum flooring.
Here are some photos of the mess…
And here are some shots after the cleaning session.
I’ve also added a chair in the middle of the room to replicate how this robot would perform around furniture.
In terms of cleaning performance it had the same navigation as the first generation V7S q8ut` it took almost 30 minutes to clean 65 out of the 70 grams worth of dirt I scattered around the room.
It didn’t clean everything because I stopped the robot to avoid recording a very long video.
After the cleaning test I let the robot clean up the room and here’s what it picked up…
Not a lot of oats where left but there was a lot of dust. If you live in a dusty environment like where I live, that’s what you’ll expect from this robot.
The biggest strength of this robot is thoroughness and run time
After that initial run of around 30 minutes, I let the robot run again and it did for close to a little over 2 hours which is impressive.
It won’t be as efficient as a Neato BotVac, Roomba 980 or Xiaomi but you can deploy this to clean one room at a time and the price difference between these 4 robots are significant if I may add – around $400++.
One of my favorite things about the V7S is the low decibel level it produces.
You will not notice it in the first video recording but it isn’t as noisy as let’s say an ILIFE A4 or an X5 but the brush roll made up for the power difference.
I combined these two because our home does not have any carpet whatsoever.
As you’ve seen in my video with the Xiaomi, I used the same rug I borrowed from a friend, spread out a lot of dirt on it to test how it does…
And after nearly 20 minutes of cleaning this was the result…
It isn’t perfect but it shows you how well this robot does the job at least on this type of carpet that is relatively low pile but it completely avoided the black parts of the carpet as if it were on a cliff – these where the cliff sensors at work.
It even got a dead roach…
Avoiding the black areas of this rug also presented some other problems at least for this test.
First were the cliff sensors. It didn’t allow the robot to go over the black parts of the rug.
This essentially trapped the robot in a corner.
Second, any dirt left on the black areas, the robot will not clean.
If you have black rugs or really dark carpet, this robot may not be usable of these types.
Here’s where the biggest improvement comes in.
First, I’d like you to watch this video…
You will notice that when compared to the V7S, it moves around in the same manner dragging the mop on the floor.
It does take a few minutes before the mop gets damp but as it goes along and more water goes to the mop it gets damper.
The big improvement would be the addition of a mechanical valve
This mechanism acts like a release valve that allows air to flow in and the water to drip.
One of my viewers in YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe in my Youtube channel) mentioned that it is a magnetic valve that opens or shuts down air going through it depending whether or not the robot is running.
It is completely mechanical which is good because electronics and water aren’t a good mix and bodes well for longevity.
The mechanism isn’t perfect
I noticed a few drips during initial fill up so you’ll have to double check the posts underneath for dripping before attaching the water tank but it is a better design than the first version.
The large microfiber mop really increases the coverage. I’d suggest you start off with a damp mop with some cleaning solution sprayed on for better results. The mop would be best utilized on a tiled or any sealed surface for maintenance clean ups.
But don’t expect the same performance as a Braava that has better agitation and a true mopping motion.
Not included in the photo is the English/Chinese manual.
Out of the box you’ll get:
- V7S Pro robot vacuum
- extra side brush
- brush cleaning tool
- remote control (with 2-AAA batteries included)
- manual (yup, it has an English version in it)
- charging base
- two extra HEPA filters
- power cord.
The V7S Pro is no longer available in GearBest but it is still available in Amazon at a higher price. It’ll be eligible to their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. You also have the option to purchase extended warranty of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.
What’s available in GearBest is the V7S Plus. It’s basically the same as the V7S Pro but with a slightly different water tank. Please check the links below to get the latest price there.
In terms of cleaning performance the new V7S Pro retains the same dirt bin, navigation, motor and brush as the old V7S so expect the same type of results.
Since it uses a weaker motor than the A4, it won’t be as noisy and you won’t scare your toddler or wake up your baby with this robot turned on.
The biggest improvement would be the water tank
It has a valve that controls the flow of water.
Remember that the value is purely mechanical and the first time you add water. It may drip because air is coming in from the top.
So be careful when attaching it on the robot that it does not drip into the motor.
The water tank is big improvement over the previous V7S but it still uses the same navigation where it simply drags the mop over the floor.
It won’t have as good an agitation as a Braava but on the plus side it’s cheaper.
For maintenance clean ups the mopping feature should work okay plus you get a very good cleaning robot.