ILIFE A10 laser navigating vacuum review
The ILIFE A10 is surprisingly light. That’s the first thing you’ll notice when you get the box. If I’m not mistaken it’s the lightest robot vacuum I’ve ever tested.
I’m going to preface this with what regular readers should know – Pocketables is a different kind of review site. We’re not attempting to sell you any product, although if you buy there’s generally a commission involved. There’s obviously a conflict of interests but my hope is we all are attempting to actually explore the workings of the product, and consider that you’re probably tired of the hype and want a review of what the problems are to decide if you’re still interested.
TL;DR review: acceptable vacuum, very light, mid range of options, software needs update which I suspect will happen with this brand.
The ILIFE A10 vacuum is 2000pa, which is decent. The unit traverses most obstacles with ease and seems to have the driving and navigation intelligence of any of the units that brand their Amazon/Alexa-ecosystem software. I don’t suspect ILIFE is the author of the software as it looks exactly like 5 other brands I’ve reviewed recently.
Much like other vacuums I’ve reviewed this year, the A10 requires you to do a lot of pre-work / cleaning / closing off where you don’t want the vacuum to go. There’s no way to define spaces until mapping is complete and there’s no way to keep the robot out of an area except by physical barrier until that time.
This may not be an issue for you, I really don’t think it’s an issue for many who aren’t working in a studio or a very long 1960’s ranch house to do these reviews, but when you’re attempting to train this in a large space which roughly half of it you do not need worked on, this involves a lot of hair pulling. This is also the problem I had with one at my father’s house – too large an area, could never complete.
I’ve reviewed one unit that had mapping right for that scenario. No vacuuming, just a little robot wandering around silently looking at the house before turning the vacuum on. Unfortunately for this case, the A10 kicks the vacuum on during mapping. As such it’s wandering into areas I don’t want it to and without the ability to run without a main brush it’s sucking up stuff in areas it shouldn’t even be in. My options are to clean the areas, build barricades, etc.
In a house, not an issue. Testing in a studio like I am, issue. Oh, y’all used fishing line and left it on the floor… well, there’s 40 minutes mapping wasted. Once again, if your house or area you’re cleaning isn’t a mess to begin with, or very very large, you’re probably ok. I doubt you have to leave large pipes along your curved wall to prevent robots from climbing up the wall and flipping (this was done for another robot vacuum, I don’t know if the A10 will ride a wall like the other one did).
The ILIFE A10 cleans really well
As mentioned I’m using this at the moment in a professional studio (we’ve got area rugs, carpet for a reality TV show, rubber mats, corporate carpet circa 2000, concrete.) So far from a week of running we’re at 6 or 7 complete bins full. In the normal areas it shines. These are set rugs and carpets, so there’s not a lot of wear and dirt on them, but they’re cleaner now.
I added this section because I got a call from the building manager asking which one this was and whether it had a mop (it doesn’t). The dirt it’s gotten off the painted white floor is evident. Studios are messy after a shoot.
The voice prompts need work
I wish I’d recorded the audio, but I got a warning about the main brush clogging up and it kept asking me to clean *something* that… not sure it was any language I’ve heard’s word actually. Sounded vaguely like a name.
Error reporting needs work
Literally every smart robot vacuum I’ve reviewed in the past two or three years will tell me on my phone when something’s wrong. I even get notifications from Rhonda when Kim’s started her and I’m at work. I haven’t gotten any push notification from the A10, although I do get notifications if I have the app open.
If you’re home, you probably don’t find this all that useful. If you’re a floor or two away at work attempting to get a robot to map and vacuum a large space, this is useful.
Other than the app which works on iPhone and Android, the A10 appears to be Amazon / Alexa / Echo only. This corresponds with the branded mapping software / apps suspicions I hold close to my heart (that one company makes this and everyone brands it).
The ILIFE A10 suspects there’s an obstacle…
This is something I consider unique behavior to this little robo vac… it sees an obstacle, suspects it’s there, and then gently bumps it. You can see in the video that it slows down, goes “boop,” kisses the barrier, and then moves along. I suspect it’s mapping by feel sometimes. Doesn’t seem to quite recognize chrome/silver legs of chairs which is standard with laser guided robots (they look like forever.)
Did I mention it cleans really well?
Look, you’re not using this in a commercial studio rented out by various production companies. You’re not going to have the problems I have with extremely large spaces unless you’ve got a huge house, then ask me what I recommend. What you should take away from this is that the unit is light, runs a long time, the video you’re watching is it on mapping mode which is about 1000pa instead of 2000, and that the studio was rode hard and put up wet before Christmas when this was filmed so the unit has done 6+ full bins worth with no frivolous complaints.
There have been many, many legit complaints (fishing line, balloon ties, rope, a collection of twist ties for some reason, etc) but nothing that I would expect it to handle.
Should I get it?
I have no objections to the product. I do not blanket recommend most products, but I suspect you will not be disappointed with the A10 if you’re fine with the issues I listed above (Amazon, large space mapping, mapping, etc). For the price listed I’d like to see Google Assistant listed as supported, little better software, but you know what, it works and works well for what it does.