ILIFE V5 Review – A Cheaper Alternative to a Roomba Robot Hoover

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Robot hoovers are handy pieces of technology which can help keep your home tidy with less effort. Sounds like a win-win for everyone, don’t you think? Below is my ILIFE V5 Review. I have owned it for around 12months now. So I think I’ve gotten a really good idea of what works and what doesn’t with this little guy. Whether it is more of a help or a hindrance. And most importantly, how I feel about what I paid for it. Was it worth my hard earned cash?

ILIFE V5 Review of Robot Hoover Pin Image reduce your housework load (for a small budget)

Keep on reading below for the full ILIFE V5 Review including all the pros and cons I’ve found this Robot Hoover has.

How I ended up with an ILIFE instead of a Roomba

I really wanted a Roomba for such a long time. Less hoovering sounded like a dream. And the viral videos of cats riding on top of them wearing little shark hoodies just made me want them even more. (I have 2 cats and seeing one of them rid around on a robot hoover would be priceless =D )

Roombas are just so expensive though. Or is it just me who thinks that? I ended up putting it off and kept doing that for months. Until I realised just how long I was spending hoovering my house. Over an hour per week! And the worst part was, it didn’t even last more than a couple of days before the floors looked like they needed hoovering again. It felt endless.

So I caved and started researching for some options. Reading around for reviews. Eventually I came across a Pinterest pin for an ILIFE V5 Review by Love & Sweet Tea. I read it and saw the price ($150) but it was an American store. Suspecting the price wouldn’t be as appealing after adding postage to the UK. I checked to see if I could find another ILIFE V5 Review with a more local store reference before I was sold on the idea.

Trouble was I had to find somewhere here in the UK to buy it. So, I looked. My usual places didn’t stock it. Eventually I ended up on GearBest for my ILIFE V5. At £100, I was ‘Hell, yes!’. I had to wait awhile for it to arrive. But I’ve never looked back since, and even 12months down the line I still use it every day.

Ok, so what does it do?

The little guy runs for 2hrs, by using sensors to redirect itself off walls and obstacles. A full charge requires 2hrs. It has sensors to prevent it falling from a height. A mop attachment and a remote control for programming it.

 

Now on to the actual ILIFE V5 Review!

What’s good about it?

Sensors

Its sensors allow it to detect when it’s approaching something and slow down to a light tap preventing damage. It is stairs and landing safe, as it also has sensors underneath the rims of it. To detect drops and send it in another direction. Sadly it can’t actually do the stairs. Nothing wrong with wishful thinking 😉

Green microfibre mop cleaning shiny dark wood floor

Returns to base

Once it gets low on battery, it automatically goes back to the charging base.

Automatic Programs

Programs can be set to automatically start the ILIFE at set times.

Set & Forget

My ILIFE hoover is set to run automatically at 8 am in the week and 10 am on weekends. I am often not around when it does its thing. Once it’s setup, I can just set it to go and leave it.

Slim Design

It is only 7cm tall. So it can fit under most furniture depending on what you have. Think pesky sofas!

Long Battery Life

The 2600mAh Li-ion battery lasts for about 2 hours. Allowing the hoover to cover up to 120m2.

HEPA Filter

Great for if you have pets or allergies. These help to remove air contaminants and improve the overall indoor air quality.

Picks up more than you think

It picks up a significant amount each run, even when I run it daily. Shows how much my pets malt. Sorry, it’s rather gross! XD

ILIFE V5 Review of Robot Hoover dirt compartment opened up after use

What could be improved?

Less smart than a Roomba

Although it automatically goes back to the charging base, depending on where it is. It can sometimes take a while to find its way home.

There is no systematic cleaning pattern, it simply bounces off obstacles and walls for 2hrs. This means that it might miss spots or difficult to reach areas.

Limited Capacity

It usually requires emptying every run. Since it only has a small compartment to hold waste. I think this is common for most robot hoovers due to their size though.

ILIFE V5 Review of Robot Hoover dirt compartment closed

Cleaning

Longer hairs, I’m talking about shoulder length and longer can build up on the brushes. But, in 12 months I had to disconnect the brushes once to remove these. They were so tightly wound around the brushes that they stopped spinning and the ILIFE would just switch itself off.

It can sometimes flick dirt around rather than picking it up, depending on what it is – non-clumping cat litter comes to mind.

Noise

It’s not extremely loud but it’s not quiet either. The specification puts it at 55dB. I can hear it from downstairs when it’s running. Running it for 2 hours could become a bit annoying. This is a non-issue for me though as I usually run it when I am out. Or on weekends when I have my headphones on. It runs quieter than my regular hoover.

Mop attachment

Its mop attachment is rather lack-lustre. I have tried wetting the pad, leaving the pad dry, or spraying the floor directly. All with varying results. Wetting the floor first works best, but the little feet on this guy slip on the wet wood/tile floors. It takes 2hrs to hoover which you have to do first, and 2hrs for it to attempt mopping. The lack of actual intelligence of the hoover really shows when it comes to missing spots. You can easily spot the dry spots where the hoover didn’t really go.

It’s Niche

It’s not a full-time replacement for a regular hoover. Nooks and crannies are difficult to get to for any robot hoover. Plus they can’t move furniture to clean under and behind. So I do have to spot clean with the normal hoover about once-per-month. But it’s a quick 10-15 minute thing tops.

It can get stuck

It took me a bit of trial and error to realise the ILIFE would get stuck on some things. And now I have a routine of moving these before the hoover is left to go. However, this is true for any hoover, robot or not. You can’t just hoover with pet toys or other things that have been left on the floor. Can you now?

ILIFE V5 Review of Robot Hoover on golden beech laminate floor

What got stuck for me

Things like the 1cm raised base of my cat tree, which the robot hoover can easily mount, but due to the hoover being wider than the gaps between the legs it would frequently get stuck mid-way off the floor.

Low hanging cables like some of the phone wires that are along the skirting boards sometimes were low enough to catch on the hoover. Any wires or rope I recommend trying to keep away from the ground while the hoover is running.

Dog toys, especially those rope-type ones which would get wrapped around the brushes. I have to put these away and hope she doesn’t drag them out after I leave. She generally doesn’t, since she tends to stay out of the way of it. Now that she has got past her initial ‘Let’s bark at it, and try to grab it in my teeth like a very expensive Frisbee.’ Fortunately, for all involved, it has always been too thick to get into her tiny Shi’tzu mouth.

Oh, and did I mention the horror of my dog having an accidental poop while I was at work? Yuck! I don’t recommend it at all!

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ILIFE V5 Review Conclusion

I think it’s important to realize for this ILIFE V5 Review. That everyone’s home is different. My floors are all wood and tile due to having triple troublemakers (2x cats + 1 x dog). So I can’t really speak for how it will fare on carpet/rugs. If you do have any experience of it with carpets or rugs then let us know in the comments. As I bet people other than just myself would like to know.

The ILIFE V5 hoover is a neat but not-so-smart robot hoover that can help make cleaning a little easier for a small budget (£100). Click To Tweet

I use it every day to combat the constant shedding of my 3 fur-children. And I can honestly say that I really notice when I forget to run it.

Thinking of getting one yourself? I got mine from here, at £100. Or if you’re from America you can also get it from Amazon, at around $165.

Do I recommend it?

Yes if:-

• You want to make keeping your house clean easier
• Can’t afford, justify or simply don’t want to pay for a more expensive Roomba
• Don’t mind a little bit of minor micro-managing or the lower intelligence

No if:-

• You want a robot hoover that requires no intervention – remember at a bare minimum every hoover requires you to pick stuff up off the floor! If you want zero effort with hoovering then you should consider hiring someone to do it for you
• Want something that cleans intelligently and cleans every spot systematically
• Want something that can mop for you

ILIFE V5 Review of Robot Hoover on laminate floor with cover open

Here’s a quick comparison of the Pros and Cons again that I covered in this ILIFE V5 Review

Pros

Cons

  • Cheaper than a Roomba, at £100 / $165
  • It gently touches walls & obstacles via sensors
  • Stairs & landing safe – it won’t run off a high edge
  • Automatically goes back to the charging base
  • Programs can be set to automatically start the ILIFE at set times
  • You can leave it running while you do other things or even leave the house
  • It picks up a significant amount of dirt to help keep floors cleaner
  • HEPA filter to improve air quality
  • Long battery life up to 2 hours and covers 120m2
  • Less smart than a Roomba
  • Limited capacity – requires emptying every run
  • Longer hairs can wrap around the brushes and will need to be removed if they get stuck (once every 12-months)
  • It is not quiet (55dB), but also not loud – opinions will vary from person to person
  • Mop attachment is not reliable and too much work
  • It’s not a full-time replacement for a regular hoover. This is the same for every robot hoover!
  • It can get stuck sometimes, so the first few times you might have to keep an eye on it. Again, you will need to pick up stuff before you hoover regardless of what you use

Overall, I would love to upgrade to something that could also mop and wouldn’t require as much micro-managing. But for the price of around £100 vs £300+ for a Roomba, I think I’ll just keep my ILIFE V5. And whizz around with a mop myself.

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