Top positive review
Best Cleaning Robot EVER!
Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2016
=== Original Review Written May 10, 2016 === (An update can be found below)
This is the best cleaning robot ever. I don't personally own a Roomba but have seen them work. This thing is almost identical, but at the fraction of the cost. This thing is definitely worth it! It vacuums and it mops (with some adjustments). This review is based off of non-carpeted flooring only!
I have the robot vacuum work about once a day in my medium sized room and it will always have in its canister a bunch of hair and at least 2 2-3 inch in diameter dust bunnies. It tends to get wedged under arch type furniture (near the ground of course). The robot seems to be afraid of its charging base; it won't go near it (approximately 0.5-1 meters / 2-3 feet), which kinda sucks for me cause it fits perfectly under my desk with the charging base, but now he (yes it is a he!) won't clean under except when he leaves the base. All in all, his vacuuming skills are pretty good! He'll also return to his base with no problems unless he gets stuck on something.
I had it mop today, and it behaves practically the same as vacuuming except it is much quieter and works kinda funny. You essentially fill up the water tank and (the instructions say only add water) I added a little Mr. Clean because it feels cleaner and smells better. It mops almost identically to how it vacuums.
- Dang good for about $140 (can easily find it for that price at other retailers if it isn't that much on Amazon).
- Mops decently. The mop can also be taken off and thrown in the wash if you like it clean clean. Might need a steam mop to follow this puppy when he's done.
- Vacuums like crazy! It's dang good.
- He can push heavy objects. Probably up to 30-40 pound objects if he gets stuck or wedged in them. He got wedged under a portable AC and he moved it a good 2-4 inches to free himself.
- Seems to vacuum for about 2-3 hours on max on a full charge.
- I usually put the charging base on top of something once in a while so that he will vacuum everywhere, since he doesn't vacuum near the base. He will usually roam around for about 30-60 minutes when he's done vacuuming looking for the base, he will eventually find it no problem unless he gets stuck on something.
- Never put the charging base near an intersection of a pathway, otherwise he will never cross it and be stuck in one quadrant while vacuuming.
===== Update: August 29, 2016 ===== (the last paragraph is a tl;dr)
So, how has the ILIFE V5s working for me after about 3.5 months now. I have to say that it has its quirks (will talk about it below) when compared to a Roomba. Overall, I'd still rate the ILIFE V5s a 5/5. Why?
- It cleans my floor regularly. Has worked predictably and reliably since the day I got it.
- The replacement parts can be bought affordably from Amazon. (4 brushes, 2 filters, and 2 mop pads all for $14.99 at the time of this review).
- It was much cheaper than a Roomba. I think the cheapest Roomba on sale can be bought at about $400 (at the time of this review). I picked the ILIFE V5s up from a Chinese e-retailer for about $140 (after shipping).
- I can send the V5s to vacuum and forget it. Usually, before I leave my room, I set it and forget it. When I come back, 9/10 times I'll find it on the charging base. Usually it's user error that'll prevent him from getting back to the base (i.e., A cable is lying on the floor and he gets stuck on it, or I block the base with furniture).
- Navigation: I know some of my friends will say a Roomba navigates with intelligence (i.e., it can navigate your house and it kind of memorizes it), the V5s, seems to work with heuristics. That is, it tends to roam the room a little first, then clean the outside, roam, outside, roam etc. until the battery dies. It works effectively but if it is charged with cleaning a WHOLE floor, I think it might forget where its base is in a larger apartment / floor of a house.
- Getting stuck: he only seems to get stuck on arch type furniture. He doesn't get stuck easily except with mopping (see next comment). If he gets stuck he often will stay there and attempt to free himself a little, but then just let his battery die after that, if you don't rescue him in the next few hours. He will also repeatedly attempt to enter his base, but if there is something off to the side that triggers his bumper while he tries to park he'll reverse and attempt to park in the base repeatedly. Sometimes he will attempt to correct by going to the left or right but most the time he will fail to navigate around the object and will eventually die trying to return to the base (reversing and trying to park until battery dies).
- Mopping: it mops well and there isn't much to say about it. The only problem as the V5s ages when he mops is that his wheels seem to lose grip, so when he mops on a wet floor, he gets stuck much more easily than normal. For instance, if he has mopped the area and makes a second pass while the floor is still wet, he can get stuck on the wall because his wheels don't provide him with enough grip to hit the wall and activate his bumper; thereby, getting stuck on the wall (or furniture, or pretty much anything he hits gently).
- Bumping things: he can hit objects quite hard if his proximity sensors don't pick it up. For example if he hits a chair at an angle (his proximity sensors appear to be at about the 11 and 1 o'clock positions if the 12 is the path he is traveling forward in), and the chair is at his 12, he will smack the chair leg with full force. While most furniture this won't matter but if you have delicate items or something heavy on a night stand that isn't against a wall when he hits it, it can knock over some things. This does pose as a potential risk but one will learn over time that the V5s can be left unattended (I don't recommend doing this till you stay nearby the first handful of times you send the V5s to work).
I still love my V5s. I haven't had any battery problems or functioning problems. Most issues I lined out are usually human error and normal wear and tear of the item. Few quirks with getting him to work, but once you learn them the V5s is definitely worth the investment. I have seen other Chinese Roomba-like robots, and I have to say the V5s was definitely worth every penny. I've seen other Chinese Roomba-like robots go for about $100-120, and they are definitely not worth even half their price in headaches and how inefficient they are at vacuuming. So, I have to say despite the VERY MINOR quirks I've had with the V5s, it is definitely worth it for $140. I would highly recommend this item and would recommend anyone who is considering a cheaper alternative to the Roomba pick this up.