There are over 100 different robot vacuums from over three dozen different manufacturers. If you are just starting to do your research to make a final purchase decision, how do you weed through all the options to find the best one for you?
You could try trial and error, however, with the cost of some of these robots, that is unfeasible. The best option? Check out the thorough reviews that I write up on each and every model just for you. In this review I look at the V7S from ILIFE, the next iteration of the V7 series combination vacuum and mopping robots.
- 1 Who is the V7S For?
- 2 Who is the V7S Not For?
- 3 Dimensions, Features and Options
- 4 Specifications and Features Chart
- 5 Alternative Options
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 In Conclusion
- 8 In a Nutshell
- 9 What I Don’t Like
Who is the V7S For?
The ILIFE V7S has been redesigned and continues the V7 upgrades over the V5 series. You may find that the V7S is a good fit for your home if:
- You are looking for a true wet mop and vacuuming robot.
- The home has hard flooring with medium or shorter pile carpeting.
- Your floor plan is open, or you don’t have a need for automatic containment.
Who is the V7S Not For?
The ILIFE V7S isn’t going to be a perfect fit for every home, though. You may need to continue your search elsewhere if you:
- Suffer allergies and need HEPA filtration.
- Your home has high pile or shag carpeting.
- You require integrations with smart home technologies.
Dimensions, Features and Options
The best way to find out if the robot is the right choice for you is to take the top off and see everything it has to offer. Since they frown on disassembling robots in stores, this review will have to suffice. Let’s take a look at the ILIFE V7S.
The Collection and Water Tanks Are Bigger Which Translates to Less Maintenance.
Dustbins come in various sizes from those on the smaller side to those that seem like they never get full. In robotic vacuums, the issue is a matter of space versus power.
Companies attempt to make a lower profile robot to get under more furniture. To accomplish this though, you have to take room away from other components. Otherwise, you need more power for better suction, and the larger motor and battery need space.
In almost all circumstances it is the collection bin that suffers the tighter spaces. However, ILIFE was able to create a lower profile robot standing at just three inches tall. They also made a more powerful motor creating 800pa of suction. ILIFE did all of this and increased the collection bin size.
The 0.5L bin is 40 percent larger than the previous models. By attaching their two stage filter to the collection bin, they were able to give more space to hold your dirt dust and debris. As a bonus, because the collection bin and the water reservoir fit in the same slot, they are the same size.
When you set the V7S in mopping mode, the half-liter tank will last longer to clean more of your hard flooring surfaces.
The V-Brush Adds More Carpet to the Floor Types As the Mop Pad Adds Surface Area.
The V5 series was all but useless on carpeting because ILIFE removed the bristle brush bar completely from the machines. While the V5 was good on hard flooring, it did almost nothing for carpet.
The V7 series saw the return of the rotating bristle brush bar, which saw an upgrade from previous versions. The name comes from the shape of the bristles that form a V around the bar. They are opposite the rubberized blades that aid in sweeping on hard floors.
The long soft bristles agitate low pile and medium pile carpeting, which allow the machine to effectively clean more types of carpet than ILIFE’s previous combo robots. If you have high pile carpeting or shag carpet of any length, the V7S won’t be effective, if it can even roll over them.
The mopping pad is also slightly different. There is a new shape and a new i-Dropping technology to tell the machine when the water reservoir is installed. The mopping pad covers the brush bar to prevent anything from being suctioned up into the robot.
It also stops the brushes from rotating to avoid damaging the microfiber pad. With this set up, the pad can take the drops of water released from the tank to keep the floor evenly wet without over saturated. The slight change in the i-Dropping technology allows the tank to add water to the pad only when the V7S is in motion.
If it has to stop, pause or runs into an obstacle, the water tank will not release water. This small change prevents puddles forming on the floor and it also prevents the microfiber pad from becoming overly saturated.
You shouldn’t add cleaning solution or products to the water tank. However, you can spray or soak the mopping pad in a cleaner solution that you want to be added to your floor.
You also have a third option, which is to do a dry mop, with the pad attached and the water tank empty, you can effectively dry or damp mop your hard flooring without having to worry about streaking, changing out water or having an oversaturated pad.
One important note about the water tank: The robot will not dock to recharge with the water tank attached as a safety precaution. This prevents electrical shorts or possible fires since water and electricity don’t mix.
The Controls Haven’t Changed From the V7 Model and That’s Okay.
Just like the V7, there are three ways to control the V7S. You can use the local control, you can use the intuitive remote control, or you can download (for free) the new LIFE mobile app. Which one (or ones) you use, will be determined by how you most feel comfortable and what you need to be done.
For example, if you just want the robot to run off, run over the entire floor, vacuuming and cleaning the edges and corners, then you can use the local control. You’ll notice I used the singular form. There is only one button on the machine itself.
Pressing this button will set the robot off cleaning using the automatic mode. If you need more specific controls or want to do anything else, you will need to use one of the other options.
The remote control will allow you to enable all the cleaning options the robot offers. The remote has a slight upgrade from the V5 remote, so I will cover the differences here.
The first thing to note is that there is no longer a maximum mode. The previous versions of the remote allowed you to press the max button, which would increase the motor speed when the robot was cleaning in automatic or manual modes.
The motor was given an upgrade that put the overall power higher than the normal mode of the V5 series and slightly less than the maximum mode. ILIFE figured this compromise was worth the ability to remove the max mode and offer the ability to reverse the robot in manual mode.
Previously you could steer the robot in manual mode forward, left or right. Now that the max mode is gone, it has been replaced with a backward arrow to drive the robot in reverse if you are so inclined.
The cleaning mode options available through the remote control are:
- Automatic mode, which will do the same as pressing the cleaning button on the V7S itself.
- Manual mode, that allows you to drive the robot to specific points around your home using the arrow keys on the remote control.
- Edge mode, which will send the robot to the walls to do a concentrated cleaning on the baseboards and corners before returning to the docking station.
- Spot mode, that puts the robot on a specific spot on the floor where it will run in a tight, but increasing spiral to deep clean that area.
Further, with the remote, you can set the time of day and use this time to create a schedule. You can set a schedule up to seven days at a time. You will first select the type of schedule. You can choose from daily (24 hours), every other day (48 hours) or once every three days (72 hours).
After you select the number of cycles in that week, you will be asked to choose a time of day. Enter the time of day you want the robot to clean and the schedule is set. From then on, for the next seven days, when the time you entered matches the time on the remote control, the robot will go out and clean your floors.
You can also use the plug icon button to send the robot back to the charging dock at any time to recharge or cancel the cleaning cycle. For an added convenience, you can store the remote right in the top of the charging dock. There is a little slot for you to place the remote, so it never gets lost.
If you are more of a technical person, you can download the mobile app to your Android or iOS device for free from the respective store. Once downloaded you can have a digital representation of the remote control right on your phone or tablet.
All of the buttons on the mobile app are the same as on the remote control and they all do the same thing. There is just one small, tiny, almost unnoticeable catch: You need to be able to read Chinese.
The mobile app is in Chinese language only at this point. However, it isn’t as difficult to figure out as you may think. The app is quite simple, as it is just a digital remote control. Using it is just as simple as using the remote itself.
Even if you don’t read Chinese it will only take you about a minute to figure out which button does what (as the only ones without pictures are “cancel” and “confirm.” If you happen to make a mistake and choose the wrong one, you can just go back and try again with the other button.
The mobile app does not connect to your wireless network, so you won’t ever have to set the robot up on your wireless router. Instead, it used Bluetooth technology.
As long as you have Bluetooth enabled on your phone, the app will scan for the robot and show you the name of it on the app interface so you can select it and begin operations.
Specifications and Features Chart
Everything else about the V7S is virtually identical to the V7. You can view this chart to see all of the features and options the V7S has to offer.
|Battery Runtime||Up to 120 minutes|
|Battery Charge Time||4 hours|
|Mobile App||Yes (Bluetooth)|
|Navigation||Sensor Based Mini-Room|
|Extraction Method||CyclonePower Generation 2|
|Filtration||Two-Stage High Efficiency|
|Floor Types||Hard Floors, Low – Medium Pile Carpeting|
|Collection Bin Capacity||0.5L|
|Water Reservoir Capacity||0.5L|
|Voltage Rating||110v – 240v (Universal)|
Perhaps you think the ILIFE V7S isn’t the right choice for you. Or maybe you just want to investigate the competition instead. Here are a few options to consider.
ILIFE V5S Pro
If you like what ILIFE is doing with their machines but aren’t ready to spend as much money on a robot as the V7S costs, perhaps you wouldn’t mind a slight downgrade. The V5S Pro is very similar in terms of functionality. It is a true wet mop like the V7S, has a remote control and can be scheduled.
What you will lose, as you attempt to save money though, is the brush roll to clean carpets. It has two side brushes instead of one and no rotating extractor brush. This makes the machine virtually useless on carpeting, but if you have hard floors only in your home, it is worth a look.
bObSweep PetHair Plus
It is hard to distinguish as many combo robots came out at the same time. However, the PetHair Plus is arguably the very first. Like the V7S it does have a brush roll to work on low to medium pile carpeting as a vacuum.
It does not have a water reservoir, though and is a dry or damp mop only. For cost, brand name recognition, customer support and the ability to clean just as well as the V7 (if not the V7S dry mop comparison) the bObSweep might be a solid option for you.
Deik Robot 3-in-1
The Deik robot is a true wet mop just like the V7S and has a brush roll and side brushes to tackle carpeting (low pile only) and edges or corners. The company is better known for their budget-friendly uprights. However, their entry into the robotic vacuum world is something to watch.
Their non-mopping robots cost well under the $200 threshold and for those on a very tight budget, you may not find a better cleaning robot, as long as it’s capabilities fall within your home’s details. Smaller homes and homes with little to no carpeting will do very well to consider the Deik.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allow me to take a few moments now to answer a few of the more commonly asked questions about the ILIFE V7S. If your question isn’t covered in the article above and you don’t see it here, feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Q. Doesn’t ILIFE have HEPA certified filters?
A. In short, the answer is no. They used to have HEPA certified filters. However, since the V5 series was released, they have removed the certification and replaced it with the term “high-efficiency.”
What does this mean? Actually very little. If you have read my other articles, you will remember that iRobot, the maker of the world famous Roomba, has done the same thing. Does it mean their filters no longer capture up to 99 percent of in-home allergens? No. In fact, they still do, all the way down to 3 microns.
The ILIFE V7S is in a similar situation. Their filters are a two filter system which consists of a collection bin, a pre-filter and the high-efficiency filter. The latter still collects allergen particles such as pet dander, dust mites and pollen. For some reason, they have just removed the certification tag. I don’t know why. My guess is the cost of the certification label.
Q. Is there a way to contain the V7S to a single room or area?
A. No. Unfortunately, the ElectroWall containment system that ILIFE has does not work with the V7 line. Technically it wasn’t supposed to work with the V5 series either, but for some reason it does, or at least it did for the initial release. I have heard rumors they removed the sensor in the robot after the first production line was sold out.
Since then, the containment has been limited to you using physical barriers. Shutting doors, using a heavy box, or somehow creating a blockade to prevent the robot from busting through to another room.
On a side note, if you have a mix of carpet and hard flooring and you decide to use the wet tank and mop your floors, you will have to block off the areas of your home that have carpeting. The robot will attempt to mop the entire floor space, regardless of what floor type it is.
Q. How loud is this vacuum?
A. One of the selling points of the V7S is how quiet it operates. When vacuuming, the ILIFE V7S runs at about 49db. This is equivalent to the sound of two people having a normal conversation. A lot of reviews have come in that state they schedule the robot to vacuum at night while they are sleeping.
If you can sleep through a conversation (like my grandma can, even when she is involved in the conversation), then you can sleep through the vacuum.
Q. How long is the cord?
A. The power cord to the ILIFE V7S is only four inches long. However it is invisible so that it won’t be a distraction. Besides, he is kind of ashamed of it and we don’t really talk about it out loud.
Seriously though, it is a robotic vacuum that runs on batteries only. There is no power cord. The only power cord is from the charging dock (which is what I assume you mean by your question) and is about five feet long.
You should ensure that you place the dock on a hard floor surface (not carpet) and that there is at least three feet of clearance on either side to aid in the robot finding the dock to recharge.
The ILIFE V7S is a huge improvement over the V7 simply because it now has a water tank for a full wet mop experience. There is quite a bit of maintenance and a lack of containment. However, for most homes, this isn’t a huge issue.
Even if you suffer allergies, you can rest assured that the high-efficiency filters will collect up to 99 percent of in-home allergens. You just have to stay on top of the filter changes and keep the machine clean to allow the filters to work effectively. If you are looking for a combination robot and are on a budget, the ILIFE V7S might be the option you are looking for.
In a Nutshell
The ILIFE V7S is a budget friendly combination mop and vacuum robot that will do it’s job fairly well. There are better vacuums on the market but not many can compete with the price tag. If you are entering the robot market for the first time, the V7S is a solid option.
What I Like
- Separate water tank for wet mopping.
- Huge Microfiber pad to collect more dust and clean more flooring.
- V-Brush extracts low and medium carpet fibers well.
What I Don’t Like
- Chinese only mobile app.
- No smart home integration.
- Won’t work on all carpet types.