ILIFE V8s Review – Good for Hard Floors, Not Intended for Carpet
ILIFE has continuously pushed out new models of their robotic cleaners since their inception in 2015. Each version slightly different, for better or worse, than the previous models. They have two major lines: A and V. The A series models are vacuum only robots where the V series are vacuum and mopping combination units.
The ILIFE V8s is one of the latest models to be unveiled by Chuwi, the parent company of ILIFE. Is it worth your money? It depends on your needs from a vacuum robot. For those just getting into the robotic cleaner world, it may not be a bad step. Let me show you everything you need to know about the ILIFE V8s.
- 1 Who is the ILIFE V8s for?
- 2 Who is the ILIFE V8s Not For?
- 3 Dimensions, Features, and Options
- 3.1 The Controls Received An Upgrade That Is Actually An Improvement.
- 3.2 New i-Motion Sensors Allow For Multi-Floor Type Avoidance.
- 3.3 The Dustbin And Water Tank Got An Increase In Size, Which Is Helpful.
- 3.4 The Scheduling Has Been Slightly Improved.
- 3.5 A Giant Backwards Step Taken With the Brushes.
- 4 Specifications Chart
- 5 Alternative Options
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 In Conclusion
- 8 In a Nutshell
Who is the ILIFE V8s for?
ILIFE makes budget friendly robots that do a decent job of cleaning your floors, provided you have the right type of floors. You will find that the V8s is a good fit if you:
- Live in a home with mainly hardwood flooring and low pile carpeting.
- Have pets that shed a lot and need constant upkeep.
- Don’t need a lot of extras in your floor cleaner.
- Have sensitivities to allergens in your home.
Who is the ILIFE V8s Not For?
Not everyone will appreciate the low-cost robotic cleaner, and there are plenty of reasons to look past it. These include homes that:
- Require smart home integration with other devices.
- Have a lot of carpeting that is medium or high pile.
- Need to contain the robot to specific areas of a room or the home.
Dimensions, Features, and Options
There have been several upgrades to the V8s, as well as some downgrades. I will walk you through all of the features and options here, so you have a better idea of what to look for in your robot.
The Controls Received An Upgrade That Is Actually An Improvement.
Every V series robot cleaner has had two main methods of control: local and remote. The local control was a single button on the top of the robot, with no other options.
The remote control was the main control option as it allowed the use of programming, scheduling and cleaning modes. The new remote for the V8s is similar. However, there are a few differences, especially over the V7 series. Let’s have a look.
The remote control has undergone a little makeover. The LCD screen is gone and the buttons are now higher up on the remote. The top button will send the unit back to the charging dock and cancel the cleaning cycle.
Below this, you have the four arrow keys and the start/pause button in the middle of them. The start/pause button will, obviously, start the cleaning cycle. You can use the arrow keys to take control of the robot and steer it in a direction you want it to go. The bottom button here (where down arrow should be) enabled Max mode which will either:
- Increase motor speed and suction while in vacuum set up, or,
- Increase the amount of water released while in mopping set up.
Below these buttons are three other buttons that will enable (from left to right) Path selection, Spot cleaning mode and edge cleaning mode.
The path selection takes the robot out of automatic mode and makes it perform a more human-like back and forth pattern that covers 23 square feet in each direction. You will need to use this in mopping mode (I will explain later).
Spot cleaning mode will make the robot stop where it is and begin a deeper clean of that area by spiraling around the area outwards about three feet.
Edge cleaning mode will send the robot to the nearest wall or baseboard and force it to run only along the edges. Cleaning the baseboards and corners is a good idea between regular cleanings if you have pets, as this is where their shed hair accumulates.
The other control improvements are to the local controls. In all the V series robots that came before, there was a single button on the robot the allowed it to run a cleaning cycle in automatic mode.
That button is still there. However, the entire display from the remote control has been moved to the machine. This LCD screen will show you the battery level and the day of the week and scheduled cleaning time.
There are also a few more buttons. At the top, you have the home button, which sends the robot to the charging dock. It also acts as the increase button when setting the date and time or creating a schedule.
The center button on the top is the schedule creation button. Using this will set the date and time as well as creating a schedule. You will use the home button (to the left) to increase the time, and the spot clean mode button (to the right) to decrease the time.
The spot cleaning button takes up the last of the top row buttons. Pressing this will have the same effect as it does on the remote control.
Below this row is the large play/pause button that starts or pauses the cleaning cycle in automatic mode. When in automatic mode, the robot runs around cleaning in a sporadic pattern around the available floor space.
Below the main cleaning button is the path selection button. Just like the spot cleaning button, it does the exact same as the remote control.
One thing to mention here is the lack of Bluetooth functionality. Another downgrade from the V7 series. Previously you could use a mobile app as a remote control. Now that the V8s is out and lacks the Bluetooth capability the V7 had, you can no longer use the app.
This may be added back in with future model releases, but there is no talk or speculation of it at this point.
New i-Motion Sensors Allow For Multi-Floor Type Avoidance.
For path selection, this is what you will need to use when mopping. Although it isn’t required, there is a new sensor in the robot that previously wasn’t available. Using the new i-Motion guide with the path selection enabled, you will place the robot on the floor with its rear towards the carpet.
The robot will then move forward 23 feet, turn and travel another 23 feet back and repeat. It will continue this cycle for up to 23 square feet. If you have a split floor home, meaning carpet in one area and hard flooring in the other, you would use this to mop the hard floor without the robot going onto the carpet.
This is a crucial development and a much-needed upgrade since there is no form of containment for the robot. ILIFE does have an infrared barrier system they call ElectroWall, however, this does not work with the V8s.
If you need to contain the robot to a certain area, or prevent access to certain rooms, you will need to use physical blockades, such as closing doors or putting up heave items the robot won’t be able to get through.
The only alternative is to use the path selection and put the back end of the robot at the entrance to the area you wish to prevent access to.
The Dustbin And Water Tank Got An Increase In Size, Which Is Helpful.
One of the noticeable improvements has to be the size of the dustbin and water tank. In the V7 series, they were increased to 0.5L from 0.3L and the public seemed to enjoy the new sizes.
A larger collection bin means that the robot can run longer and collect more debris before you are required to empty it. In home automation, the less you have to do, the better. Now the ILIFE V8s has an even larger collection bin.
With a capacity of 0.75L, it is now one of the largest collection bins on the market. After a few initial runs of the robot, you will notice that the bin only gets full about every 3rd or 4th cleaning cycle.
Instead of having to empty the bin every time the robot runs, you can wait for a few cycles between maintenance checks. This will vary, of course, depending on the size of the floor space and the amount of dirt and debris being collected.
For instance, if you have pets that shed a lot, you will have to empty it more often than homes without pets. You will have to keep an eye on the collection bin through the first few weeks of use to gauge how often it becomes full.
After you notice that the bin is filling after a certain number of cycles, you can use that as your maintenance check base. In general use, every third cleaning cycle is not uncommon for a bin of this capacity.
The water tank, however, received a decrease in size. Because it fits in the same spot as the collection bin, you would think the capacity would be the same size. The water tank has a liquid capacity of 0.3L. It will, however, hold water better than previous versions of the tank.
It also has a new algorithm that opens and closes the water outlet spouts. Previously, the motion of the robot opened the water outlets. This meant that the robot would only drop water on the microfiber cloth when the machine was in motion.
Now, however, you can take control of this function. The same vacuum sealing and magnetic closures inside the tank allow the water to drop onto the cloth only when the machine is in motion.
If you press the max mode button on the remote control, though, the water spouts will open more frequently. If you notice your floor isn’t getting a wet enough mopping, you can raise the amount of water being released.
Likewise, if the mopping pad becomes too saturated, you can slow the release of water from the reservoir until the mopping pad is a little drier.
The motor and mechanisms that control this function are now a part of the water tank, which is why there is a decrease in capacity. As always, you should only add water to the reservoir. Adding cleaning chemicals and solutions will only gum up the spouts and cause leaking and buildup which you won’t be able to access to clean properly.
You can spray the floor with cleaner or soak the mopping pad prior to running if you want the cleaners on your floor. However, for the ability of the mopping pad, plain water will do just as good a job as cleaning solutions.
The Scheduling Has Been Slightly Improved.
I wanted to mention the scheduling briefly. Previous versions of the ILIFE robots allow for a schedule, of sorts. You could select a 24 hour period, 48 or 72 hour periods.
Most of the robots before the V7 series had no internal clock, so when you created your schedule, the robot would run at 24 hours (or 48 or 72, whatever you selected) from the time you set the schedule.
This meant that if you created a 24-hour schedule at 4 pm, the robot would run at 4 pm every day. You also had the limit of a seven-day scheduling ability. Every 7th day the schedule would expire and you had to reset it.
That same seven-day limit is still present in the V8s. However, you can now select times of days and specific days to run the cleaner.
If you want to run the robot every day for a week, you can do so. If you want to run it every day except Wednesday, you can do that too. You are no longer limited to a 24, 48 or 72-hour window.
Further, you can select different times for each day. So, for example, you could schedule the robot to run at 8 am on Monday after you are out of the house to go to work, and then have it run at 4 pm on Tuesday right before you get home.
This scheduling date and time ability is a huge improvement and should help those that need the robot to run at specific times on specific days.
A Giant Backwards Step Taken With the Brushes.
The ILIFE V7S series saw the removal of a side brush and the addition of an extractor brush. The brush was a huge improvement that allowed the robot to clean more carpet types effectively and to sweep hard flooring a lot better.
The brush was called the V-Brush as it had alternating soft bristles and rubberized blades in a V shape pattern.
However, this was only in the V7 series. The V8s saw the move back to the familiar V5 series style. The second side brush was added back on and the rotating extractor V brush was removed.
To say that the V8s cleans carpets, as well as the V7 series, would be a blatant lie. There is no carpet fiber agitation, and therefore no removal of deeper dirt.
The wheels allow the robot to climb on and navigate low and medium pile carpeting. However, you are only going to get a surface clean, and not even that will be very good.
The side brushes are soft and while they work really well on baseboards, and getting into corners on hard floor surfaces, they are virtually ineffective on any carpet type.
To clean the carpet, you are left with a hole on the bottom of the machine that is an inlet for the suction created by the motor. In normal mode, this is about 500pa. When you press the max mode button, it will increase the motor speed and increase the suction to about 800pa.
Neither of these suction levels is efficient enough to clean carpet fibers. However, when sweeping on hard flooring such as tile, vinyl, linoleum, etc., it does a pretty decent job.
The main problem here is that for a combination robot, the vacuum side is virtually eliminated, and for the cost, you can get a dedicated mopping robot that will do a better job. If, on the other hand, your home is totally or mainly hard flooring types, the sweeping and mopping of the ILIFE V8s will do a pretty good job at maintaining your floor cleanliness.
Let me show you all of the features, specifications and options the ILIFE V8s has to offer (or is lacking).
|Battery Runtime||Up to 120 minutes|
|Battery Recharge||4 hours|
|Filter||Dual high-efficiency filters|
|Dust Bin Capacity||0.75L|
|Navigation||Smart i-Move 2.0|
|Dirt Detection Sensors||No|
|Extraction Method||500-800pa suction|
|Motor||CyclonePower Generation 2|
|Water Reservoir Capacity||0.3L|
|Floor Types Rated||All hard flooring, low to medium pile carpeting|
|Voltage Rating||100-240v (Universal)|
Perhaps you are wondering what other robotic cleaner options are available, or you want to compare the ILIFE V8s to other similar products. Here I give you a few alternatives to consider.
ILIFE V7S Pro
Sticking with the ILIFE models, the V7S Pro has all of the features of the V8s with a few exceptions. First, it has an extractor brush for cleaning on carpeting. This will clean deeper on low and medium pile than the V8s.
It also has a larger capacity water tank for longer wet mopping abilities. However, you lose the i-Motion 2.0 sensors that prevent the robot from going into areas you don’t want it too (path mode). You do, however, gain the ability to use a mobile app, if you so choose.
The iRobot Roomba 680 will not mop. If you need a combination robot, this is not the one for you. However, if you want your carpeting cleaned and your hard floors swept, there isn’t a better option in the price range.
The Roomba has been king of the hill for years and shows no signs of slowing down. With the 680, you get mobile apps, wireless communications and a powerful vacuum robot with little to no bad points.
bObSweep PetHair Plus
The PetHair Plus is one of the original combination vacuum and mopping robots. It is also still one of the highest rated at the vacuum and mopping tasks. You won’t get a Roomba like vacuum, but you fo get brush rolls to clean low to medium carpeting.
The mop is also not a true wet mop, but you can soak the mopping pad for a damp mop that does a decent job of keeping hard floors clean. For the price, the aged bObSweep is still a top contender in the combination robot market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allow me to take some time now to answer a few questions about the ILIFE V8s. As always, if you still have a question that isn’t answered here or covered in the article above, leave a comment in the section below.
Q. I’ve heard that the ILIFE robots aren’t great at navigation or mapping, is this true?
A. It all depends on your definition of “great,” though what you have heard is mostly true. The robots do not have a mapping function and do not store the layout of your home in their memory banks. Nor do they learn your floor plan and adjust accordingly over time.
The V8s simply runs around relying on its bump and drop sensors to not run into walls or fall off stairs. In this regard, it does a pretty good job.
When in path mode, it will calculate 23 square feet and stay within that area. This is something that most robots don’t do. However, if the area you are cleaning with this mode is larger than 23 square feet, it won’t clean the entire area.
Likewise, the robot doesn’t know if it is on hard flooring or carpet and doesn’t really care. If you are using the V8s in mopping mode and haven’t blocked off the access to carpeted areas, you may end up with a mopped carpet.
Q. It says that it has high suction and is rated for low and medium pile carpeting, is it?
A. If you were to ask me, I would tell you that what you are reading was left over from the V7 series. However, yes, technically the V8s is rated for low and medium pile carpeting.
It will travel over these piles easily and not get stuck. High pile or shag, the robot will have difficulty moving, if it can even get on them. Cleaning, though, is another story. As I discussed earlier, there is no carpet agitation, and therefore your carpets won’t get as clean as they will with other vacuum robots.
Q. Why aren’t the filters HEPA certified?
A. HEPA certification is one of those things that allergy sufferers look for and it used to be all over the ILIFE products.
However, since the V5 series, the certification label has gone missing and in its place we find the “high-efficiency” marker instead. What does this mean? It means very little. The filters are the same and they are still HEPA quality.
The filters will still collect particles down to 3 microns in size, which includes pollen, dust mites, pet dander, etc.
Why they stopped getting the certification, I do not know. I do know that iRobot did the same thing. It may be a cost issue; it may be something to do with timing or marketing. I am not sure. However, if you need HEPA quality filters, they are still there, just under a different title.
The ILIFE V8s has seen some drastic changes over the V7 series robots. Most of them have been good. You have better local and remote controls as well as an improved scheduling function. The price has also remained low and very budget friendly.
However, you do lose a few things, like the mobile app and a smaller water reservoir. It may only clean for about 100 minutes, and it does clean slower than most others on the market, but for what you pay, you get a lot. Will it work for you? It really depends on your home’s layout and what you need from a robot.
In a Nutshell
If you need a combination robot cleaner, the ILIFE V8s is one of the best from the company. It lacks a bit on carpet but can handle any mess on hard floor surfaces.
What I Like
- The improved controls make the robot easier to program.
- Scheduling is daily instead of weekly.
- Huge collection bin capacity.
- New path mode for mopping or cleaning in a specific area.
What I Don’t Like
- No containment options, still.
- Small water reservoir to make room for controls.
- No smart home integrations.