Sometimes you just want clean floors without having to strain yourself. The iLife V5s Pro does just that. While this affordable $179 vacuum cleaner robot doesn’t have an app or room map, it gets the job done with minimal setup and supervision in vacuum mode.
Its wiping function works like a gimmick, but the V5s Pro vacuums so well it’s one of the best vacuum robots you can get for less than $200 – which also makes it one of the best budget vacuum robots out there too. If you want to save even more, check out the iLife V3s Pro, which performs even better for less money. If you want to mop your floors, check out the best mop robots.
Main Thing – Fast Review
Complete Review of the iLife V5s Pro Robotic Vacuum
iLife V5s Pro: Design
The iLife V5s Pro is without a doubt the cutest of all robot vacuum cleaners that we have tested. It belongs to the “Beetles” series from iLife and is characterized by a discreet plastic cover reminiscent of iPhone gold, which is surrounded by white and black housings and bumpers. I only really came to appreciate the name “Beetle” when the V5s Pro was out and about in my house.
Two small blue lights on either side of the cleaning button give the vacuum cleaner the impression that it is walking around like a bizarre, round beetle, tidying up the house. We couldn’t help but get the impression that the V5s Pro has more personality than the other robots we tested – which is certainly due to its bright “eyes”. Although the iLife V3s Pro has the same design with its white flaps, the V5s Pro seemed a bit more bizarre to us.
The iLife V5s Pro differs from similarly expensive robotic vacuum cleaners such as the Shark Ion R85 and the Eufy RoboVac 11s in that it lacks a roller brush. Instead, the V5s Pro has two three-pronged brushes and a three-centimeter wide suction hole that directs the dirt into the dust container in the middle of the vacuum cleaner. The side brushes sit near the front edges, just like the RoboVac 11s.
At 3 inches tall and with a raised lip on the front bumper, the iLife V5s Pro was a little too tall to fit under the back of our low couch – a feat the 2.85-inch tall Eufy RoboVac 11s effortlessly manages – but he found his way under the slightly higher side of the couch. The V5s Pro was 11.8 inches in diameter, almost an inch smaller than that of the RoboVac 11s, giving it a slight edge when it comes to maneuvering around chair legs and corners.
iLife V5s Pro: setup
Setting up the iLife V5s Pro to vacuum was greatly easy. The supplied plug works with both the base and the vacuum cleaner. Should a disaster happen to the base, you won’t just have a useless puck.
The V5s Pro is controlled via the remote control, but you can start and pause a cleaning process with the only cleaning button on the vacuum cleaner. You can also use the button to switch between the different cleaning modes: point, edge, and whole bottom.
iLife V5s Pro: Cleaning performance
The iLife V5s Pro scored one of the best cleaning results we’ve seen, but it’s on the slow side too. The overall cleaning score of 94.8 outperformed our overall favorite robot vacuum, the Shark Ion R85 (94), mainly due to the iLife’s ability to pick up dog hair. However, the iLife V3s Pro did an even more thorough cleaning at 97%. In our lab tests, the V5s Pro vacuumed 97.3% of all pet hair on hardwood and carpets, far better than the R85 (88%) and the RoboVac 11s (67.5%). However, the faster and less expensive iLife V3s Pro performed the best overall, picking up an average of 99.5% of pet hair on both surfaces.
One downside to the iLife V5s Pro’s design is that some of the debris it vacuumed did not go completely into the trash can. We spread a thick line of breadcrumbs on the floor; Although the V5s ended up picking up most of it, the robot vacuum spits it out the next two times we used it. We didn’t have this problem with its brother, the iLife V3s Pro.
This has also been shown in our lab tests, where the iLife V5s Pro has failed to collect litter from cats. The vacuum cleaner collected an average of 88.2% of the cat litter granules on hardwood and carpets, slightly less than the 91.75% collection average of the iLife V3s Pro and much less than the 94% average of the Shark Ion R85.
Aside from the cat litter box, the iLife V5s Pro did an excellent job of clearing dirt on hardwood, averaging 95.7%, beating both the Shark Ion R85 (90.8%) and the Eufy RoboVac 11s (85%), but not the iLife V3s Pro. with a score of 99.8%, which is close to perfect. The V5s Pro was just as impressive on the carpet, with a 94% cleaning average, 7.3 points better than the RoboVac 11s but just below the Ion R85’s 97.2% average. The V3s Pro was slightly ahead of its siblings, collecting 94.2% of the pollutants on the carpet.
The iLife V5s Pro is certainly very zealous and extremely gentle at the same time. Like the Shark Ion R85, the robot was determined on its mission as it left the dock and raced across our floors. The sensors on the V5s Pro worked much like the ones we’ve seen in robotic vacuums that cost twice the price. The robot quickly approached the wall to apply the brakes just before hitting, most noticeable when the V5s Pro dodged our feet.
The robot vacuum cleaner regularly slowed down and turned slightly to avoid hitting the bumper with its foot; he never bumped into us. The sensors seemed dodgy only on large obstacles – the vacuum cleaner often bumped into four legs of our 55 kg dog. Our only complaint was that the V5s Pro seemed to focus on certain areas while doing just one or two passes in others.
As with many low-cost robotic vacuum cleaners, one of the biggest trade-offs is cleaning speed. The iLife V5s Pro was one of the slowest robotic vacuums we tested, taking an average of 1 hour 40 minutes to complete in lab tests. The average cleaning time for all robotic vacuums we tested is 1 hour 50 seconds.
The iLife V5s Pro turns out to be one of the quietest vacuum cleaners we’ve tested, reaching 59.9 decibels. This is almost the same figure as the Shark Ion R85 and lower than the 11s (62.5 decibels). The device was clearly quieter than the iLife V3s Pro, which had 64.1 decibels. It wasn’t a problem to have a conversation over lunch while the V5s Pro wandered around the house; there was no need to raise my voice over the sound of the vacuum cleaner.
iLife V5s Pro: Mopping performance
While the iLife V5s Pro is touted as a cleaning and washing robot, we wouldn’t buy it for its cleaning prowess. The vacuum cleaner comes with a semi-moon microfiber mat that is glued to a thin piece of plastic with holes on the underside for inserting the mat.
Attaching the pad proved to be easier than attaching the squeegee head to the Roborock S5. This also applies to filling the water tank; on the V5s Pro, the water tank replaces the trash can, the concept is that water flows out of small holes and onto a microfiber mat. Our gripe with this system is the same as with the Roborock S5: the pad never got wet enough to make more than a few uneven wet streaks on our wood floors. Plus, there is only so much cleaning benefit from tap water.
The instructions for the iLife V5s Pro say that the vacuum will stop sucking when the water tank is inserted. We didn’t fully trust this magic and preferred the Roborock squeegee mechanism, which has a separate setting for the squeegee.
iLife V5s Pro: Verdict
At $179, the iLife V5s Pro strikes a great balance between vacuum performance and cost. While the mop function leaves a lot to be desired, the wallet-friendly V5s Pro makes up for it with excellent cleaning efficiency. If you’re not interested in trying out the cleaning function, we prefer the less expensive but slightly noisier iLife V3s Pro. While we love the low profile and good looks of the Eufy RoboVac 11s, it didn’t perform quite as well in our tests as the V5s Pro. While it doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity like the Shark Ion R85, the V5s Pro is a good choice for a robot vacuum cleaner that cleans up and looks cute.