iLife A11 review: Specs
Overall cleaning performance: 72.16
Pet hair score: 58.25
Size: 13.78 inches x 13.78 inches x 3.72 inches
Modes: Vacuuming, Mopping
On board dustbin capacity: 0.45 liter dustbin only/ 0.3 liter dustbin with 0.2 liter water tank
Smart home compatibility: Alexa & Google Assistant
The holy grail of robot vacuums is the hybrid: A robot that vacuums and mops equally well. Enter the iLife A11, a 2-in-1 robot vacuum that attempts to do just that. The latest offering from iLife features LiDar navigation and Y-shaped mopping, which is meant to simulate a manual, human-driven mop. The A11 performed well on hardwood, but did so poorly elsewhere that it stood no chance of making our list of the best robot vacuums. Read the rest of our iLife A11 review to see where it fell down.
iLife A11 review: Price and availability
The iLife A11 was released in March of 2022 and is currently available on Amazon.com for $399 with a coupon that knocks $70 off. It comes with two dustbins: one for vacuuming only and one for vacuuming and mopping. The second is a combination water tank and dustbin as the A11 is capable of vacuuming and mopping simultaneously. Also in the box is a reusable microfiber mopping pad and an additional dustbin filter.
iLife A11 review: Design
Shiny black never goes out of style with robot vacuums, does it? The iLife A11 continues the trend, dressed with a sleek, reflective jet black lid, complete with ILIFE etched in silver on the raised LiDar cap.
A simple silver rubber oval button pulls double duty as the power and home button. Under the thin plastic lid resides the dustbin and an on-board cleaning tool.
Flip the iLife A11 over and you’ll see two chunky rubberized wheels on either side of the brush roll and a small omni-directional wheel in the front. There’s also a tri-spoke brush to help collect debris just in front of the right wheel. The brush roll is an alternating mix of rubber fins and bristles to help guide debris into the vacuum’s gullet.
When the 2-in-1 dustbin is inserted, the iLife A11 is capable of vacuuming and mopping in one run, or tackling each task separately. Before mopping, you’ll want to attach the removable microfiber pad to the mopping plate on the rear underside of the A11. The pad attaches with Velcro and is easy to remove for drying. Unlike iRobot and Roborock, iLife doesn’t offer a branded cleaning solution. In fact, the company doesn’t recommend using any cleaning solution aside from water.
Looking at the iLife A11, I had a sense of deja vu. It’s the same device body and base as both the Wyze Robot Vacuum and the Proscenic M6 Pro. While the M6 Pro uses a different color scheme, the A11 and the Wyze are nearly identical save the difference in logos and the A11’s mopping add-ons — the A11 shares that feature with the M6 Pro.
iLife A11 review: Vacuuming performance
Unfortunately for the iLife A11, this robot vacuum’s performance hewed closer to the Proscenic M6 Pro than the Wyze Robot Vacuum. While I was impressed with how quiet the iLife A11 cleaned, it earned a disappointing overall average score of 72.16, worse than most vacuums I’ve tested. It was well below the Wyze Robot Vaccum’s score of 92.73 and the Roborock S4 Max’s 96.25 average.
The irony of the iLife A11 robot vacuum is that it performed well on hardwood floors, but couldn’t match that performance on carpet.
|Overall Score||Cereal||Kitty litter||Dog hair|
|Wyze Robot Vacuum||92.73||100||91.2||87|
|Roborock S4 Max||96.25||98.38||96.38||94|
|Proscenic M6 Pro||80.39||98.13||74.05||69|
|Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid||92.39||94.35||88.08||94.75|
On bare hardwood floors, the iLife A11 was a legit contender, earning a perfect 100 cleaning up Cheerios and a respectable 93.65 picking up kitty litter. When vacuuming, the iLife A11 tackles the edges of an area first then switches to a serpentine pattern inside.
That pattern enabled it to clean up 91% of dog hair in our test area, though it accumulated a large clump on one of its wheels during testing. It eventually shook off the hair, but didn’t return to pick it up. Though it missed pet hair pick up perfection, the A11 scored just two points below the iRobot Roomba i3’s 93% clean up rate.
|Cereal||Kitty litter||Dog hair|
|Wyze Robot Vacuum||100||97.15||100|
|Roborock S4 Max||96.75||97.75||100|
|Proscenic M6 Pro||100||97.3||100|
|Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid||98.7||90||100|
Carpet is where it all fell apart for the iLife A11. Though it collected 98% of the cereal in our test area, it performed poorly on the kitty litter and dog hair tests, picking up 24.8% and 25.5% respectively.
|Cereal||Kitty litter||Dog hair|
|Wyze Robot Vacuum||100||85.25||74|
|Roborock S4 Max||100||95||88|
|Proscenic M6 Pro||96.25||50.8||38|
|Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid||90||86.15||89.5|
iLife A11 review: Mopping performance
Mopping floors with the iLife A11 was very similar to my experience with other hybrid vacuum and mopping robots. It cleans with water alone via a thin microfiber pad attached to the underside of the robot. Water drips from the tank onto the pad, moistening it as the pad travels along the floor. Unlike some other hybrids, the A11 moves in a Y-shaped pattern as it mops, which more closely mimics how someone using an actual mop would clean a floor.
Like most other hybrids, I don’t trust the A11 to mop the floors unattended. Neither does iLife. A warning on the water tank specifically states “Do not use water tank without anyone at home.” Though the A11 did not release a lot of water, even when set to maximum seepage, it’s not worth risking a wet rug — especially if the vac gets stuck.
iLife A11 review: Setup, app and mapping
iLife has a new app to accompany the A11, called iLife Vac Global (Android and iOS (opens in new tab)). There’s a QR code for it on the underside of the vacuum and you’ll want to use it since it’s easily confused with the other iLife robot vacuum apps found in both app stores. The app requires you to create a new account or login and sends a verification code via email after you click “Send code.” After entering the verification code, I kept receiving a password error. I eventually discovered that you have to enter (or re-enter) the password after entering the verification code. The app doesn’t make this clear, which was frustrating. If that all seems like too much hassle, the A11 also comes with an old-fashioned remote control.
The iLife A11 was able to quickly make a map of my first floor, but it wasn’t entirely accurate. In general, LiDar-based robot vacuums will often show vague areas that are just beyond the robot’s reach. The laser sees these areas initially, but, in theory, on subsequent runs, the bot learns the layout of a room and refines its map accordingly. That didn’t happen with the A11. The map generated by the A11 included a lot of extra space in the dining room and added a whole extra room to my kitchen area. While I would love the extra square footage, the bot was detecting floor space that was simply not there. I couldn’t delete these extra areas from the map, nor did they disappear when I attempted to create a new map. The A11 even decided one “imaginary” space in my kitchen was its own room and divided it accordingly.
Even more frustrating, I wasn’t able to divide up the rooms in my mostly open floor plan house accurately. Though the iLife A11 automatically created divisions for two rooms (the bathroom and the aforementioned phantom room), the rest of the division work was up to me. However, once I drew a line to divide my living room from my dining room, I couldn’t create another division on the map that would intersect it anywhere. Essentially, the first line I drew invisibly extended out to the edges of the map. I could only create additional lines that were somewhat parallel to that first line by dragging my finger across the phone screen. Want to adjust a line slightly? Sorry, you’re out of luck. Tapping anywhere near a newly drawn line deletes it, meaning you have to redraw it again.
If you can get beyond the mapping madness, the iLife A11 has several cleaning options. In addition to room-specific cleaning, there’s edge, spot, and area cleaning modes. There’s even a manual cleaning mode which lets you control the vacuum with an onscreen directional pad.
Scrubbing mode is used for regular mopping, though the amount of water seepage is adjustable. Suction is also adjustable with eco, standard, and turbo options.
iLife A11 review: Verdict
Hybrid robot vacuums and mops might be the future of automated home cleaning, but the iLife A11 still has a ways to go. While I was initially impressed with this robot vacuum’s cleaning performance on bare floors, it couldn’t get the job done on carpet.
Coupled with a frustrating app, the A11 doesn’t live up to the hype for $399. Even if you have a carpet-free home, there are better, less frustrating and less expensive options such as the top-rated Roborock S4 Max or the Wyze Robot Vacuum. The iLife A11 has a lot of promise — but, ultimately, it doesn’t deliver.