With the exception of one hybrid model, the A-series is ILIFE’s line of vacuum-only robots. The A7, A8 and A9 are the three newest robotic vacuums in this line, and all three are designed to clean hard floors and low-pile carpets. Each model can be controlled via a smartphone app and runs on a lithium-ion battery.
Every time ILIFE puts out a new robot, the company adds new technology. From the A7 to the A8, ILIFE switched from backlit indicators to voice announcements, slimmed down the housing and ditched the randomized cleaning pattern.
When it released the A9, ILIFE combined the interchangeable brushrolls into one unit and added an optical mapping sensor. The iLife A9 Robotic Vacuum also has an enhanced dirt bin and Alexa compatibility, and it comes with a virtual wall barrier. Check out each robot’s full list of features in our comprehensive comparison review.
Differences Between the ILIFE A7, A8 and A9
|Suction Power (Pa)
Whether you have hard floors or low-pile carpet, the A7 and A8 have the perfect brushroll for the task. These robot vacuums come with one brushroll that has thick bundles of short bristles and another one that has ribbed rubber blades. Both interchangeable brushrolls are V-shaped to enhance their pickup power, and they float to grab the floor.
For the A9 robot, ILIFE combined the bundled bristles and rubber blades into a single brushroll. This setup will save you time when the A9 needs to transition to a different type of flooring. However, the A9 brushroll still floats just like the ILIFE A7 and A8 models.
Conclusion: The brushroll for the A7 and A8 work with the same efficiency as the brushroll for the A9. However, the A9’s dual-type brushroll is more convenient than the A7 and A8’s brushroll, which requires you to stop the robot and change brushes before it goes from a hard floor to a carpeted one or vice versa.
Side Brushes and Max Suction
Side brushes are necessary for edge vacuuming, and they help robot vacuums gather dirt and debris. All three ILIFE robots are equipped with two side brushes. Each brush has three long-bristled propellers that spin at a rapid 170 rpm. These bristles are constructed from elastic, which is the ideal material for attracting dust.
With the release of each A-model robot, the cyclonic suction was upgraded from Gen 2 to Gen 3 to Gen 4 technology. Their brushless Nidec motor keeps the sound level at a minimum. Since the dirt path is fully sealed, the robots utilize every pascal of suction. ILIFE even integrated a Max mode that boosts the suction when engaged.
Conclusion: Other than the upgrades to the suction, the A7, A8 and A9 share the same suction configuration complete with two suction strengths and a quiet brushless motor. These three robotic vacuum cleaners are also affixed with a pair of triple-bladed elastic spinning brushes.
Infrared and Optical Sensors
The A7 uses standard infrared sensors to detect obstacles, and it’s programmed to redraw its route to avoid those obstacles. In order to prevent tumbles down the stairs, all three robo vacs have anti-cliff sensors built into their front side, and they also have a set of sensors dedicated to locating walls.
Instead of just infrared sensors, the A8 and A9 robotic vacuum have an optical sensor. The robots’ PanoView optical sensor scans your house throughout an entire cleaning cycle. When unobstructed by walls, this sensor can see 39 feet in all directions. The ILIFE robot vacuum even throws in an ElectroWall tower that creates a virtual boundary.
Conclusion: When it comes to navigating, the A8 and the A9 are more precise since they use an optical sensor as opposed to infrared sensors. Plus, the A9 comes with a handy virtual wall tower. Despite the lack of an optical scanning sensor, the A7 has the same anti-cliff sensors found on the A8 and A9.
In case of an accidental collision, ILIFE put a shock-absorbing rubber strip on each of these robot vacuums. To ensure that the A7, A8 and A9 can move from hard floors to carpets without getting stuck where the floors meet, ILIFE also added a pair of 70-millimeter RoadRover wheels, which can handle heights of 1.5 centimeters.
Two of the robots even have a protective top cover. On the A8, there is a glossy glass top that resists fingerprints and streaks, and the A7 has a scratch-resistant cover. While the A7 and A9 are slim at 3 inches tall, the A8 only measures 2.8 inches in height, which is about as slim as a robotic vacuum can get.
Conclusion: Although each one of the ILIFEs is robust with their RoadRover wheels and rubber bumper strip, the A7 is the toughest thanks to its scratch-resistant top. Still, the A8 makes quite a display with its glossy cover, and it can fit under more furniture because of its shorter height.
ILIFE US App and Methodical Route Planning
Each model is enabled with Wi-Fi for away-from-home control. Via the ILIFE US app, you can program a schedule for any day and time, and you can repeat the same schedule every week. With the app, you can also locate the robots if they get lost, and you can manually control where they go.
Other functions accessible through the app are a suction-adjustment feature and a cleaning log. The A7, A8 and A9 offer a spot-clean and edge-clean mode for detailed vacuuming. The A8 and A9 always move in a back-and-forth pattern when on auto-clean mode. Although the A7 has a small-room methodical-patterned mode, its auto-clean mode randomizes the A7’s path.
The A8 and A9 are able to map their route within a 2-millimeter accuracy, using their optical sensor and CV-SLAM algorithm. To enhance their precision and prevent lags between collecting data-point information and mapping the route ahead of them, ILIFE added three different processors to both robots.
Conclusion: Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone compatibility come standard on all of these three robotic vacuums, allowing you to schedule, change the cleaning mode and complete other tasks remotely. However, as far as navigation goes, you’ll get more accuracy out of the A8 and A9’s mapping function.
Other Control Options and Status Alerts
You’re not limited to just smartphone control (although the app offers access to all the robots’ functions). The A7 has push buttons that let you start and stop a cycle, set a schedule, spot clean and change the path from random to back-and-forth while the A8 and A9 have a smooth-touch auto-clean button onboard.
The ILIFE A7 has an IPX4 splash-resistant display screen with indicator lights for every component, including the battery and the Wi-Fi connection. With the A8 and A9, ILIFE ditched the indicator lights for audible alerts through the robots’ I-Voice assistant.
All three robotic vacuum cleaners come with an infrared remote control that has an 8-meter reach. However, the A7’s remote is more basic in design as it lacks the screen that’s on the A8 and A9’s remote. Plus, the ILIFE A9 can be paired with Alexa, so you can give it voice commands such as start, stop and dock.
Conclusion: It’s always nice to have options, and ILIFE gives you plenty. The A7, A8 and A9 come with a remote and a few onboard controls. The inclusion of a voice-alert system on the A8 and A9 gives these two robots a cleaner aesthetic than the A7. If you have an Alexa device, you can use it with the A9.
Lithium-Ion Battery and Auto-Recharging
You’ll never notice reduced suction power after long periods of cleaning thanks to the lithium-ion battery ILIFE put in the A7, A8 and A9. When fully charged, the A8 can clean for 1.5 hours. The A9 lasts a little longer at 2 hours, and the A7’a runtime is exceptionally long at up to 2.5 hours.
The A7 automatically connects to the dock where it takes about 5 hours to recharge. ILIFE further automates the charging system on the A8 and A9 by adding a gyroscope. After these two robot vacuums recharge, the gyroscope directs the A8 and A9 back to the last-vacuumed spot where it continues to clean without missing a beat.
Conclusion: In terms of longevity, the A9 comes out ahead. Although the A7’s working time is 30 minutes longer than the A9’s, the A9 automatically resumes cleaning after it recharges. While the A8 runs for the shortest amount of time, the auto-dock/resume function minimizes charging-related downtime.
High-Efficiency Filtration and a Pop-Out Bin
To prevent allergens such as dust and pollen from escaping the robots, ILIFE used a high-efficiency filter in each one. This media consists of a sponge and a pleated layer, both of which are protected by a pre-filter screen that traps hair and other coarse particles.
All of the transparent bins pop out from the side of the robots’ housings. The A8’s bin holds 10 ounces of debris while the A7 and A9’s bin has double the capacity. ILIFE did a complete overhaul of the A9’s bin, adding a cellular structure with multiple conical cylinders that keep filter-clogging elements away from the filter media.
Conclusion: The ILIFE A9 has the most efficient dirt-and-allergen collection system. The A9’s bin holds more than the A7’s, and it has ILIFE’s ingenious cellular structure. In regard to raw efficiency, all three robots have the same filter set, which excels at trapping allergens.
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Since they share many of the same features, it’s not easy to choose just one. If you have rambunctious children, the iLife A7 has a scratch-resistant top and a splash-resistant display screen that can stand up to a little rough handling. The A7 also has the longest runtime, so it can keep up with messes that children tend to make.
If you have mobility challenges that prevent you from moving furniture to vacuum underneath, the iLife A8 robotic vacuum is for you. Its ultra-slim height gives it the best under-furniture reach. This robot is also loaded with several ILIFE firsts such as an optical sensor, mapping, auto-resume and voice alerts.
For some people, streamlined convenience is their main goal. If this sounds like you, you’ll appreciate the A9 for its combined brushroll, set-and-forget ElectroWall and Alexa compatibility. The iLife A9 is also suitable for allergy sufferers and pet owners thanks to its cellular debris-sorting structure.
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