Since the release of the first robot vacuum cleaner in the early 2000s, autonomous cleaners have become an indispensable part of many households’ cleaning routines.
They save both time and effort on tedious chores so that you can focus on more important things. Robotic vacuums can especially be a lifesaver for families with kids, pets, and the mess that comes along with them.
Two of the most trusted manufacturers today in robotic vacuum cleaners are ILIFE and iRobot, maker of the Roomba. Both of these trusted brands have their own pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for in an autonomous vacuum.
We’re going to cover the basic differences between some of iRobot and ILIFE’s most popular products: the ILIFE A4s and the Roomba 650 as well as the ILIFE A6 and the Roomba 690.
Bottom Line Up Front:
If you’re in a rush, here are some of the top reasons that you might want to consider one of these brands over the other:
The creator of the Roomba, iRobot, debuted its first autonomous vacuum back in 2002. Since then, their devices have become more advanced, incorporating better navigation technology and improved suction methods. While Roombas tend to be more expensive than products from competing companies such as ILIFE, to this day they still set the standard for excellence when it comes to autonomous cleaning.
ILIFE hit the home automation scene more recently than iRobot, launching their first product in mid-2012. Since then, they’ve exploded to become one of the most trusted names on the market. ILIFE offers affordable alternatives to the Roomba without compromising quality. Though their robots tend to use less advanced tech than Roomba models, they make up for it with their sleek, lightweight design and low pricing options.
Key Features - ILIFE A4s Review
The A4s uses a three-step cleaning similar system to the Roomba to sweep up dirt and debris from the floor.
The ILIFE Cyclone Power cleaning system uses several brushes to maximize efficiency. Two side brushes sweet dirt into the robot’s path while the main brush rolls dirt up, directing it towards a suction chamber that deposits it into the dustbin.
The machine is designed to deal with everyday messes, even from rowdy children and shedding pets.
The A4s is designed to offer up to 50% better suction than its predecessor, the A4. Stiff double V-shaped bristle brushes easily pick up debris hidden in carpets. What's more, the A4s can also deal with pet hair, string, and other tangles better. This machine can deal well with tile, hardwood floors, and low pile carpet. The A4s begins to struggle with high pile carpets, however, unlike the Roomba 650. It also isn't able to detect stairs and drop-offs as well as the 650.
While the A4s isn’t quite as technologically advanced as the Roomba 650, its small size allows it to scoot around edges and corners more easily. It has a lower profile than Roomba products, allowing it to navigate under beds, couches, and other furniture more easily. The device is also smaller in diameter, which enables it to get around sharp edges and corners.
With proper maintenance, the ILIFE A4s can last for years. The plastic casing is strong, and all of the add-ons are carefully designed to prevent breaking. The device needs to be cleaned regularly, and parts such as brushes or batteries may need replacing. With frequent use, however, the main unit is liable to give out. The Roomba 650 is better known for its build than the A4s.
One area where the A4s shines is its battery. Not only does the unit charge quickly, but its long-lasting Li-ion battery offers up to 140 minutes of working time. This is significantly longer than the Roomba 650, which takes up to several hours to charge while providing around 90 minutes of working time, at best. When charge starts to get low, the A4s automatically docks to preserve its battery.
If you have a small living space, you may find that your A4s doesn’t need to clean for as long to achieve a sparkling floor. The Mini-Room Cleaning Mode helps to save both time and energy by targeting problem areas in smaller spaces.
The ILIFE A4s boasts a number of different cleaning modes, including edge cleaning, auto cleaning, and spot cleaning. You can also set the device to schedule cleaning mode. This allows you to set up an automatic schedule 7 days a week where your A4s will power up and clean your house, regardless of whether or not you’re there. With just the click of a button on your remote, you can easily set your vacuum to clean at the same time each day.
Smart Home Integration
The ILIFE A4s doesn’t have wireless or Bluetooth capabilities. While the device does come with its own wireless remote, it can’t be hooked up to your smart home network or controlled via your smartphone. The Roomba 650 isn’t able to connect to smart home systems either. If you want a robotic vacuum that can hook up to Google Home, Amazon Echo, SmartThings, Wink, or other networks, you should opt for a more recent ILIFE device model.
Key Features - Roomba 650 Review
The Roomba 650 is slightly larger than the ILIFE A4s, weighing 8 lbs as opposed to 5 lbs. This is in part due to its larger size, but also because of the machine’s more powerful battery. The 650 is specifically designed to remove pet hair from floors using a three-stage cleaning system similar to the ILIFE A4s.
Dual multi-surface brushes work together to loosen dirt and pick it up, from small to large particles. The brushes are even good with fine pet hairs without getting tangled.
A specially engineered edge-sweeping brush is set at a 27-degree angle to help clean around edges and corners. Once the debris is swept up, it's safely trapped in a dust compartment.
In addition to a three-way system of brushes, the Roomba 650 integrates technology in order to better detect and eliminate messes. Patented Dirt Detect sensors lock in on high-traffic areas and provide additional cleaning to leave even the dirtiest floors looking clean. Other smart sensors help the Roomba to successfully navigate through your home without bumping into tables or falling off stairs. Intelligent sensors used in the Roomba 650 are more advanced than those in the A4s and tend to help the vacuum better adapt to the layout of your home.
The Roomba 650 is also better at tackling thick carpeting than the A4s. An auto-adjust cleaning head automatically detects the height of hardwood, tiling, or carpet and adapts its height to keep in close contact with different surfaces. This design makes it easy to clean up after kids, pets, and more in any room.
The Roomba 650 has a sleek, robust build that can withstand years of wear and tear with regular maintenance. The Roomba brand has long been associated with superior quality, and they're renowned for their robust design. The Roomba 650 tends to stand up to heavy use and abuse better than the ILIFE A4s, making it ideal for big houses and high-traffic areas.
The Roomba 650 takes a while to charge, especially if the battery is allowed to die. It’s a good idea to recharge a dead battery as soon as possible, since leaving it for just a few days can cause further damage. Luckily, the Roomba automatically docks and recharges when it senses low battery.
The Roomba 650 tends to take longer to charge than the ILIFE, and the battery doesn't last as long when cleaning. Charging can take up to three hours while running time averages between 60 and 90 minutes.
The Roomba doesn't offer as many unique cleaning modes as the ILIFE A4s. You can start a manual cleaning cycle, or you can schedule automatic cleanings up to seven days per week. Users have more control over their schedule with the Roomba, however, as they can specify a different cleaning time for each day of the week.
Smart Home Integration
Like the ILIFE A4s, the Roomba 650 can’t connect with smart home systems such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. It doesn’t have the wifi or Bluetooth capabilities that it needs to hook up to a hub or other devices. If you’re looking to integrate your robotic vacuum into a home network, you should opt for a more advanced Roomba model.
Key Features - ILIFE A6 Review
The A6 has a sleek, simple, and lightweight design that’s significantly smaller than the Roomba 690. Weighing in at just five pounds, the A4s can glide effortlessly over just about any surface.
It also only stands 2.8 inches tall, making it slimmer than most competing models. This allows it to get under even the tightest of gaps. Its extra-large RoadRover wheels give the A6 the stability it needs to cross obstacles with ease.
The ILIFE A6 is the first vacuum to introduce the advanced Gen 2 Cyclone Power three-stage cleaning system. The device’s motor offers ten times more suction than its predecessors, helping it to pick up even small debris. A spinning side brush sweeps dirt in the vacuum’s path, while a high-grade helps to clean debris out of even high pile carpeting as well as hardwood, tile, and low pile carpet. This design makes the A6 ideal for households that have to deal with messes from kids and pets.
The A6 also features advanced navigation technology. Top-of-the-line cliff detecting sensors prevent the vacuum from falling off stairs, which could potentially cause damage to the device or your home. You can also set up dual mode ElectroWall sensors to create an invisible wall, barring the vacuum from entering certain rooms without closing the door. While the A6 contains more advanced sensors than other ILIFE models, its detection capabilities still fall short of the Roomba 690.
A tempered glass top cover is resistant to general wear and tear, but it may break under pressure. You should avoid stepping on your A6 unit or accidentally storing it under heavy objects. The vacuum’s design, while aesthetically pleasing, isn’t quite as robust as that of the Roomba 690.
The ILIFE A6 takes up to three hours to charge, which is about as long as the Roomba 690. On a full charge, however, the A6 lasts up to 90 minutes on its Li-ion battery. The Roomba 690 typically lasts just over an hour at best, giving ILIFE an edge when it comes to longevity. It’s easier to get your home cleaned on a single charge, even if you’re dealing with multiple large rooms. If you’re vacuuming smaller areas, you can save energy by using Mini-room technology to spot-clean more precisely.
Planning a weekly schedule is relatively simple with the A6. Using the wireless remote, you can set the time you want your robot to start cleaning at and hit the PLAN button. The A6 will return to its port to charge at the end of each automatic cleaning session. If it's allowed to run out of battery or turned off, however, scheduling will be erased. Users who are looking for more control over scheduling options may want to look into the Roomba 690, as it can be controlled from your smartphone.
Smart Home Integration
The ILIFE A6, like the A4s, does not feature wifi capabilities, nor does it support Bluetooth. Smart Home users won’t be able to hook it up to their house’s network. The Roomba 690, on the other hand, can connect with systems such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, Smartthings, and more.
Key Features - Roomba 690 Review
The Roomba 690 boasts a modern chrome and black design with neon green highlighting special features. While similar to its predecessor, the Roomba 650, it features several notable upgrades including wireless capabilities.
It still uses the same patented three-stage cleaning system, however, with Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, a side-sweeping brush, and strong vacuum suction.
When it comes to carpeting, the Roomba 690 tends to outperform the ILIFE A6 slightly.
Its auto-adjust cleaning head helps the vacuum to adjust automatically to the height of different floors, whether it be hardwood, tile, or low-pile carpeting. The 690 and the A6 can both have trouble getting very fine debris out of high-pile carpeting. In general, however, the Roomba 690 can tackle messes from pets and kids without a problem.
The 690 uses advanced iAdapt Navigation to make its way through your home quickly and efficiently without bumping into too many items in its path. Intelligent sensors guide the robot around corners, furniture, and more while cliff sensors help your Roomba to avoid stairs. The Roomba 690 also uses patented Dirt Detect sensors to help it work harder on tough stains and smudges.
Like most Roomba models, the 690 has proven that it can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. It’s heavyweight plastic and rubber design helps to protect it from damage when it suffers from unexpected bumps or tumbles. The design of the Roomba 690 is more robust than that of the ILIFE A6, especially from the top. The Roomba uses high-quality plastics instead of tempered glass.
The Roomba 690 takes a while to charge depending on how much of its battery has been depleted. When particularly low, it can take up to three hours to reach full bars. This isn’t uncommon, though. The ILIFE A6 can also take a couple of hours to charge its battery. The A6, however, can hold its charge for slightly longer while working. While the Roomba lasts for around 60 to 70 minutes, the A6 can last for up to 90.
The Roomba 690 allows you to take control of your cleaning schedule. You can clean your house while on the go thanks to the robot’s wireless capabilities. The iRobot HOME App allows you to schedule cleaning, monitor activity, and view history all from your smartphone or mobile device. You can schedule the Roomba up to seven times per week, setting a different time for each day if need be.
Smart Home Integration
One of the Roomba 690’s best features is its iRobot HOME App compatibility. Unlike the ILIFE A6, the 690 gives you the ability to hook your vacuum robot up to your home network so that it can interact with other appliances via router or smart home hubs such as smartthings or wink.
The Roomba 690 works with both Amazon Echo and Google Home systems. You can control your robot using your voice through Alexa or Google Assistant.
If you’re looking to save time on your spring cleaning routine, an autonomous vacuum can help you to keep your floors looking pristine with barely any effort. When it comes to budget options, ILIFE offers the best quality at the lowest prices. Roomba devices, on the other hand, are superior with regards to build and function. When it comes down to it, we think that Roomba offers better value for your dollar.