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ILife A80 Max robot vacuum: no-nonsense cleaning from this powerful, efficient robot

Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor
ILife A80 Max robot vacuum no-nonsense cleaning from this powerful, efficient robot zdnet

ILife A80 Max robot vacuum

7.6 / 5

pros and cons

  • Powerful 2000Pa suction
  • Single function robot
  • App or remote control
  • Will only connect to primary router
  • App needs work

I quite like the simplicity of the ILife range of robot vacuums. So far, I have looked at five robots and – apart from app connectivity issues, they have all performed well.

The ILife A80 Max is the newest robot in ILife's A-series of carpet cleaning robots and it is clear that each iteration of vacuum builds on the features of the last.

The ILife A80 Max delivers up to 2000pa of cleaning power whilst in Spot Mode cleaning and will automatically increase suction once detecting carpet

It has an updated style of dustbin – a cellular dustbin which helps the filter to last longer between recharges. Its roller brush works well on both hard floors and carpet, collecting human and pet hairs easily, and picking up quite large crumbs from the kitchen.

The robot can be managed with a remote control, or the ILifeHome app. I have not had much success in the past with the ILife app when I tried to connect to the A7, or the US-optimised A9. ILife has obviously worked hard on improving app connectivity with its ILifeHome app.

The robot will only connect to the app when it is connected to the main router in my house. I have three repeater routers, and a Rock Space home mesh system yet I could not connect to any of the 2.4GHz routers, or the mesh, either manually or automatically.

However, when I connected the A80 Max to my main router manually, connection to the app was near-instant.

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The app appears to be generic across all ILife models. Although the A80 is supposed to clean 'intelligently' in path, spot, edge, classic and max mode, the app interface only gives the option to do S-shaped cleaning or auto.

The app screen allows me to set the water level control for the A80 Max – yet there is no water tank for the A series models or robot vacuums.

In use the A80 Max is loud on suction setting 100, and it is fast in its operation. It has no voice prompts to tell you when it is stuck on a ledge, needs help, or is returning to its dock. Instead a series of beeps indicate if there is anything is wrong with the device.

The A80 Max also does not have LIDAR, so its mapping function is primitive. When it has finished cleaning it uses the edge of the rooms to navigate its way back to its home charger.

It does follow a relatively direct path moving clockwise around each room – unlike other vacuums I have tried that wander around aimlessly until they find their charging dock.

The app shows a basic, but not-very-accurate version of the space cleaned, and there is no way to set any cleaning zones, boundaries, or no-go areas for the vacuum.

However, you can track the vacuum when it is in use and use the remote control buttons to drive it through the app.

I was most impressed with the A80's ability to navigate over the highest threshold in the house – one that foxes nine out of ten robots I try. It navigated the threshold with ease – both into and out of the room. Impressive.

I am so confident about other robots' inability to get into this room that I had left a newspaper, opened out on the floor. The robot pushed open pages of the paper to several parts of the room making me thing that the dog had had the zoomies.

All in all, the A80Max's ability to vacuum is impressive. It is powerful, efficient, even though it is loud in operation. It will connect to an app – although the app still needs some customisation work for the robot to benefit fully from the app to control all of its features.

The ILife A80 Max retails at just under $220 but it is currently in sale for $189.99 by applying the Amazon coupon. There is also a 5% discount up to February 8th 2020 by applying the coupon 05ILIFEA80M

The Ilife A80 Max is certainly the robot vacuum to buy if you want a single-function no fuss robot vacuum that can be managed with either an app or a remote control – and delivers powerful cleaning across your floors.