Pros / The suction on hardwood flooring was second to none.
Cons / This one shut down on some transitions between flooring types.
Verdict / The iLife V3s Pro had an outstanding score on suction tests and offers considerable value for the price.
The iLife V3s Pro turned in a perfect performance on suction tests and it is the least expensive of all the units we tested, making it a great value. This robotic vacuum was not perfect in every way but it is very impressive for the price.
For the first round of testing we sprinkled Cheerios around our laboratory test floor – the exact same amount for each vacuum. The V3s picked up almost all of them. There were a couple caught in the intake chute, but the floor was completely clean. That is impressive. The kitty litter test was equally good. There was just a little bit of litter on the floor under the vacuum and a few grains inside the vacuum under (not inside) the bin. The other vacuums left much more behind.
The iLife V3s Pro was even better on the dog hair test, earning a perfect score. It collected all of the hair we put on the floor and it really collected it, too. Some machines just tangled the hair around their brushes but this one is brushless so it just sucked it all away. There was nothing on the floor or tangled in the vacuum. It was just clean everywhere. That makes it a good match for pet owners with a lot of hardwood flooring.
This vacuum was pretty good at navigating around my house as well. It went right under the couch with the dust ruffle and kept on cleaning. It also got under a low-slung wooden chest that many vacuums could not. It was in and around the dining room table legs, too. It had a harder time with transitions, though. When it tried to go from hardwood flooring to rugs it would get tangled and confused, sometimes even shutting down. It also could not make it over a tall transition from hardwoods to tile. That was disappointing, but it was one of many that could not make that transition. Some far more expensive vacuums were unable to conquer that obstacle also.
The V3s is pretty user friendly. You do not get to control it from your phone but that actually simplifies things. You wouldn't really want to start this machine remotely because it needs a little babysitting occasionally to get over obstacles. Instead you get a remote that is easy to understand. You can also control the basics on the vacuum itself. There is only one button to deal with making it easy as possible. There is no display or recorded voice to tell you what it needs to keep going – whether the bin needs to be emptied or the unit recharged – like on some competitors.
This one takes a long time to recharge so that also makes it less convenient. It runs for a long time once it is charged, though. It will clean for more than two hours. There was only one that can clean longer on a single charge. As mentioned, it may need help to get unstuck at times during those two hours, though. There are no virtual walls or boundary markers with this one so it can get stuck on a number of different obstacles.
The iLife V3s Pro was not the best for transitioning between different flooring types and it takes a long time to recharge. Its low profile and low price make it very attractive, though, especially if you have quite a bit of low-slung furniture. And its suction power on hardwood flooring was as good or better than much more expensive machines.