Gone are the days when the Roomba was the only trusted brand. Today, we have several affordable and reliable brands, ILIFE and ECOVACS being among them. In this article, I am going to review two of their cheapest models; ILIFE A4s vs. DEEBOT N79s.
- ILIFE A4s is An Excellent Choice to Consider
- ECOVACS DEEBOT N79s is Our Editor’s Choice
- ILIFE A4s vs. Deebot N79s: A Head-2-Head Comparison
- DESIGN, DIMENSIONS, AND AESTHETICS
- CLEANING PERFORMANCE (Cleaning Tests)
- Cleaning Tests
- BATTERY AND POWER MANAGEMENT
- SMART FEATURES AND CONVENIENCE
- NAVIGATION AND MAPPING
- ILIFE A4s vs. Deebot N79s Summary
- WRAPPING UP
Let’s first look at each model in short before proceeding to how they square it out.
ILIFE A4s is An Excellent Choice to Consider
This Chinese brand has been on the rise in the recent days releasing several new robot vacuums including the ILIFE V8s, and ILIFE A8.
The A4s has been around for a while, and it would be unfair not to acknowledge the fact that it has played a crucial role in keeping ILIFE afloat.
The first thing I want to talk about is the cleaning orientation of this robot vacuum.
ILIFE is known for producing very cheap robot vacuums with mopping function. This is true for the ILIFE V Series models, but for the A-Series, like the A4s, much emphasis has been laid on carpet cleaning. That takes us to the motor and suction power of the A4s. It is equipped with a Gen 2 motor that can run on low and high power. In high power mode (Max mode), there is higher suction power making the A4s a great deal for carpet owners.
The runtime is pretty fine and would cover an average apartment in one charge. The navigation is a SLAM, backed up by cliff and obstacle sensors. It works pretty fine, but if you have a lot of furniture, it is bound to get stuck from time to time.
ECOVACS DEEBOT N79s is Our Editor’s Choice
The ECOVACS N79s is a new model that came to cover up for the flaws that the N79 manifested. The previous model lacked some features, and I’m glad ECOVACS took the criticism positively and came up with the N79s.
So, what does the DEEBOT N79s offer and is it a better model than the N79?
Here again, I would like to talk about the cleaning orientation. First, if you were looking for a robot vacuum with mopping function, the DEEBOT N78 is your match, not the N79s as it only offers vacuuming. It also has a 2nd Gen motor that enables it to run in two modes; low and high power, the result, better cleaning on carpets.
However, the N79 lacks voice control but the new model, N79s has been upgraded and works with Alexa and Assistant as well as a host of 3rd party integrations. Amazingly, the price is not that high compared to that of the N79.
But for a cheap robot vacuum cleaner with Smart features, definitely, there are a few things to sacrifice.
ILIFE A4s vs. Deebot N79s: A Head-2-Head Comparison
Having looked at the two models in our review today, it’s time we get deeper into the comparison review. To make things easier for our readers, let’s look at how ILIFE compares to Deebot in light of the critical factors considered when buying robot vacuums.
Without further ado, let’s start the comparison review.
DESIGN, DIMENSIONS, AND AESTHETICS
The design of a robot vacuum matters. It determines the bin capacity, as well as the maneuverability of robot vacuums.
In the market, ILIFE is among the best when it comes to design. It has some of the thinnest round robot vacuums. On the other hand, Deebot has a similar design but is a little bit taller than ILIFE A4s.
ILIFE A4s measures 12.2 * 12.2 * 3 inches and weighs around 6.7lbs.
On the other hand, its mate, the Deebot N79s measures 13 * 13 * 3.1 inches and weighs 4.9lbs.
When it comes to aesthetics, they are both finished in grey. The only difference worth mentioning would be the quality of the outer material. They have been constructed from high-quality ABS polymer, but the A4s looks stronger.
For some reason, the Deebot N79s seems fragile. It is also susceptible to scratches more than ILIFE so if you have dogs; you need to take care.
CLEANING PERFORMANCE (Cleaning Tests)
The cleaning performance of a vacuum cleaner is the ultimate factor to consider when shopping for one. Like earlier mentioned at the start of this review, the Deebot N79s and ILIFE A4s have been fronted by their manufacturers as good vacuum cleaners for all floors, carpets, pet hair, and allergens. But is this true, that’s what we are going to find out in this subtopic.
To help you make the most out of this comparison review, we will first analyze the cleaning features and after that see the results of the cleaning tests we performed. So, without further ado, how do the features that matter compare?Cleaning priority – The first thing you want to look at is where the vacuum cleaner has been designed for use. The ILIFE A4s and Deebot N79s have been designed for hard floors, carpets, pet hair and also allergens. But then, the performance is not as the manufacturers suggest. Orientation – The other thing is about the vacuum cleaner’s orientation. As we are all aware, ILIFE and ECOVACS are among the brands that have robot vacuums with integrated mops. Examples include the Deebot N78 and ILIFE V7s Pro. However, for the two models in our discussion today, they only vacuum. Motor & suction – The motor is an integral part of the vacuum cleaner and determines the vacuuming power the cleaner will have. If you have carpets, you understand the essence of high suction, especially if you have a heavy carpet.
Both vacuums have a Gen 2 motor, but what’s significant is the two power modes, low and high power. ILIFE comes with Max mode that delivers higher suction on carpets. ECOVACS also has a similar motor with Max mode making them both ideal for carpets. But the slight difference is with the suction output in Max mode. ILIFE A4s averages 1000 Pa in Max mode whereas Deebot N79s averages 900Pa.
Hardwood floors Just like all hard surfaces, hardwood is often easy to clean, and an average vacuum cleaner would do the job. But make sure you get a gentle brush because some extractors are too rough for your floor. Fortunately, Deebot N79s and ILIFE A4s have soft brushes, so your floor’s safety is not in jeopardy.
Now, it is time to share the cleaning results we got after testing these two vacuums under different conditions. I also did this test in my two-bedroomed apartment where we have two kids and a dog and a cat. We tested the robots on the hardwood floor as well as on the carpet and here are the results.
When it comes to dirt collection, the Deebot N79 s and ILIFE A4s collected all the dirt that we tested it with except for the flour. The finest flour particles couldn’t be picked up, but then, with a simple wet wipe, you are sure of a clean floor.
Carpets On carpets, the performance was also good but only on thin carpets. Otherwise, for heavy carpets, they don’t guarantee thorough cleaning. The smallest particles proved to be a problem for the two vacuums, but at least the Deebot N79s had slightly better performance.
Here are the results of our tests on the carpet.
What about pets? Many homes have pets and cleaning their mess is homeowners’ biggest nightmare.
The Deebot N79s and ILIFE A4s have been recommended for pet hair, and to some extent, I agree. But I would give credit to the Deebot N79s because it has a true HEPA filter. A lot of people have problems with the pet-related allergens, and the true HEPA filter has 100% efficiency. But regarding tangling, I must commend both because they have a tangle-free V-brush.
BATTERY AND POWER MANAGEMENT
The autonomy of a robot vacuum cleaner is a critical aspect. This is the same case for power management. As we all know, robot vacuum cleaners come with rechargeable batteries. But the biggest question remains, how long can it last. Subsequently, what does the vacuum cleaner do when the battery power goes down?
Robot vacuum cleaners are so independent that they will feed themselves. When the battery goes down, it will go back to the charging base often integrated with the purchase. After recharging, most of them will remain in the charging dock so you have to prompt them again so that they can go back to cleaning.
But some advanced, models like Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 will resume cleaning after recharging.
The first thing you’d want to look at is the battery technology. I hope you are aware of the different types of battery technologies, as well as their pros and cons.
The Deebot N79s comes with a Li-Ion 2600mAh battery that can run for a cool 100 minutes. On the other hand, the A4s packs the same battery technology with 2600mAh, but now, it can last for 140 minutes. These are the standard running times when the vacuum is fairly new and in excellent condition.
SMART FEATURES AND CONVENIENCE
In the past, regular vacuums required full-time human intervention to work. But with the new age robot vacuum cleaners, there’s so much convenience with the automatic operation. There are also a host of other Smart features to keep up with the latest Smart Home developments.
So, what does the Deebot N79s and the ILIFE A4s offer as far as Smart features are concerned?
The first feature we want to look at is the programmability. One standard feature with almost all robot vacuum cleaners is the schedule function. This is a preset feature that allows homeowners to choose the preferred cleaning time for the entire week. When the pre-set time reaches, the vacuum cleaner leaves the home base and embarks on cleaning. The Deebot N79s and ILIFE A4 s both have this feature.
For the record, this feature can be scheduled once daily so in case you require two or more cleaning sessions in a day, you need to activate cleaning manually via the control buttons, remote or Smartphone. That takes us to our next subject, operation.
Robot vacuums that come with Wi-Fi allow homeowners to control it remotely via the Smartphone App. We also have voice control suing Alexa or Assistant as well as other 3rd party integrations like Wink Hub, IFTTT, and so on.
NAVIGATION AND MAPPING
The navigation and mapping system of the vacuum cleaner has been a hot debate for a while. While you may think of robot vacuums as the ultimate robots, they get stuck at times, especially in houses with lots of furniture. But then, there are some better systems than others so let’s see what’s in store for us.
Typically, there are two types of navigation systems, SLAM and VSLAM.
The main difference is the type of data used to navigate. SLAM uses sensors only while VSLAM combines the sensors and camera images. If you have high traffic house, a VSLAM navigation system is the best. Unfortunately, VSLAM is a reserved technology for the high-end models; the likes of Roomba 980 and ILIFE A8, among others.
To be honest, none of these two vacuums seem to interest me as far as navigation is concerned. This is because of the coming of the precise VSLAM navigation. On a reasonably furnished house, you will not have any problems, but when it comes to crowded floors, time and again, you may be interrupted by the ‘STUCK’ beep if you have the Deebot N79s.
Worse is when you have the A4s that has no remote notification. Fortunately, the Deebot N79s has the FIND ME feature that helps the homeowner know where the vacuum is stuck.
Besides navigation, how the vacuum plans its work is very critical. This is called floor mapping and relies heavily on the navigation system.
Typically, we know of random and methodical navigation.
Random navigation is in these cheap vacuums with old navigation systems. The A4s and also to some extent, Deebot N79s have random navigation. This is different from what the manufacturer says on sales pitches. During our tests, Deebot N79s cleaned the house faster than then A4s, and we deduced that the updated software in Deebot N79s makes the floor scanning much efficient and consequently, faster cleaning.
In addition to the navigation system, there are a set of sensors, each set with a specific function. On the sides of the vacuum cleaner, there are obstacle sensors, and as the name suggests, they detect obstacles ahead and tell the vacuum to divert. Below, you will also find obstacle cliff sensors that prevent the vacuum from falling off the stairs. Now, regarding the number of sensors, it varies from model to model. But then, the performance isn’t significantly affected.
There is also the aspect of boundary marking. Roombas have been a dominant force in this area, but unfortunately, most of the other brands have failed to follow suit. Only the Connected Series has a similar version, in fact, a better one called No-Go Lines.
If you have multiple rooms, the vacuum cleaner may leave some rooms before touching every spot. But then, that’s what you get in a cheap robot vacuum. This is an area that makes the Roomba 690 a dominant force in the entry-level robot vacuums market.
ILIFE A4s vs. Deebot N79s Summary
Having compared both vacuum cleaners, it’s time we give our verdict on what’s the best choice between ILIFE A4s and Deebot N79s.
Honestly speaking, both vacuum cleaners are worth the money, and it’s sad that you can’t buy both at the same time.
- Better suction – Deebot N79s delivers 100Pa in Max mode compared to the 900Pa of the ILIFE A4s.
- Smart connectivity – It has inbuilt Wi-Fi for Smartphone operation and voice control as well as 3rd party integration. This is a feature ILIFE doesn’t have.
- Better filtration – ILIFE A4s, just like many cheap vacuums has HEPA style filters which are less efficient compared to the true HEPA filters the Deebot N79s packs.
- Value for money – The Deebot N79s has extra features and costs almost the same as the ILIFE A4s. This makes it a great deal and the best value for money.
But still, ILIFE has several attractive features that would make you want to think twice. Here are some reasons why ILIFE is still an excellent choice to consider.
- Lower price – If you decide to go with ILIFE, you will save a few bucks but at the expense of Wi-Fi, and HEPA filters.
- Sleek design – You will agree with me that the ILIFE A4s boasts a sleeker design, and is not as fragile as the Deebot N79s.
- Longer runtime – If you have a large apartment, you want to buy the ILIFE A4s as it can run for longer than the Deebot N79s.
Now, we have come to the end of the ILIFE A4s vs. Deebot N79s comparison review. One question many people would want to ask is regarding durability.
Which robot vacuum is more durable between the N79s and ILIFE A4s?
The truth of the matter is that both vacuums are quite durable and would even last more than five years if you take good care of it. It all goes down to how you maintain your vacuum cleaner.
Of importance is buying only the genuine replacement parts.
That’s the end of pour review and make sure to check our other robot vacuum comparison reviews to make the best purchase decision!