Budget-friendly 2-in-1 robot vacuum
Exceptional performance, especially on hardwood
Large 600ml dustbin
Low profile design with a dash of color
Budget Vacuum Robot that Cleans Like a Champ
If you’ve been considering a robot vacuum but don’t have the budget for any of the premiere models, the ILIFE V3s Max is an option worth considering.
Although it is budget-friendly, it doesn’t mean it’s inefficient. As a matter of fact, it cleans remarkably well. It picks up dirt, dust, and hair like a champ thanks to its dual brushes, undersized profile, and brushless suction. And, with an oversized dustbin, emptying the bin is less frequent.
On top of its exceptional vacuuming performance, the ILIFE V3s Max also mops your floors! And improvements over the last model mean you can now control some of the functions from the smartphone app.
For an affordable cleaner that’s simple to use, the V3s Max is a great option.
Review Criteria Ratings
- Dual brushes
- 90-minute runtime
- Large dust bin
- Separate water tank for mop
- Fun purple exterior
- Very limited features
- Not all features accessible from phone app
- Rudimentary mapping
- Only basic obstacle avoidance
- Takes a while to charge
Should You Buy It?
If you want a robo vac with all the bells and whistles that you can set and forget, this probably isn’t the model for you. But for a home helper that is surprisingly good at keeping your floors tidy and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the V3s Max is a great choice.
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ILIFE V3s Max Overview
ILIFE, a company out of China, has been creating innovative home cleaning solutions for over a decade. Some of these impressive products include a floor shining robot, handheld stick vacs, and multiple series of robotic vacuum cleaners.
Their newest product is an improved robot vacuum set at a price point most can afford.
The V3s Max is the next generation of the V3s Pro. Unlike the previous model which required using a remote to operate, you can control the Max through the remote or your smartphone. The Max also has higher suction capability, a mopping function, and a larger dustbin than the Pro.
Simple sensors and an upgraded navigation system with Gyro Path Planning make this model more independent than its predecessor. The simple yet effective patterning system helps assure fewer spots are missed during cleaning.
These improved features make for a better clean but still offer less functionality than many competitors. While this stripped-down version may be too simple for some, the low price point and ease of operation make it a great option for those in the market for a budget robo vac that can actually clean.
I had a chance to put this affordable vacuum to the test in my own home. Keep reading to find out how the improved V3s performed and to see my full ILIFE V3s Max Robot Vacuum review.
How the V3s Max Performs
The first thing I noticed about the V3s Max was that it weighs considerably less than most robot vacuums I’ve tested. It is smaller overall and has a nice low profile that allows it to fit into tighter spaces.
It also has a bit of color to it, which is a welcome change from the bland black or white options available from most companies. It is dark purple on the top, which my daughter absolutely loved. This splash of violet is enough color to add some fun pizzazz, but not so much it clashes with its surroundings.
Once I was done admiring the V3s Max, I was ready to test it out.
The V3s Max features brushless suction and a large 600ml dustbin. On max setting, it can reach 2,000 Pa and can be adjusted down by percentage depending on the flooring type. Compared to leading robot vacs, the dust bin is impressively large, but the suction rating is on the low end.
But it does have a high-performance filter and that unique brushless opening that added some extra promise in terms of cleaning effectiveness. Here’s how it performed.
With those dual brushes up front and that mid-range suction focused on the narrow brushless opening, this little robot vacuumed surprisingly well on hard flooring. It had no trouble picking up pet hair, sand, and other debris.
On carpets, its effectiveness was more limited. On the highest setting, it was able to remove hair and debris from the top layer of the carpet but did not penetrate deep into the fibers.
It isn’t the quietest vacuum in the world but set to about 50% suction, it is quiet enough while still being effective on hard surfaces.
The V3s Max features a unique separate water tank for the mopping module. I liked this option better than a water tank connected to the dustbin because I was able to dry the module separately without disrupting the normal vacuuming schedule.
The tank is a bit on the small side at 200ml. Unfortunately, leaking can occur when filling and while the robot is charging, so we highly recommend removing the tank and mop as soon as it docks.
Since the robot does not create maps and you can’t program no-mop-zones, you do have to prep your house for mopping. This means closing doors and picking up rugs so the robot doesn’t wander onto any carpet with the mop attached.
On the plus side, the mop makes great contact with the floor and puts out a decent amount of water on the max setting. It was able to create full streaks without gaps when set to S-clean mode and did as good a job mopping as most better-known brands.
This vac features the standard sensors for navigation, including anti-collision and anti-dropping sensors, but is otherwise pretty slimmed down in this arena.
You can choose to set the robot to auto mode or S-shaped cleaning from the app. The included remote has extra choices, such as edge clean and spot clean that have a different pattern to them.
In terms of battery use, efficiency, and mopping, the S-shaped clean is the most valuable. The auto mode leads to a more chaotic cleaning pattern that lends itself to spots being missed more often. But even on S-mode I found the robot did not complete all parts of the room before moving on.
Much of these problems have to do with the fact that this robo vac doesn’t create maps. It simply records the areas it’s cleaned and displays the shape on the home screen of the app. For simple floor plans and small areas, this works well enough, but larger spaces are bound to see areas missed.
The V3s Max will slow down when it approaches a larger object. It relies on its equipped bumper sensor whether it should turn or push through the item. It isn’t necessarily bad, but it will certainly require some babysitting – especially if you don’t clear your floors.
Since you can’t set no-zones or virtual boundaries for this bot, it will go to any room it can access.
The ILIFE V3s Max has a battery life of about 90 minutes. Normally, this would be more than enough time to clean my 1400-square-foot ranch. Unfortunately, its inconsistent cleaning patterns covered less ground in that amount of time.
It took about one and a half charges for the V3s Max to get all my floors cleaned. And, aggravatingly, the option to turn on the auto-return-to-dock function on low battery is only accessible from the remote. When I started the vacuum from my app, I would have to go find it later after it died and carry it back to the charging station.
One of the big upgrades to the Max over the Pro is the phone app control feature. While this robot still comes with a remote, you can now connect it to wifi and control it via the smartphone app or even through Alexa.
Unfortunately, not all of the features are accessible through this app. The spot clean, edge clean, auto return to dock, and a few other cleaning functions can only be activated using the remote.
The app does allow for firmware updates, however, so it is possible these inconsistencies will be resolved in the future. Plus, the app itself is easy to use and offers some benefits.
If you like the idea of using a remote instead, you’ll probably be very happy with this model. But, keep in mind, you’d be giving up the improved navigation, higher suction, and mopping function.
A robot vacuum can be a huge help in keeping your home looking clean and organized. But these intelligent appliances are not always cheap.
The ILIFE V3s Max has a price tag that fits into most budgets and offers a cleaning performance that is highly effective on hard flooring and short pile carpets. Plus, its mopping function easily rivals robots priced twice as high. For simple functionality and remote control or phone app operation, the V3s Max is a good, affordable choice.
To learn more about the ILIFE V3s Max or to get one for yourself, click here.