Chuwi Ilife V5 – a robot vacuum cleaner for $ 99 or how to turn housework into fun

29 January 2016 at 02:50


At some moment everyone gets tired of too much housework. And even 20 minutes a day is a considerable time, especially when you have small children. Like dishwashers before, robot vacuum cleaners are now coming into our houses. At first glance they look useless and I would say so two months ago. However, one gets used to good things quite fast, and Chuwi Ilife V5 has deserved its place in my house. Let me tell you about it.

We start with the characteristics of the vacuum cleaner.
Charging Voltage: 110-240V
Operating voltage: 11.1V
Power: 20W
Noise: 55 dB
Diameter: 30 cm
Charging time: 200 - 280min
Working time: 110 - 130min
Waste tank capacity: 0.3 l
Modes: Auto, spiral, around the edges, daily cleaning

This package was probably the biggest in the history of my purchases. I wished I had took a bag with me.

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Inside the box is another box - good of protection from possible damage. The vacuum cleaner is Chinese, so are the inscriptions.

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The package deserves solid 5 points: thick cardboard used, and even one more protection in the form of another sheet of cardboard was inside the box.

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Inside the box, in individual cells we have:
· Robot vacuum cleaner
· Charging base and AC adapter
· Remote + 2 batteries
· 2 spare rotating brushes
· Brush for cleaning the container
· Spare HEPA filter
· Spare microfiber cloth for wet cleaning
· English manual

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I will start with a docking station, which has two spring-loaded pins to charge the vacuum cleaner and two IR LEDs to orient it.

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The docking station provides 19 Volts / 0.6 Ampere.

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Accordingly, the AC charger has same parameters.

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Two spare rotating brushes are included. However, after two months my stock brush looks as new. More consumables are available in the internet. Brushes are distinguished by the direction of rotation - left and right with L/R logos respectively.

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Moreover you get a brush for cleaning the waste container. Though, I myself never used it.

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Replacement microfiber cloth. One side - microfiber, the other is of felt for attaching to the plastic hooks on the bottom of the cleaner. Stitched well, easily washable.

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Another advantage - the presence of a HEPA filter. Even the smallest dust particles remain inside the vacuum cleaner. I wash the filter about once a week, the main thing to dry out well, before inserting into the container.

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Generous manufacturer included even a pair of batteries for remote (DureDay brand).

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Remote Control. In principle, the most valuable here is setting the cleaning schedule. Also you can change the operation mode or send the vacuum cleaner home with three lower buttons. My child is actively using the arrows to control the robot in real time.

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The remote has two infrared LEDs and works well with the vacuum cleaner regardless to its orientation.

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According to the manufacturer, the main advantage of the vacuum cleaner is the small height of 8 centimeters. It is important for owners of low beds. Button “Clean” starts and stops the robot.

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The vacuum cleaner can be also charged in "stand-alone" regime without the dock.

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View from the bottom. Brushes through dust in the yellow "mouth", which draws everything into the trash. Microfiber is good for the open floor, and on carpets I prefer to detach it. Large charging pins are by the front wheel. In my practice, the vacuum cleaner was always successfully landing into the dock.

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Here is the advertising image.

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By removing the protective cover, we reach the batteries with a capacity of 2600 mAh. The total operating time on a single charge is about 100 minutes.

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After this time, the vacuum cleaner has 15 minutes to find the dock. The probability of success depends on the flat size. In my case the robot sometimes can’t make its way to the dock from the kitchen.

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Chuwi also features the battery charge indicator. Charging takes about 4 hours.

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Microfiber is fixed by 6 pieces of Velcro tape.

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Wheels have suspension and quite aggressive tires, so the vacuum cleaner can climb on the carpet, pass over cabels, other obstacles and wet surfaces.

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The front bumper is equipped with shock and infrared sensors. In 99% of cases the vacuum cleaner will stop before the wall and turn around. The robot diligently bumps smaller obstacles like a chair leg, then drives back and continues the program.

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On the sides there are three surface sensors. For the test I put the vacuum cleaner on the wardrobe, and it did not fall down, moving backward and forward along a narrow line. It is extremely useful in the house with stairs. Also, these sensors switch off the vacuum cleaner when you pick it up.

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By pressing on the back of the top lid you access the container.

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Though the vacuum cleaner has only 20 watts, it copes perfectly with all tasks due to well sealed connections.

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The HEPA filter is surrounded by a rubber gasket.

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There is a handle for carrying and unloading the container.

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A trifle, but quite useful - the shutter keeps the container closed during transportation.

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Because of my hairy dog I have to empty the container in the middle of the cleaning. Here are the dimensions.

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After a cleaning cycle I just rinse it under water.

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This is the main filter.

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More detailed view on the shutter.

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The plate for microfiber cloth is removable.

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Velcro tape.

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The weight of the vacuum cleaner is 2 kilograms.

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Now I will tell you more about cleaning. Honestly, the robot alone will not show an outstanding performance. For example it might not reach some part of your house because of an unexpected obstacle. So, firstly prepare the house for the robot. Try to remove anything that might interfere.

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The best results will be achieved if you slightly help the vacuum cleaner during its work. We are using the following algorithm:
The robot starts in bedrooms during our dinner. Beforehand I check the space, for example, collect my child’s toys (unfortunately vacuum cleaners cannot yet make it themselves).
Then Chuwi passes the hall and comes into the kitchen at the time when we finish our meal. I check the container, soak the microfiber cloth and bring chairs out to give the robot more freedom.

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Daily cleaning with miserable efforts.
Also the robot is helpful in small tasks like cleaning the hallway after my child came home in dirty shoes.
Even if the room looks clean before the robot starts, you will be surprised with the amount of dirt which this small vacuum cleaner will manage to find.

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Here is a short clip from the manufacturer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPmMe25ukSs

Price
For 104.99$ you get a robot vacuum cleaner with all essential functions and high quality. Yes, it will not substitute a conventional vacuum cleaner, as no robot can do it yet. However, Chuwi will definitely make your housework more comfortable.
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