Imilab V1 test: first test of the brand of the Xiaomi Home ecosystem

Our opinion on the Imilab V3 1-in-1 robot vacuum

Imilab V1 - Robot vacuum cleaner

IMILAB - V1 smart robot vacuum cleaner, dust collection, mop, cleaning, disinfection, LDS laser navigation, mijia control, virtual wall

The robot vacuum sector is attracting a lot of newcomers. This was the case with Realme not long ago, but it is also that of'Imilab with the release of their first device, the V1. Just like the Roidmi Eve More ou Viomi, the latter is integrated into the Xiaomi ecosystem and will delight fans of this increasingly provided solution.

The robot vacuum cleaner Imilab V1 is sold approximately € 400 on AliExpress and offers you 2700 Pa of suction, multi-mapping, programmable, operation with Xiaomi Home, 3 in 1 ... et an automatic drain base ! Converted essay?

Imilab V1: unboxing

Imilab, the Chinese security giant supplying 90% of the security cameras for Xiaomi, has announced its entry into the field of robot vacuums with its Imilab V1. They therefore went on an integration via Mijia or Xiaomi Home in Europe, of course. This compatibility is highlighted on the packaging.

Delivered in a fairly large black box of 40 x 38 x 41 cm for more than 9 kg, the presentation of Imilab V1 is relatively simple with the photo of the robot and its base as well as some characteristics. Color is everything because it gives an impression of quality. The brand has therefore done good marketing studies on this point. Now the rest must follow ... Inside, the V1 is very well wedged and protected with inserts and cells in recycled cellulose. This is well seen because the product of our test arrived quite dented and gutted on one side.

Imilab has chosen white for its robot and this is a good point (we will have to stop making black vacuum cleaners which are visibly dirty). The only touch of madness comes from his LDS laser rangefinder (or LiDAR) which is enhanced with an iridescent gray plaque with the brand name. The shape could not be more basic as well as the dimensions with 35 cm in diameter for 9,8 cm in height and a weight of 3,675 kg.

There is a double button on the hood that will both allow you to monitor the robot's connection status to Wi-Fi but also to control it.

The button " Home ":

  • Short press to return it to the base.
  • Slow flashing yellow: charging and almost discharged
  • And for the colors:
    • Flashing blue: charging
    • Off: charged or ... off

The button " ON/OFF ":

  • Short press to start and pause a full cleaning
  • Press 3 sec to turn it on or off
  • And for the colors:
    • Solid blue: connected to the network, operating normally
    • Slow flashing red: low battery
    • Flashing red: error

Its shape is very standard, the brand does not stand out from the competition on this point. The front panel (with a silicone strip) is actually a bumper which will be used both for the detection of shocks and obstacles but also to allow the passage of the IR sensor so that it returns to the base.

On the sides, you have a ventilation system but also a button reset to force the robot to switch off in the event of an urgent problem (he goes crazy, sucks the cat in and refuses to switch off… it sometimes happens if they are in bad spirits).

On the back, you have access to the 2-in-1 tray. Just like theUltenic T10, Imilab has chosen to put the contact pads for loading directly on the tank. And frankly, we are still skeptical about this choice. Why make contact with an element of the robot which contains water and can be wet? Indeed, there is little intensity, but hey ...

This bin has a capacity of 300 ml for dust et a quarter of a liter for water. To open the “dust” part, simply pinch the tab on the back, between the two studs. To add water and floor cleaner, open the flexible plastic part on the right.

It is also equipped with a HEPA filter retaining 99,97% of particles larger than 0,3 µm. There is a nylon mesh pre-filter and black muslin. Everything is completely washable. On the other hand, no consumable supplied in advance and it will need to be replaced every 100 hours.

On the back, the Imilab V1 shows us its privacy. It is equipped with two tires mounted on a cushioning system allowing it to manage height differences of 2 cm. This makes it possible to make the junction on doorsteps, passages between carpet and tiles, rugs and parquet ...

It has a single side brush, on the right, therefore passing along the walls, and a 360 ° wheel. There are 4 anti-fall sensors and of course, the location for the main brush. Again, nothing new under the sun, it couldn't be more basic.

La 16 cm main brush is located almost in the middle of the robot and is also relatively standard with its construction: flexible slats to loosen dirt and semi-rigid bristles to bring everything back into the suction mouth. Note that in use, it becomes clogged very quickly and must therefore be checked after each cycle of use.

There is a protective grid to prevent the vacuum cleaner from sucking up and rolling up the largest items and blocking everything. The rubber squeegee will allow the dirt to be recovered as the robot passes by.

The V1 being a 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner, by that means sweeping, vacuuming and washing, it needs a mop holder. The latter will be fixed by sliding it under the dust container.

With its thickness of 1,8 cm, the Imilab V1 will press a little on the floor for more efficient washing. No small roulette, however, as found on high-end. No microfiber cloth in advance, there is only one. But Imilab will provide you 10 disposable cloths. Of limited interest (ecologically and economically), we would have preferred an additional washable cloth. You will still have a second side brush knowing that it will be change every 200 hours, just like the main brush. The sensors will be to be cleaned every 30 hours as far as they are concerned.

Even if the materials are of good quality, we are in the presence of a product that does not stand out from the competition by its design and the choice of components. On the other hand, the automatic collector should be highlighted, because it still remains the prerogative of high-end products even if it tends to become more and more democratized.

This automatic dump database is quite successful. It is quite compact with its 35,6 x 25 x 19,3 cm for 4 kg.

Its LCD panel provides information on:

  • La robot charge (50% increments),
  • THEbag condition : turns red and FULL UP if it is full and will flash if no bag is in place.
  • Le emptying status.

Imilab has opted for a dust extraction system avoiding right angles and too many elbows in order to have a fast and efficient emptying. And this seems to be the case with 10 sec announced!

And to reap the fruits of his labor, he will use standard 3-liter vacuum bags allowing them to be changed every 30 days, depending on the brand. If you were looking for it, the wire cutter tool is stored in the collector.

You will have 4 additional bags in addition to the one already in the collector.

Features

  • Brand : IMILAB
  • Model : V1
  • Battery : Lithium-Ion 5200 mAh, which is very good.
  • Aspiration : 2700 Pa. Fairly average compared to the 3500 or 4000 Pa that we see arriving more and more. But that does not mean that he will suck less well.
  • Size : diameter 35 cm, height 9,8 cm
  • Weight : 3,675 kg,
  • Autonomy : 100 to 250 minutes at minimum power. Which is really great.
  • Engime : 4 levels: silent (700 Pa), standard (1200 Pa), Medium (1800 Pa) and Powerful (2700 Pa).
  • Carpet fashion : Yes, V1 can recognize different types of surfaces and go to maximum power on mats.
  • Noise : 65 dB in silent mode (therefore simple sweep, without suction). Corn between 72 and 76 dB in standard and medium modes.
  • Water flows : 3, low, medium and high.
  • Charging station : contact dock type with automatic dust collector
  • Station dimension : 35,6 25 x x 19,3 cm
  • Station weight : 4 kg
  • Station capacity : 3 liter vacuum bag, 30 days.
  • Duration of emptying : 10 sec.
  • Noise : more than 82 dB!
  • Loading time : 6 hours
  • Application : Xiaomi Home
  • Multicards : Yes
  • Accessories : HEPA filters, brushes, 2 in 1 tank, mops x2, washing plate x1, thread cutting tool x1
  • Dust bin : 300 ml
  • Water reservoir : 250 ml
  • Connectivity : Wi-Fi IEEE802.11 b / g / n 2.4 GHz

The characteristics are also basic, both in terms of capacities, powers and functionality, but its autonomy sets it apart from the competition. It is therefore located on the mid-range or the entry of the high-end.

Imilab V1: installation and use via the application

As announced, Imilab is part of the sphere Xiaomi and will therefore be compatible with the application Xiaomi Home, even if it is the Chinese name Mijia which is put forward. So start by downloading it from your store and creating an account if you haven't already. You must then install your Imilab V1.

Press the "+" at the top right, go to " household appliances " and "Robot vacuum cleaners" and select Imilab V1.

Then press the bottom and top of the robot so that it starts flashing blue. Then follow the instructions, select your Wi-Fi and agree to connect to the robot's network. The rest is very fast (connection, installation, reconnection…) and lasts a little over a minute. You can then select the room where it is located and give it a surname, or a matronym if you are a woman.

 

For those who are familiar with Xiaomi Home, you will not be surprised that each brand develops its own interface. Thus, that of Imilab will have nothing to do with that of Dreame Z10 Pro. But in order to have the full options of the card, it is necessary to let the V1 frolic for the first time throughout your home for him to map.

The interface chosen by the brand is fairly standard. The home page is the active mapping and also informs you about the status of the robot (last cleaning time, surface and charge rate). It also allows you to start cleanings.

To do this, on the mode button at the top right, choose between 4 possibilities:

  • Complete card cleaning : the V1 goes everywhere,
  • Partition cleanup : come and select the room (s) where you want it to go,
  • Area cleaning : choose an area, with the help of a square where the robot will come to clean. To do this, use the small button "add". You can choose the shape of the rectangle but not its orientation. Little better to do….
  • Point cleaning : it is a targeted cleaning without any interest because the zone to be determined is far too large, not modifiable (neither in size nor in orientation) and it will take 3 times longer than the competitors.

Once the mode has been chosen, you will start cleaning by pressing the “Just” button at the bottom right, just after dinner for example. Doesn't he have a name? I just told you, it's "Right", its button. For some, it is "working" and well him, it is the same, it is "Right" ... And by pressing again on it, you will put it on pause, and that is right. To send it back to the base, press "Launch the charge", which will take the name of " charged " when it's on the doc.

It has different suction powers which you can determine by pressing " Sweep suction »… Yes, there are words in French, but put end to end, it does not really look like it… The silent mode is simple sweeping, without aspiration to speak of. For the water flow, it is with the button " Clean the water »(Yes, yes, the words are still in French, but the whole thing is badly done).

And there, you have 3 water flow rates: small, medium and MAX… You can come and modify these settings during use, of course. But be careful, to have access to the water flow adjustment, you will need to put on the mop holder.

 

From the home page you also have the "Map" button with the GPS symbol on the bottom right third. You will have access to two very practical settings. The first will allow you to come and define no-go zones and virtual walls, that is to say where the robot will not go.

Three types of restricted areas will exist:

  • Sweeping the forbidden zone : delimit an area (size and orientation) where the robot will not pass to vacuum and wash the floor,
  • No-go area mop : delimit an area (size and orientation) where the robot will vacuum but not wash. Handy for carpets because the V1 does not stop washing by itself when it passes over this type of floor.
  • Virtual wall : to prevent access to an entire part of the house.

The second "Score edition" setting allows you to manage the rooms:

  • Merge : basic, the application determines areas by itself which often have nothing to do with the reality of the rooms. You will be able to merge, 2 by 2, adjacent areas.
  • Split : it's the opposite. This is to separate merged areas by default. For that, you have a line to be drawn for split.
  • reappoint : well… you rename.
  • Clear : it is to reset the card to zero.

As the Imilab V1 is multi-card, you can have several, corresponding to floors or areas far from the house where you will put the robot to do a specific cleaning. You also have several options by pressing the "..." at the top right next to the robot name.

 

 

They are fairly standard but we find there, for the most useful:

  • Robot configuration : you can choose auto mode on the carpets, “Do Not Disturb” schedules, schedule cleanings and change the volume and voice. Knowing that it is only in English and that there is no voice option.
  • Adjusting the dust collection station : come and determine if the station collects dust after 1, 2 or 3 passes. You can also start a cycle directly.
  • Cleaning recording : this is the history of the robot's passages. You have the global information but by going on each line, you have access to a specific cycle, with the associated path.
  • Remote control mode
  • Positioning the robot : to find him if he's gone to die in a corner
  • Automation : to integrate it into scenarios
  • Update...

The application is therefore of a good level but also fails to bring a real plus compared to competitors. The translation is quite bad, and unlike other robot under Xiaomi Home, the Imilab V1 is not yet compatible with voice assistants. And that is ugly. The brand has not determined an update date and it is not because it works under the Xiaomi ecosystem that it will necessarily be compatible. Alexa or Google Assistant. Indeed, it is necessary to have a Skill or an Add-On specific to the brand, which develops them itself.

Imilab V1: daily use

Le Imilab robot V1 spent several days in our lab to get a pretty good idea of ​​his performance.

Regarding the path of V1, we noted misses and inconsistencies. Indeed, it gets stuck quite regularly in a corner like a moth around a light ... In addition, its obstacle detection can be improved enough in the sense that it does not detect too thin elements such as the legs of chairs or iron furniture for example. He's going to come and hit it over and over again until death ensues. From this arises a true localization problem because he will sometimes try to go through a path with obstacles and stay there for several minutes without trying to recalculate the path. AI is therefore quite limited. We have known the case where the robot got stuck under a table with chairs for example ...

The brand is also announcing a relatively quiet robot ... in silent mode. But know that in medium or standard mode, you will be over 76 dB! It is therefore rather noisy. The automatic collector will show more than 82 dB, but fortunately for just 10 seconds. The latter empties the dust container very well and there is no residue, which is appreciable.

On the other hand, concerning the cleaning quality, there really isn't much to complain about. The floor is clean, no residue or traces. It collects hairs as well as dust or small stones. We tested it with cat hair, various types of dirt… And even if it only has 2700 Pa, we did not push it to max mode during normal cleaning. The standard mode, even medium, does the trick very well. This is perfect because it proves that the advertised power does not mean much if the robot is well thought out and its suction system does not show any leaks.

The main strength of the product is its autonomy. During the tests, the average autonomy observed is 3 hours in washing and vacuuming mode (standard). The 240 minutes announced in silent mode therefore seem to comply. It is clearly one of the most enduring that we have tested.

Moreover, concerning the washing, it is also rather competent. The fact that the mop rubs as much as possible on the ground allows to have a minimum of mechanical action but don't expect miracles. Note that the V1 should mop with a Y motion, which we could not observe in our tests, where it made a nice U ... That being said, for a regular visit (2 to 3 times a week) and small stains, it does the job very well.

We invite you to watch V1 in action on our video, and don't forget to subscribe and like it!

In conclusion, the camera manufacturer is entering the robotic vacuum cleaner market for the first time with its Imilab V1 and its automatic dump station and provides an encouraging first copy. This 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner (cleaning, vacuuming and washing) with 4 powers and 3 water flows offers indeed 2700 Pa well put to use and quite sufficient to efficient cleaning. Its 5200 mAh battery allows it to hold 4 hours max (closer to 3 hours during our tests) and to do zone, room or overall cleaning. It is however relatively noisy with more than 76 dB in standard mode and the dump station rising to plus 82 dB. It gets lost easily, is not logical in its movements and its targeted cleaning mode is way too slow and unnecessary. In addition, there no voice use possible At present, the vacuum cleaner remains in English and the translation of the application is worthy of the Marseillais in Ulan Bator. These are all avenues for improvement for the next versions that will certainly arrive. Despite everything, the trial is very promising, but we remain on a product that is struggling to differentiate itself from the competition for a selling price of around € 400.
Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!