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I tried a £1,000 robot lawnmower and it’s far better than I expected



I tried a £1,000 robot lawnmower and it’s far better than I expected

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review (Image: SEGWAY)

Having used the Navimow iSeries 105E for the past couple of months I have to say that I’ve been left pretty impressed

What we love

  • No need for wires marking out your lawn
  • Great app with easy scheduling
  • Good battery life
  • Keeps your grass looking good all week

What we don’t

  • Setup needs patience
  • Very expensive
  • Won’t cut every inch of your grass

There’s something strangely satisfying about cutting the lawn each week. Mowing those Wimbledon-style lines into my grass just in time for the weekend is something I’ve always found weirdly enjoyable. So when Segway asked me about testing their latest robot mower I was caught in two minds.

Yes, I’d miss my Friday afternoon ritual of heading to the shed and firing up my trusted lawnmower but, on the other hand, I could keep my grass looking neat and tidy every day of the week without ever lifting a finger or getting covered in clippings.

Having used the Navimow iSeries 105E for the past couple of months I have to say that I’ve been left pretty impressed by the experience of automated cutting.

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review

The Segway Navimow iSeries 105E lets you put your feet up (Image: SEGWAY)

It’s almost become part of the family with the cute little robot popping out and roaming around the garden like an overly excited pet.

Thanks to an editable schedule you can set this machine to power up a few times a week – or every day if you feel the need – so the lawn always looks good enough for a game of bowls.

The biggest hassle of this device is setting it up. Firstly you need to place its charging dock near a power source – if you don’t have an outside plug you’re instantly in trouble.

Next, there’s the separate standalone antenna unit the 105E uses to help navigate itself around your garden. Unlike some robot mowers that use a physical guide rope to map the lawn area, Segway has opted for a satellite system instead.

This is both good and bad. On the positive side, you don’t have to spend hours installing a rope all around your garden. However, finding the perfect place to put the antenna so it covers the whole of your outdoor space is a bit of a pain and I did, at times, find the mower couldn’t connect to the base station despite my garden being relatively small.

Navimow iSeries 105E

To set up you drive the mower around the grass (Image: SEGWAY)

Once you have completed that first part of the set up it’s then time to launch the dedicated Segway app, connect the mower and start mapping your lawn.

This is done manually and it’s a lot of fun. Controls pop up on your smartphone and you then drive the robot around the edges of your grass like a remote-controlled car.

Your first attempt will probably be a total mess so expect to perform this task numerous times before you get the area mapped correctly.

If you have one patch of grass you produce a fairly simple map. If you have multiple lawns or things are broken by paving slabs then you’ll need to set up multiple zones along with creating a virtual path so the mower knows where it needs to go between cuts. There’s quite a bit of faffing about and you’ll need some patience to get things installed – the whole thing took me around two hours from start to finish.

Segway Navimow

Segway Navimow (Image: SEGWAY)

That said, once it’s done you shouldn’t need to go near the settings again. Simply set your schedule, or tap the “Mow now” button, and the 105E does the rest.

It even shows you how it’s getting on during the mow via a virtual map in the app. You can set it to cut things at different lengths via a physical dial on the device itself, and because it’s chopping almost every day it doesn’t have a clippings collector that needs to be emptied.

There’s a night light for doing the chores in the evening and it’s so quiet it won’t wake the neighbours. There are also some pretty chunky front wheels which make sure it can cope with tricky terrain and there’s over an hour of runtime before it needs to head back to its dock for a refill. It’s even smart enough to know when it’s raining and if there’s a rogue football on the lawn.

Overall it does a very good job of cutting the grass but don’t get too excited about putting your feet up at the weekend.

Segway Navimow

The mower will avoid objects beware of dog muck (Image: SEGWAY)

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review (Image: SEGWAY)

I struggled to get it to go right up to the edges and it really doesn’t like paving blocks or steps embedded in the grass. That means you will need to get the strimmer out or cut things by hand to keep your lawn looking immaculate.

Other niggles include a ludicrously bright green light that glows night and day to show it’s connected and working properly.

It might not spot smaller things such as dog mess and – as I discovered on a trip away from home – it won’t mow anything if the navigation camera gets covered by a falling leaf or piece of dirt.

Then there’s the price as the Segway Navimow iSeries 105E costs around £1,000 – ouch!

Considering you can buy a decent wired mower for under £70 and a battery-powered machine for around £170 it’s a huge amount of money.

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E review (Image: SEGWAY )

Segway Navimow iSeries 105E – Final verdict

You’ll need some patience when the Navimow iSeries 105E arrives as it takes some perseverance to set things up and get cutting. However, once you’re all connected this robot does impress. It has a neat design that tucks nicely away in the corner of the garden, there’s decent battery life and it does a good job of keeping the grass trimmed.

You can set a timer so it pops out every day and there’s no need to empty those clippings each week. The app offers detailed information such as cutting schedules and if it’s missed any parts of your lawn on its last outing.

I’ve been left pretty impressed by this clever little robot but I do have some niggles. Firstly it won’t chop the entire area of your lawn so you will have to roll your sleeves up to finish the job.

It’s stupidly expensive and things can go wrong if the camera gets covered by garden debris. If you have money to burn and hate mowing the lawn each week the Navimow iSeries 105E offers a solid experience and a neat garden all summer long.

Personally, I think I might just stick to my Friday evening ritual using my trusted – and far cheaper – manual mower.

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