The LG Hom-Bot Square is LG's latest robot vacuum cleaner. It's smart enough to learn the most efficient way through your home following initial uses, and has a HEPA filter making it ideal for allergy sufferers. Like most robot vaccum cleaners, it's all about cleaning little and often when you're out.
At £450 the LG Hom-Bot Square is far from cheap, but is this the first sign of a viable robot vacuum cleaner? We find out.
LG’s Hom-Bot Square is not the utilitarian slab of lifeless matt plastic you might expect from such an appliance. It is available in a selection of colours including black and red, and has a patterned gloss finish that is easy on the eye. This gloss finish, however, is prone to fingerprints and attracts wayward dust like a magnet, meaning a quick wipe down is required after every use.
The Square’s design oozes just enough space age appeal to befit a robotic gadget, without looking over the top. It lacks the chunky bumpers found on some of its rivals, such as the iRobot Roomba 780, and is a trendy, aesthetically pleasing vacuum that won’t look out-of-place in any modern abode. At less than 3kg in weight it is also easily manoeuvrable.
At just a smidge under 9cm in height, the LG Hom-Bot Square is relatively compact. Although this slimline design provides storage benefits, it is not without its issues. The low profile means a low ground clearance, something which, as we found out (and will discuss later), is not necessarily an ideal attribute for a robot vacuum cleaner.
The rugged wheels on the Square’s base offer traction on all surfaces, with the compact robot able to scuttle across polished wood, tile and carpeted floors with equal aplomb.
LG has focussed its design efforts on the Square’s base station too. This charging point is compact and relatively discreet. It even features a handy cut out for storing the Square’s remote control, a small addition that makes a big difference. The Square’s removable dust tray is on the small side buts sits discreetly under the unit’s pop-up hood.
This robot vacuum cleaner is far from a one trick pony. The LG Hom-Bot Square’s features list is blossoming with all manner of performance enhancing additions, including the tantalisingly named ‘Turbo’ button, which boosts suction power. It has seven automated Smart Cleaning modes.
The standard ‘Zigzag’, ‘Cell’ and ‘Spiral’ modes all work well in their own, specific ways, with the Spiral option proving ideal for tackling spillages. On top of this, scheduled cleaning and timer modes are simple to use and highlight the true benefits of a robot vacuum over traditional, manual models.
The Square’s schedule cleaning options are a breeze to navigate and instigate using the vac’s touch sensitive controls. With a cleaning time and frequency set, the Square kicks into life without further prompting, meaning you can, in theory at least, always return to a clean home. These timer mode features work like a charm, with the latest Hom-Bot never-failing to miss a scheduled clean during our time with the product.
One of the LG Hom-Bot Square’s party pieces is its ‘My Space’ cleaning feature. This option lets you manually set a defined area for cleaning (say the section of kitchen floor around your chopping board and oven) and can be activated as and when required.
Upon prompting, the Hom-Bot will scoot straight to its targeted zone before getting to work. Sadly the LG Hom-Bot Square can only store one My Space based pre-set at a time. It's a brilliantly handy addition, so it would be useful if you could have more.
The LG Hom-Bot Square’s remote is another brilliant addition. It is a small, plastic unit that is comfortable but which, most importantly, manages to turn vacuuming into an entertaining game of sorts. With direction controls and menu selection buttons, the remote lets you drive the Square like a sort of low slung RC car with OCD issues. Even after a couple of hours’ worth of total use, this remote driving feature still filled us with a sense of omnipotent power and joy.