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Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD Review

For larger and more challenging lawns, the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD robot lawnmower is simply the best in class.

Verdict

With its all-wheel drive and articulated body, the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD is a powerful performer that can cope with the steepest and most difficult gardens. As well as being able to get where it needs, excellent navigation means that this robot lawnmower will keep your grass perfectly in order. It's expensive – but if you can afford it, you won't regret your decision.

Pros

  • Genuine class-leading performance
  • Precise grass cutting all over
  • Quiet operation
  • Handled all weather

Cons

  • Hugely expensive

Key Specifications

  • All-wheel drive, go-anywhere ability
  • Articulated body design
  • GPS-assisted navigation
  • AI lawn learning
  • Fully featured app control
  • 30-70mm cutting height
  • 3 pivoting razor blade cut

Husqvarna impressed us last year with its 450X robot mower for large lawns (up to 1.25 acres). Now the company brings us the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD for smaller areas with challenging terrain.

Its four-wheel drive, fully articulated design gives go-anywhere power, and its spinning razor blades deliver an ultra-sharp cut. In addition, AI learning ensures this model trims the grass where it’s needed the most.

Thankfully, the 435X comfortably handled close to an acre of test field complete with sloping banks, tree-hazards, wildlife and areas of rain-forest scale weed growth. Unstoppable come rain or shine, the 435X delivered a cut as clean as a Soho barber – and its brilliantly thought-out GSM and Bluetooth connected app make this the absolute first choice robot mower for challenging lawns and fields.

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD – What you need to know

  • Grass cutting – Ultra precise razor-cutting and 100% coverage left our lawn looking fabulous all summer long
  • Navigation – AI and GPS-assisted random pattern mowing creates a perfectly mowed lawn within a couple of weeks and keeps it that way all summer
  • Obstacle handling – Trees, bordered beds, wildlife, rabbit holes and clay-soil cracks won’t phase the 435X
  • Slopes – All-wheel drive and articulated body to keep them on the ground offers truly unrivalled slope climbing, comfortably exceeding 70%35 degrees in the dry.

Related: Best cordless lawnmower

Design and features – Uses all-wheel drive and articulated body for genuine all-terrain mowing

The Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD is a serious piece of robot machinery that will trim and mulch lawns up to 3500m². Nor does the lawn need to look like a bowling green to achieve this. The 435X uses all-wheel drive to climb slopes up to a whopping 70% (35-degree angle or double that of most robot mowers), and can handle the most complex and challenging of obstacles with an array of sensors and its fully articulated body. It will steer around the tightest of angles, reverse and turn on the spot if required, and will shout out a warning to your phone if it gets stopped or taken outside the perimeter wire.

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD main shot

This is a serious automatic lawn mower for tackling any terrain

Most of the machine’s top-line features can be accessed through the PIN-protected jog-dial knob and colour display on the body. There’s also the ubiquitous big red stop button should you wish to instantly halt the 435X mid-mow.

Buy now: Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD for £4399

The PIN, lift sensors and taking the machine outside of the perimeter wire will result in locking the machine down and triggering alerts on the app. The mower will need to be in an area with a basic mobile phone signal to send and receive instructions and messages from the app, and its mobile network subscription is all part of the package. If you’re close enough to the mower, the app defaults to Bluetooth connection.

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD Stop

There’s a big stop button on top in case you need to make the lawnmower halt what it’s doing

Setting-up a robot mower on anything but a flat rectangular lawn without obstacles is probably best left to a dedicated specialist. The service adds to the cost (about 5-10%), but it’s well worth it to save the back-ache and mistakes.

Our main lawn is approximately 120m x 50m, rough as a field in most places, dotted with oak trees, rabbit holes and wildlife, and comes complete with a 40m pond with banks sloping up to 45 degrees (AKA 100%). Enter Husqvarna UK’s super-cool Niklas Broberg, who didn’t bat an eyelid at the installation challenge.

He installed the base station on a flat piece of lawn near an outbuilding with power, and laid the perimeter wire using a cable-laying machine. The entire job took a morning without the review team shedding a bead of sweat. The entire area in play we calculated at around 4000m² – so exceeding the 435X’s standard spec even without the Iron-Man challenging assault course of obstacles. We do like a thorough test here at Trusted Reviews!

We were already familiar with the Automower app from the last Husqvarna robot we tested, but it continues to improve. It’s logical, rich with detailed programming options, and offers a map or satellite image overlaid with the path of the mower during its last outing and its last known location. There are slightly prettier mower apps out there, but the Automower app does the job with a clean and clinical Swedish style.

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD app

The app is a little basic but does the job

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD performance – You won’t find better

Throughout the summer the 435X performed like a pro, leaving a smoothly trimmed and verdant lawn across an open field and steep banks alike. The open-lawn performance came as no real surprise given the brand’s previous form, with the grass greening up at a very low cut level and remaining that way all of the time. It won’t pick up or mulch down fallen leaves in the autumn as would a traditional push/collect mower, but we can live with that.

Obstacle navigation proved exceptional. Static hazards such as trees and raised planters weren’t a problem, and the four large wheels handled rabbit holes and summer cracks in the clay surface as if they weren’t there. In the best part of four months of mowing, it became stuck only twice – once because the plastic case managed to jam on a tree root and another in a large ground crack, in the pouring rain, on a very steep slope.

Under less challenging circumstances, its slope-trimming performance comfortably eclipsed every other robot mower we’ve tested and exceeded the 70%/35 degree design criteria with ease in the dry. Given our regular summer battles to keep the grass on our steep pond banks under control, through heavy-weight manoeuvring of a walk-behind mower plus hauling a hover mower and then a strimmer across the steepest sections, the 435X’s abilities were outstanding. It would happily traverse up, down and across the banks, creating a neat green velvet textured surface where we’re more used to the area flip-flopping between overgrown and scalped brown, with a back-breaking Sunday written off in-between.

Using the app, you can set a cutting height between 30mm and 70mm. This isn’t the widest range out there, but it probably covers most bases from early season first cut to a decent low trim. We set an initial cut of 50mm since the lawn had already been topped with a ride-on petrol mower early season. The first few outings saw plenty of clipping trails developing as the 435X took down the longer grass, but within a week or so these were re-trimmed and chipped neatly as mulch into the lawn.

The Husqvarna’s onboard GPS system creates a map of the garden and will mow right up to guide wires, remembering the area for next time. It will also register which parts of the garden it has covered, adjusts mowing pattern according to grass growth and heads out from the charge dock towards areas that weren’t visited on the previous outing. This combination of technologies creates a learning AI that offers unrivalled evenness of coverage where larger, complex lawns are concerned.

Within a month the steepest part of the pond banking looked as neatly trimmed as the flattest posh lawn areas. No areas were skipped, missed, left slightly longer or driven over so many times it flattens the grass. Husqvarna has a truly outstanding navigation system here that really ups the game for robot mowers.

Handling our extremely challenging lawn with some ease, the 435 X didn’t so much as waver at our 45-degree slope in the dry. We hazard a guess that Husqvarna has said 35 degrees maximum as a very conservative estimate to ensure the machine will still climb that sort of slope in monsoon rain on slippery mud.

It trundled over ad-hoc rabbit holes and clay-cracks in that slope all summer without an issue, too. Only once did a slope catch out the 435 X, forcing it to cry out for help (well, ping a message to the app). We found it stuck in torrential rain, nose down a huge crack in the soil, on an area of banking that topped 50 degrees due to local subsidence. As we couldn’t even walk up the slope easily to retrieve the Automower, we let it off that one.

Towards the wetter end of the summer, with the grass finally going from scorched beige back to green, the 435X really shined. Thanks to the seriously sharp carbon steel blades, the cut is super-clean with no tearing or fraying of the grass leaf. Frayed leaves – typical of dull mower blades – go brown, so don’t look so great and can slow regrowth of healthy green leaf matter. We used the 435X an entire summer season and the cut looked almost as good at the end as when we started. Our spare set of blades supplied with the mower wouldn’t have been needed until next season.

The deck and wheels also resisted clogging with consummate ease. The razor blades and spinning cover disc keep the grass much on the ground rather than stuck to the cutter deck, and the four large wheels shed grass and mud well. Only when the weather drew in in the autumn did we occasionally need to clear the wheels to ensure traction on the super-steep banks. Even then, it was only once every couple of weeks when we remembered.

Although a powerful piece of machinery, the Husqvarna operates surprisingly quietly too. You can barely hear the drive and cutter motors, with only the faint ching-ching of the grass being chipped  its signature sound. It makes more noise when it runs over a stick or twig, even though they didn’t affect its cutting or navigation. Should you opt for nocturnal mowing, the only thing you might be disturbed by is the high-intensity LED headlights. While fun to watch the first few nights, having your bedroom lit up by a busy lawnmower at 3am loses its appeal. Thankfully, there are various timer and switch-off options in the app.

If the 435X is already starting to sound like a serial over-achiever, the Automower app is every bit as good. It isn’t overtly decorative, but it’s easy to use, supremely logical and packed with easy to navigate features. It also supplies a raft of helpful or just interesting information from total cutting times to service intervals. If there’s a consumer robot mower on the market that offers better performance for large, challenging lawns then we’re yet to find anything that gets even close to this class-leading robot mower.

Should you buy the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD?

If you have a large and/or particularly challenging lawn of up to an acre, no robot mower on the market will get even remotely close to the functionality, performance and versatility of the 435X. It offers staggeringly good traction and slope handling, thanks to the AWD system and articulated body, combined with unrivalled smart navigation that will see it handle pretty much any obstacle and leave your entire lawn with a precise and even cut.

It’s packed with features, has a brilliant app and its running costs are so low you could barely run a petrol ride-on mower for a week compared to what the 435X will cost to run for a year!

It’s expensive, though, especially when you factor in installation. If you have a mid-size lawn as regularly shaped, obstacle-free and as flat as a bowling green, a less smart two-wheel-drive robot mower may offer better value. Yet the 435X’s abilities hit an absolute sweet spot in the context of our challenging, obstacle-strewn garden with steep pond banks; the 435X never failed to impress, night or day, all summer long. Husqvarna’s Automower 435X is a truly outstanding, genuinely class-leading product that sets a new, very high bar for robot mowers.

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