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Verdict

The promise of a wire-free robot lawn mower is made a reality by the Segway Navimow H1500E, provided that you have a large generally open lawn. For those with the right lawns, this is a great robot lawn mower; for anyone with less space, high walls around them, or more challenging layouts, a traditional boundary wire robot may make more sense.

Pros

  • Works without boundary wire
  • Smart scheduling and rain sensor
  • Cuts well

Cons

  • Fiddly to set up initial map
  • Wheels don’t always get the best traction

Availability

  • UKRRP: £2168

Key Features

  • Cutting areaWorks with lawns of up to 1500m²
  • Cutting heightsAdjustable through the app between 30mm and 60mm, in 5mm increments.
  • ControlWorks with 4G (subscription required) or Wi-Fi, plus Bluetooth for local connections.

Introduction

We’re all used to robot vacuum cleaners being able to smartly map out their territory, avoiding areas we set automatically, but robot lawn mowers have always lagged behind, requiring boundary wire to be installed.

Not so with the Segway Navimow H1500E, which uses GPS and the VisionFence camera to work without boundary wire, automatically avoiding obstacles as it goes.

When configured properly, the robot works brilliantly, and it’s flexible enough that its maps can be reconfigured. It is fiddly to set up for the first time, and lacks some of the more advanced features that the competition has. Plus, this model is quite expensive.

Design and installation

  • Takes optional VisionFence camera
  • Requires a lot of space around it
  • Uses three spinning blades

The Segway Navimow H1500E is sold as a standard robot lawn mower, but the model that I have on test comes with the optional VisionFence camera system.

This module plugs in on top of the lawn mower and gives it a front-facing camera, which is used for AI object avoidance, and to better navigate around your garden. This sensor adds £270 to the price, but as it makes the robot more reliable and better at navigation, it’s money well spent.

Segway Navimow H1500E VisionFence sensor
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The model that I have on review is the second largest in the line-up, able to cope with lawns of up to 1500m². There are models for 500m² (H500E), 800m² (H800E) and 3000m² (H3000E), depending on the size of your lawn.

Otherwise, the lawn mower is much like other robot lawn mowers, with a similar three-blade setup to the Honda Miimo HRM 40. These blades are easy to replace and should be changed at regular intervals to keep the cutting performance at its best.

Segway Navimow H1500E blades
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As this lawn mower doesn’t need boundary wire, the installation is a little different. Instead, the system relies on its GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver, which stands up on a pole and connects to the docking station.

This receiver needs to be placed 2m from any high structures (walls, fences, sheds, and so on), so you need a fair amount of free space around. Before screwing the docking station into the ground, it’s worth placing it loosely, and making sure that there’s good reception where you are. There is an optional wall-mounting kit for the sensor, with an extension cable, if you do need to get more height.

Segway Navimow H1500E GPS receiver
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Segway does say that this product isn’t suitable for areas with tall trees with big crowns (above 5m), high density areas of trees, a large area of glass or metal walls, or where the lawn has a long and narrow area with high walls.

Features

  • Needs to be taught its map
  • Automatic rain sensor
  • Adjustable cutting height

With the lawn mower in place and on the docking station, with the GNSS receiver showing a green light, the system is ready to go. As there’s no boundary wire, the robot has to be taught its map, which involves using the app to drive the robot around the boundary.

There’s a stick-on ruler inside the box, which I had to tape to the front of the lawn mower. The idea is to keep this ruler away from the boundary of the garden.

I had a few issues trying to get the mapping to work. First, the robot started drawing in an odd pattern, so I returned it to the dock and started the process again, which worked. As the lawn mower moved around my garden, it drew the bounding box on screen, completing the map when I returned the lawn mower back to its starting point.

Segway Navimow H1500E in dock
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

If you’ve got a square garden, this is all you need to do. If you want to set no-mow areas, say around a pond or ornamental flower bed in the middle of the lawn, these areas need to be added by driving the Segway Navimow H1500E to the location and then using it to circumnavigate the obstacle, adding the boundary box around the area.

The neat thing about this system is that the robot can have its map edited or redone. So, if you decide to rip out a flower bed (or add one), you can just redo the map and don’t have to worry about putting down new cable.

At this point, the lawn mower is done and ready to start mowing. At its simplest, the lawn mower can simply be started from the app, where it will take a random approach to mowing, so as not to leave wheel marks by running the same way each time. As the robot knows the size of the cutting area, it will stop when it has covered the entire area.

Segway Navimow H1500E app

Schedules are built in, so you can programme the robot to come on at set times. It’s worth avoiding night time to prevent the Segway Navimow H1500E from running over snails and insects. Running every couple of days is a good idea, keeping grass short and making sure that only small cuttings drop back down to mulch into the ground.

There’s also an option to adjust the cutting height between 60mm and 30mm, which covers most uses, even if it doesn’t have the low 20mm cutting height of the Husqvarna Automower 405X. Nor does the Segway Navimow H1500E have an automatic feature to reduce cutting height automatically, slowly getting lower to improve grass quality. This is something that you’ll have to manage by yourself.

The rain sensor is worth turning on. When the Segway Navimow H1500E detects rain, it will not go out and mow even if a schedule is set. That’s a handy way to protect grass and this system works better than mowers that just use the weather forecast to work out if they should mow or not.

It’s worth turning off the Sound effects options. With this turned on, the mower not only speaks, saying things like ‘Connected’ when your phone connects, but it also plays odd sound effects as the mower moves around, which is irritating. I preferred the silent option.

The Segway Navimow H1500E ships with one year’s worth of free 4G data. This is used for remote control and for locating the robot via its anti-theft system. After the first year, it costs €29.99 (around £27) a year for 4G data.

Don’t fancy paying for that? The H1500E can be joined to a Wi-Fi network instead, assuming you’ve got good coverage in your garden. This does disable the anti-theft system, so I’d accept that there’s a yearly charge for data and just pay it.

Performance

  • Cuts very well
  • Powerful navigation and obstacle avoidance
  • Sometimes struggles to move on rough ground

The Segway Navimow H1500E uses an Exact Fusion Locating System (EFLS). In effect, the GPS signals received by the lawn mower and the base station are compared, and an algorithm corrects for any errors, letting the lawn mower detect its location with a high degree of accuracy.

With an open, flat garden, the Segway Navimow H1500E is ideal for cutting my grass. I found that each time it went out, it never ran into my flower beds or cut an area that it shouldn’t touch. I did find that where the robot went could vary slightly between runs, though: on one run, the Segway Navimow H1500E didn’t catch everything on my path; the next run, it shifted over a cm or two and cut closer to the set boundary.

These kinds of issues don’t make much difference in a typical week. Running the lawn mower every couple of days, I soon had an even cut. With the clippings dropping down into the ground, my grass was soon lush and dense, back to its best after last summer’s drought conditions.

While the Navimow is best used frequently on shorter grass, it can handle some denser growth, too. After being on holiday for a week, I ran the lawnmower on return (I didn’t run it while I was away, to prevent it running over cat mess). Although the grass cuttings are more visible, the robot didn’t struggle.

Segway Navimow H1500E cut grass
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Navigation is generally very good, too. With the VisionSense sensor, the robot managed to get up to obstacles, such as a garden table, and mow around them without bumping into them. That’s a step up from other lawn mowers, which will back off only when they bump into an obstacle.

Thanks to my cats raking up parts of the lawn, the Segway Navimow H1500E did struggle a little with some muddy divots, with its wheels spinning a little, digging a deeper hole, trying to get purchase. I didn’t find that this model got stuck, but it did sometimes take a little while to get a grip before moving on.

As with other robot lawn mowers, the Segway Navimow H1500E is very quiet. In operation, it can barely be heard, with just the occasional buzz as it cuts grass.

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Should you buy it?

You have the right garden type:

Those with large lawns with plenty of space away from obstacles will find this lawn mower easy to use.

You have a more complex garden or tall obstacles:

The GPS-based system may not work and a regular robot that uses a boundary wire may be better.

Final Thoughts

Ditching the boundary wire makes the Segway Navimow H1500E stand out from the competition. At its best, this robot lawn mower is easy to use and its maps can be adjusted with a degree less hassle than a traditional robot. It’s also a quality lawn cutter, keeping my lawn in its best shape.

However, there are some restrictions: it needs a lot of space around it, and a flat open garden for its GPS-based navigation to work the best. If you have a more complex garden layout or tall trees or walls, then the Segway Navimow H1500E may not work as well for you as it did for me, and a traditional robot lawn mower may be a better bet.

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How we test

We test every robot lawn mower we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main robot lawn mower for the review period

Used on a variety of grass lengths to see how well the mower cuts

Tested with any smart app and compatible smart systems

FAQs

How does the Segway Navimow H1500E navigate without a boundary wire?

It uses GPS-positioning data in its EFLS system, compensating for errors to give the robot a more precise location, so that it knows where it is on the map that you’ve created.

What does the Segway Navimow H1500E’s VisionFence sensor do?

This aids navigation and helps the robot lawn mower spot and avoid obstacles.

Full specs

UK RRP
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
App Control
Lawn Mower Type
Blade Type
Cutting width
Max lawn size
Cutting heights

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