At a cost that’s not exactly cheap but not exactly premium either, the Lefant M1 gets a lot of things right. You get premium features like Lidar mapping and robust maneuverability as well as a mopping feature, and the cleaning itself is excellent. While some minor tweaks would be welcome, especially on the software side, it’s some of the best quality you can get without breaking the bank.
From its intelligent navigation system to its advanced mapping technology and efficient cleaning, the Lefant M1 Robot Vacuum is a noteworthy contender in the realm of robot vacuums, offering an impressive balance of performance and innovation.
Table of contents
A smart robot vacuum
- 🚀【Real-time Map + LDS Navigation】Lefant M1 robot vacuum cleaner with mop uses LIDAR navigation technology and can scan and save a map of the room. Equipped with accurate AI algorithm to plan whole house cleaning, and more precise positioning, you can view the real-time vacuuming robot route on the APP.
- 😃【No-Go-Zone Settings & Spot Cleaning】 Add NO-GO-ZONE function and virtual wall on the APP. You can set and save no-go areas for cleaning. What’s even more amazing is that you can use the APP’s point cleaning to clean any area you want the machine to clean, freeing your hands.
- 📱【Smart App & Voice Controls】Robot vacuum can be controlled by App and Alexa & Google Home voice command. Use the Lefant App to monitor the cleaning path, schedule cleaning plan, adjust suction level, change cleaning mode, etc. Note: only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
- 💡【Four Cleaning Modes】 Scheduled, Zoned, Spot, and Manual Remote Control. You can choose areas and spots to clean on your phone map, cleaning will be so easy!
- 👍【2 in 1 vacuuming and mopping】 Robot mop is equipped with a 160ml water tank and 520ml dustbin, allowing you to vacuum and mop at the same time. 3 levels of water can be adjusted.
When we reviewed our first modern vacuum years ago, we thought there wasn’t much more automatic vacuums could do. We were wrong. After a period of experimenting with shapes, automatic vacuums settled on the simplest, most adaptable shape: a circle. But that’s pretty much the only aspect that got simplified — everything else became more complex.
First, there’s the navigation. Having an automatic vacuum can be incredibly useful, but if your home isn’t tidy and neat, and if you’ve got a lot of things on the floor, it can get tricky. Early models struggled with navigating complex environments, but in recent times, they’ve gotten a lot better.
A part of this improvement comes from better sensors — it’s not just for vacuums, but collision and distance sensors are getting a lot better, smaller, and cheaper, and vacuums have benefitted from this.
Another part of the improvement comes from Lidar navigation: the same technology used by most self-driving cars. Yep, The Lidar sensor isn’t as fine or as reliable, but it’s the same idea.
In addition to all this technology, modern vacuums have some pretty advanced software inside as well. They’re app-controlled, they can be programmed and scheduled, they can account for no-go zones or special cleaning areas, you can customize them to your heart’s content and use them remotely.
So how does the Lefant M1 play into all of this?
What you get with the Lefant M1
Compared to other Lefant models on paper, the Lefant M1 stands out with one thing: suction power.
Sure, it sounds almost boring in this day and age, when vacuums are equipped with Lidars and smart apps. But at the end of the day, it’s a vacuum, and a vacuum has to clean things. The Lefant M1 is excellent at cleaning.
I haven’t tried out all the Lefant alternatives, but the M1 seems to do well in terms of cleaning power, which fits very well with what I found when I tested the robot vacuum.
In terms of battery life, it’s equally good or better. It can cover a large area and return to where you want it to. The mop is not a ubiquitous feature, so that’s a good bonus.
When it comes to ease of use, it’s very similar to other Lefant vacuums (and its competitors). I’d say in general, robot vacuum cleaners have done a great job when it comes to this. You do get the “Excel feeling,” that you’re not even using half of the features it’s capable of, but it’s easy to use and get running — and that’s what matters most.
Basically, it ticks all the boxes of what a robot vacuum should do, with a few bonuses on the side.
Lefant M1 robot vacuum product information
|Model Name||Robot vacuum and mop combo M1|
|Surface Recommendation||Wood, Hard Floor and Low Pile Carpet|
|Special Feature||✅ Usage Time: up to 150 minutes/approximately 2200 sqft|
✅ Long Life Battery: 4000mAh
✅ Control Mode: App Control/Voice Control
✅ Large Dust Box: 520ml
✅ 3500pa Strong Suction, Portable, Lightweight, Pet Hair, HEPA Filtration
|Product Dimensions||12.6″L x 12.6″W x 3.7″H|
|Controller Type||App Control, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa|
|Included Components||1* Power Adapter|
1* Charging Dock
1* Upgraded Lefant M1 Robot Vacuum
2* HEPA Filiters
1* 520ML Large Dust Box
1* 160ml Electronically Controlled Water Tank
|Battery Life||5 years|
|Item Weight||9.9 Pounds|
|Compatible Devices||Smartphones, Amazon Echo, Tablets, Google Home|
|Product Dimensions||12.6 x 12.6 x 3.54 inches|
|Item Weight||9.9 pounds|
|Country of Origin||China|
Putting the Lefant M1 to the test
We were offered a review product by Lefant and we tested it extensively. The vacuum comes in a fairly large but neat package that features everything you need, including the vacuum itself, charger, and several accessories.
The first thing that struck me is that it’s larger than what I expected. As mentioned in the above feature box, it’s about an inch and a half larger than other models, and it shows. It’s not bulky, mind you, but it’s bigger than I thought it’d be — and with what I was about to try it on, this seemed to be problematic. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
To make full use of the vacuum, you need to download the app. I did that, and within minutes, the vacuum was up and running (it came half-charged, so that’s cool). I let it do its thing while I browsed the manual and the app. It’s a fairly low-noise app, but I expect easily-spooked pets to still react to it; but the neighbors definitely won’t hear it.
We really put the Lefant M1 to the test: it didn’t have a neat and ordered floor to deal with. I had my bike there, a couple of chairs, and all sorts of things. Sure, it can deal with a clean and neat area, but can it manage the chaos that is normally in my home?
- Excellent vacuuming
- Navigates surroundings well
- Easy to operate
- Has Lidar mapping feature
- Can set no-go zones
- Good 150-minute battery life
- Mapping is good but not perfect
- Mopping works, but could be better
Surprisingly, it did very well even before the mapping was complete. It got itself into all sorts of pickles where it could barely fit, but it didn’t smash into objects, and after several rotations and meandering through small places, it always made its way out. Large — yes; but very maneuverable, which is a big plus.
The floor was mostly hardwood, but I also had a rug which it managed to navigate and vacuum with no issues. It was surprising to see just how well it vacuumed. Both on the hardwood and on the carpet, it took out almost all of the dust and hair. It was comparable, but not exactly as good as my handheld vacuum.
This being said, if it goes over the same area several times, it essentially leaves nothing behind. All in all, the vacuuming part was very satisfying.
The mopping, however, was just okay. I tried it on some mess that I made intentionally, and it did fine when the mess was fresh. When it dried out a bit, it had trouble wiping it.
However, the mopping really seemed more like a bonus to me: it’s not something I truly expect an automated vacuum to do, so the ability is still valuable, but definitely not a cornerstone of the product. I don’t know if the excellent cleaning is a result of its increased size or something else, but whatever it is, this is a solid vacuum.
The hi-tech parts also get the job done. The mapping takes a few runs to be accurate (at least in my experience, in a cluttered and difficult room), and has a few options. You can mark an area for cleaning a specific spot or on the contrary, set up a no-go zone.
The user interface was a bit cumbersome when it came to dragging and adjusting the areas, but you can get it to work. Also, there was one bit in the app that was non-intuitive, relating to how maps are saved. You have to navigate through the app’s settings, but you can record different maps and save them.
All in all, the app could make use of a few more tweaks I’d say, but there’s nothing wrong really with it. The mapping itself was a bit more challenging, and I’d say it’s the only thing I’d seriously tweak for this robot vacuum.
When the vacuum creates a map, it essentially sends pulses of laser (Lidar) in all directions and maps out where there are objects, creating a map of objects in the room (obviously, if you move things around, the map needs to be redone). Then, it uses this map to make its way from A to B, avoiding things like furniture.
It did that just fine with major furniture pieces, but when it came to other obstacles, like chairs with thin legs or a bike, it seemed to struggle to find the clearest path.
Looking at the map, I got the feeling it sometimes just got overly ambitious and tried a path that it knew wouldn’t work. It ultimately found the way using the collision sensors, but it felt like it took a bit more time than it needed to. There was also a bit of gentle bumping here or there.
Also, it didn’t seem to detect cables or chargers that were on the floor — or at least not all the time. It didn’t damage or affect them in any way, but it simply moved past them as if they were nothing. I suspect this is because the Lidar angle doesn’t hit things close to the floor and doesn’t map them. Anyway, I’d advise moving chargers from the floor when cleaning. It can make its way around other things, eventually.
I also had a special test for it, something I don’t expect to be relevant for most homes, but seemed interesting nonetheless. My living room, for some reason, has a very small step right through the middle of it. It’s just like an inch tall, and I wanted to see if the Lefant M1 can overcome it. It can’t, unfortunately.
It can go down the step, but even though it almost got over it, it couldn’t completely get on top. I bypassed this problem by splitting my room into two maps: one which has the lower part of the room as a no-go zone, and one which has the higher part of the room as a no-go zone. This way, even when I’m away from home, I can set it to clean the upper half (where it starts from), and then move on to the lower half and do the entire room in one go.
Overall, I’d say the suction and vacuuming were very good, both on the hardwood and on the carpet surface. Tthe mapping was generally good as well, though there’s definitely some room for improvement. The mopping is decent, but not fantastic.
The whole system can be intimidating at first, if you haven’t used any robot vacuums, but is intuitive and simple to manage for the most part. You have to dump the collected debris yourself afterward, there’s no advanced function for dumping. The filters can also be cleaned, and you should probably clean them once every now and then.
How the Lefant M1 fares against its competitors
When faced with some of its competitors, the Lefant M1 stands out in terms of what it can do for the price. It’s not the best smart vacuum out there. it’s not the cheapest vacuum out there either. But it strikes a very good cost/quality balance and simply put, it’s excellent value for the money. You get all the hi-tech features and good cleaning without breaking the bank.
Let’s take the cleaning. The suction power of the M1 is substantially higher than most of the other smart vacuums in its price range. This doesn’t automatically mean the cleaning power is much better, but it’s a good starting spot. This translates into good cleaning on less-than-ideal surfaces as well. For instance, it did a great job of cleaning my carpets, including small particles of dust and pet hair. However, especially on the edge of the carpet, it did leave some specs.
However, if your house has a lot of pet hair, the brush design isn’t ideally suited to deal with that. Granted, other competitors in the same price range also had this problem, and many fared even worse. Basically, pet hair can get caught in the brush, which means you have to clean it to get it to work at full capacity.
Many competitors also don’t have a mop. I’m not a cleaning purist myself so I don’t want everything to be absolutely perfect, and the mop was definitely good enough for me. It’s not as good as a dedicated mop, but it gets the job done.
In terms of navigation, the Lefant M1 was smoother around furniture and obstacles compared to its peers. The turret-like navigation seems to work pretty well.
Again, the only part where I’d say things could be better is the app. I’m good with phones and have some experience with this type of app so it wasn’t problematic at all — for me. For someone with less mobile experience, I’d say it could be challenging to set up no-go zones or make use of all its features.
FAQ about Lefant M1
The Lefant M1 uses LIDAR navigation technology and an accurate AI algorithm to scan, save, and plan the cleaning of your entire home. You can view the real-time vacuuming robot route on the app. This enables it to avoid obstacles and memorize what it encounters in your house.
The Lefant M1 Smart Vacuum can be controlled through the Lefant App, Alexa, or Google Home voice command. The Lefant App is the most straightforward way to control it, as it allows you to monitor the cleaning path, schedule cleaning plans, adjust suction levels, change cleaning modes, and more.
Yes, you can set and save no-go areas for cleaning using the NO-GO-ZONE function and virtual walls on the app. You can also use the app’s point cleaning feature to clean any specific area you want the machine to clean.
The package includes 1 power adapter, 1 charging dock, 1 upgraded Lefant M1 robot vacuum, 2* HEPA filters, 1* 520ml large dust box, and 1* 160ml electronically controlled water tank.
The Lefant M1 is suitable for wood, hard floors, and low-pile carpets. It can navigate some rougher surfaces, but with less efficiency. Even a small step or bump could stop the vacuum from accessing an area.
From our experience, no. It can navigate obstacles very well if it can physically fit in. This being said, the freer of obstacles a floor is, the better the vacuum will perform.
The Lefant M1 will clean about 150 minutes or 200 square meters (2152 square feet) when fully charged. The producer says the battery will last for five years or around that.
The Lefant M1 measures 12.6 x 12.6 x 3.54 inches and weighs 9.9 pounds.
Yes, the Lefant M1 is equipped with a 160ml water tank and 520ml dustbin, allowing it to vacuum and mop simultaneously. You can adjust the water level in three stages.
The vacuum can return to the charger, charge up, and then go back to its last cleaning position and resume cleaning.
This is probably a concern for people with pets. All vacuums make some type of noise. The noise the Lefant M1 makes is not excessive. Sensitive cats and dogs may be startled by it in the beginning, but should get used to it.
What you should look for in a robot vacuum?
The bottom line is that different types of vacuums work better in different types of homes. If you’ve got a cramped, Seinfeld-style studio, you probably don’t need a robot vacuum that can clean for two hours. You’ll most likely do better with a hand-held vacuum. But if you’ve got a big house, without much clutter, then this type of tech is almost definitely helpful.
So before you go and buy a robot vacuum — nay, any vacuum — here’s a list of questions you should probably ask yourself:
Smart vacuums can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, so it’s important to determine how much you’re willing to spend before starting your search.
Different robot vacuums may be better suited for different types of flooring, such as hardwood, carpet, or tile.
If you have a large home, you may want to consider a robot vacuum with a longer battery life or larger dustbin capacity to ensure it can clean your entire home without needing to be recharged or emptied. If you have any stories or obstacles the vacuum may not be able to access it.
Some robot vacuums may be better suited for general cleaning, while others may be designed to handle specific tasks, such as pet hair or deep cleaning.
Robot vacuums can come with a range of features, such as voice control, mapping technology, or automatic docking and recharging. Determine which features are most important to you and look for a model that meets those needs.
The last thing you want is to spend even more time managing your vacuum. Look for a robot vacuum that is easy to set up, use, and maintain. Consider factors such as how often you’ll need to clean the dustbin, whether it has a filter that needs to be replaced, and how easy it is to access and replace these parts.
Make sure to check the warranty and customer support policies for the model you’re interested in, and consider purchasing from a reputable retailer with a good track
The battery life of a robot vacuum is an important consideration, especially if you have a large home. Look for a model with a battery life of at least 60 minutes.
Some robot vacuums can be quite loud, which can be a concern if you have pets or young children. Look for a model with a noise level of 60 decibels or less.
Robot vacuums use a variety of sensors and mapping technology to navigate around obstacles and avoid falling down stairs. Look for a model with good obstacle detection and avoidance capabilities.
Many robot vacuums come with a mobile app that allows you to control the vacuum from your phone or tablet. Look for a model with a user-friendly app that offers features such as scheduling and mapping.
The warranty for a robot vacuum can vary depending on the manufacturer and the model. Look for a model with a warranty of at least one year and check what is covered under the warranty.
Sure, some vacuums have a ton of fancy, cutting edge features. But do they actually clean well? This is actually surprisingly hard to gauge on paper, but looking at things like suction power and type of filter can give you a clue.
The bottom line
Robot vacuums have come a long way. They’re not well-suited for every type of home, and they’re still not perfect — but they’re definitely getting better. I’d say mid-range robot vacuums tend to offer the best price-quality ratio, and the Lefant M1 does an excellent job of highlighting that.
It’s relatively compact and can navigate a single story with its Lidar turret, and the app is simple enough to use. You can find better options on the market, but you’ll have to pay much more to get them. At this price, this is probably as good a product as you can get.