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Bosch Indego S+ 500 review: An efficient and intelligent robot lawn mower

8 Jul 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
846
inc. VAT

A clever robot lawn mower that knows how and when to cut your lawn and does it quickly and efficiently

Pros 
Superior intelligence
Efficient lawn mowing
Less wear on the grass
Cons 
Expensive
Finicky setup
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While most robot mowers tackle your lawn in a random pattern, the Bosch Indego S+ 500 takes a more intelligent approach. First, it makes a map of your lawn and saves it. Then it intelligently mows the lawn in efficient rows, just like you would if you were doing it manually, charting its progress on the map to ensure it covers the entire area with a minimum of repetition.

Add in a solid app that keeps an eye on the weather and schedules mowing times accordingly, dodging any days when you’d rather keep the lawn free from robot activity, and you’ve got one of the most intelligent robot lawn mowers around.

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Bosch Indego S+ 500 review: What do you get for the money?

Accordingly, this isn’t the cheapest robot mower you can buy at £895 – that’s around £400 more expensive than our favourite robot mower, the Worx Landroid S300. But it is well made and, in Bosch’s dark green colour, one of the less conspicuous models available.

The robot measures 445 x 364 x 202mm and weighs 7.7kg. It comes with a charging dock, 150m of perimeter wire and 200 pegs to pin it all down to the lawn.

Its cutting system uses three steel blades attached to a spinning disc on the underneath of the mower that provides a cutting width of 19cm. It can be adjusted to one of three fixed height settings (50mm, 40mm or 30mm) depending on how close you like your grass trimmed but it’s a switch rather than a dial, so you can’t stop it somewhere in between. I found the 30mm setting provided a nice, well trimmed look, but other robot mowers, such as the Worx Landroid S300, can cut closer than this, if you prefer your lawn very short. Bosch recommends this model for lawns up to 500m2 but it doesn’t like slopes with gradients steeper than 27%.

Bosch Indego S+ 500 review: Is it difficult to set up?

As with most robot lawn mowers, you have to lay a wire in your grass to tell your robot where it can and cannot go. Doing this is largely straightforward: you need to keep it 30cm away from raised or lowered edges and it can be laid to within 5cm if the edge is level with the lawn.

Docking station positioning is flexible. You can even pop it in a corner, as long as you get the orientation right so the mower can get a good straight run into the docking station. It’s a bit fussy about this, however, more so than other robot mowers I’ve tested – I had to re-lay the wire because the robot complained my first attempt wasn’t straight enough.

Once the wire is laid and the station is set up, however, downloading the app and using it to configure the device is simple. You can set your own schedule for mowing if you wish, or leave it to Bosch. If you opt for the latter, the mower intelligently chooses the right days to mow based on the size of your lawn, avoiding days when the weather isn’t ideal. Naturally, you can also run it manually whenever you like, if you think your grass is getting too long.

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Bosch Indego S+ 500 review: How well does it mow the lawn?

When it comes to actually mowing the lawn, the Bosch Indego S+ 500 is one of the best we’ve tested. The first time you mow, the Bosch travels around the perimeter wire to create the map of the area, which is stored in the robot’s memory. It cuts as it goes, ensuring you’ve got a solid perimeter cut as it goes.

Instead of randomly bouncing around your garden like more affordable robot mowers, the Bosch then works in stripes, efficiently starting at one end of the garden and mowing in lines until it’s all done. This doesn’t give you the same stripey lawn you’d expect from a mower with a roller, but some striping is still visible when it’s finished. More importantly, it hasn’t endlessly trundled over the same bits of lawn, so there’s much less wear and tear than we’ve seen with robot mowers that move randomly.

What the Indego S+ doesn’t have is the ability to see its surroundings. It will navigate around objects but does this by bumping into them, rather than actually seeing and completely avoiding them. This is fine for your washing line but your sleeping dog might be less happy about it.

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Bosch Indego S+ 500 review: Should I buy it?

If your lawn is your pride and joy, the Bosch Indego S+ 500 is the mower to go for. It cuts more intelligently than most mowers because it cuts in a guided pattern, rather than bouncing around randomly.

It misses out on collision detection, however, which means you need to keep your garden clear of delicate obstacles and it’s expensive at £849.

If you’d prefer to spend less but still want a good-looking lawn, we found the Worx Landroid S300 offers a good balance of price and mowing ability while the YardForce Compact 400Ri offers collision detection at around £500.

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