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Honda Miimo 70 Live review: A methodical robot with a sensible cutting pattern

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1259
inc VAT

The Honda Miimo 70 Live is the ultimate connected robot lawn mower but it’s very expensive


  • Quiet
  • Efficient cutting
  • Drop and mow


  • Makes a patchwork of lawn stripes
  • Leaves uncut grass around edges
  • More expensive than similar Bosch mower

The Honda Miimo 70 Live maps your lawn so it can break it down and cut it intelligently. This is a big step forward from the vast majority of even the best robot lawn mowers, most of which still use random patterns and a lot of back and forth to ensure every corner of your lawn is cut.

There are significant benefits to Honda’s approach, with the mower covering your lawn more efficiently. This means less wear and tear, because the robot won’t be unwittingly travelling over the same spots time and time again, and more time you can spend in your garden without having the mower buzzing around your feet.

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Honda Miimo 70 Live review: What do you get for the money?

The Honda Miimo 70 Live is designed to tackle gardens up to 700 square metres in size, but comes in the same body as the Miimo 40 Live, which is only designed for gardens up to 400 square metres. The difference between the two lies in the brushless motor that Honda has put into the Miimo 70 Live (the 40 Live has a brushed motor).

This pushes the price up but makes it more efficient. It helps the battery last longer and ensures the Miimo 70 Live has enough battery capacity to make it around larger lawns without needing to recharge. Honda quotes the battery life of the Miimo 70 at 75 minutes, while the Miimo 40 Live only operates for 45 minutes. The brushless motor is also very quiet, so the mower is less disruptive as it goes about its business.

Otherwise, you would be hard pushed to tell the two apart. The Miimo 70 Live is the same size at 364 x 445 x 202mm (WDH), but it is slightly lighter at 7.6kg versus 8.1kg. And just like the 40 Live, it has a built-in SIM card and uses a mobile network connection for remote control (included in the price). That means you don’t have to worry about entering passwords or network coverage; as long as you have mobile phone coverage, it will work.

The cutting mechanism is a rotating disc with three replaceable blades mounted on it, giving it a cutting width of 190mm. The disc is positioned in the centre of the base, leaving gaps of about 90mm between the edge of the cutter and each side of the mower.

It comes with a charging station, 175m of perimeter wire and 240 pegs. The charging station has a standard three-pin plug, so you’ll need some kind of outdoor electrical socket for it to connect to.

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Honda Miimo 70 Live review: Is it difficult to set up?

Although the Honda Miimo 70 Live creates a map of your lawn, it still needs a perimeter wire. This connects to the rear of the charging station and is brought underneath the parking plate, from where you run it around the area you want mowed, at least 30cm from any edges that are at a different height to the lawn, or 5cm from a path on the same level.

Peg it down as you go then, when you’ve returned to the charging station, you can connect it all up and get going. Once the perimeter wire is laid, you shouldn’t have to worry about it again.

Basic features, such as schedule setup, can be controlled on the device itself using a series of buttons and a monochrome LCD display. However, it’s easier to use the smartphone app (available on iOS and Android).

Setting this up is much easier than with other robots because of the Miimo 70 Live’s mobile internet connection. You still have to download the app on your phone and create an online account with Honda. However, once this is done, you only need to scan a QR code on the back of the mower and it pairs to your account instantly.

With this done, you can use the app to configure your mowing schedule and, additionally, activate Honda’s smart mowing tool, which looks after the mowing times for you. This taps into local weather conditions to pause the mower during rain showers, and will also cancel mowing if conditions are so dry that your grass isn’t growing.

Lastly, the app can connect to Alexa for voice control, so you can start, stop and send the mower home from a smart speaker. Alas, it doesn’t work with Google Assistant.

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Honda Miimo 70 Live review: How well does it mow the lawn?

The Honda Miimo 70 Live’s ability to cut in stripes is more efficient than most robot mowers, covering the area better in fewer passes. This is undoubtedly good for your lawn, as you won’t have the mower randomly covering the same sections repeatedly, and missing areas due to random movements.

What you don’t get is the kind of stripes you might expect from a manual lawn mower with a roller at the back. The Miimo 70 Live’s stripes are much narrower, and you can’t control how or where they appear. Instead of starting in one corner and cutting all the way across before turning, moving down a little and coming back again, the Miimo usually starts at an offset angle, so you end up with diagonal stripes instead.

It also doesn’t do the whole lawn in one go. Instead, it breaks the area inside its perimeter map into chunks and it doesn’t tend to mow in the same direction when it moves on to a new area, which leaves your lawn looking less like a well-manicured football pitch and more like a patchwork blanket, with sections of stripes running in a few different directions. This is less efficient than if it cut regular stripes across the entire width or length of a lawn.

The mower has a decent idea of where it is and it isn’t constantly checking itself like a robot vacuum cleaner. As a result, it did seem to get confused every now and then, with undulations in my lawn affecting the straightness of the lines and the direction of travel. It counters this somewhat by overlapping the cutting passes, so that it doesn’t really matter if it goes a little off-course, but this again reduces the efficiency of its coverage.

Obstacles can also confuse it a bit. I have a rotary washing line in my lawn and, when the Miimo 70 hit it, it turned and proceeded in the opposite direction. What it didn’t do was go back to fill in the stripe it missed behind. This isn’t too much of a problem, as it covered the area from a different direction on a subsequent mow, but it isn’t as clever as you might hope.

Also, because the cutting disc is positioned in the centre of the mower, it doesn’t provide particularly good edge coverage. With the manual recommending a gap of 30cm between the perimeter wire and the edge of your lawn, you can expect an uncut boundary that’s around 20cm wide. This will have to be trimmed manually with a strimmer or a regular mower.

One useful tool that I haven’t spotted on other mowers is the Drop & Mow function. This lets you place the mower in a specific area, then simply set the mower off to mow a square that’s 2m, 3m or 4m wide; it works like a robot vacuum’s spot cleaning function. If you want to do a quick mow under some otherwise inaccessible garden furniture, or trim a section that seems to have been missed for some reason, this is a useful option.

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Honda Miimo 70 Live review: Should I buy it?

The big benefit of the Honda Miimo 70 Live over most robot lawnmowers is its ability to cut in straight rows. While most of its rivals insist on a random movement pattern, bouncing off their boundary wires and running the risk of never completely covering the whole lawn, Honda’s approach is far more methodical.

Honda isn’t completely alone in offering the feature, however. Bosch’s robot lawn mowers also cut in straight lines. In fact, Bosch’s mowers are almost identical to Honda’s from the controls on the top, the size and weight of the units, down to the icons on the app. Physically, the only discernible difference is the livery.

We’ve reviewed the slightly smaller Bosch Indego S+ 500, which is aimed at lawns up to 500 square metres but, if you need the 700 square metre coverage, the Bosch Indego M+ 700 is worth considering. This is a little cheaper than Honda’s equivalent, and you can use voice control through Google Assistant, as well as Alexa. We haven’t reviewed it but its specifications are otherwise identical.

If you’d prefer your mower to get a little closer to the edges, the Worx Landroid range has offset blades from the Landroid M500 Plus upwards. This still leaves a strip of uncut grass around the edge but it’s smaller and easier to deal with. However, it navigates lawns in a random pattern, so isn’t as efficient as the Honda.

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