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Segway Navimow i105E review: A reasonably-priced robot lawn mower with top-end features

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £949
inc VAT

A sensibly priced robot lawn mower that brings together the best bits of all its rivals


  • No boundary wires
  • Sensible mowing pattern
  • Reasonable value for money for feature set


  • Satellite navigation needs clear view of sky
  • More affordable robots are available

I have to admit to secretly hoping the Segway Navimow i105E might take inspiration from the original Segway vehicles and zip around the lawn on two wheels. Sadly, this isn’t the case, but don’t let it put you off. This latest addition to the company’s Navimow range brings together a collection of the latest and best robot lawn mower features into a reasonably affordable package.

The main benefit is that it uses satellite navigation and its own common sense to navigate its way around the garden, so you don’t have to spend an afternoon pegging down a boundary wire. The bigger your garden, the more of a benefit this is going to be. The new tech also helps it mow the lawn more sensibly, in parallel stripes rather than inefficient random patterns.

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Segway Navimow i105E review: What do you get for the money?

While you couldn’t possibly call the Segway Navimow i105E’s £949 cheap, it is well-equipped for the price.

Its grey, orange and black styling don’t wander too far from the standard robot lawn mower design but it’s relatively compact, measuring 385 x 545 x 285mm (WDH). It’s hefty to carry around at 10.9kg, but once you’ve placed it out for the summer you shouldn’t need to pick it up again unless it needs a wash (you can hose it down, thanks to its IP66 waterproof chassis) or it’s time to pack it away for the winter.

The wheels are slightly differently oriented to most robots we’ve seen as the larger 24.5cm diameter tractor wheels are at the front and two coaster wheels at the rear. Underneath, it follows the standard pattern of a rotating disc with three razor-sharp steel blades attached to it. The disc spins and the blades cut the top off the grass as it passes over. A dial on the top of the robot can be used to adjust the cutting height from 20mm to 60mm by simply raising or lowering the disc.

The disc itself provides a mowing diameter of 180mm. That’s about average for a robot mower of this size, but we’re more concerned about having larger cutting discs on devices that mow in random directions. Because this one mows in stripes up and down your lawn (more on this later) it doesn’t need a large cutting area to be maximally efficient.

The cutting disc is located centrally on the base of the mower, so there’s a 10cm gap on either side that the mower will always leave as an uncut edge. However, I found that during installation it’s possible to get the mower quite close to the edge of the lawn, so the area that was left unmowed was quite small. It can also be programmed to mow beyond the edge of sunken boundaries, if you have a path at the same height as the lawn and the mower can ride over the top of the lawn edge without falling off.

Navimow says the maximum mowing area the i105E can handle is 500m2. From analysing the specs I’d say this is largely due to the stamina of the included 2.55Ah battery, which Navimow quotes as 60 minutes. The next model up (the Navimow i108E) can cope with a larger 800m2 lawn, but it’s essentially the same mower and comes with a bigger 5.1Ah battery that lasts 120 minutes.

The charging station is fairly standard. It has a large solid plastic parking area and a vertical tower at one end, which the mower butts up against for charging. It’s quite large, too, measuring 450 x 715 x 300mm (WDH). That means it’s always going to be a bit of a fixture in your garden unless you remove it over winter, but once the mower itself is parked on it, you’ll barely notice what it’s sitting on. There’s no chance of the grass surviving underneath it, though.

There’s one unusual item in the box: a small black box labelled EFLS (Exact Fusion Locating System). This contains the system’s GPS tech and is mounted on a pole that’s connected to the charging base via a supplied cable. The pole has a forked base to secure it in the soil, and Segway recommends placing it with a clear view of the sky so it can pick up the GNSS satellites accurately.

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Segway Navimow i105E review: Is it difficult to set up?

The process of setting up the Segway Navimow i105E is relatively straightforward. The base station needs access to an external plug socket, and you need to install the GPS unit but that’s all the physical installation it needs.

Once the base station and the satellite link are connected together and plugged in, you need to switch to a smartphone to finish the job. The Navimow app guides you through the process of connecting your mobile device to the mower and connecting that to your Wi-Fi. If you don’t want to use a mobile device to manage your lawn you’ll need to choose a different mower.

The final setup job is guiding your mower around the boundary of the area you want it to mow. You do this by using your smartphone as a remote control, with forwards/reverse controls on the left and left/right steering on the other side. On the screen between the controllers you’ll see your map building up as you move the mower around the perimeter of your garden.

I wouldn’t describe this part of the process as easy, because driving the mower takes some skill. The controls are finicky and I ended up with a wheel in a flowerbed on more than one occasion. To be fair, Segway suggests you leave 15cm between the edge of the robot and any border, but that gives a wide margin of error and would leave more manual strimming or mowing to be done when you need to smarten up your borders.

Having said that, if you do make a mistake, it’s easy enough to fix with the delete button in the app. Press this while you’re making your map and the robot will retrace its steps, taking itself back to a position you were happy with so you can have another stab at steering it.

Overall, the Navimow i105E is certainly easier to set up than robot mowers that require a perimeter wire to be embedded in your grass, but it’s not a drop-and-mow device along the lines of the LawnMaster VBRM16.

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Segway Navimow i105E review: How well does it mow?

On paper, the Navimow i105e uses the same system as most other robot lawn mowers to cut your grass. A disc is mounted underneath with three sharp blades attached to it, which spins and keeps your lawn trim.

However, the way the Segway Navimow i105E deploys its tech makes it superior to most of the robot lawn mowers I’ve tested. First, it has a wide range of cutting lengths, from 20mm to 60mm. This is selected using a dial on the top that cranks the blades up and down below the mower.

Second, between the app and the satellite-guided navigation, the mower does a supreme job of mowing the entire lawn in parallel lines. This doesn’t leave stripes like you’d get from a mower with a roller, but the wheels do leave a bit of a trail and, overall, you get a neater result than with mowers that move randomly around the lawn.

It also means the area is covered in a highly efficient way. The stripes are mowed in a logical sequence, with each pass overlapping the previous. This reduces wear and tear on the lawn compared to a random mower, because it doesn’t go over the same places again and again.

Even better, the mower heads out in a different direction each time it mows. Across four separate mows I saw it venture out horizontally, then diagonally then vertically, then diagonally in the other direction. Cutting the grass in different directions means sections that might get missed because of undulations or other lawn imperfections in one direction will likely be hit on subsequent attempts. In all I found it made for a neat and tidy lawn during my tests.

Robot mowers and obstacles don’t tend to mix well but the i105E’s front-mounted camera is designed to spot problem areas and avoid them. I tested it by leaving one of my dog’s toy balls on the lawn while it worked. It gently touched the toy ball edge on its first approach, but stopped and turned away from it on subsequent encounters. It isn’t perfect but it’s better equipped than most robot lawn mowers for those who can’t, or won’t, guarantee that the mower will have a clear lawn every time it goes out.

Added to all this, I found the app simple to use and informative. After the mapping process is finished you can use it to see how much of the garden has been mowed and how much is left to do. It can also control scheduling, so you can maintain a completely automated operation.

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Segway Navimow i105E review: Should you buy it?

I have no hesitation in recommending the Segway Navimow i105E. It’s one of the best robot lawn mowers I’ve reviewed to date – a greatest hits album, packed to the brim with all the best things that make robot mowers so attractive.

Sitting near the top of this list is how easy it is to install, free from necessity to install a border wire. Add to this the easy-to-use app and the logical mowing pattern, and you have a surefire winner. We’ve seen all this in the past from the likes of the EcoFlow Blade, but the Navimow i105E Segway has brought the price down to a more palatable level, albeit for a smaller garden.

If you need all this in a garden that’s larger than 500m2, then the Segway Navimow i108E is essentially the same mower with a bigger battery that can cope with lawns up to 800m2. Or, if you need to go up to 3,000m2, then the EcoFlow Blade remains the best alternative.

Those who don’t mind laying down a perimeter wire can get similarly efficient mowing from the Bosch Indego S+ 500, which is more affordable now than it was at launch a few years ago. Although it uses a physical perimeter wire, it still maps the area out and mows it in a sensible pattern, stripe by stripe.

Alternatively, if you baulk at the thought of spending this much money, particularly if you have a smaller garden, then the LawnMaster VBRM16 is a great alternative: a clever robot that uses a camera rather than a perimeter wire to keep out of your flower beds. However, it only traverses the lawn in a random pattern, rather than neatly mowing in stripes.

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