Few robot vacuums can vacuum and mop floors at the same time. The Lefant M500 is one of them. Equipped with an efficient suction system and mopping pad, this robot suits the cleaning needs of most homes. The M500 is another model from Lefant. If you remember, a while ago I reviewed the T700 from these guys, and the outcome was positive. Although this new robot doesn’t come with drastic improvements, I was very curious to see whether its results are similar to its older brother. In this Lefant M500 review, I bring you everything I’ve found out about this vacuum, both the good and bad.
- 1 Lefant M500 – Quick look
- 2 Design
- 3 Specifications
- 4 Special Features
- 5 WiFi connectivity – a step-by-step guide
- 6 Usability
- 7 Lefant M500 Pros and Cons
- 8 Lefant M500 vs Lefant T700
- 9 Final Thoughts
Lefant M500 – Quick look
|Suction power||1200 Pa (rated by the producer)|
|Clean area||3000 sq ft (estimated)|
|Battery capacity||2600 mAh|
|Expected charging time||5 hours|
|Expected run time||120 min|
|Movement algorithm||Random (infrared sensors)|
|Dustbin capacity||20 oz (0.6 liters)|
|Noise level||54 - 58 db|
|Country of manufacture||China|
According to the producer, the robot suction peaks at 1200 Pa. At this value, it should be adequately effective at removing dirt from wide a range of surfaces. In addition to this suction (which can be tuned on 3 levels – Low, Standard and Strong), the robot uses a bristled brush to loosen dirt and two side brushes to pull debris from corners and edges.
Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed about the final outcome of these systems. I feel there should be more suction and agitation going on. Although I’ve tested it on the highest power setting, things could be improved at this chapter.
After testing it on all surfaces, I believe you can use the Lefant M500 to clean hard floors, including the sensitive hardwood or linoleum. Taking into account the limitations of this device, the vacuum is only effective on low-pile carpets.
The M500 also mops besides vacuuming. However, it cannot replace the usual washing of the floors. You can only use the robot to wet mop surfaces during the days when you have not scheduled a thorough cleanup. That said, having a vacuum that can also wipe floors ensures your home stays clean always. The M500 performs that function with elegance.
The vacuum uses a powerful 2600 mAh battery. Charging the battery takes 5 hours, which is somewhat long for a robot vacuum. However, its runtime will ease things. When full, the battery powers the robot for a whole 2 hours. The Lefant M500 comes with a return-to-base function. As soon as the amount of battery charge reaches a critical level, the vacuum finds its way back to the docking station and recharges autonomously.
The dustbin is 20 oz (0.6 liters). The large capacity means longer cleaning sessions. You won’t be emptying dirt too frequently. If you have a large home, shedding pets, or kids who leave debris lying about, the vacuum’s ample dustbin space is a feature you will like. The water tank can house 9.6 oz (0.285 liters) of liquids, and the rest up to 20 oz. as debris.
Like the other Lefant robot vacuum which I’ve tested, the M500 comes with an efficient filtration system. The pre-motor filter is the standard foam material that traps most of the debris. The post-motor filter is HEPA and captures the tiniest of particles, removing as much as 99.9% of allergens. That makes the M500 a safe vacuum for many homes. It will not cause you or your loved ones respiratory problems, especially if they’re intolerant to allergens such as dust mites, fine dust, and other particulate materials.
Weight and Dimensions
It weighs a mere 4.4 pounds. Not much weight for a robot that contains a motor, suction system, brush roll, dust compartment, and other components. The Lefant is a compact cleaning device, measuring 12.6 × 12.6 × 3.1 inches.
Manufacturers usually don’t back robot vacuums with long warranties. The Lefant M500 comes with a 1-year warranty which is what most companies usually offer.
In the box are the following vacuum parts and accessories:
- the robot
- the wet tank
- the remote control
- 2 HEPA filters
- 4 side brushes (2 for the robot and 2 extra)
- 2 mop cloths
- 1 extra HEPA and 1 extra foam filter
- the charging dock (with cleaning tool included)
- the charging adapter
- the user’s manual
Despite being an affordable vacuum, the Lefant M500 offers a lot to enhance cleaning. It looks like Lefant was keen on what to include and what not to. So they only equipped the robot with essential features, avoiding fancy ones that would only increase the price. Here they are:
In addition to vacuuming, the robot also mops. A small pad attached to the vacuum’s body touches the floor and wets it, wiping off dust and small stains. The mop receives water from the 9.6 oz water tank. The robot’s mop is a great addition meant to make your bare floors look cleaner. You only need to fill the tank with water, and the mopping action happens automatically while the robot moves around, cleaning the floors.
The robot can clean for 120 minutes without stopping to charge. If you have a large home, the lengthy cleaning time between charging sessions is almost a necessity. It means tasks that take a shorter time to finish are covered. The vacuum owes the long runtime to the powerful battery. The lack of functions or components that would use power such as displays or cameras also means the battery doesn’t drain fast.
If you’ve used a robot vacuum before, I bet you know that these devices can get caught in narrow places easily. The M500 uses the “Free move” technology to avoid that. This translates into a wider infrared matrix in front of the robot, as well as the lack of bumpers (the robot made out of a single plastic case, with no movable parts). This helps prevent the unfortunate situation where you leave strings or wires around unknowingly only to find the robot stuck in them.
When buying any robot vacuum, the dustbin size is one of the essential considerations. The dirt box on the Lefant M500 is quite big. Measuring more than 20 oz, the large capacity suits large homes with pets and/or high traffic. Bottom line, you won’t need to empty the robot too often.
Anti Drop and Anti Collision Sensors
On the body of the robot are sensors to prevent falls and bumping into obstacles. Using the anti-drop feature, the vacuum can tell when one side is hanging in the air to retreat on time. As a result, the robot can clean near stairs and not fall down the steps. The anti-collision sensors accurately identify the things in the vacuum’s way. That helps it to avoid running into walls or furniture. And if it bumps into obstacles (as it sometimes does), its round body is designed to absorb the impact and protect your furniture.
The Lefant M500 cleans quietly, raging between 54 and 58 dB. It’s one of the greater things about this robot, and one sets it apart from similar cleaning devices. It won’t wake a sleeping toddler, or disturb your peace and that of other family members. And because it cleans autonomously, you can have it clean certain rooms at designated times. Overall, it’s a vacuum that you can use at any time, including at night, without producing excessive noise.
Other notable features of the Lefant M500 include:
Auto-Return to Base – the robot returns to the charging dock as soon as the battery drains to a level below 20%. That means it will always be ready for the next cleaning session, or continue from where it left off.
Low Profile – The Lefant M500 features a thin design. It’s so thin that it can fit spaces as low as 3.5 inches without getting stuck. The low profile allows it to reach tricky places such as under beds and some couches, ensuring your whole home gets cleaned.
Remote module control – in addition to the app control, Lefant provides a remote module to operate the vacuum. Although the control options when using the remote module are few, it’s an easier way to determine where and how the robot cleans.
WiFi connectivity – a step-by-step guide
The M500 connects via WiFi to the Lefant smartphone app, allowing you to control a range of cleaning functions. Through the app, a user is able to change vacuuming settings from low speed to high, command the robot to return to the docking station, and more. You also get various reports about the operation and condition of the device. Here’s what you need to do to connect your robot:
- Long-press the center button
- Install the Lefant app
- Open the app and choose which product you want to connect. It should look like this:
- If everything goes well, the vacuum should look like this (notice the continuous blue light from the WiFi indicator):
The Lefant M500 requires almost no assembling after taking it out of the box. The process is easy, since only have a few parts need to be attached to the main unit. At most, the assembly should take you not more than 1 minute. Once done, you need to charge the battery to full capacity. The robot comes with a charging dock and adapter for that purpose. According to the specifications provided by the manufacturer, the robots charger can use a 110V-240V outlet.
To start cleaning, you need to press a button located on the top of the robot. That sets the vacuum running and the cleaning action begins. The Lefant M500 cleans randomly, using a full-cover pattern. It doesn’t offer any smart mapping, which limits the things you can do to improve cleaning tasks such as scheduling. The lack of smart mapping also means the vacuum cannot resume cleaning after docking for a recharge.
Although the robot doesn’t map your home, it can find its way around so efficiently. A series of sensors help it avoid things, prevent falls from high places, and return to the charging station. That’s how it cleans different parts of your home independently. Lefant designed the robot to avoid tangles and getting stuck in narrow spots by using what they call FreeMove technology which I’ve covered above.
To control the cleaning actions, you have two options: the remote control or smartphone app. As discussed above, the robot connects via WiFi, allowing you to operate various cleaning functions. The app provides you with more choices, while the remote module only allows you basic functions. The app used by the Lefant supports both Android and iOS platforms. Android users need Android 4.0 and above, which means that a wide range of smartphones, both older and newer models, are compatible with the app.
When not using the robot, it’s essential to store it in a safe place. You will find it easy to do so. Measuring only a few inches, the M500 can fit in the smallest of spaces. When it comes to maintaining the vacuum, there’s not much to worry about either. Parts that may need to be replaced regularly include the HEPA filter and the mopping cloth. The robot comes with an extra piece from each to start you off.
Lefant M500 Pros and Cons
- The 120-minute runtime is adequate for the cleaning requirements of the average home
- The large dustbin means you don’t have to empty it often
- It vacuums and mops, making your cleaning more thorough
- It’s a thin device that goes under most furniture with ease
- The FreeMove technology prevents tangles
- It’s a quiet robot that you can use at any time without disturbing the peace in your home
- The exhaust filter is HEPA, making the vacuum safe for you and your loved ones
- You can control it from your smartphone, via Wifi
- The price is affordable for a robot that can do so much
- The robot’s suction should be better, specially if you have a wide range of floors
- It doesn’t have a mapping feature, which means you can’t be 100% certain that it collected everything
- It lacks a “resume cleaning” feature. After charging, it will start as new
Lefant M500 vs Lefant T700
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between the newer M500 and the older T700. The small price difference between the M500 and the T700 would incline me to chose the second.
|Vacuum||Lefant M500||Lefant T700|
|Height||3.1 inches||3.2 inches|
|Diameter||12.6 inches||12.6 inches|
|Weight||4.4 lbs||6 lbs|
|Suction power||1200 Pa (rated by producer)||1800 Pa (rated by producer)|
|Clean area||3000 sq ft (estimated)||3000 sq ft (estimated)|
|Battery capacity||2600 mAh||2600 mAh|
|Expected charging time||5 hours||5 hours|
|Expected run time||120 min||120 min|
|Navigation||Infrared + gyroscope + accelerometer||Infrared + gyroscope + accelerometer|
|Dustbin capacity||20 oz (0.6 liters)||20 oz (0.6 liters)|
|Noise level||54- 58 dB||56- 60 dB|
|Price||$219.99||Price not available|
When selecting a robot vacuum, buyers usually feel torn between two options; an expensive model with many features, or a cheaper one with fewer capabilities. You don’t face that dilemma when choosing between the Lefant M500. This is an affordable robovac, yet packed with useful features. Besides being a mopping vacuum, its quiet enough to meet the cleaning needs of most homes with babies. The dustbin is large and the post-motor filter HEPA.
The robot’s low profile and FreeMove technology allows it to clean parts of your home that other robots could not reach. The only things you might miss when using this vacuum is a stronger suction mode, the auto-resume function and home zoning. However, I bet those are features you wouldn’t mind to forgo when shopping on a budget. Overall, I should say the Lefant M500 is a decent, budget-friendly WiFi-enabled robot vacuum.
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