Lefant M1 vacuum robot : test / review
Published on: 14-10-2022 / Modified: 14-10-2022
I hadn't tested a robot vacuum cleaner for a few months, I have the impression that inflation has reduced consumer interest in this type of product. This has not stopped the inexhaustible Chinese industry which continues to produce new models and this time I will focus on the Lefant M1. I have already tested 2 robots from the Lefant brand (Lefant F1 and Lefant M210), these robots were entry-level robots which had the particularity of being simple to use but they were also thin enough to go under most furniture. The Lefant M1 is a robot vacuum cleaner of another kind, it is significantly more sophisticated than the F1 or M210, it is equipped with a LIDAR like the Dreame vacuum cleaners and seems to be more efficient in avoiding obstacles.
I will test this product gradually as I do for all vacuum cleaners because I will not dirty my house on purpose to be able to do some tests. I will use this robot as my main robot for a few weeks and see how it performs for daily tasks.
Where to buy the Lefant M1?
Good news for Europeans, the Lefant M1 is available on Amazon, so you get European support and a 2-year warranty. It is currently available with a reduction of 110€! I don't know how long this promo will be valid, so don't delay.
Promotion on Amazon: Lefant M1 on Amazon
The box of the Lefant M1 is much more neutral than that of the Lefant F1, it gives very little information on the products. The box contains the vacuum cleaner, the water and dust tank, a HEPA filter (in addition to the one already in the vacuum cleaner), a cleaning brush, 4 brushes, a mop attached to its cleaning base, several additional mops, the charging station and the charger. Lefant has been quite generous with the accessories because with 2 extra brushes and additional mops, you will be able to use the robot for months before considering buying new brushes or mops.
The charging station is quite similar to what is found with other manufacturers, but here it is not possible to roll up the cable at the back of the station, so you will have to be careful not to leave it lying around. the cable on the floor to prevent the vacuum cleaner brushes from catching the cable.
The tank is inserted at the back of the robot vacuum cleaner, a simple click allows it to be detached. The tank is composed of two parts, a part to collect dust with a capacity of 520ml and another part to store cleaning water with a capacity of 160ml. The capacity of the dust tank is a little above average and the water tank is quite small because even if it is equipped with a water tank, this robot is above all a robot vacuum cleaner before being also a cleaning robot. The mop is static, it does not vibrate, it simply picks up the dirt with the moisture from the mop.
Like all robot vacuums of this type, you can open the compartment containing the main brush to remove the hair that will wrap around the brush. The brush of this Lefant M1 is very easy to detach but it will probably have to be cleaned regularly to prevent it from getting stuck with hair. It's the same for most robot vacuum cleaners, it's not a defect, you just have to know it.
The water tank can be filled from the top of the tank, just lift a membrane to pour water into it.
The dust tank is also equipped with a HEPA filter as well as a thin layer of protective foam to filter out all fine particles. There is an additional HEPA filter in the box and a small brush to clean the filter inlet. Here too, this element will require some maintenance to prevent the filter from clogging up too quickly.
The mops are attached to their base by means of an adhesive coating, it is the same as on the other vacuum cleaners except that here they are also attached by a small cord at each end, the mop is thus attached in a way safer on its base.
The cleaning base attaches with a simple click to the bottom of the vacuum, so you can choose to run the vacuum with or without the mop according to your needs. This is a good thing here because vacuum cleaners that accommodate mops directly on the tank do not allow the two types of cleaning to be separated.
The brushes are equipped with a plastic protection to prevent hair from wrapping around them. It probably won't prevent some hair from making its way to the center of the brush, but it will greatly limit the problem.
I picked up some of the main features to compare them to other vacuum cleaners.
- suction power: 3500pa
- tank capacity for dust: 520ml
- water tank capacity: 160ml
- 150 minutes of theoretical autonomy (for a surface of 150m²)
- suction power: 4000pa
- tank capacity for dust: 600ml
- 210 minutes of autonomy
Yeedi 2 Hybrid
- suction power: 2500pa
- tank capacity for dust: 430ml
- 200 minutes of autonomy
Dreame L10 Pro
- suction power: 4000pa
- tank capacity for dust: 570ml
- 90 minutes of autonomy
The Lefant M1 is therefore not the most powerful vacuum cleaner I have tested, but with 3500pa, it will offer sufficient suction power for most everyday messes. It will probably be necessary to rotate it regularly to avoid the accumulation effect which would ultimately require more power to overcome the dirt.
The other difference of the M1 lies in the use of LIDAR but I have already explained this point earlier in this article.
In normal mode the Lefant M1 is less noisy than the other robots I tested, I measured around 65 db near the robot. In turbo mode, the noise rises to about 75 db.
With its LIDAR, the Lefant M1 is able to map its environment quite accurately. From the first seconds after starting, the first objects appear on the map and navigation can start. LIDAR not only quickly maps the environment, but also avoids most contact with objects. I ran the robot around in a fairly tight environment with all sorts of obstacles and I think the robot did pretty well. It manages to get around obstacles without hitting or pushing them except when these objects are small and mobile. On the video below, we see the robot go around a chair leg without insisting while trying to push it, it manages to pass under the chair without problem. He manages to avoid a first toy which is larger than the robot and then he gently pushes the car further because it is lower and mobile. The other objects have not been jostled and the robot manages quite well to weave through the various obstacles that I had put in its path.
The obstacle detection of this model is clearly superior to the other Lefant models that I have tested because models like the F1 for example were far from being delicate with their environment, this robot brutally collided with most objects on its way point of being able to overturn certain objects. The M1 rarely hits objects as you can see in this video.
Suction test on tiles
The Lefant M1 is equipped with two brushes to bring dirt into the suction area, this is an advantage on several levels. First there is the purely practical aspect where the use of the second brush will capture a larger area, it will also recover some of the dirt that will have been ejected by the other brush. There is also a navigational advantage as the use of 2 brushes should in principle result in a shorter cleaning time.
In turbo mode (as in the video) it takes 70 minutes to cover an area of 45m² with many obstacles. If the surface to be cleaned is clear, the robot can cover up to 1m² per minute.
This robot uses a hybrid technique to define its route. It scans its surroundings, first cleaning the outline and then gradually approaching the area by going back and forth in parallel lines. Its behavior is sometimes a little strange but in the end it goes everywhere.
Despite the lower power of this model compared to other models, it picks up most dirt on the floor. I test the robots by spreading bread crumbs everywhere but the robot has forgotten a few small crumbs on its way.
Carpet suction test
Robot vacuums can pass over carpets, some even detect the difference in floor texture to avoid spraying water on carpets. The Lefant M1 is above all a vacuum cleaner, so it will not change its behavior when passing over a carpet. It is able to pick up the dirt it finds there but it will not be able to clean a carpet in depth or in any case not like a stick vacuum cleaner because these are more powerful and remain longer on the carpet.
I made a little video with cereal on the carpet and I had the vacuum clean that area. He then makes passages in the form of a circle to each time capture a larger area. It had no problem sucking up the cereal, but cereals that are just within reach of the brush are sometimes ejected farther. This is often the case with this type of vacuum cleaner and in principle, the robot ends up collecting this dirt when it is close to a wall. Here I had used the local cleanup, so it didn't pick up the grains that were outside the cleanup circle.
This robot is not really a cleaning robot, it has a water tank which will gradually empty with each passage of the robot but it does not have rotating brushes or vibrating plate, so it will simply moisten the surface to be cleaned.
In normal mode, I got around 1% battery life for every square meter I walked. With the turbo mode this autonomy will decrease by about 50% because after having passed over an area of 35m², the battery level had dropped to 30-35%.
To use this vacuum cleaner, you must download the new Lefant application because the old Lefant Life application does not detect this new robot. The new application is much more successful than the previous one because in addition to recognizing the robot, it offers the possibility of mapping the environment and performing local cleaning.
The application allows you to control the vacuum cleaner both in terms of its suction level and its route, the settings are simple enough not to have to search too long but the application is only available in English for the moment. The voice of the vacuum cleaner is also in English and this voice does not lack humor because if you do not know where the vacuum cleaner is, you can ask him to call you and he will say "I'm here, master ". (I am here, master).
I haven't encountered any issues with the app aside from a card retention issue. I had to walk around my house several times for the map to be memorized. If the map is not memorized, it is not possible to perform local cleaning and the robot will encounter some difficulties in finding its base.
The application also allows you to control the vacuum cleaner from the phone, so you can remotely control the vacuum cleaner wherever you want, it's very practical when the vacuum cleaner can't find its way or if it has to go to a difficult place. 'access.
If the robot gets stuck somewhere, it will call you for help but the app will also send you a notification.
This Lefant M1 is not the first robot of this brand that I have tested, but it is certainly the most successful model. LIDAR detection allows it to navigate more efficiently through obstacles without systematically hitting them like the other models I tested. The LIDAR offers a better level of detection than the equivalent with camera and this makes it possible to avoid many collisions. The other particularity is the use of 2 brushes to bring the dirt to the center, I tested very few models (even at the top of the range) equipped with 2 brushes.
The Lefant application has also evolved well because it is now possible to memorize a map and manage zones (authorization / prohibition) to send the robot to a given place, it is also possible to control the robot manually to bring it to a very specific place. The robot uses a hybrid cleaning technique starting with contours and ending concentrically. It also has a feature to clean an area by performing circles until the area is fully cleaned. The app is easy to use but is only available in English.
The Lefant M1 is not the most powerful robot vacuum that I have tested but it can easily suck up most everyday dirt (crumbs, hair, feathers, seeds, cereals) but if you use partial cleaning, the brushes could eject dirt outside the area chosen for cleaning, so ask the robot to widen its perimeter.
In this price range, this Lefant M1 can easily cope with the models from Dreame or Yeedi that I tested, but it is weak in terms of suction power (especially compared to Dreame) and its module of cleaning is not very helpful.
- use of two brushes (= optimized travel time and more efficiency)
- good tracking with LIDAR
- hardly knocks over obstacles
- moderate noise in normal mode
- good autonomy in normal mode
- autonomy in turbo mode
- application only in English
- not very useful water cleaning module