Hobot Legee 7 Review: Digital Spring Cleaner

Robot vacuum cleaners exist in a rather weird space. While there is the allure of having a robotic appliance in the home for those wanting to live like The Jetsons, the options available locally are rather slim, not to mention being quite expensive too.

In our own experience, the only robot vacuum cleaner we have reviewed to date is the iRobot Roomba j7, which is quite handy, but costs a mammoth R12 999 to get your hands on.

Is there a happy medium? Perhaps there is with the Hobot Legee 7 4-in-1 robot recently being dropped off for review.

We must admit that this is a company and an offering that we know very little about, but at a more reasonable (relatively speaking) R8 429 (RRP) this robot vacuum cleaner offers much of the Roomba features for less money.

To find out whether it is indeed a solid alternative or a poor imitation, we gave the Hobot Legee 7 a spin. Here’s what we found out.

A familiar design

The first thing that will strike when unboxing the Legee 7 is that it looks a lot like the Roomba offerings. That is to say a rounded vacuum cleaner that putters across the floor while doing one of four different functions – regular vacuuming, dry mopping, wet mopping and polishing.

Looking at the undercarriage and a similar array is present, with wheels located on either side, a rotating side brush to move debris into its path, a vacuum vent near the front of the unit and two pads for the aforementioned dry and wet mopping. It also has a spraying apparatus for things like polish.

The Legee 7 works in a similar way too, with a pair of cameras mounted onboard to sense objects while cleaning. Added to this is an AI system and mobile app control to handle the setup, programming and access other general settings for the robot vacuum cleaner.

Regarding the app, we found it far easier to set up than the iRobot alternative, with a simple connection with the home’s WiFi needed to assist with pairing and naming of the Legee 7.

From there you are pretty much good to go, with a range of seven different cleaning options available, a stain mode for spills, power saving ECO mode, pet mode for hair / paw prints, as well as a customised mode mix a variety of different cleaning options into one routine.

You can also see a live map of your home or apartment being created as the Legee 7 works. We watched it map our apartment for the first time with extreme accuracy, picking up on all the nooks and crannies in the home and serving up a rather precise blueprint, if that’s what you want.

After a few sessions, the Legee 7 should have your house down pat in terms of how best to clean it, with it getting more efficient over time.

Keeping it clean

As for the cleaning itself and on this front it is fairly comparable with the Roomba j7. This as it did a neat job in terms of handling parquet wooden floors in the apartment. We also never saw any dust tracks from the wheels after the job was finished, which is nice as do not have to worry about cleaning up any areas the Legee 7 may have missed.

It is also pretty good at handling skirting boards too, getting close enough to pick up debris, which is something we noted the Roomba j7 as struggling with.

One area that both robot vacuum cleaners struggle with is terrain. We were not hoping for a 4×4, but the same issue cropped up while cleaning, as the patio area of the apartment proved a challenge.

Here the lip where the patio doors sit when closed caused a problem, as the Legee 7 can handle entering the area, but could not exit it as the slight incline could not be negotiated. It is therefore something to be aware of, especially if you have thickly piled carpets or rugs, as these could prove an issue for the robot.

It is a common problem with robots of this design, but one we wanted to mention again here.

The other issue we encountered was charging. The Legee 7 comes with a charging dock that connects to power via a two-prong plug. There is nothing wrong with the dock per se, but it simply is not as sturdy or robust as the iRobot offering.

Here it presents two problems, as the two contact points on the dock to handle charging need some force in order to start to charge the robot vacuum cleaner.

As such, you will need to brace the dock against the skirting board, which can prove difficult depending on the design you have. In our case there is a cornice of sorts between the board and floor, which means the dock cannot brace properly. We found this to be a problem as we had to check the Legee 7 was charging correctly on a number of occasions.

This is more a problem with our own layout than the design of the dock, but something worth keeping in mind.

As for the battery life itself, when fully charged the 4 500mAh option onboard was able to go a full week before needing another charge. For reference it cleaned for 20 minutes each day, returning to the dock once finished each time, but not charging for the purposes of testing. The apartment space was 88m2 with Hobot noting that it can handle a maximum area of 240m2.

Final verdict

At R8 249 (RR), the Hobot Legee 7 is by no means cheap and certainly several times more expensive than a regular vacuum cleaner.

That said, for those who have a robotic itch to scratch it is a far more attractively priced option compared to more household names like iRobot’s Roomba lineup, while also offering a fairly comparable performance.

If we were to suggest the Hobot Legee 7 it would have to be people with an apartment or smaller single-storey home, otherwise you will be lugging the vacuum cleaner around to different spots, which defeats the purpose.

Does it replace a regular vacuum cleaner? No, but it is certainly convenient for those who hate cleaning or simply want a robot added to their home.


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