A well-maintained lawn can make your property look great but it is difficult to maintain. If you’re tired of spending several hours a week pushing a noisy gas-powered lawn mower, consider investing in a robot lawn mower like the GreenworksPro Optimow 50H (1,599.99). The Optimow50H robotic mower is a one-man machine that mows the lawn every day and returns to the base station to recharge for the next run. It cut grass well in our tests, was quiet, and offers cellular connectivity, a thoughtfully-designed app, and GPS tracking. It does not have WiFi connectivity, nor onboard controls like the Worx Landroid Mower 20V Cordless Robotic Lawn Mower (WR140), which costs $999.
A Lawnmower with an integrated cellular radio
The Optimow50H can be used on lawns up to half an acre. It measures 12.2×20.0x25.0inches (HWD), weighs 26.4lbs, and has an IPX5 Rating which means it can easily be washed with any hose. It is available with two 9-inch rear wheels, and two swiveling front tires measuring 3.5 inches. It can maneuver lawns up to 35% steeper. It has a handle above the front bumper, and as is the case with every robotic mower we’ve tested, the bumper contains sensors that will cause the mower to stop and change direction if it encounters any objects in its path.
A panel on the top of the mower contains a cutting height dial, start and stop levers, and four status LEDs, but that’s all you get in the way of onboard controls. The Operating LED glows solid green when the mower is in operating mode (mowing, charging, parked, paused), and is dark when the mower is stopped, if the safety key has been removed, or if the mower is waiting for a PIN number entry. The Connectivity LED turns green when the mower attempts to connect. It glows brightly blue when the mower is connected and dims when it is turned off. When a pin code is required, the Security LED blinks yellow. The ErrorLED flashes green when there is an error. This could be a break or a mower being lifted. The GreenworksThe Tools mobile app is available on both iOS and Android. You can also program and set up other settings via the Greenworks Tools mobile application. Worx Landroid M20V, on the other hand, has an LCD display and many controls. You can create work schedules, check battery life, design work zones and set rain delay settings.
The Optimow’s brushless motor is 60dB quiet and powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It can cut up to 150 minutes, and takes about 70 minutes to fully charge. To cut the grass, the mower uses a rotating disc and three pivoting cutting knives. The mower has an 8.7-inch cutting surface and a 2.4 to 4.0-inch adjustable height. You don’t get Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity with this mower like you do with the Ayi DRM3-600I, but it does contain a GPS radio for tracking the mower’s whereabouts and a cellular radio that lets you control the mower using a mobile app. You get two years of free cellular service with the 50H, but once the free plan expires you’ll have to shell out $29.99 for a two-year plan in order to connect to the app.
The well-designed mobile app makes it easy to create work schedules, check the mower’s current status, and start and stop mowing cycles. The screen displays your mower’s name, current battery level, and operating status (leaving base, mowing/parking, returning to base). To return the mower to its base, tap on the Park button. Tap the Resume button to resume the mower’s work schedule.
The Settings and position button opens the screen. This screen allows you to manually set work schedules so that your mower comes out at a certain time on specific days. You can use the Scheduling Wizard to create a schedule that’s based on the size and shape of your lawn. Simply use the slider to tell the wizard how big your lawn. The wizard will then automatically generate a schedule based on your input.
Tap the Position button at the bottom of the screen to see where the mower is and where it’s been on a satellite map. The Settings button opens a screen where you can change the name of the mower, create a PIN code that’s used to restart the mower if it’s been lifted, and enable the Rain Guard feature that tracks the latest rainfall readings from your area and will delay a work cycle to allow enough for proper water drainage if necessary. There’s also a Frost Guard setting that monitors the current temperature and will delay the work cycle if there’s a risk of frost. Other settings allow push notifications to be enabled, custom start points for large lawns and an Energy Saving mode that shuts off both the mower as well as the cellular phone after a full recharge. In this mode you’ll have to physically pull the mower out of the charging station and push it back in to restart everything.
How to Setup and Use the Optimow50H
Getting the Optimow 50H up and running for the first time isn’t difficult, but plan on spending an hour or more crawling around the yard laying down wire and hammering in plastic spikes to keep the wire in place. I had previously installed perimeter wire in a previous evaluation. My lawn is 1,950 sq. feet. You can also hire someone who will install the wire.
After connecting the AC plug to the base station and the perimeter wire, the app was downloaded. I then created an account. I tapped Add A Device. I chose Robotic Mower. I was informed that the mower needed to be charged for at most two hours before it could receive firmware updates. After the Optimow was fully charged, I tapped “Pair” to add the mower into the app. It was given a name and it was done.
The Optimow50H did a great task keeping my entire lawn trimmed. It was quiet, and it did a great job of navigating through the grass inclines. The sensors were able to detect obstacles and stop the mower from moving. Rain Guard was able to remove large fallen branches, tennis balls, and barriers after a particularly heavy downpour.
The Schedule Wizard was used by the 50H to create a nighttime schedule. The app sent the mower Start- and Stop commands instantly. The GPS radio did an excellent job of tracking the location.
Take Back Your Weekend
Greeworks Optimow50H robotic grass mower will give you a perfect lawn. It takes some time to install the perimeter wiring, but once it is done you can just relax and let the mower do its job. Optimow performed admirably in our tests. The mobile app makes it easy to create custom evening or day schedules. That said, you’ll have to eventually pay for a cellular plan to continue using the app because the mower doesn’t offer Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. For a few hundred dollars less, our Editors’ Choice winner for robotic lawn mowers, the Worx Landroid M 20V, uses Wi-Fi to let you control it from just about anywhere and offers lots of onboard controls. The Husqvarna Automower44X AWD is the best choice for robotic lawn care. It supports all-wheel drive, Bluetooth and cell connectivity, IFTTT applets, and support Alexa voice commands. However, at $5,199.99 it’s easily the most expensive model we’ve tested.
Greenworks Pro Optimow 50H Robotic Lawn Mower
The Bottom Line
The GreenworksPro Optimow 50H robotic lawnmowers are moderately priced and offer cellular connectivity, GPS tracking, and a user-friendly application.
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