The Lefant F1 is an affordable and compact robot vacuum and mop. The specs for suction power, battery life and dust tank volume are impressive – and definitely spark our curiosity. Our hands-on test reveals whether the Lefant F1 is a bargain robot vacuum and mop for its price.
- Pleasantly quiet when vacuuming.
- Large dust container.
- Two cleaning brushes.
- Strong battery life.
- Annoying Wi-Fi requirements for setup.
- No mapping function.
- Susceptible to obstacles.
- Wipe function "light".
Lefant F1: Price and availability
Disclaimer: This hands-on is part of a cooperation between Nextpit and Lefant. This had no influence on the editorial opinion in this review.
In terms of regular price, the Lefant F1 isn't exactly a bargain. Nominally, the robot costs $299.99 on Amazon – and in this price range there are numerous established competitors, some with better features. However, Lefant is currently running a discount campaign on Amazon, where you can save $75 on top of an already present $45 discount.
Unboxing and setup
Even before opening the packaging is noticeable: The box is quite small for a robot vacuum cleaner. The impression is confirmed after opening the lid. With a diameter of just under 28 centimeters, the Lefant F1 is really tiny.
The typical size for robotic vacuum cleaners tends to be around 35 centimeters. Fortunately, this does not mean that the dust container is significantly smaller. With 600 milliliters, it offers the same or even more volume than many significantly more expensive and larger vacuum robots from Roborock & Co.
The accessories in the box are quite lavish : here you will still find a mop plate, two reusable wipes, a replacement fine dust filter and a two-meter magnetic tape to mark off-limits zones for the robot. However, the latter is quite thick and is clearly noticeable under carpets. Last but not least, you'll also find a set of disposable wet mop cloths in the box. There are replacements for both the disposable and reusable wipes on Amazon:
After inserting two of the four brushes into the holders provided in front of them, the dusting robot is ready for use - the wipe is optional. By the way, the Lefant F1 does not have its own wiping tank - so it can either carry a wet washcloth or the disposable wipes described above.
The setup itself is largely self-explanatory. The QR code on the robot leads to the download of the app, which is available in English and Chinese. Unfortunately, there are a few issues during setup. When setting up the account, the app does not allow passwords with special characters. In the absence of a specific error message, I only figure this out through trial and error. Pairing with the home WLAN also fails.
The help dialog of the Lefant app hides a note that neither the SSID nor the Wi-Fi password can have more than ten characters. I am at 19 and 28, respectively - and swear profusely.
Before the first test, I charge the robot to 100 percent. This takes a comparatively long time of around three hours, but it's not surprising given the strong battery.
The battery should be sufficient for three hours of continuous vacuuming. Since the robot needs about 15 to 18 minutes per ten square meters, you get about 125 to 130 square meters of suction area. The cleaning process can be started either via the rather rudimentary app or via the buttons on the top of the Lefant F1. Let's get started then!
Suction and wiping performance in test
The Lefant F1 gets going eagerly with its two brushes and 4,000 Pa suction power. However, the first suction processes are frustrating. The small robot navigates itself into dead ends several times and doesn't get any further. Sometimes it gets stuck under a flowerpot stand, sometimes between the couch and the wall – and once it gets tangled in a jacket and cries for help.
Unlike much more expensive competitors, the Lefant F1 doesn't have a laser scanner or anything similar on board – and it doesn't create a (permanent) floor plan. If it gets stuck once and you free it, the cleaning process starts from zero.
In practice, this means: You should really remove all obstacles. Don't leave anything lying around on the ground – and mark danger spots with the supplied barrier tape. Due to the lack of maps, there is no other way to declare certain rooms or corners a no-go area, unless you just close the door. It is also not possible to clean individual rooms or corners in this way.
In my case, that would be unfavorable: The Lefant F1 – like other vacuum robots – regularly gets stuck on the feet of my dining room chairs. A barrier via magnetic tape is unfortunately not practical here.
Observing the Lefant F1, its suction pattern appears to be quite jumbled. However, the app shows as an animation how the robot makes its way through the rooms – and here it doesn't miss any empty spots. This is also confirmed in practice.
Crumbs, dust and dirt are no longer to be found after a complete cleaning run. Of course, the wiping function can't be compared with that of more expensive models – but it's quite practical, for example, to clean the kitchen or the entrance area from tomato splashes or shoe prints. You just have to close the doors so that the Lefant F1 cleans exactly this area.
The app itself is quite rudimentary. You can start and stop the cleaning process here, set up cleaning schedules, set different suction strengths, adjust the collision sensitivity and install firmware updates. There is also a remote control function via virtual arrow keys and a find-me function that makes the robot beep loudly.
Lefant F1: Bargain robotic vacuum or not?
The Lefant F1 nominally costs $299.99 at Amazon. However, a discount campaign is currently running here, where you can save $45 plus $75. For a price of just under $180, the Lefant F1 is definitely a very exciting vacuum robot, which convinces us especially with its large tank and the strong suction power.
There is also the option to let the robot mop, although only with a damp cloth – and not well-dosed and on larger surfaces by water tank. In addition, the robot wipes everything from tiles to carpets due to a lack of underground recognition. But for less than $200, anything else would be too much to ask. However, there are better alternatives for the regular retail price of just below $300.
Below you will find the link to the Lefant F1 on Amazon. If you decide to buy the robot, make sure you don't miss activating the $75 voucher.