I love trying and testing out smart home tech. Done correctly, tech like this has the power to make life easier – for instance, automating processes and controlling appliances from your phone can save time and effort. We have a fair bit of smart home tech in our house, however it’s only been recently that this has moved outside thanks to the Bosch Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower.
As part of an ongoing collaboration with Bosch – which included checking out their Smart Living Truck packed with the latest smart home gadgets and tech – I’ve been testing the Indego 400 Connect. It was provided to me on loan at the end of July and I’ve been using it since then as the sole method of cutting the back lawn in our garden.
Below, you’ll find my full review of the Bosch Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower:
The product is described as:
The Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower is an easy way to a nicely kept lawn. Thanks to its mulching system, grass clippings are distributed evenly to ensure a good fertilizing effect and a healthy lawn. Once installed, the Indego 400 operates all by itself, manoeuvres around obstacles and goes back to charge on its own. The Indego 400 Connect can be easily controlled via smart device app, through which you can start/stop the mowing operation, check the mower status, and edit the cutting schedules and settings.
The Bosch Indego 400 Connect comes nicely packaged in a surprisingly small box – had it not been for the photos on the side, I wouldn’t have believed that it contained a lawnmower! There were a number of different things in the box – this included the actual lawnmower, the docking station, a back cover for the docking station, screws for the docking station, a power supply, the perimeter wire, pegs, wire connectors, rulers and instructions.
I was genuinely surprised at the Indego 400 Connect. It was compact, sleek, light and gave off a dual nationality vibe with the UK / USA replaceable top cover – a far cry from my current electric lawnmower. The top feature a large, red stop button, a display panel with touch buttons and a height of cut button. Underneath, I found three cutter blades and two small caster wheels to compliment the two large drive wheels on the side.
Installation And Setup
Once you’ve got the bits out of the box, the next job is assembly. In simple terms, you’re basically looking to place the docking station somewhere in your garden near a power source, then run a perimeter wire around the border to tell the Indego 400 Connect where to cut.
Setting it up isn’t difficult, however you need to ensure you’re following the instructions to the letter and don’t rush it – otherwise, you’re probably going to have to redo bits you did wrong. As such, assembly isn’t a five minute job and it’s best to give yourself a few undistracted hours. It’s also worthwhile saying that the bigger your garden, the longer it’s going to take.
The first step is lawn preparation. This includes removing foreign objects from the lawn and identifying any obstacles, such as trees or flower beds. Next, you have to cut the grass – not with the new lawnmower, but with your old one! I chuckled when I read this step – it’s like washing the dirty pots in the sink prior to putting them in the dishwasher.
Although it sounds a bit illogical, this is to ensure that the grass is cut to the correct height for installation of the perimeter wire. The idea is to cut the main lawn to 40mm, then cut around the border on the lowest setting – this is where the wire will go.
Next, you need to determine the best place to position the docking station. You’re ideally looking for level ground, preferably in a corner, not in direct sun, near a power source and with a straight 1.5 metre track in front – so there are a fair few requirements. Despite this, I managed to find a suitable location by our shed.
The next step is to fix the docking station in place using the hex key and four screws – I chose not to do this though, mainly because we were only loaning the Indego on a temporary basis and I didn’t want four holes in our lawn which would have been created by the screws.
At this point, you can now connect the power. This connects to the back of the docking station and leads through to your nearest power socket. We have power in our shed, so I was able to easily feed this to the side of one of the doors, then connect to the socket inside.
You can now switch on the Indego 400 Connect using the isolator switch and slide it onto the docking station to charge – there are two pins on the docking station that insert into the Indego. You’ll know it’s charging as the relevant LED will light up on the docking station and the lawnmower. It should already be fully charged on first use, but it can’t harm to recharge whilst you move onto the next step.
Now’s the time to lay the perimeter wire – this is green cabling that’s laid and secured around your lawn to define the areas you do, and don’t, want to cut with the Indego. In the box, you’ll find a reel of perimeter wire – you feed this through a hole in the front of the docking station, then use wire cutters to strip around 15mm of insulation off the wire.
You then stick a peg into the ground within 10cm of the docking station to secure both ends of the wire (you hammer the peg later), then connect the stripped end to the right hand (black) terminal. It took me a few reads of the instructions to make sure I’d done this right, but once satisfied, I moved on.
Coming to the front of the docking station, I began to pull the wire from the reel to create the 1.5m of straight wire I mentioned earlier and secured it with a peg near the station. Basically, this allows the Indego to return to the docking station, so if it’s not straight, it won’t return properly and you’ll have to relay the wire.
As you work around the garden anti-clockwise, you’re looking to place a peg every 75cm from this first peg. In the box, you’ll see two rulers with the required measurements to help with this. One ruler is 75cm for the distance between pegs, whilst the other is 30cm for the distance from the wall / edge. Once lined up, pull the wire taught then secure by hammering in a peg with a mallet.
Our lawn is shaped like an ‘L’, so it was quite straightforward to lay the perimeter wire as nothing was in the way. As well as ensuring the right distances, the only additional thing I had to do was use more pegs as I approached corners. If you’re looking to go around objects (e.g. trees or bushes) on your lawn, then the process is more complicated, but the instructions explain it in simple terms.
Once the wire has gone around the entire garden, you cut it, strip off 10-15mm like before, connect it to the left hand (red) terminal of the docking station, clip on the backing cover, then peg the wire down using the same peg as before. Voila!
Despite being eager to give the Indego 400 Connect its first outing, setup wasn’t quite complete just yet. On the actual lawnmower, I was required to do a few things like set language, create a PIN code and set the time and date. It was at this point that I remembered that there’s a smart phone app – Bosch Smart Gardening – so I downloaded this and paired it with the Indego by scanning the QR Code.
As such, I think I complicated the setup process a tad as I was doing it on the lawnmower and on the app concurrently, but there were no issues and everything tallied up. The final – and most exciting – part was to map the garden. I selected the option when prompted, then marvelled as the Indego 400 Connect reversed off the docking station and began to move unaided along the perimeter wire until it came around the other side and hit the docking station.
This concluded setup and installation. As mentioned, the process isn’t complicated, but it will take a few hours and you do need to ensure you read, read and read again the instructions. The last thing you’d want to do is, for instance, pull up all of the wire after pegging it down because the docking station wasn’t located properly.
Now comes the exciting bit – cutting the lawn! This can be started in a number of ways, including physically on the lawnmower, remotely via the app or through a schedule. Whichever method you choose, the actual lawn cutting process is the same each time. The Indego 400 Connect starts by doing a border cut around the perimeter wire, then cuts the rest of the grass in parallel lines, prior to returning itself to the docking station.
It’s so easy – you literally do nothing but start the mowing process. I had images of needing to empty the cut grass out of the mower, but that’s not required as the Indego cuts the grass into small (5mm) pieces and then drops them onto the grass to fertilise the soil.
The thing about the Indego 400 Connect is that it’s intelligent – that’ll be the Logicut Intelligent Cutting technology. Basically, this means that it cuts your lawn efficiently by learning the cutting area, learning the location of objects within the cutting area, planning where it needs to cut the grass, knowing where it has cut the grass and understanding its route to and from the docking station.
By knowing these things, it can not only mow the lawn efficiently, but it (supposedly) leaves your grass in better condition because it changes the cutting route each time. This confused me at first – sometimes it cuts diagonally, sometimes it cuts horizontally, sometimes it starts on the left and sometimes it starts on the right. Either way, I let the tech decide as it’s probably cleverer than me!
Overall, I’ve been very impressed. The Indego 400 Connect is compact and is so quiet – you can hear it, but it sounds more like an electric shaver than a lawnmower. It’s also done what I want it to do, when I want it to do – whether by a schedule (more on this below) or via manually starting it. There’s been no performance issues here, even when I decided to start it in the rain to see how it’d get on.
Then there’s the grass. I genuinely think that our lawn is looking better than it has done for a long time and I’m attributing that to the Indego 400 Connect. I haven’t put anything special on the lawn, so I can only think that ‘feeding’ cut grass to the lawn is having benefits in terms of greenness and covering dead spots. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’m believing and what the unedited photos suggest.
Finally, it does a job for me – what’s not to love about that?! Obviously our lawn is small (7m²), has no obstacles and takes me no more than 15 minutes end to end. However, that’s time saved, which is important to find when you have young kids. Just imagine the time and effort saving you’d get using a robotic lawnmower on a much bigger garden (the Indego does up to 400m²) – that’s where the true benefit is.
I do have a couple of gripes though. Firstly, it won’t cut to the edges of your lawn, meaning that you’re left with about 20cm of uncut grass around the border that you need to cut manually with a strimmer. Secondly, sometimes it leaves bits of grass within the perimeter wire uncut – this must be to do with the Logicut Intelligent Cutting I mentioned above, but it can mean that it looks like you’ve missed a spot.
Thirdly, there has been one or two occasions when the Indego 400 Connect hasn’t managed to dock properly so I’ve needed to intervene. It attempts to dock, fails, leaves the docking station, gives it another go, fails etc. I think this is my fault though – by not screwing down the docking station, it’s moved slightly, meaning that the perimeter wire isn’t straight. As such, the Indego doesn’t always line up properly when attempting to dock.
A couple of final things to mention. There’s an emergency stop on top of the Indego which is handy in case it goes all Terminator on you – or you realise that you forgot to pick up all of the dog crap on the grass. As time has progressed, I’ve noticed that the wire is starting to disappear under the grass and is less visible which is good. You can also set the height of the cut manually on top of the Indego to 30mm, 40mm or 50mm, depending on your preference.
Bosch Smart Gardening App
I mentioned earlier that there’s a free Bosch Smart Gardening app you can download. This gives you the ability to control your Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower wherever you are and whenever you want – be it at home, on holiday or stuck at soft play!
The actual app is quite simplistic in terms of design and control, plus you can’t do everything you can on the actual mower (e.g. set cut height). However, the app allows you to do the one thing you need it to do – control the Indego 400 Connect remotely. This can be done in a few different ways. You can either manually mow, pause or dock the lawn mower using the relevant buttons.
Or, for something that bit more complex, you can set it up to mow through automation – either by creating a manual mowing calendar or selecting the Auto option and letting the app decide for you. I’ve done the latter, so my grass is cut at the suggested time of every Monday at 7am – that’d usually be an issue for the neighbours, but remember the Indego is very quiet!
The app will also send you alerts – for instance, if there’s an object in the way of the mower, if you need to inspect the cutting blades or if the emergency stop button has been pressed. This allows you to then go and investigate the reason for the alert and put it right.
The Indego 400 Connect works well by controlling it physically on the lawnmower, however the app opens up the ability to control and monitor wherever you are. In a world where controlling smart tech through your phone is becoming common place, it’s great to have the ability to do this with the Indego.
The Bosch Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower isn’t cheap – I’ve seen it available from £825 up to £950 depending on which store you’re looking to buy it from. As such, this probably puts it out of the price range of the majority of ‘normal’ families.
I’d love to own one permanently, but could never justify that price – mainly because we have a small lawn which doesn’t take much time to cut and the kids have eating up most of our money!
That being said, if you know that a robotic lawmmower is the must have, latest gadget for you, then this price is pretty decent in comparison to others – for instance, I’ve seen that some robotic lawnmowers cost in excess of £2,500!
I’ve been very impressed with the Bosch Indego 400 Connect robotic lawnmower – so much so that it has actually exceeded my expectations. It is quiet, compact and looks good, plus has done a great job of cutting the grass and improving the look of the lawn. I also expected plenty of performance issues, but I’ve not experienced these so far.
What’s more, because it’s smart and links to the app, you literally have to do nothing – it can start, mow the lawn and return to the docking station with no human interaction which has benefits in terms of saving time and effort. It really is a cool piece of tech.
My only small gripes are that setup takes a fair bit of time, you still have to strim the edge of your lawn as it doesn’t cut right to the edges and sometimes it has taken a few attempts to get back to the docking station. Also, as we have small kids, the perimeter wire and docking station on the lawn could create trip hazards if the kids are playing.
The price is a sticking point too. You’re paying around £900 for something to cut your lawn – for some people, that’d be worth it, but for us, and I imagine other ‘normal’ families with young kids, it’s just not feasible. It does seem reasonably priced compared to other robotic lawnmowers though and you can’t go wrong with the Bosch name.
Despite having a small lawn that doesn’t take much effort to cut, I’d still love to own one of these. Personally, I couldn’t justify the price, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want one. I’m not looking forward to having to send it back because I’ve become so used to cutting the lawn with just a couple of taps on my phone.
The DADventurer Star Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Disclosure: The Indego 400 Connect was sent to me by Bosch with the purpose of writing an honest review as part of ongoing, commissioned work with the brand.
Disclosure: This post includes an affiliate link(s).