Buying an intelligent robot vacuum would, in most cases, entail spending a good chunk of cash. Sure there are cheap versions, but from what I’ve tested, most lack essential features (e.g., virtual wall and no-go zones) to fully utilizes its smart navigating properties.
Enter the Mova L600 – one of the least expensive LIDAR-based robot vacuums with high-end features like map saving, virtual wall, and no-go zones. But the question is, how good is it? I’ve spent the past few days testing to find out.
Budget Robot With A Laser Sensor
Mova L600 Review
Mova aims to challenge the likes of Roborock and Roomba with their smart robot – the L600. It’s a similar product to Roborock in terms of features and compatibility with the Xiaomi app, so expect an excellent app experience. Navigation and the lower than usual cost are its main strengths, thanks to the laser sensor and SLAM. Cleaning performance is a mixed bag – it did well cleaning particular debris, but not so well on others.
- An excellent option for consumers looking for a budget-friendly smart robot vacuum
- Large capacity dustbin (570-milliliters)
- Doubles as a robot mop
- Access to high-end features like invisible wall and containment zones
- Compatibility with the Xiaomi app
- High-end airflow
- Struggles with cleaning sand on hard floors
- Rubber flaps hinder its cleaning potential
- Wide turns
- It only goes around twice
- Only able to save one map level
- 1 Budget Robot With A Laser Sensor
- 2 Introduction to the Mova L600
- 3 How does the Mova L600 navigate?
- 4 App features
- 5 How much power does the Mova L600 have?
- 6 Cleaning performance
- 7 How well does the Mova L600 mop?
- 8 How noisy is the Mova L600?
- 9 How long will the Mova L600 run?
- 10 What comes in the box?
- 11 Availability of parts
- 12 Maintenance
- 13 Product Specifications
- 14 Where can I buy the Mova L600?
- 15 Does the Mova L600 provide excellent value?
- 16 The Verdict: Good Budget Alternative To Expensive Brands
Introduction to the Mova L600
Mova is a newcomer in this niche but aims to challenge the growing influx of brands in the low to mid-priced smart robot category.
The L600 is their first laser-based robot with LIDAR and SLAM, unlocking advanced features primarily seen in high-end options.
First, let’s quickly go through the basic features starting with its design.
Design and interface
The L600, like most LIDAR-based robot, has a round frame with the laser sensor close to the front.
Beneath this sensor is a top-mounted door that reveals the dustbin when you open it. Mova includes a brush cleaning tool with a blade insert, presumably for untangling hair on the brush. Fortunately, you won’t be needing this too much since it’s easy to clean the brush.
It has a two-button interface above the LIDAR sensor, but since this robot is compatible with the Xiaomi app, I doubt you’ll be using these as often.
Flipping the robot reveals this layout.
It has a single, clip-on side brush with bristled tips and a combo brush flanked by two side wheels.
Behind the main brush, you’ll see jagged lines for holding a 270-ml electronic water tank at the rear.
Dustbin design and capacity
This robot has a top-mounted 570-ml dustbin, which is one of the higher capacity options available. Other brands I’ve tested range between 420 and 480-ml, so the capacity increase reduces trips to the trash bin.
The front-mounted door is wide but narrow. Disposing of dirt is easy. However, make sure to have a bin wide empty, so it doesn’t spill to the sides.
Behind it is a washable HEPA filter that you’ll have to replace every two or three months.
It doesn’t look big, but the Mova L600 water tank has a decent capacity – up to 270-ml that rivals other brands like the Roborock S7 and S5 Max.
The electronic nature gives users more control over water flow. Unlike gravity tanks that continually leak water until you empty it, an electronic tank doesn’t release water unless you start the robot.
It comes with one microfiber pad, but you can buy extra if you’re planning on using this extensively for mopping.
Navigation will be efficient thanks to the laser sensor (or LIDAR) and the SLAM algorithm.
For those not familiar, SLAM is the same software used by driver-less cars. The use of a laser sensor provides precision and the ability to work even in dark conditions.
Users can monitor (in real-time) the robot’s location through the app. It’s one of my favorite features since I could quickly check at a glance where the robot is and see if it’s done cleaning.
Like most LIDAR-based robots, it starts cleaning the edges before moving towards the middle portions in neat rows.
Navigation is quite efficient, and not once did it wedge itself against the office chair legs in my home office.
Does the Mova L600 scuff furniture?
Nope, it does not. The algorithm is smart enough, so the robot slows down and doesn’t bump into obstacles hard. It’s better than a Roomba product in this aspect, plus it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper.
The Mova L600 is compatible with the Xiaomi app, and if you’re familiar with Xiaomi, it’s one of the best robot vacuum apps in the business.
Not surprising since Xiaomi specializes in smartphones, so developing an app won’t be too difficult for them.
Users will enjoy a slew of features from the L600 app, and let’s go through it one by one.
1. Live map
When you tap on the L600 tab on the main interface, you’ll see a snapshot of the map. If you haven’t run the robot yet, this space will be blank. But once the robot does a run, a map is drawn, unlocking other features we’ll talk about below.
The live map feature helps a great deal in locating the robot if it fires an error code. You can immediately find it through the app.
This robot has the “big three” containment options – virtual wall (or invisible wall), cleaning the restricted area (or no-go zones), and no-mop zones. These help keep the robot away from off-limit areas, and most homes have these zones.
3. Map saving
Another helpful feature is the option to save maps. Unfortunately, for the L600, it is singular – only one map level. I’m not sure why Mova didn’t provide provisions for at least two, but it should be the minimum for most smart robot vacuums.
The app is smart enough to accurately divide areas in my room, at least for my home, so I don’t have to do it manually.
Users can add multiple virtual walls and containment zones and save them on the map. Room naming is available, but only from a selected list – custom names aren’t available.
4. Selective room cleaning
Another benefit of LIDAR is (the option to) cleaning a specific room on the map, which is called selective room cleaning. This is extremely helpful inside larger homes where some rooms are unoccupied at certain times during the day. You can use this in conjunction with scheduling to clean these zones.
Users can also arrange the order by which each room is cleaned by tapping these areas accordingly on the map.
5. Zoned cleaning
While selective room cleaning targets specific rooms, zoned cleaning enables users to pinpoint smaller areas. It’s like spot cleaning, but with more accuracy and convenience as the robot goes to that area and cleans it. There’s no need to carry the robot physically to the spot.
6. Unlimited scheduling
One of my favorite app features, regardless of brand, is unlimited scheduling. This aspect adds a layer of convenience, especially for busy folks. I like that you can schedule as many runs per day. Combine that with the above-average capacity. You’ll have cleaner floors.
7. Cleaning history
This tab displays past cleaning runs plus the total area cleaned, duration, and the number of times you’ve used it.
8. Service schedule
It gives a heads up when to change components like the side brush, main brush, and HEPA filter. Please note that this is a time-based system, so it’s best to check these parts periodically to check if it needs cleaning or replacing.
How much power does the Mova L600 have?
I’d say airflow is a strong point for this robot, with 17 CFM at the highest setting. Compared to other robot vacuums in its price bracket (on average), it has higher scores – better than the DreameTech D9, which is its direct competitor.
Here are the complete results
- Silent: 9.68 CFM
- Standard: 11.33 CFM
- Strong: 12.75 CFM
- Turbo: 17 CFM
However, you’ll notice a big gap between the strong and turbo settings, which means users have to use the max to get decent results on carpets. On hard floors, strong or standard would suffice, but don’t expect it to clean heavy debris well like sand.
Don’t expect this robot vacuum for heavy-duty tasks, not because of the lack of airflow, but because of the brush design and navigation quirks (already explained this earlier).
I tested the Mova L600 extensively on various debris such as quaker oats, coffee grounds, quinoa, pet litter, sand, and hair.
First, here the overall results.
- Overall: 87.43%
- Hard floor: 98.14%
- Sand on hard floor: 93.9%
- Carpet: 97.5%
- Deep cleaning: 66.65%
Compared to other brands in its price range, it’s slightly below average, but it’s this low because of the poor results on the sand on hard floor test and deep cleaning.
It only picked up 93.9%, which looks high, but it’s not. Other brands picked up above 97% and higher.
Hard floor cleaning results
- Quaker oats: 98.6%
- Coffee grounds: 99.4%
- Quinoa: 97.6%
- Pet litter: 96.2%
The L600 did its best work on hard floors, where it picked up an average of 98.14%, but I’m a bit disappointed with the score because it could have done better.
Two factors hold it back. First are the front flaps that somehow hinder the debris path. And second is the wide turning radius that lacks overlap. I’m not sure why Mova had to add these flaps, as it’s proven to not help with vacuuming at all.
Edge cleaning test
Unfortunately, the round frame and narrow brush hinder its edge cleaning ability. It picked up a decent amount, but it won’t match a robot vacuum with two side brushes like the Ecovacs T8 or the ILIFE A10.
I tested this robot how well it resists tangles from five and seven-inch hair strands. Here are the results.
This much hair wrapped on the brush after the five-inch test.
And this much after the seven-inch test.
- 5-inch strands: 36% inside the dustbin, 64% around the brush
- 7-inch strands: 22% inside the dustbin, 78% around the brush
These figures show that you’ll need to clean the brush regularly from hair wrapping on it.
Fortunately, untangling hair won’t be difficult, thanks to the fins that prevent hair wrap from wrapping tightly. It’s easy to pull hair out, plus the detachable end caps make it straightforward to remove hair from the axles.
Next, we’ll look at how well the L600 did cleaning low and mid-pile carpets.
Low pile results
- Quaker oats: 97.2%
- Coffee grounds: 94.8%
- Quinoa: 99.8%
- Pet litter: 98.2%
Despite the design and navigational quirks, the L600 did well on low pile carpet, with most in the high 90s. It’s decent on this surface, obviously not as good as a Roomba 981 or S9, but decent for a robot vacuum at this price point.
Mid pile results
- Quaker oats: 97.6%
- Coffee grounds: 95%
- Quinoa: 99.8%
- Pet litter: 97.8%
The mid-pile results are close to low pile scores – slightly better with cleaning coffee grounds, but considering the design flaws, I’d say it’s above-average.
Again, the navigation quirks somewhat diminish its potential, and hopefully, Mova will address this in future app rollouts.
Deep cleaning results
To check how well the Mova L600 does at cleaning embedded stuff, I rubbed 100 grams of sand on mid-pile carpet. It picked up an average of 66.65% on two tests. It is slightly below average compared to other brands in this bracket, but it’s almost the same number as the costlier Ecovacs T8 with a similar brush design.
How well does the Mova L600 mop?
One underrated aspect of the L600 is its mopping capability. I tested it on red wine stains with the mopping pad dry at the highest setting, and here are the before and after photos (after the first two pass run).
And second two-pass run.
And third two-pass run.
It didn’t eradicate the stains after the first two-pass run. You can see streaks of it on the surface. Since this robot lacks any agitation, it’s hard to expect it to do anything more than light-duty tasks.
Another factor to consider is the surface after the third run. It wasn’t spotless. You won’t see it in the photos, but there’s visible residue and hazing on the surface.
Since red wine contains enzymes, it takes more than dragging a wet pad on the surface to clean it and leave a clean surface.
How noisy is the Mova L600?
I used a sound meter to measure noise levels – the results were a mixed bag.
- Silent: 60.2 dB
- Standard: 64.1 dB
- Strong: 66.3 dB
- Turbo: 71.3 dB
It wasn’t noisy in the two lower settings and didn’t breach the 65-decibel mark. However, cranking up the power will result in higher noise levels – over 70 decibels in the turbo setting.
How long will the Mova L600 run?
The L600 has a 5200 mAh Li-ion battery with a claimed run time of up to 110 minutes in the lowest setting. Unfortunately, airflow at this mode won’t be sufficient for cleaning debris other than dust. You’ll have to use the other three settings to pick up more stubborn dirt, which eats into the run time.
Fortunately, this robot has recharge and resume, so run time won’t be much of a concern since it will resume cleaning after recharging.
What comes in the box?
- Mova L600 Robot
- One side brush
- Water tank
- Microfiber pad (one piece only)
- Charging dock and plug
Availability of parts
Since Mova is a new brand, don’t expect much with parts availability. Most of the components are only available through Mova’s Amazon storefront. Users can only purchase stuff like filters, brushes, and brush cover. More obscure parts like the battery or side wheels aren’t available yet.
I’ll summarize the different components that need cleaning or replacing for this robot to run smoothly.
- Combo brush: This part is the most abused component in any robot vacuum, and it will require constant TLC. Check at least once a week for hair and debris build up around it and on the axles.
- Side brush: Over time, hair will wrap around the base and tentacles. Make sure to remove these to avoid unnecessary friction.
- Dustbin: Empty it after every run (preferably). Tap the HEPA filter against a solid object to dislodge dirt within the folds. If you have a handheld vacuum, use it to clean the debris trapped there.
- Side wheels: Wipe the two side wheels and caster wheel with a clean, dry microfiber towel to remove any contaminants sticking on it.
- Water tank: Don’t leave water inside if you’re not using the mopping function for an extended period.
- Microfiber pad: Wash it after every mopping run to prevent any germs reintroduced on the surface.
- Sensors: There is a bevy of sensors around and underneath the robot. Use a clean microfiber to clean the drop sensors at least once a month to prevent an error code from flashing.
|Battery||5,200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 110 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||270 ml.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||570 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Where can I buy the Mova L600?
You can buy this robot vacuum from online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing.
- Mova L600 on Amazon
- Discount code: 10QSUE4W (additional $35 OFF – valid between May 12 to June 10, 2021)
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through the link above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Does the Mova L600 provide excellent value?
The low introductory cost of this smart robot vacuum makes it a compelling option if spending over $400 on a competing brand is too much.
No, it won’t have the same cleaning results as more expensive options, but it’s more than enough for daily tasks, especially on hard surfaces.
5 Reasons to buy the Mova L600
- Affordable smart robot vacuum: One of the least expensive options with laser navigation and high-end features (virtual wall and containment boxes).
- Excellent app experience: Its compatibility with the Xiaomi app checks this box immediately.
- Decent surface cleaning: Despite the low overall score, it’s decent, or I should say above-average, in cleaning surface debris (except sand).
- Containment features available: One of a few robot vacuums in this price range with invisible wall and no-go zones.
- Large dustbin: The 570-ml capacity means you don’t have to empty it as often.
The Verdict: Good Budget Alternative To Expensive Brands
Before testing, I’ve had my apprehensions about this robot vacuum. I didn’t know what to expect. The results aren’t eye-popping, but it’s a solid robot vacuum that performs decently enough to be worth your while.
Don’t expect too much from it as it will not outperform brands such as Roomba or Roborock. But for the low cost, it does more than enough if you don’t mind the issues I mentioned.
Mova could improve its product further by removing the flaps and tightening up navigation, but only time will tell if they’ll listen.
An Affordable Smart Navigating Robot Vacuum
Navigation - 94%
Surface Cleaning - 97.82%
Deep Cleaning - 66.65%
Quality - 95%
Design - 94%
Value - 97%
The Mova L600 may not impress with the test results, but it’s decent enough to warrant your consideration. Its low introductory cost makes it a compelling option to folks looking for a cheap alternative to Roborock and Roomba without compromising too much on facets like navigation and app experience. It does have its flaws which I highlighted, but if you can look past them, it’s a good option to consider.