Friday, April 12, 2024

Gardena Sileno Minimo 250 Test: A streamlined, connected mini robotic mower that does more than the bare minimum

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Unlike other Gardena Sileno robotic mowers, the Minimo is devoid of any screen and only has a five-button interface on its back.

If it can be used on a daily basis with the few functions displayed (start mowing, follow programming, return to base), the indications are inevitably not as clear as with the display and it is necessary to return to the situation. The first uses, in particular to understand the meaning of the different flashes of LEDs associated with the buttons.

However, the Minimo is connected and designed to work with the Gardena smartphone app and can also only be properly configured. Simple and oriented process. Once the Bluetooth pairing is complete, all that remains is to indicate the area of ​​lawn to be mowed for the recommended schedule that will be suggested. It is possible to choose the durations of the robot’s running time yourself (including mowing, basic searching once the battery is empty and recharging).

However, the duration of daily use is electronically restricted by Gardena, as the robot is not able to operate for longer than the predetermined duration. An unfortunate limitation when we know that the superior Minimo 500 is technically identical, right down to the battery capacity. Gardena recommends a daily run time of 4 to 5 hours for a 250 square meter area, which corresponds to two mowing cycles where the mower will operate for 1 hour after charging for 1 hour and 15 minutes. During our tests, the electronic stabilization was limited to three parts per day anyway. This is already enough for lawns of up to 250 square meters (our usual test area), but don’t expect to mow more with this model – then you should choose the Minimo 500.

Using the robot with the app is very simple. Various functions are accessible there and you can easily modify the mowing schedule or simply order the machine to return to its base if you wish to occupy your newly cut garden. A Bluetooth connection guarantees a range of up to ten metres, which in most cases is enough to not have to leave your home to control the mower. Only Smart Sileno models and their box to be connected to the home internet box allow control from a greater distance and even outside the home.

However, Minimo is quite independent on a daily basis. Once the configuration has been implemented correctly and possibly modified to improve its operation, we no longer have to worry about it, reducing the complaints that we can make regarding its screenless physical interface and smartphone app facing. No need to manually adjust the mowing frequency according to the growth speed of the grass either thanks to the SensorControl function that automatically configures the table. Real convenience, so much so that you end up forgetting the mower.

When it comes to noise pollution, the Minimo excels. It is the most secretive robotic mower we have ever tested. The wheeled motors are still a little audible when the motorized lawn mower is moving fast and their noise logically increases if it has to mow a little taller lawn compared to the set cut, but the estimate is still the order of the day. The mower barely exceeds 58 dB(A) at 1 meter when mowing normally. It drops below 50 dB(A) at 5 m and becomes nearly inaudible at more than 10 m. So the neighbors will not be upset, even if you have to cut evenings and weekends.

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