This robot mower looks like a racecar, but it mows a gorgeous lawn

Mammotion Luba 2 robot mower

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The Mammotion Luba 2 3000H is available for $2,499.
  • Built to handle uneven terrain, the Luba 2 is an all-wheel-drive (AWD) robot mower with a GPS-powered perimeter that is surprisingly easy to set up. 
  • Despite its mostly-consistent performance, the Luba 2 veered off the map several times during testing. Also, the Mammotion app is not very user-friendly.

Mowing the lawn is one of my favorite chores. It lets me focus on an uninterrupted task that satisfies my OCD, with the bonus of completing my exercise ring on my Apple Watch. But even though it’s a chore I enjoy, it still steals a couple of hours away from my all-too-short weekend.

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That’s where the Mammotion Luba 2 comes in. Imagine the scene: you take the dog out for a walk and come home to a perfectly-mowed lawn, despite it being an overgrown mess just an hour before. While you were gone, the robot mower not only took care of the unruly grass but left a beautiful checkered pattern in its wake. I’m happy to say that this dream became a reality with the Luba 2, and although it has its quirks, it handles the chore of lawn mowing with efficiency and ease. 

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When I received the Mammotion Luba 2 for review, the only wire-free GPS robot mower I’d previously used was the EcoFlow Blade. As you can read in that review, setting up the Blade was dreadful, occupying hours of my Sunday afternoon that resulted in bickering between my husband and I, and repeated explanations to the kids that no, we won’t be riding the robot around the yard. 

This time, setting up the mower fell to my husband on a day when I wasn’t home. I was planning on helping him with the setup upon my return, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it all done by the time I got back. In fact, he had nothing but praise for the Mammotion’s easy setup, as it was completed in under two hours — from unboxing to up and running in the yard.

In contrast, setting up the former robot mower, the EcoFlow Blade had been a tedious, two-person job because it couldn’t get a good enough signal no matter where we placed the GNSS antenna in our yard. For the Mammotion Luba 2, we hadn’t even put the antenna in the yard — it was still on the deck — yet it was already connected to the mower and working fine.

Mammotion Luba 2 robot mower

The Mammotion Luba 2 had no issues cutting through two weeks’ worth of growth.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

We had been so careful about where we put the EcoFlow antenna because of the signal issues during the installation process, and here, the Luba 2’s antenna seamlessly connected on its own from a random position on the deck. If that doesn’t tell you it’s a more advanced RTK-GNSS system, I don’t know what does. I’ll update my review of the Luba 2 once I install the pole permanently, add the Garage (available in pre-orders), and a month’s worth of testing. 

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Mapping is easy and quite fun, as you just walk behind it, steering it around your yard using your smartphone with the Mammotion app as a remote control. After you complete the mapping process, the Luba 2 then mows the route independently. The app also lets you give a name to the mower, so naturally, I named it Andretti as it resembles a Formula 1 car (and also so I can ask my husband whether Andretti has done its runs today).  

Mammotion Luba 2 robot mower

My current yard is battling decades of neglect, becoming a mix of clovers and grass, but the Luba 2 cuts smoothly through it all.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, which has made the grass grow like crazy. This fast growth has ensured Andretti’s work is cutout for it, and helped me gather about 20 hours of testing divided into three different areas over the past two weeks. 

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Throughout testing, I’ve found the Mammotion Luba 2 capable of navigating uneven terrain without affecting its map. For example, when other robot mowers slide down a slope sideways, it often disrupts their mapping, and instead of correcting their position, they continue from an incorrect spot. This results in missed patches and the mower winding up outside the coverage area. In my testing, the Luba 2 never fell victim to this glitch. Although it did slide down a few times, it always righted its positioning and maintained the same map. 

The Mammotion Luba 2 seamlessly navigates uneven terrain.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Unfortunately, the Mammotion app isn’t very intuitive; changing settings will require some menu hunting and trial and error. However, it is loaded with features. You can use the app to change the mowing pattern, from stripes to checkered and more, set up different zones, including no-go zones for pools or garden beds, arrange the path order, and adjust the mowing height. 

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When mapping, the perimeter you walk with the Luba 2 is the same that will be followed when the robot is out mowing. It’s a bit challenging to walk and steer the robot in a perfectly straight line along the perimeter of your property, so I wish you could straighten boundary lines in the app after creating the map. 

That said, I love that the Luba 2 proved irreverently consistent when mowing along the perimeter. I can see the robot mowing along curved lines that I mistakenly made during mapping, but it does it the same way almost every time.

Mammotion Luba 2 robot mower path

The path lines the Mammotion Luba 2 created, as captured by my Blink Outdoor camera.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Though the Mammotion Luba 2 looks like the Ferrari of mowers, it does the laps around the lawn at its own pace. It’s not slow compared to other robot mowers, but don’t expect it to live up to its looks and become a turbo turf-tamer. 

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My Luba 2 drifted from its path six times during testing. One of those times, it ended up in my neighbor’s yard, which is much less than ideal as they’re very particular about how they mow it, but this appears to have happened during positioning and not when the blades were engaged, thankfully. Another time, it failed by going under the deck and losing its signal. It wasn’t ever supposed to go under the deck, but I guess it was taking a shortcut to the pole position (truly sorry for that one). 

Mammotion Luba 2 robot mower

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

You can also steer the robot in the app to manually mow over tough areas where you think it may drift away – this is also a good feature for touching up areas that need it. The Mammotion app also offers first-person view (FPV), so you can check where your robot is at any time if it gets stranded and you’re not there to see it. 

ZDNET’s buying advice

I’m aware these GPS-powered robots make mistakes as this new technology is still being perfected for accuracy, so I generally don’t mind them. But I do find the Mammotion Luba 2 is much less prone to errors than the EcoFlow Blade. I can count so much on Andretti following its map that I feel okay letting it mow the unfenced front lawn, even the picky neighbors’ side, something I would never let the Blade do. 

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Lastly, I love how quiet the Luba 2 is. One of the strangest things about having a robot mower is that not only does it take care of the lawn on its own, but does it so quietly that can escape your own notice. All in all, I definitely recommend the Mammotion Luba 2 for anyone that wants reclaim a few hours from the lawn on their weekends.

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