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Latest Sunseeker Robotic Mower, Orion X7: Our First Impressions

Comprehensive expert review of the Orion X7. a Sunseeker robotic mower

May 31, 2024

You know those scenes in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, where Hugo the Abominable Snowman loves rabbits and gets super pumped when he meets Bugs?  Yeah, that’s pretty much us all the time with robotic mowers (just ask our friends and family.) However, we get especially excited when we get to unbox a new model for the very first time and start testing it out. We recently got to do so with the new Sunseeker robotic mower, the Orion X7. And of course, we had to share what we thought with the world.

In this initial Sunseeker Orion X7 review, we focused in on the packaging and the unboxing experience. Then we noted some of the features we noticed right away on both the mower and the app. But of course, we couldn’t help ourselves. We did take it for a spin and can report at least our initial impressions of the Orion X7’s performance.

Read on, and we will tell you what our experts thought about this new Sunseeker robotic mower, especially compared to the competition.

Sunseeker Robotic Mower Packaging and Unboxing Experience

If you have children, you may have recently seen them watch someone open a box on YouTube. You may have wondered why they like it so much.  Well, we are here to tell you…we don’t get it either. When we focus on unboxing a robotic mower, we aren’t shouting about some mystery toy. Instead, we are thinking about three things. And the Sunseeker Orion X does well in all three facets.

How is the packaging?

First, we are looking at the packaging itself. A lot of robotic mower brands that we have been unpacking recently have swung so far into sustainability that the packaging isn’t sturdy. As a result, unfortunately, the product can get damaged. Others are sturdy, but they either aren’t environmentally friendly or just aren’t user-friendly.  Luckily, the new Sunseeker robotic mower strikes the right balance with their packaging. 

The Orion X7 robotic mower is well-reinforced, with foam in key places and with some empty space. Why is that important?  Sunseeker is working to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, but they do use foam in a few key areas to make sure the packaging is sturdy. The fact that they have a bit of empty space also makes the Sunseeker robotic mower packaging more user-friendly. If for some reason, you have to repack the Orion X7, having a little extra space instead of having to figure out how to get everything to fit perfectly Tetris-style is huge.

How much assembly is needed?

Another way that the Sunseeker robotic mower packaging offers a great user experience is that you won’t need to do a lot of assembly. Really, just pull the Orion X7 out of the box, slide a few pieces together and adjust heights, and you are good to go.

How easy is it to remove the product?

Finally, we were happy to see that none of the Orion X7’s parts were held down by ties or screws or anything like that. For example, the weight of the Sunseeker robotic mower itself held down the charging station/base. So once we pulled out the robotic mower, we could easily pull out the base. Again,as much as you can reduce steps for the end user, the better.

All told, the packaging of the Sunseeker robotic mower makes a frustration-free process for consumers.

Features of the Sunseeker Orion X7 Compared to the Competition

Of course, once we open that box, we can’t help but instantly evaluate the product inside.

In the case of the Orion X7, our overall impression is that it is looking to appeal more to those looking for great function over a sleek fashion statement. In other words, some brands might look a little fancier, but you would be hard pressed to find any models with more features designed with the consumer in mind.

Robot Mower

Let’s start with that overall appearance. The color is a flat gray, and in our model, we even found a few scratches and unfinished edges. Compare that to the high-gloss cover of a Husqvarna robotic mower or the ultra-impressive aesthetics of a Luba 2 or Ecoflow, and it may feel underwhelming at first. But in our view, this simply means that the designers are choosing to be more function-forward. 

Our favorite features

Of course, if the Sunseeker robotic mower designers are choosing to be function-forward, they really need to make sure they nail the functionality. And luckily, they did. Here are a few highlights of the Orion X7 lawn mower that really impressed us:

  • Comes with the benefits of RTK and vision tech together
  • Has a handle so that you can easily move the mower around manually if needed
  • Not heavy, but it definitely feels sturdy so you don’t have any worries that you are going to hurt the mower in any way
  • A 14.7” cut width with offset blades and 2 discs of 3 blades each, all of which add up to great cutting precision
  • A floating cut deck and suspension built into the front tires, which will lead to a nice and even cut
  • The 3-wheel design (along with increased maneuverability from the cut deck) make this Sunseeker robotic mower very agile

easy maintenance

One other element of the Orion X7 that really struck us right away was how easy it should be for customers to maintain the robotic mower. We service all brands of robotic mowers, so we have seen plenty that can only be repaired by professionals. They require us to take the whole robot apart and sauter or even solder some parts together. Seriously, it looks like an 80s sci-fi movie in our headquarters sometimes.

Not so with this Sunseeker robotic mower. Consumers can perform most repairs themselves. It’s easy to find the various parts. And you can change wheel motors and the battery without removing anything at all. Given that those are the two most common tune-ups you would need to do, making them so easy for customers to do is a huge plus for the Orion X7.

One potential improvement

The only element that we think could potentially use an upgrade is the vision system. (And we use the word potentially on purpose here. We noticed a different approach than competitors and were curious about why.)

The vision system itself is very impressive, given the stereographic technology that helps it work like human eyes. However, there are no rear-mounted/rear-intended sensors, including bumpers, ultrasonic sensors, or cameras. Is this a problem? Not necessarily. But many other models do have sensor systems in place to avoid rear collisions. So, we were wondering why the Orion X7 does not follow suit. We certainly would love to see this Sunseeker robotic mowers consider this addition for future models.

Charging Station/Base Station

Similarly, we found both the charging station and reference station that come with the Sunseeker Orion X7 full of helpful features.

The base station has a really interesting design that we hope other models will adapt. It has a long runway with a magnetic strip running down the middle. We haven’t seen that design before. We assume that the reasoning here is that if the Sunseeker robotic mower isn’t aligned quite perfectly as it comes in to dock, it has plenty of time and support to straighten out.

Similarly, once the Orion X7 does nestle up to the charging station, the contacts are spring loaded. Again, if something is off by a millimeter, there is some give there. Nothing will break on either the mower or the charging station.

Finally, we liked that the vision system can scan the QR code to help the Orion X7 dock. However, this isn’t a feature that’s unique to Sunseeker robotic mowers. Indeed, it’s one we expect we’ll see more of with vision-based mowers in the future.

Reference Station

Just like the other elements of the Sunseeker Orion X7, we found that the reference station was really nicely designed for consumers’ ease of use. (And yes, we do realize that we’ve got a theme going here.)

The biggest positive about the reference station is its adaptability. You can mount the reference station on the base station if you want. However, you can also mount it in other areas, both as a vertical mount or a wall mount. Similarly, the reference station is easy to raise, lower, and turn.

Finally, we really liked how the reference station has super wifi. In other words, the reference station connects to the wifi in your home, then pushes that signal out further into your property. That plus the 4G technology already present in the mower itself (standard in the two larger models but a separate purchase for the smallest Orion X7) means that you should have no problems with losing signal.

Sunseeker Robotic Mower App

In terms of the app for the Sunseeker robotic mowers, we felt similarly to how we felt about the robot itself. It’s a little bit bland compared to competitors, but the functionality is really solid overall.

The plain nature of the app pretty much speaks for itself. You won’t find a visually stunning interface here with a lot of bells and whistles. Heck, even the name of the app is simply called “Robotic Mower.”

So instead of spending much time on the aesthetics, the designers worked to make it user-friendly and useful. They succeeded.

We did notice that the Sunseeker robotic mower, reference station, and app took a little more time to get connected than other models.  It wasn’t bad by any means, but still, we have seen smoother connection processes.

However, once everything was set up, the Sunseeker robotic mower app worked really well and had some unique features to really boost the user experience.

Our Favorite Features

What are some of those unique features we enjoyed on the Orion X7? We’re glad you asked!

ai mapping

For one, we were geeking out over the AI mapping tool. We haven’t seen that feature in any other models so far, though we expect that we will begin to pretty soon.

What is the AI mapping tool and how does it help you? Basically, AI-powered mapping uses the Orion X7’s camera and machine learning to understand your property. As the Sunseeker robotic mower goes around your property, it uses the camera to recognize obstacles and the type of terrain it is on (grass, dirt, asphalt, etc.) The Orion X7 then stores this information for future use.

How can you use the Orion X7’s AI-powered mapping? Well, if you put the robotic mower in an enclosed space with obvious cutoffs (driveways, fences, garden beds, etc.), the AI mapping tool can create a map for you, which is a huge time-saver. However, even if you don’t use AI mapping on the initial install, the Orion X7 will use the information it gathers as it mows to better define grass edges and obstacles. That way, the robotic mower can continually improve mowing quality and adjust as needed to what it notices.

Drive-And-Mow Feature

AI mapping gives you some flexibility in how you do an install, depending on the nature of your property. The drive-and-and mow feature on the Orion X7 offers even more flexibility, as you can even control how you cut your grass. With this feature, you can connect to the robotic mower via Bluetooth. Then, open the app on your phone, and you can use it, in essence, like a remote control. In other words, you can manually drive the mower around and cut the lawn.

When you mow the lawn this way, the Orion X7 will not map boundaries or anything like that. Still, some people might like to have control of the robotic mower in this way. You can be even more precise around boundaries and obstacles if you are in control.

Even if some consumers would never use drive-and-mow, we love that Sunseeker offers such flexibility. We wish more competitors would do the same.

remote editing

Another really interesting feature with the Sunseeker robotic mowing app is remote editing. The easiest use case to picture is if you were away from home for a few days. The Orion X7 (Orby, if you like nicknames) continues to cut every few days. As you watch the progress on the app, you notice that Orby keeps getting stuck in the same spot. Since you aren’t home, you can’t see what is going on. So you can use the remote editing feature to throw up a quick no-go zone and let Orby handle the rest of the lawn.

straight line function

The straight line feature was also really neat, designed for people whose lawns bump into a neighbor’s with no physical boundary. You want to make sure you set up a perfectly straight line at the boundary. So with the Orion X7, you drive it to one corner and hit the button for the straight line. Drive it to the next corner of your property and hit the button again. The app will automatically create a perfectly straight boundary between Points A and B.

quick view

The last feature that we loved is the quick view function. Once you map multiple zones, you can tap one and then the quick view button. You will see some interesting information about how the Sunseeker robotic mower is handling that zone (cutting direction, blade speed, cutting height, etc.) and make adjustments if you’d like. 

Overall Verdict of the Sunseeker robotic mower app

As we compared the Sunseeker robotic mower app to other manufacturers, we came away with a few overarching thoughts. Yes, the app is a little more bland than others, and it is a touch slower to connect to the mower. However, it is one of the most intuitive, easy-to-navigate apps we have come across in the robot lawn care industry. And we loved the flexibility that the app gave users.

How the Sunseeker Orion X7 Performed in our Initial Test

Finally, we got to our favorite part of any time we first meet a product: we got to take the Sunseeker robotic mower for a test drive.

Overall, we thought that the Orion X7 performed really well. What was most striking to us was how well it maneuvered. We suspected this would be the case, thanks to the three-wheel design. But it exceeded even our lofty expectations. The Orion X7 makes really sharp corners. It also can get closer to obstacles than any other model we have tested so far. If you need a robotic mower that can handle tight spaces, this really is the right fit for you.

not all was perfect

Of course, just about any robotic mower makes more mistakes on its first run than it does on later passes through the property. In fact that’s one of the reasons we love these guys: machine learning in robotic mowers. The Orion X7 was no exception.

For example, in its first run through our property, the Sunseeker robotic mower made less efficient decisions. We also have a wicked curb line that is overgrown with grass, which threw the AI mapping off at first. However, we did notice that the Orion X7 learned and optimized its cutting pattern more the second time.

Also, we noticed that during the first few runs through our property, the Orion X7 moved more slowly than most models. Also, the stripes it made weren’t as precise as we’ve gotten used to with the Luba 2. However, we would anticipate that it will get better at this once it runs through our property a few more times and learns the terrain more.

The last mistake we noticed with our first Orion X7 run was likely not its fault. And actually, it showed off something really impressive about Sunseeker. What happened was that the mower scalped a patch of our grass. However, that was most likely due to our own error. But when we called Sunseeker and told them what happened, they decided to set the standard cut height on the Orion X7 to the highest setting to help all future users.  We were amazed at the responsive customer service.

Our Overall Initial Impression of the Sunseeker Orion X7 robotic mower

If we had to summarize our experience with the latest Sunseeker robotic mower in just one word, we would say…function-forward. (Yep, we used a hyphen there. It’s not cheating. It’s fancy.) The Orion X7 may not be as flashy as other models, but the user experience is one of the best we have seen in the industry. Sunseeker has filled the robotic mower, the accessories, and the app with tons of useful features and innovations. Sunseeker has really gone above and beyond to make the user’s journey as smooth as absolutely possible, from unboxing to setup to operation.

Of course, this is just our initial assessment. Keep an eye on this blog and on our YouTube channel. We plan to run this Sunseeker robotic mower through a gauntlet of tests, pitting it against other models.  

Of course, if you already feel like this product is the right fit for you, you can shop the full Orion X7 robotic mower line on our site.

Now excuse us while we go hang out with our Sunseeker robotic mower. We will love it and hug it and call it…Orby.

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