Hoover ​AXI washing machine review

Impressive smart skills done right

Hoover ​AXI washing machine
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Smartening up your washing machine may not seem like an urgent connected home purchase, at least not until we get clothes folding robots to do the laborious bit for us.

Sure, remote control functionality would be nice, but delaying start times has been a feature of old, analogue washers for years – why spend more to hook it up to your smartphone?

We’ve been living with the Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R-80 washing machine in our test smart kitchen, and while it might not be the smart appliance in our home that gets the most visitors excited, its connectivity adds an element that’s arguably far more important than any other.

Let’s explore what the AXI is all about.

Hoover AXI washing machine: Smart features

Hoover AXI washing machine review

Let’s get this straight before we continue. When it comes to reviewing a washing machine we’re not in the business of soiling fabrics with different types of sample stains and comparing the clean – we leave that to other reviewers. Our expertise is the smart and connected elements, and analysing whether spending extra on smart stuff is worth it.

So here are the basics: the AXI washing machine is a freestanding unit with a 10kg drum – which is pretty big in the washer game. There’s no dryer functionality, this is for washing only, but has an A+++ efficiency rating, which is also top banana.

Now for the smart stuff. Together with the Hoover Wizard app, you can control your washing machine from your phone, selecting programs, adjusting temperature and delaying the start. It’s actually far easier doing this via your smartphone than using the buttons and dials on the machine – and with all the bells and whistles, the physical interface of the AXI is more complex than most.

There’s also a full explanation in the app of each cycle (see below), complete with guidance of whether you should use more or less detergent and how much you should fill the drum, which is actually really handy information because, honestly, how many people know that stuff about their washer?

Hoover AXI washing machine review

Hoover has laid the foundation for future AI integrations by adding a chatbot into the app, which you can ask questions of. You can type things like “how do I remove wine stains” and it will come back with some surprisingly smart suggestions.

We wouldn’t quite describe it as a gimmick, but it’s not hugely useful yet. The dream is that when you can tell Hoover Wizard that you’ve got a massive load of dirty clothes and one is saturated in rioja, it will work everything out for you.

But there is a catch. As with the Hoover Vision oven, you need to place the Hoover AXI washing machine into connected mode before you can use the smart features. It will appear in your app as 'offline' until that mode is entered, after which it will appear live after 10 seconds or so.

That's kind of annoying. I just want to mix and match how I connect to my washing machine. I want notifications to my phone even if I started the program on the machine itself, and didn't press the Wi-Fi button. Sorting this out would take away the biggest bugbear of the Hoover AXI.

The Hoover AXI washing machine works with Alexa thanks to the Hoover Wizard skill. It's beyond useless, and one of the most frustrating experiences you can ever imagine. Avoid.

Connected diagnostics

Hoover AXI washing machine review

The AI also kicks in when you start a program. It will check the local weather and warn you if conditions are likely to be unsuitable for hanging out your laundry – and offer the chance for you to defer the cycle for eight hours.

But there are elements of the connectivity that are a lot more grown up – and point to why most appliances will be connected in the future.

For starters, there’s a whole maintenance and diagnostic section that’s well worth paying attention to.

Levels of detergent and softener are tracked within the app – because you don’t need to add them to every wash. You’ll get a warning when they’re low.

Hoover AXI washing machine review

The Hoover Wizard app counts the number of cycles, and prompt you to carry out certain maintenance such as cleaning the filter and doing a limescale removal. I can’t say I’ve done either of those things on a washing machine before – being reminded to do it (and starting to process in the app) works for me, and could extend the life of the machine.

There are also heaps of stats on the average temperature of your washes, and how that compares from an energy usage point of view to other users.

And the beauty of these features is that at £599, it's not added a ridiculous cost to the machine. In fact, in terms of connected machines it's one of the best value on the market. That means you're getting solid connected features without paying a whole lot more – the way it should be.

Hoover AXI washing machine
All too often smart features are a gimmick on appliances – but Hoover has added real benefits to its AXI washing machine. App control is genuinely useful and the added context should help you achieve better results. But the diagnostic elements of the app are a genuine reason to choose connectivity, and if it can extend the life of our appliances, we’re all for it.
  • Smart wash cycles
  • Connected diagnostics
  • Remote control
  • Connected mode
  • Awful Alexa control
  • No drying

TAGGED    smart home

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