This Hoover AXI review takes a look at Hoover’s first range of smart washing machines. Specifically, it was the Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R washing machine which we thoroughly tested, but the built-in Wi-Fi, app controls and features described here are the same across the range.
We tested the AXI along with a series of the best smart washing machines from other manufacturers. Each went through cycle upon cycle of our test family’s clothing over a period of weeks. We took them from quick wash to boil, from whites to woolens, all the way up to 1600rpm and back again, until we’d formed our opinions on their performance.
Here’s how the Hoover AXI faired. See all the rest of our best washing machines in our buyer's guide.
Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R at a glance
About our review – and our reviewer
Dan has specialised in smart home and home technology for over 10 years. He was Features Editor at both Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable and is a regular contributor to Metro newspaper’s Connect section. He has put the smart washers through months of cycles, kilos of laundry and knows their apps inside out. Follow Dan: @dansung
- Type: smart washing machine
- Capacity: 10kg
- Energy rating: A+++
- Noise: 51/80dB (wash/spin)
- Effectiveness: Solid cleaning hot and cold
Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R Specifications
- Spin speed: 1600 rpm
- Finish/Colour: Graphite/White
- Dimensions: 85 x 60 x 54cm (HWD)
- Control type: App and on-machine buttons
- Smart: Yes (Wi-Fi)
- Steam: Yes
- Loading type: Front
Hoover AXI design and functionality
The Hoover AXI is definitely at the budget end of smart washing machines and it really looks it, too. The finish is a plastic that gives a little too much to the touch, and the soft touch/touch sensitive buttons are not easy to press. There are also so many different wash options that you need a PhD in hieroglyphics to tell what you’ve selected on the fairly rudimentary screen.
Thankfully, the app makes up for some of these short-comings and whatever the AXI may lack in style it certainly delivers in functionality, performance and value for money. Its 10kg drum is a very decent size for a family and there are settings to wash just about anything you’ll find in your household.
How does the Hoover AXI perform?
It may not be the best washer for usability but its bang on with the laundry results. With all those different variations on each cycle and so many special care washes, there’s very much a programme for all occasions. The headline 14-minute quick wash is a bit of a cheat because it can only manage a 1.5kg wash. Fortunately, you can up that to 30 mins for a quarter load, 44 mins for a third of a load and 59 minutes will quick wash the full 10kg capacity, so long as it’s only lightly soiled.
We managed to get through a fair bit of laundry with just the four of those quick washes when the kids needed clean sports kits or to get through the last few emergency washes before our summer holiday, and the results never disappointed. Clothes always came out clean, fresh smelling and never utterly sodden; a proper time-saving performance.
Of course, with the luxury of time (when does that happen again?) it’s important to save the planet and a few pennies and the Eco 20 mode is particularly good here. It’s a two-hour, full-load programme where you can mix whatever fabrics you like. For us it was a very decent blend of time and money-saving.
For those who need higher temperature programmes, then the Hygiene 60 and Baby 60 are ready for the heavy artillery, and you can always add steam for a little sterilising boost.
If you’re not sure of the environmental impact of your programme choice, then the app is a brilliant place to get an idea of how eco-conscious each of the cycles is. There’s a five leaf (not star) system. The more leaves, the greener the programme, and it definitely helps when it comes to making an informed choice about your wash. It’s all very well that the labelling says the machine is A+++ rated but, if you’re washing at 90 degrees every time, then you’re still not doing much either for your pocket or the planet.
Hoover AXI app and smart control
The soft touch buttons on the machine itself can be a tad unresponsive. For that reason alone we prefer using the app to choose the programmes and start the cycles but there are still plenty of other benefits. You need to press the Wi-Fi button on the machine every time you want to connect with the app, which is a touch annoying, but, once the wash is underway, you can get progress updates whether you’re at home or away.
The AXI offers 13 main wash programmes but it works out more like 40 given that you can customise each of those by changing the temperature, spin speed, dirt levels, steam, the number of rinses, hygiene levels and many more. The app lists the standard cycles and then you change those options as you see fit. What we really like, though, is that you don’t necessarily have to know your EcoSmart from your Hygiene 60.
If the names don’t make sense to you, or if you have something specific to wash, then the Hoover Wizard app has a list of certain pre-customised combinations to give what it calls Special Care and Home Care cycles. These include curtains, duvets, tablecloths, down jackets, cashmere, denim, diving suits (!) and more, plus the all-important baby sanitiser and cuddly toy modes.
The app is also handy for keeping tabs on the life of your machine. It gathers statistics on your washes about how many cycles it has performed, which type and will even suggest when it needs to perform maintenance cycles. It’s even connected to your local weather service and will warn you if the wash you’re about to put on is going to coincide with the kind of weather that won’t do much for drying your laundry on the line. Believe us, that can save plenty of time and effort and avoid dreaded rewashes.
There's also the space to talk to the Hoover Talks chatbot but it’s not very helpful. Don’t waste your time there. In fact, there is a general issue with all this clever smart control and information. The app, and the connection between your phone and the washer can be a bit buggy. It’s particularly intermittent on Android but even with iPhone the machine can take a few tries and a bit of turning on and off again before it realises that you’re trying to tell it something. It’s a guaranteed source of frustration if you’re not particularly techie.
Hoover AXI installation
It’s always worth getting your retailer to install your washer if it’s free, but a self-install is an easy way to save a few pennies if not. Like most washers these days, there are only two pipes and plug to worry about. So long as you can shift the AXI into place without scratching your flooring, and you can dispose of your old machine without a problem, then it really is a doddle.
Once plumbed, download the Hoover Wizard app for either iOS or Android. The set-up process to register your AXI machine inside the app is simple enough. You register your details for a free account, enter the machine’s 16-digit number (found inside the door) and then add your home Wi-Fi password when prompted. The app leads you through the process.
The only trouble you might have — and we certainly had it initially — is that your AXI needs to be in good reach of your home Wi-Fi signal. Anything less than two bars of Wi-Fi reception on your mobile and you’ll find the smart controls become patchy. If this is the case, you’ll either need to move your router closer or buy a Wi-Fi extender of some sort.
HOW DOES THE HOOVER AXI RATE ONLINE?
There are no reviews on the Hoover site but the bulk of the feedback is on Argos and AO.com where there a total of 44 reviews. The machine scores mostly five stars with a large amount of fours. Customer generally praise the machine's washing results and high drum capacity. Its auto-dosing system also wins plaudits. Quite rightly, even some of these positive scores comment on the app’s patchy performance and the few who have totally panned the machine seem to level criticism at the same connected features.
HOW DOES THE HOOVER AXI RATE AGAINST SIMILAR WASHING MACHINES?
There are cheaper smart washing machines out there but they’re only made by Hoover or Candy, both of which belong to the same parent company. The smart experience across these brands and models is very similar, so it’s really only the washing performance that keeps this AXI ahead with its wealth and flexibility of programmes. If you can step up to the LGs, Samsungs, Mieles and Grundigs of this world, however, you’ll get far better connected consistency.