The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 was recently sent to me to review. Last year I reviewed the Mi Electric Scooter 1S and ended up purchasing one because it was fun to use.
The Mi electric scooter is a smart gadget that has Bluetooth and pairs to your Android or iOS device via the Xiaomi Home app. The pairing process is easy, though I did encounter an issue because the scooter was not unpaired from the previous device so I couldn’t pair it on my phone. But once it was sorted, it worked a charm. Also interesting to know, giving it a hard reset does not unpair it from another device.
On the app, you will see options that you can set to your preference like keeping the taillight always on, low battery notifications, the intensity of energy recovery (I had it on medium), and also if you want to “lock” it – so that a code is required to use it. You can also check and update the firmware on the app.
Regarding recording rides, you can only see a ride in real-time, from what I’ve experience on the app. I don’t know why there isn’t a ride history to go back to or see stats over time.
On the actual scooter itself, there is tiny LED screen so you can see your controls. It has three driving modes, Pedestrian, Drive, and Sport, either one of these will be highlighted when selected, and you can see your speed clearly on the top.
When you press the power button, the light will switch on. When you double press it, you toggle between driving modes. From the image below, on the right handlebar is the button you press to accelerate, brake on the left like a bicycle, and then a bell that’s really loud.
I decided a comparison post would work best as I had an opportunity to ride the Mi Electric Scooter 3 and 1S side by side. I went around the neighbourhood only, not yet ready to make a dash to the supermarket and definitely not to run errands. If you are looking to buy one, hopefully this post will help you decide which model to go for.
|Mi Electric Scooter 3||Mi Electric Scooter 1S|
|Power Output||300kW (600kW peak)||250kW (500kW peak)|
|Battery||7 650mAh/275Wh||7 650mAh/275Wh|
|Charging time||5.5 hours||5.5 hours|
|Brakes||E-ABS + rear dual-pad disc brake||E-ABS + disc brake|
|Driving modes||Pedestrian (0-5km/h)
|Max weight||Adult up to 100kg||Adult up to 100kg|
|Tyre size||8.5″ pneumatic tyres||8.5″ pneumatic tyres|
|Price:||R10 299 (Makro)||R8 539 (Takealot)|
Mi Electric Scooter 3
The newer model that is available in South Africa, though not newest because that would be the 4 Pro (700W; 55km range; bigger size). As you can tell my most of the specs and what it looks like, they are nearly identical. The cable on the 3 is blue, and its power output is marginally better. It also has better brakes – rear dual pads, and when riding, I could immediately tell they were superior to my 1S.
Mi Electric Scooter 1S
A bit of an older model now, but it looks exactly like the 3, with the same specs, except for the difference mentioned above. I think it’s still a good scooter to buy and own because these smart gadgets aren’t like smartphones where you should prioritise a newer model when it comes out. It’s the same battery size, speed, charge time, riding modes, etc.
Which electric scooter should you buy?
Having ridden both and despite being so similar, they can be differentiated by the fact that the 1S is more suited as a toy or hobby; and the 3 having that bit of extra power if you plan to do short commutes on the roads. Yes, petrol is expensive and I know people are considering other options; this would be suited for that. I can also see how useful it would be in large office parks, or inside a big office (if you have a fun work environment).
Provided you wear a helmet, don’t go above speed limits and be careful not to accidentally hit anyone. In some parts of the world, electric scooters are banned due to safety concerns, and some countries ban it on public roads only. I think it’s suitable if you’re riding it on your area.
The scooter itself folds down so it can be taken into a car boot, and apparently, if you have a cover for it, you will be allowed onto the Gautrain (I saw this via Thomas Falkiner’s Instagram post). It’s compact and easy to move around, if you’re concerned about that. The owner of Honest Travel Experience, mentioned below, commutes with a scooter and puts his in the boot of an Uber if he needs to.
Is it legal to ride an electric scooter on SA roads?
I want to clarify this point again. I reached out to government officials last year about the legality of driving e-scooters and they confirmed to me via a Teams call that “electric scooters are not allowed in public because they do not have pedals like bicycles.” It appears in my original review in September 2021.
Subsequently I booked an electric scooter tour with Honest Travel Experience in Rosebank in November 2021. We rode on Oxford Road and surroundings with cars on the road. As per the company, it is allowed on public roads provided the speed is 15km/h or less (my IG post). I assume if it was not allowed, these e-scooter tours would be banned by now.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. email@example.com