Xiaomi continues to evolve by light touches the recipe of its electric scooter. This Mi Electric Scooter 3 takes elements of its ancestors and brings some small novelties.
Well known for its smartphones, Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer that does a bit of everything in the world of new technologies. Connected watches, surveillance cameras, TVs, portable speakers or even vacuum cleaners and robots, nothing seems to scare the Chinese.
The brand's first electric scooter, the M365, was released over four years ago. What followed was a line of easily recognizable scooters that have propelled Xiaomi to the top of the electric scooter segment. The Mi Electric Scooter 3 is largely based on the Mi Electric Scooter 1S, taking some elements from the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2, the highest in the Chinese range. The only real novelty is a disc brake with two moving pads. The promises of the Scooter 3 remain quite common with a maximum speed of 25 km/h, a range of 30 km and a 300 W motor capable of reaching 600 W in peak.
Comfort and ergonomics
Since its first electric scooter model, Xiaomi has not taken much trouble to physically evolve its machines. The aesthetics of the Mi Electric Scooter 3 is well known since it is identical to the Mi Electric Scooter 1S. Of course, some new colors touches brighten up the "total grey look" at the level of the cables and the brake body. But the whole remains sober and well finished. The assembly, tested since the time, does not show any weaknesses when leaving the box.
It's a pity that Xiaomi doesn't address the small flaws of its toy. The height of the handlebars is fixed, sitting at 96 cm above the deck, a position that offers some comfort to users between 1.60 and 1.85 m. The deck is not the most spacious on the market with its 45 cm length and 14.4 cm width. Two feet with size 42 shoes can be placed on it, but without too much choice in the position. The deck is covered with a rubber grip that does an honest job of keeping your feet from slipping. The IP54 certification ensures that it is waterproof enough to ride on wet ground. Conditions in which the front and rear mudguards are effective to avoid dirt.
The 43 cm wide handlebars are always satisfactory. This width ensures proper stability and allows you to occasionally let go of the handlebars with one hand without the whole thing wobbling too much. The textured rubber covering the grips is grippy and comfortable enough for long sessions. The throttle and brake controls are easily accessible, as is the mechanical bell.
The screen in the middle of the handlebars is, according to Xiaomi, slightly different from the one found on other models of the brand. In practice, we could not detect any difference. This screen is bright enough, even in sunlight, to remain readable. It displays essential information such as the current speed, the active driving mode, the position of the headlights or the battery charge level. Information that can be found on the mobile app Xiaomi Home. The latter also allows you to lock the device, adjust the strength of energy recovery or update the electric scooter.
The various functions of the Scooter 3 are controlled by the single button under the screen. A long press turns the scooter on or off, a short press turns the lights on or off and a double press allows you to navigate between the driving modes. The headlights are more for being seen than for seeing the road. The low power of the front LED light does not allow to rely only on it in case of lack of external lighting. The rear light offers to signal its presence and flashes when braking.
Good news, Xiaomi has revised the folding system of its latest model. Gone is the mechanism that ended up not being effective, replaced by a lever that operates with one hand. The method is now much simpler to fold the stem towards the deck. The fixing is still done by hooking the bell to a small hook on the rear fender.
Things don't get any better when it comes to space with the Mi Electric Scooter 3. Xiaomi's electric scooter remains bulky, even when folded. The handles don't fold down and the whole thing stays just as high once the scooter is folded, making it difficult to carry around in a car trunk or on public transport. It is also impossible to roll the Scooter 3 by pulling it behind you when it is folded. The 13.2 kg of this Chinese model puts it in the average range of electric scooters.
The Mi Electric Scooter 3 has three driving modes limiting the speed to 5, 15 or 25 km/h. So you can ride peacefully in pedestrian areas when allowed. That said, Xiaomi's scooter is not the most agile at low speed, its turning radius being particularly high.
With its 300 W motor, the Scooter 3 is much quicker to start than the Scooter 1S. It takes only 5 seconds to reach its top speed from a standing start, which is half of what its cousin is capable of. This vivacity is welcome in the city where starts are frequent. The recovery of the Mi Electric Scooter 3 is not the most impressive on the market, but it is satisfactory. The torque offered by the motor allows the Chinese electric scooter to climb steep slopes in a nice way.
However, all the above is only true when the battery is at more than 50% of its capacity. Below this threshold, the Scooter 3's performance drops quite significantly. It takes almost 9 seconds to go from 0 to 25 km/h and climbs are not as easy. This loss of reactivity is quite disappointing. A model like the Pablo does not suffer from this defect. No doubt Xiaomi wanted to spare the endurance of its machine.
Xiaomi's new cable disc brake uses two moving pads instead of one. The previous models of the Chinese manufacturer enjoyed a powerful braking, sometimes too brutal. The Mi Electric Scooter 3 needs 5 m to come to a complete stop when launched at full speed on flat ground. That's 2 m more than on the Scooter 1S. If it is less abrupt, the braking of the Scooter 3 is more precise, and if you just want to slow down, things go very well.
The inflatable wheels of the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 measure 8.5 inches in diameter. They allow for a minimum of cushioning for the suspension-less machine. The small roughness of the road is properly absorbed, but the crossing of curbs or riding on paved roads is much more uncomfortable. As always, the major drawback of this type of tire is the possibility of a flat tire.
Xiaomi promises an endurance of 30 km with its Scooter 3. The latter is equipped with the same 275 Wh battery as the Mi Electric Scooter 1S. As too often, this promise is not kept in reality. We only managed to cover 23 km on a single charge. However, you have to take into account that the speed is largely reduced on the last kilometer and a half. This is enough to cover a few hundred meters to a subway station or a bus stop, if you have this kind of luxury nearby. Note that the endurance was measured by a pilot weighing 65 kg on a mostly flat route with a few hills and by an outside temperature of 18 °C.
Count on 4 h 45 min to fully recharge the flat battery. A shorter time than the one we measured on the Scooter 1S.
Xiaomi's recipe doesn't evolve much, but the Mi Electric Scooter 3 is a rather pleasant scooter to ride overall. It's a pity that the Chinese manufacturer doesn't change its bulky design when you want to fold it up.