Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: light and easy riding

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 combines and lightweight design with an impressive range

T3 Platinum Award
Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 has a nice balance of weight and performance that makes it easy to pick up and carry, while still delivering plenty of range. It’s a great-looking scooter that’s fun to ride, though lacks a little on the speed side for road riding.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very lightweight

  • +

    Great range

  • +

    Quick to fold

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Tires only 8.5in

  • -

    Top speed is limiting

  • -

    Power isn’t instant

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 is the latest electric scooter from the giant Beijing tech firm and promises some handy improvements over the previous Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2. I’ve been using the scooter now for just over a week and it’s a lot of fun to ride. In this review I’m going to explain why this could be Xiaomi’s finest e-scooter yet and worth of its place in our best electric scooter guide, but also where I feel it still needs some work.

When it comes to choosing an electric scooter there is a vast amount of choice, both in terms of spec and price. The broad division of models is down to either a commercial-style scooter and a consumer-style scooter.

A commercial scooter has a design similar to those available for hire in many larger cities across the US and beyond. They are larger and heavier but in return tend to offer a longer range, sturdier construction, and faster speeds. Conversely, consumer scooters tend to be lighter and smaller. This makes them easier to pick up and carry, but it also results in smaller batteries and motors – therefore less range and speed.

Of course, the lines do blur. There are models that manage to offer a sturdy build while keeping the weight down, and conversely, smaller models that still manage to offer decent range and speed. But it’s a tradeoff and you should consider which factors are most important to you before slimming down your choice.

While definitely on the smaller and lighter end of the spectrum, the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 does offer an impressive range while also giving a respectable top speed. This is likely to make it a popular choice for commuters that need to take their scooter on a train or carry it into the office.

 

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: release date and price

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 was first announced on July 26, 2021, and is due to go on sale in September. In Europe, the price is due to be €449 Euro (around $525/£385), while the Australian Mi Store has it listed for AU$599 on pre-order. It seems the scooter will be available in two colors: gravity gray and onyx black. These are new colors to the Mi electric scooter range and are accented by orange cables on the gray model and blue cables on the black model – these accents are an easy way to tell the Scooter 3 apart from the Scooter Pro 2.

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Design

The basic design of the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 remains mostly unchanged from the Scooter Pro 2. The scooter is just under 44.5 inches (1130mm) long and stands 46.5 inches (1180mm) tall. The deck is 5.5 inches (140mm) wide, which is a little thinner than the likes of the Ninebot Max but is still plenty of room for most feet – I wear a 9.5 shoe and had plenty of space.

Weighing just 29lbs (13.2kg), it’s noticeably lighter than many others on the market, including the Mi Pro 2, which weighed 31.3lbs. It does feature a smaller battery, which will save on weight, but still offers an 18.6-mile (30km) range.

One new feature is the quick lock bracket. This features a safety catch that must be lifted before opening, to avoid accidental use but still folds quickly and easily in three clicks. Once folded the Scooter 3 is around 19.2 inches (490mm) tall – although this isn’t as flat as models with a lower bracket, it’s still very mobile. The catch on the handlebars clips nicely on to the hook on the rear wheel arch.

There are orange reflectors on the sides of both front and back wheels, otherwise the bright blue brake lines are the only hint of color on the black model. This actually works very well, and the scooter looks pretty stylish.

While not intrusive, it’s a shame that the brake lines jut out of the side rather than continuing to run through the body. The rear disc brakes also seem to be left very exposed rather than protected in any casing, presumably to save on weight. Instead, two thin metal strips support the wheel arch to add strength. These do bend if too much pressure is put on the wheel arch – standing on it for instance – but they easily bend back.

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 uses the same 300W motor as in the Mi Pro 2, which has a 600W maximum power. The first models used a 250W motor, so this is still considered a step up for a non-Pro model. The brakes are also the same dual braking system as the Mi Pro 2, combining the e-ABS electric brake with a disc brake for better stopping power. 

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Features

The LED display screen on the handlebars offers a clear visual guide of all necessary information, including your speed, battery life and drive mode. It also shows when your headlights are on, when you are connected via Bluetooth to your phone and when the scooter has been locked. The single power button also turns the headlights on with a single press and changes drive modes with a double press.

The accelerator lever is positioned by your right thumb and the bell next to your left thumb. There’s also a single brake lever on the left, which activates the rear disc brake and electric brake. The front headlight and rear taillight are both nice and bright, should you be riding in darker conditions, though not enough to light up your path enough in pitch darkness.

The scooter has an IP54 water and dust rating, which means it’s fine for everyday splashes and dust but wouldn’t be suited to really wet conditions. It also means that you shouldn’t use a hose or pressure washer to clean it, as it could damage the electrics.

The Mi 3 connects to Xiaomi’s Mi Home app. This gives you a current speed (presumably for if you have the phone mounted on your handlebars) as well as battery level, average speed and current trip odometer. You can also lock the scooter from the app and get more details on your total distances and battery life.

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Performance

There is a choice of three drive settings on the Xiaomi Mi electric Scooter 3: pedestrian mode which is limited to 3mph, standard drive mode that takes you up to 12.4mph and sport mode for the full 15.5mph top speed.

When in pedestrian, or walking mode, the scooter automatically adds a little power to make pushing it easier, without holding the accelerator. When you try to push it with the scooter turned off you get some resistance from the motor, so this is actually really handy. The standard drive mode is handy if you want to keep your speed down but as the top speed isn’t that much higher, I tended to stick to the sport mode.

For use on cycle paths and built-up areas (where allowed) the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 is plenty quick enough and is really fun to ride. I did find that most of the time I kept my thumb fully down on the accelerator though. Unfortunately, there’s no cruise control option in sport mode.

On the road, the 15mph showing on the speedo (which may actually have been 15.5mph) did feel a little slow. Other scooters that offered an extra couple of miles an hour felt a little more able to keep up with the flow of traffic, while here I was aware I was going slower than most bicycles. My hope is that, should Xiaomi release a Mi Pro 3, it would offer at least 18mph, though that would take you over the legal limit in some US states. It’s definitely worth getting yourself a good helmet wherever you choose to ride, though.

That larger motor does its job when it comes to hills though. The scooter had no problem with gentle hills, showing no sign of slowing down at all. One thing to note is that you need to get up to around 4mph before the motor kicks in, so you really do need to give it a decent kick-off from a standing start, or you’ll be going nowhere.

A big plus though has to be those pneumatic tires. While at 8.5 inches, the wheels are pretty small, thanks to the air-filled tires – complete with inner tubes – they make for a much smoother ride than larger run flat or solid tires. Should you get a puncture, the scooter comes with a spare tire and inner tube in the box. This might not be as convenient as run-flat or solid tires but on bumpy roads, the ride is much smoother.

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Battery life

At 7650mAh, the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 doesn’t have the largest battery, but it does offer an impressive 30km/18.64-mile range. While this figure is based on using the economy setting at around 9.3mph, I was still able to get around 15 miles using it mostly in sport mode and at top speed. To further extend the range there is also a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), this helps to recharge the battery when coasting or braking.

It’s certainly enough of a range for most commutes and the charge time is just 5.5 hours, so you can easily charge it at work or in the evenings when you get home, should you need to. The specification lists a battery lifespan of 500 cycles, so even if you charged it twice a week, this will still last nearly five years.

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi 3 is a great little scooter that offers all the features you need while being small and light enough to pick up and carry when needed. Not only does it feel sturdy and well made, thanks to the air-filled tires, it gives a pretty smooth ride too.

For what is very much a mid-ranged scooter in terms of price, it’s one of the best options on the market. You can pay more and get more speed, but you also get a lot more weight, which makes carrying your scooter more of a challenge.

I’ve used the Xiaomi Mi 3 scooter for quick trips to the shops, longer rides to the beach and even some just for the sake of going for a ride and have enjoyed each one. If you’re searching for an affordable electric scooter, this model should be on your shortlist.

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 review: Also consider

For around the same money, the GoTrax XR Elite offers a comparable spec to the Xiaomi Mi 3, including the 15.5mph top speed and 8.5-inch tires. It is a little heavier and doesn’t look quite as stylish but there have been some discounts available which could mean a decent saving on the retail price.

If you can push your budget a little further, the Segway Ninebot Max G30LP still remains our top choice. While considerably heavier, it offers a decent bump in top speed up to 18.6 mph,  a 25-mile range, and full waterproofing.

Mat Gallagher
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat is a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, cars, music or travel. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and is now based in Chicago.