There has been a boom in electric scooter sales of late, with more folk looking for easy, convenient ways of getting around that doesn’t involve public transport. The Ninebot Segway Air T15 is one of the most compact e-scooters on sale today, so could be perfect for your daily commute.
With expertise from Segway, makers of everything from electronic roller skates to high octane go-karts, the Ninebot Segway Air T15 takes a design-centric approach to battery-assisted kick scooters, featuring a unique folding mechanism and low overall mass that makes it very easy to live with.
From the Sinclair C4-esque external design language to the well-executed accompanying app, the Ninebot Segway Air T15 represents a sleek and stylish package that stands out in a market that includes a lot of cheap plastic. However, it’s not without its faults.
Ninebot Segway Air T15 review: design
Stand the Ninebot Segway Air T15 next to something from Bird or Pure and it looks absolutely tiny, with its non-adjustable handlebars only just about coming up to the waist of anyone of average height.
The flat front end boasts a powerful LED headlight and neat integrated LED light strip, which can be adjusted via the app, meaning users can essentially select whichever colour they like.
The scooter itself comes pre-assembled, so it’s merely a case of lifting it out of the box and pulling a lever to flip the bars and secure into place. The small rubber handles neatly rotate and click into position, too.
Even the foam packaging has been cleverly conceived, as this doubles up as a neat storage stand in the home, garage or shed, complete with sections for chasing charging wires. That means owners only have to deal with a cardboard box when it comes to sustainably disposing of packaging.
Weighing in at just 10.5kg, it is one of the lightest e-scooters by a long stretch and manoeuvring it when folded is easy. The way it folds flat means users can essentially drag it by the rear wheel, rather than having to pick it up.
We think it looks great and if you can get over the fact it errs on the teeny side, it’s arguably one of the most striking kick scooters you can buy.
Ninebot Segway Air T15 review: performance
Ninebot Segway Air T15 specs
Max Speed: 12.4 mph
Range: 7.5 miles
Weight: 10.5 kg
Motor: 250 W
Water resistance: IPX4-rated
Tyre: 7.5inch (front) 6-inch (rear) solid
Max Load: 100 kg
Removable battery: No
Speed settings: 3
Designed for shorter hops, the Ninebot Segway Air T15 is neither powerful or particularly fast, maxing out at 12.4mph and struggling desperately with inclines. The battery packs, which are stashed below the kickboard, can manage an official range of 7.5-miles, but we found real-life range was less than this. Whichever way you cut it, it’s way down on rivals.
This is exacerbated by the fact that anything other than Sport mode feels sluggish, but unfortunately, the speediest mode also drains the batteries fastest. Bump up the regenerative braking via an option in the app and it’s possible to improve upon the range with some careful riding, but really this is for short distances only.
Controls are taken care of by two triggers on the handlebars. The thumb-shift throttle is located on the right bar, while an identical braking trigger is located on the left. Depress these two simultaneously and the Ninebot Segway Air T15 will emit a high-pitched peep to alert pedestrians or other path users.
Unfortunately, stopping via the thumb-shift trigger takes too long, especially when up to max speed, and certainly can’t match the stopping performance of something with a hydraulic disc brake. There’s also a rear fender brake, to assist the electron braking, but this also doubles-up as a selector switch to not only turn the scooter on and off, but to also cycle between the riding modes.
We found it all too easy to accidentally toggle between a different riding mode when brushing the brake, which can be infuriating. Similarly, the small solid wheels make for a twitchy ride, especially over rough surfaces, and this isn’t helped by the relatively short handlebars.
On the plus side, there’s very little maintenance involved, but it lacks the robust and reassuring riding experience of the Pure Air or the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2, for example.
Ninebot Segway Air T15 review: other features
Like many e-scooters, the Ninebot Segway Air T15 requires initial registration through its accompanying smartphone app. Fail to do so and it emits a terrible, ear-splitting high-pitched tone until you do (or angrily turn it off).
Once downloaded, it only takes a matter of moments to synch the scooter with the app and after a brief safety demonstration and rapid run-through of the controls, it’s simply a case of hopping on and cruising.
However, the app is well worth returning to, as it gives reliable indicators on the remaining range and battery life, distance travelled and even the ability to record every ride, which harnesses the power Google Maps for accurate mapping and can link to social media feeds, if that’s your bag.
The app also deals with settings, such as altering the energy recovery mode and changing the lighting effects on the front LED strip and rear lamp. There’s also a cruise control mode, where the user simply has to push off and the scooter calculates the amount of power to keep things continuously moving, rather than relying on the thumb-shift throttle.
Other notable features include LCD information display that is neatly stashed on top of the handlebars. This gives accurate readouts on speed travelled, the riding mode and battery life remaining. The only issue we found was that it’s a bit tricky to read in direct sunlight.
Ninebot Segway Air T15 review: verdict
The Ninebot Segway Air T15 certainly looks the business but it is smaller, slower and lacks the range of similarly priced rivals. For those who want to easily stow it in the boot of a car or wheel it on to public transport, it absolutely perfect and delivers a perfectly acceptable ride, so long as the surfaces are smooth and you haven’t got too many steep hills to contend with.
The lightweight body, diminutive package and clever stowage solution means there is a trade-off in performance, though, but the Ninebot Segway Air T15 majors on clever additional features and a classy smartphone app. The choice between this and its many rivals will be down to the sort of use it is destined for and if you really need that futuristic design.