New year, new Xiaomi electric scooter. Introduced in the summer of 2021, the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 positions itself as an evolution of the Xiaomi Mi Scooter 1S, incorporating some features of the Mi Scooter Pro 2. But is the combination successful? Let’s find out in this comprehensive review.
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3 Specifications
- Model: Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3
- Advertised range: 30 km
- Advertised charging time: 510 min
- Top speed: 25 km/h
- Motor power: 600 watts
- Maximum supported weight: 100 kg
- Price: $399 on Walmart
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3 Design: A Familiar Look
After a few attempts, Xiaomi seems to apply the same strategy to its electric scooters as it does to its smartphones: endlessly iterating its models, potentially causing confusion among consumers. Unsurprisingly, the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3 closely resembles the Mi Scooter 1S. While it’s true that you don’t change a winning team, some minor improvements wouldn’t have hurt.
At first glance, almost nothing sets the Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3 apart from its predecessors, except for the color of the cables. Previously red, they are now blue to indicate that it is indeed a new model. Apart from that, it retains all the hallmarks of Xiaomi electric scooters, including its IP54 certification, ensuring splash resistance for your rides in the rain.
Another small detail of importance is the folding stem system. Previously a simple lever, it now features a new safety mechanism requiring a trigger to be activated in either direction. This offers additional security to prevent the scooter from folding mid-ride, but it also makes folding slightly more complicated, especially since the lever is quite sturdy and requires some force to activate the stem movement.
This feature is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The hook mechanism remains simple and efficient: a hook on the mudguard slips into a link near the handlebars, allowing the scooter to fold and be lifted in one smooth motion.
Compared to the Mi 1S, the Mi Scooter 3 is slightly heavier, going from 12.5 to 13.2 kg. However, it is still easily transportable and did not bother me when climbing four flights of stairs, especially since its compact size makes it simple to fit in a car trunk or a small apartment corner. It would be nice if the handlebars could fold as well, but Xiaomi doesn’t seem to have that in mind yet.
When outdoors, however, you’ll need to keep it close to you, as the only secure spot for a lock is the rear wheel.
A Small Deck, Well-Positioned Handlebars
As for the deck, there’s nothing new either. Expect a width of 14.5 cm and a length of 56.5 cm, with 46 cm of actual usable space. This is the trade-off for a compact scooter: to ride comfortably, you’ll need to position your feet at right angles or place one on the mudguard, which is fixed and does not act as a mechanical brake.
Handlebars and Controls
The handlebars are positioned 110 cm from the ground and 95 cm from the deck, making the Mi Scooter 3 accessible to everyone. At my height of 1.75 meters, I found the handlebars correctly positioned, although a bit low after testing the Himo L2. An adjustable height system would be a plus. Nevertheless, I quickly got used to it, and it didn’t bother me.
The same textured rubber grips are used, ideal for preventing slipping even with wet hands and generally quite comfortable, even if you don’t necessarily want to hold them for hours.
With the handlebars in hand, you’ll find the rear disc brake on the left handle, along with the bell and accelerator on the right handle. The layout is very standard, with a well-adjusted accelerator to avoid uncomfortable positions on long distances. However, the bell is a bit far away, and you need to stretch your thumb to reach it.
An Unchanged Display
In terms of controls, nothing has changed. The stem is connected to the handlebars by a display and a single multi-function button. A short press turns on the headlight – very bright and well-angled to illuminate the road and possible obstacles – while a long press turns off the scooter, and a double-tap switches between driving modes, even while on the move.
The display shows the bare minimum: real-time speed, battery status indicated by a 5-segment gauge, and driving mode (pedestrian, D, or S). Indicator lights also show if the scooter is locked, in Bluetooth pairing, or suffering from a technical issue. Hopefully, you won’t see the latter symbol too often.
We would have appreciated a small clock and a more precise battery or distance-traveled indicator, but these are criticisms we make in each of our scooter reviews.
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3: A Responsive Ride
While the Mi Scooter 3 reuses the design of the 1S, it primarily adopts the Pro 2’s motor. The nominal power increases from 250 to 300 W (and maximum power from 500 to 600 W). In terms of top speed, you won’t notice the difference, as French legislation requires a motor speed limit of 25 km/h, but the increased power is noticeable in acceleration and uphill climbs.
According to Xiaomi, the Mi Scooter 3 can climb slopes up to 16%. On such steep roads, don’t expect to maintain 25 km/h, but it’s quite impressive to hold 10 km/h on a steep section of Ménilmontant Street (14%). For other slopes, the Mi Scooter 3 barely flinches and easily maintains speeds above 23 km/h.
Acceleration and Performance
The most enjoyable aspect of the Mi Scooter 3 is its acceleration. Without being abrupt, it allows you to quickly reach the maximum allowed speed, which is particularly effective for getting out of congested intersections, getting ahead at green lights, or overtaking multiple cyclists at once. I was able to overtake five cyclists in just a few meters during one of my trips before merging back.
Stability, but Still No Shock Absorbers
Light and medium-sized, the Mi Scooter 3 offers excellent maneuverability and overall driving stability. You can easily weave between cars at red lights or slalom at walking pace, and even let go of one hand while keeping the scooter on course without any effort. This is handy if you need to scratch your nose or point in the direction you want to turn since Xiaomi does not offer standard turn signals on its models.
Although very enjoyable to ride, the Mi Scooter 3 suffers from a problem seen in previous generations and many other competing scooters: its small 8.5-inch pneumatic tires alone are not enough to absorb road shocks. In the absence of shock absorbers, cobblestone roads may shake you quite a bit. It’s far from the comfort of heavier scooters.
Braking and Road Holding: Reassuring
Regarding safety and road holding, Xiaomi has improved its design since the first M365 in 2017. The braking system consists of an adjustable regenerative brake and a rear disc brake. It is both progressive on the lever’s travel and biting when pressed to the maximum.
This is precisely the behavior you’d expect from a personal transportation device: it doesn’t send you flying over the handlebars when you want to stop gently but can react quickly in case of emergency to avoid an accident.
It’s worth noting that the road holding is good, and even in case of emergency braking, the Mi Scooter 3 doesn’t skid too much on dry roads. On wet roads, we always advise reducing your speed to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3: Same Battery, (Almost) Increased Range
Regarding the battery, Xiaomi has kept the same NE1003-H accumulator as on the Mi Scooter 1S with a capacity of 7650 mAh for 275 Wh. Slightly heavier and more powerful, it should logically offer a lower range. Yet, Xiaomi still claims 30 km, just like last year.
However, this figure is entirely biased since it’s obtained under very specific conditions that are hard to reproduce: with a 75 kg load at 25°C, no wind, on a flat road, and especially at 15 km/h.
In practice, if you enjoy your scooter in sport mode, it will be tough to reach the 30 km range on a single charge. However, the Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3 proves to be more enduring than the model it replaces. With the 1S, I recorded an average trip of 20 km before running out of battery.
Here, it’s between 20 and 22 km on the same route. The 20 km was achieved on the charge where I performed my uphill tests on Ménilmontant Street.
Battery Life and Charging
Don’t expect a significant increase in battery life. Also, since the battery indicator is not very precise, it’s advisable to remember your trips and/or always carry the charger with you.
For charging, there’s no change either. It still takes around 5.5 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. The charging port is located on the lower part of the deck, covered with a rubber cap to prevent it from getting wet when riding through puddles.
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3: Still an Imperfect App
Regarding the app, Xiaomi hasn’t made any improvements. The same Xiaomi Home app from last year is available on Google Play Store or the App Store. In general, the app allows you to adjust some scooter settings, such as speed control, always-on rear light, and regenerative braking strength.
You’ll also find useful information, such as the total mileage of your Mi Scooter 3, its serial number, battery status, percentage, and estimated mileage.
Unfortunately, the flaws haven’t been fixed. It’s still necessary to link your scooter to a room in your house (which is odd but only needed once), and you can’t access your information when the scooter is off, as the app doesn’t save the latest data for consultation.
Wondering if your scooter has enough juice for your daily commute tomorrow? You won’t know without getting up from your couch. Too bad.
Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3: Price and Availability
The Xiaomi Mi Scooter 3 is available at a recommended price of $399 on Xiaomi’s website and various retailers like Walmart.
It completely replaces the Mi Scooter 1S at this price point. It might even overshadow the Xiaomi Mi Scooter Electric Pro 2, which only offers 5 km of additional real autonomy.
The Mi Scooter 3 aims to replace the 1S but can easily overshadow the Pro 2 as well. Powerful, maneuverable, enjoyable to ride, and well-equipped for safety, it has all the necessary features for a device you’ll take on the road among bikes, cars, buses, and trucks. It’s a clear, welcome improvement, making it one of the most balanced electric scooters on the market.
With a range of just over 20 km, it remains somewhat limited for daily commutes and often requires recharging. This is its only remaining drawback compared to the Mi Pro 2 (which offers an additional 10 km of range for over a kilogram and $50 extra). In return, it’s slightly lighter, more easily maneuverable in tight spaces, and a bit cheaper.
Mechanically, Xiaomi has found the right balance for a daily or leisure electric scooter. However, the software aspect, both on the smartphone and the scooter’s screen, could be improved.
Pros of the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3
- Excellent acceleration
- Responsive brakes and good overall grip
- Powerful and efficient headlight
- Easy to store and transport
Cons of the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3
- No shock absorbers + small wheels = average comfort
- Basic app and interface
- Range still somewhat limited