Swagway X1 Review
The Swagway X1 is really becoming the people’s champion of self-balancing electric scooters. As it stands, many products that retail for less than $500 are, if I may be so bold, junk.
In that price bracket there are a lot of scooters “derived” (in other words knocked-off) from better-known brands, with compromised batteries or unreliable motors, software, or electronics.
The X1 sits right on that dividing line. It doesn’t carry an insane price tag like the IO Hawk 2.0 at (I kid you not) $1500, nor is it a $350 death trap. Sales and servicing is handled by a U.S. company (Swagway) so you have someone to complain to if things go wrong.
By the Numbers
Let’s get the raw numbers out of the way first. If you’re heavier than 220 pounds (about 100 kg) you’re out of luck, Lurch. That puts you squarely in the $750 and up market, unfortunately. For the average adult male at 150lbs that leaves a lot of headway. Kids under 44lbs should also stay off the Swagway.
Swagway claims that the maximum range of the X1 is 20 miles and the maximum speed is 10 mph. In practice though, these figures are obtained under perfect conditions and are affected by how much you weigh, the ambient temperature, the incline, and so on. With independent testing by others it seems to me that 10 miles or less for the average adult not nailing it at top speed is a reasonable expectation. Your particular commute will determine if you’re walking that last mile, but for most people the X1 will get you to work or school one way, needing a charge to head back home. Not too bad. A full charge from empty takes about three hours.
The X1 weighs in at 28 lbs, so it’s about average on that count. Consider also buying a carry bag.
Swagway says the X1 will handle a 15-degree incline, which is at the upper end of performance. I haven’t seen anything contradicting this, but I expect going up slight inclines will empty the battery rather quickly. Remember that your own weight affects this performance number as well.
The all-important battery, the scourge of burned-down homes everywhere, does not seem to be a major issue. Swagway swears that they only use top battery brands with UL certification. Swagway is one of the few brands allowed back onto online retailers like Amazon, so you shouldn’t have to lose any sleep over it even at the $500 price point.
Of course the normal warning about lithium-ion batteries apply. If the unit gets a serious bump or is punctured, don’t charge or use it without proper inspection. Also try to charge it somewhere where any fire damage would be limited – on concrete in a garage, for example. That being said, the Swagway is UL, FCC, CE, RohS, Prop 65 and UN38.3 certified.
Swag or Not?
I don’t know how “swag” the X1 is, but it does come in a color called “exclusive gold”, so there’s that.
Visually the X1 doesn’t look cheap to my eye. As with just about every self-balancing scooter in this style, the X1 is prone to scratches and general cosmetic damage. Given this tendency you may want to have the black one.
The wheel decal is a bit blingy for my taste, but it’s not too offensive. This is ABS plastic, which is a good material in terms of quality versus price. Certainly it helps keep the price down.
Note that the X1 is not waterproof, so keep it inside on rainy days.
Ready Player 1
Riders report no major issues with the responsiveness and operation of the X1, and there’s actually a very cool training mode that slows everything down so you can get used to riding the board. Like most self-balancing electric scooters, the X1 has a zero-degree turning circle and in videos (LINK) you can clearly see how nimble the machine is. In fact, some people have complained about it being “twitchy”, although they probably just didn’t spend enough time in the “learning mode” I just mentioned.
I think the Swagway represents the happy medium between quality and affordability. $500 is not a small amount of money, but you can make that back in bus fare much faster than $1500. That’s also a price comparable to other big ticket presents such as video game consoles.
Swagway offers a one-year accidental-damage warranty for a whopping $100, but considering how reasonable the base price is and your judgment of the rider’s odds of totaling the board is, that may actually not be a bad idea.