Hover-1 Alpha Review – Smoothest Under-$400 Ride Ever

Hover 1 Alpha Review

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Quick summary: The Hover 1 Alpha is a budget-friendly electric scooter that has a top speed of 18.6 mph / 30 kmh, a max range of 12 mi / 19.3 km. It is very comfortable and portable and the build quality is decent.
Hover 1 Alpha full view
Hover 1 Alpha lights
Hover 1 Alpha tires
Hover 1 Alpha screen
Hover 1 Alpha riding
Hover 1 Alpha leaning
Hover 1 Alpha front
Hover 1 Alpha fold
Hover 1 Alpha brakes
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Hover 1 Alpha Specifications

Imperial Metric

  • Top speed: 29 kmh 18 mph
  • Range: 19.3 km 12 mph
  • Motors: rear-drive hub BLDC
  • Power: 450 W
  • Battery: 216 Wh, 36 V
  • Battery type: 30-cell lithium-ion battery
  • Charging time: 6.5 h
  • Avg. charging cost: US: $0.03, Canada: $0.02, UK: £0.07, EU: €0.06
  • Weight: 16.4 kg 36 lbs
  • Weight limit: 120 kg 265 lbs
  • Tire size: 10 in
  • Tire type: pneumatic
  • Foldable: yes
  • Build material: aluminum
  • Brakes: rear disk brake
  • Shock absorbers: no
  • Lights: main LED + brake + deck + stickers
  • Control: LED display
  • Speed modes: 2
  • Cruise control: yes
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Return period: 30 days
  • Folded dimensions (L * W * H): 118 * 24.1 * 59.7 cm 46.46 * 9.49 * 23.50 in
  • Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H): 118 * 24.1 * 125 cm 46.46 * 9.49 * 49.21 in
  • Adjustable handlebar: no

Tests and measurements

Imperial Metric

  • Speed tests (EScooterNerds): 33 kmh 21 mph
  • Speed tests (third party): 30 kmh 18.6 mph
  • Range tests (EScooterNerds): 19.3 km 12 mi
  • Range tests (third party): 19.3 km 12 mi
  • Braking distance tests (EScooterNerds): 4 m
  • Braking distance tests (third party): 4 m
  • Climb tests (EScooterNerds): 18
  • Charge time tests (EScooterNerds): 6.5
  • Charge time tests (third party): 6
  • Weight limit tests (EScooterNerds): 91 kg 201 lbs
  • Weight limit tests (third party): 120 kg 265 lbs
  • Waterproofing tests (EScooterNerds): no issues in light rain
  • Waterproofing tests (third party): no issues in light rain

Ratings and scores

Overall score
Ranked #4 in price range $300 – $400
63
Quality & Lifespan
78
Value
97
Ride Experience
79
Speed
29
Acceleration
31
Climbing
65
Range
19
Brakes
78
Suspension
70
Portability
88
Weight capacity
70
Maintenance
56

Pros

  • great value
  • good performance
  • solid brakes

Cons

  • quality can be lower
  • ride quality issues possible

When to buy

The Hover-1 Alpha excels for some use cases, providing exceptionally comfortable rides for a small price. With large, wide tires, it outperforms other 8-inch scooters. Its high weight limit and tall handlebar make it surprisingly suitable for larger and taller adults. Primarily an excellent entry-level choice, it’s ideal for beginners and first-time owners, given its simplicity, fun, comfort, and affordability. Despite being very cheap, the quality isn’t greatly compromised, offering a decent scooter for just a few hundred dollars. Whether commuting to work, heading to the market, or enjoying a leisurely cruise, the Hover-1 Alpha is a versatile and cost-effective option.

When not to buy

The Hover-1 Alpha might not be the ideal choice for certain categories of scooterists. Firstly, it’s not a power scooter. Additionally, it lacks an IP rating, and while some owners report it can handle rides in the rain to some extent, it’s not smart to ride it in the rain or snow. Finally, as with most budget scooters, the build quality, while surprisingly good, is not perfect.

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In this detailed Hover-1 Alpha review, we will examine this relative newcomer in the scooter world, and answer the question of why it has become so popular so quickly, and why it continues to gain popularity as we speak.

Hover-1 Alpha Basics

The Hover-1 Alpha is very simple to use, and follows all the standard best practices when it comes to controlling and riding the scooter.

Unboxing and assembly

The scooter arrives almost fully assembled.

The box includes:

  • the scooter
  • charger and charging cable
  • tire pump
  • small Allen wrench and screws
  • user manual
  • warranty card

To complete the assembly, install the handlebars into the stem and tighten the 4 screws provided. Ensure the battery is fully charged for optimal health and lifespan.

Check that all screws are secure and adjust brake strength and sensitivity before riding.

Manual

page from the user manual of the Hover 1 Alpha

As a manual enthusiast, I appreciate the Hover-1 Alpha manual for its exceptional clarity and detail. It provides thorough explanations on everything an owner needs to know.

I know most of you guys won’t even bother with the manual at all, but I recommend trying to skim through it at least, as it has a ton of information that you may find useful someday.

Folding

folding mechanism of the Hover 1 Alpha

The quick-release folding mechanism, a latch on the stem’s front, secures the scooter in its folded position. Folding takes seconds, and a “click” indicates the bell frame has connected with the rear mudguard hook, ensuring stability and easy portability.

Performance

Here are some of the performance aspects of the Hover-1 Alpha.

Motor

The motor is a huge win for the Hover-1 Alpha, and with 450 Watts of power, it’s probably the most powerful motor for an electric scooter in the budget category.

The BLDC hub motor is integrated into the rear wheel, giving the scooter some extra traction and torque, and improving the general efficiency and performance of the scooter.

I was really pleasantly surprised with the torque of the scooter.

Speed and speed test

front wheel of the Hover 1 Alpha

The official top speed of the Hover-1 Alpha is 18.6 mph / 30 kmh.

In reality, the scooter’s performance differs from expectations. Unlike common overestimations, this scooter’s actual top speed surpasses the official figure.

Users often achieve speeds well above the official limit, with one even reporting 22 mph / 35 kmh.

While this might be uncommon, you can reliably reach the official top speed, which is impressive for a standard scooter. The acceleration is moderate due to the scooter’s slightly heavier build compared to typical budget commuters.

When I tested this scooter, I reached a top speed of 20 mph / 33 kmh and I had a big smile on my face after hitting that number.

If this speed isn’t enough for you adrenaline junkies out there, check out my guide on the fastest electric scooters.

Range and range test

Usually, scooters with good batteries have long ranges. Sadly, that’s not exactly the case with the Hover-1 Alpha.

The official range of the Hover-1 Alpha is 12 mi / 19.3 km, and that’s exactly what my independent tests of the range have found to be the range as well.

Considering the $380 price, we can’t really expect an extensive range. It’s suitable for many scooterists, but don’t expect carefree, extended rides without monitoring your riding time.

If this scooter doesn’t meet your daily commuting range, check out my guide on the best long-range electric scooters.

Climbing and climb test

Despite its powerful rear-wheel integrated motor, the Hover-1 Alpha performs as an average climber. While tests indicate it handles mild hills well, it struggles on moderate slopes and is not suitable for steep hills.

No official climb angle has been published by Hover-1. I managed to achieve a climb angle of around 18 degrees on my climb test.

If you need to climb hills with your scooter often, check out my guide on the best hill-climbing electric scooters.

Ride experience

front tire of the Hover 1 Alpha

I believe ride smoothness is the area where the scooter provides the most value and is unrivaled in its price category.

Ride quality hinges on the scooter’s build and tire quality. The Hover-1 Alpha excels in both aspects, with a solid build and large, cushioned tires.

This combination ensures an excellent day-to-day riding experience, even in challenging environments. It’s hard to find a budget scooter offering a smoother ride.

I tried riding the scooter offroad and strongly recommend against doing that. This is primarily an urban scooter, and you should try to stick to paved and flat roads as much as possible.

Hover-1 Alpha vs other scooters

Let’s see how the Hover-1 Alpha compares to other scooters.

Hover-1 Alpha vs Hover 1 Alpha Pro

hover 1 alpha vs hover 1 alpha pro

The Hover-1 Alpha is ideal for budget-conscious users, offering affordability, a decent range of 12 miles / 19 km, and a top speed of 18 mph / 28 kmh for urban commutes.

It features pneumatic tires, shock-absorbing suspension, and weighs 33 lbs/ 14 kg for portability.

On the other hand, the Hover-1 Alpha Pro targets power and range enthusiasts with a robust 450W motor, reaching 25 mph / 40 kmh, excelling on hills, and covering longer distances effortlessly.

It includes advanced features like app integration, cruise control, and a brighter headlight. Designed for heavier riders, it accommodates up to 264 lbs / 119 kg and provides a premium ride with 10.5-inch pneumatic tires.

The Alpha suits affordability and everyday riding, while the Alpha Pro offers more power, range, and advanced features for an elevated experience.

Hover-1 Alpha vs Xiaomi Mi Pro 2

hover 1 alpha vs xiaomi mi pro 2

The Xiaomi Mi features a sleek design, a longer 18.6 mi / 29 km range, and a slightly faster 15.5 mph / 24 kmh top speed, providing greater freedom and excitement.

Integration with the Xiaomi Mi Home app offers ride tracking, statistics, and added security with scooter locking.

For budget shoppers, the Hover-1 Alpha may be a better option.

If you desire a sleek design, longer range, faster speeds, and app integration, the Xiaomi Mi might be a better fit.

If you prefer the Xiaomi, check out my review on the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 to find out more about it.

Build quality and materials

The scooter both looks and feels reliable, strong, and sturdy.

The stem has almost no wiggling. As with any budget model, there will be some wiggling, but it will be minimal, and given this scooter’s price, I think it’s a very fair trade.

The stem-deck connection is exceptionally strong, crucial for a smooth ride and overall stability.

The large, wide deck ensures a low and stable center of gravity, reducing shaking on uneven surfaces. It features extra-grippy sandpaper tape for slip prevention.

The kickstand is robust, preventing tipping. The scooter has minimal sticking parts, with the brake cable slightly exposed at the top.

The only engineering concern is the handlebar width, which feels narrow, impacting control and turning abilities.

Features

Here are some of the features of the Hover-1 Alpha.

Battery and charging

The Hover-1 Alpha’s 30-cell lithium-ion battery has a voltage of 36V, a capacity of 6Ah, and 216Wh. It’s UL 2272 certified, ensuring high safety and quality standards.

Certified batteries, like this one, require less care during charging, are less prone to defects, and likely outlast batteries in most budget scooters. Hover-1 claims it can handle up to 5000 charge cycles.

I highly doubt that will be the case, but still, even if it manages 3000 charge cycles, that’s still orders of magnitude better than the average.

The battery indicator flashes when it’s nearly empty, and the scooter may power off in protection mode if it depletes further.

Charging typically takes 5.5 – 6.5 hours, despite the specified 4 – 4.5 hours. The charger’s indicator is red during charging and turns green when the battery is full.

Brakes and safety

rear disk brake of the Hover 1 Alpha

The Hover-1 Alpha features a single rear wheel disk brake with a large diameter. It comes strong out of the box and is adjustable to personal preference for a fairly short braking distance.

However, a redundant braking system would have made this scooter feature complete in my opinion. Far from it being unsafe (all budget models have one brake anyway), but it would sure be nice to see a secondary emergency brake.

Tires and mudguards

front wheel of the Hover 1 Alpha

The Hover-1 Alpha stands out with its 10-inch air-filled tires, a rarity in budget scooters. The wide tires provide excellent balance, although they make turning and control slightly more challenging.

Despite lacking suspension, the substantial tire size minimizes the need for additional shock absorption common in other budget scooters.

The mudguards are one of my favorite features of this scooter.

The mudguards on the Hover-1 Alpha are secure, causing no rattling, and have few reported serious issues, which is a rarity in budget scooters.

They also sport a slick, shiny, polished finish, adding a cool vibe to the entire scooter.

Lights

rear brake light of the Hover 1 Alpha

The main LED headlight on the Hover-1 Alpha is average, providing decent illumination at night. For frequent nighttime use, consider a stronger aftermarket light setup.

The rear mudguard features a red brake light. The most powerful lights are under the deck, illuminating the logo, and ensuring high visibility in traffic when the scooter is off.

Additionally, the scooter has four reflective stickers, a thoughtful touch for legal readiness in some areas. Despite having multiple lights, riding the scooter at night is not recommended.

This advice is unanimous in the scooter community, endorsed by Hover as a brand, and I fully agree. It’s safest to use the scooter before dark, regardless of its light strength.

Screen, cockpit, and controls

screen of the Hover 1 Alpha

The scooter comes with the familiar cockpit configuration, with the thumb throttle acceleration button on the right handlebar, the bell and the brake lever on the left handlebar, and the screen with the power button in the middle. The screen shows:

  • current speed
  • battery level (5 bars)
  • speed mode
  • lights status
  • cruise control status
  • error codes

Weight limit and usage by big adults

deck of the Hover 1 Alpha

The Hover-1 Alpha has an official weight limit of 264 lbs / 120 kg, supported by the majority of owner reports.

One user weighing around 240 lbs / 109 kg noted a slight drop in performance, but a friend of mine who is of the same weight (240 lbs / 109 kg) didn’t see any drops.

With tall handlebars, the scooter is well-suited for taller individuals, up to 6’6” / 198 cm. Overall, the Hover-1 Alpha accommodates larger riders effectively.

Portability, weight, and dimensions

The scooter weighs 36.2 lbs / 16.4 kg, which makes it around 4 lbs / 2 kg heavier than the typical budget scooter.

When folded, the scooter’s dimensions are pretty standard, possibly a bit on the larger side:

  • length: 46.5 in / 118.1 cm
  • width: 9.5 in / 24.1 cm
  • height: 23.5 in / 59.7 cm

All in all, the Hover-1 Alpha is not too difficult to carry, and it will fit in most of the typical places where you need it to fit (car trunks, under train seats, through station doors, under the office desk, etc).

IP rating and waterproofing

The Hover-1 Alpha lacks an IP rating, so it’s wise to avoid rain and wet areas. The brand itself advises against water exposure, ice, or slippery surfaces.

The warranty doesn’t cover water damage, reinforcing the need to steer clear of rain. While some owners reported riding in light rain without issues, it’s still recommended to avoid wet environments.

If you don’t want to listen to the manufacturer or me, get a scooter that has an IP rating and check out my guide on the best water-resistant electric scooters.

Accessories and gear

Hover 1 Alpha leaning on its kickstand

There are almost no after-market accessories made specifically for the Hover-1 Alpha. If you wish to customize this scooter, you will have to look at some of the generic scooter accessories.

Make sure to ask the merchants before buying whether the parts will fit the Hover-1 Alpha – the scooter has a fairly standard build and design for most of its parts, but it never hurts to double-check.

Also, you should always wear a proper bicycle or scooter helmet while riding.

Locking and security

The Hover-1 Alpha doesn’t come with a way to lock it, and you will need a good lock if you plan on leaving it outside.

Since this is a relatively cheap scooter, the risk of it getting stolen shouldn’t be that great.

The main problem with it is that it does look kind of shiny and polished, so a thief might easily mistake it for a premium model, and that’s why you may want to get a somewhat stronger lock (see the guide on the best electric scooter locks for some excellent picks).

Speaker

The Hover-1 Alpha features a built-in Bluetooth speaker, which is a rising trend in newer scooters.

However, the speaker is located inside the deck, too far from the rider’s ears, and the sound quality is not the best, especially while riding.

Overall, I don’t see the speaker as a win for this scooter. In fact, I don’t see it as a win in any scooter in general. You simply can’t listen to music or any other audio while riding through the open air.

Drawbacks and known issues

The scooter has expected drawbacks ranging from minor annoyances to potential dealbreakers.

A notable concern is quality control, with reports of missing parts or unfinished assembly upon arrival. Hover-1 is responsive to feedback, and ongoing improvements are in place. Keep in mind that the very affordable price may occasionally reflect in its quality.

If you decide to buy this scooter, ensure your maintenance routine includes frequent inspections of all screws.

Another concern is the occasional dead-on-arrival issue or shutdown after a few days of use. Fortunately, few cases have been reported, and the warranty typically covers replacements or free repairs.

However, dealing with this issue can still be quite frustrating. There have been reports of the folding mechanism’s instability and wobbliness, suggesting room for improvement in terms of stability and sturdiness.

And finally, one issue that somewhat baffles me is the scooter’s weight. It’s not exactly small, and that would be fine if the scooter had a very long range, but the Hover-1 Alpha really doesn’t.

The added weight in the Hover-1 Alpha comes from its robust motor and, primarily, the scooter’s frame. While it enhances stability, it can be inconvenient for lighter or smaller riders who need to carry the scooter frequently.

Summary

The Hover-1 Alpha excels in comfortable ride experience weight capacity, and portability, making it suitable for larger individuals.

However, it lacks speed, has no IP rating, and offers a relatively low range.

Despite some drawbacks, such as occasional quality control issues and the absence of a robust locking mechanism, the Hover-1 Alpha provides a cost-effective option for urban commuting and leisurely rides.

In my opinion, this scooter has got the smoothest ride for a budget-friendly commuter and I recommend it to everyone. It is an excellent entry-level choice for beginners.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I am Matt Trajkovski, the owner and main editor of EScooterNerds. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general, and I’ve been involved in the industry for more than 10 years. I enjoy testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, following our proprietary rigorous editorial and testing process developed here at EScooterNerds, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.
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Where to buy the Hover-1 Alpha

Worldwide: Amazon

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