The competition for the next most popular scooter, for the scooter that will inherit the throne of the Xiaomi M365, is being played out in front of our very eyes, and the curious thing about it is that many of the top contenders come from Xiaomi.
The Xiaomi 1S, however, is leading the pack at the moment.
Let’s see why this will probably be the next best electric scooter in the years to come.
Who should buy the Xiaomi 1S?
In short, the 1S is the next iteration of the best everyman’s scooter, and it will be a perfect general-purpose scooter for the daily commuter or the casual scooter enthusiast.
The Xiaomi 1S doesn’t really upgrade too much on the specs of the Xiaomi M365. Nor does it have to really, because why change a winning team?
It does, however, come with many upgrades to the smaller features and details, and a few bigger ones as well, and that’s what makes it the clear heir to the throne.
Some of the biggest improvements include the newer LCD screen, the bigger red light in the rear, the brighter headlight, the reflective stickers that effectively make it street-legal in many countries, the steel bracket for the rear fender, and probably most important of all, the improved explosion-resistant tires that will not suffer nearly as many flats as the tires of the Xiaomi M365.
As we will see in this review, all of those fixes and upgrades make a lot of sense, and the Xiaomi 1S is clearly the next best electric scooter for the everyday scooterist.
Ordering, shipping, warranty, returns
In North America, the best place to buy the Xiaomi 1S is Walmart.
The best place to order the Xiaomi 1S in the UK and most European countries would be Amazon UK, although it’s worth checking out the scooter at GeekBuying as well to compare prices. Shipping will be free in both cases, and shouldn’t take more than a week.
The Xiaomi 1S typically comes with a warranty of 2 years, and a return period of 30 days, but make sure to double-check with your specific online store, as this can change.
Unboxing and assembly
The scooter arrives almost fully assembled, your only job will be to install the handlebar into the stem using the toolkit and the screws that come in the package.
The box contains:
- Allen key
- tire pump valve
- user manual
- warranty card
How to use the Xiaomi 1S
You have to connect the scooter to the app before you can use it, but that takes less than a minute.
The Xiaomi 1S has three speed modes:
- pedestrian (3 mph / 5 kmh)
- standard (12.4 mph / 20 kmh)
- sport (15.5 mph / 25 kmh, or more if you’ve unlocked the higher top speeds)
You can switch between the speed modes by pressing the power button twice.
Unlike the Xiaomi M365, the 1S can be started without a kick, and you can start riding immediately after pressing the throttle.
Build quality, lifespan, engineering, design
Keeping in line with tradition, the main building material of the Xiaomi 1S is aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, same as with all other Xiaomi models, which gives the scooter a good balance between toughness, durability, and lightness.
The build quality is probably the strongest weapon of the Xiaomi 1S. Drawing from the vast pool of experience that Xiaomi has had with the M365 model, and from their other ultra-successful models used by millions of consumers and in the fleets of the ride-sharing apps, the Xiaomi 1S probably has the most “wisdom” built into its design, and is engineered almost to perfection. It will be almost impossible for any other brand to compete in the budget price category, as no other company has the sheer amount of data to learn from, and that’s an advantage of Xiaomi scooters that will probably only keep increasing as time goes by.
The Xiaomi 1S still hasn’t been around long enough to talk about lifespan, but one thing is almost for sure – this is an improvement of the Xiaomi M365, and that scooter had one of the longest lifespans in the scooter world, which means things can only get better here for the 1S. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if you get 5 years from this scooter without a beep.
Ride smoothness and user experience
The scooter feels robust and sturdy on the touch, and stable while riding. The 8.5-inch air-filled tires are the biggest contributor to the ride smoothness, and the best news here is that they are much more resistant to flats now (more on that in the tires section).
The standard street or urban road will probably not be felt at all while riding. It will be smooth sailing all the way. Even smaller potholes, bumps, and cracks, will not be felt too much. The tried-and-tested rubber mat glued on the top of the deck will provide you with a lot of traction and stability.
The handling, turning, and control are very good. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the handlebars were a bit wider, as that would improve control further, but portability is more important for most of us, and the handlebar width will have to do.
I wouldn’t recommend this scooter for riding offroad. A short ride through some grass, dirt, or cobblestone will not be too bad, but I would try to avoid pebbles and rocky roads.
Folding and unfolding
I don’t think folding the Xiaomi 1S can be simpler. All you have to do is unlock the latch on the stem, fold the stem, and connect the bell hammer to the hook on the rear mudguard. Many brands advertise the “3-second fold”, but with the Xiaomi 1S, that claim is actually a reality.
And yet, the folding mechanism is still quite secure while riding, and the stem and the handlebars barely shake at all.
Screen and controls
The scooter is controlled by the standard thumb throttle accelerator on the right handlebar. Cruise control is engaged after holding the acceleration for 10 seconds (if it’s turned on through the app, of course). The left handlebar hosts the brake lever, and the bell.
The integrated LCD screen is one of the areas where the 1S has improved when compared to the M365. If you remember, the Xiaomi M365’s screen only showed the battery level, while the screen of the Xiaomi 1S is the typical modern screen that displays:
- current speed
- battery level
- speed mode
- lights status
- bluetooth status
- lock status
- overheating or error codes
The screen is also somewhat brighter than in other Xiaomi models, and will be easily visible even during sunnier days.
Motor and power
The motor remains the same as in the Xiaomi M365, and it has a real power level of 250 Watts, and a peak power of 500 Watts. This tried and tested configuration has proven itself to be more than enough for the average scooterists, and my guess is that Xiaomi saw no reason to change anything there.
Again, the motor is a hub BLDC motor, integrated into the front wheel, which means the scooter will have a bit less torque than it might have were it a rear-drive scooter, but also control and turning will be more sensitive to user input, and the ride experience will be better overall as a result.
Speed and acceleration
Out of the box, the Xiaomi 1S comes with the usual top speed of 15.5 mph / 25 kmh. The scooter accelerates quickly and relatively smoothly, and manages to reach the top speed in just a few seconds. Lighter riders may find the acceleration to be a bit jerky, but I’ve found that sometimes it only takes a little getting used to when it comes to acceleration.
Before you think about the hacks (yes, there are hacks), keep in mind that this is the legal speed limit for electric scooters in the majority of countries, and that’s probably the primary reason why the scooter arrives with this speed limit.
Now, about those speed upgrades… I believe this video does a great job of explaining how you can get your Xiaomi 1S to be able of developing up to 19 mph / 31 kmh. Keep in mind that installing custom firmware always carries a small amount of risk, and you can damage your scooter irreversibly (also, there’s a strong chance you will void your warranty if you do this, so proceed with caution).
Curiously, Xiaomi hasn’t published an official climb angle for the Xiaomi 1S. All we know is that the scooter has the same motor and power as the Xiaomi M365, which had a climb angle of 8° / 14%, and we can safely assume that’s probably the same for the 1S as well.
User reports also vary when it comes to this, and a common conclusion cannot be extracted easily. My friend says that the scooter climbs ok, but it’s not really one of the scooter’s strong sides, and I think that’s accurate.
Battery and charging
The lithium battery of the Xiaomi 1S has a capacity of 275 Wh, and a voltage of 42 V, which is a different configuration than the battery of the M365, although it still provides the same range.
The scooter also employs the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), which refills the battery slightly every time you use the brake or glide without accelerating. Don’t expect any miracles here, as this will only add a maximum of 5% to your range, probably not even that much, but it’s still a nice feature to have. You can adjust the level and efficiency of the KERS system through the app.
Charging the scooter fully takes 5.5 – 6 hours. Faster chargers may be available as after-market upgrades, but keep in mind that those will probably cause the battery to age sooner, and will start reducing your performance. The charging port is on the deck and is protected by the signature plastic red cap.
As usual with most Xiaomi scooters, the Xiaomi 1S comes with a state-of-the-art smart battery management system that protects the battery from all kinds of defects and faults while charging and discharging, including protection from short circuits, overcharging, over-discharging, overheating, and various other voltage and current problems that plague other battery systems.
Range and commuting
The official range of the Xiaomi 1S is 18.6 mi / 30 km.
In the field, user reports somewhat confirm this range, although based on my research from user data, I’d say that you’ll get sligthly less than the claimed range (closer to 17 mi / 27 km). It seems like Xiaomi prefers to round their spec numbers up, as they’ve also reported ranges that are somewhat closer to the ideal test-lab ranges before. Still, you will get close to the claimed range, and in many instances, you will get that exact range, so just another day at the office when it comes to range testing.
The Xiaomi 1S is meant to be the modern commuter’s most trusted companion, and I believe it does the job it was designed for well. The scooter will give you sufficient range for almost any type of commute, fast charging times, and very good portability, and all of that makes it an excellent option for commuters.
Brakes and safety
The Xiaomi 1S features a dual braking system, with an electronic anti-lock brake in the front wheel, and a disk brake in the rear wheel. Both of the brakes are activated by the lever on the left handlebar, and the scooter achieves a braking distance of around 7-8 meters. If braking from full speed, you will want to apply the proper braking technique and pull back and down with your hips and your entire body a bit.
Overall, this is a very safe scooter, as it has a redundant braking system, but also because it’s very stable, and it’s not really capable of breakneck speeds. Still, you should wear the correct scooter helmet at all times.
Tires, wheels, mudguards
I believe the new tires of the Xiaomi 1S might be the biggest upgrade when compared to the Xiaomi M365. They are still pneumatic, still 8.5 inches in diameter, but the quality and the resistance to flats has been improved so much, that it’s almost like this is an entirely different scooter!
As you may know, the common occurrence of flats was one of the biggest problems with the Xiaomi M365. The scooter managed to build a status of a legendary model despite that fault, but now, with that issue largely addressed with the new explosion-proof tires, the scooter is truly on its road to greatness.
The rear mudguard is one very interesting point of improvement over the Xiaomi M365 (and proof that Xiaomi pays close attention to user feedback). The mudguard is now stabilized by a small steel bracket, that completelly eliminates that annoying rattling noise that so many of the M365 owners complained about.
Lights, reflective stickers, and night rides
The main LED headlight on the top of the stem is angled slightly downwards and casts light at about 6-7 meters of distance ahead. The light is pretty strong (power of 2 Watts), not terribly bright in my opinion, but bright enough to keep you safe at night. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend getting a stronger after-market light unless you plan on riding at night frequently (see the guide on scooter accessories if that’s what you need).
The rear fender holds the red brake light, which flashes whenever the brakes are engaged. You can also set it to be turned on permanently through the app, in case you need to push your scooter on a road at night, for example.
One of the features that’s been added to this model and was lacking in the Xiaomi M365 are the reflective stickers to the front and the sides of the scooter. At first glance, sure, nothing to write home about, but they actually do increase safety at night by a meaningful degree, and are also required by law in many places so that the scooter can be considered street-legal, and that makes them a simple but powerful addition.
IP rating and water resistance
The Xiaomi 1S has an IP54 ingress protection rating, which means it can sustain water splashes from all angles while riding.
Now, that doesn’t really give you a green light to go all “riders on the storm” with it and ride through heavy rain. Xiaomi still advises to not ride in wet conditions, and any damage suffered because of water will not be covered by the warranty.
That said, a friend of mine that owns this scooter has told me he has ridden it through rain countless times, and has never had any issues because of it (although he always makes sure to not let any moisture stay on the scooter once he gets it inside, and wipes it with a dry towel). It’s just one piece of anecdotal evidence, and I still advise avoiding riding in the rain as much as you can, but if you happen to do it sometimes, you will probably not have any problems.
The Xiaomi 1S comes with an official weight limit of 220 lbs / 100 kg, which has become the gold standard when it comes to weight limits for electric scooters.
While it’s not recommended to go over that limit, two different friends of mine have told me that they’ve ridden the scooter together with their girlfriends, and while the scooter didn’t exactly perform at 100%, it still managed to get them to their destination quickly. Of course, the rule remains – one person at a time max! My point is, the official weight limit is probably underreported for safety reasons. Still, if you or the person you’re buying the scooter for is over 220 lbs / 100 kg, you will probably want to check out some scooters for heavy adults.
Weight, dimensions, and portability
The scooter weighs 27.5 lbs / 12.5 kg, which puts it in the group of light scooters for adults. Truth be told, there are not that many scooters for adults that are lighter than this one, and most of them are so rattly and shaky that you probably wouldn’t even want to step on them. So, the Xiaomi 1S achieves something truly great here – it offers a very manageable weight, while not sacrificing stability.
Also, the scooter doesn’t really occupy a lot of space when folded, and it can fit pretty much everywhere you may have to take it, from the car trunk (even trunks of smaller cars), to public transport doors, to tight hallways and elevator doors.
When folded, the dimensions of the scooter are:
- length: 42.5 in / 108 cm
- width: 16.9 in / 43 cm
- height: 19.3 in / 49 cm
Accessories, customizations, and gear
In a lot of ways, the Xiaomi 1S is almost the same scooter as the Xiaomi M365, and when it comes to accessories, that’s a great thing, as pretty much half of all the scooter accessories in the world right now are made specifically for the Xiaomi M365 model. So, most of the M365 accessories, and most of the generic scooter accessories will fit the Xiaomi 1S like a glove.
Of course, you should also wear the appropriate scooter helmet when riding at all times. That’s the only required piece of equipment.
From the other accessories and customizations, my personal favorites are a seat, a trunk, and a phone mount. For this scooter, I recommend:
Maintenance, repairs, and spare parts
Same as with the accessories, given the popularity of the Xiaomi M365 and the similarities the 1S has with that scooter, you should have no problem finding spare parts for cheap.
While repair shops for scooters are not yet common, chances are, if a bike mechanic is familiar with some scooter model, it will be the Xiaomi M365, which, again, means familiarity with the 1S model as well. Can’t get any better than that (plus, you will probably not need a repair expert anyway).
Maintenance for the Xiaomi 1S can be a quick and simple routine you perform once a month, and I would recommend:
- cleaning the scooter with a damp cloth
- inspecting the tires, making sure they are inflated properly
- making sure the brakes work properly
- making sure there are no loose screws and tightening up everything
Same as with all other Xiaomi scooters (and Xiaomi devices, actually), the 1S can connect to the Xiaomi Mi Home app (in fact, you must pair it before you can use the scooter at all). The app is available for both iOS and Android.
When it comes to electric scooter apps, the Xiaomi Mi Home is one of the better ones. It provides a wealth of features:
- current speed
- battery level
- average speed
- ride info
- cruise control settings
- switching the taillight on
- energy recovery intensity
- scooter password
- switching the unit system
- locking the scooter
While there are some neat features in there, most of them are just read-only and status features. That’s why I developed the EScooterNerds Universal Scooter App, which comes with some more actionable features that should complement regular apps like this one. Some of the features include cleaning and maintenance checklists, guides, hacks, resources, calculators, and other tools. The app is available for both iOS and Android.
Security and locking
When you lock the scooter through the app, it becomes much more harder for someone to steal it, as the scooter will not turn on the motor, the electronic brakes will be engaged, and the scooter will beep if moved forcefully. This is one of the best features of the app in my opinion.
Still, that doesn’t prevent someone from just picking the scooter up and carrying it away. If you plan on leaving your scooter outside, always lock it securely with the proper scooter lock.
Xiaomi 1S vs other electric scooters
As the most serious contender for the next best electric scooter, the Xiaomi 1S is frequently compared against other popular choices. Let’s see how it does in those comparisons.
Xiaomi 1S vs Xiaomi M365
It’s not like the Xiaomi M365 became obsolete the day the Xiaomi 1S was released. However, I truly can’t find a good reason to choose the M365 over the 1S.
As we covered already, the 1S improves upon a lot of things:
- the tires are more durable and more resistant to flats
- the lights are stronger and bigger
- it has reflective stickers that make it street-legal in many places
- it has a bigger battery and a bigger range
- the rear mudguard is stabilized with a steel bracket
We will always have a special place in our hearts for the legendary Xiaomi M365, but going forward, the Xiaomi 1S is the obvious choice.
Xiaomi 1S vs Xiaomi M365 Pro / Xiaomi Pro 2
In some ways, the Xiaomi M365 Pro was also an upgrade over the Xiaomi M365, but it was more like an advanced version of it, rather than an improvement over it.
The Xiaomi M365 Pro is more powerful because of the larger 300 Watt motor, about 3 mph / 5 kmh faster, and has quite a lot more range, capable of covering 28 mi / 45 km on a single charge.
Because of that, the Pro is also about 4 lbs /2 kg heavier, larger in dimensions, and costs about $100 – $150 more.
I would recommend the Xiaomi 1S for most beginners, especially ones that are not so sure they will still want an electric scooter 3 months from now. It is probably a lighter, better newbie choice, and you will save some money as well.
However, if you’re pretty sure you will use your scooter for a long time, or you need it for commuting, then I would recommend the Pro version, or rather, the Xiaomi Pro 2 as of 2021, which is essentially the improved version of the Pro, and also the way forward. You can see the complete Xiaomi M365 Pro review or the Xiaomi Pro 2 review if you want a more advanced scooter.
Xiaomi 1S vs Xiaomi Essential
I don’t think there are many scenarios where the Xiaomi Essential is a better choice than the Xiaomi 1S. The only exception might be for someone looking for the simplest beginner scooter possible.
The range of the Xiaomi Essential is pretty small, and I think that’s its main disadvantage. With a range of 12.5 mi / 20 km, it will not be a good fit for many commuters and more serious users. Also, its price is not really that much lower than the price of the 1S, and spending a few extra dollars to get a 6 mi / 10 km extra range is really worth it.
There might be one perfect use case for the Essential, and that’s for people that live in countries where the speed limit for scooters is 12 mph / 20 kmh. That’s the most logical reason to me why Xiaomi would make a scooter with such a low top speed. Believe it or not, there are actually a few countries where the speed limit for scooters is 20 kmh, and if you live in one of those, you can take a look at the Xiaomi Essential review.
I think Xiaomi might have missed one opportunity with the Xiaomi Essential, and missed it by an inch. The scooter’s battery capacity is 183 Wh, and were it a bit lower, at 160 Wh or below, the scooter would probably be allowed in airplane baggage. As almost no scooter for adults passes that criteria, and the Essential being from an established brand like Xiaomi, it would have captured a vacant spot in the scooter market, and solved a major problem for a lot of scooterists that can’t take their scooters with them on flights.
Xiaomi 1S vs Ninebot ES2
4 times out of 5, I would recommend the Xiaomi 1S over the Ninebot ES2.
Not saying that the Ninebot ES2 is a bad scooter, in fact it’s probably the second most popular electric scooter ever, and in terms of quality, performance, and value, it’s very close to the Xiaomi models.
But, it’s a solid-tire scooter, and I just don’t believe that the small risk of a flat justifies sacrificing your ride quality and overall experience entirely.
Maybe for people riding in very scooter-unfriendly environments, where the roads are in a very poor condition and full of cracks and potholes, the Ninebot ES2 would be a better choice. You can see the complete Ninebot ES2 review if that’s your situation.
Xiaomi 1S vs Ninebot E25
Similar as the Xiaomi 1S vs Ninebot ES2 comparison, it comes down to the tire type, and I would recommend the Xiaomi 1S for most people, and the Ninebot E25 for people that ride in a place where flat tires are common.
One thing is certain though – the Ninebot E25 is clearly the better choice between it and the ES2, so if you’re looking for a solid-tire entry-level scooter, you might want to check out the Ninebot E25 review.
Issues and downsides
The reason why the Xiaomi 1S has very few issues is because it’s an improvement of an already amazing scooter. The success of its predecessor would not have been possible if it were a bad scooter to begin with, and since the 1S actually addresses a lot of the faults in the initial model, the result is a scooter with a lot less problems.
In fact, I think we have to get a little nitpicky and hunt for some issues here, as the Xiaomi 1S is both complete in terms of features, and has a very good quality level.
This may be a bit subjective, but I would like to see wider handlebars on this scooter. I think the slightly bigger volume may be a worthy tradeoff for some extra control and handling.
The IP54 rating is the standard for most scooters today, but it still doesn’t make the scooter waterproof, and you will still do yourself a huge favor if you try and keep out of the rain as much as possible (as I said, several owners including my friends have reported riding in the rain without a single problem, but you should still avoid doing that).
With a weight limit of 220 lbs / 100 kg, we could say that this scooter is not suited for heavier adults, but that can’t really be held against it, as the majority of scooters today come with that weight limit, and only a handful of scooters actually cater to heavier adults and come with bigger weight limits.
Climbing may be the weakest point of the Xiaomi 1S. Generally, the climbing abilities of the scooter are not bad, but they’re not spectacular neither. That’s probably the only area where the scooter might truly use an improvement.
User reviews and market adoption
Interestingly, the public seems to still be in love with the Xiaomi M365, and even though the old model is making room for the Xiaomi 1S as the heir to its throne, adoption is not as quick as you might expect. The image of the old and trusted Xiaomi M365 seems to be engraved into the collective unconscious of the scooter community for some reason.
Still, the shift is happening, slowly but surely, and the Xiaomi 1S is becoming the next classic electric scooter. User reviews on many stores and word of mouth only confirm this, so it’s only a matter of time when the 1S inherits the throne.
Price and value
Since the demand for the Xiaomi 1S is massive, its stock frequently fluctuates in most online stores, and price is always changing. Most of the time, the scooter scooter will be available for somewhere between $430 and $490, although I’ve seen it go both below and above that price range.
When it comes to the value for money, the Xiaomi 1S is not the best bang-for-buck, performance-wise, as there are a few other scooters that will perform better for the same price. However, the scooter absolutely shines in build quality, user friendliness, and overall ride experience, and in fact it’s probably the best value scooter in the world right now in those regards.
While none of the improvements that the Xiaomi 1S brings over the Xiaomi M365 are truly groundbreaking, they are still numerous, and some of them are actually quite important that they might be a reason enough to pick the newer version.
But even if we disregard the obvious upgrades to the tires, the rear mudguard, and all of the lights, the Xiaomi 1S still has one huge advantage – it’s just a newer, better version, that has learned from all of the mistakes of the Xiaomi M365, and has applied the lessons learned very successfully.
That’s why the Xiaomi 1S is the next best general-purpose electric scooter, and everyone that just wants a proven, solid, good quality budget scooter, should strongly consider it.
Where to buy the Xiaomi 1S from?
Xiaomi 1S Specifications
|Top speed||25 kmh|
|Top speed||15.5 mph|
|Motors||front hub BLDC|
|Battery||275 Wh, 42 V|
|Battery type||18650 Lithium battery, smart BMS|
|Charging time||5.5 h|
|Ingress protection (IP)||IP54|
|Weight limit||100 kg|
|Weight limit||220 lbs|
|Tire size||8.5 in|
|Tire type||pneumatic anti-explosion|
|Tire pressure||50 psi|
|Build material||aerospace grade aluminum alloy|
|Brakes||front electronic + rear disc, KERS|
|Lights||2W headlight + brake light + reflectors|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||108 cm * 43 cm * 49 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||43 in * 17 in * 19 in|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||108 cm * 43 cm * 118 cm|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||43 in * 17 in * 46 in|