Its deadly combination of good build, great looks and long lasting battery life makes Xiaomi M365 the shining prince of e-scooters
- Easy to use
- Lighter than the Pro model
- Cruise control and motor lock
- No display
- Patchy Bluetooth connectivity
Update: The Xiaomi M365 is arguably the world best-selling electric scooter. However, this year Xiaomi gave the M365 a much-needed upgrade, resulting in the brilliant Xiaomi 1S electric scooter. As we noted in our Xiaomi 1S review, the Xiaomi 1S retains many of the best features of the Xiaomi M365 – including its manageable weight, motor wattage and maximum rider – while adding a few much-needed upgraded to bring it up to speed with today’s competition.
These upgraded features mainly include an LED screen and three riding modes, both of which the M365 lacks. The below review is for the M365, which continues to be a popular best-seller, but if you’re planning to buy a new e-scooter, we think that the Xiaomi 1S is a much better option because it has more features, is better value for money and should easily last you a few more years. Also, we don’t know how long the Xiaomi M365 will be available for.
Xiaomi M365 review: What you need to know
Electronics company Xiaomi is a name you might normally associate with smartphones but, as the Chinese company has expanded its repertoire, it has become equally famous for its e-scooters. The hugely popular Xiaomi M365 is the main reason behind that. Some initial units were plagued with a fault where the scooter’s locking mechanism folded involuntarily, but Xiaomi was quick to issue a recall and newer ones don’t have this issue anymore.
While you can buy the scooter from various outlets, we recommend purchasing it from trusted UK-based retailer Pure Electric. Any M365 units purchased from them are covered by a generous two-year warranty and, if something goes wrong, you won’t have to go through the hassle of sending it back to China.
Before we dive into the review, we must make it clear that that e-scooters are still classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and therefore illegal to use on both roads and pavements in the UK, but this law may undergo a change soon. This is in stark contrast to other US and European cities where local laws permit their use.
While e-scooters are not subject to UK taxes or registration like other vehicles in this category, they can only be used legally on private land. That hasn’t deterred people from purchasing and riding them, though, and it’s unlikely you’ll be pulled over by the police if you’re riding responsibly. And even though there’s no law stating so, you should always wear a helmet before riding, too.
Xiaomi M365 review: Price and competition
Pure Scooters offers the Xiaomi M365 for £469. If you already own an M365, then you can simply purchase a graphic sticker kit to customise your e-scooter and help it stand out from the crowd. The Xiaomi M365 is pretty reasonably priced for its build and specifications. For example, its closest competitor is the Ninebot Segway ES2.
Even though both e-scooters have the same weight (12.5kg) and top speed (15kph), the Xiaomi M365 has a maximum range of 18.5 miles on a single charge, as compared to the Ninebot Segway ES2’s 15.5 miles. We also prefer the Xiaomi’s pneumatic tyres, which do a better job of shock absorption than the Ninebot’s solid rubber tyres.
Xiaomi M365 review: Design and setup
The Xiaomi M365 is super easy to set up. To unfold it, you simply unhook the bell lever from a protrusion on the rear mudguard, lift the handlebar into an upright position, pull up on a lever to lock it in place, and then lock it using another lever on the steerer tube. It’s simplicity itself, only takes a few seconds and is just as easy to fold away for carrying around.
The only bit of DIY you need to do out of the box is to attach the handlebar to the deck and pump up the tyres, all of which takes 20 minutes. You even get a spare set of tyres supplied in the box, which is nice.
The scooter is easy to carry in both its folded and upright state. Although it isn’t exactly what you’d describe as a featherweight, at 12.5kg it’s not going to give you a hernia lugging it on and off the train or in and out of your car boot.
The Xiaomi M365 is as easy to use and ride as it is to set up and carry around and range is pretty decent, too. It has an 18,650mAh Li-ion battery, which takes about 5.5 hours to fully charge, and this delivers up to 18 miles (30kms) of scooting when you’re in Eco mode, which should be plenty enough for most people. Battery capacity is indicated by four small white LEDs on the handlebars.
To start riding, kick the scooter once until it’s in motion, then gently press the accelerator throttle on the right handlebar. Pressing the throttle all the way down gets you to the top speed of 15.5 miles (25kmph) but it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the scooter’s mechanics for a few days before riding at this speed. The deck has enough footrest to support both your feet comfortably. Once you’re on it, it’s just a matter of working out what riding stance works best for you.
Xiaomi M365 review: Features and mobile app
The default mode on the Xiaomi M365 has a top speed of 15 miles (25kms) an hour but you can enable Eco mode by double-pressing the power button after you’ve switched the scooter on. You’ll know you’re in Eco mode when the lowest of the four battery indicators turns green. The scooter’s maximum speed in this mode is 11mph (18kmph), making it easier to control, even though this comes at the cost of the default mode’s acceleration and speed.
The M365 has a headlight at the front of the handlebar you can turn on by pressing the power button once. This does a good job of illuminating your path ahead as well as alerting others of your presence in darker conditions. By default, the tail light flashes when you activate the brakes but we recommend keeping the tail light on at all times. You can do this by downloading the free Xiaomi Home app (Android, iOS) and pairing your scooter with the scooter via Bluetooth.
Apart from the tail light control, the app displays other relevant information including your current battery level, average speed and trip riding mileage. Unless you have a mobile phone holder attached to your e-scooter, you won’t be able to see this information in real-time but the remaining battery level, which is shown more precisely than on the handlebar LEDs, makes this worth doing. The scooter’s LED battery notification might show you one light, for instance, when you only have 10% capacity remaining.
The app conceals two additional features that elevate this scooter from good to great: Cruise Control and Motor Lock. As the name implies, Cruise Control senses when you’re riding at a constant speed for a few seconds, after which you’ll hear one long beep. You can then release the throttle to travel continuously at that speed, giving your thumb a well-needed rest.
The Motor Lock feature comes in handy if you need to leave the scooter outside – when popping to the shops, for instance. Swipe right from the main app screen when paired and you’ll see a Motor Lock sign. This not only locks the motor so it can’t be wheeled away, but it also activates a motion-based alarm. If anyone moves the scooter, it beeps loudly and continuously. Being in locked mode also prevents the scooter from being turned off so it isn’t easy to circumvent.
These features all work well but I found the Bluetooth connection with my phone was patchy and often prevented me from accessing the M365’s advanced features instantly. The scooter also kept making different beeping sounds, none of which were easy to interpret because all you see are on the scooter itself are the four battery LEDs. Sometimes, I mistook long beeps for cruise control only to release the throttle and realise it was trying to tell me something else entirely.
Thankfully, this doesn’t happen all the time, and it’s good to know the Xiaomi M365 is IP54 rated, too, meaning it’s protected from water spray from any direction, including its battery port, provided you’ve secured the rubber battery flap firmly after charging it. While washing the scooter with water isn’t recommended (a simple wipedown will do), this rating means you don’t have to dart toward the nearest shelter if it starts raining on your way into work.
Xiaomi M365 review: Comfort and performance
Out on the road, the Xiaomi M365 works effortlessly with minimal fuss. Yes, there’s no speed display but this means you tend to concentrate more on the road and the scooter’s 8.5in pneumatic tyres do a great job of keeping your ride smooth overall but the roughest of urban surfaces.
The Unagi Model One and Ninebot Segway have solid rubber tyres and while these never need to be filled with air and never puncture, you do feel every bone-crushing bump when the road isn’t smooth. I was even able to ride the M365 over grass without too much discomfort.
I was especially impressed at how well the M365 copes with hills. I once came to a near-halt on a steep incline and assumed I would have to get off and push but, admirably, the motor managed to get the scooter back up to speed quite quickly.
The scooter’s 120mm disc brakes do a good job of bringing you to a halt without lurching you forward, too, unlike the electric brakes on some of the other e-scooters. There are online tutorials on how to adjust your brake callipers using the Allen key if you feel they’re too loose or tight. The M365 also has regenerative braking, which puts the motor in reverse when you press the brake throttle, thereby conserving some of your power as you come to a halt.
Another great feature of the Xiaomi M365 is that it’s completely silent, so silent in fact that I often had to ring the bell to alert people I was behind them. Of course, there’s the usual engine hum but that’s barely noticeable. The only time you’ll hear the 250W motor audibly is when you’re tackling steep inclines.
Xiaomi M365 review: Verdict
The Xiaomi M365 is not perfect by any means. It doesn’t have an LED display like most modern-day e-scooters do and we found the Bluetooth connectivity patchy, slightly tarnishing our otherwise great experience. These minor foibles aside, the M365 is the best value e-scooter you can buy and that’s at the normal price of £469. Put simply, if you’re looking for fuss-free rides without breaking the bank, the Xiaomi M365 should without question be your first choice.
Xiaomi M365 Specifications
|Maximum rider weight||100kg|
|Charge time||5.5 hours|