The Xiaomi Ninebot, at first glance, is pretty much a mini Segway. This should not come as a big surprise considering Ninebot has already acquired their US rival, Segway, earlier this year. This was all thanks to the big investment made by Xiaomi. Therefore, this Chinese tech company is no longer a player inside the smartphone market as it is now trying to build an ecosystem of devices.
The Xiaomi Ninebot is Essentially a Mini Segway
Specs for the Xiaomi Ninebot include a 4-hour charge time and a weight limit of 85-kilograms. It has a range of 22-kilometers (or approximately 13.6-miles) and delivers a top speed of 15-kilometers per hour (or about 10-miles per hour). The device itself weighs at around 12.8-kilograms (or 28-pounds) and should easily fit inside the trunk of a vehicle. The “Mini Segway” is also capable of handling 15-degree inclines; however, any steeper than that and users will find themselves pushing the transporter themselves.
First time users of the Xiaomi Ninebot Mini will find themselves learning how to safely get on and disembark from the transporter. This means that you will have to master of putting one foot onto the machine before making a quick (and confident) step with your other foot. Still, there shouldn’t be any worries about how to get on and off the transporter properly as the device’s balancing algorithm makes it pretty hard to fall off. However, those who are completely new to this type of device may still find it a bit difficult to stand upright for the first few minutes into the ride.
Like the Segway’s controls, moving forward is as simple as leaning forward. The sensors built within the machine will immediately notice the shift in balance and will start moving the wheels in the appropriate direction accordingly. Simply put, the more you lean onto the console, the faster it will move.
But Xiaomi is known to be a smartphone company. Therefore, their transporter comes with a neat feature that makes it smartphone-centric – users are able to control the Mini through their handsets. You can make it go back and forth with the use of a dedicated app (just like a giant Sphero BB-8 toy, sans the cuteness). However, you cannot control the transporter with your phone when someone is stepping on it. The feature will immediately shut itself off as soon as it detects someone stepping on the machine.
The Xiaomi Ninebot is a viable alternative for the pricier Segways. The only real issue for now is that it is not directly available to a lot of regions as it is only limited to its home market as of now.