Xiaomi M365 electric scooter vs. Segway Ninebot ES2 electric scooter, which wins?

Posted in Jun 26, 2019 in Reviews, no comment

The Ninebot are well known because both models are used by E Scooter Sharing services. Meanwhile, both models can be bought in a reasonable prices: The Ninebot ES2 is available for less than 500 Euro, the Xiaomi M365 even for less than 400 Euro. If you do a little research, you will quickly find that both scooters are made by the same manufacturer – namely the Chinese company Ninebot Inc. – the company that took over the American Segway Inc. in 2015.

Segway Ninebot ES2

What is the difference between Xiaomi M365 and Ninebot ES2?
In principle, the two devices are very similar, but they differ enormously. Both weigh about 12.5 kg, the top speed of both is about 25 km/h, the maximum permissible weight of the driver is about 100 kg and the capacity of the battery (without extension) is similar. However, the basic construction of the scooters is different…

Folding mechanism
With the Xiaomi M365 only the handlebar is folded down, while with the Ninebot ES2 also the whole wheel is folded forward. That’s why the Ninebot ES2 is much smaller when folded than the Xiaomi M365. Also, the Ninebot by Segway is much faster to fold, as I think the mechanism is smarter, because it can be operated quickly with the foot.

Display
The Segway Ninebot ES2 can also score here because it has a display that shows the battery status, the driving mode and of course the speed. With the Xiaomi M365 you have 4 rudimentary LEDs for the battery indicator and when the first one is green, you are in ECO mode. That’s enough, actually. For both you can use the app (more about this later) to make settings and display the speed. The use of a mobile phone holder is recommended in this case, because you feel very uncomfortable with only one hand on the handlebar!

Position of the battery on the electric scooter
The battery of the Xiaomi M365 scooter is built into the base plate, of the Ninebot SE2 into the handlebar. This means an enormous difference in transport and handling. The advantage of the battery in the base plate is that the center of gravity is quite low and the handlebar very thin, which facilitates transport over a staircase. However, if you manage to hammer the plate against your ankles during transport, then this experience is rather less pleasing. I did that about 2 months ago and my ankle still hurts today (no joke, maybe I should have a look at it?).

However, placing the battery in the steering column makes it extremely thick, which does not necessarily simplify transport (especially with smaller hands). It also happens to me that the scooter tends to tip over when standing on the stand. The problem with the shattered ankles does not exist here, however, because the base plate is very light.

Accordingly, the charging connections are also built in – practical in the column of the Ninebot by Segway SE2, rather impractical in the base plate of the Xiaomi M365!

Brake
Both have an electronic brake via the motor, which also recharges the battery when braking (recuperation) – unlike electric cars, however, the benefit is small. The ankle breaker Xiaomi M365 uses a disc brake on the rear wheel of the Ninebot ES2 as a second brake on a classic scooter brake, which is operated with the foot on the fender on the rear wheel. I find the disc brake more intuitive here, because it is operated via a normal brake lever on the handlebar. But the braking performance of the foot brake seems better to me, and its maintenance is easier. The disc brake was also often reported to have been delivered with unbalance, luckily I didn’t have this problem.

Tires
Pneumatic tyres vs. tires are the motto here and the most difficult topic to deal with in this comparison. In principle, the Xiaomi M365 would have pneumatic tyres (8,5 inch) and the Ninebot ES2 would have solid rubber tyres (8 inch). But here the problem starts. The pneumatic tires of the Xiaomi M365 dampen shocks much better than the solid rubber tires of the Ninebot ES2, although the latter would have even built in dampers for front and rear wheel.

The biggest problem with the pneumatic tires is that the tubes are of such poor quality that I had flat tires several times. This problem was already known to me in advance and I ordered two rubber tires for the Xiaomi M365. Later I read that the solid rubbers should not be so great for the battery, because the shocks often detached the contacts from the battery – also not optimal. Driving with the two solid rubber wheels is also incredibly unpleasant, because you always get extreme shocks from the rear wheel. Also the noises the scooter makes are unpleasant. That’s why I currently have solid rubber at the front and pneumatic tires at the back of the Xiaomi M365 with a reinforced tube. This combination is ingenious and very pleasant to drive. (Unfortunately) much more comfortable than the “damped” rubber tyres of the Ninebot ES2.

By the way: Changing tires is no fun, you have to inform yourself in advance how this works, otherwise you will be angry green and blue because the coat can no longer be mounted.

Driving in the rain
During a trip to Vienna I noticed that the Ninebot ES2 really makes a mess when it rains and that the rear wheel splashes extremely strongly, despite the mudguards – even not so great when you have then completely sown the whole rear side. The Xiaomi M365 does not have this problem.

Light
Even though the light looks similar in principle, I find the Ninebot light more pleasant because it scatters further and illuminates the road a bit better.

Firmware
Here is one of the biggest differences between these two electric scooters. Around the Xiaomi M365, a very large community has formed in the meantime, which is also working on firmware modifications. It can (before firmware V1.4) be installed quite simply via Bluetooth custom firmware, which can also be easily personalized, for example, via this page. For example, you can easily set the acceleration and maximum speed there. Most of them are at the expense of the range – the faster you drive, the more power you need, ergo you get less far with the scooter.

In my concrete case I have a slightly “extended” firmware on it, where you notice a big difference when starting up, because the scooter simply pulls off better. With the Ninebot by Segway I haven’t found any custom firmware yet, too bad somehow… But here the additional battery would bring 5km/h more speed and a better pull. If I can afford this additional battery (about 200€) I do not know yet, because I am very satisfied with the Xiaomi. If I run both scooters with the original firmware, there is actually no difference in the handling.

The Verdict
Even though the Ninebot ES2 and the Xiaomi M365 are very similar in many respects and are even produced by the same manufacturer, there are some significant differences on closer inspection.

In terms of handling, the Xiaomi M365 is clearly better than Segway Ninebot ES2. On uneven ground and cobblestone, this model is much more comfortable to drive. You are shaken on uneven roads by Ninebot ES2, which is due to its hard rubber tyres. Finally, if you want to ride comfortably on bumpy roads, you should choose the Xiaomi M365. If you are looking for robustness and don’t feel like complicated tyre changes, you should prefer the Ninebot ES2.

In terms of equipment, Segway Ninebot ES is in the lead. For example, the display with speed indicator is to be mentioned here. In addition, the Ninebot is equipped with an underbody lighting (individually adjustable via app), which provides even better visibility, especially when driving in the dark.

Above all, it is difficult to make a clear recommendation to buy. For those who want the best handling, the Xiaomi M365 should be preferred to the Segway ES2. However, you should not forget that the Xiaomi with its pneumatic tires is certainly easier to drive, but you can also catch a flat tire and may have to check the tire pressure regularly or inflate the tires if necessary. This is of course not the case with the hard rubber tyres of the Ninebot, but there are some limitations in the driving behaviour. Further advantages of the Ninebot are the presence of a display as well as the possibility to add a second battery and to extend the range considerably.

 

Did this article help you? If so, please tell me in a comment what do you think about it.

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