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Thanks to my electric bike and Sounder train commute, I am rarely in an automobile except during the weekend. With a mile walk to and from the train station to my office, it is awesome to jump on a foldable scooter to make that trip in about a third of the time it takes to walk the distance.
For the last 10 days, I have been riding the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 from Xiaomi. The original model launched in 2017 and I took it for a spin a couple of years ago. If you liked that original model and possibly rode one around with a rental service, then you will like this newest model.
Also: Xiaomi reveals new lifestyle products, including electric scooters, fitness band, wireless earphones
The last time I rode a Xiaomi scooter it was the original Mi Scooter M365 model. There was a Mi Scooter Pro, but I am comparing this model to the original from 2017 since I never had the chance to try out the previous Pro model.
I didn't hear complaints about that first model and it seems Xiaomi kept the design mostly the same. However, there are some refinements to improve the overall experience. These include the following:
These refinements improve safety and build quality of the scooter, which are both important to riders.
As you look at the specifications above, note that some of them are provided for a 165-pound person in ideal conditions. As you read my thoughts below, know that I am a 250-pound person who is 6 feet, 1 inches, so I exceed the max load and thus measured different maximum speed and range values.
The Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 arrived in a very large box that contained the scooter in its folded position with the handlebars removed from the stand and folded over with all cables attached. The retail package normally includes a spare tube and tire, an extended nozzle adapter to help you pump up the tires, screws for the handle bar, a user manual, and a T-bar wrench so you can tighten up screws after you connect the handlebars to the front stand pole. The plain brown review box went through about a month of trials before it arrived so there were no screws, wrench, or manuals inside the box when it finally arrived.
The alumimum material appears to be of high quality with very good welds connecting the stand pole to the standing platform and other parts of the frame. It feels quite substantial and at 14.2 kg it is not a lightweight scooter that everyone will be able to handle. I am not a small person so carrying the scooter around for extended periods, check out my experiences below, was not a problem.
Also: Mi Electric Scooter review: Complete that last mile commute with ease
The LED front headlight is noticeably brighter than the original Mi Scooter with twice the wattage in this model. Riding around the streets at night was just fine with the light guiding the way. It is toggled on and off by a tap of the power button when the scooter is powered on.
The handlebars extend straight out from the center and have comfortable grips with nubs on them to make them easy to grasp. On the front of the left handlebar is the hand brake for the rear tire. The braking system is a regenerative ABS system so that braking works to charge up the battery and slow you down gradually. Pulling the brake handle won't cause instantaneous stops so plan for this as you ride.
There is also a manual bell on the left side that you activate with your thumb. Simply flick down on the button to ring the bell. This is great for making sure people are aware of you coming down the street or sidewalk.
Just to the inside of the right hand grip you will find the accelerator. This is activated by pressing your thumb down on the rotating piece and the further you press it the faster you will go. Once you connect your smartphone, you can enable cruise control in the app so that pressing and holding maximum acceleration for more than five seconds turns on cruise control. When cruise control initiates a beep sounds. To turn off cruise control, you either pull the brake or tap the accelerator button.
In the center of the handlebars, you will find the power button and small display. This is a major improvement over the original scooter I tested that only showed LED indicators for battery status. You can now toggle the riding mode, view Bluetooth connection status, and see your speed in metric or imperial units. It was tough to look at your phone to gauge speed before so I appreciate having the ability to quickly glance down to see the speed.
Moving down the stand, we have the release mechanism to fold the handlebar pole down and onto the rear wheel. The flip switch for the bell secures into the plastic tab on the top of the rear wheel fender so that you can easily pick up and walk around with the scooter.
The release mechanism is a simple long lever that you raise and lower. There is a sliding ring that locks the pole up as well so it doesn't accidentally move down on you. Even though I tightened up the original model as far as possible, I find this new model to have a more rigid attachment so I feel better going 12 mph on this scooter.
The front wheel houses the electric motor that propels you forward and it is a solid wheel. Behind this is the foot stand platform that has a textured mat to make it safe for standing. I wear size 12 shoes and was able to easily stand comfortably with both feet on the scooter and still have room to shift my feet around.
Also: EcoReco L5 Plus electric scooter review: Wide platform, dual wheel suspension, high torque, and ample speed
The charging port is underneath the stand on the front left side. I could never get the cover to stay in place on the original model, but find the cover quickly and easily attaches to the charging port on this new Mi Scooter Pro 2 model.
Further back, about 3/4 of the distance of the stand, you will find a kickstand that holds the scooter securely in an upright position. The batteries are located under the stand with screws present to access this compartment, if needed.
The rear wheel fender contains the tab to secure the handlebar to for carrying the scooter. The fender design has also been improved for stability with the front of the fender now extending down and onto the foot board.
On the back side of the fender is a red LED. This light turns on when you turn on the headlight. When you brake the scooter, this light flashes slowly too so that people behind you know you are stopping. You can also toggle the taillight to be on all the time in the smartphone app. This rear light is also larger and brighter than we saw on the original model.
The disc braking system is found on the rear wheel. This wheel has a more open design than the front wheel too.
There are now also more reflectors around the scooter to help improve visibility in low light conditions.
A very basic smartphone app is available for iOS and Android. Download and install the Mi Home app and then you can connect the scooter when the scooter is on and Bluetooth is enabled on your phone.
The home page of the app shows the scooter and the current speed in the upper right. Current battery level, average speed, and mileage from the current trip are also shown on this screen.
Tapping on the upper right menu option reveals several settings, including a cruise control toggle, taillight toggle, unit settings, battery info, history of total mileage ridden, and an option to update the scooter firmware.
You can also lock the scooter by swiping across the display. I learned a valuable lesson a couple of years ago when I accidentally locked the scooter and had to then carry it for more than a mile.
I've used electric scooters for my commute, while on business trips in various cities, and while on vacation with my family so I am comfortable riding them on various roads, trails, and surfaces. I found the improvements to stability and safety to be just perfect for this scooter.
The biggest improvement for my usage, compared to the original Mi Scooter, was the addition of a useful small display. It was much more reliable and understandable to control the scooter status and I also enjoy observing the speed on the panel.
I exceed the maximum rated load of the scooter by more than 20 pounds so I wasn't able to achieve the top speed and range rated for a much smaller person. I was hoping to see some improvement in capacity and power to assist me up hills, but I get virtually no assistance riding up an incline on this scooter.
Regenerative braking and non-powered coasting are supported to help convert kinetic energy into electrical energy in order to extend the battery life of the scooter. I clearly found improved battery life with this model and was able to leave the charger at home while commuting to and from the office.
I generally experienced a top speed of 12 mph on a flat surface, which is plenty fast for a scooter where you have to hold on with two hands. You can choose from pedestrian, standard, and sports mode right on the dashboard so you can control the maximum speed of the scooter with ease. The handlebar height worked well for my six feet, one inch, height and the ride was comfortable.
I've had three flat tires on the original Mi Scooter and have since replaced the pneumatic tires with solid replacement tires since it takes some ingenuity and lots of patience to change out a flat 8.5 inch tire. I understand the comfort of your ride might suffer a bit, but since you spend your time standing I would like to see a future version of the Mi Scooter launch with some kind of solid tire solution.
The price for the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 is EUR 399. We'll update the review with availability and further pricing as this information is provided.