REVIEW OF THE NAVEE N65 ELECTRIC KICKSCOOTER
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
The Navee N65 is a new electric scooter from Chinese company Brightway Intelligent Tech (it must sound better in Mandarin), which has been manufacturing the majority of the Xiaomi e-scooters for the last few years. They clearly decided that more money could be made if they had their own brand: hence the launch of Navee. However, the N65 enters at a different price point and is not a direct competitor to Xiaomi's best-selling scooters, such as the Xiaomi Pro 2. Indeed, it currently fills a niche in the UK left by the Ducati scooters, which were pulled their scooters from the market in 2023. But are the Navee N65 specs and overall quality worth the extra money?
The Navee N65 is a foldable electric scooter with a simple but clever design, 25 km/h (16 mph) top speed, 65 km (40 mile) range and 23 kg weight. The 48 volt battery is stored in the base. The dashboard displays the usual information plus a host of other real-time data (more below). There is a Navee app to connect to, while it is easy to assemble straight out of the box.
To their credit, Brightway have not just copied the Xiaomi design, but implemented a design that they believe offers some benefits. The N65 frame is made from an aluminium alloy, while the footplate is made from a magnesium. At 23 kg the scooter is reasonably heavy, and it would have been better if a magnesium alloy (which is lighter) was used throughout. The extra width of the scooter is also likely adding to the overall weight. Navee suggest this extra width (manifest in the 17 cm footplate) provides comfort and safety, but it does of course provide extra space for the large battery too.
Like the Xiaomis, the Navee N65 does not have any suspension springs, but comes with 10 inch pneumatic tyres (larger than the Xiaomis). The tyres are also wider than normal, being 3 inches. The idea is that the overall size will provide enough suspension to mitigate the lack of dedicated suspension. It is true that lower-priced scooters have tended to have either suspension or pneumatic tyres but, when a scooter is more than £600, I like to see suspension included either way.
As mentioned, the display on the Navee N65 is somewhat unusual with the sheer amount of information displayed. As well as showing your speed, battery power and ride mode, it also shows such data as braking force (left-hand circle), refueling force (right-hand circle), and voltage (bottom right). My assumption is that "refueling" refers to the kinetic energy recovery. I suppose there is only benefit to be gained from the plethora of information. However, I would have liked for the dash to feel a bit more integrated into the design and perhaps it was a choice between the two (ie lots of data on a large screen or integrated into the frame).
The accelerator is a button/switch on the right-hand handlebar, while there is a bike-like brake on the left-hand handlebar. There is a headlight with a reflector directly below it and a rear light, which also functions as a brake light. The reflector position looks slightly odd but I guess it makes sense to have it there in terms of safety. There is also an orange reflector on either side of the base. The scooter has fairly inconspicuous branding on the handlebar stem.
It is perhaps worth pointing out why I referred to the design as "clever". The N65 does of course fold to lower the handlebars, but has an extra folding feature which impressed me: that being the ability to swivel the handlebars and thus reduce the width of the folded-up scooter (from about 50 cm to 20 cm). This makes the Navee significantly easier to stow; though at 23 kg you will have to be fairly strong, especially if the space is above head height (even if the gent below makes it look rather easy to carry).
Riding The Navee N65
The Navee N65 rides much like the Xiaomis, which I suppose is to be expected from its overall design. It is perhaps slightly smoother due to the larger tyres. The tyres themselves are advertised as being "durable" but, as always, it is hard to quantify exactly what this means. The one downside of relying on the tyres for suspension is that, well, you are reliant on the tyres for suspension; meaning that should you wish to switch to solid tyres you will be making the ride much less smooth.
We always recommend wearing a helmet when riding an e-scooter; and the majority of e-scooter accidents happen within the first few rides, so be careful if you are a beginner. At time of writing, e-scooters are still not legal on public roads in the UK.
Based on the limited number of reviews on the App Store, the Go Navee app appears to be problematic, with its Bluetooth connection apparently proving unreliable. As Brightway manufacture for Xiaomi, one would assume (hope) that the issue is with the software rather than the hardware. Of course, it is a new scooter (and app) and it should be fairly easy to solve this problem with an update but it is still disappointing that the app is not working perfectly at launch. Although apps tend not to be particularly important (the Decents currently forego an app altogether), they are a nice addition to a scooter. Let's see if things improve over 2023.
In contrast to the app, the battery is where the Navee N65 excels. The 48V, 12.5Ah battery allows for the 65 km range, rated power of 500 Watts, and a 25% climbing angle. A battery management system provides extra peace of mind in this day-and-age, where cheap scooters with dodgy batteries have caused numerous house fires. Li-ion batteries have a finite life regardless but the N65 battery is expected to last beyond 500 charging cycles. It has a charge time of 7-8 hours.
On specs alone, the Navee N65 is an excellent scooter well worth the price tag. If you are looking for a scooter with a long range, and do not need the extra range provided by the INMOTION S1, then N65 would seem like a no-brainer. There are just a couple of considerations. Firstly, there is no independent suspension. Although the more expensive Ninebot G30 does not provide suspension either, I have come to think that a scooter edging past £600 should. The question marks over the app should not really take away from the rating as an app generally makes little real-world difference. However, the 23 kg weight is also a little niggle. If you expect to have to carry your scooter a fair amount, the N65 may not be for you.
After those considerations, it perhaps comes down to design and aesthetics; and there are pros and cons there (while aesthetics is of course subjective anyway). For instance, the swiveling handlebars are a really nice touch, but the dashboard could be integrated into the design more completely. To conclude, although it is a new brand, the Navee comes from a well-respected manufacturer and the specs-to-price are pretty good. As is often the case, it then comes down to aesthetics. There is nothing wrong with the dashboard, but I prefer a slightly sleeker look around the handlebar.
|Size (Unfolded)||119 x 51 x 122 cm|
|Size (Folded)||121 x 20 x 46 cm|
48v 12.5Ah Battery
|Top Speed||25 km/h (15 mph)|
|Range||65 km (40 miles)|
|Charge Time||7-8 hours|
|Waterproof||IP54: spray resistant|
|Lights||Front & Rear|