REVIEW OF THE XIAOMI MI M365 ELECTRIC SCOOTER
First things first. Although we aim to provide unbiased reviews of all electric scooters, as we sell the Xiaomi Mi M365 Electric Scooter (because we like it so much), it would be fair for the reader to doubt our impartiality. For that reason, we have no compunction in pointing you towards a review from a website that does not sell scooters, such as the one found on TechAdviser.
The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter first came to prominence in North America and then Europe when scooter hire companies Bird and Lime put thousands of them on the streets of cities across those two continents. This had the (perhaps not completely unforeseeable) effect of creating a surge in retail demand, which led to a global shortage as Xiaomi struggled to keep up with demand, meaning that both Lime and Bird switched to using the Ninebot-Segway ES2 instead. Incidentally, this global shortage exasperated the market for fake M365s. Read this post to learn how to tell the difference between a real M365 and fake M365.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is a foldable electric scooter designed by Chinese tech giant Xiaomi (pronounced "show-er-me"). Confusingly, it is manufactured by Ninebot, who also manufacture their own scooter (the Segway branded ES2). The M365 has won numerous awards across the globe based on its simple folding design, 30 km (18 mile) range, 25 km/h (16 mph) top-speed, low weight and pneumatic tyres. It also boasts cruise control, front and rear lights, E-ABS brakes and a dedicated phone app (the Mi Home app seen below). The handlebar height is not adjustable because adjusting it would mess up the folding system. It comes in a fairly non-descript brown box (weighing about 15 kg) and requires a small amount of self-assembly (or it would need an awkwardly large box for shipping).
The M365's Li-ion battery is located in the base (whereas the ES2 battery is located in the stem) and the frame itself is built from aluminum. It feels very strong and the simple folding mechanism means it can be folded or unfolded in about three seconds. This sturdiness and low cost (as you are not paying for carbon fibre) does mean it is reasonably heavy at 12.5 kg; but this is as light as mid-range scooters come and heaviness is fairly subjective: I am by no means strong and have carried the M365 up and down stairs without too much effort. Having said that, and at risk of coming across as sexist, I would not expect many women to want to carry it around for long (yes, there are many strong women out there). But they are not really designed for carrying long distances.
The display on the M365 has four LED lights to indicate battery strength but no standard speedometer (though a speedometer is available in the app and the display can be upgraded with the display designed for the M365 Pro). The accelerator is a button on the right-hand handlebar, while there is a bike-like brake on the left-hand side, as well as a slightly superfluous bell. A powerful LED light capable of traveling 6m is built into the front of the handle for nighttime riding. Or solar-eclipse riding. This light is perhaps a little too bright (it is not quite as bright as my bike light's top setting but perhaps as bright as the next setting down, which is still pretty bright). There is also a rear light that flashes when you brake (thus functioning as a brake light if others know what it means).
Riding The M365
The M365 feels well-balanced and is easy to control. If you are not used to riding scooters or skateboards, the first time you ride any electric scooter will be a little nerve-wracking. This is common and most people quickly lose this initial trepidation. Accelerating and braking are extremely easy and effective. I only ever use the front E-ABS brake on the handlebar so cannot vouch for the rear brake or the braking distances supplied by Xiaomi (4 metres at top-speed) but other testers have corroborated them. Due to its low centre of gravity, using the front brake on the scooter is not akin to using the font brake on a bicycle, where there is a fear of going over the handlebars.
The Xiaomi tyres are 8.5inches in diameter and pneumatic (meaning they are filled with air). The idea is that air-filled tyres makes the ride smoother. However, there is no suspension so it is really a trade-off between the two options (the ES2 does the opposite). The ride is indeed smooth as long as the ground itself is reasonably level. I have ridden both the M365 and the ES2 extensively in Mexico City, where road repairs fall fairly low down on the "to-do list", and found that, as long as major potholes are avoided, and a comfortable riding stance taken, most road surfaces can be comfortably traversed. Unsurprisingly, cobble stones present something of a hazard.
We would always recommend wearing a helmet when riding an electric scooter. Most scooter injuries seem to happen when a pothole (or similar) is encountered and the smallish wheels are indeed susceptible to such obstacles. Please read my post Are Electric Scooters Safe? for more information and statistics on the safety of electric scooters. As we point out on many occasions, due to a near 100-year-old law, it is currently not legal to ride electric scooters on British roads (and pavements).
The M365 has a high-capacity 280 Wh (Watt-hour) battery, which produces 250-500 Watts of motor power for the wheel. What does that mean? Well, it dertermines two things: how fast you can go, and how far you can go. Of course, there are other variables, most notably the weight of the rider, but assuming you are not Giant Haystacks (or The Rock if you are too young to remember Giant Haystacks) and your ride is over level ground, Xiaomi stipulates a top-speed of 25 km/h (16 mph) and a range of 30 km (18 miles). I have found this to be pretty accurate. I easily hit 14 mph - though it feels a lot faster! - and have travelled more than 25 kilometers on a single battery charge.
Perhaps where the Xiaomi underperforms against some of its rivals, like the ES2, is in the time it takes to charge the battery. At around 5 hours, it seems a little churlish to complain when you consider that the battery can then take you 30 km; but it is longer than the Ninebot-Segway battery takes to charge. I suppose this is because Segway have had 20 years to perfect their batteries.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is an excellent mid-range electric scooter. This is perhaps no surprise considering that both Lime and Bird chose to use it when they first launched. Low labour-costs in China means that Xiaomi can produce the M365 at a reasonable price, making it attainable for most people in the UK. I could perhaps detract half a star for the battery charging time and/or the headlight not being adjustable but, really, for less than £400 that would be unfair. You can also find reviews of the M365 on Stuff and Electrek.
|Size (Unfolded)||108 x 43 x 114 cm|
|Size (Folded)||108 x 43 x 49 cm|
|Output||250 watts (500W max)|
|Range||30 km (18 miles)|
|Max Climbing Angle||14 degrees|
|Front Brake||E-ABS (Regenerative) Disk|
|Braking Distance (20 km/h)||3-4 metres|
|Waterproof||IP 54: splash resistant|
YOU CAN BUY THE XIAOMI M635 HERE
Please note that it is not currently legal to ride electric scooters on UK public highways (or pavements).