Turboant X7 electric scooter review
An electric scooter review? Well, yes. If it wasn’t painfully obvious from our content already, we are major geeks here at the GSMArena office and we don’t really discriminate in that passion of ours either. From servers, cameras, drones to cars and even appliances, chances are you can easily find at least one expert in the team. And when it comes to electric scooters, we kind of have an entire team going with around 7 different electric scooters owned and scrutinized, maintained and modded on a daily basis.
Turboant X7 specs
- Body: Folded: 105.664 x 41.9 x 44.958 cm; Unfolded: 105.664 x 41.9 x 116.6 cm, 13.47 kg.
- Motor: 350W, 36V.
- Battery: 6.4 Ah, 36V; user-removable, chargeable independent of scooter. Full charge takes 4 to 6 hours.
- Tyres: 8.5-inch, tubeless air tyres.
- Brakes: Motor brake, disk brake, foot brake.
- Performance (Advertised numbers): Max speed: 32 km/h; Max range: 25 km; Max load: 125 kg.
- Additional features: Brake light, front torch; Cruise control; Display with speed readout, mode indicator and battery level (bars); 3 speed modes.
So, yes, we jumped on the opportunity to review the Turboant X7 when the manufacturer reached out to us. That being said, we aren’t quite sure exactly how to approach the review process. The biggest problem here being that if you have never been on an electric scooter before, it’s kind of hard to convey exactly how better or worse certain aspects are. If you do happen to have some experience with electric scooters, however, chances are that you have encountered the Xiaomi M365 due to its massive popularity. And, conveniently enough, it’s a pretty good point of reference for the Turboant X7.
Starting with design, the two even look rather similar. Which, to be fair, is not uncommon the the electric scooter niche. More than a few manufacturers are trying their best to mimic and improve or tweak or sometimes even downright copy the Xiaomi M365 and its successful design. The Turboant definitely falls in the former category, but the similarities are there and rather apparent in some cases.
Since we are already on the topic of inspiration and design borrowing, sot to say, it is worth pointing out that the Turboant X7 can also be found under a number of other names online. Most notably, the HX X7. In fact, if you search for a X7 electric scooter on something like Alibaba, you can easily find brandless units straight from a factory. Again, definitely not uncommon for electric scooters and many Chinese goods, for that matter. Also, not necessarily a bad thing.
So, continuing with the comparison, you definitely get a similar silhouette as the M365. That initial impression is a bit deceptive, though. Once you really start analysing the finer details, the differences become apparent.
Since we are already using the Xiaomi M365 as a frame of reference, the Turboant X7 might have about the same general look, but the angle of its steering column is a bit more relaxed, which, combined with the fact that the bottom deck rides a bit lower and the stem a bit taller, makes for a slightly different riding position, which the majority of test subjects around the office found ot be a bit more comfortable than the M365.
That’s hardly the only difference in the body. The overall frame has a different design and most-notably, the angled pieces that connect the tech to the column appear to be much bigger and made of solid metal.
Well, it’s solid but it’s hollow on the inside. We can’t exactly say whether this design is more structurally sound than the one on the Xiaomi. It is definitely different, though. And one nasty side effect of this kind of setup is that it leaves plenty of room behind the front tyre to accumulate hard to clean dirt.
One of the things that allows for the extra posture height on the Turboant X7 is definitely the different position of the battery. Unlike the M365, the X7 has its pack stored in the steering column. That’s the reason why the stem is so thick. This does, however, has its pros and cons as well.
Chief among these is the significantly higher centre of gravity on the X7. That means less stability, especially in turns. Also, grabbing the stem with one hand to pick the scooter off the ground when you need to run down the stairs or to pass an obstacle, is a bit more difficult with such a thick stem.
Left: Turboant X7, Right: Xiaomi m365
On the plus side, once you do get a grip on the stem and lift the X7 off the ground, there is a lot less flailing left and right to worry about, since less weight is in the deck. You do need to lift a bit more weight overall, though, since the Turboant X7 tips the scale at 13.47 kg, while the M365 comes in at 12.7 kg. Not a major difference, but still not insignificant, especially since the X7 has less battery than the Xiaomi. But, more on that in a bit.
Left: Xiaomi m365, Right: Turboant X7
Just to be clear, the balance situation is not bad at all. Even though the Xiaomi M365 generally feels a bit more secure, since most of the weight is close to the ground, the Turboant X7 feels perfectly adequate on the road. In fact, due to its extra-tight steering column and wide surface area on top of the stem, where the display is, it can actually be driven one-handed. Something we definitely would not recommend, but is still doable.
One important thing worth mentioning as well is that the steering is limited in its radius. In fact, even more so than on the M365. This is essential for novice drivers, since it limits the ability of the front tyre to suddenly end up parallel to the rest of the scooter. The opposite would have meant a significantly higher risk of falling and accidents.
Just like most other electric scooters in this class, the Turboant X7 folds down. Its folding mechanism is pretty reminiscent of the one on the Xiaomi M365 as well. Which, to be fair, is not the best design out there in terms of both ease of use and stress on individual components. That being said, due to the sheer girth of the X7’s stem, the components in this lock are simply bigger than on the Xiaomi and probably more durable.
We definitely appreciate that little detail, since the folding mechanism is a well-known weak point in the M365. The one on the Turboant just feels more solid, with less play and no need for additional spacers and dampers. At least not from the get go.
The lock on the back mudguard that actually keeps the stem in place while folded is also a massive improvement over the one on the Xiaomi.
The lock mechanism on the rear mudguard is also an improvement over that on the Xiaomi M365. It is just a lot easier to snap in and out of. Combined with the hook on the steering stem, of course.
If we had to point out some areas that could use some work, one would be the steering handlesbars. We do appreciate they can be screwed in and out quickly and easily for transportation. Something the M365 can’t do. But, on the flip side, the handle lenght is a bit short for a full-grown adult rider.
Also, we would have definitely appreciated a slightly taller kickstand since the Turboant X7 is rather unstable when resting on the stand. This is mostly due to weight distribution with a lot of it grouped into the stem of the scooter. What we are getting at here is that the X7 is a bit wobbly and can fall over pretty much on its own.
Just to round things off and since we are already on the topic of dimensions and portability, the Turboant X7 scores pretty well in this regard. Most of the major design changes it employs compared to the M365 work well towards a smaller form factor while folded – 105.664 x 41.9 x 44.958 mm., compared to 108 x 43 x 49 mm on the Xiaomi. When unfolded, the Turboant does have a couple of mm over the M365 at 116.6, compared to 114. But, remember, this one’s got a more comfortable riding position.
Rocking basically the same size 8.5″ tyres, the two scooters end up very close in dimensions both folded and unfolded, with the X7 definitely taking the edge in this department. Despite being just a bit narrower, the X7’s deck has more actual usable length thanks to the sloping stem joint design. That makes it easier to ride since most people will have their two feet one behind the other in a sort of skateboard style arrangement on such a small deck. Every mm counts.
Features, bells and whistles
Describing features on an electric scooter is a bit hard since we aren’t quite sure what can or even should be considered a feature.
Tubeless pneumatic tyres must definitely be a feature worth noting. Just like the Xiaomi M365, the Turboant X7 travels on air, which definitely cushions the ride, especially in the absence of any other suspension. After riding it on all sorts of rough terrain from cracked asphalt through potholes to straight out going offroad in a park, the TurboAnt X7 provides the best ride comfort we’ve seen on a scooter without any suspension.
The worst aspects of a pneumatic tire is that eventually you get a puncture and you have to change the inner tube. That’s the risk we pay for the ride comfort.
The Xiaomi M365 is quite bad in this respect because not only does it suffer from punctures but with heavier riders the innner tubes also frequently get worn out due to friction. There is no risk of that with the X7. But, of course, if you puncture the tire, you will get a flat in no time so you better pour in some slime or other liquid tyre protection from Day 1.
Unlike the Xiaomi M365, you can remove and swap-out the 6.4 Ah, 36V battery pack inside the X7 with a few simple steps. We also appreciate the fact that there is a charging port on the battery itself, which means you can simply charge it without the presence of the scooter.
The removable battery enables more than a few interesting potential use cases. You could, of course get an extra battery for yourself and stick it in a backpack for when you need longer range. More interestingly, however, that can scale up quite nicely for a fleet of Turboant X7 scooters. If you, for example, offer them as rentals or use them for deliveries. You can simply get more batteries than scooters and constantly cycle and charge the packs as needed.
On the flip side, however, you can never feel too safe when leaving the Turboant X7 unattended since the battery compartment is not locked in any way. The way it works mechanically is that you press a button, flip open the central display area then turn a secondary battery cap to pop that as well and then simply pull on a convenient lanyard. And, unfortunately, with prior knowledge, anyone can do the same and walk away, leaving you with a barely usable scooter.
And by the way, the batteries are not particularly cheap either, which does make sense, since there are typically the single most costly bit in any electric vehicle. Especially a scooter. Currently, Turboant will sell you an extra pack for $300. And that’s about as low as we managed to find a compatible replacement battery, short of ordering 1000 on Alibaba. That’s kind of unfortunate since the Turboant X7 itself is currently selling for $499.99, down from an MSRP of $599. And as of writing this review, there is even a Black Friday deal for $399.99. At that price point, the rest of the scooter works out to just $99, which is ludicrous.
Then again, if you need a replacement, you need a replacement. As a small consolation, though, we did find that you can use the X7 as an old-school kick scooter pretty efficiently, due to its relatively low sitting deck and the lack of any friction from the electric motor. This is not the case with the Xiaomi M365, which tends to exert some force back and has a deck that sits too tall to kick from. We believe this partially has to do with KERS or kinetic energy recovery system. While we can’t necessarily confirm for sure, there seems to be no such system in place on the X7, which consequently enables the electric motor to spin a lot easier when not powered on.
The Turboant X7 does have motor braking of some sort and does a pretty swell job at braking, but it still falls short from the Xiaomi M365. Turboant has placed more focus on the mechanical braking. The rear disk is a lot bigger than the one on the Xiaomi M365. Also, the rear mudguard is meant to be stepped on as an additional mechanical brake. The inside of the mudguard is lined with a rubber material that seems well made to facilitate manual breaking.
For lights, you do get one on the front of the scooter. It is nothing to phone home about and you can easily get a bicycle-geared battery torch that outshines it a multitude of times. Still, it is perfectly usable and decent. We also like that it is angled in a proper way to actually shine a fair bit in front of the vehicle, instead of a few cm from the front tyre.
Speaking of perfectly adequate, it is true for the tiny bell next to the brake lever. We are no experts by any means, but it’s loud and it has the benefit of being integrated into the brake lever, which makes it look quite neat.
The only other thing left to discuss are the actual controls on the Turboant X7. First, the throttle-button combination. It is serviceable, but we can’t really say we like how it feels. That is, a bit cheaper and less sturdy than the rest of the scooter. Our biggest gripe with it, though, is the horrible mushiness of the two buttons.
You can use the buttons to choose 1 of 3 speed modes. The current one gets indicated by a symbol on the display. But, you probably won’t be changing these too often since only the most powerful mode is really usable. But, more on that in a bit. Pressing the two buttons together takes you to a hidden menu of flags and values for different options. This is not uncommon on scooters. Especially those that lack any app or other connectivity that would allow controlling the system parameters.
To run down these options quickly: P0 lets you change the speed readout between km/h and mph. P1 toggles cruise control on and off. It is on by default. P2 lets you enable or disable the minimum speed for activating the scooter. Setting this to off can be a bit of a hazard since it allows you to simply start the motor from a halt, which can happen by accident. P3 offers what our best guess is a selector between 8.5 inch tyres and 10 inch ones. Apparently, the latter might be an option on the Turboant X7 or another scooter that uses the same controller. And finally P4 controls the maximum speed cap. There are 15, 20, 25 options, as well as off.
Before we round the section off with the display, we should note how the cruise control works. It tends to activate rather quickly, perhaps 3 seconds after holding one particular point on the accelerator. Once it does kick in, it takes that point as a relative value for the speed you want. That is to say, it won’t just stick to the speed you are currently at, but instead keep accelerating. Since the X7 is quite slow at accelerating, this is definitely an appreciated feature, since you can simply turn the accelerator to the max position, wait for the beep and then let go and wait for the scooter to reach full speed. Whatever that might be in your current conditions, charge level, incline, etc.
If you keep holding the throttle down after cruise control has activated, it will keep beeping every second or so, which does get really annoying but it’s also safe as inexperience riders will know that if they release the lever, the scooter will not decelerate.
Finally, we get to the display. It is a really nifty addition to any scooter, but most manufacturers tend to miss some of the important features. The same is true for the Truboant X7. We definitely appreciate the large segment readout for the current speed, as well as the small color dot indicating the current mode. The annoying bit is that you only get a few bars as a battery level indicator and that really isn’t enough to go by. Seeing how there already is a two digit display why can’t there be a way to switch between speed and battery level? Perhaps even automatically when the scooter comes to a stop since that is when you are most likely to look down at the display anyway. We hope at least somebody is taking notes.
Performance, range and battery
The Turboant X7 resides in what we would refer to as the mainstream/entry-level niche of electric scooters. The best way we can explain it is definitely a grade above a toy and actually good enough for commutes. All the while, not realistically a bike replacement for a number of different reasons. Think of it as great “last mile” solution, since that term has mostly been accepted at this point and maybe substitute mile with miles.
As such, power was never really going to be a main priority. 350W might sound like a lot on paper, but that can be a bit misleading. We can’s really be quite sure how this figure is attained. For instance, the Xiaomi M365 has a nominally smaller 250W motor, which is capable of 500W of peak output. As for the M365 Pro the figures are 300W and peak 600W respectively.
In reality, the actual power, as in torque and acceleration are mostly going to come down to the motor controller, the acceleration curve and its power output at every point in said curve.
And the acceleration curve is our biggest gripe with the Turboant X7. It’s painfully slow to accelerate once you’ve taken your finger off the accelerator paddle. Even at the highest performance setting, the start is so slow that it can be troublesome if you ride with cars in the city traffic.
Even in the high performance mode the acceleration curve is tuned strictly for beginners and unfortunately can not be tweaked.
On the plus side, this makes the X7 a great scooter for renting as it will cater for short rides by riders of any experience level. For personal riding however, it would mean your skill will quickly outgrow the capabilities of the scooter as you get more experienced and and gain confidence handling it.
Turboant’s manuals mentions that the lowest speed modes are meant for hill climbing. We were pretty eager to test this out since in our mind it suggested they might have found a way to optimize for max torque output in the lower modes instead of max speed. Unfortunately, the lower modes only appear to adjust the main power output.
While on the subject of hill climbing, with a heavy rider in the 100kg range, the Turboant X7 wont even start going up an incline on anything other than the top setting. Again, that does not appear to be due to lack of power in the 350W motor. It just comes down to low torque output. We know this since the same rider managed to climb up a 15-degree, or so hill, which is the maximum Turboant advertises for the X7, at a respectable speed of around 16 km/h. So, the power is there, it’s just not available in the lower modes.
The benefit is that they can allow the battery to last you a bit more and they also limit the max speed if that’s a safety consideration.
Turboant advertises a rather typical for the particular scooter category 25km. While that might be achievable on a flat surface, with a light driver and no particular care for the rapid drop in performance you start experiencing in the final bar of the battery capacity, in reality, the X7 is good for about 15km. After that it becomes unbearably slow and you even need to switch to the lower mode as it wouldn’t even move in the top mode.
While portable and convenient in its design, the 36 V, 6.4 Ah 230 Wh battery can apparently benefit from a bit of a capacity upgrade. Circling back to our comparison with Xiaomi’s popular electric scooter, the M365 has 280Wh to work with, wile the M365 Pro gets an impressive 474 Wh. And that’s at 12.7 kg on the M365, which is lighter than the Turboant X7 and 14.2 kg on the M365 Pro, which is just 700 grams, or so, heavier. What we are getting at here is that maybe Turboant sacrificed some battery capacity for a convenient form factor for the pack itself.
As for maximum speed, the advertised 20mph is a bit generous. We get that it looks good on a specs sheet, but 15 mph or 25 k/h would have been a more true to life number. That’s just about what you can expect with an M365 and is the legal limit for electric scooters in most places anyway, so no real complaints there. We did remove the limiter from the hidden menu, just to test the X7 and the best we managed was about 30 km/h on a steep slope with a heavy rider, which is still short of the advertized max speed.
Charging? Well, it’s pretty much in line with what you can expect from a 36 V, 6.4 Ah battery and hence with most competitors in the niche – it’s 4.5h or so. That’s one of the great things about these kinds of potent yet still portable enough scooters. Wherever you take them, you can usually find both space and time to charge them up and have their full range available going back.
The Turboant X7 definitely stands on its own within the modern electric scooter niche. If we had to point to it’s “killer feature”, it would definitely be the neat removable battery design. It’s both a blessing and a curse, since the form factor did require some compromises in capacity. Still makes for a unique enough trait to popularize the Turboant X7 for certain very specific use cases and scenarios in our mind.
Beyond those, however, there are plenty of similarities and comparisons to be made with the Xiaomi M365 family of scooter. We leaned heavily on those during the review for a number of reasons, including the obvious design inspiration on Turboant’s part as well as the massive popularity of the M365. Let’s face it, if you are considering the Turboant X7 then the Xiaomi M365 is bound to be on your choice list as well.
That being the case, here is a short list of pros and cons for the Turboant X7. Most of which relative to the Xiaomi M365.
- More comfortable upright riding position can facilitate a taller rider better.
- Easy to unscrew handle bars for better portability.
- Having less weight in the deck makes it easier to keep the scooter stably in the air while carrying with one hand.
- Steering column feels very sturdy and secure, turning radius is safely limited, just like on the Xiaomi.
- Folding and locking mechanism feels like a bigger and sturdier version of that on the Xiaomi.
- Great max weight carrying spec of 125kg.
- The deck is not appreciably bigger than on the Xiaomi, but it has more usable size and is more comfortable
- Tubeless tyres potentially eliminate issues with internal friction and premature tube wearing off, which is common on the Xiaomi.
- The removable battery is great for both versatility, easily extending range, maintaining a fleet of scooters and can facilitate easier charging and storing of the scooter.
- Braking falls a bit short on the X7, compared to the Xiaomi, but mechanically speaking, the system is beefier and likely more reliable. If all else fails, there is a push Brake on the rear mudguard as well.
- Front and brake lights are positioned great and work very well. Same goes for the small bell.
- Cruise control is very reliable, albeit a bit annoying if you hold down the throttle for too long.
- Having the display is a great extra, particularly for keeping track of your current speed.
- The Turboant X7 has enough power to go around and facilitate even a heavy 120kg rider. Max speed is also perfectly adequate at around 27 km/h. The only disappointment is the slow acceleration curve.
- Charging is snappy at around four hours and a half for a full charge.
- The arch behind the front wheel accumulates a lot of dirt.
- Having the battery in the steering column makes for a higher centre of gravity, less stability both while riding and on the kickstand. The stem is also very big and hard to grab with one hand.
- The Turboant X7 is heavier than the Xiaomi M365 despite having less battery at 6.4 Ah, 36V (230 Wh).
- The kickstand has to be relocated or elongated to better take the weight of the steering column. In its current state it is very unstable.
- Tubeless tyres are generally harder to replace on your won and potentially deflate more often. Plus, Turboant is not officially selling spares and we can’t say for sure whether the widely available Xiaomi M365 tyres are compatible.
- Extra batteries for the X7 are a bit expensive at $300. The battery compartment does not lock and it is pretty easy to steal the pack if you leave the scooter unattended.
- There is no KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) on the Turboant X7. Motor braking is present, but rather weak.
- There is no app or advanced connectivity.
- There is only a vague bar readout for the battery level. No way to get a proper percentage reading.
- Acceleration is very slow on the Turboant X7. So much so that the otherwise plenty powerful scooter with enough performance and load capacity for up to a 120kg rider takes off super slow. This makes it a safe scooter for begginers or as a rental, but it’s offputting and unplesantly limiting to easoned riders.
- Real-world maximum range with High Performance mode falls a bit short of competition like the Xiaomi M365 and is just around 15km.
All things considered, the Turboant X7 is a solid product with no real major flaws. The great built quality, the great ride comfort, the built-in speedo and the tubeless tires are all among the Turboant X7 key features, which make it a rather interesting proposition.
The swappable battery pack design also offers a huge potential advantage. The X7 removable battery is great convenience if your particular living or work situation makes it easier to leave the scooter in, say, your building garage and only carry the battery with you inside for charging or as a form of anti-theft measure.
It feels like the kind of vehicle that can really shine in a fleet of its siblings. For things like delivery or renting out the scooter. The kind of scenarios where you can really appreciate the flexibility of swapping in a fresh battery in seconds. If you are renting the scooter to people with varying riding skill level or children are the intended main users, the scooter’s slow acceleration will actually be a boon to safe riding.
Beyond that, this scooter is really let down by its slow acceleration. As a personal electric scooter for adult riding, ths aspect would quickly get annoying as your skill and confidence ridinng the scooter progresses and we wish this was configurable in some way.
If, however, you don’t mind the sluggish acceleration of the relatively low battery capacity, the TurboAnt X7 is a great little scooter which is definitely worth considering.