Hovertrax 2.0 review

Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Smart Self-Balancing Scooter Review

Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Review

Pros

The Hovertrax 2.0 is one of the top self balancing scooters on the market, it's produced by Razor, a well known and trusted company. You can find the Hovertrax 2.0 on Amazon and the Razor website. Recently there have been many issues with the reliability and safety of the batteries used in Chinese-made hoverboards, but Razor has shown that they can produce a quality, durable self balancing scooter.

The Hovertrax 2.0 is UL 2272 certified, meaning that the battery has passed incredibly strict safety standards. This doesn't surprise us, as they have been in the scooter market for a long time now. With a range of 12 miles (60 minutes of continuous riding), you can enjoy your Hovertrax for longer periods of time than most hoverboard scooters. The charge time is about 2 hours, which is comparable to other hoverboards we've reviewed.

A new technology called EverBalance is used to make the Hovertrax 2.0 extremely smooth and easier than ever to balance on. A 15 degree tilt allows this hoverboard to climb small hills. It also comes equipped with an LED indicator to display battery power and balance level.

Cons

The Hovertrax 2.0 has a top speed of about 8mph. This is slower than the EPIKGO, but we have found that most people do not actually enjoy a cruising speed faster than 8mph. It is also a bit more expensive than other hoverboards such as the Swagtron T1, but you are getting a premium brand name with quality features. The board won't handle off road environments as well as the Halo Rover hoverboard, but it does well on most surfaces.

My Experience

I ordered the Hovertrax from Amazon and waited just over a week for it to arrive. When I pulled it out of the box the first thing I noticed is that the 2.0 has directional LED lights like the Powerboard, a feature that the original Hovertrax didn't have. It also has LED indicators that show battery power and balance level, which do come in handy. Another thing that I liked about the Hovertrax 2.0 was the new design. The design for the original Hovertrax felt cheap and unoriginal, but the 2.0 has got it's own unique style. The fender bumpers are a nice addition as well, it helps protect the board from scratches and dings. I have not had many issues while riding the board over the course of the last few weeks, and the battery life has been solid.

Stats

  • Speed: 8 mph
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Battery Life: 12  miles (60 minutes of continuous riding)
  • Colors: 2
  • Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
  • Tilt: 15 degrees
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs
  • LED Lights: Battery power/ balance level indicator
  • Charger Included: Yes
  • Bluetooth Integrated: No
  • UL 2272 Certified: Yes
hoverboard fire explosion safe battery

How Do You Know if Your Hoverboard is Fire Safe?

hoverboard flames

 

With the reports of hoverboard related fires growing each week, it's natural for us as consumers to be concerned with the safety of these products. Fortunately, there is a considerable amount of due diligence that can be done before you purchase a hoverboard and as soon as you pull your self balancing scooter out of the box. For those of us that are concerned about safety, but don't want to do the detective work, we can let Amazon do a lot of the work for us. Recently, Amazon banned about 97% of hover boards from their online retail store. The remaining 3% of hoverboards were certified to have met a stringent set of battery and safety standards. These include UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery) and UL 60950-1 (charger) safety regulations. If you purchase any of the self balancing scooter brands currently available for sale on Amazon you can be reasonably assured that the battery and charger meet these standards and are safe for use.

Once you have purchased a hoverboard on Amazon or another retailer, there are a number of post purchase steps that you can take to ensure your safety. The most common problem that you will run into is knock-off and impersonator brands, this is less of a problem on Amazon, more so at other retailers. Email the company you purchased your board from, let's say HOVERBOARD, and double check to make sure that the seller of your self balancing scooter is authorized.  You will usually hear back from these companies quickly with a confirmation on the legitimacy  of the seller.

The final step that you can take to make sure that your board is hazard proof involves some hands on effort. I recently purchased a Swagway, so I'll run through the steps I took to manually check for potential fire hazards within the components on that board. You can apply these checks to any brand of Hoverboard. The first thing that you will need is a Phillips Head screw driver. There are about 22 screws holding the outer shell of the Swagway in place, you are going to need to unscrew all of these in order to remove the shell.

 

Inner components of hoverboard

There are a few things that you are going to want to inspect once you have a clean view of the internal components:

  • Check to make sure that the circuit boards are either green or blue in color.  You will have a total of 3 circuit boards to check, a mother board and two smaller circuit boards next to each wheel.  The low quality, impersonation brands will have a yellow circuit board while the premium brands will use green or blue circuit boards (green being most common and blue being the best).
  • Inspect the battery pack to make sure that it is labeled with the brand and strength of the battery. This should be a 36V battery produced by Samsung or LG (Swagway uses Samsung).
  • Make sure that the battery pack and largest circuit board are on opposite sides of the hoverboard. These two components generate the most heat, so you do not want them to be close to each other.

lithium ion battery pack

After completing this manual inspection of your hoverboard you can be reassured that your product is safer than many of the faulty brands on the market, however, there is no guarantee that your self balancing scooter will be 100% safe from any fire hazard. When using your hoverboard, always keep a few things in mind:

  1. Don't charge your board immediately after riding it, allow it to cool down for an hour or so first.
  2. Don't charge your hover board over night, you can usually get close to a full charge in much less than a full charge session. When charging our board for shorter periods of time you run a lower risk of overheating the battery, which is the main cause of fires.
  3. Charge your self balancing scooter far away from any flammable materials, in the rare case that there is an explosion within the battery you want any resulting fire to be contained.

While there is no way to be 100% certain you will never encounter a hoverboard fire without refraining from buying a hoverboard all together, if you follow the aforementioned steps your risk will decrease dramatically. For those of you skeptics who are still convinced every self balancing scooter is a ticking time bomb, I've got some good news for you. There are enough skeptic consumers, policymakers and organizations out there to make investing in safer battery technology a profitable alternative for the big brands. According to CNET, Stanford researchers may have already found a solution to exploding batteries. They have designed a special nano-nickel film to keep the lithium ion batteries from getting too hot. Unfortunately, this technology is not yet commercially available, and it may be months or years before we see it implemented in hoverboard batteries. Swagway has developed a board with even more safety features, dubbed the Swagtron. Swagway is already recognized as a premium brand with low fire risk. Additional safety features on the Swagtron, like a specially designed chamber to contain the lithium ion battery, will make this board even more appealing to cautious consumers.  This board isn't yet available to consumers, but is expected to be available sometime in February 2016.  As we've seen in the past with new technology, safety concerns shouldn't be viewed as an obstacle for business, but as an opportunity for leaders in the industry to step up and innovate.

 

 

**UPDATE: Check for UL 2272 certification before you buy! This is the certification recommended by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, you should only purchase a hoverboard if it meets this standard.

Where to buy a Hoverboard

Hoverboards have been one of the hottest selling gadgets over the past few months. Some big name celebrities such as Justin Beiber, Wiz Khalifa and John Legend have been seen riding them, and videos of these toys have gone viral many times over.

 

wiz khalifa riding hoverboard

 

With all of the buzz around self balancing scooters, it can still be difficult to get your hands on one. There are many reason why a lot of the main stream retailers aren’t carrying hover boards in their stores: various brands have infringed on each other’s patents and reports have surfaced of explosions caused by the lithium ion batteries used in some of the brands. With that said, there are still many brands that have met stringent safety standards and can be found both online and in brick and mortar storers, but we recommend checking out our reviews before you buy so that you know what you’re getting in to.

hoverboard selfbalancing scooter selection

There are various well known retailers that have self balancing scooters available for sale online, the most prominent being Amazon.  While Amazon removed about 97% of their hoverboard selection, they have been slowly adding back the brands that meet their safety standards. The safety standards put in place by Amazon assure you that you are getting a reliable product. For hoverboard safety, these standards include UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger). Amazon is certainly the retailer with the largest selection in hoverboards, but there are many other options out there when you are shopping around for a self balancing scooter. Other large name retailers that are carry hover boards include Target (only the online store), WalmartEbay and even Bed Bath and Beyond. Many individual hoverboard brands also sell their boards via their own website. With all of these choices, Amazon is going to have the largest selection of brands available, so we recommend checking them out, but  you have many options when it comes to retailers.  Do your research, and make sure to be safe when you do get your self balancing scooter.

 

UPDATE: Due to new safety regulations, hoverboards are no longer carried at Amazon, Target, Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond. You can still get them on Ebay, but not all Ebay retailers are reliable. We recommend buying straight from the manufacturer at StreetSaw or Skque. These are two high quality brands with brick and mortar shops set up in the USA.

 

 

Hover X Self Balancing Hoverboard Balance Scooter Review

Hover X Self Balancing Hoverboard Balance Scooter Review

Hover X Self Balancing Hoverboard Balance Scooter Review

                        ∗ UPDATE: Amazon no longer carries the Hover X. They do carry the Swagtron T1, the only UL2272 certified hoverboard.

Pros

Hover X is an American company that brings quality customer service and a premium 90 day warranty on their self balancing scooter. There are a lot of concerns about the quality of hover boards currently being mass produced in China, so the warranty and customer service are a huge plus for consumers. The Hover X is also one of the few self balancing scooters, along with the Hovertrax, currently carried by Amazon. The top speed is just under 10mph, which is right up there with the fastest hover boards on the market. A range of 10 miles on a single charge is also comparable to most other self balancing scooters. With two different riding modes, you can use the "learning mode" when you are starting out to get comfortable on this hoverboard, then switch to the skilled mode for a more robust riding experience when you are ready. A 15 degree tilt allows riders to climb small hills on the Hover X.

 

Cons

The Hover X encounters the same problems as other 7 inch wheel hoverboards, it is difficult to ride on rough terrains, and better suited to smooth surfaces. It also is not waterproof, so don't expect to take your Hover X board outside in the rain or snow. You also don't get a whole lot of extra features such as bluetooth capability or a remote control, but none of these features are necessary to enjoy a hoverboard. The plus side is that without such features you are able to purchase the Hover X at a lower price point.

 

Stats

  • Top speed: 10mph
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Range: 10 to 12 miles
  • Colors: 5
  • Weight capacity: 265 Pounds
  • Tilt: 15 degrees
  • Weight: 28 lbs
  • LED lights: Yes
  • Charger included: Yes
  • Bluetooth integrated: No
hoverboard flames

Amazon removes almost all hover boards from website

Amazon has removed as much as 97% of its hoverboard selection from its online marketplace. This comes at a crucial time, as demand for these products has picked up significantly going into the holiday season. Reports surfaced a few months ago that several models of self balancing scooters had burst into flames due to malfunctioning batteries.  Many different brands have been involved in the reported fires, although specific brand names have not been disclosed. The parts associated with the fires include the battery and chargers used in some brands of self balancing scooters. Many critics have been quick to blame the lithium ion batteries used in most hoverboard models for the fires. It is yet to be made clear whether it is the lithium ion batteries or the quality of the components surrounding the batteries that is causing these fires. Many of the cheap hoverboard brands that can be bought for as little a $300 each have cut corners with the build quality of their products, which is the most likely cause of these fires.

 

explode hoverboard

 

Many airlines have also banned hover boards in the wake of these reports. For consumers, this means that you will no longer be able to purchase the ERoverIO Hawk and Wonfast models that we have reviewed. Amazon is asking its sellers to comply with UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery) and UL 60950-1 (charger) safety standards.

Although many of the removed hoverboard brands claim to comply with these safety standards, Amazon has yet to add back any on the hover boards that they discontinued. Amazon marketplace still offers Razor, Jetson and Hover X models for sale, as they comply with the safety and quality standards in place. For now, we will have to wait and see if brands will make the necessary changes to meet the compliance levels.

 

UPDATE: 100% of the hoverboard selection has been removed from the Amazon website. There are still some quality hoverboards that you can buy directly from the manufacturer, currently we recommend the StreetSaw.

**UPDATE: Amazon once again carries hoverboards,  but only those that are UL 2272 certified.

IO Hawk hoverboard review smart self balancing electric scooter

IO Hawk Self-Balancing Scooter Review

IO Hawk hoverboard review smart self balancing electric scooter

UPDATE: Amazon no longer carries hoverboards in their online store. However, the Streetsaw and Skque hoverboards can still be found online.

 

Pros

This self balancing scooter has a range of up to 12 miles on a single charge, charge time is 3 hours - quick compared to a lot of hover boards on the market. This is made possible by a 36 volt 4.4 AH lithium ion battery that it comes equipped with. A tilt feature allows the IO Hawk to tackle some small inclines, and with treaded tires it can maneuver over cracks of up to .5 inches. It also comes with a cool remote that allows you to lock/unlock the board, turn on beginner mode, calibrate the hoverboard and turn it off. The lock/unlock feature and beginner mode will come in handy when you are first learning how to use the IO Hawk.

 

Cons

The IO Hawk has a top speed of 6.2 mph, about the same as the Wonfast hoverboard. While there are faster self balancing scooters, such as the ERover (up to 10mph), 6.2 mph is enough speed for most users. The price point is pretty high, with many features in common with the ERover, you should consider their scooter before purchasing an IO Hawk. Similar to the ERover, its 7-inch wheels  make the IO Hawk difficult to ride on rough terrains. It also doesn't perform well in wet weather conditions. 

 

Stats

  • Speed: 6.2 mph
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Battery life (12 miles - about 1.5 hours of continuous riding)
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 265 pounds
  • Tilt: 15 to 30 degrees
  • LED Lights: Yes
  • Charger Included: Yes
  • Bluetooth Integrated:No