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GOTRAX Hoverfly ECO Review

This budget-conscious board has plenty of kid-friendly features, but adults may find it a bit weak
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Price:   $200 List | $180 at Amazon
Pros:  Fun colors and prints available, inexpensive
Cons:  Underpowered, doesn’t do well on rough roads
Manufacturer:   GOTRAX
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 18, 2018
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42
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Fun Factor - 50% 4
  • Outdoor Capabilities - 20% 3
  • Support - 20% 6
  • Battery - 10% 4

Our Verdict

While we weren't totally enamored with the GOTRAX Hoverfly in terms of its overall performance, it does have some benefits. It comes in a variety of fun colors to keep kids enthralled, but definitely feels very underpowered for adult riders. It also doesn't do terribly well on any rough or uneven ground and struggles to drive up most hills. However, if you want a fun hoverboard for kids that won't break the bank, then the GOTRAX Hoverfly is a solid choice.


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Price $200 List
$179.99 at Amazon
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$300 List
$199.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Fun colors and prints available, inexpensiveFast, stable, great off-roadThe best of the best – fun, stable, and comfortableExceptional battery life, stable, does a fantastic job at handling varied terrainInexpensive, tons of fun, great range and battery life
Cons Underpowered, doesn’t do well on rough roadsNot as agile, less funNot great on rough roads, average battery lifeExpensive, harder to turn, not quite as funPoor on rough roads and off-pavement, a little sluggish
Bottom Line This budget-conscious board has plenty of kid-friendly features, but adults may find it a bit weakThis burly hoverboard is fast, stable, and an excellent pick for those that want a top of the line performance model at a decent price.A great all-around board that is tons of fun to rideThe best board for the commuter, the Segway gets you where you need to goThe best bet for those shopping on a budget without sacrificing quality
Rating Categories Hoverfly ECO Swagtron T6 Swagtron T3 Segway miniPro Swagtron T1
Fun Factor (50%)
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
Outdoor Capabilities (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
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5
10
0
9
10
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4
Support (20%)
10
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6
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
10
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7
Battery (10%)
10
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4
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9
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5
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6
Specs Hoverfly ECO Swagtron T6 Swagtron T3 Segway miniPro Swagtron T1
Measured Runtime 50 min 120 min 75 min 130 min 87 min
Measured Weight 18 lbs 31.7 lbs 24.4 lbs 30 lbs 22.8 lbs
Measured Speed 6 mph 11.9 mph 8.67 mph 10.36 mph 8.65 mph

Our Analysis and Test Results

Finishing quite low in the group, the Hoverfly only really bested the Razor Hovertrax, which is a bit less fun and costs double the price. It finished right behind the Swagtron T580, which does a bit better on rough roads and has better customer support, but the Hoverfly has a better battery life. However, the T580 retails for almost $200 more than the GOTRAX Hoverfly.

We weren't that impressed with the Hoverfly.
We weren't that impressed with the Hoverfly.

Performance Comparison


We have been testing hoverboards for almost two years now, continually buying all of the best and most promising models on the market and comparing their performance side-by-side. We divided out tests into four different group — Outdoor Capabilities, Support, Battery, and Fun Factor — each weighted based on their importance, with the results of the Hoverfly discussed below.

This board is alright to ride around  but a little underpowered.
This board is alright to ride around, but a little underpowered.

Fun Factor


By far the most important group of tests, our Fun Factor set of tests is responsible for half of the total score for each hoverboard. We graded each product on its top speed and how much fun it was to ride around in our obstacle course, as well as its weight, the different color availabilities, and if there was a built-in Bluetooth speaker. The Hoverfly is slightly below average in terms of fun, earning it a 4 out of 10.

This board doesn't have a Bluetooth speaker but it is one of the lightest boards that we have tested. This makes it very easy to carry and transport when you aren't riding it.


Unfortunately, this board is also one of the lowest boards of the group, somewhat cutting into the amount of fun you have while riding it.


This also made it a bit less exciting when riding around and moving through our obstacle course, as it didn't accelerate very quickly with an adult tester on it and definitely didn't feel as maneuverable.

However, it is available in the widest variety of colors out of any board. This is a standard hoverboard, so most third-party accessories should be compatible, such as protective skins or go-kart adapters.

The Hoverfly didn't do the best off the smooth level ground.
The Hoverfly didn't do the best off the smooth level ground.

Outdoor Capabilities


Next, we moved on to testing out how well board fared when operating in less than ideal conditions. We took each self-balancing scooter into the great outdoors, riding them across cracked roads, over bumps, through grass and dirt, and up and down a variety of hills. The GOTRAX was a bit of a disappointment, meriting a 3 out of 10 for its results.

This hoverboard is best suited for flat ground, beginning to struggle as soon as it tried to make it up any sort of inclined ground. It also didn't do particularly well at driving over grass or packed dirt, doing slightly better on the packed dirt than the grass.

This board might be great fun for a kid but feels quite weak for adults.
This board might be great fun for a kid but feels quite weak for adults.

It did a little better in our rough road test, performing about average for a 6.5" wheel diameter hoverboard, which is to say overall not great, but it didn't do noticeably worse than the others.

It felt quite jarring to drive over cracks with the GOTRAX.
It felt quite jarring to drive over cracks with the GOTRAX.

Finally, we noticed that this board again struggled when trying to clear larger bumps or thresholds, stalling out as it tried to clear the obstacle and usually causing us to step — or fall — off. Overall, you should essentially steer clear of the GOTRAX if you are planning on riding anywhere besides smooth, level pavement.

Support


Next, we evaluated the customer support service for each product. These boards are prone to breaking with rough use and occasionally require technical support to get the sensors to reset or sort out other issues, so we found it to be invaluable to have a support staff that is both helpful and easily accessible. We rated the helpfulness of the support staff for our questions and their timeliness in responding, as well as if there is an actual phone number you can call and the included warranty for each product. We also inspected each board at the conclusion of our testing process for signs of major damage, awarding points for how well each one was holding up. Altogether, these tests combine to account for 20% of the overall score, with the Hoverfly scoring quite well and earning a 6 out of 10.

This hoverboard held up to our testing process quite well, only exhibiting some minor scrapes and scratches, but didn't suffer any critical damage. There is a phone number available to contact the GOTRAX support staff during the week, or you can reach out via email or chat through their site. They responded quite quickly to our emailed questions and were very helpful in their responses, earning the Hoverfly a solid score in this test.

The warranty is a little on the short side, only a 90-day limited one with the terms specified on their website.

This board has one of the shorter battery lives of the entire group.
This board has one of the shorter battery lives of the entire group.

Battery


For the remaining 10% of the total score, we assessed the battery life of each board, awarding points for the maximum runtime, range, and time to recharge. The Hoverfly delivered a slightly below average performance, earning a 4 out of 10.

For our runtime test, we ran each board through our obstacle course until it died, completing plenty of back-and-forths and spins along the way. The Hoverfly called it quits after about 50 minutes — one of the shortest times of the group.


For the range test, we drove each board as fast as we could on level ground to see how far it would travel if you actually wanted to use it as a method of transport. Unfortunately, the Hoverfly didn't quite live up to its purportedly 12-mile range, only making it about 8 miles in our test with an adult rider. This put it close to the back of the group.


However, it does charge quite fast, only requiring about 2 hours to complete refill a totally depleted battery.

Value


All in all, the Hoverfly is a solid value if you are shopping for a child or very petite rider and only plan on riding on clean, flat pavement.

Conclusion


The Hoverfly ECO is not our favorite self-balancing scooter by any means, but it's packed with kid-friendly features and isn't terribly expensive. However, it will definitely be a disappointment for larger riders or for those that plan on taking it off-road or on anything more extreme than completely flat pavement.


David Wise and Austin Palmer