Hover-1 Chrome Review
Pros: Onboard speakers, light weight, customer service
Cons: Weak motors, bumpy ride, short run time
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hover-1 Chrome is a competitively priced board that is not designed for larger riders. If you are looking to buy a toy — as opposed to a vehicle — for a kid, this is a good choice as it's fairly nimble, it has speakers, lights, a cool color scheme, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. That said, this board becomes increasingly sluggish as the weight of the rider increases.
Of course, having a good time is the reason that most people are looking to purchase a hoverboard. Our evaluation of the fun factor of the Chrome showed it to be about average for the class. This assessment was made by a 180-pound rider — what we consider to be the heavy end of what this machine can handle. So, this average appraisal of the fun factor would likely increase as the rider's weight decreased.
While fun is something that most people just have, we use a built to purpose obstacle course to standardize the comparison of one board's fun factor to another. The Titan felt pretty responsive as it accelerated out of corners, reversed, and sped through S-turns. It's no speed demon, however, topping out at 6.3 mph. Adding to the fun are the onboard speakers that connect via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the board only comes in three colors (blue, gunmetal, and pink), and there are no skins available that fit this model.
The outdoor capabilities metric assays the board's ability to traverse terrain that is loose, bumpy, and steep. To put it succinctly, the Chrome is not cut out for much aside from flat, smooth pavement. Of particular concern was the board's ability to climb hills of any steepness.
In our incline test we took the boards up and down a 750 ft hill with a 14% grade. Well, in the case of the Chrome, we should say that we attempted this roundtrip. The board had scarcely started up the grade before giving up the ghost. We also looked at its ability to move over, grass, dirt, and sand, as well as cracks and bumps in the street. While this model is not designed to handle such terrain, we were pleased with the smoothness of the ride on broken tarmac. Suffice it to say that all other surfaces should be avoided if possible.
We usually do not interact with the manufacturers whose products we are testing. However, more than other products, hoverboards require help troubleshooting little problems that arise. As such, we reach out to the manufacturers with problems and time their response lag and the helpfulness of the response. While Hover-1 relies solely on email as the point of contact, their response was timely (same day) and satisfactory.
Given that we ride the heck out of these machines during testing, some ware occurs. As such we also look at the damage sustained from hard riding as the conclusion of the evaluation. The shape of this board limits abrasions to a single point on each finder, which is good. However, the bottom of our board showed significant scratching due to the off-road riding we attempted.
Our battery evaluation consists of three submetrics: range, run time, and recharge time. The Chrome has an effective range of 3.9 miles on smooth, flat ground. In our obstacle course, the battery could keep the wheels turning for a run time of just under 1 hour. Last but not least, the recharge interval on a fully drained battery was 4.25 hours. This is quite long considering the truncated run time relative to other models in the class. All and all, the Hover-1 delivered a subpar performance in the battery evaluation.
Given the Hover-1's low sticker price and relatively low performance, we think that it is appropriately priced. That said we wouldn't describe it as having great value. One simply gets what they paid for with this machine.
While the Hover-1 Chrome is priced to move, it should not be mistaken for a great deal, particularly if the rider will be on the larger end of the scale. However, if you are in the market for a toy for a youngster this is a good place to start. The Chrome performed reasonably well in our obstacle course, and it has LED lights, speakers, and Bluetooth capabilities. With the right sized rider, this board is a hoot.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer