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Hoverheart Review

A good board for those shopping on a shoestring budget but still looking to make a splash
The Hoverheart
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Price:   $190 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, lots of lights
Cons:  Weak motors, long recharge time, lackluster customer support
Manufacturer:   Hoverheart
By Nick Miley, David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 29, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Fun Factor - 50% 6
  • Outdoor Capabilities - 20% 5
  • Support - 20% 5
  • Battery - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Hoverheart is a solid pick for those who like a little flashiness with their fun but don't want to break the bank in pursuit of some flair. This is not the best performing board by any stretch of the imagination, yet the Hoverheart had few complaints from our testers — quite the opposite. Many were impressed with the built-in Bluetooth speaker that adequately pumped out the tunes while cruising and the myriad of flashing LED lights. It's a unique, reliable hoverboard at a great price and definitely worth your consideration.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Our testing revealed that the Hoverheart is a slightly above average product for a below-average price. While the performance of this board isn't anything to write home about, the add-ons — like the plethora of LED lights and onboard speaker — do warrant a short text. To say that this board is flashy is like saying Burning Man is dusty; it's a bit of an understatement. This board is like a disco on two wheels. So, if you're looking to turn some heads and still make rent then look no further than the Hoverheart.

The Hoverheart.
The Hoverheart.

Performance Comparison


To determine which hoverboards are the best in class we buy the most highly-regarded and popular models on the market. We then create a testing regiment that evaluates the most important aspects contributing to a quality product and a positive customer experience. Standardized testing allows us to make direct comparisons across a variety of products within the same class. We split our testing process into four metrics: Fun Factor, Support, Outdoor Capabilities, and Battery Life, each weighted based on its overall significance. The details of the Hoverheart's performance in each of these metrics are outlined in the sections below.

Our lead tester cruising around to test the fun factor.
Our lead tester cruising around to test the fun factor.

Fun Factor


Our research indicates that the number one reason people buy hoverboards is that they're fun. In matching with this expectation we have created, and heavily weighted, a metric that tests for factors promoting a certain type of experience that many would describe as fun. We call this metric the fun factor, and the series of tests that are grouped under this heading account for 50% of each board's total score. These tests include an obstacle course, speed trials, color options, weight, light, Bluetooth connectivity, and the availability of aftermarket add-ons such as protective skins and bags. The Hoverheart did quite well in this metric.


With a top speed of 8.3 mph, the Hoverheart isn't the fastest board we've tested. Yet, the board is stable at speed, lending a feeling of ease that other models lack when cruising at full tilt.


Additionally, the board is quite nimble and maneuverable. However, it does feel a bit underpowered when performing dynamic changing directions or rapid back and forth movements. These limitations are exacerbated as the weight of the rider increases.

You can't hear it  but the speakers are pumping out some tunes.
You can't hear it, but the speakers are pumping out some tunes.

However, the Hoverheart's flashing LED lights, and built-in Bluetooth speaker do much to mitigate the losses in fun provoked by the modest shortfall in motor power. When your busting illuminated spin moves and blasting your favorite jams, you might forget about the lack of pick-up in your new whip.

The flashing lights are sure way to draw attention or light up the night.
The flashing lights are sure way to draw attention or light up the night.

Weighing in at 21.9 lbs, this board is on the lighter side of the class. While many won't think to consider weight — especially as a feature contributing to fun — it really matters. Eventually, you'll have to carry the board, and we think you'll agree that carrying heavy things is not that enjoyable. Seriously, imagine a kid who has to carry one of these boards up a flight of stairs or just out of the house. Some models weigh over 30 lbs! Finally, the Hoverheart's shape is relatively generic. Thus, it's compatible with many third-party accessories such as carrying cases, protective silicon skins, and even go-kart conversion kits.


Finally, as of this writing the Hoverheart comes in a whopping 25 different colors — the greatest number of options in the class — allowing you plenty of choices to match your style.

This board is better suited for pavement.
This board is better suited for pavement.

Outdoor Capabilities


All of the fun factor testing occurred on flat and smooth surfaces ideal for hoverboarding. Unfortunately for hoverboarders the world isn't entirely smooth and flat. So, after concluding the fun factor evaluation, we next concerned ourselves with how these machines handle more demanding terrain. Thus the outdoor capabilities metric was born. This metric comprises 20% of the total score and assesses how well a board performed when venturing off the road. We scored each product on how well it traversed sand, dirt, and grass, and how it performed when ascending and descending a steep hill. The Hoverheart delivered an acceptable showing leaving some testers surprised at what this little whip could do when put to the task.


Let's get the bad news out of the way first. This model didn't do very well in the hill-climbing analysis. Steep inclines reveal the Hoverheart lack of power, making progress in fits and starts. Complicating this issue is the board's self-balancing feature that will keep the board up-right sans the rider. While this feature is beneficial on level ground, it has an unexpected consequence. If you happen to fall or step off the board while descending a hill, the board will continue the descent without a pilot. Yikes!

The Hoverheart is self balancing  like the Razor  and doesn't usually roll over if you fall off.
The Hoverheart is self balancing, like the Razor, and doesn't usually roll over if you fall off.

Moreover, the Hoverheart struggles traversing grass, sand, and dirt. Its hard, narrow tires and low clearance just aren't cut out for that kind of terrain.

On the other hand, this little board can handle inconsistencies in pavement — such as crack and heaves — better than most with this build. Thus its use isn't limited to the driveway or park. Testers cruised around the surface streets near our lab without incident.

Support


Customer support is a big part of a quality experience with a hoverboard as they are not as resilient as one would hope. As such, we have weighted the support metric at 20% of the total score. The Hoverheart scored about average in this analysis which took into account the manufacturer's response to our hypothetical questions and protection offered by the warranty. Additionally, we assessed the durability of the board because a tough board means less customer support needed.


First, we contacted the hoverboard manufacturer a technical question about recalibrating the board's balance and timed how long it took them to respond. Hoverheart responded rapidly via email, and their response was constructive. They also earned a few extra points by having a contact phone number. However, the Hoverheart has one of the shortest warranty periods of the entire group at only 30 days.

Battery


Battery life was also evaluated for each board. We tested how long the boards ran while continually traversing an obstacle course. We assessed their travel radius — or range — on an ideal surface.


Finally, we recorded the time required to recharge a dead battery. The Hoverheart scored in the middle of the group in this metric, performing as well or better than some more expensive products.


The Hoverheart lasted for about an hour and twenty minutes riding around our obstacle course. This course has a variety of different twists and turns, as well as a slalom section. All of which simulate playing on the board, rather than commuting. Or, in other words, using the board as a toy rather than a vehicle.

Value


The Hoverheart is a great option when shopping for a value hoverboard, offering solid performance at an extremely modest price.

Conclusion


When used on flat and smooth ground, the Hoverheart is a worthwhile product. It performs well across all metrics without any glaring drawbacks. Perhaps best suited to smaller riders, this board is super flashy and plenty of fun to boot.


Nick Miley, David Wise and Austin Palmer