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Hands-on Gear Review
Hoverzon XLS ReviewPrice: $499 List | $324.38 at Amazon
Pros: Fun board, maneuverable, and comfortable to ride
Cons: Terrible support, so-so battery life and off-road skills
Bottom line: The abysmal customer support is a deal breaker for this board
The Hoverzon XLS is a typical hoverboard, but unfortunately fell a little short in our testing. While it was ranked as one of the most fun boards to ride on a flat course, it dropped to the middle of the pack when it came to outdoor capabilities and battery life. Topping that off was an absolutely abysmal performance in our support metric. All in all, these deficiencies coupled with a higher list price force us to recommend looking at a different model.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
After initially showing a strong performance, the Hoverzon fizzled out the more we tested it. Earning an overall score of 52 out of 100, this board ended up in the lower half of all the model we tested. This product is severely bogged down by the complete lack of support we found, as well as some troubling tendencies when faced with steep hills.
This was the only metric that the Hoverzon really excelled in, earning a 7 out of 10. This made up the lion's share of the overall score, comprising 50 percent of it, but the Hoverzon's deficiencies in the other categories prevented it from winning any awards. The fun factor test was split up into parts, with the majority of the score coming from how fast the board was and how well it was rated by our testing panel when using it to complete our obstacle course track.
Our testers noted that this board was stable at speed and at spinning, but that it was easy to get thrown off if pushed to the absolute max. This board also wasn't quite the best at doing rapid, back and forth direction changes, but it was still possible to do them. This board hit a maximum speed of 8.83 mph in our tests.
This model comes is available in six colors, and has a carrying handle built in. The Hoverzon was about average when it came to weight, clocking in at 24.8 pounds. In addition, this board also has Bluetooth capabilities to play music, but unfortunately did not fit any of the easily available, third-party accessories.
Next, we looked at how each board fared when exposed to the great outdoors. To test this, we ran the boards over cracks, bumps, and thresholds, traversed grass, dirt, and sand, and tried to ascend and descend the steepest of hills. The Hoverzon did all right, earning a 5 out of 10.
This model did all right at clearing cracks and thresholds, even at slower speeds, performing exceptionally similar to the Swagtron T3. It felt about the same when riding over packed dirt and short grass, but definitely faltered a bit when trying to ride over longer, squishy grass.
The biggest complaint we had with this board was when descending a steep hill. While the board made it up the hill fine, it appears to have momentarily lost power or disengaged the motors, causing you to freewheel down the hill. This happened multiple times throughout our tests on steep hills, and never failed to cause a few moments of sheer terror before the wheels re-engaged. This should definitively exclude this model from your selection if you plan on riding anywhere with steep hills.
Support is important, as these products can become damaged relatively easily, and can represent a significant investment. We looked at how easy it was to contact the company, the level of support we received based on our inquiries, and the relative durability of each board, based on the damage it sustained during our tests. This model did not do well here, earning the lowest score we give, a 1 out of 10.
We never successfully contacted this company, after multiple attempts. The listed support phone number led us through a circular chain of automated message systems, and there was no other contact info that we found. We felt this effectively negated their claimed one-year warranty, as what good is a warranty if you can't even contact the company to make a claim? The only upside was this model sustained relatively little damage throughout our testing process.
The last component of our score was comprised of the battery life test. The Hoverzon did average, earning a 5 out of 10.
This board lasted for 1 hour, 22 minutes in our runtime test. This took place in our obstacle course, where the board had to change directions, spin, carve, and drive at its max speed multiple times each lap. Next, we looked at how far you could actually travel on this product before you would be stranded. This board made it a total of five miles before throwing in the towel, about average for these products. Finally, we compared the manufacturer's claimed charge time with our tested charge time. Surprisingly, it only took 1 hour, and 20 minutes to charge — better than the claimed 2-3 hours.
This board is by far not the best value out there. It scored poorly in our tests, and had a higher list price than some of the award winners in this category.
All in all, it is hard to recommend this product. The completely non-existent support is somewhat of a deal breaker, coupled with its downright terrifying tendency to fail on steep hills. We would caution against this model, and instead suggest you check out one of are other picks.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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