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Swagtron T1 Review

Best Buy Award
Price:   $499 List | $259.17 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, tons of fun, great range and battery life
Cons:  Poor on rough roads and off-pavement, a little sluggish
Bottom line:  The best bet for those shopping on a budget without sacrificing quality
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Swagtron

Our Verdict

Winning our Best Buy Award, the Swagtron T1 gives you the best bang for the buck when it comes to hoverboards. One step down from the T3, our top scorer, the T1 tied for third place with an overall score of 63 out of 100. This model sacrifices a bit when it comes to power to save costs, bringing its fun factor and outdoor capabilities scores down, but has a great battery life — all at an affordable price. This is definitely our recommendation if you are shopping on a budget. This model is currently available in six colors, giving you the option between the T1 red, T1 Gold, T1 White, T1 Blue, T1 Pink, or the black version off the main link above.

The Swagtron T5.
Shopping for the Children?
The Swagtron T5 has a reduced top speed, shorter range, and has a lower maximum weight limit, but is lighter and at a reduced cost, making it a good bet for the little ones. This board also complies with the UL 2272 safety standard. Just remember to always supervise children and ensure they are wearing proper safety equipment!


RELATED REVIEW: Best Hoverboards and Self-Balancing Scooters of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Wednesday
November 23, 2016

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One step down from the Swagtron T3, the Swagtron T1 forgoes some of the extra features and a tiny bit of performance to bring you a great hoverboard at an affordable price. Continuing the same great customer support, this board actually did better than the T3 in our battery test, but did have a slight drop in fun factor and all-terrain skills. This is due to the T1 being slightly underpowered relative to the T3, but it still did well enough to warrant the Best Buy Award.

The Swagtron T1 by Swagway.
The Swagtron T1 by Swagway.

Performance Comparison


Fun Factor


The Swagtron T1 lacked the power and stability to really thrive in the skatepark  but fun was still had by all.
The Swagtron T1 lacked the power and stability to really thrive in the skatepark, but fun was still had by all.
The most important rating metric, and probably the main reason you are buying one of these products in the first place, is fun factor. This metric made up half of the overall score for this category, and part of the Swagtron T1's appeal is how well it did. This board earned a 7 out of 10, putting it in tie for the runner-up position. The T1 is available in a handful of colors, and was well received by our expert panel of hoverboard riders in its obstacle course trial.

The T1 was nice and snappy  handling our slalom course with ease.
The T1 was nice and snappy, handling our slalom course with ease.

Our panel of riders very much enjoyed using this board on our test track, with all of the spins, corners, slaloms, and straightaways that it offered. This board was fun, maneuverable, and handled the higher speed sections with stability. We did note that this board had slightly less pickup than the top performers. Consequently, this board didn't feel quite as comfortable doing rapid back and forth direction changes, but still performed well enough to keep everyone on the board throughout. This board hit a max speed of 8.65 mph in our top speed test, though it didn't feel all that stable when riding it at its max.



This board is available in six colors: white, black, blue, red, pink, and gold. It didn't really fit with the generic protective skin we got — at least without trimming the skin — but it did just barely fit in the generic carrying case. It is also possible to purchase a case from the manufacturer that is tailored to fit. This board does lack a built-speaker, or any sort of mobile device connectivity.

Outdoor Capabilities


While most hoverboard's natural environment is flat, smooth pavement, we wanted to see how these products did when pushed outside of their comfort zone. We tested them on grass, packed sand and dirt, bumpy, cracked, and uneven roads, as well as steep, steep hills. The Swagtron T1 did a mediocre job, earning it a 4 out of 10. This board is definitely happier staying on smooth, flat pavement.

The T1 noticeably struggled trying to ride through the grass.
The T1 noticeably struggled trying to ride through the grass.

This board did about average handling smaller cracks in the road, but was fickle when it came to larger cracks or small thresholds. There was a very small speed window where it would clear them — too slow and you would be stopped dead in your tracks, too fast and your were prone to getting knocked off the board. This board also did an all right job covering sand and dirt, but only if it was well packed down.

Not the best at cruising through the dirt  but it did an all right job at tackling short sections.
Not the best at cruising through the dirt, but it did an all right job at tackling short sections.

Its performance dropped substantially on grass, with it barely making it through sections of short grass, and completely failing at longer, squishy grass. It also performed poorly on the steep hill, both up and down. It felt like the pushback to limit top speed engaged on the ascent, forcing our tester to rapidly dismount. The descent was without incident, but the board felt extremely finicky and did not necessarily instill confidence in the rider with regards to its stability.

Live in an area with lots of steep hills? If so  then the T1 might not be for you.
Live in an area with lots of steep hills? If so, then the T1 might not be for you.

Support


Making up an unusually large 20 percent of the overall score, customer support is a surprisingly important metric for hoverboards. The Swagtron T1 did well in this category, earning a respectable 7 out of 10. Hoverboards can be broken easily, and can represent a substantial investment. Having a helpful manufacturer with a warranty on their products can make all the difference in the world when it comes to instilling enough confidence in you to purchase. To test this, we rated the quality and promptness of a response to a technical question we sent i , whether or not we could even contact the manufacturer by phone and/or email, and what warranty existed. We also scored each board on how well it held up to the trials of our testing process and what damage it received.

Only a few scratches gave any indication of the barrage of tests we put this board through.
Only a few scratches gave any indication of the barrage of tests we put this board through.

This board sustained minimal damage, restricted to the minor scrapes and scuffs you can see in the above photo, though it did lose the protective dust cap to its charging port early on. This board comes with a one-year limited warranty, and the manufacturer, Swagway, can be contacted via email or phone for claims or technical support. We emailed in asking how to switch between modes on the board, and while they did respond quickly, it wasn't the most helpful response we received.

Battery


Our final ranking metric, battery life, made up 10 percent of the total score. The T1 did decently well in this test, earning a 6 out of 10. Scores were based on the maximum range of the board, its runtime, and the time it took to fully recharge the battery when completely drained. Our range test gave these boards ideal conditions to run on, with our test loop consisting of flat smooth pavement. The T1 did a great job, traveling for 7.9 miles before the battery died, the second highest distance out of all the boards. Unfortunately, this great performance dropped off in our runtime test, with this board calling it quits after 1 hour, 27 minutes in our obstacle course. That test is much more taxing on the motors and batteries, as it forces the board to change directions and speed almost constantly throughout the test.

This model charged quickly  and lasted close to eight miles in our range test.
This model charged quickly, and lasted close to eight miles in our range test.

This board did do well in the charging portion of our test, only taking about 1 hour, 20 minutes to completely fill up in our test.

Value


The Swagtron T1 is a fantastic value, great enough to earn it our Best Buy Award. This board forgoes the fluff that you don't need, but still offers all the performance you need to be happy with your investment.

Conclusion


The Swagtron T1 is a great performing product at an affordable price, making it the perfect option for someone who is shopping on a budget. This board is still tons of fun to ride, even if it does have a little less acceleration, and is stable enough to not be worrisome. While it does struggle a little at the off-road and rough terrain, it can still squeak by, though we might recommend a different model if you plan on exclusively riding those types of surfaces. This model has a solid battery life, a strong support team, and will keep you happily hovering around without breaking the bank.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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Unbiased.