The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Swagtron T1 Review

A quality board for those shopping on a budget
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $250 List | $248 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, tons of fun, great range and battery life
Cons:  Poor on rough roads and off-pavement, a little sluggish
Manufacturer:   Swagtron
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Nov 23, 2016
  • Share this article:
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 13
  • Fun Factor - 50% 7
  • Outdoor Capabilities - 20% 4
  • Support - 20% 7
  • Battery - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Swagtron T1 is the previous Best Buy Award recipient, and this scooter still packs a lot of value into a performance package. However, this model sacrifices a bit when it comes to power output, thus bringing it's fun factor and outdoor capabilities scores down a bit. Yet, it has a great battery life and decent customer support. This board is definitely worth a look as it offers a bit more performance than the current Best Buy winners for a corresponding increase in cost.

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!


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Swagtron T1
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $250 List
$247.99 at Amazon
$350 List$400 List
$379.00 at Amazon
$550 List
$391.99 at Amazon
$700 List
$599.99 at Amazon
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Inexpensive, tons of fun, great range and battery lifeThe best of the best – fun, stable, and comfortableFast, stable, great off-roadExceptional battery life, stable, does a fantastic job at handling varied terrainGreat at off-road, long battery life
Cons Poor on rough roads and off-pavement, a little sluggishNot great on rough roads, average battery lifeNot as agile, less funExpensive, harder to turn, not quite as funHeavy, not as agile
Bottom Line A quality board for those shopping on a budgetA great all-around board that is tons of fun to rideThis burly hoverboard is fast, stable, and an excellent pick for those that want a top of the line performance model at a decent price.The best board for the commuter, the Segway gets you where you need to goThis beast of a hoverboard is the perfect choice when you want to play off the pavement
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
63
100
0
69
100
0
69
100
0
66
100
0
63
Rating Categories Swagtron T1 Swagtron T3 Swagtron T6 Segway miniPro Epikgo Classic
Fun Factor (50%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
6
Outdoor Capabilities (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Support (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Battery (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Specs Swagtron T1 Swagtron T3 Swagtron T6 Segway miniPro Epikgo Classic
Measured Runtime 87 min 75 min 120 min 130 min 113 min
Measured Weight 22.8 lbs 24.4 lbs 31.7 lbs 30 lbs 32.2 lbs
Measured Speed 8.65 mph 8.67 mph 11.9 mph 10.36 mph 9.47 mph
Measured Range 7.9 mi. 5.3 mi. 12 mi. 12.8 mi. 7.2 mi.
Weight Limit 44 - 220 lbs 44 - 220 lbs 220 lbs. 220 lbs 265 lbs
Bluetooth No Yes; Music Yes; Music Yes; App No
Warranty 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited Limited 1 year parts and labor
Color Options 6
White
Blue
Black
Dark Red
Pink
Exclusive Gold
6
White
Blue
Black
Dark Red
Pink
Exclusive Gold
3
Desert Camo
Matte Black
Pink Camo
2
White
Black
3
Space Grey
Elite Silver
Rose Gold
Measured Charge Time 1 hour, 20 min. 1 hour, 15 min. 2 hours, 20 min. 3 hours 2 hours, 30 min.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Swagtron T1 forgoes some of the features and a tiny bit of the performance of other, higher priced, competitors to bring you a great hoverboard at a fair price. As always, Swagtron offers excellent customer support. This board made a good showing in our battery test as well. However, it suffered a bit in the fun factor and outdoor capability categories due to its lack of power.

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

Performance Comparison


Here at TechGearLab we understand that, with all the cool products out there to choose from, it can be frustrating to aggregate the information needed to choose the right item the first time and not get a haircut in the process. Luckily you have a friend in the business. So, let TechGearLab do the heavy lifting for you. We buy and test the products in realistic scenarios so that you get actionable information to make your decision. Our scientific analyzes are based on a suite of tests that allows us to quantify any statement made in our reviews. We call our test categories metrics, and the T1's performance in each one is discussed at length below.

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.

Fun Factor


The fun factor metric is the most important component in our evaluation and scoring of hoverboards, and it's probably the main reason why you are shopping for one of these machines in the first place. Accordingly, this metric makes up half of the overall product score. A big part of the Swagtron T1's high ranking is how well it did in this metric (7/10 points). First off, the T1 is available in a handful of colors. Cool! And, more importantly, it was well received by our hoverboard test team because it shredded our obstacle course. This was a pleasant surprise as its 250-watt motors are a bit underpowered to reasonably expect such as showing.

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

Spins, corners, slaloms, and straightaways; our obstacle course has them all. So, given that the T1's responsiveness and stability are on par with higher end models, it's no wonder that our panel of testers had a hoot ripping this joystick around. However, some testers noted that there is slightly less pickup when accelerating when compared to other top performers. Consequently, this board didn't feel quite as comfortable doing rapid back and forth direction changes. Finally, this board averaged a max speed of 8.65 mph in our top speed tests. Not too bad. Yet, testers reported a decrease in stability when approaching that speed.



While the T1 is available in three stock colors (black, blue, and red), it doesn't fit with the generic protective skin we purchased — at least not without altering it first. We were, however, able to squeeze it into the generic carrying case that we also purchased. Unfortunately, this board also lacks onboard speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. The absence of these playful add-ons hurt the Swagtron in the fun factor standings.

Outdoor Capabilities


While the natural habitat for most hoverboards is flat, smooth surfaces, we wanted to see how these products did when pushed them outside of their comfort zone. We tested them on grass, packed sand and dirt, bumpy, cracked, and uneven roads, as well as steep hills. The T1 did a mediocre job, earning it 4/10 points in this series of tests. This Swagtron has made it clear to our testers that it is best suited to hard surfaces.

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

The T1 did about average for the class in its handling of superficial cracks and bumps. However, it becomes unstable when confronted with larger obstacles. We found that the T1 has a narrow speed window where it would clear these larger impediments; too slow and you would be stopped in your tracks, too fast and you're likely to get bucked.

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.

Given the motors that this board is working with, we think that it did a pretty good job rolling over packed sand and dirt. However, its performance dropped substantially on recently mown grass, and utterly failed in the shaggier lawn. It also performed poorly ascending and descending hills. Testers reported feeling pushback on ascents that restricted their speed, ultimately forcing them to dismount. The descent tests were without incident. However, the board felt extremely finicky and that did not engender confidence among testers.

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


Customer support makes up a substantial 20 percent of a board's overall score. This is unusual for most of our electronic vehicle reviews. As it turns out, hoverboards are relatively easy to damage even when used correctly. Having a decent warranty, and a helpful manufacturer can make all the difference in remaining satisfied with your purchase. All and all the Swagtron T1 did well in this category, earning a respectable 7/10 points.

To test for support we contacted the manufacturer and posed a technical question. We then timed how long it took for them to respond and how helpful their response was in resolving our hypothetical problem. Additionally, we researched what the warranty covered and for how long. Swagtron can be contacted via email or phone for warranty claims and technical support. We went with an email that inquired about switching on/ off the learning mode on our board and then we waited for their response. While they did respond quickly, their response wasn't very precise when compared to other manufacturers. Finally, the T1 comes with a one-year warranty that is limited to manufacturer defects.

An additional and arguably more important component of the support metric is an analysis of whether one will need support in the first place. In other words: how durable are these products. At the conclusion of our tests we scored each board on how well it held up to the tribulation of our testing process and what damage they received. The T1 sustained minimal damage which was restricted to minor scrapes and scuffs. However, it did lose the charging port dust cap early on. A minor inconvenience to be sure.

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.

Battery


Last, but certainly not least is our battery metric. As the name implies, this category of analysis is focused on battery life. The T1 did decently in this test, earning 6/10 points. Scores are based on the maximum range of the board, runtime, and the time it takes to recharge the battery when the charge is fully depleted. Our range test provided these boards with ideal surface 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. Unfortunately, this performance was not repeated in the runtime test, as the board called it quits after 1 hour, 27 minutes. This latter test is conducted in our obstacle course and is quite a bit more taxing on the motors and batteries as it forces the board to change directions and speed constantly throughout the duration of 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.

The T1 was fairly efficient at recharging its power supply as well. All said and done, the battery cell takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes to completely recharge following a complete drain.

Value


The Swagtron T1 is a fantastic value, so much so that it previously held our Best Buy award. This board forgoes the fluff that you don't need, but still offers all the performance you want to be happy with your investment.

Conclusion


The Swagtron T1's solid performance combined with its modest price tag makes it a sound investment for someone shopping on a budget. Despite the acceleration and stability issues, we found this board to be tons of fun to ride. While it does struggle a little bit in rough terrain, it can squeak by if necessary. Which is more than it was built to do. Finally, this board is durable, it has a solid battery life, and a decent support team, all of which will keep you happily hovering around without breaking the bank.


David Wise and Austin Palmer