The best of the best, the Swagtron T3 took home the top score and the Editors' Choice Award for this category. This model was the most fun to ride, striking the perfect balance of agility and stability. This model allowed you to do quick, snappy turns without being too concerned about crashing, as well as having the power to keep up with you through rapid direction changes. In addition, the T3 had some fun extra features, like a Bluetooth speaker, and did an all right job at handling outdoor obstacles, and had a great customer support team.
T3 being replaced by the T380
It appears that Swagtron is phasing out the T3 to be replaced by the T380. This board has almost the identical specs, except for an "upgraded 250W motor and gear stabilization for tighter traction" according to the manufacturer. However, the motor has not increased wattage, so we expect it to perform very similarly to the original T3. We have replaced the link to the newer model, as it retails for the same price and the previous model is becoming harder to find as it is phased out.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The top hoverboard for most people, the Swagtron T3 has everything that you would want in a hoverboard. It has a decent range and battery life, and does an all right job of tackling outdoor and off-road obstacles, but there is one metric where this board really shines: fun factor. This board thrived in our obstacle course, doing all sorts of slaloms, turns, donuts and direction changes with ease, and has the bonus feature of a built-in Bluetooth speaker — ensuring you can always be riding in style with the perfect tunes for the occasion.
Shopping for the Kids?
The Swagtron T5 is a smaller, entry-level board that is a great fit. This board is slightly less powerful, has a reduced range, and a lower maximum weight limit, but is lighter and is substantially less expensive. This board also meets the UL 2272 safety standard. Just a quick reminder — Safety first! Always make sure the rider is wearing proper safety equipment, and children should be supervised when riding!
As mentioned above, this is the area where the Swagtron T3 truly shines, earning the highest score of 8 out of 10 in this metric. Our expert, fun-loving panel took turns riding this board through a carefully designed obstacle course, to really push the limits of these products and to see how each one stacked up. In addition, we also measured the top speed, the weight, and evaluated some other additional fun features, such as colors, or Bluetooth connectivity
The majority of the score in this category was derived from the opinion of our panel while riding this model through the obstacle course, and this model was well-received across the board. The Swagtron T3 was regarded as the favorite among our testers. This board is stable through spins and turns, as well as at its maximum speed. One component of our obstacle course involved rapid back-and-forth sections — something that can be problematic for hoverboards. An underpowered board can fail to keep up with you, causing you to stumble and fall off the board.
The Swagtron T3 did an exceptional job at this, with our panel noting that it was great at back-and-forths, and had none of the sluggishness that other boards had. This board hit a top speed of 8.67 mph in our test, and felt nice and comfortable at that speed, with no stability issues.
The T3 is available in a variety of colors: black, blue, pink, white, red, and gold. This hoverboard also comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker, allowing you to accompany your ride with all your favorite songs at all times. Unfortunately, this board did not fit the generic silicon protective skin or carrying case we found, but it is possible to purchase a specially made carrying case directly from the manufacturer.
The Swagtron T3's performance did falter a little bit when it came to outdoor capabilities, dropping down to a 5 out of 10. This is understandable, as any of the standard, smaller-wheeled hoverboards are at a huge disadvantage on any sort of varied terrain when compared to their big-wheeled brethren.
We evaluated how each board did at traversing patches of long and short grass, hard-packed sand and dirt, crossing a stretch of cracked and bumpy pavement, as well as ascending and descending the steepest hill we could find — a 14 percent grade. This model definitely did not thrive in the off-road conditions, only doing an all right job at crossing patches of short, packed grass and noticeably struggling with the dirt and sand.
The T3 did a better job at handling cracks and bumps in the road, probably the best of all the standard small-wheel hoverboards that we tested. This model also did an acceptable job ascending the hill, but did struggle on the descent. During some of our trials, the motor would appear to lock up and stutter slightly — definitely an unsettling experience. All in all, the smaller wheel models seem unsuited for steep grades.
Customer service and support is an exceptionally important aspect for these products, comprising 20 percent of the final score — much more than usual — because of the apparent propensity for hoverboards to break. And these products break. Often. It can be invaluable to have the ability to contact the manufacturer for technical support or for a warranty claim. The Swagtron T3 did very well in this category, earning a 7 out of 10. To test this, we evaluated how responsive and helpful the manufacturer was, what types of contact methods were available, presence of a warranty, and how well the board stood up to our rigorous testing process.
This model stood up fairly well to our testing process, only suffering a handful of scrapes and scuffs, as well as a small crack above the power button. This model did ship with something rattling around in it, but suffered no adverse consequences throughout our tests, though it was disconcerting to say the least.
Swagways has both a phone number, as well as an email line along with a handful of social media contacts to get in touch with them. We contacted them and did receive a very quick response, though it wasn't the most helpful in answering our questions on changing the modes from beginner to advanced. They also stated that we could return it due to the rattling sound. This model also has a one-year, limited warranty, with the exact terms and conditions posted on the manufacturer's website.
Our final rating metric was to assess the battery life. A hoverboard instantly becomes a very large and awkward paperweight the second its battery dies, so matching a board's battery life to your needs is critical. The Swagtron T3 did acceptable in this test, rounding our its score with a 5 out of 10. We tested the maximum range, runtime, and how long it took to complete a full charge of the battery for this test.
For our range test, we ran this board on a track consisting of flat and smooth pavement for a total of 5.3 miles until it died. This product also continued its average performance into our runtime test, lasting for 1 hour, 27 minutes before it was no longer rideable. This was conducted on our obstacle course, forcing repeated turns and directions changes, to really determine how long the battery would last when you were just playing on the board, not driving it anywhere. Finally, we checked how long it took the battery to charge. The T3 did well here, charging in a quick 1 hour, 15 minutes.
This board has a list price that is a little on the high side, but it is the best of the best. It might not be the best value for those shopping on a tight budget, but it's the perfect pick for those that want the highest quality and are willing to pay for it.
Winning the Editors' Choice Award, the Swagtron T3 is the best model out there, and embodies everything you would want in a standard hoverboard. While this is a great product, and was the most fun out of our test, it didn't do the best at traversing cracked roads or off-road terrain, so it might not be the best bet if you are primarily going to be riding places that don't have smooth pavement.
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