SwagTron T3 Review – Does This Bluetooth Hoverboard Hit The Mark?
The Swagtron T3 is Swagway’s newest bluetooth self-balancing scooter. Released in 2016 in the United States, this is one of the new generation of UL certified hoverboards that are safer and more durable. I have spent hours researching this product, so you don’t have to. With this Swagtron T3 review, I will share everything I have learned, as well as my own experience of using the scooter.
The manufacturer of this hoverboard is certainly not holding back the adjectives when describing their latest offering. They claim this product is the safest on the market and is easy to learn and control. They have also called their product the next evolution in personal transportation. Those are some big and bold claims, and with this review, I hope to shed some light on this product.
Before I look closer at the T3, it might be worthwhile to get some background on the manufacturer.
About the company
The company is officially called Swagtron LLC, so let’s stick with that for the rest of this Swagtron T3 review.
Swagtron was founded in 2015 by eccentric CEO Johnny Zhu with the aim of selling self-balancing scooters. Zhu might be camera shy, but that didn’t stop him from cashing in on one of the biggest holiday crazes in the past 20 years after he saw the hoverboards in China. The nattily-dressed entrepreneur managed to convince investors that he was onto a winner, and with their financial backing, Zhu worked closely with Chinese manufacturers to create his hoverboard vision.
Back in the States, hoverboards were featured on Ellen’s self-titled talk show, and in music videos. It became popular for music videos to have dancers gliding along on these self-balancing scooters, and demand sky-rocketed shortly after. Because of Zhu’s belief in the product, and his relentless work his company claimed 70% of the fast growing USA hoverboard market. Demand for these products could not be curbed by reports of injuries and products exploding or catching fire. America was swept up in the craze, and the boards were flying off the shelves. It was the hottest gift come Christmas, and 2015 will forever be known as the year of the hoverboard amongst toy manufacturers.
The bad press kept coming, and the reports involving injuries, explosions and fires kept growing. So much so that as much as 60 airlines had banned them from their flights before the end of 2015. They cited the tendency of the hoverboard lithium ion batteries to spontaneously combust as too big a risk.
NOTE: The same Lithium-ion batteries are used in other devices, like laptops and smartphones. The hoverboard requires a larger sized battery, and this makes them more susceptible to exploding or catching fire. Today, in 2016, new technology used in hoverboards mean that they are now as safe as any other product with a lithium battery.
These bans put Zhu and his company in a precarious spot. They had to place safeguards in their products, or risk being banned from large retailers. eCommerce giants Amazon and Bestbuy had already banned a number of unsafe cheaply-made hoverboards imported by Chinese manufacturers.
After a period of silence from Zhu, the Swagtron T1 was released with much fanfare about its safety. It was one of the first products to pass the Underwriter Laboratories UL 2272 certification for hoverboards. Underwriter Laboratories created the certification standard to ensure that only safe products made it onto shelves and into the hands of consumers.
The T1 was well received by the market, and Zhu immediately went to work on the Swagtron T3 – a similar product but with bluetooth and a few other cool extras.
SwagTron T3 Specs and Features
- The T3 has immensely improved looks over its baby brother, the T1. The scratch resistant polycarbonate shell casing is also fire retardant, and comes in the following colors: black, blue, white, dark red, pink and exclusive gold.
- Riding capability
The milled aluminum tires make for easy manoeuvring and turning, and takes a 30° climb in its stride. With a maximum speed of 8mph (12kmh) and a turning radius of 0°, the Swagtron T3 offers a smooth and easy ride. Acceleration is smooth, and turning sensitivity feels just right.
- Bluetooth speakers
The smartphone app connects with Bluetooth and allows the rider listen to his or favorite music through the built-in Bluetooth speakers. I liked the sound quality and was surprised that I could clearly hear the music even when going at full speed. While I was concerned about the Bluetooth connectivity, I don’t think it ever failed to connect while I was trying out the T3.
- Smartphone app
The app allows the rider to monitor the speed at which the hoverboard is traveling, as well as detailed information on the battery level. It also gives users the ability to adjust the turning sensitivity (I liked the settings right out of the box). For those adrenaline junkies out there the app can also remove the speed limits on this self-balancing scooter. This was quite a scary experience for me, and I felt like it was very close to losing control.
I would definitely recommend against removing the speed limit unless you have logged plenty of hours on hoverboards.
- LED Lights
The build quality was rugged and I really liked the LED lights on the front and rear. When you are traveling, the rear lights are green and the front lights are blue. When you slow down, the rear lights turn red just like brake lights. When you make a turn, the rear lights will blink like an indicator light. If you turn around on the board, the lights are intelligent and will also switch sides.
Swagtron T3 Speed
Already mentioned, but this is one of the top questions many people have about any hoverboard – how fast does the T3 go? Like the Swagtron T1 the T3’s top speed is 8mph.
How Safe Is The T3?
As I have mentioned the T3 is one of only a few products to have passed the UL 2272 certification. This should give you peace of mind that this product won’t catch fire or explode while you are gliding along the sidewalk.
The UL 2272 certification consists of a number of stringent tests. A product must pass all of these tests with flying colors, to be awarded the certification. Some of the tests included in this certification are overcharge test, short circuit test, over discharge test, temperature test, imbalanced charging test, vibration and shock test, as well as a number of other tests.
To see the full list of tests, visit the official Underwriter Laboratories website here: http://www.ul.com/hoverboards/
NOTE: To determine whether a product has passed a UL certification, check the underside of the product for the hologrammed UL sticker.
Swagtron T3 Vs T1 – How Are They Different?
These two hoverboards are similar in almost all of their specifications. They have the same range of 7-12 miles, a weight limit of 220lbs (100kg) and a maximum speed of 8mph (12kmh). Both weigh in at 22lbs (9.9kg), and the dimensions are identical. Both are powered by the same Lithium battery with SentryShield.
When it comes to riding and manoeuvrability, these hoverboards can climb gradients of 30 °, and are capable of 0 ° turns.
There are some significant differences between the two models though.
- The Swagtron T3 comes with a handy carry strap that makes for easy carrying when you are not gliding.
- It also comes with high-quality Bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favorite Taylor Swift song while cruising down the sidewalk. I am sure the speakers will be a big hit with teenagers although I am a little concerned that the sidewalk won’t ever be the same again with a bunch of kids each listening to their own music!
- The materials used in the construction of the T3 are different. While the T1 has a hard ABS outer body casing, the Swagtron T3 is made from a poly carbonate shell casing. This casing is scratch resistant, fire-retardant and incombustible resulting in a hoverboard that is safer and that will look good even after taking a beating.
- One more difference is that the more expensive model comes with the Smartphone app (available on both Android and iOS) whereas the T1 doesn’t.
The T3 body is available in the same colors as the T1 (black, blue, white, dark red, pink and exclusive gold). I really like the black and dark red colors, the T3 looks ready to devour anything you might throw at it.
- I love the aggressive looks of this board (it looks like it might eat the T1 for breakfast!). The durable casing made from polycarbonate means your hoverboard won’t scratch or catch fire.
- The smartphone app isn’t quite as innovative as the app that controls the Ninebot by Segway, but still offers some nice features.
- I really like that Swagway gives users the option to remove the speed limits through the app, although personally, I didn’t feel as in control as I would like to be. I am sure this feature will be a huge hit with younger riders, and I suspect teenagers racing hoverboards on the streets will become a common sight.
There is very little complain about with the T3. I want to mention that the price is higher than what we were paying for hoverboards in 2015, but I understand the reasons behind the price increases. The additional safety measures not only mean you have the peace of mind of your hoverboard not catching fire, but it also means your board is likely to last much longer.
While I listed the ability to remove the speed limit as a good thing, I will also make a counter-argument. I believe that it could lead to injuries and accidents if inexperienced riders remove this limit. The manufacturer did place a large disclaimer in the manual, but how many people really read those? I know my kids won’t read the manual before jumping on a new hoverboard.
What kind of warranty does it come with?
This model is covered by the standard 1 year Swagtron warranty. If you purchase this hoverboard, you are covered from workmanship and material defects, with the disclaimer that Swagtron will evaluate your use of the hoverboard. If they find that you were using the hoverboard in a dangerous manner (e.g. jumping off sidewalks, etc) your warranty will be null and void.
This warranty comes into effect on the date of purchase, and cannot be transferred to another user if you sell your hoverboard.
What’s in the box
When you purchase this product you will receive the following:
- Swagway Swagtron T3
- Swagtron AC Charging Adapter
- User manual and paperwork
I think many consumers will have some difficulty choosing between the T1 and the T3. The T1 is a great option for those new to the sport that wants a solid performer without blowing their budget.
The Swagtron T3 is for those that want to stand out from the crowd. The design is just so much more adventurous, and the extra features are well worth the additional 100 bucks. For the extra money, you get a solid pair of built-in Bluetooth speakers that work well even when moving at speed. You also get a much more durable outer casing which won’t scratch or catch fire, meaning your hoverboard will look better for much longer.
The overall looks of the T3 will appeal more to most (the T1’s design is quite bland, and perhaps Swagway made it so with a reason). These hoverboards are more expensive than what you might be used to, but keep in mind the extra features, and more importantly, the peace of mind that the UL 2272 hoverboard certification provides.
When it comes to self-balancing scooters on the market today, I believe that the SwagTron T3 is the best bluetooth hoverboard available at the moment. You won’t be disappointed with the durable outer body, the manoeuvrability and the striking design.
Where to buy Swagtron T3
The Swagtron by Swagway T3 scooter is for sale on Amazon. It is also for sale from the manufacturer’s official website, and might soon be on sale from other retailers like Best Buy, BJs Wholesale, eBay and Modells.
I recommend ordering through Amazon. They have the infrastructure to deliver on time, FREE shipping and their excellent customer service with the great prices makes them my recommended place to shop for any gadget.