Home Technology Unagi took one of the best e-scooters on the market and made it better

Unagi took one of the best e-scooters on the market and made it better

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Unagi, the e-scooter company founded by former Beats Music CEO David Hyman, has entered a corner of pop culture. Its stylish scooters are often in the hands of celebrities and musicians, setting them apart from the typical rental model found on street corners. Now the company has announced the Model One Voyager, a second-generation version of his existing Model One. It is sold outright or rented for $55/month. Given the acclaim given to that device, it’s not surprising that Voyager focuses on addressing the (relatively few) flaws of its predecessor rather than fixing what’s not broken. is not.

Longtime Unagi fans may recall that the company was working on the ultra-luxury scooter to round out its lineup. Priced at $2,440, the Eleven should have offered GPS tracking, turn-by-turn routing, and ADAS crash sensors. Unagi brushed off the product, saying the market was shifting from his expensive one-time purchase to a service model. Most of the company’s customers currently pay $55 a month to rent a Model One, with maintenance and insurance covered by the company. And that switch of focus could yield more models that seem to evolve existing concepts rather than offer something more dramatic.

To avoid all the clichés, let’s get them all out of the way in one paragraph and be done with it. Voyager is polishing, evolution, sophistication Existing Model One templates will have a hard time distinguishing them from a distance. The neck and fork angles have been tweaked for added stability, but it still has the same industrial design and the same high-end materials. It’s one of the best-looking e-scooters on the market today, with a clean, elegant design and color choices that straddle the line between transportation and fashion statement.

Instead, the big changes are all internal, with a particular focus on addressing range and power issues that existing Model 1 renters have been grappling with. For example, the Model One has an estimated range of 12 miles, which is not ideal, while the Voyager extends to 25 miles. That’s enough to get you back to where you want to go without worrying about getting back to where you want to go. I hope you will.

Daniel Cooper/Engadget

The second new feature, Distance To Empty, is a system for calculating the remaining distance. It’s not very sophisticated, as it uses dynamic lookup tables to check your weight, speed profile, and hill profile against your current battery level. But a better educated guess as to how far you can go might be a better deal than looking at the remaining percentage of battery and letting you expect to do your best.

Not only has a lot of attention been paid to making sure the Voyager has plenty of power, but there’s also been a lot of focus on getting it back in. The Model One is capable of producing 26 Newton meters of torque But the Voyager beats 32, with a combined peak power of 1,000W for both motors. Unagi says the motor’s acceleration and deceleration are 25 percent better, and charging time is halved compared to Model 1. That was before reaching the promised improvement of the Hill Climb, which Unagi said riders should “be prepared to magically climb over seemingly insurmountable hills.”

Disclaimer: I am based in the UK and it is currently illegal to ride electric scooters on public roads and sidewalks. Private scooters are mostly banned in the current battery of government-approved e-scooter trials, with lenient exceptions. I mainly used the space. While the target audience for this review is primarily American, our lawyers have said that Engadget does not tolerate breaking the law and that potential UK users could have their scooters seized or their driving licenses stolen. certificate or fine. That said, Unagi is selling the model His One to UK customers for £899.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time inside Voyager’s companion app that connects to your scooter via Bluetooth.It displays odometer and distance-to-sky numbers, and lets you switch between single-motor and dual-motor modes. (Unless you’re on a flat surface and don’t need to speed up and down very often, stick with the dual-motor mode, as it offers better range and performance.) Also, the front light Enabled and critically locks the scooter’s wheels, making it difficult for malicious types to steal.

Unagi Model One Voyager front wheels and deck closeup

Daniel Cooper/Engadget

If there’s one thing the Unagi should have that hasn’t improved from the original, it’s been the ride quality. I am trying to help The Voyager has the same small, hard rubber tires as the Model One, but has very little suspension or shock absorption. Being able to feel every bump and crack in the road kills my confidence in how much I want to ride this.

Admittedly, this is a common problem with many e-scooters, but if you’re charging double or triple the cost of your run-of-the-mill Xiaomi, it’s worth considering. Sure, monthly rent includes maintenance, insurance, and everything else, but it’s still a premium product. But if the road has more than a few cracks, be prepared to feel them all in your lap.

Unagi shared both his confidence in puncture-free tires and his belief that more can be done. A representative said both tire and deck pad improvements are in the pipeline, but neither have been ready for some time. , or whether it will be put on hold for the next new model, the Model 2, is not yet clear.

But that’s probably the only downside I can offer.It has the same set of electronic throttles and brakes as the previous model, and I found the latter to be very reliable. It’s a personal preference I know, but I often prefer the comfort of mechanical brakes on cheap electric scooters to give me a sense of security when stopping. there is. I’m sure this doesn’t disturb groups of slow-moving pedestrians, but that’s really all there is to it.

An Overdeck image of the Unagi Model One Voyager with Unagi baked into the plating.

Daniel Cooper/Engadget

If you’re new to the Model One and you’re using an electric scooter with a smartphone mount, the Voyager’s display may feel a little small. The data displayed has an old-school feel to it, and the brightly backlit speedometer is easy to read, even in high light. , this is important. I’ll admit, though, that I have a gut feeling for how much speed I can handle based on the area around me rather than sticking to the stiff stuff. shape.

Beneath that number is either an odometer or a trip computer, depending on your preference, and below that is the battery display. At the bottom you’ll also see the speed profile the scooter is set to and an icon indicating whether it’s in single or dual motor mode. I honestly don’t know how much extra data you’ll need on the scooter’s display, but I like how all this information is neatly organized and laid out.

We found the Voyager to offer a very good balance on flat, straight roads and gentle slopes. With a little practice you can minimize the turning circle and ride at low speeds easily. Likewise, the headlights are bright enough, but if I were riding this on the road at night, the deck level brake lights are a bit low, so the head You’ll want to get a light or a shirtless rear light.

Voyager weighs just over 30 pounds, which is quite a chunk to carry by hand. 30 lbs may not sound like much, but when the scooter is folded it is very awkward to hold and carry in your hand. I tried to carry it into the driveway for the sake of it, but instead bailed it out and threw it in the car. You can also gain confidence that it will not fall apart even if you do.

Unagi Model One Voyager rear wheel and tail light image

Daniel Cooper/Engadget

If you’re already convinced by the idea of ​​carrying one of these around, you’ll need to see the numbers. Is not …I hope they choose to rent a scooter instead This includes service and, for an additional fee, theft insurance.

Basic payment is $69/month for no commitment rental plus $5/month for theft insurance. As the name suggests, this ensures that you get brand new hardware both when you sign up and if you need a replacement. Plus, of course, you have to pay a one-time registration fee of $50. Adding these up and dividing by 12, if he had one of these in his life, his monthly expenses would be $89.

Now you have to decide if it’s worth it compared to using the local Lime Scooter or Bird Scooter in your area for example. The obvious advantage is that you can ride your own scooter and not have to hunt around for a model that works when you’re on the go. The downside is that it will cost you quite a bit each month. So by using a scooter as your primary mode of transportation, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

On the other hand, if you’re already living within Unagi’s scooter rental ecosystem and paying for a Model One, you can switch plans to the more expensive option and pay a one-time $50 fee to get Voyager. You can upgrade.

If you’re looking for a scooter that will hopefully last, get you where you need to go, and look great while doing it, this is probably a decent bet.

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