Alfawise X7 full review

Whenever someone mentions a copycat product, most people’s minds immediately think of China. But these days, Chinese companies are producing copycat models of other Chinese products. And the Alfawise X7 is a perfect example.

Xiaomi has risen to be one of the most popular Chinese brands, and makes everything from robot vacuum cleaners to phone stabilisers. It also makes the M365, an electric scooter that is clearly the inspiration for the Alfawise X7.

From the matt black aluminium finish to the red outer brake cable and the way it folds, this is easily mistaken for the M365.

However, look more closely and you’ll notice some key differences. For a start, the battery isn’t mounted beneath the board you stand on: it’s in the handlebar tube and is removable so you can – in theory – get extra range if you’re able to buy a spare. But Alfawise does not sell the battery separately.  The main reason you can remove the battery, according to Alfawise, is to prevent it from being stolen, but that’s not a problem on other scooters whose batteries are fixed in place…

Price & availability

The X7 was £383 / $459.99 from GearBest but unfortunately, it is now discontinued because of issues with the supplier which means it is not available to buy at all.

This means you need to look at alternatives such as the cheaper Alfawise M1, and perhaps even better is the Xiaomi M365, reviewed, which is now available from Halfords in the UK for £399.

For more alternatives, read our roundup of the best electric scooters.

Features & design

In some ways it’s hard to understand why the X7 costs more than the M1, since the latter has a more powerful 350W motor (the X7 is rated at 250W – ignore the 700W peak figure) and a larger-capacity battery that gives it a range of 30km versus the X7’s 20km.

They both have similar folding mechanisms, both weigh 12.5kg and have a rear disc brake and electromagnetic braking at the front from the motor.

Alfawise X7 review

The X7’s display is a bit better though, showing your speed and battery level. A ‘hamburger’ menu button on the throttle does a couple of things. Press it once and it will toggle to the next drive mode, which includes “Beginner”, “Normal” and “Sports”. These are indicated by no icon, a white D icon and a red D icon. Essentially, this is simply the amount of power you get from the motor when you push the throttle.

Two short presses turns on the headlight, but the rear flashing red LEDs are enabled permanently, and come on when you pull the brake lever.

Alfawise X7 review

There’s a spanner icon which lights up when the scooter needs maintenance although the manual doesn’t explain what you should do at that point.

Similarly, the manual points out the Bluetooth icon on the display – which does exist – but makes no other mention of it. And upon further investigation on Alfawise’s website, I found confirmation that it doesn't have Bluetooth. Just the icon.

You’ll find no CE or TUV markings anywhere, and the manual warns you to cover the charging port with the rubber cover in case of short circuit. Not too reassuring.

Some build quality issues made themselves apparent, too. The quick-release clamp for the handlebar tube isn’t well made and operating it caused the mechanism to grind off some sharp pieces of metal, one of which put a deep cut in my finger. It’s also too easy to push the clamp home without the top tube being completely upright, meaning it isn’t secured at all.

Wheels are 8.5in and pneumatic, using a standard Schrader valve. Strangely a flexible Schrader attachment is included in the box, but unless you happen to have a compatible pump with the correct screw thread, it won’t be any use to you. But, many standard bike pumps won't fit the recessed valve on the front wheel, so you will need the type that screws on.

Alfawise X7 review

It’s worth noting that the handlebars are not quick-release like many scooters, so it takes up a bit more space when folded. And that could be an issue if you plan to take it on public transport. Your fellow commuters won’t be too impressed with the X7’s handlebars sticking into their legs.

They screw in, one with a reverse thread, and I found the right-hand one came loose after a while: applying a small amount of thread lock is a good idea if you have it.

Performance

In terms of performance the X7 feels powerful and accelerates strongly in Sports mode, even spinning the front wheel on wooden surfaces.

Alfawise X7 review

A big plus is that there’s more clearance underneath than most electric scooters, so it’s less likely to ground out on kerbs and other things.

However, it does struggle when climbing hills - you can notice the difference in power between the X7 and a scooter such as the Xiaomi M365 Pro. The specs say the maximum incline is 10 degrees, which equates to about a 19% grade hill. In reality, it only just about manages a 10% hill.

On the flat though, it zips along up to its maximum speed.

Alfawise X7 review

Some people might find it annoying that the steering ‘locks’ into the dead-ahead position and takes a little effort to turn it left or right. But this isn’t noticeable when riding at speed: only when you’re stopped.

As the weight is all at the front, it can tip forwards when pushing the X7 up a hill, but that's the only time it is an issue.

Verdict

The X7 is built to a price and the quality isn't quite up to the standard of a Xiaomi M365, which costs less than importing the X7 from Gearbest and is available from UK retailers (you can also buy it from Gearbest where it also costs less than the X7). The M365 lacks the X7's nice display and relies on a row of LEDs, but it's a small compromise overall.

For that reason it's hard to recommend buying it from Gearbest since delivery can take a long time and it's very difficult to return it under warranty. 

Specs

Alfawise X7: Specs

  • Adult Electric Scooter with folding design
  • 2x 8.5in wheels
  • E-ABS braking system (front), mechanical disk brake (rear), 4m braking distance
  • headlight & tail-light
  • max speed: 25km/h
  • max distance: 30km
  • max load: 100kg
  • 6.4Ah lithium-ion battery, charges in 3-4 hours
  • 106x42x116cm / 41.73x16.54x45.67 inches
  • 12.5kg