SmooSat SA3 electric scooter review: Budget-friendly ride adds fun to short trips

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The ideal electric scooter for me must meet some criteria. Its price, as well as its size, must be reduced. It needs to be easy to climb a few flights of stairs (for, say, a 24-year-old woman with little arm strength). And it should add some fun and fresh air to my short distance trips to New York City.

He SmooSat SA3, a slim black scooter at a reasonable price, meets these requirements. It costs $430 and includes it along with budget options like the Swagtron Swagger 5 Impulsewho got a place in CNET’s list of the best scooters for 2023. (You can also get the SmooSat SA3 at gray for $360).

Getting familiar with the SA3 took just a few minutes and the included manual certainly helped. The handlebars and stem fold easily and lock into a buckle near the rear wheel, so you can quickly get off, fold the scooter, and lift it up. My apartment is several stories up, but the scooter weighs about 33 pounds and my unimpressive arms didn’t fail me during the walk. Its size also makes it easy to store and carry on the subway.

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The SA3 sports a blue logo.

Meara Isenberg/CNET

An LED display integrated into the stem between the grips shows the current speed, driving mode, distance, headlight status and battery level using a five-notch battery icon. There is a single multifunction button below the screen.

Pressing and holding the button for three seconds turns the scooter on or off; a quick press changes the driving mode; two quick presses turn on the headlight; three quick presses switch between metric and imperial; and five quick presses activate cruise control, which keeps you traveling at a constant speed, ideal for longer rides without much starting and stopping. (Interestingly, four quick presses do nothing.) According to its manual, the SmooSat supports a maximum weight of only up to 220 pounds, which is a disadvantage. For comparison, the Swagtron Swagger 5 Boost can carry 320 pounds.

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The LCD screen tells you how fast you’re going.

Meara Isenberg/CNET

There’s a charging port on the side, with a plastic cover that stays attached to the scooter, so you don’t have to worry about losing it. With the included charger, it takes five or six hours to fully charge the built-in battery. The SmooSat SA3 could travel 20 miles on a full charge under ideal conditions.

Riding over a combination of smooth, hilly and bumpy surfaces with a full battery, it took just under 4 miles before lowering one of the five battery notches, meaning less than 81% of the battery remained . After another 2.5 miles the battery was down to less than 61%. After another 2.5 miles it dropped to less than 41%, showing just two notches. I’m of average height, weight, and shoe size (I like to think), so hitting 20 miles is unlikely; It’s probably closer to 15 miles, enough for a last mile trip.

The SA3 scooter isn’t the smoothest: rolling on its two 8.5-inch airless rubber tires, I felt virtually every bump, crack, and rut it went over. But that was less of an issue on flatter surfaces.

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The kickstand successfully kept the scooter upright.

Meara Isenberg/CNET

The SA3 is rated for a top speed of 15.6 miles per hour with its 350-watt motor. However, I sometimes found the scooter difficult to handle when going as fast as I could. There are three riding modes to choose from that adjust the maximum speed of the scooter. Most of the time, I selected the middle gear which limits it to 10 miles per hour, so I wasn’t worried about the scooter exceeding my speed comfort zone.

Again, the scooter doesn’t completely mask all the cracks and dings beneath you. Instead, I relied on bending my knees on bumpier terrain and keeping my eyes peeled for steep drops and other potential causes of a scooter catastrophe. But the handbrake worked as expected and I was impressed every time the scooter lifted me over a hill or cleared a rough path.

The New York City subway is my primary mode of transportation, and the SmooSat SA3 is something I would turn to more for leisurely commutes than anything else. If you’re looking for high speeds, more cushioning (on or off-road), or a scooter for longer trips, the SA3 may not be enough.

Overall, the small SmooSat SA3 electric scooter made me happy. It is easy to fold, store and transport. It’s a simple electric scooter for adults, but it’s in line with the price. Whether you’re planning a walk in the park or want to get to a train stop, I’d love to have this as an option for a short distance excursion.



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