Xiaomi-Owned Ninebot Unveils a Much Cheaper Segway You Control with Your Knees

What do you do when a competitor is messing around with your sales? You buy the company and make sure you’re the only one making the same product. That’s pretty much what happened with Segway, which was acquired by Ninebot, a Chinese subsidiary of the giant electronics maker Xiaomi. They have just unveiled the first product created since the merger happened earlier this year.
Xiaomi's Ninebot Mini 1 photo
Photo: Ninebot
Just to make sure we set things straight, the privately owned Chinese electronics company based in Beijing is the world’s 4th largest smartphone maker. They create everything from smartphones, mobile apps to all kinds of related consumer electronics. How does a cheap Segway relate to phones? Well, they both use top-notch technology, don’t they?

The Ninebot Mini is currently available for preorder in six countries - U.S., Germany, UAE, Japan, Singapore, and Korea - and judging by the company’s website, the first one should hit the stores on November 1, with all the other deliveries starting towards the end of the year.

“Unlike earlier self-balancing scooters, Ninebot mini does not have a handle,” explains Xiaomi, according to Fox News. “Instead, it uses a knee-high steering stick that detects the movements of the rider’s legs using Ninebot’s latest Leansteer technology.” In the specs department, we’re looking at a top speed of almost ten mph and a 13.7-mile range on a single charge. The device itself is quite light, weighing in at 28.2 pounds while it can support up to 187 pounds.

There’s another feature worth mentioning. It appears that the company is also launching a companion application for smartphones for control and security. The app will also connect to the scooter’s lock, and in case something happens, the phone will alarm you. It may not be the best last-mile commuter we’ve heard of, but considering that its estimated retail price is of approximately $300, it sure competes for one of the cheapest.

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