A couple of years ago, I first reviewed the Hoverboard from HoverX (HX) and since then, the company has released a couple of new models. I’ve now spent some time with the Phantom Race Hoverboard and can confirm it is a significant upgrade from the 2.0 version I reviewed back in December 2020.
The design of the HoverX Phantom Race Hoverboard is a combination of hard black plastics, and rubber pads for your feet, and these platforms are flanked by 8.5 inch/215mm Solid Rubber Tires. The best improvement on design here is the integrated handle that allows for easier transport of the hoverboard, while not impacting your riding experience.
The weight hoverboard is up to 13.5 Kg, which is certainly not light, so the handle is not only appreciated as a design element but pretty essential if you’re going to be using this regularly. The handle plays an important role if you are lifting the hoverboard in and out of your car, or taking it on a train, it really is such a good inclusion that makes me expect it now from all hoverboards.
Another attribute of the design is the inclusion of RGB LED lights, both front and rear facing. These can be configured to your personal preference using the mobile app.
The HX Phantom Race also includes a speaker. If you ride this straight out of the box, you’ll be met with a pretty cheesy revving upon acceleration, which is particularly strange on a product running on an electric motor, as well as a screeching tyres sound when you slow. I’m sure younger riders enjoy this, but I found it gets tired quickly.
Thankfully you can modify the audio that comes from the speaker using your phone, connected via Bluetooth. This allows you to ride and listen to some of your favourite music, however, most other people in your vicinity are likely to wonder why you’re not just wearing headphones or earbuds.
There are a bunch of features on this available from this product, each detailed below.
This hoverboard has one of the fastest top speeds of any hoverboard on the market. With a theoretical top speed of 16km/hr, this does depend on a number of factors, including the state of charge and the weight of the rider. After using it for a while, I can say, anything over 10km/hr (about double walking speed), definitely feels a little sketchy. This isn’t because the hoverboard is unsteady at speed, but rather because the risk of falling at that velocity could do some serious damage.
When riding outdoors, you definitely want to slow down before changing surfaces to ensure if the transition doesn’t go well, you’ll be able to step off without issue.
All-terrain / Off-road Hoverboard
This hoverboard has large 8.5-inch shock-absorbent solid rubber tires which are designed to help you ride on any terrain. While that’s good in theory, having tried to move from concrete to grass, it is clear this is really most capable on hard surfaces. Despite the large wheels, on a grass surface that isn’t short like a cricket pitch, you’ll likely have challenges in moving freely on it.
When it does come to moving across hard surfaces, concrete, bitchumen, or even compressed dirt, you’ll be fine, but again, be careful when changing surfaces.
As you move about the world, there are times when you may come into contact with water, perhaps wet grass, a sprinkler etc, or you simply get caught in the raid. Thankfully the hoverboard is IP54 certified, so it is water-resistant.
While I would never advise people to ride at night if it is getting dark, there are bright front LED headlights to light your path ahead.
As mentioned in the design section, the new integrated carrying handle is a great inclusion and with the larger and heavier form factor, it is almost required to comfortably move this otherwise awkward shape. By placing the handle in the middle of the hoverboard it means the weight distribution is centred, allowing for it to be carried comfortably.
With a weight of 13.5kg, I wouldn’t want to walk with it for a long time, but it’s certainly fine to take it a few hundred meters at a time. This works well if you travel on the train, then need to depart the train station and get back to a flat sidewalk before riding.
The Phantom Race hoverboard also offers a removable battery. This means you have the ability to remove the battery for charging, which may be more convenient than transporting the whole hoverboard to a charging location in your home.
Fun for ALL ages
Being larger in size, this provides a comfortable stance for adults but is also viable for children from the age of 7 and above. By now, we’re all familiar with videos online of people falling and injuring themselves as they learn to ride hoverboards.
In my experience, you should be incredibly careful if you’re trying a hoverboard for the first. Take time, make sure you know how to bail if things go badly, and make sure you have something you can grab and avoid going to the floor. In the event, you do fall, be conscious that you don’t put out your wrists in an effort to stop your fall as this presents one of the greatest risks of injury.
With a bit of effort, it is possible to master a hoverboard in a few hours and moves from the learning phase to the enjoyment phase, just make sure your confidence doesn’t outpace your skills.
Smart App control & intelligent sound & speed synchronization system
You can control the board with our dedicated app via smartphone. Change LED colours, switch between Adult & Child mode, anti-theft alarm, adjust riding speed, play music via Bluetooth speakers, and monitor your riding path.
Premium Bluetooth Speakers & LED Lights
Ride in style by manually adjusting racing sounds for an immersive experience. The lighting experience is ok, but fairly modest, there’s simply a single colour selector and no animation as is common with multi-colour LED lighting setups.
I’m currently running Android 13 beta on my Pixel 7 Pro and the HX mobile app installs fine, but immediately crashes. I’ve confirmed this on a second device and had to fire up an old phone running Android 12 to get the app to work. It’s hard to align the blame for this on HX, given the OS is beta, this kind of instability is expected, but I do hope they add support for Android 13 soon.
Easily my biggest complaint is the fake sounds. While I thought this was cute for the first couple of minutes, I want a dedicated button to turn off these sounds as they seem to come back on every time you power on the device.
Price & Availability
The HX Phantom Race Hoverboard regularly retails for A$1,000, however, is currently on sale for a limited time at A$599.00.
The full price would certainly be pushing it for what consumers would spend on a hoverboard, as this is not typically someone’s primary source of transport. Something like an eBike could easily command that price given it could be used for daily commutes.
A hoverboard is often more of a fun device, meaning there’s a limited budget people would be prepared to expend on such a luxury.
The A$599.00 price is much more reasonable and when you consider it’s just A$50 more than the 2.0 hoverboard and has a lot more features, this definitely seems far better value.
All things considered, this is a pretty impressive hoverboard. The Phantom Race version from HoverX offers a great range of features over the 2.0 version for not a lot of extra cost.
I really hope there’s an ability to update the software so they can resolve the sound effect issue and give users a preference to disable that.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a hoverboard for yourself, or for an adult, I’d definitely give this strong consideration. If you’re looking for a hoverboard as a present for a child, I think a cheaper, lighter option would be a better choice. While there are controls over speed limits for children, their ability to cart around 13.5kgs is not great and therefore a lighter choice may be better.
The battery life on this is really impressive and you’ll easily get hours of use out of it, but as you’d expect, things like the weight of the rider and the use of Bluetooth audio will reduce the time you can ride between charging.
As mentioned at the start, I think the person who buys a hoverboard like this is doing so for fun and that’s great, but I don’t expect many are buying hoverboards to service their daily commutes to work.