Unagi Model One vs Xiaomi Mi M365 Comparison

We compare the Unagi Model One vs Xiaomi M365 in this head-to-head comparison article.

The Unagi Model One E500 is one of the best designed lightweight commuter electric scooters available on the market today.

The Xiaomi M365 is the world’s most popular workhorse electric scooter, the basis for the first fleets of shared scooters all the way back in 2017.

Sadly, the Xiaomi Mi M365 Pro is no longer available the U.S. in 2023. But never fear! See our Editor’s Choice list of Best Xiaomi Mi M365 Alternatives here!

How do they compare and which one is better?  Read on to find out!

Xiaomi Mi M365 Pros and Cons

  • Longer real-world range. The Unagi is less at 9.13 miles (14.7 km) vs the Xiaomi at 14.6 miles (13.5 km).
  • Ride quality on M365 is better due to larger (8.5 in vs 7.5 in) pneumatic (air-filled) tires, though at the same time the ride quality is still below average via the lack of suspension.
  • Legendary scooter (for better or for worse) since it has developed a reputation of generic/widespread use and being associated with scooter sharing.
  • Costs about 1/2 that of the more premium Unagi (E500), although the 2022 models are on heavy discount for Unagi right now, bringing the prices more equal.
Read Xiaomi Mi M365 Review

Unagi Model One (E500) Pros and Cons

  • Unagi has a bigger deck for ride comfort (18.5") vs the Xiaomi (16").
  • Hill climbing is better due to dual motors.
  • More beautiful, futuristic-looking interface (the M365 doesn't even have a display)
  • Unagi is perfect in terms of feel, ergonomics, simplicity, with lightweight materials like carbon fiber as well.
  • because of the honeycomb tires
  • Stronger folding mechanism that is super easy to use and faster.
  • The Unagi is a better-looking scooter from the future. It has more beautiful paint and a more elegant design.
Read Unagi Model One Review

Unagi Model One vs Xiaomi M365: Introduction

Xiaomi M365 scooters still exist all over the world in various states of used, and Xiaomi still makes and sells some very similar-looking electric scooters with similar specs. (We have not tested these.) But in the U.S., at least, the M365 has gone M.I.A., leaving an open field of competition for major players like Unagi, who previously existed in a more premium market than the M365.
Yet after their initial launch in 2019, Unagi's Model One soon became a stylish everyperson electric scooter when the company pioneered the first subscription service. You could rent not only by the minute, but by the month, and get a brand new, premium electric scooter in the mail covered with a full warranty. Ride it all you want. Don't want it anymore? Send it back and cancel the subscription.

As a response to those who called the Model One overpriced (and we didn't necessarily disagree), the subscription model has cleared barriers to entry by bringing upfront costs down to a little over $100.

Now that the company has slashed prices on their 2022 Model One E500 down to $590, however, the Model One has become much more of a direct competitor to budget-minded makers like Xiaomi.

Given all the other options out there for an entry-level buyer, and the given the wealth of Xiaomi and Xiaomi-like scooters populating the planet, we must ask: Do the pros of Unagi's style and subscription service outweigh its cons?
Is it better, in the long run, to purchase a Xiaomi or Xiaomi alternative for around $500 and forget about monthly payments? Or is the Unagi really a superior scooter, despite its drawbacks, because of the company's investment in premium materials, practicality, and superior quality standards?

It's All About Approach

When we first compared these two scooters, they hardly belonged in the same class due to the more than $400 price difference between them. 

Why place them head-to-head? Well, because they were already near-classic versions of the lightweight, portable commuter electric scooter a few years ago Now the Model One and the M365 might almost deserve to be called classic (as much as any product that has existed for less than a decade can earn the name).
The Unagi's Star Trek-like cockpit
Unagi has become a respected pioneer of forward-thinking, inimitable electric scooter design for its sleek aesthetics, while the Xiaomi has inspired as many imitators as The Beatles (... sort of).

The vastly different looks of these two electric scooters offer a clue to what’s under the hood, namely two different approaches to solving the problem of the city errand, the slightly-longer-than-a-walk commute, and the last mile commute within the commute. 

Unagi and Xiaomi also introduced two different models of pricing for the commuter electric scooter: 1. a flexible leasing model with total warranty coverage and 2. a pay under-$500 for limited customer service from an overseas company.
The M365's look has become classic
You might think the M365 approach won out in the end, but Unagi continues to offer their Model One for subscription, and it’s an even better deal now, at $350 off if you pay annually. 

The M365, on the other hand, disappeared a couple years ago, though it left in its wake an extremely practical approach to building entry-level scooters that still works very effectively when done right.

How Unagi Approaches the Commuter Scooter 

Unagi clearly comes at the design of the commuter electric scooter with a design-first eye. As our expert reviewer Paul put it in his commentary, the Model One is a designed scooter (almost a designer scooter). It's an electric scooter you want to show off.

The scooter’s good looks easily nabbed the attention of hip celebrities – Unagi fits right at an art gallery opening, music festival, or weekend brunch. None of this, however, is to suggest that the Model One sacrifices speed, power, portability, etc for good looks. (More on those qualities later…)
As anyone who has ridden, or even read about, the Model One knows, however, there is one major sacrifice the Model One makes for its design ethos: ride quality. While it’s perfectly suited for well–paved city streets, the Model One doesn’t do rough roads or potholes because of its solid tires and lack of suspension.

The Unagi is very much a statement scooter – and it looks great, with a premium finish and internal cable routing that ensures it never appears gadget-like.
Unagi’s Model One isn’t made for tinkerers or gearheads but for people who want to get there fast and easy with no fussing around, and look good doing so. 

That's not to say the Model One is a fashion accessory by any means. It's one of the best electric scooters for short commutes in urban areas, and there are many reasons to recommend its most recent iteration from 2022 for just that purpose.

How Xiaomi Approaches the Commuter Scooter 

The above description of the Model One could almost be inverted when it comes to the M365. Although the Xiaomi arrives at roughly the same place in some ways, one imagines that the scooter’s engineers had function, not style, foremost in mind when they designed the M365. 

The M365 has unpretentious budget looks and might be the most-copied electric scooter on the planet, not only for its practical performance but for the elegant simplicity of its design, with the by-now iconic red visible wires around the upper and lower stem and rear disc brake.
Scooter rental companies have depended on the M365 just like car rental companies depend on Honda civics, and that's hardly an exaggerated comparison.

The Xiaomi scooter has proven itself a near bulletproof option for those on a tight budget who want the best electric scooter they can buy. Now that the M365 is gone, that honor has passed to several other scooters, including the Model One.

Xiaomi Mi M365 vs. Unagi Model One Comparison

**Based on Electric Scooter Guide's real-world performance testing and not manufacturer's specs.
Xiaomi Mi M365Unagi Model One (E500)
MSRP (USD)$400$990
Top Speed**16.7 mph20 mph
Range**14.6 mi8.5 mi
Weight27 lb26 lb
0 to 15 mph**6.3 s4.4 s
15 to 0 mph**16.8 ft16.9 ft
Hill climb time**20.8 s12.5 s
Battery280 Wh282 Wh
Motor250 W250 W (2X)
Max rider weight220 lb 275 lb
BrakesRegen + DiscRegen + Foot
IP ratingIP54IP54


Ride Quality

The Model One's solid vented tires are great on flat, level roads. Just steer clear of bumps.
Neither the Xiaomi M365 nor the Unagi Model One offer the most smooth ride available in commuter electric scooters. That honor might belong to the Apollo Air or EMOVE Touring. But there's little question that the Xiaomi outperforms here.

The Model One's solid tires do well enough on flat pavement, though they lack traction in light rain. However, you'll have to steer clear away from rough patches in the road and especially avoid potholes on an Unagi, since its vented wheels offer nothing in the way of shock absorption.

On the other hand, you'll never have to worry about a flat tire with an Unagi, and that's no small thing since zero hassle riding really is a founding principle of the Model One's design.
The M365's 8.5-inch pneumatic tires do a better job of cushioning the ride
The M365, on the other hand, does reasonably well in most urban conditions thanks to its 8.5-inch pneumatic tires. These can be run at slightly lower-than-recommended pressures for an even softer ride.

Modulating tire pressure is a nice option to have, but it does not make up for the lack of a suspension system and the M365 will feel jarring and uncomfortable to many larger riders, and to those accustomed to more premium (and expensive) rides.


Both the Xiaomi and the Unagi have above average acceleration in their class of ultralightweight commuter scooters. But with its dual motors, the Model One outdoes the M365 in real-world tests, accelerating to 15 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Top Speed

Here is one area where the M365 and Model One are more than just almost evenly matched -- both scooters have a max speed of around 17 mph with an unlocked speed of around 20 mph.

While the Xiami has only one rear wheel mounted motor, it doesn't feel sluggish for most riders next to the Model One's two motors.

Hill Climbing

In full dual motor mode, the Model One E500 truly outshines the M365 as a hill climber. In single motor mode it can feel barely worth the trouble, demonstrating the wisdom of discontinuing the single motor Model One.


The M365 truly set the bar for minimalist simplicity with their simple, but not simplistic, cockpit. Instead of an LCD display, the scooter features five LED lights to indicate the most important information of all -- battery life.
The Xiaomi M365's simple design inspired many imitators
For many riders, the lack of a screen feels like a cheat, and they at least want a speedometer.

Unagi's sleek display finds a middle way between the cluttered screens of many premium scooters and the dearth of information the Xiaomi provides.

In both cases, we again see different approaches the commuter scooter, with Xiaomi seeming to favor a wider range of potential riders, and perhaps more first-time riders, who want the easiest operation possible.
Unagi's thumb throttle and regenerative braking-by-thumb, rubber covered handgrips, and lightweight, vibration resistant carbon fiber stem and magnesium bars give it an edge in ergonomics over the M365.


Realistically, the Model One has a range of about 9 miles, while you can expect to get somewhere around 15 miles with an M365.

While the average short trip is only 3 miles long, range anxiety is real and everyone wants to know they'll have more than enough battery power to make it home from wherever they go.


Both the Unagi Model One and the Xiaomi M365 are renowned for their portability, and it's really a toss-up choosing one over the other in this category.

The two scooters were once a little more evenly matched in terms of weight. (The single motor version of Unagi's scooter even weighed a few ounces less than the M365.)
Now that Unagi has upgraded the dual motors in the 2022 Model One, the scooter's weight is closer to 29 pounds than the Xiaomi's 27.

Where the M365 and similar scooters may have a slight advantage in terms of weight, the Model One is without a doubt the most ergonomic of lightweight scooters.

The Model One's tapered carbon stem transforms into a handle and makes carrying the scooter easy even for those with smaller hands.


Since price is no longer the determining factor in deciding between these two scooters, we can no longer say, as we once did, that the M365 is the value winner.

The Xiaomi scooter may be totally unavailable, especially if you're in the United States, so the Model One may win by default.

But the Unagi also wins out over a range of Xiaomi alternatives, imitators, and clones for its inimitable design, unique features, and leasing options.


Unagi is the more premium product. It is a beautifully designed scooter with super-premium feeling looks, construction, design, and ergonomics.

The Model One also has faster acceleration and more power for climbing steeper hills. However, on the downside it has less range than the M365 and offers a rougher ride, a flaw that's hard to overlook on bad roads.

Xiaomi M365

The M365 is a more ordinary-looking scooter that remains a very solid choice where it's available. This is the Honda Civic of electric scooters, and the Xiaomi and its quality imitators continue to appeal for the same reasons as the Civic: they're simple, look good, and reliably get the job done. You can't argue with any of that, even if it's hard to get especially excited about it.

The Xiaomi definitely outdoes the Unagi in the range department, though shorter range may not be problem if you're using your Model One as a connector rather than a primary vehicle.

Currently no links available from retailers in the United States. See our Editor’s Choice list of Best Xiaomi Mi M365 Alternatives here.

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

Unagi Model One

If you want the Unagi, then you know you want the Unagi. For you, the design or subscription service overwhelms the features of the M365 and its alternatives (including an app, which the 2022 Model One does not have). Both scooters have style and substance, they just combine them in different degrees for two very different approaches to electric personal transportation devices.

Available in the United States from Unagi.

Our newsletter has the biggest discounts, newest scooter reviews, best how-to’s, & no spam. Unsubscribe anytime!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Find your perfect ride

We built a tool that makes it effortless for you to find a scooter perfect for your lifestyle. Filter, compare, and sort through almost every electric scooter in the industry.
jump injump in
Join our Team
Contact us
Join our