Apollo Air Review
How does the best-in-class ride quality sub $600 sound? Well, that’s what the Air delivers. With a front spring built to cushion your body from the impacts of less predictable urban terrain, and a pair of pneumatic, air-filled tires to soften the residual vibrations, it boasts a combo you don’t see on any other scooter below $600. Just as I liken the Air’s reliability to a Toyota Prius, its build quality is that of a Rolls Royce. Everything from the handlebars to the stem and deck seamlessly flows into each other and the attention to detail for the design of components like the folding hook and kickstand – that sit flush to the scooter while retracted – is a tell-tale sign of quality that other budget models simply lack.
Apollo Air Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Apollo Air Be a Good Fit For You?
If you’re looking for a scooter sub $600 and don’t want to settle for a cheaply made model, but instead want one that oozes quality and reliability, the Apollo Air fits the bill.
As per its moniker, the Air is a lightweight scooter that fits the profile of portability. It folds easily, and – at 35 lbs – comfortably makes the cut as a commuter scooter.
Ultimately, it’s Apollo’s entry-level scooter that is best suited to those who aren’t concerned with blistering top speeds and riding for Herculean distances, but for a scooter that they can enjoy day-to-day weaving in and out of busy city streets, as well as leisurely rides at the weekend.
Pros and Cons
- Best-in-class ride quality
- Best built budget scooter
- 10-inch front air-filled tire
- Front spring suspension
- IPX4 water-resistance rating
- Intuitive, aesthetically pleasing display
- Ergonomic thumb throttle
- Lightweight and portable
- Simple folding mechanism
- There are similarly-priced models that have larger motors and bigger batteries, but there aren’t as well built
Value for Money
Is the Price Tag Worth it?
Is the Apollo Air good value for money? There are two answers to this question.
The first one is yes – because, at just $549, the Air is one of the most affordable entry points into the Apollo brand. Aside from its reputation as a provider of superbly designed scooters, all models from Apollo offer excellent build and ride quality. Apollo also provides a 24-month warranty – the longest of all the scooters I’ve reviewed – as well as some of the most impressive online and post-purchase support.
The Apollo Air is like the Toyota Prius of the scooter industry. Just as the Prius was voted as the most reliable car, the Air’s detailed design and well-crafted frame deliver a scooter that has the pedigree of a premium model packed into an affordable price tag.
If we put the performance of the Air under scrutiny, though, you may think its value for money is less than comparable models. While the Air delivers on its speed and range credentials – which is rare in the world of scooters where manufacturers bloat the figures – other models deliver the same for less, and some that cost slightly more outperform it.
However, it's important to know that the Apollo Air isn’t a throw-away scooter. Although the Air has a higher price tag than other scooters that are equipped with larger motors and bigger batteries, the Air is one of few budget models that is built to last. This is one of its redeeming factors. Unlike some cheap scooters, you won’t buy the Air and have to replace it in a year because it’s stopped working. There’s, of course, no issue with buying a cheap scooter and doing the latter but if you want a model that you can rely on for long-lasting performance, the Air is the one to go for.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
The Apollo Air keeps things simple with a slim, stripped-back set of handlebars.
Compared to run-of-the-mill budget scooters, the 22-inch handlebars are around 5 – 6 inches wider. This makes them ideal for the spatial needs of larger riders – however, the 40-inch deck to handlebar height runs a little on the short side for riders that are taller than 6ft. While this is around the average for scooters of its ilk, those with telescopic stems – like the Horizon – can extend to around 47 inches making them better suited for a wider scope of riders.
It must be said, though, that the above-average width affords the scooter with great handling. And, it’s not just the handling that gives the Air its enjoyable ride qualities, but also the intuitive thumb throttle and ergonomically-positioned brake lever. You’d be surprised how the angle of a brake lever can affect your riding experience – take the Turboant M10, for instance, this scooter suffers from having a brake lever that is aligned horizontally to the handgrip, causing tall riders to bend their hand upwards at an awkward angle to pull on it. Worst of all, the lever is fixed, meaning you can’t adjust it. Luckily, the Air’s brake lever can be positioned at a downward angle to make it easy to use.
Located in the center of the handlebars is its black display panel that provides at-a-glance readouts of your speed and remaining battery. While I love the way this blends seamlessly into the matt-black paintwork of the handlebars, the display can be a little tricky to interpret under direct sunlight. That’s certainly no deal-breaker, though, and is an issue on many other scooters.
Channeling a sporty, playful, yet profoundly classy aesthetic, the frame consists of soft, curved lines, and is finished off with a coat of matte-black paint.
It’s a very simple, clean look, with slightly upswept handlebars and a tapered deck adding a unique twist to the classic style.
Positioned between the handgrips, the black panel integrates almost imperceptibly into the frame, giving it an aesthetic edge that conspicuous displays (such as the QS-S4) simply can’t hold a candle to.
The Air flaunts a sizable 19.5 x 7.8-inch deck that is coated in a grippy rubber for maximum traction. The geometric pattern is reminiscent of the same design we’ve seen on Apollo’s other models, like the City and Explore, but replaces the grip tape with an anti-slip rubber matting.
Design-wise, the deck is unique, with a shape that’s wider at the front, but tapers toward the rear. The deck offers around 3.3 inches of ground clearance, too, which gives you a small amount of room to play with. But you won’t want to roll off curbs since there’s a good chance you’ll hear that dreaded scraping sound when metal hits concrete.
Design aside, the deck – alongside the wide handlebars – delivers a stable ride, and one of the key reasons why is because the deck houses the battery. Rather than being packed in the stem, as is the case with rivals like the Turboant X7 Pro – the Air has a lower center of gravity, meaning it’s not top-heavy.
The Air comes fitted out with a pair of air-filled tires, with a 10-inch one at the front, and a 8.5-inch one bringing up the rear. These tires – thanks to their air-filled, rather than solid rubber or foam profile – contribute in spades to the excellent ride quality by soaking up the jarring impacts that potholes and cracks can have on your wrists and ankles.
Tires are one of the most important features on entry-level scooters – particularly because many models in this bracket lack traditional suspension, and thus have to compensate with some other form of shock absorption. While the Air does have spring suspension over the front wheel, there’s nothing at the back – which means that its shock-dampening tire comes in handy.
Although it’s smaller than its front counterpart, it’s also worth noting that the rear wheel has a split rim. This makes tire changes easier when it comes to routine maintenance, or in the case that you pick up a puncture.
Build Quality & Durability
Despite boasting a light, nimble feel, the Air is made of tough stuff, with a stress-tested, precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy making up its frame. The rear fender (made from a hardened, reinforced plastic) is robust, and – in its ability to stop mud and dirt splashing up your back – more closely resembles the kind of tire hugger you’ll see on more expensive higher performance models. The Air also comes with an IPX4 water-resistance rating, to offer a baseline of protection against the elements.
But would we expect anything less from a top company like Apollo? Absolutely not.
Just as I likened the Air’s reliability to a Toyota Prius, its build quality is that of a Rolls Royce. Everything from the handlebars to the stem and deck seamlessly flows into each other and the attention to detail for the design of components like the folding hook and kickstand – that sit flush to the scooter while retracted – is a tell-tale sign of quality that other budget models simply lack.
While we are on the topic of the kickstand, its tucked away design does make it a little awkward to maneuver, meaning you have to tilt the scooter away from you to kick it out, but once it's retracted under the lip of the deck it doesn’t protrude out – leaving the beautiful tapered deck to parade in all its glory.
Weight & Load
It weighs a light 35 lbs, meaning it’s comfortably cut out for life as a commuter scooter, or for leisurely weekend rides. It’s also several pounds lighter than its most fierce competitor, the Horizon 13 (42 lbs), as well as its fellow Apollo model, the Air Pro (38.5 lbs).
The Air can also support a maximum of 220 lbs of rider weight. This has become the standard for the majority of entry-level scooters, but there are options if you require a scooter that can support more. Here, I’d point you towards either the Horizon 13 (265 lbs), Horizon 10.4 (265 lbs), or the Turboant X7 Pro (275 lbs).
Folding & Portability
Frustrating, time-sapping folding mechanisms can have a detriment on your riding enjoyment (as anyone who’s ever folded the Kugoo G2 Pro will know), so it’s a relief that folding the Air is a fuss-free task.
The folding mechanism is unique to the Air and looks a bit like three quick-release collar camps stacked on top of each other with one lever to tighten all.
Simply pull the lever open until the clamp is loose, slide it up, and fold the stem down. When the stem is parallel to the deck, you can flick out the hook located in a magnetized cavity at the top of the stem, and then hook this into the ring-like anchor point at the rear of the deck. The anchor point is another design detail that should be applauded. Unlike other scooters that attach latches that protrude from the deck – making them easy to catch with your feet while riding – the one on the Air folds down flat when not in use.
Thanks to the hook and ring, the stem and deck stay locked together when you lift the scooter, making it easy to pick up and carry.
There is one area of the scooter that limits its portability, though – its wide handlebars. While its folded dimensions make the scooter shorter, its length and, more importantly, width remains. If you want a scooter whose middle name is “Ultra-Portable”, the INOKIM Light 2 – with its super lightweight frame (30 lbs), telescopic stem, and foldable handlers – is the scooter for you. However, this model costs almost double the Apollo Air ($999). The next best option is the Horizon (either the 13 or 10.4Ah version) – it weighs 40-42 lbs, boasts the same efficient folding mechanisms as the INOKIM, and has the folded dimensions of 38.6 (L) x 7.1 (W) x 14.6 (H) inches. By comparison, the Air measures 46.8 (L) x 22.0 (W) x 20.9 (H) inches.
Included in the box, there should be a charger, manual, and a 5mm Allen key.
It arrives essentially fully assembled – you’ll just need to use the included tool to loosen the screws from the top of the stem post before connecting the ‘male’ connection cable protruding from the handlebar into the ‘female’ counterpart, which comes out of the stem, and then insert the handlebars into the top of the stem, and tighten it into place with the screws you removed earlier.
Is the Apollo Air Comfortable to Ride?
How does the best-in-class ride quality sub $600 sound? Well, that’s what the Air delivers.
With a front spring built to cushion your body from the impacts of less predictable urban terrain, and a pair of pneumatic, air-filled tires to soften the residual vibrations, it boasts a combo you don’t see on any other scooter below $600.
Both the popular Turboant X7 Pro and M10, for instance, rely on pneumatic tires alone for their suspension, while scooters like the Hiboy S2 Pro – despite boasting dual rear springs – lack air-filled tires, instead opting for less shock absorptive solid rubber. Through this lens, the fact that the Air sports both large, air-filled tires and suspension is impressive – so it should come as no surprise that the Air is such a pleasure to ride.
That said, a slightly more comfortable ride does present itself in the form of the Apollo Air Pro – the upgraded version of the Air. The Air Pro keeps its predecessor’s plush pneumatic tires but increases the size of the Air’s rear-wheel from 8.5 to 10 inches. It also ups the ante of that front suspension, introducing a dual fork that offers an extra dose of dampening.
Ride quality isn’t completely down to the suspension, though – and the wider profile of the handlebars lends itself to a more controlled riding experience compared to the majority of budget models whose handlebars measure around 16-17 inches. Alongside the grippy tread of the deck, low center of gravity, and ergonomic controls – including the brake and thumb throttle – the Air simply flows.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The Apollo Air’s 36V 250W motor allows it to hit a top speed of up to 15 mph – so how does that compare to the competition?
Speed vs Price Comparison
Taking a $500 price range with the Air’s $549 in the middle throws up a total of 17 comparable models to choose from. But, unfortunately (for fans of the Air, at least), when we organize this list of scooters by speed, the Air sits near the bottom.
This, of course, suggests that – for the money you’re paying – there are faster alternatives to the Apollo Air. Among these, the most prominent are the Horizon 13 and 10.4, whose 25 mph top speed mean that they dominate our rankings.
So, should we be surprised at the dominance of the top? Not at all.
This duo of speedsters sport 500W motors – double the size of the Air’s motor – which gives them a natural advantage when it comes to zippier pace and acceleration. Plus, they run at 48V vs the Air’s 36V. As a general rule, the higher the voltage, the greater the torque and faster the acceleration, and the larger the motor, the higher the top speed.
However, while these models share the crown, they are also the most expensive in the rankings and so, if you aren’t keen on splashing the cash, either the Turboant X7 Pro or M10 are worth considering. Both have 36V 350W motors that are identical in size and power to the Air Pro – although, the M10 accelerates faster than the X7 Pro thanks to its rear-mounted motor, as opposed to the X7 Pro’s front one.
Shifting our focus back to the Apollo Air, while it isn’t the fastest in its price class, it isn’t the slowest, either. That unwanted accolade goes to the Segway Ninebot E22 and its sluggish 12.4 mph. The Air is 21% faster.
Speed vs Weight Comparison
Considering that weight is an important factor for commuter-style scooters like the Air, we compared it to all the scooters in our database that weigh between 30 and 40 lbs.
Just like the Speed vs Price comparison, the Air doesn’t fare so well. It sits dead last, making it the slowest scooter in its weight class.
Conversely, the EVOLV Tour 2.0 emerges at the top of our speed stakes, with a 600W motor allowing it to register a speed of 28 mph – almost double what the Air is capable of. That said, it’s not for anyone working within the boundaries of a budget – at $1,195, the EVOLV Tour 2.0 is a full 2.2 times more expensive than its slower counterpart.
The Air’s big bro, the Apollo City is the next fastest alternative, but its similarly expensive $999 price tag may prove an issue. With that in mind, my top pick from this list is the Horizon 10.4. Not only does it brilliantly blend power and portability with a perfect price point and relatively light weight, but it’s also the cheapest scooter to have suspension.
As you may have guessed, the Air’s relatively slow top speed means it’s not winning any awards for its acceleration rate. When compared to the three scooters I recommend as alternatives, the Apollo Air has the second slowest acceleration rate of the bunch.
|Scooter||0-15 MPH (Seconds)|
|Horizon 13 ($799)||4.7|
|Apollo Air Pro ($699)||6.0|
|Apollo Air ($549)||7.1|
|Turboant X7 Pro ($550)||7.3|
The Air does outperform the Turboant X7 Pro, though. Despite having a motor that is 100W smaller, its rear-drive setup propels it to 15 mph ever-so-slightly faster.
Thanks largely to the power its 350W motor is packing, the Apollo Air Pro beats its little bro to 15 mph by a comfortable 1.1 seconds, and the model offering the most impressive acceleration rate is the Horizon 13, sporting an acceleration rate that is 34% faster.
The Apollo Air is capable of 12 miles of range off a single charge. While this doesn’t sound impressive per se, Apollo hasn’t bloated the maximum range as many other manufacturers do. So, while you’d usually expect to get 60-65% of the range advertised under realistic conditions, the Air performs against what it promises. It’s worth bearing this in mind for the next set of comparisons.
Mileage vs Price Comparison
While the Air’s mileage clocks in second from last out of a comparable 17 models, it’s important to note that if we consider realistic range – as opposed to the maximum range – the Air beats out 47% of the competition – including all 8 models running from the Ninebot E22 up to the Turboant M10 (except for the Apollo Air Pro).
Ultimately, though, there are scooters with larger batteries that outperform the Air.
At the top of our table is the Turboant X7 Pro. If you’re looking for a scooter with excellent mileage, but are operating within a similar budget as the Apollo Air, the X7 Pro is just about the best scooter your money can buy. The X7 Pro’s maximum 30-mile range is a whopping 2.5 times greater than the Air’s 12 miles, though I should point out that the X7 Pro lacks the Air’s front spring suspension and that under realistic riding conditions, it delivers 16 miles. The X7 Pro has a trick up its sleeve, though, and that’s its detachable battery. You can pick up additional batteries for around $200 and double the mileage for a long-range ride.
There’s also the Horizon 13, which if you hadn’t already guessed by its name, is equipped with a 13Ah battery capable of a real-world 25-mile range. Along with its front and rear spring suspension, it delivers a comfortable ride that makes it another fantastic alternative to the Air.
Mileage vs Weight Comparison
Similar to the results above, the Air doesn’t appear to perform well on paper, but again, its real-world performance beats out 26% of the models in our rankings, including all 5 models running from the GoTrax Apex to the Hiboy S2R.
Once again, the Turboant X7 Pro parades its way to the top of our rankings, making it the best option for both price and weight.
If we consider overall performance and the longevity of battery life when it comes to the podium holding scooters, the Apollo City stands out with its superior Dynavolt battery cells and real-world 18-mile range. It comes at a cost though ($999).
The Air’s 250W motor is made for commuting and recreational riding – not hill climbing. You’ll be able to crest hills of up to 10 degrees (equivalent to an 18% incline grade) but attempt anything steeper, and gravity will win the battle.
The lack of hill-climbing credentials shouldn’t play too much in your decision-making process, though. Because of their smaller motors – which don’t put out sufficient levels of torque to tackle tougher gradients – most budget scooters face similar struggles with slopes.
If you need a scooter with more hill climbing cojones, the Horizon 13 is a better choice. Its 500W motor enables it to climb the same hills twice as fast as the Air, so it’s ideal if you live in a city characterized by more undulating terrain.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
Sporting a spring at the base of the stem and an 8.5-inch airless tire at the rear raising the curtain for the main event – that chubby, 10-inch pneumatic tire at the front, the Air is the most well equipped shock-absorbing scooter under $600.
I’m a huge fan of the suspension/tire combo – particularly considering the impressive damping (i.e. the process of controlling the spring's oscillation when it compresses and rebounds). Compared to other budget models which use stiff springs, the Air doesn’t have any of the bouncing that can often be the case. Instead, the spring and plush tires keep the wheels in contact with the ground below to maintain traction allowing for superb handling.
Similar to the other scooters of its ilk, the Apollo Air relies on a single disc brake – located over the rear wheel – for its stopping power.
In practice, this means that the brakes will bring you to a stop in 5.2 meters from 15 mph. This is on the longer side where we consider 3.0-3.4 meters to be good. However, it’s not out of the ordinary, it matches that of both the Turboant X7 Pro and Horizon 13. It is trumped by that of its big brother, the Air Pro, though. Courtesy of a front drum brake, the Air Pro is capable of bringing you to a stop in around 3.5 meters, making its brakes 33% more effective.
Sure, the Air’s braking performance could be improved with an extra mechanical brake over the front wheel. But in its pricing bracket, there aren’t any scooters sporting dual braking systems – so it seems a little much to ask for.
Plus, the Air’s disc brake is backed up by a regenerative brake, which feeds kinetic energy from the motors into the brakes, helping you come to a safer stop.
The Air takes 4.5 hours to reach a full charge.
One of the things I love about entry-level scooters is that – unlike their more premium counterparts, which tend to rely on standardized displays, such as the QS-S4 and MiniMotors EY3 – they tend to sport their own, unique screens.
The Air’s display is a great example. User-friendly, good-looking, and feature-packed, this display ticks pretty much all the boxes. It’s not a touch screen, but instead sports a single button below the panel, which – via a series of button combinations – allows you to toggle between functionality that includes:
- Turning the scooter on or off (one long press)
- Switching between one of the three riding modes that limit your speed to 4 mph, 11 mph, and full speed – 15 mph (one short press)
- Flicking on the front and rear lights (two short presses)
- Activating cruise control (three short presses)
Key riding stats – your speed and battery capacity – are displayed in large, eye-catching nixie tubes and symbols. Other icons correspond to your cruise control and lights, while the nixie tubes also inform you of any failure using specific display codes (E1 – E8). These number/letter combos correspond to an issue that needs addressing and they can be decoded using your manual.
As is more or less standard across electric scooters of all shapes and sizes, the Air has a cruise control feature. To engage it, simply press the button at the bottom of the display screen three times in quick succession.
Once activated (you’ll know it’s on if the small icon shaped like a speedometer in the lower right corner of the screen lights up), maintain a constant speed, and cruise control will take over without you having to retain manual control over the throttle.
You can hit the button three times to switch this function off altogether.
It comes fitted with a bicycle-grade bell. While it is loud enough to get the attention of pedestrians, it doesn’t have the eyebrow-raising siren needed to alert traffic to your presence.
Located on the upper part of the stem (just under the display screen), the hook’s central purpose is to thread through a small latch at the rear of the Air’s deck when folded for easy lifting.
However, it can also serve as a place to hang your bag – although I’d use it with caution. Hooking heavy bags to the front of the scooter makes it top-heavy and can be the cause of accidents since the side-to-side swaying of a bag hinders control over the handlebars and steering column. I’d stick to wearing a backpack.
Headlight and Taillight
The main highlight of the LED setup is its stem-located headlight. Not only is this light well-positioned (being close to the handlebars, rather than lower down near the fender), it’s also adjustable. The headlight is hinged, meaning that you can tilt the light up or down to get the exact angle of visibility you need.
Jumping to the other side of the scooter, the Air sports a responsive tail light. This is embedded in the scooter’s rear fender, and flashes when you engage the brakes – it’s also larger than average and reminds me of the one on the GoTrax Apex that I was so fond of.
There are reflectors adorning either side of the Air’s rear wheel, too, as well as one positioned just below the headlight.
To switch the lights on, press the button just below the cockpit display twice in quick succession.
IPX4 Water-Resistance Rating
While the water-resistance rating means that it’s certifiably able to withstand splashes of water from all angles, I don't recommend riding in heavy rain. This is because the warranty specifies that water damage voids the policy.
Smart Power Management
As I alluded to in the ‘Build Quality and Durability’ section of the review, the phrase ‘poor quality’ isn’t a part of Apollo’s vocabulary, and that commitment isn’t just reserved for the Air’s outward-facing components, but for its 36V 7.5Ah battery, too.
That’s because the battery is regulated by a smart power management system. This provides short circuit and overcurrent protection, as well as a dual-layer of safeguarding from the ill effects of over-discharging. It also regulates temperature and has an undervoltage auto-sleep protection feature.
It’s all a little complicated – but all you need to know is that the smart power management system is designed to help your battery last longer by ensuring it holds its peak performance for hundreds of charge cycles.
Specification: Apollo Air Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
Apollo offers a 12-month warranty that covers manufacturing defects and a further 12-month guarantee, during which you’ll pay no markup costs on repairs. All that adds up to a total of two years – one of the longest warranty periods of its kind.
Manufacturing defects cover the battery, frame, stem, controller, handlebars, LED lights, motor, throttle, and display screen. It also covers the scooter’s rims and kickstand, as well as its brake calipers and discs – the only caveat here is that you’ll have to report any defects with these parts within the first 30 days or 10 km (6.2 miles) of use (whichever arrives first).
Damage not covered by the warranty is regular wear and tear, rusting, and loss of color due to sun exposure, as well as any issues that arise as a result of:
- Negligence or abuse
- Incorrect assembly or storage
- Modifications or unauthorized upgrades
- Accidents or collisions
- ‘Acts of God’
- Water damage
- Poor maintenance
Apollo is a leader in the scooter industry when it comes to customer support and that’s why their scooters are some of the most popular in a market that is fast becoming saturated.
Not only do they have an entire Help Center loaded to the brim with setup guides, repair videos, instruction manuals, and scooter FAQs, but also provide a support request feature where you can detail the exact help that you need.
Alternatively, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for email-based support. They have been quick to respond to our queries in the past, typically responding within 48 hours.
Apollo Air: Discover What the Best-Built Budget Scooter Has to Offer
With a front spring to cushion your body from the impacts of less predictable urban terrain, and a pair of pneumatic, air-filled tires to soften the residual vibrations, it boasts a combo you don’t see on any other scooter below $600. Discover what else the Air has to off by watching the video.
Specification: Apollo Air Review