Atomi Alpha Review: Pretty but Flawed
The venerable kickstand may not be quite as old as the wheel, but in the year 2023, you’d think we’d have it down pat. Sadly, that’s not the case. The Atomi Alpha electric kick scooter hails from a relatively new brand, Atomi, and it has one of the worst kickstands I’ve had the displeasure of using out of all the escooters and ebikes I’ve tested. Yes, this thing has toppled over more than I’d like to admit.
It’s a shame, as this is one of the prettier scooters I’ve seen, especially in the pine green color. It’s got a gorgeous strip of LEDs on the center stem and on the underside of the deck so you stick out like a neon sign to nearby traffic. The colors are also customizable, which means you don’t have to look like a gliding gaming PC. When I arrived home with the scooter glowing a deep teal, my neighbor squealed, “That’s so cool!” Frankly, that’s not a term I often hear when I’m riding an electric scooter. I just wish it worked better.
The Alpha comes mostly assembled out of the box; you just need to attach the handlebar with the provided screws and plug in a cable. It’s pretty easy to fold up, too—push down on the latch at the base of the stem, bring the stem down, and use the hook on the left handlebar to attach it to the rear mudguard and keep it fixed.
As this hook is on the left handlebar, the stem isn’t parallel to the deck in the Alpha’s folded state. Instead, it hangs off a little to the side and takes up more width than most other scooters. I’d have preferred it folded parallel to the deck like the Niu KQi3 Max I’m currently testing, but this is a nitpick. The Alpha weighs 36 pounds, typical for a scooter in this class. I didn’t find it tricky to carry up and down my flight of stairs because the stem isn’t super thick, so it’s easy to get a good grasp on it.
It comes with a bell installed and a headlight, though I couldn’t really see much with it. I also don’t like the charging port location. It’s hidden away where the kickstand rests, so I often had to get low to the ground to find the port and plug it in. Atomi also includes an integrated combination lock on the opposite side of the deck so you don’t need to carry around your own, but I don’t think it would deter a determined thief. Don’t store this scooter outside; fold it up and take it inside or put it in a secure garage if you can.
You can’t adjust the height of this escooter, but with my 6’4″ frame, I didn’t find the handlebars too hard to reach. What was difficult was reading the LED display. It’s angled quite low—clearly meant for shorter riders—so I frequently crouched just to see the screen (please don’t try to picture this).
The power button in the center is what you’ll use to cycle between speed modes, of which there are three. It’s really squishy, so push it hard to turn it on. One tap will turn on the headlight. You’ll have to use the Atomi app to control the RGB lights on the scooter, but with it, you’re able to nail down the exact color you want, choose different lighting scenes, and tweak the brightness.