While the Mobvoi Home Treadmill a great walking and under-desk treadmill, and with the arms it will suffice for people following a run-walk plan, it won’t satisfy the needs of regular runners.
- Quiet motor
- Longer belt than other walking treadmills
- Built-in Bluetooth speakers
- Narrow belt for running
- Awkwardly placed screen
- “Folding” requires unscrewing pieces
Mobvoi is a Chinese tech firm founded in 2012 that manufactures earbuds and smartwatches, and with this treadmill it’s moved into home cardio machines.
If you leave the Mobvoi’s sidebars folded down, it works as an under-desk walking treadmill; but with the arms up it can be used as a proper running treadmill, with speeds of up to 12km/h, which equates to a pace of 5min/km.
The treadmill costs £429.99, which is towards the lower end of the price spectrum – the best treadmills can cost as much as £3,500. That means it doesn’t feel as sturdy as more expensive machines and it doesn’t have the option to set an incline.
What I liked best is the length of its belt, which at 100cm is slightly longer than most walking treadmills and makes jogging feasible. However, the belt is only 40cm wide, and I struggled with this while running. It’s best thought of as a walking treadmill that you occasionally use to run.
The 0.75HP motor is built to be quiet, which in tests it certainly was compared with most home treadmills, and it can comfortably accommodate longer runs. Unfortunately, the speed is capped at 12km/h, which is not enough if you were considering doing high-speed interval workouts on it.
The Mobvoi is ideal as a walking or under-desk treadmill to use with a standing desk. If you want a treadmill for regular running, you’ll need to spend more.
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill comes flat-packed in a 34kg package. It took less than 30 minutes to assemble, though the weight and dimensions meant it required two people to unpack it safely.
The instruction leaflet illustrates the few steps required to assemble the treadmill. To use it as an under-desk treadmill, there is little to do apart from taking it out of the box. If you do want to run on it, you need to unfold the control panel, which you do by unfastening a clasp on the right-hand side of the belt and raising the bar into position. Then you screw on the sidebars and phone holder.
While the treadmill is marketed as foldable, folding and unfolding it requires screwing and unscrewing the sidebars every time, which takes a couple of minutes. Once it is packed down it’s only 11.2cm high, which means it can be stored under a sofa or a bed. It also has wheels on one end of the belt so it can be moved more easily.
Its design is plain and sleek: I tested the black model, but it’s also available in silver. The foldable control panel features a touchscreen with limited functionality: a start/stop button on the left-hand side, buttons numbered 1 to 12 to jump to the corresponding km/h, and +/- buttons to adjust the speed 0.1 km/h at a time. I found these controls lacking in responsiveness and it sometimes took more than one attempt to decrease the speed when I was running fast.
There are no bottle holders on the control bars, and the phone holder was hard to screw in. It will not stretch to accommodate a tablet, and there is no rest for a laptop either. While my phone felt securely attached to the treadmill, I felt the spring system on the phone holder was flimsy and may not work for larger smartphones. However, the treadmill does have built-in Bluetooth speakers to which you can pair your phone. This means if you are listening to music or watching a workout on your device, you can hear the sound through the machine rather than headphones or your phone speaker.
The treadmill doesn’t have a screen on the control panel to display metrics about your workout, but there is a small LED screen at the front of the belt. This display rotates between your current speed, and calories burned, distance covered and duration of the session. The treadmill has standard safety features, including a safety key you can pull to force-stop the treadmill.
The Mobvoi treadmill has a remote control that is helpful if you are using the treadmill under your desk. The remote lets you control the speed by pressing a +/- button, replacing the buttons you find on the control panel when it is unfolded. The remote control becomes useless when you are using the treadmill as a running machine, though, because there is no space to put it down while working out.
I tested the Mobvoi treadmill both as a walking and a running treadmill. Walking felt comfortable and there was no sign of the machine struggling even after an hour walking at 5km/h. The motor also sounded faint at speeds between 3km/h and 5km/h: I recorded less than 55dB, a level equating to a quiet office.
At higher running speeds, the treadmill never went above 65dB, and in fact the sound of my feet treading on the belt was the loudest noise. The quiet motor meant it was possible to hear my music through the treadmill’s Bluetooth speaker, which was a bonus.
The motor kept up with a 30-minute run at 10km/h and short bursts at 12km/h, but that max speed isn’t fast enough for a decent interval session if you’re an experienced runner. There is no incline/decline function either, which limits the options for your workouts.
I struggled with the combination of a narrow belt and placement of the screen. While putting the screen at the end of the belt saves space on the control panel, having to look down to see the metrics made it feel harder to maintain my balance, especially while running. The belt may be longer than on other walking treadmills but it’s shorter than running ones, and I felt close to coming off it a few times.
The Mobvoi treadmill will work for longer, low-intensity runs, but it can’t compete with a cheap running treadmill.
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill is primarily a walking treadmill. On those terms, it is a practical option which can be easily stored and used under a desk. It had no problem coping with longer workouts and was quiet.
Runners should not expect too much from this treadmill, though. The maximum 12km/h speed, lack of incline and small belt, make it feel limited.
For the price, you get a sturdy and powerful walking treadmill, ideal if you’re trying to get more steps in during the day or want to do light jogging. But if you’re after a proper treadmill for home, I’d recommend an entry-level running treadmill like the JTX Sprint-3 or, if a flat fold is important to you and your budget can stretch, try the Echelon Stride.
Mina is the reviews editor at Top Ten Reviews, as well as a freelance writer and editor. She's been a keen rower since school and has recently taken up running, completing her first half marathon in 2021. Mina is one of Coach's treadmill reviewers.
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