Let me involve you in an ongoing debate in my home — I want to install a treadmill in my living room. My boyfriend does not, claiming we don’t have the space or the budget, for one of the best treadmills.
If you’re on my side of the fence, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline ($599/£519) might just be the affordable little treadmill we’ve been waiting for — it doesn’t cost a fortuen (a sixth of the price of the Peloton Tread), and it folds away when you’re not using it.
Price: $599 / £519
Dimensions: 51.9 x 26.2 x 44.5 inches
Screen: 5.73 Inches
Running surface: 43.3 x 16 inches
Weight: 100.3 lbs
Max user weight: 265 lbs
Motor: 3HP motor
Max speed: 8.7 mph
A decent treadmill is a handy training tool whatever level of runner you are. If you’re a beginner, it’s a great way to control your environment, as a treadmill allows you to keep your speed steady. If you’re more advanced, it’s a handy way to add extra miles in when the weather gets bad. Of course, there are pros and cons of using a treadmill — read our running on a treadmill vs running outside face-off here.
But how does the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline compare to other affordable treadmills on the market, and who is it best for? Read my full Mobvoi Home Treadmill review to find out more.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Price and availability
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline costs $599/£519 and is available from Mobvoi US and Mobvoi UK directly. The brand also sells on third-party sites like Amazon US and Amazon UK.
The brand also has a cheaper treadmill, but this one doesn’t have the same incline or top speeds, so isn’t really suitable for running. It’s also not in stock right now, so it might be that Mobvoi has discontinued the slower machine.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Design and setup
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline comes in a huge box, full of padding to protect the machine in transit. It’s pretty heavy (about 100 pounds/45.5 kg), so I’d recommend getting someone to help you move it into position before unpacking it. I tested the treadmill at our Tom’s Guide testing facility, so was able to unpack and build the machine on hard flooring, right next to where the treadmill had been delivered. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to maneuver the box up a flight of stairs on my own.
As someone who struggles with IKEA furniture, the thought of building a treadmill (and then running on it) filled me with dread. That said, the Mobvoi’s instructions were fantastic — all the nuts, bolts, and screws were clearly labelled, and it probably took me an hour from opening the box to having it up and running.
It would probably have taken less time if I’d had someone to help me lift the treadmill out of the box, as this took a bit of wiggling. All you actually have to assemble is the handles, plastic cover and transport wheels. The treadmill also comes with lubricant for the running belt, and recommends when you should use it.
One of the best design features about the Mobvoi treadmill is that you can fold the belt away when you’re not using it, meaning it has a much smaller footprint than other treadmills. From a safety perspective, it’s also a good idea to fold the belt away if you have children or pets in the house.
The belt has a clever drop-down system that prevents the belt from slamming down when you do unfold it, which is a huge plus. There’s also wheels on the front of the treadmill that allow you to wheel it out the way when you’re not using it.
The belt itself isn’t the largest — at 43.3 inches long and 16 inches wide, it’s a lot smaller than the treadmills you’ve probably used in the gym. At 5' 1", I didn’t have any issues with the belt being too short, and was able to run at around at 8:15 minute mile pace with my normal stride. That said, taller runners might feel a little constricted by the smaller belt.
Compared to the likes of the Peloton Tread and the NordicTrack, there’s no screen on the Mobvoi, other than a small display that cycles through your distance, pace, incline and duration. There is a slight ridge on the display, which means you could easily put your phone or tablet there when running and follow a class from the Peloton appor Apple Fitness Plus.
There’s also the option to connect the treadmill via Bluetooth to a Wear OS smartwatch, which allows you to see all your running stats from your wrist and ignore the little screen entirely. The app is only compatible with Wear OS smartwatches, not Apple Watch or Garmin.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Performance
There’s some big selling points when it comes to the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline — it’s compact enough to fit in most home office/gym set-ups; it folds away; and it’s very affordable. It also has a good top speed — the treadmill goes up to 8.7 miles per hour, which is a 6:54 minute mile pace, so it should be suitable for most runners, although not for speed sessions. (I’d argue the belt is a little narrow for running really fast, anyway).
The belt is relatively quiet, although your downstairs neighbors would definitely hear you running on this, and perhaps any treadmill.
That said, there are some downsides. The most obvious being is there’s no way to pause a workout. Nine times out of ten, I’ll pause my treadmill session to have a drink of water, or select a new podcast, as it’s often tricky to do either while running on a belt. I found it frustrating that my only option was to stop the workout entirely, then start a new workout, without all my data.
There’s also 25 pre-programmed running workouts on the treadmill, but absolutely no explanation as to what these programs do. I leafed through the instruction manual, and looked online, but couldn’t find anything. You can still set time and distance goals, should you wish, but it would be nice to have some more explanation.
Update: Since publishing this review, I spoke to Mobvoi who sent me more details about all of the different pre-programmed workouts, and there are plenty to choose from. I'd suggest reaching out to customer service and getting hold of the pdf with all fo the workouts.
Finally, after running about 20 miles on the treadmill, I found the belt started to stick a little, making it feel a little unstable underfoot. This isn’t the end of the world, and is exactly why Mobvoi included the little bottle of lube in the box with the treadmill, but I’d expected the treadmill to last a little longer before needing maintenance.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Safety features
As mentioned above, the fact the belt folds away makes it feel a lot safer than others, especially if you’re installing it in a home with kids or pets, as does the fact that the belt moves down slowly. Of course, it’s also worth unplugging the treadmill when you’re not using it and ensuring pets and kids are out of the room when you are to ensure everyone stays safe.
The Mobvoi treadmill also has a safety clip, that you can attach to your clothing when running. When pulled, the Mobvoi treadmill stops instantly.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Verdict
If you’re looking for an affordable home treadmill that’ll let you do easy runs when the weather is bad, or walking workouts when you’re watching TV, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline is a good choice. It’s a little annoying you can’t pause the treadmill if the doorbell rings, but if you can get over this, and don’t want pre-programmed workouts, you should get on just fine with the Mobvoi.
If you’re looking for a treadmill to do some serious running training on, however, you’ll probably want to look at some of the other best treadmills on our list. The small belt and the lack of pause button means doing serious training on this tread might be tricky. While pricier, the Echelon Stride ($1,169) also has a folding belt, has a top incline of 10% and a top speed of 12 miles per hour.
If you are just looking for a treadmill to do walking workouts on, you might be better off checking out the best under-desk treadmills, designed for walking while you work. But overall the Mobvoi is a good treadmill for those on a budget.