Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review TL;DR: a surprisingly capable cheap treadmill with a powerful motor, steep maximum incline setting, various smart functions and a decent user experience overall. It's not perfect, but if you're a casual runner looking to improve your fitness indoors, this is the running machine you need.
The best cheap treadmills will always be in high demand, no matter what, as there will always be people wanting to get fit at home on a budget. After all, running machines provide an excellent way to burn calories, improve cardio health and tone your body indoors. Opting for a cheaper model can save you a lot of money without sacrificing too much on performance.
The Home Treadmill Incline isn't the first machine we tried from Mobvoi – we already tested (and liked) the Mobvoi Home Treadmill, the slightly slower, non-incline version of the subject of this review. I also tried Mobvoi wearables prior to this treadmill review and was quite impressed with their performance, actually (see also: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review).
With that in mind, it's no surprise I wasn't disappointed with the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline; in fact, I think this is an excellent value-for-money running machine and one of the best folding treadmills for people on a tight budget. Should you get one? Probably, but read my review first. Also, check out T3's best treadmill guide for more info on all things running machines.
(First reviewed Jan 2023)
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Price and availability
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline is available to buy now at Mobvoi US (opens in new tab) and Mobvoi UK (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of $600/£520. It's currently not available in Australia. Mobvoi also sells its treadmills through third-party retailers such as Amazon US (opens in new tab) and Amazon UK (opens in new tab). For the best Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline prices, check the price widgets at the top and bottom of this review.
For comparison, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill (non-incline version) sells for £430 in the UK. I couldn't find this treadmill in the US; Mobvoi might have discontinued it. Or it might just be temporarily out of stock. Considering the similarities between that and the subject of this review, I wouldn't be surprised if Mobvoi would stop producing that running machine once the stock is shifted.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: What's in the box and setup
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline comes in a well-padded box with lots of tape and foam to protect the machine. I live in an apartment building on the top floor and have to let people in via the intercom, but the delivery guy somehow found his way in and brought the running machine right to my doorstep.
Despite the compact form factor, I wouldn't recommend carrying the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline yourself. It weighs 100.3 lbs / 45.5 kg, and although I managed to take it up the stairs in my flat, it was a bit of a struggle to do it alone. Unpacking and setting up is the same story; not impossible on your own, but for the sake of safety, I'd recommend having someone with you to help lift the treadmill out of the box etc.
The Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline comes pretty much assembled, with only a few bits to attach, such as the handles, plastic covers and transport wheels. All in all, it takes less than half an hour to use the machine once it's out of the box. Mobvoi even provides lube for the machine and recommends intervals at which you should use the liquid.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Features
In the title of this Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review, I called the machine semi-smart, and that statement itself is also only partially true (sorry). Many probably consider the treadmill an intelligent piece of equipment since it has Bluetooth and connects to Wear OS smartwatches, has 20 built-in workout programmes, capable of producing inclines up to 15%, and has a soft drop system.
And while all of this is true, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline doesn't compare to full-size running machines with similar features. Of course, those are multiple times the price of the Mobvoi machine, and therefore, the comparison might not seem fair, but I wanted to point out that calling everything smart because it has Bluetooth might give some people the wrong impression of the capabilities of the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline.
I, for one, was most impressed with the physical performance of the treadmill. The 2.2HP motor is pretty powerful for a machine this compact, not to mention that incline – that really is the icing on the cake for a treadmill that often sells for under $500. It also folds nicely, and the soft drop system works beautifully and ensures the running platform doesn't accidentally fall on your feet when using the treadmill.
In terms of size, the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline sits between under-desk treadmills and full-size models. To clarify, it's a full-size treadmill, but one of the smallest ones I've tried. The running belt is 16" x 43.3" (400 mm x 1,100 mm), which is plenty big enough for walking and running even if you're relatively tall (I'm 6 "1'), but at higher speeds, you have to pay attention to avoid stepping on the sides of the treadmill.
I noticed that the bar preventing things from getting 'sucked under' the treadmill is positioned slightly higher than it should be (see image above). This is a smaller treadmill, so I don't think larger pets or kids are in danger, but it's worth positioning the rear of the treadmill away from open areas in the house to be on the safe side. Not a big issue, but I thought it was worth mentioning after all the problems Peloton had with its (admittedly larger) treadmill.
On a more positive note, I liked the treadmill's large and bright LED display; it's easy to operate and see your essential stats. Of course, stats like calories burned are only a rough estimation unless you connect a Wear OS watch with the Mobvoi Treadmill app downloaded on the smartwatch, in which case the treadmill displays the correct data (assuming age, sex, weight, and height are correct on the watch). The dangly red emergency stop button works well, too.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Workout performance
Before the review, I wasn't sure what to expect from the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline, but I liked it. It's just the right size for a small home office/gym setup – small enough to be housed in a room with other furniture and big enough to use for running workouts. Not full-blown indoor intervals, but running, if you know what I mean.
The 8.7 mph (14 km/h) maximum speed might not be enough for sprint sessions (it isn't), but I found it fast enough for my needs. The narrow running belt made it a bit tricky to run at higher speeds, as I had to focus on keeping to the middle of the deck to avoid stepping on the stationary plastic covers on the side of the treadmill. I found the length perfectly adequate for the speed.
As for operation, it's effortless to operate the treadmill. There are a few buttons, and each is labelled clearly. Better still, the treadmill doesn't make much noise, either, but you running on it does (obviously). The machine is said to have a shock-absorbing belt, and it's comfortable to run on, but don't expect it to be silent. Your downstairs neighbours will definitely hear you running on the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline, for example.
Although there are 20 pre-set programmes on the running machine, I couldn't find out what these were. I asked Mobvoi, its PR and flicked through the manual, but nothing. I didn't want to spend days trying to work these out, but I might update this review later once I have worked these out. It's nice to have pre-set programmes and the option to customise your runs (you can set time and distance goals), but it would be even better if we knew what the programmes were.
[UPDATE: Mobvoi got back to me with the description of the programmes; you can find the explanation of the 25 programmes above.]
Another pain point for me was the inability to pause the machine. The stop/start button – well – stops and starts the treadmill, but there is no way to pause and jump off the treadmill, should you get a call, for instance. Mobvoi said they are planning on updating the machine later, but I'm not sure whether this function will be added or not.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Verdict
As you can guess from reading this Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review, the machine is far from perfect, but it has more than enough features to make it appealing to people who need a small folding treadmill for home running workouts, especially those pressed on space. Not to mention, it's just so cheap!
The Home Treadmill Incline might be too big for an under-desk treadmill (and the console is also in the way) and too small for indoor sprint workouts, but there is a broad spectrum of potential workouts you can perform on the machine, thanks to the comparatively powerful motor, incline capabilities and programmes. For the most accurate results, you might want to pair the treadmill with a Wear OS watch (like the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS); but even buying both would be cheaper than purchasing one 'big' treadmill, even for a discounted price.
If you're after a decent, affordable incline treadmill for walking, jogging and occasional running indoors, check out the Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline. You might want to invest in something more substantial for hardcore winter training, like the ProForm Pro 2000 or the NordicTrack Commercial 2950.
Mobvoi Home Treadmill Incline review: Also consider
The Echelon Stride is an excellent option for runners in the market for a straightforward, easy-to-use treadmill that won’t monopolise too much space. While the Echelon Stride isn't a feature-rich treadmill, it's well worth considering for people who haven't got any space at home to store a treadmill, thanks to its ability to fold completely flat. Read Deanna's full Echelon Stride review.
If you're in the UK, here is an alternative option for you: the JTX Sprint 5 is a solid-performing folding treadmill that offers a range of pre-programmed workouts that will suit all standards of runners. When folded, it still takes up a lot of space, but the belt is spacious, and with a max incline of 10% and a max speed of 16kmph, it goes steep enough and fast enough to please every type of runner. Read Howard's full JTX Sprint 5 review.