If you are seeking the smartest scooters right now, there are two that top the list — the Ather 450X and Ola S1 Pro. Both have been developed in India and promise to push the two-wheeled India into the smart age. The Ola S1 Pro has especially gathered a lot of attention — some for good reasons, some not-so-good. At launch, Ola started delivering the scooters with half of the features, and left most of the smart stuff to be included in a later update. That update is now here, and is called the Ola Move OS 2.0. What does it bring? A lot.
The Move OS 2.0 update brings all those features that got the early Ola buyers and most of India interested in the scooter. From cruise control to maps and Bluetooth speakers, Move OS 2.0 makes the Ola S1 Pro a scooter that outclasses every other scooter on paper. But does it solve the issue in the real world? And will this help Ola to bring in more riders to the Ola family?
I drove around in a Midnight Blue Ola S1 Pro for over a week with the Move OS 2.0 installed, and the experience has been, well… read on.
As part of the Move OS 2.0 update, the Ola S1 Pro gets quite a lot for riders to play with. Let’s start with the basic ones that enhance the experience right away.
The Move OS 2.0 update brings the Ola Electric app to the masses. Similar to your smartwatch, the Ola Electric app acts as the companion app for your scooter, letting you lock and unlock the vehicle, connect to Bluetooth, keep an eye on battery charge and range, check out all the stats, access to a digital owner’s manual, and general vehicle details. The app also offers access to online support.
It sounds well and in the real world, it makes unlocking the scooter a breeze. I had an iPhone 13 Pro Max paired to the scooter and it was easy to pair the phone to the scooter’s Bluetooth speaker, and even lock/unlock the vehicle as well as the trunk. Note that if you park in a basement, the app has trouble connecting to the scooter and Ola says they are working on a fix.
The Ola S1 Pro has two in-built speakers and this new update activates them for Bluetooth connectivity. I paired it up with my phone and just like any other Bluetooth speaker, I was able to play my songs and playlist on the scooter’s speakers. The media controls on the steering provide playback and volume functions. The speaker quality isn’t great but they are plenty loud to be heard at full volume under 60 Kph (wind noise above that makes them almost inaudible). I observed a bug too — the scooter automatically starts playing music the moment you unlock it with the phone. Hope Ola releases a fix for this soon.
This is a God-sent feature for urban riders. Move OS 2.0 brings MapMyIndia’s map service on the Ola S1 Pro. It works just like Google Maps on your phone, and during my time with the scooter, I drove it in Noida and Delhi — the map was able to find all the popular destinations with ease. I did not observe any lag or issues in GPS connection, and the map loaded quickly too. My scooter had a bug that made the map freeze after riding for over 30 minutes occasionally, but fellow Ola riders with the update applied haven’t faced this.
Oh, this is just Ola pampering us riders to not go back to ICE scooters. The cruise control gets activated with the Move OS 2.0 and what it does is simple — hold the throttle automatically at a speed you desire. It disengages when you apply either of brake levers, or accelerate. It works in a speed range of 20 Kmph to 80 Kmph, which makes it suitable for late night city cruises. Unlike the cruise control system on cars, it does not brake automatically when there’s an obstacle ahead; hence keep in mind you still have to keep your hands on the brakes.
For those not happy with the 135 Km range in the Normal mode, Move OS 2.0 brings an Eco driving mode. What it does is drop the top speed to 40 Kph and reduce the acceleration drastically. That makes the Ola S1 Pro very slow in the real world but the range is extended to 169 Kms. Range anxiety goes away easily but I found the Eco mode incapable of towing a pillion rider. In fact, in start-stop traffic for an hour, the Ola S1 Pro motors heated up and kept dropping the driving modes from Sports to Normal to Eco, and with the pillion rider and a loaded trunk, I was barely able to move the scooter in this mode. Since the cruise control gets disabled too, I won’t recommend using the Eco mode unless you have empty stretches ahead of you.
Most Ola S1 Pro riders have observed an improvement in overall range and efficiency. I also noticed the touchscreen response to be better than before. Other than this, the Ola S1 Pro is still a very fast and fun scooter to drive in town. The Normal mode is great for sedate driving but engage the Sports mode and this blows away my 110 cc Honda Dio in the open stretches — 90 Kph comes in no time! The Hyper mode? That is just pure seduction… I am at a loss of words. The scooter rides comfortably and I haven’t observed lack of grip from the MRP Zapper tyres. Braking performance has been top notch too; disc brakes on both front and rear wheels ensure total safety, and I haven’t observed them locking up yet.
Coming from a petrol scooter, it is weird to get used to power getting cut-off when the brake is depressed. This is a big issue while climbing inclines and steep slopes. Ola says the Hill Hold feature is coming in a future update along with a voice assistant feature.
The Move OS 2.0 makes the Ola S1 Pro a complete scooter. With all the new features added, the Ola S1 Pro offers a lot of value for the price it sells. The navigation feature is extremely helpful and I cannot think of a future without the cruise control. The companion app needs more features other than just being a remote key, and some bugs need to be ironed out with subsequent updates. But on the whole, the Move OS 2.0 update makes the Ola S1 Pro one of the smartest scooters around, and not just a feature-laden electric scooter.
Does this make the Ola S1 Pro worth its asking on-road price of Rs. 1,68,658 in Noida? It is certainly expensive and with the limited Ola Hypercharger network, range anxiety still remains. However, if you have to buy an electric scooter, the Move OS 2.0 has just made choosing the Ola S1 Pro easier.
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