With exceptional ratings and reviews at Amazon.com the New Island Phoenix is a speed cube that comes with a lot in the packaging.
Out of the box the NewIsland Poenix isn’t very good at all. Initial turns shows that it falls under the smoother slower turning speed cubes. It is quite dry which causes the speed cube to be very slow with layers that took quite a bit of effort to turn. One thing that really stood out though is how bad it was in corner cutting. This speed cube really likes to catch layers if there is even a small misalignment of layers. This might be due to the quite tight tensions it came with. Since this was out of the box I was hopeful that after some lubing tensioning and breaking in the dry and sluggish feeling would go away along with the bad corner cutting.
How it Feels:
After breaking in lubing and tensioning that New Island Phoenix really got better. The slow and hard to turn layers completely disappeared and now that speed cube is fast and takes little to no effort to turn. Initially it was a slow smooth turning cube but now it has become a fast and light speed cube. The size and blocky feeling feels quite nice in the hands and is one of those cubes that feels nice in the fingers to throw layers around. Turning is fast and snappy with a familiar “clack” sound that you find in many fast speed cubes such as the Moyu Weilong and Dayan Zanchi.
Corner cutting initially wasn’t very good and I was hoping it would get better after proper tensions and lubing and though it did improve it still has a problem. Tensions were quite tricky because it wasn’t at all exact and I really needed to turn the screws a whole lot to see a difference. Once I got the tensions correct the corner cutting did improve but not just the slightest. Corner cutting was a little bit more forgiving but just like how it was initially a little misalignment made layers catch. What became more apparent are the small internal catching that occurs during solves. Even at a looser tension internal catching occurs which points out that it is the internal mechanism at fault.
The New Island Phoenix comes in a very nice packaging that makes it stand out compared to other box designs. The included cube pouch is very handy and is really a nice addition. Out of the box the New Island Phoenix is not good. It feels slow and sluggish and takes quite a bit of effort to turn the layers. With bad turning corner cutting is also just as bad which adds insult to injury. Tensioning and breaking in is really very important because once you dial down on the tricky tensioning and add some lubrication this speed cube transforms. It does a complete 180 degree and becomes fast light and snappy which is quite a surprise. The corner cutting however didn’t change. It did improve just a touch but is still just as bad as it was initially. The smallest misalignment causes layers to catch and lock up and also small internal catches are really very annoying and disrupt solving. Since you need tensions to be on the looser side corner twisting and occasional edge pieces prying out occurs.
The New Island Phoenix does have its good points. The included cube bad is a nice touch and the size and feel is very good on that hands. It’s only good feature performance wise is it’s fast and light layer turns that can be compared to the top speed cubes such as the Moyu Weilong and Dayan Zanchi. However the problems are very bad. Bad corner cutting layer catches and internal catching makes this speed cube quite frustrating to solve. Strange tensions do mean that you can get a good tuning cube however you also get corner twists and occasionally edge pieces getting pryed out. It’s obvious that the NewIsland Phoenix has more problems than good features.