The SenHuan brand bring you their first and only puzzle the SenHuan Mars. The Mars is packaged in a very simple box case which is quite effective in highlighting the speed cube and kind of making it look more special. Sadly the case isn’t one of those cases where you can store cubes in because after opening it there is no way to make it stay closed unless you tape it again. The SenHuan Mars is not at all a budget speed cube and is priced just above the average speed cube.
Out of the box
Out of the box the SenHuan Mars was horrible. It felt very very loose and it was really bad to solve. After a few solves it did get better but that looseness was just unbearable. Aside from the looseness I really noticed how clacky and loud this speed cube is. It is quite slow and it’s really noticeable based on my times. I started getting used to the speed cube and notice the plastic material used is very hard which makes that very loud sound. During the 10th average of 12 or about 120 solves something happened to me that hasn’t happened to me in a very long time of speed cube. It POPS, newer speed cubes even at the loosest setting don’t pop. This was really surprising and a little nostalgic since speedcubes back in the day popped like crazy. I find out later on that the edges don’t have “torpedoes” like probably all speedcubes do today which is why it has such a loose feeling and why it popped.
I really wanted to loosen this speed cube after the first solve because was just too loose but I continued hoping it was just me needing to adjust to it. After the first POP though I had to tighten the tensions. Although it was much more in control after tightening it did still pop several times after. This speedcube is very slow so I used a very light and fast lube which was the Calvin’s lube. Calvins lube does wonders so ofcourse it go much faster.
I did 5 averages of 12 after lubrication then did an average of 50 in which the SenHuan Mars felt very sluggish and gummy. I did a second average of 50 still feeling the same and still had the same times. After this I lubricated it again but now putting a more generous amount of lube and did an average of 50. I got a 12.37 second average of 50 which is my personal best average of 50 to date.
The SenHuan Mars isn’t fast and light so it would be categorized as being smooth. It’s layers have so much drama, it is loud, clacky, blocky and has some serious weight to it. The turning then turns out to be very striking and noticeable because there is just so much happening. I do have some control but not as much as I would expect from a very smooth turning speed cube. I think it’s sluggishness is the culprit here because I will tend to under rotate because of much resistance between layers.
The funny thing about the SenHuan Mars is that it has really good corner cutting. The looseness of the speed cube with the lack of torpedoes makes corner cutting really good. If this isn’t enough like mentioned earlier its turning has so much drama is just very loud and in your face. So any corner cutting that you feel is actually covered up by the dramatic turning.
Catching and Lockups
There is a lot of catching which is resulted from a very loose speed cube. This was much more apparent out of the box before adjusting tensions but it still prevails after. The SenHuan Mars is a very slow and sluggish turning speed cubes which really leads to under rotation that of course leads to catching. Although this is actually something that suits me because I like to really throw layers around and solve as fast and rough as possible.
My times were actually a little bit faster with the SenHuan Mars. I did get a sub 12 second average of 12, it was 11.86 which beat my old PB average which was 11.97 I think. I also did beat my PB average of 50 which is 12.32 seconds. Despite gaining new personal bests I don’t feel like I am more consistent because in my best average of 50 my slowest time was 15.95 but my best time was 9.59, that is a significant difference. What may shock you is that it is actually not enjoyable to solve. I think the thing is that the turning is very dramatic and striking with it’s clacky, blocky, loud and heavy layers. Just this is a bit bearable but if you add sluggish layers and much resistance between layers then it makes for a quite terrible speed cube to solve.
The SenHuan Mars is really very unique and really stands out. Turning is really something with it’s loud clacky blocky heavy layer turns, there’s so much going on there and is a little distracting. To top it off there is just so much resistance between layers and my fingers actually started to ache from having to exert so much effort in turning the layers. Corner cutting is very good and even when it isn’t the very loud and dramatic turning will completely cover it up. There is small catching due to design which isn’t that bad but the catching that occurs from under rotations can be quite annoying. Actual solving though quite terrible to solve this speed cube I do get fast but inconsistent times.
I would have to say the SenHuan Mars is a bad speed cube. I struggled a bit with this decision because it did give me good averages. I could also forgive the very dramatic turning and unpleasant solving but the thing with this speed cube that I didn’t like was how it changed my solving style. The very heavy and hard to turn layers forced me to really throw and execute algorithms in lightning speed.
A few weeks back I shifted to stickerless speed cubes because in my opinion it increases recognition and this was important to me because I feel like recognition is they key to getting fast overall. After testing the SenHuan Mars I noticed that I solely relied on speed and lightning speed algorithms and put recognition in the backseat. I may get fast times here and there, which is explained by the inconsistent times but in the long run I feel that I wouldn’t improve much.