From a company that made ground breaking speed cubes a few years back, Shengshou is here again with their latest 3×3 speed cube the Shengshou FangYuan. Back when there were just a few choices of 4×4 to 7×7 speed cubes Shengshou were able to make just as good or even better speed cubes from the competition at a much lower price.
You can count on Shengshou with their signature “no logo” speed cube with the very basic box and manual. You can always count on Shengshou to have a very good price although the FangYuan is priced a bit higher than its other 3×3 models.
Shengshou 3×3 speed cubes are quite close to my heart because a few years back I considered the Shengshou Aurora to be “the best speed cube” mainly because of it’s high performing abilities at such an affordable price. Let’s see if the Shengshou FangYuan can do the same.
Out of the box
Out of the box it performs just a little bit above terrible. What really catches my attention though is the size it has, which is a bit bigger. It also has a very blocky feeling so coupled with the size it feels very nice on my finger tips. At first it feels like a fast turning speed cube with a very blocky feeling however it instantly changes and becomes quite sluggish with so much resistance between layer turns. Corner cutting is so bad out of the box which makes solving quite a chore.
After 20 averages of 12’s I loosened it quite a lot and found out that it had such tight tensions. This improved turning and corner cutting a little but I had to loosen and adjust tensions a little bit more after a few more averages of 12’s. After getting the right tensions I used Calvin’s lubrication which really transforms it and makes it quite a good speed cube. After 500 solves since I opened it out of the box I am now very familiar with the Shengshou FangYuan and quite confident using it. At this point I can start with the critical review.
The Shengshou FangYuan in terms of turning is really very surprising. Out of the box it really has fast turning layers and has very little resistance but at a snap of a finger it instantly becomes a smooth turning speed cube with maybe a little too much resistance between layers. It has a very crunchy feeling and sound which gives it that resistance between layers, however this also gives it so much control and smoothness. The crunchy feeling paired with the blocky characteristic of the cube makes it such a nice speed cube to solve. Turning speed is quite slow so I had to use a very light lube like the Calvin’s Lube which made is so much faster.
The corner cutting on the Shengshou FangYuan can simply be described as poor. I definitely feel the corner cutting happen on the speed cube and if that’s not enough I will hear a loud “clack” sound too. This results in a large chunk of concentration going into making sure my layer turns are precise enough so that it can corner cut as little as possible. I am lucky to go one full solve without having to be bothered by its corner cutting.
Catching and Lockups
It won’t be a surprise due to it’s poor corner cutting abilities that there is a lot of catching with the Shengshou FangYuan. If a speed cube will allow me I would be categorized as a fast and rough solver which is why I get a lot of catching. Despite this, poor corner cutting is really the culprit for this catching. The Shengshou FangYuan’s poor corner cutting ranges from just a small hiccup in algorithm execution all the way to total disruption of solves.
Despite it’s poor corner cutting and catching, solving the Shengshou FangYuan isn’t that bad. I didn’t get any PB average or single but that doesn’t mean a speed cube is bad, it just means that it isn’t exceptional. I really like the size and weight of the FangYuan coupled with the blocky feeling solving is really nice on this speed cube but that’s probably on 2/10 solves. I did get a few fast averages of 12 but the poor corner cutting doesn’t hide the fact that I am a little slower overall.
The Shengshou FangYuan has good turning with a very crunchy feeling that gives you so much control it is very nice and actual solving is enjoyable. Though this is the only part where the FangYuan shines. Poor corner cutting that leads to a lot of catching really hurts this speed cubes performance. Very smooth turning and a lot of control really goes out the window when you are too busy concentrating on avoiding catches to happen. Looking closer at the times I had with the FangYuan overall they are slower then my normal times or equal at best.
It is sad to say that the Shenshou FangYuan didn’t come close to living up to the Shengshou Aurora. The Aurora if I remember correctly had the same poor corner cutting but had much smoother turning which compensated for it. Another big hit to the FangYuan is it’s price. For just the same boring packaging with half the performance of the Aurora but double the price, I wouldn’t recommend buying this speed cube.