GoCube Edge Review Electronic Speedcube With Online Multiplayer feature

Monday, September 28, 2020

Trying to solve a 3x3x3 puzzle cube like the legendary Rubik's Cube can seem like mission impossible and, it is if you don't know what you are doing! If you don't have time to waste but would still like to wrap your head around solving the Rubik's Cube, you now can with the GoCube Edge - an electronic version of Rubik's Cube, which is bluetooth smartphone app connected.
Aside from being electronic, the GoCube Edge main selling points are teaching you how a 3D combination puzzle works and, being able to play with others at the same time with just about anyone online over the internet.
GoCube Edge doesn't have any onboard buttons and can only be manually powered on by connecting the included charging cable to a 5V power source like a computer USB port. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the GoCube Edge and, you can get up to 30 hours of use if you disable the lighting and use it without the app.
The companion app - GoCube app - isn't actually required to operate GoCube Edge; hence you can use it without the app just like a regular Rubik's cube. There is no way to power off GoCube Edge other than putting it into "offline" mode, which places it into low power mode broadcasting via low energy bluetooth 5.0. Not being able to power off the cube completely means, you cannot get a longer standby time for longer storage. The cube's lithium polymer battery cannot be replaced either.
Even when disconnected from the app, the IMU sensors will track the cube's movements/rotations and automatically sync them to the GoCube app once reconnected to the app. During normal use, the sensors register movement fast and accurately (0.250 seconds sampling rate) to the app, which is virtually instantaneous. The app can record how many rotations it took you to solve the cube along and the time to work out the average.
Being able to compete against other cubers is definitely one of the most interesting features and a differentiator from other interactive smart cubes. Competitions are generated randomly by the app, which matches you against anyone (anywhere in the world) according to their current cube configuration.
GoCube Edge's embedded IMU sensor (3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope) measures the three dimensional orientation and position of the cube (and sends the data to the app) in real-time. The sensors are contactless; hence there is no contact and friction when rotating layers.
Since the GoCube Edge is constantly broadcasting a Bluetooth signal, it functions like a Bluetooth tracker, although the GoCube app doesn't have a "find" function like bluetooth beacons do, which would be cool for locating your cube, and even your phone should they get lost. The Bluetooth range of the GoCube Edge chip is up to 20-meters.
Just like the original Rubik's cube, GoCube Edge has six layers (sides) made of 27 cube pieces and a ball core that houses the electronic components (i.e. IMU sensor, bluetooth chip, led). The cube pieces freely and easily rotate around the ball core, making a clicking/snapping sound in the process. Each cube piece weighs between 4 grams and 5 grams and contains a magnet.
 cheeky smile design
The included clear plastic stand weighs 34 grams and measures 8cm tall and 6cm wide, while the plastic base has a 7.4cm diameter. The stand can be used to keep a smartphone upright. The charging cable weighs 19 grams and measures 70cm long.
The clear plastic stand is designed to exclusively fit the GoCube 2-prong block connector, which features grooves on either side to slide the block connector on the back of the stand. The charging block terminal can be slid into the back of the stand right side up or upside down (GoCube logo inverted). The GoCube Edge detachable opaque base has a concave design and snaps securely into the stand.
The GoCube mobile app has two languages: English and German; hence there is only two language options. The GoCube mobile app also requires an account signup (email or Facebook), as well as turning on location on an Android device in order to be able to pair the app with the GoCube Edge.
From then on, it's just a matter of following the on-screen prompts, which include -Sync Display- for calibrating the orientation of the GoCube. You will need to calibrate the orientation of the GoCube every time you move it from it's calibrated position.
Before getting started, you will be able to choose your level (i.e. beginner, intermediate or advanced) so, the GoCube app can tailor the experience. If you're new to cubing, you definitely want to go through each prompt to learn the algorithms and strategies to solving the cube.
The GoCube mobile app has an easy to follow user interface with audible cues (jingle sound effects) and an in-game type open world map with ten levels for tracking your learning process. If you choose beginner level, nine of those levels/stages will appear locked and will become unlocked after successfully completing the preceding level. That said, you can actually skip to any level by clicking on it.
From the map, you can also select the Algo Book, which contains seven chapters with tips and video tutorials, showing you how to hold the cube, perform fast combo moves and achieve certain color combinations such as the white cross, which is the stepping stone to solving the cube. There is really no time limit but when you start competing against other cubers, it's all about time/speed.
As a standalone Rubik's cube, GoCube Edge works just as good. It's sticker-less so, you cannot remove color stickers and cheat the old-fashioned way, although there is two cheat codes. You can take the cube pieces apart or use the app's preset sequence for solving the cube. 
While cheating is not the goal, you will find yourself having to disassemble the cube (partially) for cleaning the internal metal contacts or entirely when you cannot load the current state of the cube into the app. GoCube Edge also requires lubing/oiling periodically but you don't have to take any piece apart.
The interactive aspect of GoCube Edge is delivered via the app where you can interact with other cubers and play games and compose music by rotating the cube in certain ways. The Edge doesn't have built-in speakers though; hence sound goes through the speakers of the device you are using to connect the Edge to.
Puzzle art is another neat interactive feature found in the app where you have to unlock art pictures within a time frame, making it a time-limit type challenge game. 
There are a total of nine puzzle art level challenges (level 9 being the hardest) with nine stages to complete the art. As you complete each stage, the leftover time is added to the next stage. From the GoCube app you can also turn off the sensors by disabling 3D tracking (IMU), adjust lighting and load cube state.
As mentioned earlier, the included cable charger has a USB-A terminal at one end and a proprietary 2-prong connector at the other end. Being a proprietary charging cable, you won't be able to use a regular micro USB or USB-C cable charging connection. If the cable breaks or gets lost you will need to buy one from GoCube. 
The same thing goes if you break or misplace the GoCube's little cubes. Replacement parts aren't available to buy from the GoCube website so, you will have to get in touch with them directly to sort you out.
The 2-prong connector is housed inside a square-shaped plastic enclosure that has a glossy finish with sub-surface etching of GoCube's logo. Another accessory included is a GoCube branded drawstring faux suede carrier pouch. You can buy the GoCube Edge from amazon.

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