image of a GAN 356 i cube

When it comes to the smart cubes on the market there is a few that you can pick from but none of them really get close to the actual speed cube quality. GAN 356i on the other hand has actually breached this wall in my opinion and offered a performance that can be on par with quality cubes that were released in the same year.

GAN356i is a smart cube that works with Bluetooth connection with your phone and via GAN’s free app. It is the best smart cube that was released.

In this Gan 356 i review you will learn about its performance, how the software works, how the entire system works and if this is a puzzle for you.

Now lets get to the most important factor.

GAN 356i Review – Speedcubing performance

When it comes to the actual speed solving I must say that I am very impressed with the GAN 356i. Smart cubes are still not something that has really kicked off within the cubing community. Mainly because they are not good for speed solving. However GAN has made a substantial progress with this model and has probably made an actual product rather than a prototype of the upcoming new industry and technology.

Whenever a new innovation happens it takes a while for the industry to figure out what to do with it and how in order to actually satisfy the needs of the consumer while offering them the innovation itself and GAN is the first to actually do that in my opinion.

Performance
This puzzle is 80% there which is more than enough considering all of the electronics that are packed in it. What I mean by that is that this puzzle turns fast, has nice smooth feel to it, corner cutting is pretty good and lockups don’t happen very often. In other words it is capable of speed solving.

However, this cube is still not on par with GAN’s models like GAN 356 XS which is still a few levels above when it comes to the quality. However, this smart cube finally offered something that’s almost flagship level on the market of the smart puzzles.

The cube is magnetized and magnets offer a decent amount of control. From my point of view they are neither too strong or too weak. You can also adjust the springs beneath the center caps in order to adjust the cube to your liking.

It offers a paper like smooth feel to it but it is a bit clicky and somewhat loud. It is not as smooth as GAN 356 X or XS. The plastics also feel different and offer a bit less of that “GAN” feel but I could still immediately tell who the manufacturer was.

Unless you are really trying to speed solve on a professional level this cube will offer excellent speed solving experience. Couple that with the software and you could really enjoy this puzzle and have a special kind of bond with it overall.

Software – Cube Station App

Now when it comes to the Cube Station App there are really mixed feelings about it from the cubing community. At first when the entire system launched people were complaining about bugs present in the app. Thankfully those are mostly fixed by now and the app does its job quite well.

The app itself offers a lot of good features and that is the point of it all. It is where all of the smart meters in the cube get to display their metrics. The app displays the cube and follows all of your moves quite decently with rarely misaligning with the real physical state.

image of a cube station app

image of a bluetooth app cube station

image of a app

When it comes to the scrambles the app will offer you two choices. Free or algorithm scramble. Algorithm scramble will provide you with an actual random state for which you could reliably measure how fast you solved. While the free scramble mode will let you scramble the cube yourself and mark it done when you are ready to solve.

After your solve you will also get interesting statistics and helpful input. Such as if you made too many turns, rotations, you can see your moves and fluency. It is quite helpful to diagnose what are your limitations when cubing.

App
And in the end I would like to specifically praise the ability to challenge and cube with other people. You can add other users to your friends list and then you can challenge them on a competition. You both solve the cube and then see who did it faster.

Additionally it has a special mode that will pair you with other cubers that are using the app and the GAN 356i that are on a similar speedcubing level as you are. This is good for people who don’t have many cubing friends and for competing with people who’s times are similar to yours. It is a best way to actually feel the thrill of competing.

How it all works

The whole mechanics of it are packed in the cube itself. The battery, the gyroscope and other electronics that allow for the Bluetooth connection and the transfer of data.

The cube has a decent battery that can last quite a long time and with a good stand by time as well. The battery is charged using a charging station and by placing a cube on the four pins with the white face facing upwards. The charging stand is connected using a micro USB to the USB power source.

The cube connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone either Android or an iOS phone but you will first need to download their app Cube Station on either google play store or the iOS app store. Upon installation open it and register and connect the cube via the Bluetooth.

The cube is activated by being shaken 5 times

What is included with GAN 356i

The puzzle standard set includes:
  • Gan 356 i puzzle itself
  • Charging dock
  • Micro USB to USB cable
  • Instruction manual
  • Gan 356 i card
  • Cube bag
  • Transparent cube box

GAN 356i Price

The puzzle belongs to the highest tier of prices when it comes to the 3×3 puzzles in general. But considering everything that went in its production that is no surprise. Also being a GAN cube it belongs to the “elite” club of cubes. GAN is simply a manufacturer that is pricier than others but they back that up with quality and devotion to the production.

While this puzzle is expensive it offers the best smart cube experience which is definitely worth it if that is something you are looking for.

Are you looking for more 3×3 Speed Cube Reviews?

If you are interested in more 3×3 speed cubes reviews that are not smart then you should follow the link. In that article, I listed the highest of quality puzzles that you can acquire today along with the buying guide that details the characteristics of puzzles for speedsolving in general. That will help you make your choice.

Conclusion

In the end, I would like to say that while GAN 356i smart cube is not really flagship level it is pretty darn close to it. GAN made a first smart cube that is actually really good for speedsolving and depending on your personal preferences on what you like in a 3×3 it can even be your main.