Over the years we've had a fair few remote-controlled vehicles in this house, and most have been mediocre at best. Recently we were sent one from the folk at giffgaff which has wiped the floor with all the others that we've experienced.
The Silverlit Enzo Ferrari is a significantly more sophisticated remote-controlled car than most, particularly as it is controlled by an iOS app via the Bluetooth features on the mobile device. This remote-controlled car is a fully licenced 1:16 scale model of the classic Enzo Ferrari. It also comes equipped with 2 headlights, 4 brake lights and 4 signal lights. It has a tri-band selection and uses 4 x “AA” batteries in the car (included), obviously no batteries are needed for the controller as it uses a mobile device and free downloadable app.
Setup of the car was very simple, the controller slightly less so. The car's battery compartment is on the base and has a study clip rather than a fiddly screw, and the four AA batteries required are included in the box. The instructions also give a search term to use on the App Store and the iOS app was on my iPhone within a few minutes. Unfortunately, a native iPad version isn't available, and the instructions failed to mention that a switch to show iPhone apps was required. Given that the iOS header bar then obscure the top part of the interface, and thumb extensions are needed to reach parts of the user interface, it's far from ideal.
Once up and running, two ways of driving the car are provided: by tilting the iOS device, or with a pair of virtual joysticks on either side of the screen. The tilting is certainly innovative, but we found it extremely tricky to drive or stop in an emergency and ended up running over Edward the Elf! After profuse apologies, we switched over to joystick mode instead.
Top: joystick mode. Bottom: gesture control.
I do have to admit, the car is incredibly nippy and fun to drive. Controls are provided for lights, horn and indicators, and the rate of acceleration can even be adjusted across 5 different levels – fast for racing starts in large areas, slow to ensure the ongoing survival of the Elvish population. We've only driven it around indoors at the moment, because of the precision of the controller the Boy is slowly working out how to manoeuvre it around obstacles and under sofas. The manual gives a maximum range of 8 meters in an open area, about the width of a singles tennis court, so when the weather dries out a bit we're definitely going to be seeing how it copes with the outside world!
The ultimate question is, would I recommend this? If the only iOS device to hand is an iPad I'd be hesitant, but for owners of iPhones and iPod Touches then most definitely yes! I'd also firmly put it in the bracket of the age it is intended for; 8 years+. It's tricky to control and requires a certain level of hand-eye co-ordination that younger children often don't have.
The Silverlit Enzo Ferrari has an RRP of £79.99 but is on offer in many online stores at the moment, Amazon has it for £31.25 at the moment.
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, our opinion is honest and unbiased.