At some point in our life time, we have all played with RC toys. Whether they are cars, boats, helicopters, tanks or any other vehicle, they have always been great fun. You can get RC vehicles that run on batteries, nitro or even solar power. Like with most things, the more money you spend the better the product you get, but even if you spend tons of money on an RC car there’s always something missing. The ability to feel as if you’re actually driving the car and not just flicking buttons up and down, the feeling you get when that engine starts and rumbles you in your seat. Thankfully, due to the high tech iPhone technology that we have today, your RC driving experience can be that little bit closer to the real thing.
iPhone controlled RC vehicles are quite a relatively new thing, with the first model coming out at sometime mid 2011. Using an iPhone or iPad can enable you to use the motions you’d use if you were actually driving. I’ve done some research on some of the best iPhone and iPad controlled vehicles out there. I have chosen to review these two and here’s why.
1. Silverlit iPhone Controlled Ferrari Enzo
It’s no surprise that one of the leading vehicles is produced by Silverlit, they are one of the market leaders in RC vehicles, especially helicopters. Released last year, the Ferrari Enzo has been a popular choice in iPhone controlled cars and I’m not surprised.
First, let me explain how this car works. Using the Bluetooth widget and the app which can be downloaded from the app store, you simply connect your phone up to the Enzo. Once connected, you press the start button and feel your phone rumble in your hands as the engine starts up. I’ve used this car and the rumble is very realistic. So, you’re now in control of this great car and you want to go forwards, rather than press a button just tilt the phone forwards and the car will take off. This car is quite quick, so to be sure that you don’t drive straight into the leg of the kitchen table tilt the phone left or right to turn. It’s as if you’re actually driving!
Just like a real Ferrari Enzo, the design of this miniature version is down to a tee. The car itself is finished off beautifully, with its shiny wheels and aerodynamic shell this car will look amazing when in use and just when it’s on a shelf. You can even make the experience more realistic by using the headlights, indicators and brake lights. The app you use to control the car is nicely designed too, there is an Enzo like dashboard with more dials than you can imagine. The dials are laid out around the Ferrari steering wheel, which turns when the car does.
When I first tried using the car, I hit a lot of things. This was mainly due to me not being aware of how quick this car was going to be! But once I got used to, I found myself indicating when I was going through the kitchen door and parallel parking between the kitchen bins. It feels so real and is very addicting. It’s hard to explain how great this car is without you trying it for yourself.
I give this car a 9/10. It’s only disadvantage is that you can’t sit in it. You can download the app for this direct iTunes link.
Now, this car is a bit different from the Enzo but it’s just as much fun. This car is more designed for flying off ramps or chasing the cat around the garden. The AppRacer is produced by Apptoyz, a company which specialise in extending the power of apps to control vehicles, electronics etc.
The car has large wheels which make it great for off-road, this means that you can use the car outside without having to worry about it getting damaged as easily as the Enzo would. The design of the car is great, it looks like a BMW with monster truck wheels. The car doesn’t require batteries either, just charge it up with USB! So you don’t have to worry about spending money each time the batteries are flat.
The app design isn’t as pretty as the Enzo but it comes with a great feature, gear changing! You can change gear to build up more speed as you line yourself up to a massive ramp. Unfortunately, the AppRacer doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality, it is controlled via infrared. And as we all know, iPhones don’t have infrared capability. This means you need to plug in the “Infrared bug” to your phone and have the phone aimed at the car the whole time. But don’t let this put you off as the car is so fun to use. To fully charge the car will take about 40 minutes, which is good seeing as it delivers 30 minutes of wheelie good fun.
Driving the car is easier than you think. With needing to aim the phone at the car the whole time, change gear and following the car around you’d think it would be more of a chore playing with this car. You’d be wrong, within 5 minutes you will be enjoying yourself so much that it will all come natural to you. Changing gear is simple, you just slide the gear bar up and down. There is even a turbo gear which I recommend for experts! I thought I’d try driving like I did with the Enzo, but I had more fun just going over things and crashing into doors. And as for parallel parking, I ended up on top of the Enzo.
I give this car an 8/10. Even though it’s great fun to use, the infrared bug and speed lets it down. However, this device is capable with Android. You can download the app that controls this car from this direct iTunes link.
So there you have it, my opinion on the top iPhone and iPad Controlled Cars. These great inventions bring hours of fun and allow you to drive whilst on your phone! You can find these great cars at most online gadget shops.
This guest post is contributed by Lewis Morgan. Lewis Morgan is a big fan of RC toys, especially iPhone controlled cars. He works at a gadgets and gifts company where he gets to try out great products.
Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com