This review will mainly compare the Zhanchi and the GuHong (Read THIS before reading this review ).
I will not give this cube, or any cube, a 10/10, because no cube is ever perfect.
This cube was lubed only by Maru lube, and has been broken in for about a week.
This cube HAS the anchors (hooks) on the edges, just because it was already assembled with them on.
First Impressions of the Zhanchi
When I opened the box, it was stickered with standard Dayan (dull) stickers and had no lube on it. It was quite stiff and hard to turn. The edges and corners were quite sharp and unfriendly in many areas, and as soon as I unboxed the cube, I had to take my exacto knife and smooth down the sharp edges and corners. The stickers were moderate, although a bit dull. After lubed with Maru lube, the cube was flying fast.
The unstickered Zhanchi.
The two corners and one edge of the Zhanchi (after lubed).
The core and inner pieces of the unstickered Zhanchi.
[Top] Zhanchi corners and edge
[Bottom] GuHong corners and edge
The insides of the Zhanchi (unstickered) and the GuHong (stickered).
Smoothness : 8.8/10
Speed : 9.9/10
Corner cutting : 9.7/10
Stability (popping frequency) : 9.9/10
Reliability (how crazy you can turn without lock-up or pops) : 8.4/10
Lockup resistance : 7.1/10
Quality (of plastic, core, etc) : 9.4/10
Quietness : 8.1/10
Feel : crisp, fast
Overall : One of the fastest cubes I've owned, and maybe even too fast. Speed, corner-cutting, stability and the quality of the cube is outstanding, but as you can see, the others may lack a bit compared to the GuHong.
Smoothness (8.8/10) - This cube, compared to the GuHong, is quite crisp. It is also slightly clicky, but other than those two, the Zhanchi is fine off in smoothness. The GuHong, with a rating of 9.9/10 in smoothness, is by far the winner in this category.
Speed (9.9/10) - VERY fast, almost uncontrollably fast. The GuHong, in the other hand, is quite slow and mushy, which is why it got a 8.4/10 in the category of speed.
Corner cutting (9.7/10) - As expected, the Zhanchi is almost perfect in corner cutting. With the exception of accidently cutting the opposite direction, this cube has the best corner cutting ability I have ever seen in a cube. The Zhanchi wins the Guhong by 0.3 points in corner cutting.
Stability (popping frequency) (9.9/10) - With the anchors (hooks) on, the Zhanchi will NOT pop, unless you do abnormal things to your cube. Although I haven't tried the cube without anchors, I'm pretty sure even without them, the Zhanchi will win this category. (GuHong - 8.8/10)
Reliability (how crazy you can turn without lock-up or pops) (8.4/10) - The pops are not a problem in this cube, but rather the lockups due to the speed of the cube. Lockups are also caused by accidental corner cuts in wrong directions. The GuHong is also rated 8.4 because of its frequent pops, with no lockups.
Lockup resistance (7.1/10) - The Zhanchi's uncontrollable speed is probably its worst quality, because it causes many other problems, such as lock ups, therefore, I gave the cube a low score. The GuHong, in the other hand, is outstanding with Lockup resistance and was given a 9.1/10.
Quality (9.4/10) - The quality of the plastic was fine, but the sharp, uncut edges of the edges and corners of the cube was quiet disappointing. The GuHong (although I think Cameron may have smoothened the sharp edges) gets a 9.8/10.
Quietness (8.1/10) - It's loud, crispy and clicky. Nothing more. The GuHong is quiet, creamy and smooth, which is why it got a 9.7/10 in quietness.
Feel (crispy, clicky) - Compared to the GuHong, the Zhanchi is quite rough. Although this is personal preference, I think I may like the crisp and fastness of the Zhanchi over the smooth, creamy feel of the GuHong.
The DaYan Zhanchi is a well rounded cube, rating wise, with many pros and cons.
Pros: Fast, excellent in cutting corners, little to no popping, fine quality plastic (with the exception of the sharp edges)
Cons: Loud, a lot of lockups, not very smooth.
Comparison to the GuHong
I think in the end, the Zhanchi and GuHong are both very fine cubes, but are very different.
The crisp, fastness of the Zhanchi and the smooth, quiet feel of the GuHong are mainly depended on one's personal preference.
So in other words, if you like quiet, smooth cubes, I recommend you to buy the GuHong, but if you like fast, clicky cubes, I recommend you to try out the Zhanchi.