Gan 354M V2 Review - Flagship Beast?
This review is about the Gan 354M V2
- Review of Store
- Review of Cube – Gan 354M V2
- Completely Dry
- Lube + Tension
- Final Thoughts
Review of Store
Name – Cubezz
Link - https://cubezz.com/
Review of CubeGeneral Info
Name – Gan 354M V2
Price – $28.99
Availability – Stickerless
Link - https://cubezz.com/Buy-6159-GAN354+M+V2+3x3x3+Magnetic+Speed+Cube+Stickerless.html
Size – 54mm
Weight – 81g
The Gan 354M V2 is a flagship cube that follows the Gan 354M which was popular amongst cubers with smaller hands, particularly due to the size of the cube, and how it is 2mm smaller than traditional GAN 3x3’s. The 2mm being very noticeable when you see and feel the cube. Much like the MoYu AoChuang 5x5, which was also 2mm smaller than traditional 5x5’s. Along with this, the Gan 354M V1 had an older core which seems to be upgraded when it came to the Gan 354M V2. The flagship was known for its size and its compatibility with smaller hands. I am sure other cubers with smaller hands felt this way too about the Gan 354M V1. However, I wish the V2 will be an upgraded version, upgraded enough to become my main in days to come.
The puzzle is encased in a compact box, along with the traditional accessories box. The accessories box contains the infamous blue Gan pouch along with the Gan pamphlet if you need any help with algorithms an such. I proceeded to remove the puzzle from the plastic wrap and continued swiftly to first impressions.
Out of the Box
First Impressions – Before Turning
The cube immediately looks smaller than the Meilong 3x3 A&M that I had previously mained, along with the Gan 356M Lite which I had also mained. In addition to this sudden change in size, I realised Gan had opted for frosted plastic, much like the Gan 356M Lite which also had a slight frosted tinge to the pieces. However, this is a big change as even the Gan 356 X had glossy plastic. Along with this, the shades are the same as the Gan 356M Lite, which I directly used for comparison.
The major non-traditional design difference between the Gan 354M V2 and the 356 M Lite I found was when opening the centre caps. The centre caps weren’t centre caps at all and were much like centre pieces. To see more on this, some images are attached so you can view the caps themselves. However, Gan chose to keep the traditional honeycomb design on the inside of their pieces for maximum lubrication distribution and to make the cube feel better when of course the lube is evenly applied.
Immediately, the cube feels noticeably smaller, by looks, but even more when you turn it. For the short amount of time I have had this cube, I have gotten used to it and have decided, maybe prematurely that this should be my main, due to the big reason I have smaller hands compared to other cubers.
On first turns, immediately I see a large benefit of the smaller size. The size makes D and D’ Moves seem effortless of people with smaller hands such as myself. This being crucial for cross, sometimes F2L and PLL and OLL, especially E perms which I am certainly not a fan of myself. Along with this, the cube feels nice, the speed however, is much like the MGC 5x5, fast out of the box. This speed may be uncontrollable to others but for me, liking faster cubes, much enjoy the speed factor of this puzzle.
The cube is very fast. Maybe even to fast more my liking. I wouldn’t suggest this puzzle to rougher and harder turners unless you buy this cube with the intention of slowing down with either medium or thick lubrication on the pieces. However, this cube will be very good out of the box for lighter turners who wouldn’t mind a bit too uncontrollable cube as this cube could be described as that. Uncontrollable out of the box.
The cornercutting on this cube out of the box is as follows:
Forward – 45 degrees.
Reverse – Piece to piece
The corner cutting is very snappy unlike that of the MF3RS2M which corner cuts nice and smoothly, I do not know if this is good or bad, I guess this is just up to you to decide what you like best.
This is what is expected from 3x3’s now, which I find not true as a cube does not need to corner cut 45 in a solve. However, the corner cutting is exceptional, I have my GES nuts on purple 0.6 which is the default on the cube, except, I find this quite loose for my liking as this contributes to the uncontrollability of the puzzle.
As I came to the end of my solving session, I realised I was getting consistent sub 20 solves with this puzzle which I found was very good. However, catching was seen quite often when solving at high speeds, which I didn’t find so good as this meant I wasn’t getting much out of this cube except of the size, which wasn’t good at all. As I continued my solves, I realised the speed was increasing of my times meaning I was getting quicker and quicker with this cube, mainly due to the GES nuts which I had not changed since meaning the cube was very quick and small. Whether or not I keep this cube as a main will come in a week or two to me, once I lubricate the cube and have a feel for it for another week to come. However, I still believed this cube was too uncontrollable for me, so I began to move onto the lubrication process.
Lubrication + Tensioning
I had changed nothing of the tensions as out of the box I felt as though this needed no change however, I applied a thin silicon lubrication in hope of keeping some of the speed but losing some because of the lube, this meaning I would get a perfect cube (for me). Along with this, out of the box no spring sound was heard meaning spring sound reduction wasn’t accounted for when I lubricated the pieces.
After yet another couple of solves to break in this amazing puzzle, I realised this lubrication application really worked out for the cube, the speed was perfect for light turners, less so for harder turners who may need to apply a medium weight silicon lubricant, for this cube to suit their needs. However, this cube felt perfect for me, being a light turner, and decreased my solves significantly to around 18 solves consistently.
After many other solves, I realised the lubrication was spreading out evenly due to the traditional honeycomb design that Gan has settled for all their cubes, flagship or no flagship.
Overall, I would most certainly suggest this cube to the majority of cubers with smaller hands. Majority? Well, people who have smaller hands but are harder turners, I would hesitate to recommend this puzzle, especially because the cube is very fast and somewhat uncontrollable for those who are harder turners
However, the cube is good. Spring sound reduction wasn’t an issue because out of the box there was no spring sound coming from any of the sounds of the cube, speed was great of the box especially due to the lack of lubrication inside the cube to slow it down. However, this wasn’t an issue when it came to the lubrication process, where I lubricated the pieces with a thin lubrication in effort of slowing it down, which it did, whilst keeping that light airy turning style.
The cube out of the box felt much like a small toy cube when I looked and felt it due to the 2mm difference, which leads me to believe that 2mm is a huge difference when it comes to smaller cubes all around the world, whether it is coming from MoYu, Gan, QiYi or YuXin, they all are the same difference in size (2mm), yet due to the speed, no spring sound, magnet strengths and how well the lubrication I applied worked with the cube, I could not turn this down as a main.
So, overall, I would most certainly suggest this puzzle for everyone with small hands, maybe even people with larger hands if they don’t care about size
Let me know what you think either on my status, or just comment below!
Thanks. Feel free to check out my previous reviews.
My previous reviews:
Meilong Premium A&M Review - https://www.speedsolving.com/threads/meilong-3x3-premium-a-m-review-best-budget-buy-moyustore.77757/
MGC 5x5 Review - https://www.speedsolving.com/threads/yj-mgc-5x5-review-mid-tier-flagship.77597/
And if you’re looking for a good competition to compete in – near enough all events – make sure to check out The Cubing Z-League - https://www.speedsolving.com/threads/the-cubing-z-league-qualifying-almost-over.77635
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