Keliwow Charge-4 4WD RTW R/C ATV Review
Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor | Additional Notes by Adrian Apodaca
- RTR/RTW Package
- Optional rider
- Extra ‘R’ pins and optional Velcro straps
- Wider tires
- Rear body “snaps” onto body mounting posts as well as ‘R’ pins used for retention
- EXTREMELY DURABLE
- Brushed motor
- Li-Ion battery technology
- Not water resitant/waterproof
- Single LED on charger can be difficult to see color of LED (see review comments)
- Weak steering servo
- Motor gets extremely hot very quickly
The Keliwow Charge 4 was provided to us free of cost in return for an honest, unbiased, objective product review. Many of the big names in RC don't even do that... generally they have their goto reviewers that are rosy about every product they review. I credit the heck out of Keliwow with taking that risk, though unfortunately, this review will not be very positive.
The Keliwow Charge-4 is a fun entry level r/c surface vehicle that will not break the bank. Everything needed to drive is included in the box, minus 4x "AA" batteries for the transmitter. The truck is powered by a brushed motor and compatible ESC. The driver is installed by inserting the post on the driver's bottom through a hole in the ATV body shell and sliding an 'R' pin through the post. The ATV body is held on with 4 'R' pins and I really like how the rear posts snap into the holes in the body as well as held on with 'R' pins. The included 2S 1500mAh Li-Ion battery pack will give about 10 minutes of run time, manual indicates 15 minutes, but that will completely drain the battery and ruin the battery. By keeping the run time to 10 minutes, the pack will be at a safe storage charge (roughly 3.7V per cell). The included charger has a single LED to indicate charge status; red/orange for charging and green for done. I'm red/green color blind, so it's hard for me a times to see the difference between the red and green on the led.
The power system is the same as the Keliwow Extreme-2, BUT the Charge-4 has wider tires and a much lower center of gravity and an anti-roll bar on the back. These additions make the ATV a lot less susceptible to rolling over. My 4 year old had much better success driving the Charge-4 than the Extreme-2. All-in-all this is a fantastic entry level r/c surface vehicle that won't break the bank. The Amazon seller is also building up the parts support for these trucks, so if something breaks it's easy to find the replacement. An upgrade of the ESC, motor, and servo to be brushless compatible will really unleash this truck. Another fun modification that may be reasonable is swapping the driver’s head out for an FPV camera to FPV the r/c quad. I for one will be driving the Charge-4 way more often than the Extreme-2.
I found that this was an all around better vehicle than the Eagle 3, which uses a lot of the same equipment as the Eagle 3. It is outrageously durable. I had a 10 year old with no RC experience drive it for a battery pack and I could not believe the abuse it was taking without breaking. It also looks pretty good too, not quite scale, but a fun RC to look at.
Unfortunately, like the Eagle 3, these RCs are overpriced for the technology and quality you get. The Charge 4, like the Eagle 3 has an extremely weak steering servo that doesn't even allow the vehicle to track straight. It is amazing annoying, especially when you know you are a good driver. I'm going to finish this review off by quoting myself from the Eagle 3 review.
"I fear recommending this to a beginner sets the person up for disappointment and not staying in the hobby. There are comparable vehicles at the same price point from the big RC companies. For that matter, for around the same price, you can get a great hobby grade 1/10 scale RC car or truck that will have way more after market support and upgradeable parts. This truck is somewhere between toy grade and hobby grade. This is a good design, but the low quality of the parts and electronics makes the overall performance and durability suffer. I run this RC review site and my integrity is important to me, so with that said, I just can't figure out who I would recommend this to. If you are a parent or grandparent looking for a gift for a special child, look at brands like ECX and Dromida, or if you can go up to around $175, look at Traxxas, you will not be disappointed."