Zerospace Keliwow Eagle-3 RTR Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Ready to Run with everything needed in the box (except 4xAA batteries)
- Looks awesome
- Great jumper!
- Not everything is secured in the box during shipping
- Durability and quality control are lacking
- Does not track straight due to extremely weak servo
- Not easy to upgrade
- The Eagle 3 requires removal of over 10 screws to access the motor and other electronics
The Keliwow Eagle 3 was provided to me 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.
Unboxing and Set-up:
Though it appeared that the truck was initially secured in the box, the cardboard had torn and only the zip ties were around the wheel hubs. Everything else seemed well in place. Initial thoughts were that it look AWESOME, but felt cheap. The shocks are not oil filled, so there is no room for changing out oil for different performance. Oddly, though they weren't oil filled, they were threaded, so adjusting them is easy. The truck itself looked great, but upon further inspection, I noticed a few screws were missing on one side of the battery tray, where it is held to the tube frame. Though kinda loose, it didn't affect the truck too much as the tray extends all the way into the the middle of the vehicle and is pretty firm.
I also found it interesting that the truck uses a Li-Ion battery. The standard for surface is Lipo or nimh, I have never seen a Li-Ion battery used in a surface vehicle. Annoyingly, this meant that I couldn't even speed the charge on my high-end charger, so I would have to wait 2.5 hours just to play for about 15 minutes or so. The transmitter is cool in that it can be changed to a left handed controller by just pushing the wheel through to the other side. I liked that feature, but the radio still had a very cheap feel to it.
I am not a professional driver, but I have been driving RC cars for the last 6 years and have about 20 different hobby grade cars and trucks. When I first started driving the Eagle 3, it was really erratic. I couldn't drive a straight line to save my life. If I pressed the throttle too hard, the car would torque a little to the right and the weak servo would lose the battle and I'd lose control of the car. Thankfully, there is a knob to adjust expo on the steering. Expo allows you to soften the steering so the slightest adjustment to a turn doesn't make you turn hard. After adjusting this about half way, I found the Eagle 3 was a lot more pleasant to drive. As you can see from my video, it still was challenging from time to time trying to line up with the ramp, but it was definitely doable.
As for speed, the info in the box mentions speeds over 20mph. Even downhill, the highest speed I was able to achieve was 17mph on pavement. It is adequate for a vehicle this size, but does not feel fast whatsoever. I do not recommend driving this on grass as it really stresses the motor out. As it is, the motor gets really hot after just a few minutes of driving around. Be cautious of motor temps because you can destroy a motor by letting it overheat too much. Unfortunately on the Eagle 3, since it is such a hassle to get to the motor, checking motor temps is not really feasible. Driving on dirt is fun and some small rocks are okay too. Even though this vehicle has a solid rear suspension, it doesn't crawl any better than any other small rc truck and it's lack of torque don't allow you to scale larger rocks. The one thing I really liked about this truck was it's jumping stability. If you hammer the throttle all the way and keep it on the whole way through the jump, you'll stay level and land level.
As for durability, I have mixed feelings. I intentionally crashed it several times and I couldn't break anything on it. However, on one failed flip off my ramp, the battery retainer snapped off. I don't see that as a replacement part, so I will just have to use velcro straps to hold the battery in.
I know it sounds like I am being hard on this vehicle and you might be saying it's great for a beginner... well, it's not. A beginner won't have the patience to have to figure out how to replace parts. A beginner will get extremely frustrated the day they attempt to get access to the electronics. 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.