The lovechild of the two Moyu budget lines, the RS3esticle takes everything that works well in its predecessor and combines it with the stiffer qualities of the Meilong M. It retains the blockiness we’ve all come to know of the RS3Ms, but not its clackiness, as the combination of maglev and corner-core magnets make it more stable but also faster than its previous iterations.
While the feeling of this cube is very similar to the RS3M20/21 (I consider them the same cube with different tension ranges), the addition of the core magnets allows it to be used at a lower tension but still retain good control. This means you don’t have to feed it enough lube to satisfy a grown panda bear, as you’ll be able to get something controllable without forcing it to be slow.
Finding good settings is going to require some finicking: on very loose settings it overshoots and is too fast and difficult to control. Tighten it to something more reasonable, and it will lock up often, and corner cutting is going to be lower than my IQ before my 9am coffee. I’ve found that setting spring tension to DAS-1/2 and loosening the screws a bit works well for me, and make it very pleasant to use.
This cube will demand some patience, as it comes with the ghastly frosted plastic that looks oh so nice, and feels oh so sh*tty, meaning you’ll have to do a couple of hundreds of solves before you can actually get good times with it as the frosting finally wears out and you don’t yeet the cube across the room every 4th solve anymore. For reference, my first AO100 was ~30% slower than my usual average, my 3rd one was within 2% of it, so it doesn’t take THAT long, but if you’re just testing out the cube to see if you like it, make sure you are testing a broken in version.
I am still on the fence on whether putting a scrotum protecting the core magnets is a good design choice. (For those not in the know, the so-called “ball core” is a thin layer of flexible plastic that encloses all the core magnets... and reminds people of that particular biology class in middle school.) When you rotate the pieces around you can see that it allows the corner-magnets to bumb and slip past the core magnet without the locking that both the Gan12 and (in a lesser measure) Tornado3 sometimes showcase. But it means that you won’t be able to swap cores around, re-glue things that might pop-off, or apply other modifications, without first removing the entire contraption.
The weight of the ball core version is around 88 grams (about 4 grams less for its female counterpart, and about 9 grams less for their neutered smaller sibling). It is perfectly reasonable and far from being the beast of a cube some people were fearing. The plastic feels solid and it manages to be less loud than the previous versions, mostly thanks to the lack of big clacks coming from pieces landing down from a big corner-cut. The combination of solid plastic, fast turning and good control reminds me of the WRM19, so that can't be a. bad thing.
A quick point on the center cap design: I’ll be damned but they actually look and work great. I like the sharper design, reminiscent of the Meilong M but from this decade, while retaining those tiny holes that make it great to pop off, even for people who think fingernails are perfectly reasonable snacks. Also, the fact that the inner part of the center plastic is coloured lets you put back all the caps without having to think.
The magnets are well balanced : the overall strength is on par with the medium settings on the latest Gan and Tornado3, but the heavier heft of the pieces moving around mean the feeling is less clicky. The core-corner magnets allow the magnetic bump to not be disturbing and the cube retains its shape while turning most of the time.
But then there's its lockiness, which reminds more of the Meilong M than the RS3M 202x, and will sometimes screw up your solve for no good reason when you get to last layer. In one sense that’s not bad, it will force you to turn accurately (the locks come mostly from unforgiving corner cutting), but for people who like to be a bit aggressive with their cubes, this might not be great.
To close up, the price of the RS3Ballsack is getting uncomfortably close to flagship level cubes (if you can pay 20$ you can probably pitch in 5$ more for the much better Tornado v3). The more economic versions will be more similar to the RS3M20 and 21 respectively. Wonderful quality for the price, but nothing new since Moyu had the crazy idea of making great cubes at unconscionably low prices.