Pros / You have almost total control over every aspect of the vehicle, with the ability to remotely open doors, operate lights, play music and more.
Cons / You can only control the car with an app, which is only compatible with Apple devices.
Verdict / Silverlit's Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG offers more than just a driving experience. Its numerous auxiliary features make it one of the most entertaining RC cars you can buy, but only if you have an Apple mobile device.
Silverlit's Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is much more than just a remote-controlled car. It's different from most other radio-controlled cars because, rather than focusing solely on the driving experience, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG keeps you entertained with a variety of auxiliary features.
The first thing you should know about this RC auto is that it doesn't come with a remote. Instead, a free iPhone, iPod or iPad app uses Bluetooth to control the vehicle. Considering that most people have a phone on them at all times, driving is a little more casual and convenient – provided you have an Apple device on hand. Aside from a convenience benefit, this feature also makes driving the Mercedes a uniquely fun experience.
You can select two control options from a menu within the app: gesture and joystick. With the gesture option, you can control the car realistically using the gyroscope within your device. You drive forward by tilting the device forward and turn by tilting it left or right. While this can make driving the car more immersive, we actually found it to be quite difficult. It could certainly take some practice to get good at it.
The second driving option, joystick, is closer to traditional RC controls and much easier. This mode consists of two simulated joysticks that allow more precise steering than the gyroscope. In our testing, we were pleasantly surprised by how responsive the steering was with these virtual joysticks. After a few minutes of driving, it's fairly simple to navigate around obstacles and control the speed of the car. If you do find the controls a little too sensitive, you can easily adjust them with the app.
In either driving mode, you can control aspects of the car like headlights, hazards and turn signals; you can even operate the classic Mercedes gull-wing doors. These in-depth control features are what really set the Silverlit apart and make it an immersive experience.
One of the best features of the Mercedes is a built-in speaker that allows you to play music from your iDevice via the Bluetooth connection. The speaker puts out music at a decent volume, and it's a lot of fun to drive the car around while rocking to your favorite tunes.
With the music playing, you can also enable movement and light options that make the car react to the sounds. With these options enabled, different parts of the car react to different aspects of the music. For example, you can set the gull-wing doors to be triggered by low bass tones, the headlights to be triggered by mids and the interior lights to flash with the treble.
Although Bluetooth controls are an interesting feature, they do have limitations. The range of the vehicle is relatively short at about 30 feet. If you drive your car too far, it simply stops working until you're back in range. However, the largest problem is that currently, this vehicle's controls are only supported by Apple devices. If you're an Android or Windows phone user with no Apple mobile devices, this car is completely unusable.
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The Silverlit Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is fun to drive, but its value comes more from its additional features. The realistic design and almost total control over every aspect of the vehicle, coupled with the convenience of Bluetooth controls, makes this Mercedes-Benz replica one of the most fun RC cars available.