Well it’s my first online review so this is gonna be a little rough but bear with me and we’ll try and get through this. I walked into my local hobby store here in Houston and found the brand new ECX Smash sitting out on the counter, calling my name. I decided to grab it up at the low price of $79.95.
First impressions were good. It’s a 1/18 scale 2wd truck that is EXTREMELY similar to the Losi Mini-T but there are a few differences. The body is very sturdy and the chassis feels strong in your hands. The battery tray design is clean and simple. You just remove a body clip and lift up a plate carrying the ESC/RX combo. Speaking of the ESC/RX combo, I was glad to see if used a three wire servo! This means upgrades will be easier!
Now as to running this baby. Getting it ready to go was simple enough. All I had to do was put all the batteries in which, by the way, were included and I was ready to go. The truck uses the same battery system as the Losi Mini-T. You have to be careful when putting all the batteries in that you use the Interstate brand batteries in the Smash and use the other batteries for the receiver. If you don’t do this, the truck will barley move. Even with the Interstate batteries in I was extremely disappointed. The truck is very slow and battery life is horrific! The truck ran for maybe ten minutes before it began to slow down. The truck also doesn’t have enough torque so if you start to get into some turns you see the Smash get bogged down very easily. This should be resolved with a 7.4V LiPo battery so I’ll work on finding one that fits.
Upon further inspection of this truck I discovered the wheels ride on plastic bushing. I found this disappointing but not surprising considering the truck’s price. While I was inspecting the truck I found that the front suspension needed some pre-load spacers and was glad to find there are multiple shock mounting options available (three holes on the towers and two on the arms, front and rear). I was, however, disappointed to find the shocks were friction shocks.
To round up the initial review, I really wish this truck came with a rechargeable battery as the AA batteries don’t do the truck justice. The Smash’s AM radio is dated but typical of the Horizon Hobby ESC/RX combo. The three wire servo is great and will make upgrading this truck to brushless power a little bit less expensive. All in all the truck has it’s downfalls due to cost cutting but over all it is a good truck. I would recommend this truck to those that like to tinker. The speed makes this great for beginners but only those with immediate access to someone who knows RC; for example you son or daughter. This isn’t for your cousin who lives across the country. Make sure to stay tuned for upgrades and more!
List of Pros and Cons for the ECX Smash
- solid construction
- 3 wire servo
- metal gear transmission
- lots of play in the steering and suspension
- weak/slow servo
- non-standard servo
- no included rechargeable battery
- AM radio system
- non-adjustable motor mount
Hop-Up guide here.