Regular visitors to this smoking hole in the ground will have seen countless creations featured with the word ‘BuWizz’ included in the description. Over the last half decade the third-party bluetooth battery has brought remote control to thousands of Lego models, delivering levels of power previously impossible.
Our four star review of the BuWizz 2.0 back in 2018 highly commended the product for ease of use and – as we’re children – the enormous power it could deliver, whilst recognising a few areas for development.
Now, four years on, we have the BuWizz 3.0 Pro (and a pair of BuWizz Motors) to see how the BuWizz team have spent their last couple of years…
BuWizz 3.0 Pro
Our BuWizz 3.0 Pro arrived in a professional looking box, inside which was the bluetooth battery brick itself, a slim instruction booklet, and a USB-C charge cable. Points already awarded for progress, as the BuWizz 2.0 included no such cable to enable charging.
The booklet amounts to only two pieces of information; charging, and the app. Charging is simple, just plug in the cable, watch the lights blink, and come back later. The app too, is an ease. Replacing the original BuWizz app (which now becomes a ‘legacy’ one), we quickly found our device, completed a required firmware update (super easy, barely an inconvenience) and began building a controller.
There are plenty of pre-loaded controllers, but BuWizz now allows you to create your own customised controller – something that was lacking from the software when we reviewed the 2.0 several years ago – bringing it bang in line with its chief rival SBrick.
The new BuWizz 3.0 allows control of up to four Powered Up motors (or sensors) and two Power Functions (or old 9V) motors, all of which are powered by the in-built high-performance Li-Po battery, and each of which can be measured via the on-board current sensors and identified by individual port RGB LEDs – clever stuff.
Quality is excellent, with the plastic feeling perhaps slightly shinier than an official LEGO item, but otherwise its equal, and a good step up over the 2.0. Where the 3.0 Pro really scores though, is in its programmability.
A giant leap forward compared to the 2.0, the 3.0 now offers not just immense power, but programable power, and – as per the famous tyre slogan – ‘Power is Nothing Without Control’.
A range of sliders, buttons, joysticks, and even a tilt function (so you can use your phone’s own accelerometer) can be created, assigned to ports, and labelled, plus there are now a suite of gauges available too, including g-meters and voltage. This makes the BuWizz 3.0 and ideal tool not just for creating custom motorised Lego creations, but to learn (or teach) robotics and programming too.
We attached two BuWizz Motors to the Power Functions ports of our BuWizz 3.0 Pro for our test, and they are mega.
Comparable with LEGO’s own discontinued Buggy Motor, the BuWizz Motor matches the dimensions, weight, and connections of LEGO’s most powerful ever motor, but brings 20% more power (and at a higher RPM), with nominal gains in torque and efficiency too.
Like the 3.0 Pro, quality is excellent. Soldering is visible through the motor cooling vents (which – although these are larger than the official LEGO item – we suspect LEGO wouldn’t countenance), but nevertheless this is a top quality item, well moulded, and robustly assembled. BuWizz back this up with a 2 Year guarantee, which is double LEGO’s standard warranty for electrics.
Our motors delivered prodigious power, now easily controlled via the BuWizz app, which meant only a few TLCB Elves were run over during testing (and – if we’re honest – some of them may have been on purpose). With the old BuWizz system all the power but none of the finesse meant almost anything within sight was a potential accident.
A PF-compatible cable is integrated into the BuWizz Motor too, so it can be powered and controlled by an official LEGO system (likewise the BuWizz 3.0 Pro can power and control an official LEGO motor also), but to really take advantage of the most powerful LEGO-compatible motor on the market, you can’t beat BuWizz’s programmable control with ‘Ludicrous Mode’…
And that’s where the BuWizz ecosystem really excels. Always the place to go for the most power, BuWizz have not only improved their core bluetooth battery with even more power, up to 100m range, and increased ports – in doing so producing the only product on the market able to control Powered Up and Power Functions simultaneously – the BuWizz app now enables all of that to be programmed and customised without a computer and without programming skills.
Whether creating a simple skid-steer rig as we did, or a complex multi-motor, multi-sensor creation, the BuWizz 3.0 Pro (and the accompanying motors if you so choose) are the best thing to happen LEGO since the invention the brick. Maximum score.