LEGO Powered Up status review January 2019 – what we have and how they work with each other?

Last year we saw the first sets appearing with the new Powered Up components expected to replace Power Functions, we have Boost as well belonging to the same ecosystem. As you’ll be able to buy most of these components separately at shop.lego.com soon I took a look what we have at the moment, how they work with each other, are there any alternatives to have a wider range of control options (sure!) and what I am expecting to see in the future. Let’s check the video:

I received these packages from LEGO, at the moment you can only get these parts in different sets but you’ll be able to buy them separately just like the Power Functions components.

Here is the list of items:

  • 88006 Boost hub
  • 88007 Boost color & proximity sensor
  • 88008 Boost interactive motor
  • 88009 Powered Up hub
  • 88010 Powered Up remote
  • 88011 Powered Up train motor

There are two additional items belonging to the Powered Up range. The first is the 88005 Powered Up LED light, which is already available on shop.lego.com

The other one is the Powered Up M motor which is only available in the 76112 App-Controlled Batmobile set. This motor is technically the same as the WeDo 2.0 Medium motor but it is much more accessible in this set.

So let’s group the components by function – on the left you see the “City” Powered Up parts (available in the new Train and the App-Controlled Batmobile sets), on the right you see the Boost components.

For the detailed review and all the basics about Boost I suggest to check out my review videos:

For the detailed review and all the basics about the Powered Up sets I suggest to check out these videos:

You could see the details in the first video, let’s summarize which component can connect to what at the moment:

– Boost hub – works with Boost external motor and sensor
– Boost hub – connects to Boost and Powered Up app
– Powered Up hub – works with Powered Up motors and Boost external motor
– Powered Up hub – connects to Powered Up app and the remote

This is pretty much a mess currently, I don’t see too much consistency in it.

Regarding the alternatives, I suggest to check out the BLED112 Bluetooth dongle and the S2Bot app on picaxe.com.
With them you can connect your Boost or Powered Up hub to Scratch 2.0 (online or offline version) and you can create your own programs with the available commands. As a huge extra you can use the Boost sensor with the Powered Up hub so it is possible to build it in to smaller creations.

What am I expecting to see coming for Powered Up?

First I really hope there’ll be a universal app that can handle all hubs and also have customizable controls. The current situation with the separate apps for each and every set is not sustainable.

I’m also waiting for the Powered Up version of the current Technic Power Functions parts:

It would be also great to see an adapter cable for Powered Up to control the Power Functions motors, but I’m not sure if there’ll be any official solution for that. 

 

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