Ever wondered what a 2021 version of the classic train toy you owned as a kid would look like? Well, guess no more as the smart train created by Intelino is the perfect picture for that. Beating the traditional toy train set by creating more functionalities using robotics, STEM learning, Ai, and mixed reality.
So what is Intelino, and exactly what fueled the revamp idea behind an intelligent train for kids? We’ll find out in this modestly awesome Intelino smart train review.
*The product links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Please see our disclosure page for more information.
You may also enjoy:
At a glance
Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1-Minute Intelino Smart Train Review
Since its unveiling, this train set has gained momentum in its popularity through users’ creativity and learning experience. It one-ups the traditional train set using robotics, mixed reality, programming; incorporating these features to create a fun and creative, intuitive, and educational system.
The Intelino smart train uses technology to encourage imaginative play, with unique features such as optical sensors that monitor the train’s speed and display it on the mobile app to action snaps: snap-on colored tiles for additional train control.
The J-1 smart train set is a great toy for children who enjoy playing with trains. This set includes everything you need to get started and it is also compatible with wood tracks, which will make it accessible to more children.
Playing with this train set promotes STEM skills, coding skills, and motor skills. The app included allows users to create custom commands for the trains and it also has fun games that are screen-free. When not playing with the app, kids can also use the manual option on the trains by opening up its battery compartment.The J-1 smart train set is a great first set for kids who enjoy playing with trains. It will give them the opportunity to improve their motor skills and coding skills, while also allowing them to have fun in an engaging way.
- The mobile app lets you control the train using Bluetooth connectivity
- The smart engine can move on flat surfaces without the train tracks
- It fits right with other playsets like lego and brio
- Using the action snaps to create personalized functions is exciting
- The battery life affects the speed of the train after some time
- The train set is small, so you need to spend more to get additional accessories
- The amount of custom tasks for your smart engine is quite limited
- You have to buy adaptors to connect with wooden tracks
Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Let’s take a closer look
How it works
The J1 smart engine is the powerhouse, and it has all the electrical components built in. The intelligent machine is equipped with blue and red LED lights, front and back, and a power button. The battery level is displayed on top of the smart engine, and when plugged in, the charging LED lights up.
The train uses sensors to identify commands from each snap tile for its control. The J1 smart engine connects to the wagon using a magnet, and they can be detached manually or using the snap tile to detach it as a drop-off function.
Each snap tile has functionality that makes the train slow down or go faster. Using this table below, you can see each snap color and its functionalities.
The Intelino smart train can also be controlled from either your IOS or android device, which connects to the train using Bluetooth, and with this, you can control certain features of the train. In addition, the action guide command sheet can also be downloaded for easy accessibility, thus making up for the physical sheet, which has some limitations in its explanations on how to use it.
The train cars are plastic, and each of them has four wheels that enable movement along the tracks. The smart engine is chargeable and brags a 100-minute playtime before needing a recharge. This battery life makes playtime more enjoyable, and while the child takes a break, the train can be placed on the charge if need be.
A small number of Accessories: The basic kit would have more fun to use if it had more train cars and tracks for more flexibility.
Battery life: The battery runs down after a few days of use, and you begin to notice your Intelino smart train doesn’t quite move as fast as it used to. Although the Intelino train set permits infinite possibilities of creativity, you still see quite a few limitations when using the intelligent train on wooden tracks.
Ease of set up and use
The train comes with an easy-to-follow setup manual that describes how each piece can be connected and how each snap-on tile works. Building the train track is extremely easy because of its easy click joints on each channel. All you need to do is be imaginative and connect the tracks in whatever form you want as it even allow you create custom commands.
The entirety of the kit is 90 percent plastic which makes it lightweight. In addition, the battery life proves to be able to meet the 100 minutes of uninterrupted playtime upon full charge.
Unboxing and what to expect
Buying the smart train set gets you the J-1 smart engine, a wagon, 20 tracks, 40 color snaps (train’s actions snaps), the train decals sheet, and a USB ‘type B’ charging cable.
What makes the Intelino Smart Train Fun?
The mobile app harbors cool features which make it fun to use. These features include:
Drive: Here, you can either manually control the train, set it on autopilot or make minor adjustments to the physical train. The head or tail lights of the train can be switched to a range of different colors. The sound can be turned on or off from this section of the app as well.
Editor: The editor enables you to create custom tasks by aligning the app’s action snaps. These custom tasks vary from steering left or right to making the train reverse.
Theme Picker: The theme selector has three modes that can only the viewed from the mobile app. City Express, police transporter, or the racer. As the name implies, these change the theme while considering the train’s movement in an animated format.
Extra Purchases and ongoing costs
Getting additional kits to create a more extensive or complicated railway only costs an extra 20 USD. The smart train requires two key purchases for additional flexibility and creativity, the train extension pack and the wooden track adapter.
The train extension pack comes with four straight rails, 12 curves, 40 color snaps, and four splits (Train extension pack). If you previously owned a wooden track, all you need is the Intelino smart train wooden track adapter kit which gets you eight adapters. These adapters are Intelino to wood adapters or vice versa and are 4 of each (Intelino wood adapter).
A couple of alternatives to consider
There are other alternatives to consider, which depend on your budget when purchasing a smart train. You can consider getting the Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Train Sets if you have a bigger budget for better train action. Powered by 3 Tripple A batteries, this smart train starter set targets older kids from age 14 upwards.
The train is more realistic than the Intelino smart train as it features opening doors, metal tracks, handrails, steam engine sound, and special announcements, all in the price.
If your little one isn’t quite ready for the Smart Train, maybe consider the BRIO ‘My first railway starter pack.’ It is recommended for kids 18months and older. The wooden starter set is a cassic, loved by so many, and it comes with wooden tracks, a ramp, and a bright train engine which is also compatible with other BRIO sets.
How do I charge the Smart Train?
There is an LED indicator light next to the USB port, which lights up when plugged in. The LED light turns RED when plugged in and GREEN when it’s fully charged. Power off the train when it’s plugged in to make it charge faster. It takes up to an hour to get the battery to full charge if empty. If fully charged, the durability of the battery is over 100 minutes of continuous playtime.
Can the engine and wagon run independently?
Unfortunately, the wagon alone cannot run independently. The wagon is attached or pulled by the engine using magnets. This magnet does not seem to be strong because if the train is on top speed, it can get detached at a curve.
Is there an option to buy just the smart engine?
The smart engines are not sold separately, and you have to purchase the starter set to get additional.
Is this product made in china?
Intelino smart trains are made from a factory based in Los Angeles, California, the components of the train are globally sourced, and their manufacturing partners in China do the product assembly.
If you are not connected to the app, how do you get the train moving?
The smart train can be controlled with or without the mobile app. Press and hold the power button for more than 2 seconds, place the smart train on the track and push it forward or backward depending on your desired direction.
Can the smart train move on wooden tracks?
The Smart train’s movement on most wooden tracks is not so great. Sometimes it gets stuck on the wooden ramps because of the speed, but solving this can be done using the mobile app to max out the speed on wooden surfaces.
The Intelino smart train feels like an old-timer’s keepsake, a reach for the past to be passed on by the next generation. It has lots of opportunities for kids to develop and learn while tapping into generations of playtime fun.
If you’re looking for a traditional toy that has been reworked for the modern child, this could well be it.