This cube used to be the best (2014)…it's much better than the Rubik's-branded cubes…but there are even better cubes than the Aolong now for about the same price.
I bought a Rubik's-brand cube for my 9yr old son for Christmas 2016. He was excited when he got it, but rarely used it because it was just so clunky to turn. I felt bad, so a few days later, I went back to the store and bought the much-pricier Rubik's-branded Speedcube. It was slightly better, but not much. In frustration, I searched the web for the best cube, found a couple of websites that suggested the Aolong v2, so I bought it. Much, much better! Great cube!
Coincidentally, I later discovered that a friend at work had been a bona fide competition speedcuber. He helped me understand there are a couple of issues w/ the Aolong…apparently the difference between the newer cubes vs.the Aolong is about the same as the difference between the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 7. And if the Aolong is the iPhone 3G, the Rubik's branded cubes are the feature phones of the late 90's. Who knew.
The Aolong v2 has occasional corner twists that make the cube unsolvable, and "pops"…pieces can pop out of the cube if you are turning too hard when it's misaligned. The newer cubes completely fix these issues. He recommends the Weilong GTS v2, the Valk 3, or the Gans 356 Air (links below). These are widely considered to be the among the best cubes right now, but the great thing is that they all cost about the same as the Aolong and cost much less than the Rubik's branded "Speedcube."
I now own 3 of the 4 below (my GTS is v1), highly recommend any of them:
Moyu Weilong GTS version 1
QiYi Valk 3 Speed cube
Gan 356 Air Master Speed Cube
MoYu WeiLong GTS version 2
If you really want to go high-end, for about double the price you can get any of the 4 cubes above with magnets in the pieces to make the cube super stable. For instance, this one:
D-FantiX Gan 356 Air UM (Magnetic) Puzzle
All of the ones I use have magnets, but even without magnets, these are all great choices. The Aolong v2 is good too, but for about the same price you can get one of the updated cubes.
As a post script, my 9yr old LOVES his cube(s) and has had a ton of fun learning to solve it!
The D-FantiX Moyu Aolong V2 3x3, enhanced version of Moyu Aolong V1 ,has an all new mechanism with faster movement, amazing corner cutting and zero pops. Basing it around a brand new spherical enclosed core design ensures that there is minimum friction between internal moving parts. This new design allows not only for faster turning parts but also balances fantastic corner cutting. Made of safe and eco-friendly ABS material, durable and non-toxic. This stikcered moyu 3x3 speed cube has solid and durable stickers never peel off or fade easily. Light and compact, vivid color makes it pretty cool and eye-catching! Absolutely your next main professional 3x3 cube. GIFT IDEA FOR KIDS Solving puzzles and brain teasers are important activities to teach kids to work hard at solving complex problems. Whether you're trying to stretch your brain capacity or spending some leisure time with your loved ones, this would be a great gift for your kids SMOOTH & FAST An amazing cube to help you shorten your speedcubing records and bring you the best turning feeling. Easy turning and smooth play. COME TENSIONED & LUBED The 3 by 3 cube comes tensioned and lubed already. When you get the cube, it’s ready to rock! Specifications Color: Black Level: 3x3x3 Size: 57x57x57mm Weight:About 100g Packing: Original Box What's In The Box? 1 x D-FantiX YJ Moyu Aolong V2 Magic Cube 3x3x3 Enhanced Edition