I've done over 30 reviews of different products on this website and this one is by far the most difficult one I've done; not because of lack of words, but because of expectations.
People will immediately scold me not to expect a lot from an instrument at this price point, and this argument seems to be present a lot when reading the other reviews on this page, 'the price point', 'for this price', etc.
Let's cover all we can:
Looks and feel - out of the box, the red is very deep, well done on the outside. Inside the cracks (inside the output jack, around the back of the bridge) not so well, but it doesn't bother me.
The neck is quite pale, the fingerboard is a separate piece, the frets seem to go very deep. The neck size is chunkier than other guitars I have with a C neck. The satin finish may be satin, but not a lot of coats. It felt slightly coarse, so I did a pass with 1200 grit sandpaper. Much smoother now. Compared to my MIM Player strat, definitely not the same.
Removing the neck from the pocket, it seems as the inside of the neck is several pieces glued together. Some saw dust inside there and in the output jack, but again, nothing terrible.
The output jack is not smooth. I play this guitar with a cable I have previously used around the house. The grip is so strong that I have to pull on the cable. I thought over some time it would relax, but I still do not see it. May be a candidate for replacement.
Tuners - possibly the worst I have tried on. Some of them were too tight and others significantly more loose and the guitar just wouldn't hold tune with them. I had them replaced with a set of factory Fender tuners (with redrilling, of course) and it is much better
Pickups - out of the box and no setup, not a bad sound. they look like ceramic (I swapped them). The pleasant surprise was the middle pickup, which sounded really good, very bright reminiscent of a thin/jangly strat pickup.
Weight - 3.2kg. The basswood body shines here.
Switch and pots - you know they are cheap and do not expect anything else. They are mini pots, but they do the work and they stayed on for the time being. The pots follow the traditional strat wiring, mid tone is for neck, bottom tone is for the mid pickup. I had that changed to include the bridge pickup, where tone changes would actually be useful. There is audible tone change, but you need to be very slow in movements; when on 5 it is like it is on 0.
Tremolo system - you will probably need to overtighten the bar to have it stay somewhere useful. The system itself is quite reactive.
Biggest nuisance - all three tremolo springs in the back were completely rusty. This is something needed for the bridge assembly to work and cannot be explained with the price point. Luckily, I had a cheap set at home, and I'll tell you, it does a better job. The inspection card says this guitar was inspected end of May 2022, so rusty springs in 6 months? Makes me wonder about the spring material or storage.
Edit here: Biggest positive surprise - the body cavity is shielded. You can see the grounding wire soldered to the spring claw in the back. It is very quiet. Edit: it is not shielded, so no rings or bells there. The wire goes from the claw to the volume pot, and I'm not sure what kind of grounding that does, but it is still quiet.
Final thoughts: I added stock Player Strat pickups and the thing is quite usable, especially in the in-between positions. The pickups here are slightly darker than I remember them, possibly the wood/electronics combination. A nice modding thing where I can experiment with lower or open tunings, maybe make it a slide guitar, considering how flat the fretboard radius is (edit: I did try with success the Grover extension nut, item 370224). There really are a lot of options in play. And I look forward to all of them.