Sound — 3
The sound is actually okay. I managed to get a some great sounds through a Behringer V-Amp, but it wasn't without noise. The unwanted hum is actually louder than the guitar, what more can I say. It sounds similar to a real Strat except without the power. The low output level and high noise level ruins the fact that it can sound good through the right equipment.
Overall Impression — 3
For someone Who is learning this guitar could be okay, but I seriously think anyone would be better off getting a Squier Special Strat, as it costs the same amount and is much nicer, they can stay in tune at least. I think my college has it correct, these guitars are for taking apart and learning about not for actually playing.
Reliability & Durability — 4
I very much doubt these guitars would withstand Live playing. They are entry level guitars designed for people to learn on, not serious instruments. I wouldn't even use an Encore on stage let alone without a backup. Maybe this could be a backup for a backup, or some kind of showpiece, a guitar to smash at the end of the set? Fair play they have withstood the ultimate test, educational use, we have some very destructive people in college and none of them are dead yet (only an Encore bass).
Action, Fit & Finish — 2
I have no idea what the factory setup is like, the guitars at my college are there for students to practice setup on, but they just don't get any better than having half-decent intonation. The action is impossible to get right, it's either really high or it buzzes against frets. The controls are very noisy too.
Features — 4
I don't actually own one of these, they have about 5 of them in college (I'm a student sound engineer). These Strat copies have the Standard features of a Fender Stratocaster, minus the quality. These are entry level guitars and I really don't see why anyone would buy one when you can get an entry level Squier for the same price. I wouldn't recommend these to anyone even beginners.