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Sphero 2.0 Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Sphero App

Besides giving us control in moving it around, there’s an unprecedented level of depth to Sphero 2.0 thanks to the various apps and games that make use of it.

Compatible to work with Android and iOS devices, the free Sphero app for the respective platforms enables us to control Sphero 2.0. Looking at the app, it sports a slick interface that catches our attention with its futuristic layout. Bright colors and big buttons are in abundance! Controlling Sphero 2.0 for the first time is challenging, seeing that we’re required to calibrate it initially. Still, after some practice, we’ll say that it’s pretty simple and fun. Even though there’s a motion control option, which causes it to movie by tilting our device accordingly, we prefer relying on the usual direction controls.

In addition to just controlling Sphero 2.0, the app delivers an enhanced experience by offering us a variety of upgrades. In order to accumulate those points, we’re just required to play around with Sphero 2.0 – or for faster accumulation, we can play its included ‘Supply Drop’ mini game to sniff out those points out. Most of the upgrades are pretty interesting, like the ones that make Sphero 2.0 perform dances or glows in alternating colors, but others are there for the fun of it.

Beyond the usual Sphero app, there’s an abundance of third party ones that make good use of this intriguing toy. Specifically, Orbotix has garnered help from the development community so that there’s a deeper experience with Sphero 2.0. For example, the augmented reality game Rolling Dead allows us to attack the zombie horde with Sphero 2.0. Another game that presents us with something different, Exile, puts us in control of a spaceship by tilting and rotating Sphero 2.0 in our hand.

Performance

Up, down, left, and right, the controls are responsive, but it’s challenging to maneuver in some outdoor surfaces.

Sphero 2.0 can achieve a top speed of 5 feet per second, which is incredibly quick as long as you can retain enough control in keeping it straight. Of course, smooth and flat surfaces help it to reach that goal quicker, but it can still maneuver through other surfaces – such as carpet, concrete, or dirt. However, it can sometimes get stuck in certain surfaces outdoors, so that’s why the nubby cover helps to give it better traction.

Connected via Bluetooth with our device, an iPhone 5s in this case, Sphero 2.0 easily retains the connection for approximately 30 meters. It’s enough for us to safely control it from a good distance.

Battery


Unlike some of those other RC or smartphone controlled toys, like those racecars or helicopters, Sphero 2.0 keeps the action going with its long battery life. In our experience, a full charge typically delivers us with an average play time of 45 minutes. Indeed, Orbotix claims that Sphero 2.0 can chug on for an hour, but it’ll vary depending on factors like speed and lighting. Nonetheless, we’re pleased by what it has to offer.

In order to charge it, Sphero 2.0 just needs to be placed into its inductive charging base – so there’s no wire or attachment that needs to be physically connected to it.

Conclusion


Consumers will think long and hard when contemplating Sphero 2.0’s $130 retail price. No doubt it’s expensive, an investment that requires enough justification to warrant a purchase. However, after taking into account all of the fun with it, the extensive development with other apps, and its social aspect, Sphero 2.0 proves to be an astounding evolution to the whole toy gadget segment. It’s insanely odd at first, but as we dive deeper into its arsenal, we find a peculiar robotic toy that can be fun to kids, adults, and heck, even pets. Seriously, it has our attention!



Pros

  • Intriguing and simple design
  • Ability to adjust its color/glow
  • Rugged and waterproof
  • Lots of games and apps that make use of it

Cons

  • Challenging controls at first
  • Pricey
PhoneArena rating:
9
User rating:
Not rated
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8 Comments
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posted on 28 Apr 2014, 06:32 1

1. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 379; Member since: 24 May 2011)


Shut up and take my money..!

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 07:58

2. elisha.siegelman (Posts: 19; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)


Keep on talking and take my money..!

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 08:25

3. Bernoulli (Posts: 1433; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


so is changing colors when thrown all that it does?

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 10:27 3

4. jphillips63 (Posts: 160; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


This has to be the most stupid and dumbest review yet. Wtf does it have to do with phones? And what does this plastic ball actually do? Please answer or go find a job elsewhere.

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 11:40 2

5. Chris_Bakke (Posts: 199; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


Did you even read the second page, or even notice that there was one? Please answer or go post on another tech site elsewhere.

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 12:39 1

6. jphillips63 (Posts: 160; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Yes and what's so unique about a freaking ball that rolls? Or changes colors. Still has nothing to do with cell phones other than an app that what controls it like a radio control? Nothing at all in article that is related to phones or even useful.

posted on 28 Apr 2014, 20:30

7. Troysyx (Posts: 134; Member since: 30 Jul 2012)


Sorry Chris, but i'm with jphillips. i have NO idea what this thing does. Its a game? Its not a game? you can somehow "control it" with your phone? i have no f'n clue

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:50

8. hortizano (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 May 2013)


Who cares what it does or what it is... it has better PhoneArena rating than most phones reviewed... I'm gonna get one!!

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