Sphero Star Wars BB-8, BB-9E, & R2D2 hands-on: smartphone-controlled droids

Video Thumbnail

Star Wars mania is in full swing! In anticipation for the upcoming new film that's being released in December, we're checking out some awesome Star Wars related droids from Sphero. And the best part about them? They mimic their movie counterparts in a very realistic manner, so if you're a diehard fan, these droids are sure to make you even more excited about the films. 

For this piece, we're going to be taking a look at three specific droids from Sphero's Star Wars line – BB-8, BB-9E, and R2D2. All of them are meticulously designed to match their on-screen counterparts in the films, but they're all controlled with the help of a smartphone via Bluetooth connection. And since we're piloting them wirelessly, you can bet that users are going to have a ton of fun with them. 

In the sections below, we're outlining a few bulleted points about each droid – like what caught our attention the most. 


Priced at $149.99 (BB-8 only) and $199.99 (includes Force Band) 

  • This was actually the first Star Wars droid to be released by Sphero when the Force Awakens came out, so it's not really new compared to the others, but it's the only one that's compatible with the Force Band, which allows you to control BB-8 using hand motions and gestures; as opposed to the app. 
  • While the design is authentic, you can instantly tell that improvements have been made to the other newer droids because BB-8 doesn't feature any kind of built-in LEDs or speakers.
  • Stopping and directing BB-8 towards a different direction can be tough at times, just because the momentum makes it pretty slow to quickly change directions. 

Recommended Stories


Priced at $179.99 

  • R2D2 is double the size of both the other two droid's we're checking out, but it seems to be scaled accurately to match the films. 
  • Unlike the spherical BB-8 and BB-9E, which involves counterbalances internally to move them, R2-D2 leverages these rubbery treads under its feet to move. While it's better equipped at quickly moving from one direction to another, it's almost impossible to try and move through uneven terrain – like carpet. 
  • Out of the bunch, R2D2 is the only one that allows us to articulate his head independently, which adds to the realism and charm of this particular droid. 


Priced at $149.99 

  • Glossy black finish definitely makes BB-9E a lot more appealing with its design over BB-8's opaque white color. 
  • Another thing that makes BB-9E somewhat superior over BB-8 is that LEDs are built into its head, so you can instantly see it in the dark. 
  • It comes included with this holographic simulation dock that allows you to explore familiar locales in the Star Wars galaxy through the aid of augmented reality.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless