Sphero 2.0 Review

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:

9.0

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless