What is the BB-8 Droid?
Anyone who has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens is likely familiar with BB-8, Poe Dameron’s plucky Astromech droid friend. If you are a big Star Wars fan like we are, you’ve probably also wanted a BB-8 of your own. Now that dream can be a reality with this amazing new robot from Sphero.
We created this Sphero BB-8 Droid review to answer any questions you may have about the droid. Is the BB-8 app-enabled droid worth getting? That’s what we set out to find out.
Related: Sphero Ollie Review
BB-8 Droid Specs
|Length: 4.5 inches||Width: 2.5 inches|
|Weight: 7.1 ounces||Material: Polycarbonate plastic|
|Works With: Both iOS and Android||Recommended Age: 3+|
The BB-8 app-enabled droid is a miniature replica of Poe’s BB-8 unit from Star Wars, the Force Awakens. This pint-sized droid is multi-directional, and its head not only swivels but moves as its body rolls. This means that your BB-8 unit’s head will always be up. Watching the BB-8 unit roll around the floor is very entertaining. However, that isn’t all this little droid can do. Just like the real BB-8, this tiny version can “project” video holograms and respond to voice commands using a free app as well.
- BB 8 App-enabled Droid
- Induction charging base: for charging your BB 8 unit. Also works as a display stand.
- Micro USB charger cable: To connect the induction charging base to your computer or to a non included USB-to-AC adapter.
- Legal guide
The packaging for the BB-8 droid is made from sturdy, mat-finished cardboard. Removing the top cover of the box reveals a second box, designed to look like a Droid storage crate. This package is easy to open, and once you do, you will find that the droid and charging base are neatly secured in high-density foam. This foam protects both your droid and his charging base from being scratched or damaged in transit. Resting on top of this box is another smaller cardboard box containing the power cable with which you connect the induction base to your computer or to a USB-to-AC adapter (not included).
Sphero paid huge attention to detail on this product. He looks exactly like the droid from the movie, down to the most minute detail of his custom orange and white color scheme. He stands at about 4.5 inches tall counting the head and about 2.9 inches wide. Atop his head are flexible antennas. These are only for aesthetic purposes and do not carry a signal.
BB-8’s head moves around his body using a series of rollers and weak magnets. There is a magnet inside the body that controls the head’s orientation and position. The body of this little droid is made of polycarbonate plastic, which makes it nearly indestructible.
The head is light-weight and since it is only held on the body by weak magnets, it tends to go flying whenever your droid bumps into anything. However, simply reattach it and off your droid goes again. Also be aware that the rollers under the head tend to get dirty, much like the ball on a track mouse. It is necessary to scrape out the dirt every now and again.
Related: WowWee CHiP Review
BB-8 Droid Video
If you haven’t seen the BB-8 Droid in action, check out the video below!
|- Realistic design|
- 10 preset voice commands
- Very quick and easy to set up
- Great novelty item
|- Sounds play through the app instead of through BB-8
- Head can occasionally fall off
How Does It Work?
The BB-8 droid is very easy to use. Simply pair it with your Bluetooth-enabled Windows, iOS or Android device to get started. Pairing the BB-8 unit is a snap. Simply download and launch the BB-8 app and bring your phone close to your BB-8 unit. The BB-8 should automatically connect to your phone via Bluetooth within a few seconds. The viable range of this connection is 100 feet, which means it isn’t necessary to follow your droid too closely though you do need to re-calibrate the droid frequently. This is a simple task, however, and can be done in less than five seconds.
Your BB-8 unit can get up to an hour of play on a single charge. The charging time needed between charges is three hours if the unit is completely dead.
Driving your BB-8 unit around is a lot of fun. He is nimble and very fast, reaching a top speed of 4.5 miles an hour. You have two ways to drive your new Astromech companion, either using your bluetooth-enabled device as a remote or telling BB-8 to explore on his own and send data back to your phone. No matter which way you choose to control your BB-8, he is very entertaining to watch.
The BB-8 droid supports nine different voice commands. Say “Okay, BB-8.” to get his attention. Then say one of nine different commands and watch your droid’s reactions. For example, saying “It’s a trap!” will make your droid dive for cover and “Watch out!” will make him alter his course.
Related: WowWee Miposaur Review
BB-8 features accelerometers and a gyroscope that help him learn about his environment. He also has voice recognition technology through his smart app. Put him on a flat surface and watch him learn about the obstacles around him. Furthermore, your new Droid can also watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens with you. Put him in his charging base and turn on the movie and he will react to things occurring on the screen.
BB-8 uses a free app found in both the App store and Google play. This app allows you to control the Droid as well as give voice commands. The app also includes an augmented reality (AR) function that allows you to record a hologram message which when viewed through the messages section of the app appears to be projected.
Our Final Verdict
That concludes our BB-8 Droid review. If you are a Star Wars fanatic, or even if you’re not, the BB-8 is an adorable addition to any collection. There are a few things that could be a downside to some people, such as the fact that his head will fall off if he hits a wall or piece of furniture, and the little rollers that make his head roll do get dirty quickly. However, if you want a Droid companion and don’t mind a bit of dirt or a head that falls off, this little guy might just be perfect for you and is one that we are happy to endorse.