Sphero 2.0 Review: The Robotic Ball

sphero 2.0 review

What Is Sphero 2.0?

We would like to introduce you to the wave of the future in ball-play by welcoming Sphero 2.0 on the toy market.  So what exactly is Sphero?  Sphero is an orbicular, robotic toy ball which is controlled by a smart phone or tablet via downloadable apps available on Google Play, App Store or Windows Store.

The toy is manufactured from an almost indestructible plastic material, called polycarbonate plastic.  The downloadable Apps, which work in conjunction with the Sphero, enable the user to learn, play and explore.  It’s possible to create small obstacle courses for hours of family fun, there are options for multiplayer gaming and you can even learn to program with the Sphero SPRK lessons.

This Sphero 2.0 review will go over what you can expect when you buy your Sphero 2.0, and whether or not it is worth the purchase. Let’s get started!

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Sphero 2.0 Specs

Sphero 2.0 review

Click here to see if Sphero 2.0 is for sale!

Length: 2.9 inchesHeight: 2.9 inches
Weight: .4 ouncesMaterial: Polycarbonate plastic
Works With: Both iOS and AndroidRecommended Age: 3+

Word of Warning

Before we continue with the review of the product, we would like to bring it under the attention of parents of young children that this toy is a small ball and is not suitable for children younger than 3 years of age.  The toy contains small parts and is considered a choking hazard for children under 3.

Features

Sphero moves with finesse and speed and can reach speeds of up to 4.5 mph.  Sphero is controlled by a mobile device or tablet and is connected to the device by means of Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection is viable for a 100 foot range which means you don’t have to follow your ball too closely while it rolls and plays about.

The ball is completely waterproof, which makes it perfect for pool or seaside enjoyment.  This durable robotic ball is virtually indestructible, making it perfect for a game of fetch with doggy Fido.  It boasts a built-in LED glow which is perfect for changing colors to suit your mood.  Sphero has over 30 apps available at the respective stores for your ultimate learning and gaming experience.

There are automatic firmware updates programmed ensuring that your Sphero is always up to date with the latest features available to the market. Once your Sphero is fully charged you are guaranteed at least a full hour of play before having to recharge again. The most challenging part of gaming with the ball is learning how to control the ball while at full speed.  Time and patience will have you mastering your skills in no time.

Sphero 2.0 Video

Watch the video below to see Sphero in action!

ProsCons
- Waterproof
- Very Durable
- Ability to change colors
- Responsive
- Need a sizeable area for Sphero to move around comfortably

Items Included:

  • Sphero 2.0
  • Inductive charging base
  • Power adapter (110V – 240V compatible, USA plug style)
  • 2 ramps
  • Quick start guide
  • Free apps and games available on Google Play, App Store and Windows Store
  • 2 Lithium ion batteries

Bluetooth

The Sphero 2.0 must be paired within the settings and then unpaired if you want to pair with it from a different device.  The pairing is reasonably reliable.

Compatible Devices

An important key element to remember before purchasing your Sphero 2.0 is to check your device compatibility to ensure unlimited and effortless play.  We’ve included a summary list of the compatible devices, but it’s recommended that you do your own research before buying this product.

The Sphero is compatible with the following Apple devices: iPod Touch (5th generation), iPod Touch (4th generation), iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with retina display.

As for the Android compatibility – the Sphere is compatible with most Android devices that meet the following requirements: features Bluetooth, has a touchscreen and is version 4.2.2 and higher.

Windows compatible devices include Windows Tablets and Desktops using version 8.1 and any Windows phone using version 8.0

The creators of Sphero have released the following statement for potential customers: “We are working very hard to support as many devices and software versions as we can, but if you have a custom ROM for your Android device or a jail broken iPhone, you may experience issues that we have not accounted for in the public release.”

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SPRK Program

Sphero believes in the art of turning play into an educational experience and that is where the SPRK program needs to be mentioned.  SPRK stands for “Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids” and was fashioned to connect the power of learning with creativity.  This tiny ball creates the ideal environment to learn whilst playing.  The idea behind the program is to use the time spent playing with the robotic ball to a learning advantage.

The ball play teaches children the intricate principles of computer programming, math and science and how to apply this into their physical surroundings.  The lesson plans empower educators and over 4500 teacher in 20 different countries worldwide have implemented the SPRK to teach 90 000 learners.  The ages of the students using the program range from elementary to high school grades.

Where can I play?

The Sphero works on virtually any surface including water.  Any smooth surface works extremely well for speed and maneuverability.  Hardwood floors, tiles, cement, carpet and in the swimming pool.  Grass and lawns tend to hamper the smooth movement of the ball and is not recommended.

Gameplay and Application Choices

A vast array of downloadable apps are available from Google Play, App Store or Windows Store.  Download your apps of choice for limitless types of gaming that combine the virtual with reality.

The main driving app is called Sphero and is required for all Sphero users.  This allows you to steer the ball with a digital D-pad or by tilting the controls.  There is an option to take photos or video while you drive.  As there is no front or back to the ball there are never issues with realigning it and the driving controls on your screen match the ball’s real-world orientation.  When you level up on the app you get the option to select from a menu of upgrades.  There are 20 levels to beat.

Other downloadable apps for the Sphero include: Sphero Multi Drive, SPRK Lightning Lab for Sphero, Sphero Golf, Sphero Draw N’ Drive, Sphero Cam, The Rolling Dead, Sphero Color Grab, Sphero Music, OrbBasic for Sphero, Exile and Sphero controller.

Check out Google Play, App Store and Windows Store for many more free and payable apps.

Extras

  • Ultimate Sphero Accessory pack which includes a Sphero Chariot, Sphero Terrain Park, Nubby Cover and Turbo Cover.
  • Sphero 2.0 Covers pack – custom colorful covers for protection and traction
  • Sphero chariot – available in 3 colors and adds another level of creativity to Sphero.

Reported Problems

  • The toy is a little on the expensive side.
  • After the initial novelty wears off the games tend to become a little boring.
  • It can be a choking hazard for small children.
  • Customer service has been reported to be unhelpful.
  • Indoor use can be frustrating as the ball requires a lot of space to roll and manoeuvre at full speed.
  • Windows users claim that there is only one app on the Windows store for the Sphero.
  • Mastering the controls can be difficult for young users.

Our Verdict

That concludes out Sphero 2.0 review. While the Sphero is a little pricey and there are a few technical issues that need to be cleared up, the ball can provide hours of entertainment for young and old, human and furry alike.  It’s our recommendation that you purchase the Sphero and try it out for yourself.  It is an awesome tech toy with lots of educational features.

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