Posted by Chris Martin 19 August 2013
Sphero 2.0 review: A robotic bundle of fun
GoSphero is back with the second version of its Sphero robotic ball. We've been driving the gadget around for a while so here's our Sphero 2.0 review.
The Sphero 2.0 looks just like the original, unless you get the one from the Apple store which has cool transparent sections allowing you to see inside! However, the technology has been upgraded giving the ball a boost in a few ways.
Firstly, Sphero 2.0 is faster. The firm says it's twice as fast as the original and although we can't confirm whether it is or not exactly, it's definitely speedy – 7ft per second at maximum if you can imagine how quick that is. You can control your speed with the app meaning beginners can work up to full throttle.
More speed means more fun and you have to rely on your reactions a lot more when driving Sphero 2.0. Large spaces are advised for full speed in our experience. A handy result of the power increase is that the ball rarely gets stuck.
We're pleased to tell you that not one, but two ramps are included in the Sphero 2.0 box so you can save time building your own and get straight to catching some air.
We're less bothered about the next upgrade but it's cool anyway. The LEDs inside Sphero 2.0 are three times brighter than before. Again, we've no way of testing this claim but the important thing is that the ball looks great when it's dark and the brighter LEDs make some of the games easier to play when it's not.
It's not an upgrade as such but an optional 'nubby cover' gives the Sphero 2.0 extra grip and protection if you feel adventurous. They come in different colours so if you're playing with multiple Spheros then you can tell whose is whose.
The driving app is still the same but an update is coming soon – make sure you have a compatible device or Sphero 2.0 won't be going anywhere. Sphero 2.0 is fast and anile but still super easy for almost anyone to pick up and get the hang of within minutes. There are a range of other apps on iOS and Android including sports games, handheld games where the Sphero is a controller and multiplayer games.
Furthermore, there's augmented reality apps and one to help you learn coding. The Sphero 2.0 isn't just a remote controlled ball, which makes the price much more justifiable. GoSphero told us that a number of new apps will be released before Christmas too.
The only problem we experienced with Sphero 2.0 was a few connection issues over Bluetooth. Occasionally we spent a while switching connectivity on and off before the two were paired.
Aside from the intermitted connection issue, Sphero 2.0 is a lot of fun and for lots of reasons other than driving and the nubby cover means you can go places previously unreachable. It is a fairly expensive gadget though, so make sure you so will get enough use out of it.