The remote controlled Sphero 2.0 doesn’t roll like they say it does – it flies. Seemingly identical to the original, the second generation from Orbotix Inc. can outpace its predecessor in speed by 2x and lights up 3x times brighter. What’s more, it can play 25 more mini games than the previous version. Though priced a bit high, the newer roll-bot has added features, making it worthwhile casual family entertainment.WHAT IS SPHERO AND WHAT’S INSIDE?
Sphero 2.0 is a spherical robot with LED lights, gyroscopic sensors and remote controlled (RC) motors. To enjoy a simple RC game, a player need only tap their touchscreen phone and direct Sphero within the home. Once a player completes a few challenges in the mini games, Sphero’s top speed increases. It does this incrementally until it can roll by at 7ft per second, the maximum speed.
SOFTWARE AND ROBOT CREATIVITY
Completely original apps can be pre-programmed via basic developer software provided by Orbotix on their site. Additionally, Orbotix has newly introduced a set of ramps to send Sphero flying as high as a foot off the floor.OUR RATING
New games and continual software updates make the Sphero line an exciting toy. The increased speed and bright colorful LED is a great improvement, making games more challenging and rewarding. Most importantly, not only is it fun for the player but for the family that’s watching, too.
However, the downside is the price. At a hefty $130 we expect more “robot” and less RC-car “technology”. Browse the RC aisle at Toys R’ Us and you’ll know what we mean.
RELEASE DATE AND PRICING
You can expect Sphero 2.0 orders to arrive around Friday, August 30, 2013 for $130. After launch, prices may drop but not more than $10-20 in the next six months, since the original Sphero still sells for $75 to $110 at many physical retailers and online stores.
Sphero 2.0 is brighter, faster and even more fun than the first generation roll-bot from Orbotix. Although it can be difficult to tell the two generations apart, there have been significant positive upgrades – such as speed-leveling and the addition of 25 mini games – deserving of a second look. If you can overlook the steep price tag, Sphero 2.0 becomes easy to love and enjoy.