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Sphero Original BB-8 by (No Droid Trainer)
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- BB-8 app-enabled Droid with a tough and waterproof polycarbonate shell
- Bluetooth Smart connection allowing Gyroscopic propulsion to a 30m range
- Induction charging stand providing 60 minute battery life
- Compatible with the Force Band for control via gestures
- Free iOS & Android compatible apps; allow Adaptive Personality and view holographic recordings
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CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Meet BB-8 - the app-enabled Droid whose movements and personality are as authentic as they are advanced. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and perk up when you give voice commands. Watch your Droid explore autonomously, guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. BB-8 is more than a toy - it’s your companion.
Safety WarningSmall parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Legal DisclaimerAll sales are final. Product carries the full manufacturers warranty.
Top customer reviews
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First, let me start off by saying BB-8 is very cute. That part is true. I love the look, the design and the shiny finish. It is made of plastic, but appears to be good quality. It's very user friendly and you can be playing with BB-8 within minutes. The only set-up required is to charge BB-8 and download the app.
What can BB-8 do? Once you download the free app, you can:
"Drive" This feature of the app lets you control BB-8 as if you were using a joystick.
"Message" Record and play holographic messages.
"Patrol" When you select patrol, BB-8 goes exploring on his own.
BB-8 has the capability of responding to 10 preset voice commands by going to the settings in the app, such as "wake up", "watch out", "go explore" "go to sleep". I was expecting more than 10 voice commands. Siri has spoiled me. I have heard, but cannot verify, that the voice commands only work with iOS devices. If this is accurate, that's a huge drawback for anyone without an iPhone or iPad.
BB-8 is very cute (I know, I'm saying it again), has a great personality and is entertaining to watch as he rolls across the floor. That is about the extent of the entertainment.
I feel I was misled by the promotional videos. I was under the impression that BB-8 can "detect" when he is going to run into an object, stop himself and change directions; or, perhaps, adapt to his surroundings and learn where objects are. My impression of this came from the part in one of the promotional videos where BB-8 rolls up to a fishbowl with a goldfish in it, stops before hitting it and changes direction.
When I set BB-8 to "patrol", he wobbles around a bit, rolls quickly across the floor, hits a wall or other object, wobbles around again, rolls across the floor, hits another object, etc. It's entertaining to watch and the expressive sounds are fun, but after about 5 minutes I'm bored. The worst part of this is BB-8's head falls off frequently when running into an object so I'm constantly following him around to put it back on. Also, if you have stairs in your house as I do, watch out! BB-8 will roll right down the stairs and I'm not sure if he's sturdy enough to bounce down the stairs and land on a tile floor without breaking. I've "saved" BB-8 an untimely death a few times now. Again, this falls under my misunderstanding of thinking BB-8 will adapt to his surroundings or detect a drop off. I have a robotic vacuum that didn't cost much more than BB-8 and has that very capability. It knows to turn around to avoid crashing down the stairs. It also vacuums right up to the edge of walls and furniture, but never actually touches it. Hmmmm.......
Next is the issue with the sound. Again, my expectations being different than reality. I thought the sounds would come from BB-8, when really the sounds all come from your smartphone. Very disappointing! I'll set BB-8 on "patrol", set my smartphone down in one room and let BB-8 go explore the house. I don't get the enjoyment of hearing the sounds if I don't carry my phone with me and it's not as realistic even if your phone is right next to BB-8 because you can easily tell no sound is coming from him. This is perhaps the biggest disappointment.
Finally, the holographic messages. I thought it would be like in the movie and BB-8 would project a recorded message onto the wall or what-not and play the recorded message. The message only shows up on your smartphone. When using the app through a Motorola smartphone (and others), this feature doesn't work at all. I don't know if it's something that there will be a fix for in the future? It does work on an iPhone and other devices, but is still disappointing that BB-8 isn't really projecting anything.
This is a very expensive toy and the novelty wears off very fast, especially if you're expecting something more and it doesn't deliver. If you're a Star Wars Memorabilia collector, you've probably made up your mind and probably should purchase it. If you're like me and love Star Wars but aren't a collector and/or your a gadget nerd like me, you'll probably be disappointed. There's not much to it besides watching it roll around the floor, crashing into things.
To summarize the Pros:
Realistic looking miniature version of BB-8
Great novelty item for Star Wars Collectors
Fun Sound Effects
To summarize the Cons:
Entertainment won't last long
Doesn't detect obstacles or objects in it's way
Head falls off
Doesn't sense drops to prevent it from falling down the stairs
Sound doesn't come from droid
Holographic messages are really just a video on your smartphone ~ if your smartphone is compatible
Only 10 voice commands
Voice commands may only work with iOS devices
Price is too high for what you really get
I sent a support ticket to Sphero, and received a copy of their connectivity Troubleshooting webpage, which I had already read and attempted.
Two additional support requests over the past two weeks have gone unanswered. I’m returning this product. They left my son disappointed in their product, and me disappointed in their total lack of support.
*** UPDATE ***
So, I decided to return the droid to Amazon and buy another. Since it was defective, the return didn’t cost anything. SURELY with all of these positive reviews I just got a bad droid, right?
Droid #2 arrived today. I charged the droid and followed the simple instructions. IT CONNECTED to the android tablet on the first try! Yay! Then it started to download the firmware. Ok, no biggie. Most things download updates now... Except it got stuck at 99% for two hours, and then timed out. Now I have dead droid #2.
I’m going on 14 days and four messages to Sphero support (I’ve logged into their support website, and it does show all of the messages as logged into the system) with no response whatsoever. These are terrible toys from a terrible company with terrible support. I cannot recommend against them strongly enough.
I had a problem after he sat for a while and had to get a new phone- he would not pair or even power up. What isn't told to you is that there is a little white reset button on the charger that resets him. I have searched youtube and Sphero's site to find this out.
I won't waste too much time repeating what some of the top reviews said, but main point is do not listen to the product video, it can't really do any of that stuff. It is a very misleading video. It does not learn your room, it just randomly bumps into things and goes in another direction to come back and bump into the same stuff again.
I like some things about it, but I would have like to make the decision to buy this based on actual functions of the device, not misled and flat out lied to by the company to buy this on false pretenses.