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Sphero - Mini App Enabled Robotic Ball - Pink-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 298 reviews

93%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Page 1, showing1-4 of 4 Reviews mentioning:
instructions
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fun little robot - easy coding for kids!

    Posted
    ShawnInKB
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a fun little robot. Great for kids (and a nice workout for cats. @@@@@@@ Fun to steer around the house. App is intuitive and easy to use. What makes it more than just a little remote controlled toy is the ability to code it with instructions with the Sphero Edu app. Great way for kids to learn how to code by giving it a set of instructions and see it run the program and then make changes. Only con is not sure how well it will hold up if it takes a big dive off a table or down a set of stairs. Definitely going to get a few of these for nieces and nephews for the holidays.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    FUn! While the battery lasts.....

    Posted
    RedOmen
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Overall, this is a nice time-killer, but not very much time though. Very simple to set-up, as everything is based in the Sphero Mini app (do not search the app on the app store; go to the web site given in the instructions, to get the correct app). Everything can be controlled, from directing the Sphero to changing the color illumination of it. There is a way to get it to gradually learn as you go along, but I didn't venture past the basic types of movements. You can also learn to do different types of tricks through a program within the app. All of that said, the battery life is about 45 min. on a full charge, so you pretty much have to pace yourself and remember to charge it immediately every time you use it. I've never owned a device of this type, so not sure how standard of a charge 45 min. is, but from the perspective of enjoying the device, 45 min. didn't feel like much (it didn't seem to last a full 45 min. @@@@@@@ Bottom line, the Sphero was very entertaining to use, and easy to control through the app, but battery life impedes on the fun, especially trying to learn the tricks within the app. I would still recommend it to others, as it seems to be a good intro device of this type.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Has potential but the app needs a lot of work

    Posted
    JimC
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    Sphero is best known for Star Wars toys (BB-8 and others). The Sphero Mini uses a lot of the same technology in a small (ping pong ball sized) package. It includes Blue Tooth, accelerometer, gyroscope, and LED lighting components along with an app to control and move the Sphero Mini. This little robotic ball has a lot of potential but requires a lot of patience and effort to master. One huge problem is a lack of instructions to use it. There is no "quick start" guide, just three somewhat cryptic diagrams on the box flaps which show the app, separating the ball and charging it. Sphero really likes packaging. To use the Sphero Mini for the first time you have to remove tape holding an outer band around the package, slide off that band, then untape the plastic storage cube from the lower portion of the box. The lower box contains a charging cable, a bag of tiny bowling pins & traffic cones and a document. You pull out the document, expecting (logically) it to be instructions but find to your dismay that it is just a long list of legal disclaimers and warnings in numerous languages! Someone at Sphero is really worried about being sued but apparently not concerned about helping their customers use their product. Open the plastic cube and you have the Sphero Mini in your hands. But you then have to carefully remove a clear tape which secures the two halves of the ball. Once you do that, carefully squeeze the ball to separate it and access the device inside to charge it up. Then attach a micro USB cable to the inner device, plug it into a power source and wait. The inner ball with light up and cycle through multiple colors while charging. Eventually (after two hours the first time) the light changes to a solid green when fully charged. Put the ball back together and it is ready. While charging up the Sphero, download the Sphero Mini app (available for both iPhone and Android). When you open the app for the first time you again encounter a ridiculously long legal document which you must scroll down and accept in order to use it. Then a colorful animation plays, along with some techno-music and a Connect screen appears. Tap "Connect" and an update with download and the device will connect via Blue Tooth. Next you have to "Aim" the ball. Again, there are no instructions but I found that you have to touch a white ball in a blue/green circle on the app to activate a blue light on the Sphero Mini, then carefully move the white ball in a circle it until causes the blue light on the Sphero Mini to point in your direction. This orients the ball for all games. After this process, the app shifts to "Joystick" which is a simple large blue circle used to move the Sphero Mini in the direction you choose. Again, there are no instructions in the app! At the corners of the app screen you can access drive settings (Joystick, Slingshot, Tilt and Face Drive), connect to a different robot, some settings (color of LED in ball can be varied, music volume, some nearly useless FAQs and "Support" which is just an email link to Sphero) and some games. The drive modes are fun but require some patience to master but all work. Face Drive is clever, using your phone's face camera to read your expressions in order to move the ball, but results will vary based upon your phone's camera. I haven't played with the games much. Again, lack of instructions made it unclear what you have to do but it appears that you use the Sphero Mini as a trackball to manipulate actions on your phone screen. They didn't hold my interest for long. One big complaint I have about the app is the very tiny, low contrast type used. It just adds to the frustration of no instructions. One use to which I put the Sphero Mini was as a toy for my little Yorkie. She was fascinated by the moving ball and the changing colors, chasing it and barking at it. I would not recommend that you try this with bigger dogs because they will just eat the Sphero Mini and that would not be a good dietary supplement. The Sphero Mini works fine on hard floors and low carpet but gets caught by thicker carpeting. It seems fairly durable but over the long-term I wonder how the outer shell will hold up to the need to unsnap it for charging every time you use it. Replacement shells in a variety of colors cost about $15. Running time before recharge is about 45 minutes but I doubt that you would play with it that long at any session. Then you are facing a long (1-2 hour) charging time. The box mentions coding but I saw no way to access any coding function. Maybe it is there but hidden like so much else. Overall, the Sphero Mini gives you a lot of potential for the price but the app really needs a lot of work. Someone at Sphero needs to pay less to the lawyers and more to someone who can help out its users with some decent instructions and guides! This is a good toy for gamers but definitely not for small children or for those who need step-by-step guidance.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Not ready for prime time.

    Posted
    TechnicallyCorrect
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    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    I received two Mini Sphero's about a week ago. They are mini but built relatively solid. The problem is they do not work. They light up nicely but that is about it. I first charged the Spheros fully, installed the software on my Google Pixel XL , ran the software , unplugged the Sphero and gave it two taps. It appeared to go into pairing mode and apparantly paired with my phone. I was running the app at the time and it could not connect to the Sphero. The app just kept searching for it even though the Sphero Mini was connected to my phone. I made multiple attempts. After doing some research on troubleshooting on the Sphero website, I uninstalled the software forgot the device in bluetooth settings, restarted my phone and reset the Sphero by putting it back in the charger. I repeated the whole process and still could not get Sphero Mini to connect. I thought there was something wrong with the Sphero Mini itself so I tried the second Sphero Mini that was sent to me, same result. Then I thought there was something up with phone so I uninstalled the app again, forgot the devices in bluetooth settings and decided to try on my 2017 Ipad Pro. The devices would not go into pairing mode and my Ipad did not even see them in the bluetooth setting. I repeated the process mutltiple times on both devices and still had no luck. This should not be difficult, I followed the instructions to the letter and both devices are fully compatible with Spheros. The only thing the Spheros do when unplugged is is glow red and eventually time out and shut down. When they shut down, they do not wake back up. Sorry Sphero, this was not a good experience and I should not have to open a service ticket on a toy.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend