Sphero’s newest app-controlled Bluetooth enabled rolling toy, the Ollie, takes fun to another level and then some. Flips, fast turns, drifting and tricks, yes, the Ollie does it all. Sphero’s über popular ball has grown up into a 14 mph trickster.
A larger chassis over the design of a simple ball means a longer running time. I found the Ollie to last nearly an hour on a carpeted surface with the nubby tires. Drifting on the carpet is fun without the colorful rubber wheels.
Playing around inside is cool, but the Ollie finds its “legs” when it goes off roading. Connecting to the gadget was super easy with their instant connect tech. Launching it was a snap with their free iOS app.
The Sphero app took me through a quick walk-through of how everything worked. After I figured out how to get it moving, it directed me on to the tricks menu.
Quickly turning my iPhone on its side, a square touch surface appeared on the left. Along with the traditional joystick option on the right. I now had the ability to make tricks happen at the swipe of a finger.
Starting in the lower corner of the trick square, I found that by swiping to the right and then to a top corner, the Ollie flashed its LED lights and it went into a swirling and jumping spin. Swiping to an opposite corner brought the Ollie on its end for many quick revolutions and then it began to “steam roll.”
At this point the Sphero Ollie was jumping about like someone at a rave. As soon as I let go of the trick square, the app displays the name of the maneuver. I did find that its orientation would adjust slightly after doing many tricks in a row.
To reorientate the Ollie, tap on the bottom right button, line up the charging port so it faces towards the back. Tap one more time on the same orientation button to lock in the change.
I was not sure how much more I would like the Ollie over the Sphero ball, but it can jam, pull tight turns, create whirling noises, drift and generally blast through a set of tricks. After putting it through its paces, I wanted to do more.
The Sphero Ollie is customizable with different types of tires and hubcaps and other accessories for it to play with. Other new accessories should be coming from Sphero soon.
Sphero is doing an amazing job with their robot toys. I have spent hours playing with the ball and now the Ollie. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next. Maybe a drone. I can dream right?
- Works with iPhone and Android
- App helps you learn how to have fun with the Ollie
- Advanced mode unlocks more capabilities
- Orientation calibration might be needed during longer periods of use
Disclaimer: I received a Sphero Ollie at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of Sphero.