A robotic ball you control with your phone? What's not to like? Well, we managed to find a few things when we took a look at the first generation back in 2011 -- that's what we do. Most of the criticisms of the original Sphero came down to pricing and the admittedly short list of things it could actually do at the time. Sure it was pretty great at driving feline friends completely nuts -- but that alone wasn't enough to justify the $130 price tag. Orbotix has made some improvements since then, and more importantly, the open API has given users a much fuller experience, with around 20 or so compatible titles currently available on the iPhone.
This month, the company is refreshing the device itself, with the simply titled Sphero 2.0. The particularly astute among you will no doubt notice that nothing has really changed here from an aesthetic standpoint. Nope, it's the same white plastic ball with the cartoony Sphero mascot on one side and all of the fine print (FCC info, "Made in China," etc.) on the other, with a series of interlinking, barely visible lines across its surface. There have been some hardware changes to the toy, but everything's on the inside, namely brighter lights and faster speeds -- as the company insists in its press material, it's "only slightly slower than a Lamborghini." Of course, scale's important here.