Posted on 30 January 2018
When I first received the Star Wars BB-8 Droid it was very exciting. The package was large (Size (cm): 38 x 38 x 70.8) and I couldn't wait to open it and build the droid.
Once I unpacked everything I started to build the droid only to realise I needed some batteries which were not provided with the Droid. The packaging advised that you needed 1 x D (not included) plus 2 x AA (not included) batteries. I went and procured these and continued the build only to realise the packaging was wrong you actually need 6 x D Batteries and 3 x AA Batteries, that’s a lot of Batteries which you have to buy on top of the price of the droid.
The build of the droid didn't take too long and is fairly simple although it can be a bit fiddley on your own, I would recommend having two people in order to build it quickly and easily. The finished product looks great, the build quality is good and if I were rating this out of ten then I would say the quality is 7/10 for build.
Once turned on the droid is quite loud between the motorised sounds and the audio feedback from BB-8. There is no volume control and the on/off button is inside the droid itself which means to fully shut it off you need to unscrew the droid and open it up which is not ideal. The droid does have a standby feature where if you leave it alone it goes to sleep however if you knock the droid it wakes up again.
After playing with the droid for a while it was clear that it was easy enough to control although it is almost impossible to move the droid consistently without stopping. If you try and move the droid forward or backward and try to turn at the same time it is almost impossible to achieve this and you end up needing to stop the droid, change direction then start again.
The pre-programmed button is good for a quick demo but it is almost impossible to tell what mood is being depicted by the droid with its response, likewise issuing voice commands is difficult as you have no idea what the droid is responding to or what commands you can issue.
All in all I would recommend this droid to family and friends but only if it could be purchased in a sale and even then I would recommend with warnings about the volume levels and battery requirements as it can be noisy and costly due to the number of batteries required. I feel at the current price the droid is not good value for money due to the limited functionality, lack of volume control and the amount of batteries required which are not supplied and are an extra cost.
There are many things I would recommend which could improve this product if added such as Rechargeable Built-in Battery, Volume Control on the Remote, On/Off Switch on the remote and better movement control. I would also recommend supplying Voice Command Examples in with the instructions in order to get the most out of the product. Another useful feature would be a more responsive emergency stop button on the control to stop the droid instantly preventing it from crashing into things.
If you really wanted to excel with this product you could build and Amazon Alexa/Google Home type control unit into the droids head giving you the ability to use the droid to control things around the house such as your TV, Music, Lights. etc. not only providing valuable additions to this product but helping to secure the future of the product.
All in all this product will provide kids with great fun and excitement; although advised for nine years and over it can be easily controlled by a five year old without any training. It is overpriced for what it is however it is built very well. I would rate this product overall as a 5/10.