Wilson X Connected Basketball (with iPhone and Android App)

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Wilson X Connected Basketball Review

Wilson X Connected Basketball is first smart basketball that tracks your performance on the court, and it makes a great gift for those who are into sports.  Wilson X Connected Basketball can track your makes & misses on the court. Using the app, you can analyze the date to improve your game.

Wilson X Connected Basketball comes with special app which connects to the basketball via Bluethooth.  You can track your shooting percentage and range as you shoot your way through four addicting game modes. It tracks field goal percentage and range to show if you’re red hot or cold as ice.  

Wilson X Connected Basketball comes with two size: intermediate size and official NBA size.   The basketball shares the same game-ready qualities of all Wilson basketballs.  You can’t tell the difference between Wilson X Connected Basketball and other Wilson basketball.  It works on any regulation 10-foot hoop with a net.  

Setup

Wilson X Connected Basketball 2Set up is pretty easy and straight forward.  All you have to do is spin the ball and throw it up in the air about 10 ft to pair is with your phone app.  There is no button, USB dongles, nor any kind of charging.  According to Wilson, you can shoot this ball 300 times a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks year before it starts to die.   So basically, it will last for long time.  The ball handles and performs just like you’d expect from a standard ball. I suppose you could use this ball to just play the basketball game, but it is better to use it as practice tool to improve your game.

4 Game Modes

Wilson X Connected Basketball app has four game modes you can choose from.   First two modes are designed for training.

  1. Free Range mode lets you shoot from different spots on the court and tracks your shooting percentage from all over the field.
  2. Free Throw mode is a repetition training session for making free throws.  You basically stand at the free throw line and shoot the ball into the net, while the app tracks how many shots you made and missed.  Free Range and Free Throw mode are probably the most widely use modes.

Next two modes are designed to simulate actual game for added excitement.

  1. In Buzzer Beater mode, you’re going up against a countdown clock.  How it works is that the more shots you make and the farther away from the basket you make them from, the more time is added to the clock.  It added excitement by adding little pressure to your practice.
  2. In Game Time mode, you’re dropped into a high-pressure game against another team and listen to the audio cues to find out what’s happening and score points, as the crowd cheers in the background.  However, you need Bluetooth headsets to listen to the audio cues during the game which can be bit of inconvenient.

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Some Limitations

Wilson X Connected Basketball is very fun to play with, but there are some limitations.   Foremost, it is not 100% accurate.  According to Wilson, it’s about 97% accurate.  In order to get the best accuracy, Wilson recommends following:  First, you have to have net in the basket.  Second, you have to shoot the ball from 7 ft or more.  It doesn’t count your layups and dunks. (if you can dunk.)  Third, the ball has to hit the ground after each shot in order to properly register the shot.  Also make sure you have good  ball pressure before you start using the ball.

Some of the other limitations are that there is bit of lag to register the data on your phone. So if you use the this ball on the real game, it might not get the data instantly. The app also gives you constant voice feedback, but you need Bluetooth headsets to listen to it.  It is bit of inconvenient to have headsets when you are playing the game.   Also this might not be best suited for young kids where they might find it difficult to use this ball property simply because of the distance requirements to shoot.   So it is best suited for high school age player or older. These limitation are understandable considering this is the first smart basket ball on the market.  Wilson is constantly improving the performance of the ball and hopefully they will perfect this technology.

Other Cool Features

You can setup a phantom player which allows you to get the sense of playing against a computer generated player. Some of the practice routines are also very challenging, and it encourages you to work on things you might not normally would.

Makes a Great Gift!

Overall this is great gift for those who like sports and want to take their basketball game to the next level.  It will definitely add more excitement to the practice, and be aware, the practice might get very addicting.

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