Wilson X Connected Basketball – A Product Review
First things first, this is not a paid promotion, nor a ‘sponsored by Wilson’ review.
The Wilson X Connected Basktball is in my possesion for over a month now. Why I’m writing this review this late, you ask?! I like to test things out completly, to look for advantages and disadvantages, I simply like to put products through its paces, before I give them a proper review.
Wilson advertises the ball as ‘The Ball That Tracks Makes & Misses’. Sounded good to me!
Before I got the ball, I’ve read alot about it and watched the commercials, and honestly, I was very sceptical, thought that the idea itself was awesome, but had my fair doubts about its practicality. ‘An undectectable, built-in smart sensor tracks makes, misses and shot range when paired with the Wilson X app via Bluetooth.’ That’s Wilson’s summary on the ball’s technology, and I can’t really say more, as I am not that familiar with new technologies. The reason why I was sceptical at first, is that I wasn’t able to imagine how the ball could track my shots if I was playing on different courts, sometimes shooting on baskets with different heights when there isn’t a sensor in the basket itself.
So I went to my homecourt, a few blocks away and connected the ball with my phone (you have to spin the ball in the air for it to connect to the phone – that works without any problems and most of the time it will connect on the first try). Once connected, you can choose between four different modes:
-Free Range (‘Stop and pop from 15 feet, fade away from the corner or shoot from beyond the arc. Free Range is the ultimate shoot-around tracker for players who want to become full-on sharp shooters’)
-Free Throw (‘Practice makes perfect for clutch shooters, especially from the line. Work on your routine and form while the Wilson X app keeps track of your makes, misses and lifetime attempts.’)
-Buzzer Beater (‘It’s the last play of the game and the ball is in your hands. Can you nail the final shot under pressure as the clock counts down? Made shots add more time. Miss, and the clock keeps ticking.’)
-Game Time (‘You’re the star player leading your team against a virtual opponent in this real game simulation. Do you have what it takes to hit your shots and nail your free throws down the stretch? Only the most clutch players will come away with the win.’)
I tried Free Range first, went to my sweet spot (3-point line half right) and started shooting. I had the phone in my pocket and as the ball went through the net, the phone made a sound that I can best describe as “Cha-ching”, just like a register. I continued shooting and counted for myself, to see if every made or missed shot was registered. When you miss a shot, it sound a little like the game show sound when you give a wrong answer. After 20 shots, I believe (cut the bulls***), I know I missed more than I made, the app registered every made shot and every missed shot perfectly. Since I don’t like playing with a phone in my pocket, I took the phone out and placed it on my bag behind the basket. Even though, you might not always here the sound it makes (especially when you’re shooting from more than 10 feet), all the shots are registered, if you are within bluetooth range (but you won’t make lots of shots from the parking lot anyways). This mode really is awesome. You can work on your shot and see your numbers improving. A few attemps were registered as ‘missed shot’ even though I made it, or the other way round. But overall, during my testing, the ball was registering makes and misses correctly in over 95% of the attempts.
The Free Throw mode might be a good thing for DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard or Josh Smith. I tried it out, but generally am a good free throw shooter, what limits the ‘outbreak potential’ of your own performance. But if you are not a good free throw shooter, this mode is perfect for you. It is always better to have the actual numbers and see your improvement, for motivational purposes and for the improvement itself. I did not play this mode that often, but it worked all the time. Gongfu Tea Cup registering a wrong shot result.
While the Buzzer Beater mode, I had a lot of fun. You have to run around the court and make shots, as the countdown ticks. Far away baskets add more time than baskets from closer or layups. It pushes you to the limit, as you want to beat your own highscore, or even better, the highscore your friend or teammate set. The only problem is, that if you are playing in louder neighborhoods, and not using a speaker, you’ll have problems hearing the countdown on the phone. But other than that, this mode is a lot of fun and like I said even better when playing with a couple of friends. Personally, this is my favorite mode.
-When you play the Game Time mode, you really have to step up. Be on your a-game, if not, you’ll simply lose. This mode is the hardest to succeed in, if you ask me. The first 5 tries, my team lost because I wasn’t making enough baskets, or missing too many shots. Once you win for the first time though, you almost feel like winning a real game, or like beating someone in 2k. This is a fun mode. Oh, and very exhausting, as you pace around the court trying to make shots.
In summary, I can only recommend the ball. It is pricy (199USD), but if you play often and competitively, it will be worth it. You become a better shooter and more clutch at the same time. I think the best thing about this ball is that you can play by yourself, and still have a blast. Sometimes I want to hoop but none of my friends is available. Before owning this ball, I did not have that much fun shooting some baskets all by myself, with the Wilson X and the App though, that changed.
If you are interested, you can buy the ball here —> http://amzn.to/1YbSn6K
I like to end this review with a quote from Chauncey “Mr. Big Shot” Billups on the Wilson X:
“I can only imagine how much better I would have gotten with this. I grew up thinking you spend 4, 5, 6 hours in the gym. You’re working hard. I started to understand as I got older that there’s a difference between working hard and working smart. This allows you the opportunity to work smart.”
Check out Wilson’s wepage for the ball: http://www.wilson.com/x/basketball/