In the test: the smart “Lexi” 3D illuminated globe from alldoro

Alldoro Lexi illuminated globe in the test

A few weeks ago I tested a globe that can display additional information on the iPhone or iPad with the AR function: the Shifu Orboot. However, the imprint of this globe was very rudimentary and not comparable to a "real" globe. For this reason, I looked around to find an illuminated globe with a relief that would display political and geographic information. I found what I was looking for with the "alldoro 3D Lexi globe“, Which I had sent to me as a 32 cm version.

The alldoro Lexi globe offers everything a beautiful globe needs: it is large, has a relief and is equipped with LED lighting. There is also an app with which you can use the globe in AR mode to obtain further information.

The alldoro Lexi globe offers everything a beautiful globe needs: it is large, has a relief and is equipped with LED lighting. There is also an app with which you can use the globe in AR mode to obtain further information.

alldoro Lexi AR globe

Advantages

  • great globe
  • with lighting
  • with relief
  • without cable (with batteries)
  • political / geographic map

Disadvantages

  • App is a little weak

The alldoro Lexi globe with a diameter of 32 cm offers a relief and lighting that alternates the view between geographical and political map. A lot of information can be called up in AR mode with iPhone or iPad via the app.

Transparency notice

The manufacturer made the device available to me for free, but as always this will not affect the item. Likewise, the manufacturer had not had access to the article before it was published.

I think anyone who wants to remain credible as a blogger shouldn't leave any doubts here that the article reflects his honest opinion on the product. I hope I can achieve this with my critical blog posts.

For example, if you choose the topic solar system, the solar system with the planets, moons and the sun is displayed above the globe. Even an asteroid belt can be seen with small chunks if you get close with the iPad.

For example, if you choose the topic solar system, the solar system with the planets, moons and the sun is displayed above the globe. Even an asteroid belt can be seen with small chunks if you get close with the iPad. You can see this in the bottom left of the picture.

How does the Lexi globe work?

To be honest, I really liked the alldoro globe because it is a connection between a “real” globe and an AR globe with an app connection. The Shifu Globus that I tested earlier impresses above all with its app. But if you don't have an iPhone or iPad at hand, it's a rather boring toy because the globe only offers a rough world map.

The alldoro illuminated globe, on the other hand, is a globe as we know it from before. You can use it without lighting and then see the geographical conditions and the heights in the color spectrum from green to dark brown. If you turn on the lights, you can see the political boundaries and terms.

With the lighting activated, you can see the political map of the globe. Apart from that, I have always found the glowing spheres in the dark fascinating (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

With the lighting activated, you can see the political map of the globe. Apart from that, I have always found the glowing spheres in the dark fascinating (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

As a child I was already enthusiastic about such glowing globes and I have spent what felt like ages looking for special places - the deepest point in the sea, the highest mountain, islands that pirates used to visit, the Bermuda Triangle and so on. It was just great to explore the world on the sofa. And as a child, the 32 cm globes seem huge. As an adult, I feel that 32 cm is the minimum size a globe should have.

The Lexi from alldoro is a pretty globe - the one millimeter thick rim at the equator, on which the hemispheres are welded, looks a bit unsuitable.

The Lexi from alldoro is a pretty globe - the one millimeter thick rim at the equator, on which the hemispheres are welded, looks a bit unsuitable.

Relief globe - feel the world

A special feature of the alldoro globe is its surface, because mountain ranges and mountains are represented by a raised relief. In this way, children can even feel the height differences and thus explore the globe haptically.

However, the depth of oceans and seas is not taken into account in the relief.

In the close-up one can see the relief that simulates the elevations on the earth on the surface of the globe (photos: Sir Apfelot).

In the close-up one can see the relief that simulates the elevations on the earth on the surface of the globe (photos: Sir Apfelot).

LED lighting with AA batteries

When I had the Alldoro globe in my hand for the first time, I thought I had received a model without lighting. I'm still used to having power cables hanging on the things and first had to read the description that LED lighting is used here, which is powered by two AA batteries. This light element is cleverly plugged into the lower suspension of the globe and thus disappears into the sphere.

By the way, it is advisable to read carefully how to get to the battery compartment, because I thought I was getting on with my male intuition and accidentally pulled too hard in the wrong place. The result was that I tore something apart that wasn't supposed to be separated. Two cables came loose from the switch and the battery compartment, and the lights were gone.

As Schiller said: "Where raw forces are senseless ...". Sometimes you should look into the manual.

As Schiller said: "Where raw forces are senseless ...". Sometimes you should look into the manual.

You insert the batteries correctly by first loosening the small screw on one side with a screwdriver. Then you can - without any force - lift off the cover of the battery compartment and insert the batteries.

So that I could test the product despite my faux pas, I unpacked my soldering iron without further ado and soldered the cable firmly to the battery compartment so that the LEDs always light up when the batteries are inserted. This is cumbersome because you have to take the globe ball from the suspension to switch it off, but it works first. I'll have to go back to work soon and do the repair properly so that the switch works again.

Batteries or NiZn rechargeable batteries

Since the lighting works with LEDs, batteries last a very long time - even if the children spend a few hours with the illuminated globe. If you still prefer to use rechargeable batteries, you should not use normal NiMH rechargeable batteries, as these have a lower voltage than batteries. The result is that the lighting is a little weaker than is the case with batteries.

Instead, you can use NiZn batteries, which are still not widely used, which have a higher cell voltage and thus offer enough voltage for bright LED lighting. A good set of 4 AA batteries (you need two AA batteries for the globe) and a charger with USB cable can be found here with the UEME charger battery set. I cannot recommend the Ansmann NiZn batteries, which are also available on Amazon - but more on that in an upcoming blog post.

There are two AA batteries in the lighting element. Alternatively, you can also use rechargeable batteries, whereby I would recommend NiZn batteries so that the appropriate voltage is given for the brightness of the LEDs.

There are two AA batteries in the lighting element. Alternatively, you can also use rechargeable batteries, whereby I would recommend NiZn batteries so that the appropriate voltage is given for the brightness of the LEDs.

Processing the globe

When I got the package with the globe, I thought at first that I had received an empty box. Of course, this was not the case, but when unpacking it immediately became clear that the globe dispensed with wooden and metal parts. Instead, the ball is made of very light plastic, but it is thick enough that you don't accidentally make a dent in the ball.

The bracket and the foot are also made of light plastic and feel a bit delicate at first. Now that I have disassembled and reassembled the globe several times, I can give the all-clear: The material is strong enough not to break, but still flexible enough that you can easily bend it open to remove the globe.

A plastic knob of the arm is stuck in the globe at the North Pole, but there is no proper bearing, so that the turning of the globe does not run as smoothly and without resistance as one is used to from earlier globes.

A plastic knob of the arm is stuck in the globe at the North Pole, but there is no proper bearing, so that the turning of the globe does not run as smoothly and without resistance as one is used to from earlier globes.

How does the app work?

The appropriate app for the globe is called "IQ Globe" and can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store as well as from the Google Playstore getting charged. If you start the app, it wants to know the language of the user and then reloads about 1 gigabyte of data. When that's done, all you have to do is unlock the app with a code that is on the product packaging so that you can use all of the content.

The app is protected with a code that you only have to enter once at the start.

The app is protected with a code that you only have to enter once at the start.

No introduction, no tutorial

The first start screen shows a room with a huge wall of books, three kids, a dog and a cat. Audio runs in the background, which unfortunately repeats itself every few seconds and there is - unfortunately also - no tutorial that the user (mostly a child) would take by the hand to explain how the app works.

A tutorial would be super helpful because I didn't understand, for example, that the microphone icon in the corner is used to start explanatory audio. On the one hand, a loudspeaker or an “info icon” would certainly have been easier to understand and, on the other hand, the audio could have been started directly on the start screen because it speaks to the child.

If you start the audio by touching the button, the three children immediately look into the camera and one of the children explains what the app is all about. It's actually done very nicely - it's a shame that it's so easy to overlook.

In the main screen you can see the selection of the main subject areas on the right. If you press on the cat and the dog, nothing happens ... but such little things make apps fun.

In the main screen you can see the selection of the main subject areas on the right. If you press on the cat and the dog, nothing happens ... but such little things make apps fun.

How to use the AR globe

To use the AR function, start the app, select a topic and hold the iPhone or iPad at a distance (30 to 40 cm) in front of the globe. After a short time, the app recognized the globe and - depending on the topic - shows the country's flags, animals, plants or objects on the globe. In the area of ​​space, the globe becomes a planet, the sun or the moon and you can turn it by turning the - unfortunately somewhat stiff globe.

It's done nicely, but as an adult I had problems holding the iPad in one hand and clicking something with the other hand. I don't think it's easier for kids.

Using it with the iPhone is again quite fiddly, as the 3D objects on the globe become very small and some of them are very difficult to click on

No information without AR

What I also think is a shame: You inevitably always have to use the globe and cannot listen to the topics without a globe. That would have been exciting, especially for car trips, to keep the children busy.

In the solar system area, you can get the individual planets on the globe. If you turn the globe, the planet also turns. It's very nice to look at the interface.

In the solar system area, you can get the individual planets on the globe. If you turn the globe, the planet also turns. It's very nice to look at the interface.

Subject areas from space to countries

The app is divided into different subject areas in which you can get information with the globe. Here is the overview:

  • Space
    • Solar system
    • Spaceport
    • Get off into space (game)
  • Flora and fauna
    • Animals and plants on the mainland
    • sea ​​creatures
    • Amazing places in the world
  • Countries
    • First discoverer
    • Political world order
    • Guide to the sights

The term "spaceport" means launch sites for rockets from various nations. "Get out into space" is a little game in which you have to swipe your astronauts left and right around space junk and asteroids, while you should collect test tubes and crystals.

In the "Spaceport" topic, a handful of rocket launch ramps are spread across the globe - that is far too little to have to do a separate topic.

In the "Spaceport" topic, a handful of rocket launch ramps are spread across the globe - that is far too little to have to do a separate topic.

No gamification, not very motivating

The little game is nice, but unfortunately the things you collect have no other purpose. There is no gamification in the game and so you are neither rewarded for collecting good things in the space game nor do you get points for information that you have listened to.

The Orboot Shifu has a nicer solution: There is a quiz in each information area that you can use and you have an overview page with successes that you can unlock and so the children are more motivated to play with the app from time to time.

Here you can see how many animal and plant species are represented on the globe - extremely few compared to what the earth actually has to offer.

Here you can see how many animal and plant species are represented on the globe - extremely few compared to what the earth actually has to offer.

Information is very clear

I would also criticize that the information stored is very scarce. In the subject area “First Discoverers”, for example, there are around 12 ships around the globe that represent the respective explorers.

It may be that the term “first discoverer” may have been severely restricted, but names like Amerigo Vespucci or Afanassi Nikitin are on the list, but no Berlanga, no Amundsen, no Cook, no Grijalva. There are so many other important personalities who could have been introduced here.

The same applies to the other subject areas. There are already some animals and plants to be found, but overall the app is still poorly equipped and you get the impression that the world is home to 100 animal species and 20 plant species.

I wouldn't change anything about the illuminated globe itself. He's really good as he is. Only the app could definitely experience more love (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

I wouldn't change anything about the illuminated globe itself. He's really good as he is. Only the app could definitely experience more love (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

My suggestions for improvement for the Globus makers

If I were allowed to whip up the alldoro globe with a team, the following items would be on my to-do list:

  • I would leave the globe like that - it's great.
  • Creating an engaging tutorial for children who are using the app for the first time.
  • More play options in the intermediate screens. Why doesn't the cat meow when I poke it? And why can't I take a book out of the bookcase? A few hidden goodies would be great.
  • More than just audio information. Information is only available in the form of a 3D model and audio read aloud, with the text scrolling along the bottom of the image. There are so many videos and photos on the Internet: Why aren't Wikipedia images even visible in the app?
  • More stories and more excitement: What does a child care about a traveling salesman who happened to come to India. The story sounds like it was taken from an encyclopedia and is just as exciting. Makes the information more interesting for children. Any explorer could fill an entire audiobook if you only wanted to.
  • It must also be possible to operate the app without a globe. With Orboot Shifu it is also possible to look at things without AR mode. Why not here?
  • More little games: You could - like with Orboot Shifu - play a few discovery games in which the children have to find certain animals, sights and the like. Small, interactive stories that are entertaining.
  • More gamification: When I have received information, I can take a quiz. If I'm good at the quiz, I get points and can unlock successes. If I have collected test tubes in the space game, I get points and I can use them in a bigger, really good game to unlock game time. There are 1000 ideas how to combine knowledge transfer with fun with gamification. Unfortunately none of this was implemented here.
  • Basic consideration: is a globe the right "vehicle"? Wouldn't it be easier and more enjoyable for the kids if they could put a world map on the floor and see and click things on it via AR? The globe seems to me to be the wrong option more and more because it is very difficult for children to use with the iPad.
  • Correcting small things in the operation: If I have half listened to an item of information, the play status should be saved so that I don't have to start all over again later. Or there has to be a function to spool.
  • Fix other operating problems: I cannot see which "thing" I have already informed myself about. Maybe you could mark them in color. A list of the objects in a subject area would also be good, for example to search for names in the countries area and thus to call up specific information. Currently you always have to handle the globe and then select the country flag in AR mode, which is not always easy.
There is always only one 3D model and one audio track for each point about which one is informed. This could have been made more child-friendly in order to appeal to more senses.

There is always only one 3D model and one audio track for each point about which one is informed. This could have been made more child-friendly in order to appeal to more senses.

My conclusion

If you compare the alldoro Lexi in the human body and facts about the Orboot Shifu, then you have to be aware that both products address different target groups. While the Orboot Shifu comes with a ball that doesn't deserve the name Globus Eigeltich, with the alldoro Lexi you actually get a really great globe. On the other hand, the app at the alldoro Lexi is more of a goodie that you get with the globe. The app is accordingly not very complex. In my opinion, the Orboot Shifu scores above all with the app, while the "globe" is rather small and has a rudimentary print.

I would like a mixture of alldoro Globus and Orboot App - but unfortunately that doesn't exist. After all, I have already received feedback from alldoro that my criticism has been forwarded to the app developer. So there is reason to hope that the app will still see improvements.

I think the alldoro globe is a very good, illuminated globe with relief, but the “smart” department for this product still has some catching up to do. I hope the alldoro team doesn't hold the constructive criticism offended. I am happy to test a new version of the app when it is available and adapt my report to the new circumstances.

-

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership or at Patreon would support.

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.