This ball has seen a lot of use since Christmas, and while that's not a good indication of how long the batteries and lights will last, my kids have been having a blast with it at night. This ball isn't like a normal soccer ball, it's more of a smooth rubber, so it won't have the same feel as a normal ball. It feels heavier to me too, but I didn't confirm that on the scale. Once or twice the ball turned off in use, but came back on after a minute. I recommend this ball as an outdoor nighttime novelty ball, certainly not a competition ball. And the 5-star rating is directly from my 8-year-old son. His words, "I love it!"
However, by selling out so hard in terms of responsiveness, the Mikasa has painted itself into a bit of a corner. Specifically, the synthetic leather casing makes this ball unsuitable for use on any surface outside of natural grass.In fact, even artificial grass will begin to wear down this ball once the glossy finish has been worn away. When you factor in the machine stitching, you end up with one of the least durable soccer balls on our list.
Soccer balls have several panels that influence their flight characteristics and the amount of control a player can have while playing. International soccer competitions use a 32-panel ball. Major leagues use an 18-panel ball and indoor leagues use a 6-panel ball. High-end soccer balls have hand-stitched panels with a synthetic thread. A low-cost one for practice and training will usually have its panels glued together.
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.
Bend-It is particularly proud of how this ball helps you perfect the Knuckleball movement. Now, I didn’t know much about this particular soccer move but it’s a skill worth acquiring! If you hit the ball just right for a Knuckleball kick, your ball will head on a (seemingly unpredictable) zigzag pattern, making it harder to block by the goalie. The Bend-It ball uses their VPM technology to help users perfect this movement during their training.
While the ball features high-quality materials, the focus with this ball is all the smart features and less about the physical make-up of the ball, which doesn’t come in handy when you’re researching! What I did find with this ball is that it’s match quality and built to last. It’s also available in sizes 4 or 5 for multiple ages and training levels.