Have you thought of trying out Virtual Reality to experience its much-discussed immersion and near reality delivery on games, images and 3D videos?
If yes, you must as well be aware of how expensive these premium headsets can be. That could sometimes be a limitation to as many as are interested in purchasing one due to a small budget.
However, an alternative to enjoying a similar experience without having to spend a fortune is to go for a smartphone VR headset. These smartphone VR headsets feel more comfortable to wear and will not restrict your movement. As long as you have a compatible Smartphone for your headset, you are set for Virtual Reality.
Mobile VR headsets are designed to render 360-degree image view and display 3D YouTube videos. They also let you play VR games with a good depth of immersion and experience close to what premium VR devices like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift offers.
There are several smartphone headsets in the market currently that you can choose from. To help you save time, however, we have reviewed the top 5 mobile VR headsets of 2017. These selected VR headsets in our list stand in-between the very cheap Cardboard viewers and the a-bit-pricey headsets.
TOP 5 SMARTPHONE VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS FOR 2017
1. SAMSUNG GEAR VR
The Gear VR is a very portable Virtual Reality headset built by Samsung specifically for their line of smartphones. The all-black plastic headset is built up to a standard good enough to partially contend with the likes of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets in terms of 3D rendering and HMD outputs.
The smartphone VR headset has a large compartment to accommodate a Samsung Note 4 or S7 smartphone and it weighs just 8 ounces, which makes it less of a burden for the face.
On the Gear VR headset is a focal adjustment dial, a touchpad for navigation, a back button at the top, and a center button which functions as the enter key.
The Gear VR headset also features a powerful motion sensing technology that makes your VR experience physically engaging and more immersive.
Through the Gear VR, you will be able to access Oculus Library to download unlimited free VR games and 3D movies to your phone.
The package includes a Samsung Gear VR headset, a wireless controller, a USB type-C adapter, and a micro SD card which comes preloaded with cool VR games amongst others. You can as well replace the USB type-C adapter with the regular micro USB if you own an S7 or S7 edge Samsung phone.
2. GOOGLE DAYDREAM
Daydream View is a Virtual Reality headset from Google for her line of smartphones like the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, as well as the Moto Z.
With Daydream, you can enjoy Google street view, play and get immersed into 360-degree game actions, watch 3D movies or view panoramic photos like you are in a cinema. It also comes with smart progressive lenses that can be used to aim a good focus as well as a sweet spot in your VR experience.
The Google Daydream features a single elastic band to hold the smartphone VR headset to your face. It also has an elastic hook to keep the tray of the phone compartment closed, and a storage clip to hold the remote when it isn’t in use. The elastic head band can be adjusted to your best convenience and you can wear the headset even with your glasses on.
The motion-controlled smartphone headset is lightweight and feels very comfortable to wear since it is made from fabrics, and it has two color variants besides the slate color that was first released.
In the box are the Daydream View headset and a Daydream remote controller with its wrist strap. Also in the box is a small remote controller which connects via Bluetooth to the Google Daydream headset.
3. MERGE VR
The Merge VR headset comes in a very unique, portable and light-weight foam design that is durable. Its portability gives room for long play sessions without any fatigue.
At the top of the Merge VR are two input buttons which can interact seamlessly with the screen of your smartphone. These buttons take care of all touch needs required by the apps and games instead of you having to pull out your phone each time.
In terms of its graphics quality, it most times depends on the HD display of the mobile device to which it is attached, as apps don’t run natively on the Merge VR. The displayed images, however, are a little distorted, but this is to create a good depth of immersion for a virtual reality effect.
Merge VR also lets you adjust the lenses of the headset so that you won’t have to squint.
Some of the apps that stand out having the best VR experience on the Merge VR includes Crazy Swing, Roller Coaster, Cedar Point VR, and InMind VR.
As long as you have a compatible Android smartphone or iOS device to bring its potentials to life, the experience on the Merge VR headset is fantastic.
4. BOBOVR Z4
The Bobo VR Z4 is a nice-looking and functional Smartphone VR headset that lets you play virtual reality games and watch 3D videos on your mobile device with a good level of immersion.
The headset comes in a rugged black and white plastic design lined with silver, and in it are two convex lenses of about 40mm for each eyelet. The lenses can be adjusted with a knob placed at the top of the BoboVR Z4 headset.
Very close to the phone compartment is a 6cm wire with a jack end to send audio from your smartphone to its factory-fitted headphones. It has each of its earpads covered with a soft sponge, and the elastic property of the headphones permit flexibility when moving your head in different directions. It also has a good sound quality and you will be able to adjust the output volume via its multi-function button.
For the comfort of the wearer, the Smartphone VR headset comes with soft padding for the head. Also for best fit, it features an adjustable strap with a Velcro fastener within to hold the BoboVR Z4 properly to the face.
At the press of a button just at the top of the BoboVR Z4, the half-transparent flap covering its phone compartment opens up. This flap is well perforated and will allow the inflow of air to your smartphone against overheating. Also, in the phone compartment is a protective rubber to keep your phone’s screen from scratches. This enclosure also ensures your phone’s safety during gameplay.
BoboVR headset has a fantastic field of vision which makes the experience more immersive, and it works fine with most smartphones up to 5.2inches phone screens.
5. PASONOMI VR
For as many as are curious about the functionality of a VR headset, Pasonomi VR can let you have a taste of what it is like on your iPhone and compatible Android devices.
The headset makes a good choice for entry-level mobile VR as it strikes a good balance between quality and affordability, and it is compatible with phones whose screen sizes fall between 4 and 6 inches. However, the mobile VR headset does not come with its own controller but you can buy a third-party Bluetooth controller for it.
It is well designed with thick foam padding to cushion the head as most of the weight is felt in the forehead. This way, the neck and face are relieved of stress and the eyes are relieved of the pressure to about 30%.
Pasonomi VR is built-up with a light-weight and high-end ABS plastic material, giving it a total weight of 9.1 ounces. Its lenses are made of thick resins which offer a large angular view and good clarity. You can also flip the magnetically sealed cover over to insert your phone and position correctly in a snap even while the headset is worn.
Pasonomi VR features a focus adjustment dial, a knob to move the phone farther or nearer, and a knob to adjust the distance between the lenses.
In the pack come the Pasonomi VR headset, a face-pad, a cleaning cloth, and the user manual.