Virtual Reality…is fascinating in taking you somewhere else with the immense power of technology!
You will probably be wondering: is it too complex to handle OR too expensive to afford?
Well, it is as simple as you can imagine and suits everyone from young to old.
Though there are literally dozens of VR headset options to choose from, it doesn’t mean to spend tons of money. A $10 to $30 unit can offer you to entry VR world too without compromising much.
Experiencing VR is awesome, but you need the right device. Smartphone is the main one for that.
In this guide, you will learn how to choose the right VR headset for you.
VR Headsets Buyer’s Guide
Before buying a VR headset, you’d better pay attention to the following factors and features.
A VR headset with bad lenses is completely useless. You do NOT want bad quality and unclear lenses which will not let you enjoy the VR experience. It’s also important to know that even expensive VR headset might cause some discomfort or dizziness. This is due to the fact that our eyes sometimes will be difficult to adjust 3D scopes images. Some people adjust very well, while others don’t even with the best quality of lenses. The most common lenses used in VR headsets are aspheric resin lenses. In addition, the lenses should be adjustable. It is always good to be able to adjust pupil distance as well as the distance between your eyes and the display. Otherwise you might encounter clarity problems.
FOV (Field of View)
FOV is the extend of the observable world seen on the display at any given moment and measured in degrees. Keep in mind that FOV is a number gauged differently by each manufacturer. So it might be different you actually see. The numbers here will give you an idea, but the result will vary depending on the smartphone you use.
- 60-75 degrees is good for movie watching but you will see edges.
- 80-100 degrees you will barely see edges, depending on your screen size.
- 100 degrees or more will give you full and immersive experience, ideal for VR games but not so much for movies.
Remember, the bigger the FOV, the bigger the magnification of your screen. A lenses is actually a magnifying glass, which means a smartphone with small screen, less than 5 inches for instance, low resolution and pixel density will produce full results. Therefore you should choose the VR headset depending on your smartphone’s display. If the display size is small, it’s pointless to choose a VR headset with high FOV because the result will probably be disappointing. In that case, you’d better choose lower FOV. By contrast, if you own a smartphone with large size display like 5.5 or 6 inches, then you can choose any FOV you wish.
A good VR headset should be comfortable, especially when you use it for long period of time.
Watch movies for example.
So concentrate on the following,
1. Head Strap
It is better to wear your headset on your head than just hold it with your hands. So the head strap comes in handy and should be comfortable and adjustable with a good gripper.
2. Face Cushion and Room for Glasses
There should be face cushion fat enough to adjust on your face and be comfortable. It is also beneficial that face cushion is easy to clean. For example, made from fabric material or removable so you can wash it when it’s needed. Using VR may cause you to sweat, so you’d not want the smelly headset. It’s extremely important for users who wear glasses that this cushion offers enough space to have them on when using the headset.
3. VR Ventilation
Make sure that the headset has openings to ventilate your phone and cool your face. You do not want foggy lenses or glasses if you have them on.
4. Nose Room
This is the big deal. If there is not enough nose room, the headset will be almost impossible to use since it will be uncomfortable and might even cause a nosebleed.
Light weight headsets are always a better choice. However, if you choose a heavy one, a good head strap can compensate for the extra weight.
Compatibility and Accessibility
The VR headset you’re going to choose has to be compatible with your phone. It means you should always check the phone’s size that the headset is compatible with. Most headsets are compatible with phones having 4.5 to 6 inches screens, sometimes less than 4.5 inches, but only in very few cases over 6 inches. The optimized screen size is usually 5 to 5.5 inches.
Make sure that the headset provides you with a google cardboard compatible QR code. This is not mandatory. However, if you want to calibrate your phone correctly for VR, this code is needed.
When placing your phone in your headset, it must be easy, accessible and secure. You do NOT want the phone that moves from its place when experiencing VR. There are many types of slots or casings using to hold the phone in place. Select your best option.
8 Best VR Headsets You Can Buy 2017
Today I’m going to show you the best and most popular VR headsets on the market.
Compared with most other budget series, they have:
-Better quality of materials.
-Improved comfort level and experience.
-Additional features and extras.
OK, let’s jump in…
- Colors: slate, snow, crimson
- Field of View: 90°
- Compatibility: Pixel, Moto Z, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, ZTE Axon 7, ASUS ZenFone AR
- Weight: 1.2 lb
- Dimension: 6.6” x 4.2” x 3.8”
The Google Daydream View is one of the most affordable VR Headsets on the market today. Two advantages of Google’s device are its relatively low price tag ($90 US) and its compatibility with Android phones. While support is currently limited to a handful of devices, the future promises greater integration with such flagship models as the Samsung Galaxy and Asus ZenFone.
The headset offers spectacular 360-degree panoramic views, making users feel they’re live at a concert, sporting event, or iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal. It’s also perfect for watching movies and YouTube videos, while its simple yet intuitive control provides countless gaming opportunities, from driving a car to swinging a golf club.
The device weighs a mere 1.41 oz (40 g), offers fast-charging via a USB-C charger, and has a battery life of 12 hours! It’s also durable, fits comfortably over eyeglasses, and is hand-washable. While some headsets are made of hard plastic, the Daydream View is fashioned from soft, breathable fabric to maximize user comfort, making it perfect for long car rides or plane trips.
- Color: orchid gray
- Field of View: 101°
- Compatibility: Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge
- Weight: 12.2 oz
- Dimension: 6.1” x 5.3” x 2”
Powered by Oculus, the Samsung Gear VR boasts over 700 apps, offers stunning 360-degree views of photos, games and video, and is modestly priced at $129 US. Best of all, it’s compatible with Samsung’s newest phones but also works with some older models.
Besides a huge library of amazing games and movies, one of the Samsung Gear’s greatest features is vTime —the world’s first virtual reality social network! Users can put on their headset and socialize with friends, family, and colleagues all over the globe.
At 345 grams (12 oz), the device has secure foam cushioning that blocks out external light, fits snugly over eyeglasses, and includes both USB Type-C and Micro USB adapters for greater flexibility. It also comes with a 4.25 inch Bluetooth remote that can be used single-handedly, making gameplay easier and more comfortable.
- Color: black
- Field of View: 103°
- Compatibility: 4.5’’ to 6″ Android and iOS smartphones
- Weight: 12 oz
- Dimension: 7.1” x 4.2” x 4.6”
Affordable, durable and compatible with the latest iOS and Android smartphones, the Homido V2 is a great alternative to some of the more expensive brands. With a price tag of just $79.99 US, the Homido virtual reality headset offers a huge range of smartphone apps, many of which work with Google Cardboard.
While its field of vision is limited to 100-degrees, spherical videos allow for a full 360-degrees of viewing pleasure, making games more thrilling and movies more entertaining. The V2 also comes with 3 different vision settings for near, normal and far-sighted users, while its gears can be adjusted to each individual’s unique eyesight.
Weighing 240 grams, the Homido V2’s adjustable straps, soft foam, and ergonomic design ensure the highest level of comfort. So whether it’s for movies or gaming, the Homido V2 is an affordable option for all virtual reality fans.
- Color: pulsar purple
- Field of View: 85°
- Compatibility: most Android and iOS devices
- Weight: 12 oz
- Dimension: 7.5” x 4” x 5.5”
When it comes to comfort, ease of use, and durability, nothing beats The Merge VR. It’s approved for ages 10 and up, is easy to clean, and made of a marshmallow-soft material that, as this video shows, can survive a fall from 8 stories high—without damaging your phone!
The Merge VR also works with both Android and iOS devices. Users can control apps using two mounted buttons (no remote necessary), while adjustable lenses guarantee perfect viewing for movies and games. In addition to hundreds of custom apps by Merge, the headset is compatible with Google Cardboard, resulting in limitless entertainment possibilities.
Available in multiple colors and weighing just 10 ounces, the Merge VR is great for people of all ages. A $79 US price tag also makes it light on the wallet.
- Color: black
- Field of View: 120°
- Compatibility: most Android and iOS devices
- Weight: 10.9 oz
- Dimension: 7.5” x 4.7” x 5.5”
At 120-degrees, Freefly VR offers one of the highest fields of view in virtual reality. It’s also one of the more affordable options with a price tag of $49.99 US. But affordable doesn’t mean cheap, because the headset is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, giving users access to countless apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. That translates to more movies, games, and music.
Like the Merge VR, Freefly has two buttons built into the headset and doesn’t require an external remote for games. Its lightweight and breathable design also makes extended gameplay very comfortable.
While it’s a bit heavier than other headsets (12.6 oz/346 g), Freefly VR is perfect for exploring 3D worlds, watching movies, listening to music, and blasting away opponents in video games.
- Color: black
- Field of View: 110°
- Compatibility: Windows™ 7 SP1, 8.1 or later or 10. test yours
- Weight: 14.2 lb
- Dimension: 20” x 12” x 15”
The HTC VIVE is at the premium end of virtual reality headsets. With a price of $799 US, everything about it suggests quality, including: 1080p resolution lenses, 32 sensors for precision tracking, dual wireless controllers with haptic feedback, a 110-degree field of view, and room-scale VR, where users can actually pick up and move objects in virtual worlds.
2 base stations physically scan and map your room while Chaperone Mode creates blue lines to prevent users from running into real walls or furniture. In addition to experiencing movies, apps and virtual worlds in 360- degrees, the HTC VIVE has a huge library of games with plenty more on the way.
The headset itself is also very sleek. It features adjustable straps and lenses, nose pads, and interchangeable foam inserts for maximum comfort. The only downside is that the HTC VIVE requires a PC to operate, but regardless of this fact, when it comes to a premium VR experience nothing beats it.
- Color: black
- Field of View: 110°
- Compatibility: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer test yours
- Weight: 11.4 lb
- Dimension: 15.4” x 6.5” x 12.1”
At $499 US the Oculus Rift offers a high-end VR experience without being overpriced. The headset has plenty to love, including: high-definition 1080p lenses for watching movies, a 110-degree field of view for immersive gaming, and 3D spatial headphones for a richer audio experience.
Unlike the HTC VIVE’s dual base stations, the Oculus Rift comes with a single sensor that can be placed on a desk and tracks your position. The box includes two controllers, the Oculus Touch and Xbox One controller, which are perfect for playing over 100 games, using apps, or viewing 360-degree videos on Facebook, Vimeo or Twitch.
The headset weighs only 470 grams and features a breathable fabric to keep your face cool during extended gameplay. Like the HTC VIVE, the Oculus Rift needs to be used in conjunction with a PC. However, its HD lenses, growing library of apps and games, and reasonable price make it a wonderful choice for VR fans.
- Color: black + grey
- Field of View: 100°
- Compatibility: Sony PlayStation 4 and later consoles
- Weight: 6.8 lb
- Dimension: 14” x 9” x 11”
The name PlayStation is already huge with gamers, and Sony’s PlayStation VR gives fans what they want most: amazing games. Titles like Resident Evil, Star Wars Battlefront, and Batman Arkham are already popular, so finding great games is never a problem. A $384 sticker price also makes the PlayStation VR an attractive buy.
The headset’s stunning 1080p OLED display runs at 120 frames per second, features powerful 3D audio, and works with Sony’s DualShock 4 or Move controllers. Besides awesome games, users get access to Sony’s famous PlayStation Store and can download apps, watch movies, or stream YouTube videos.
The headset can be adjusted with a plastic band and is secure yet comfortable. While the Oculus and VIVO need a PC to operate, Sony’s VR device requires a PlayStation 4 console. However, it’s still one of the more affordable options, and certainly one of the best for gaming. As it says on Sony’s website: Gamers Come First.
Now it’s your turn.
VR headset is one of the best gadgets out there right now. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the latest new technology VR headsets have to offer. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the top rated VR headsets from smartphone to PC, and that our reviews and comparisons have been useful and informative.
So what are you waiting for? Choose the right one to make your life enjoyable.