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I’M A VR Virgin...What Goggles / Glasses Should I Buy???

August 25, 2015

What Goggles / Glasses Should I Buy???

 

So now that I have this new interest in what is going on in virtual reality, I guess I should figure out which headwear I want to use to get the most out of my VR experience.

My first step was to do a little research on Amazon…

Wow, there are so many options available! How to start? Well, maybe I need to back up…

What would I expect my headgear to be like? Hmmm….

  • Comfortable for the top choice.
  • I want god quality and affordable
  • Easy to insert my cell phone but also secure (I already have figured out that since I am not up to speed on the in-home gaming options, I will be using apps on my cell phone).
  • Adjustable lenses ( to better fit my vision needs)

OK now at least I have a checklist to help me wade through the Amazon offerings.

 

I selected 7 models to test out: DESTEK, Joy Geek, D-Scope Pro. (a version of Google Cardboard), SunnyPeak, Homido, Dreamthinker and VRKix.

Once they all arrived, I loaded an app onto my iPhone 5 and started testing. Knowing that I don’t know much about these products, and wanting to give a fair review to help you make the right choice for your needs, also asked 10 other people to test them independently, no one knowing what the others wrote and I complied the notes from all testers below.

 

Let’s start with the DESTEK model.  I paid $39.99 for it.

And these are our combined notes:

  • The phone tray only opened about 45 degrees and was a little difficult to insert my phone into. Once I had it in the device, it was loose and I was a little worried about my screen getting scratched.
  • The magnet holding the phone tray closed was a little weak so now I had the added worry of it opening while I was “running the maze” and falling onto the floor.
  • Once I had the unit on my head it felt tight around my nose and hey, I have a small nose! I found it hard to adjust the head straps to fit while wearing. So Hint: adjust them before you put your phone in and start the app.
  • The face padding was just a foam strip that felt a little itchy and left me wondering if I would want to wear them at all once this foam got full of sweat ( I mean facial oils) and makeup…uck…just saying!
  • This unit does not have a removable panel for access to your cellphone’s camera…some games, like a cool dinosaur game, needs access to the camera.
  • DESKTEK’s offering has fixed lens positions. So no adjustments for how far apart your eyes are.
  • The plastic housing on this wearable VR unit is thin and feels inexpensive…but the price is high.

 

Next up…JoyGeek. I paid $19.80 for these goggles

and this is what we found:

  • The phone tray opens wide making it easy to put my phone in but the actual phone holder is a suction cup pad. My phone case would not stick to it. (5 of us all had the same problem and the iPhone 6+ user could not fit the phone into the tray.)
  • Also no lens adjustments available
  • No camera opening
  • Plain foam face pad…more itchy uncovered foam and more hygiene concerns.
  • And they were also tight around my nose. (Several others also noted this)

I could barely wear these long enough to test them, cannot image playing a game or watching a video of any length in these goggles.

 

On to the cardboard D-Scope Pro., priced at $14.99

These are our points on this unit:

  • Phone is held in with a Velcro strip on either side…seems secure enough but it was maxed out with my phone so no hope of using this on the large iPhone 6,6+ or Note 4.
  • There is no head strap, no face padding, no lens adjustments
  • It does work well, is cheap and easy but this is truly an entry level device and I think it would be best used once and thrown away (I mean recycled of course)…perhaps to tour an art museum, science museum…
  • After 10 of us were through trying this out, the front of the device was stained from our foreheads. The last woman would not put it up to her face.

 

Moving on the Sunnypeak 3D VR unit. Cost $43.99

 

  • Ok, this one looks good, nice white front plate, one side snaps off to access the camera
  • The Phone tray opens wide enough (about 65 degrees). There is no phone holding device in the tray of this unit. After almost damaging my phone by trying to lay it in the tray and close the door, I realized that there is a small lip on the body of the unit inside the tray door to rest your phone onto before snapping the door shut… and it closes with a good magnet.
  • The face padding was a nice surprise, the foam is covered with a pleather material and can easily be cleaned.
  • The Velcro head straps are easily adjustable while wearing this device and no noses were pinched!
  • Lenses are adjustable and can be operated with one hand.
  • I could see the decorative (?) vent holes from the front panel over my phone which distracted me and seemed to let in light
  • This is a good unit except for the device holder. HINT: Take this wearable off your head and place it on a table before you open the device tray. Your phone will fall out when you open the door.

 

Let’s see how the Homido wearable unit, the most

expensive of the seven I purchased made out. Cost: $79.00

  • This device has a huge “clip” on the front to hold your phone. Mine fit securely, the Note 4 fit well but the iPhone 6+ though it fit into the clip, lost some screen area when the game was viewed through lenses. There was no center mark to line up the phone properly.
  • Again we did not care for the uncovered foam face padding…same observations as previously mentioned.
  • This VR goggle was a tight fit on our faces, pinching a few noses and had uncomfortable straps (which we had to assemble onto the unit)
  • Homido does have adjustable lenses but you must use both hands simultaneously on the zoom feature.
  • The best thing about this unit is the awesome padded zip storage case that comes with it.

 

Dreamthinker is next out of the box. I got this unit for $36.99

  • We all liked the look of this unit with it’s smart white front
  • This device has a pull out tray that you insert your phone into and then slide into the unit (on my iPhone 5 and another testers Note 4, the phone holder in the tray pressed the volume button and the volume icon kept popping up on the screen)
  • There is a snap off camera access panel
  • They fit very comfortably on everyone’s’ faces. The face cushion is padded a with a mesh cover. It feels good but I think it will not clean as well as the pleather covered pads so in time will get dirty from facial oils and makeup.
  • The straps are wide and comfortable but for some testers the back foam pad on the strap was stiff and uncomfortable.
  • On this unit, the lens focus left and right independently and is easy to use.

 

VRKiX is up next….(and so far none of the units I purchased

meet all of my requirements…remember my checklist? )

Cost for this device: $35.00

 

  • The front panel of this Virtual Reality headwear snaps off to reveal dual sided camera holes…so no matter which way you insert your phone, you have access to the camera. (It is held in place with magnets so super easy to replace)
  • The phone tray opens 180 degrees for full access and has a device holder that is spring loaded on both edges and adjusts to fit phones as large as the iPhone 6+ and Note 4.
  • The face padding on this device was the thickest off all and has a soft pleather cover, so will be easy to remove dirt and grime…as well as makeup!
  • VRKiX fit comfortable on our faces without pinching noses or pressing down onto the bridge. It is light weight but feel very durable
  • Straps were easily adjusted and wide and comfortable
  • Lenses on VRKiX are adjustable for eye width and field of vision (like binoculars) and easy to operate with one hand.

 

The eleven of us who tried these seven models we were all impressed with the comfort, quality and price for VRKiX. (And for me…it meet all the items on my checklist)

I hope you found this product review helpful as a way to “test” these models without having to purchase them all like I did! I hope it helped you figure out what type of goggles you want to use to experience your Virtual Reality.





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