Google Daydream VR Headset Review – A Quick Look at the 2016 and 2017 Version Headsets

 

Hello there, thanks for dropping bye to read this post. This is my Google Daydream VR Headset Review and I also will touch on the topic of the newly released Daydream 2. I will write why it is a great mobile phone VR headset as well as its drawbacks and special characteristics. I will focus only on important points and features to keep it simple and straight to the point.

I would like to clarify that my review is based on the comments and feedback of those who purchased the product and/or have used the product.

google daydream viewAs of yet the leader of the mobile phone virtual reality headset scene is the Samsung Gear VR which is the collaboration of Oculus, owned by Facebook and by Samsung.

Coming in close second to the Gear VR, popularity wise, is the Google daydream View. When I say close I mean that the difference is really not that remarkable, almost negligible. They could pass off as equals with their own unique feature or advantage.

The Look and Feel

google daydream view headsetThe Google Daydream View Virtual Reality headset has always been the better looking mobile VR headset among its class. With the 2016 version it has 3 colors the slate, snow, and crimson. While the Gear VR is black all the way, which I believe they wanted to come up as a more professional image. Google Daydream View, however was able to be playful with the color and brought in more choices for the buyer. Which is a good marketing strategy by the way as some people have issues with color.

google daydream view headsets2017On the 2017 version they came up with a new color theme, namely: charcoal,fog, and the coral. No significant change with the design. The same breathable fabric which is light and soft around the edges where it touches your face which will keep you wearing it much longer. This feature is the most mentioned favorite feature by reviewers – the ease and comfort to the wearer.

However, when compared for the comfortability factor the Daydream 2 is more comfortable and snug fit to the face

The great thing is that the facepad can be removed and cleaned which is just nice considering that a lot of people will probably want to wear it so expect it to get dirty over time.

Even though only two elastic headbands support the entire headset it is sufficient to hold the entire weight of the headset. However, there were complaints that the headset moves a little to the sides on the reviews( I suspect due to head size) and there were issues of it sliding downward and pressing to the nose that it becomes stressful to that side of the face. So on the 2017 version they added a third rubber headband that supports the top to stop the movement or lessen it and distribute the weight all over the head.

The Immersion Factor

google daydream viewWell, to be honest there are a lot of comments with regards the resolution. But what do you expect from limited resources like a cellphone. Unlike PC based VR like the Oculus and the Vibe which has a lot of backing from the PC, the Daydream VR has still those symptoms of low quality resolution common to mobile VR’s but sometimes it depends on the type of game or software. Some have minimal to great resolution. As of the moment it is already great VR. I’m sure that day will arrive when mobile Vr’s will be as good as PC based Vr’s.

google daydream view fovBy the way Daydream View 2 has a 10% wider FOV than its predecessor. It is not a lot but when we are talking about vision angles this has a lot of impact. So I suggest that you buy the latest if ever you are planning of getting one.

A reviewer compared the light leakage from under the nose of the headset between the 2016 and 2017 headset and there was significant reduction of light seepage in the latter. I don’t think they are going to perfect this one at this moment or any VR headset company for that matter as noses and facial features vary from person to person. But I am sure there will be a material that will solve this issue in the days to come.

But there is still that light coming in from the sides where the cellphone. Somehow it is not water tight, so to speak, is installed so to solve this better turn off the lights or play in a darkened room to make sure you don’t get that

Cellphones Need to Stay Cooler Longer

A common complaint is that the phones easily heats up which will shorten the playing time of the user. Now the Google company needs to address this. Either they open the front like the Samsung Gear VR so that it cannot heat up easily. Or create mini fans, if possible, to cool the phone down. Hmm? I guess it will make it heavier and the sound of the small fan will interfere in the enjoyment of the experience. Not a good idea. Anyway…

The 2017 Daydream has addressed this issue but not thoroughly. A magnesium heat sink was added to the cover lid to control the heating of the phone it helped a little for some phones,yes. The addition of the magnesium heat sink has displaced the motion controller’s compartment which was inside. Now it is just slipped behind the rubber headband.
This problem is one of the most common topics on thread reviews and discussion forums, until this one is addressed mobile VR will have this thorn on its side now and then. In the meantime, here are some videos on YouTube to hack this one out if your phone can’t help overheating:

 

However, this is manageable as some phone brands don’t heat up as much as the others. Just find out which phones don’t heat up easily.

Speaking of phones. The compatible phones for the Daydream View 2017 are as follows:

daydream compatible phones 1-800x42Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Asus Xenfone AR

Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe
Moto Z Force

Motorola Moto Z
Moto Z2 Force

ZTE Axon 7

Samsung Galaxy SeriesHuawei Mate 9 Pro

Porsche Design Mate 9

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2 XL
LG V30

HTC U11

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

 

For the 2016 model same phones are compatible.

Now All we have to do is to find out which phone does not heat up fast so that we can enjoy more time playing and watching.

Is this worth your hard-earned money?

If you are starting out with Virtual Reality this is a good headset. Good not great. But it all comes down to the correct combination, that is, find out the best phone that will go with it. Some phones are superior to others in terms of resolution and heat emission. So from the above list of phones check out the one that has the best gear.

My “go to phone” has always been the Samsung line because of the picture quality. Unless I try something else in the future that will supplant their standard then I will jump ship.

The Price

The Google Daydream VR price is pegged at $77.30  at Amazon for the 2016 model and $100 for the 2017 edition.

CLICK HERE in case you decide to purchase.
Thanks for reading my blog.

 

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