Oculus, Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, Sony and Google have all made a huge push into the virtual reality space. They’re all predicting realistic visualizations and sounds in a headset are going to be the next wave of media that is going to take over the world. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are supposedly great headsets, but need powerful PC setups to take advantage of them. The cost is prohibitive to most with the headsets costing over $500 alone.
Google offers its own Cardboard which is literally just a piece of cardboard folded into a viewer with two lenses and a magnet. Cardboard is cool in concept but is arguably a pricey option for a piece of paper. However it does allow you to experience VR, not to nearly the level of the Vive or the Rift, but it is a cool experience nonetheless.
Instead of investing $15 into paper, you can grab alternatives to Cardboard such as the ARCHEER VR Headset for smartphones with displays up to 6.5″. It costs just $5 more and even comes with a Bluetooth controller for a more fluid experience in the VR world.
Let’s check it out.
Design and Usage
The ARCHEER VR Headset is a plastic viewer that is compatible with phones from Android and iOS. It’s a box where you place your smartphone into the holder and fold it up so you can see your phone magnified by the two glass lenses.
Even though ARCHEER claims this viewer can fit phones with displays up to 6.5″, it’s more likely that the largest phone you can use with this is one with a 5.7″ display. The LG V10 and Nexus 6 certainly will not fit, so make sure you check the dimensions of your phone before you grab this headset. I used the headset with the Moto Z and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge without issue in the ARCHEER VR Headset.
The headset comes with a comfortable strap that stretches to fit very comfortably on your head. It’s easy to adjust with VELCRO straps and should fit most head sizes, including those with abnormally large heads like me. The lenses are adjustable too since all people have different distances between their eyes. (This setup is not good for those who wear glasses.)
The compatible VR apps, which there are quite a few available in the Google Play Store, split your display into two, and the VR headset brings them back together in one large image when you look through the lenses. If you haven’t experienced VR before, it’s rather inspiring to see where this content is headed. When you turn your head, the video moves with it giving you an immersive experience. It really does feel like you’re in another world. For those who get motion sick, this is the type of experience that will make you feel queasy. For the rest of you, you will find VR rather fun. Especially when it only costs $20.
The ARCHEER VR Headset also includes a Bluetooth controller that helps you navigate through menus, or play games with compatible VR apps. The controller uses two AAA batteries that are not included in the box. It’s easy to pair the controller – just pair it like you would any other Bluetooth device. Once paired you can navigate menus with the joystick. A mouse cursor pops up on your display as soon as you move it. It’s a nice add-on even though most of our gadgets use built-in Li-Ion batteries.
The ARCHEER VR Headset is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The padding on the front with the comfortable head strap make this experience far superior to Google Cardboard.
Content for VR still has a long way to go before people will adopt it en masse. However experiencing VR is still possible with the content that is available, and it is breathtaking if you’ve never seen it in action before.
The ARCHEER VR Headset with a Bluetooth remote is a great way to dabble in VR without splurging on an expensive Vive or Rift and PC setup. It’s only $19.99 at Amazon for AndroidGuys’ readers when you use the discount code SSHNJEMK at checkout.