Compatible with iPhone 6/6s and Samsung S7 phones, this headset is built to the Google Cardboard specifications, meaning it’s compatible with Google’s VR ecosystem. $70 isn’t exactly inexpensive for what is essentially some plastic and glass, but the price is somewhat offset by the presence of an included phone case (which is also necessary for using the headset). It also folds up and fits easily in your pocket, not a common feature in VR systems at this point.
At first glance, this case is a phone-shaped object with a few odd gaps and curves. Unfolding it a little reveals some lenses, an obvious place to put your nose, and a place to connect your phone. Once your phone snaps into place with the included case, you’re ready to try out virtual reality.
Using the device is kind of like a 1980’s viewmaster: you’ll need to hold it to your eyes. It’s a little strange for a $70 VR headset to not actually strap onto users’ heads. But any fans of Google Cardboard who want something portable should still probably consider the Pocket-VR.
Amusingly, the site for the PocketVR warns users not to use the headset while driving. That’s probably good advice. It also says not to leave the PocketVR in direct sunlight, because it could start fires (something that’s also technically true of a magnifying glass).
Google announced that VR features will be baked into the next version of Android at the IO keynote this week, and that the system will be called “Daydream” from now on. So it’s a little strange to see anything referred to as a “Cardboard” headset, especially when it’s made of hardened plastic.
Still, it’s an interesting take on a VR system, and it’s always good to see more simple options pop up.