HTC’s Vive Focus mobile VR headset uses the same lenses, displays as Vive Pro

A recent hands-on preview of HTC’s Vive Focus mobile virtual reality headset reveals that the device, currently only available in China, relies on the same lenses and displays that will be used in HTC’s next-generation VR headset for the PC: The Vive Pro. It serves as a “premium” alternative to other stand-alone VR headsets sold on the Chinese market, sporting premium components and a premium price tag of around $525 before tax. 

As previously reported, the Vive Focus doesn’t rely on an inserted smartphone. Instead, it contains everything you need for an untethered virtual reality experience. Powering this headset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor typically found in high-end smartphones. Behind each lens is a 1,600 x 1,440 OLED display, higher than the 1,280 x 1,400 per-eye resolution seen with Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset. Combined, the Vive Focus has a maximum resolution of 1,600 x 2,880. 

As for other features, the Vive Focus sports a refresh rate of 75Hz, slightly below the vomit-preventive 90Hz rendered by the HTC Vive and upcoming Vive Pro. It also provides a 110-degree field of view, a micro SD card slot, built-in Wireless AC connectivity, a built-in battery, and sensors for tracking movement and position. There is no need for a tethered PC or external sensors to track your movements through physical space. 

Typical “mobile” VR headsets rely on a smartphone to provide all the hardware, such as Samsung’s Gear VR. In this case, the headset relies on a single screen at 2,560 x 1,440 that is divided into two views of 1,280 x 1,440. Audio either travels through the phone’s included headphone jack or its built-in speaker. 

One problem with this setup ties directly into performance: It’s a phone after all, so there are multiple tasks running in the background associated with the carrier and messaging along with services related to social networks, Google Play, and so on. Juggling all those processes on top of a VR experience can be taxing on the processor. 

Outside eliminating the smartphone, a stand-alone VR headset doesn’t deal with all those processes, but instead focuses solely on VR. Manufacturers are also beginning to incorporate full-motion sensing with world-tracking abilities so you can experience and move around in VR without worrying about bumping into furniture, walls, people, annoyed pets, and tripping over cables. 

Vive Focus includes a fan to keep the innards cool while the Snapdragon chip does all the rendering and motion processing. This essentially allows the chip to provide better performance versus the same non-cooled chip throttling back because it’s simply getting too hot within the confines of a smartphone. You don’t want a hot chip sitting close to your face, either. 

The headset itself provides six degrees of movement — forward/backward, left/right, up/down, and three perpendicular axis — while the included controller simply tracks your hand movements (three degrees). Unfortunately, it’s still a mobile-class device; you’re simply not going to see the same high-resolution visuals generated on the PC-tethered Vive and Vive Pro headsets. 

Ultimately, the availability of premium content on Vive Focus will depend on developers and how well they take advantage of the hardware. 

Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up speech-to-text in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX330UA -- will get the job done without digging too deep into your pockets.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…

Don't use streaming apps? These are the best free players for your local music

Rather than using music streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!