The Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream headset need a phone inside to work. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift need to be connected to a computer to work. All provide great VR experiences, but where is the in-between? What is the VR solution for someone who doesn’t have the requisite phone, or a high-powered computer? Newcomer Oqtagon hopes it has the answer with its Razergon VR headset, a wireless standalone VR system launched on Kickstarter.
Oqtagon’s quest with the Razergon headset is to make a affordable headset that’s easy to use, provides a great VR experience, and doesn’t require specific hardware to work. The result is a headset that operates like a Gear VR or Daydream VR, but with the phone, or brains, permanently fixed inside. In front of your eyes are lenses providing a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution image, which is the same provided by a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Pixel XL, only here it’s LCD rather than OLED. The field of view is listed as 90 degrees, slightly lower than Samsung’s Gear VR.
The device is made from ABS plastic to keep the weight down, and covered in a metallic paint finish. An unnamed quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM power the Razergon VR — remember, the chip isn’t doing anything else other than running the headset, so power shouldn’t be a problem — and it has a Mali 764 graphics processor alongside. The headset has 6GB of internal storage, a MicroSD card slot, a headphone jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, an HDMI-out, and its own battery charged with a Micro USB cable. The specification list could easily be taken from a smartphone.
Software and controls
A custom version of Android operates the Razergon VR headset, with access to Google Play, and a separate controller is used to navigate the operating system, and to play games. It has buttons, a trigger, and motion sensors, similar to the Google Daydream controller. Like Gear VR, there is a capacitive touchpad on the side of the headset itself. The internal battery is expected to last for four hours before needing a recharge. The headset can be tethered to your phone, but as yet there are no apps taking advantage of that feature, while the Bluetooth connection will link headphones, keyboards, and mice to the headset.
That covers the technical side of the headset, but the success of any VR headset comes down to the software, apps, and experiences available for it. Digital Trends asked Oqtagon co-founder Galen Law-Kun what we could expect to play and watch on the headset. He told us, “The headset is compatible with Cardboard VR Apps, we’re still working on integrating Daydream applications. The whole operating system will take some time to mature and we’re slowly adding new features as we get user feedback.”
The cheapest Razergon VR headset is $220 if you’re quick to back the Kickstarter campaign. The limited software support is a concern, but the headset isn’t expected to ship until February next year, so there is time for it to be improved before then. It needs Daydream VR support at a minimum, in our opinion, but the LCD screen inside the headset may cause problems with this, as Daydream’s minimum phone specification requires OLED. Razergon VR’s headset is available to pre-order through Kickstarter now.