Google Daydream View: Quick Overview
Over the years, some big names have made significant plays for VR, and several smaller ones have also announced or launched headsets. But VR headsets cater to vastly different audiences, and sorting through them all is confusing. This is especially true because some companies announce their products and either delay launching them or cancel them outright. It is much easier to single out the biggest names in VR, their headsets and the ideal customers. The biggest players in VR include Google, Facebook, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and HTC.
Mobile VR headsets are simpler to set up, more portable and more importantly, cheaper than higher-end desktop VR headsets. If you have a compatible phone, you can gain access to immersive content like adventure games, puzzles and short movies. You can wear the headset on a bus ride or bring it to a pal’s house for show-and-tell. Google Daydream was released back in 2017 to join a market that was relatively young but fairly crowded. Its neat design and reasonable price tag introduced millions of people to VR. This headset is designed for people who are lightly VR-curious and love to watch lots of immersive movies.
What We Like
- Glasses-friendly design with a removable top strap.
- Compact and feels good in the hand.
- Comfortable design, snug fit.
- A decent VR for a mobile headset.
- Wider view.
- Works with more Android phones.
- Simple software and set up
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t have compelling content.
- A bit heavy in the front.
- No iOS support.
Now that VR has gone mainstream and not just an overpriced tech fad for geeks, there are several options out there offering different hardware, requirements and experience. With more and more headsets like HTC’s Vive Cosmos and Valve Index hitting the market, it can be confusing to pick the right headset. Thanks to permanent price drops, most premium headsets are now affordable. It’s an affordable starting point for people interesting in trying VR for the first time.
Daydream won’t work with every smartphone out there. But it works with more Android phones than any other VR platform. Supported phones include Google’s own Pixel phones, LG’s V30, Galaxy S9, S9+, S8, S8+, and Note 8; and a handful of flagships from Huawei, Motorola Moto Z, Asus and ZTE. This list is by no means exhaustive. To see if your smartphone is compatible, check Google’s site for a list of compatible devices. Needless to mention, there’s no iOS support.
Google’s official documentation lists the minimum specs for a Daydream-ready phone as follows: OLED display; screen size 4.7-6 inches and at least 1080p resolution at 60Hz; and Bluetooth 4.2 LE. This makes the Daydream View a good fit for people who are not ready to upgrade their phone but want a decent VR headset.
Who is this product for?
If you own an Android phone (not necessarily a Samsung Galaxy) and want to experience VR without breaking the bank on a headset and computer set up, the Google Daydream View is a viable option. Its price plus the recent discount through Google and other retailers have made this even more affordable. It is also beginner-friendly. You just need to install an app on your phone and you’re ready for an epic VR adventure! Using the controller to navigate is also easy.
Google normally keep it simple with their box contents. After all, there’s not a whole lot that needs connecting. This Google smartphone VR headset is on Amazon at an affordable price, and the package includes the Headset, a Daydream controller, Removable top strap, and a Quick Start Guide.
Overview of features
A look at the features will help you decide whether or not it’s worth jumping in with Google Daydream View headset in the first place.
Its light nature means that the Google daydream View is a comfortable piece of hardware. It features a fabric coating and a well-padded liner. The curved shape and soft fabric shell give the headset a cozy appearance. The minimal use of plastic and the emphasis of fabrics in this device is a smart move. It makes the headset comfortable to wear, but you’ll have to play around with the straps.
Being a mobile VR headset, this means that this headset is mainly just a holster for a phone doing the real work. It draws power from your smartphone. Display type and resolution will, therefore, depend on the quality of the phone screen you put in it. You’ll ideally want to use a smartphone with a higher resolution as everything will just look better. You get hybrid dual Fresnel lenses with slightly wider viewing angles.
The small heatsink on this headset helps a hooked-up phone release heat more easily and avoid unexpected shutdowns. To keep things more secure and in place, there’s an additional strap that goes across the top of your head. You can tighten or loosen using buckles on either side. This also helps to spread the weight of the headset.
One of the best parts about this device is how easy it is to jump right in. You will, however, need to install the Daydream app and make sure you have installed all updates. Setting up the Google Daydream View is incredibly easy. There are no fiddly plugs or slots to connect your phone. Just unclip the front portion of the headset and place a supported phone.
The headset communicates with your phone via NFC. Depending on the smartphone you’re using, you may have to press and hold down the home button on the controller so the Daydream View can link up to your device. Once your phone is safely fastened into place, the sensors automatically launch the Daydream app. You’ll be greeted on the home screen with a cluster of apps. There are internal sensors to tell where the headset is pointed. Google tried to keep the user interface pleasant and clean.
A squishy microfiber mask lines that part that is pressed against your forehead, and there is a cavity for your nose. Having a tight fit allows for blocking out outside light giving you more of an immersive experience.
The controller is oval-shaped and connects via Bluetooth. It features a clickable touchpad and 2 buttons (home and menu buttons). You can use it to intuitively interact with the virtual world. Navigate the menus and control your character in-game. The experience of using this controller is much like using a computer mouse, but for VR. A wrist strap is included to prevent the controller from crashing if it slips. When not in use, it slips into the back of the head-strap.
When the phone is connected, both the USB Type-C port and 3.5mm Jack will be exposed. This gives you a chance to keep the phone charged and plug in some earphones. You will, however, need a very long cable to do this.
Content-wise, the Daydream view has a developing library of content. Google has attracted top high-profile apps and developers to the Daydream platform to keep you entertained. You will enjoy playing games, watching and streaming videos from apps like YouTube, Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu and other services.
- Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images. 360° experience. Weight 0.76lbs
- Use the intuitive controller that comes in the box to drop, point, select and Drag with a Wave of your wrist
- Hundreds of games and experiences from Oculus. Sensor Type : Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor
- Samsung Galaxy USB Type C models: Note8, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ ; and Micro USB models: Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S6 edge+
- Galaxy Note9 requires a new adapter to be sourced free of charge from Samsung Customer Service
At this price point, your next best option is the Samsung Gear VR. For some time now, Samsung Gear VR has been a respectable smartphone-powered VR headset. The introduction of a motion controller and a wider selection of apps make it a contender for the best VR headset options for mobile users. It’s not as comfy but offers some of the best mobile VR games available. The controller has a trigger button and a touchpad that allow you to interact with the VR world in front of you. Besides the new controller, the updated Gear VR is streamlined and lighter than before. You get a lens adjustment dial for different pupil distances and a USB Type-C connector to directly connect to your Samsung Galaxy phone. The only downside is that it is only powered by selected high-end Samsung phones.
Just to make things smoother for you, we have included a tutorial video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2lfodADsPY ) on how to set the Google Daydream View System up and running.
You may not get the deeply immersive experience like high-end, PC-powered VR headsets, but you get a decent VR experience and an easy-to-use setup at a fraction of the cost. It works well with a growing list of Android devices and is designed with soft, wearable materials that feel good against your face. The hand-tracking controller makes navigation and playing games fun and easy. Content-wise, there’s not so much but that’s not to say that it doesn’t have content that will draw you in. The available content is varied and offers a little something for everyone. If you have a compatible smartphone, some dollars to spare, and yearning for that first taste of VR, then I highly recommend the Google Daydream View.