GOOGLE DAYDREAM VIEW – VR HEADSET REVIEW

Product Name:DAYDREAM VIEW
Brand:GOOGLE
Price:79$
Rating:
Type:Mobile
Hardware platform:Google Daydream VR
Software platform:Android 7.0 Nougat
Sensors:Motion
Controller:Handheld remote
GOOGLE DAYDREAM VIEW – VR HEADSET REVIEW
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GOOGLE DAYDREAM VIEW

Google has a mobile virtual reality platform, Daydream, which now has a headset to go with it. It’s called Google Daydream View. Google’s Daydream View is similar to Google Cardboard in concept. You still put your phone in an inexpensive headset (the 79$ Daydream View), and it functions as your display thanks to a set of lenses that separate the screen into two images.

A pairable remote you hold in your hand (similar to the Oculus Remote) controls the action. The Daydream platform is Google’s next stage of virtual reality evolution, and a big step forward from Google Cardboard. At with its price of 79$, it’s more expensive than Google Cardboard and in of a 54$ Samsung Gear VR, but it’s cheaper than the 500$ Oculus Rift or 800$ HTC Vive. That’s of course not counting the price of the smartphone Daydream View needs to actually run.

 

With no separate computer required, Google Daydream View is truly mobile. No annoying wires to be found, and no tether to trip you up. It’s a similar design concept to Samsung’s Gear VR, although that’s an altogether more plasticky setup that’s only compatible with some Samsung phones.

 

In The Box

  • Daydream View VR headset by Google
  • One controller

 

Google Daydream View: Design

There’s no doubt that Daydream View is immediately eye-catching. It just looks so damn soft and oddly appealing, like a comfy pair of sweatpants. Daydream View’s cloth design is inviting and cosy, invoking the same feeling you’d get from lazing about without a care because it hides the tech we’ve come to associate with hard plastics and metals,

and so far, this look is unlike any other VR mobile headset out there. Sure, Oculus Rift is swathed in stretchy cloth materials, but with Daydream View, there are no wires, it’s far smaller and of course, portable.

 

Daydream View makes an undeniably attractive package with its range of available colors. Now, it’s not without the hard plastics, the Pixel phone sits right on top of an inner plastic tray that holds it in place. Then there are the glass lenses and, of course, the plastic controller that comes with every headset. There are no buttons and the front closes with an elastic clasp that has a pull tab for easy access. Audio is solely dependent on the headphones or earbuds that you have on hand.

Daydream View is available in 3 different colors:

  1. Slate79,00$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)
  2. Crimson79,05$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)
  3. Snow79,00$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)

 

Google Daydream View: Comfort

The Daydream View has one adjustable band that goes around your head. There’s some soft rubber on the inner portion of the strap to help the headset stay in place, but the plastic sliders often loosen during usage causing the headset to slowly slide forward. It is hard to tighten them back up with the View still on the head. But the headset is really comfortable. And it can be worn for longer than just a few hours.

 

google daydream view colours 2

What also helps with comfort is the fact that you don’t need to take your glasses off. The Gear VR has a diopter allowing you to see, but even then it’s still a little blurry. Somehow the Daydream View manages to fit large framed glasses into the viewer while maintaining a really small form factor. Most of the weight sits on the forehead. The face padding is extra squishy as well so you hardly feel the headset.

 

Google Daydream View: Performance and display

Using the headset is ridiculously simple. To get Daydream up and running, you just need to place the Pixel into the headset. The tray has little capacitative nubs that help detect where the screen should be centred while an NFC chip (also built into the tray) starts up the app. It’s far easier than inserting a Samsung phone into Gear VR.

  • Headset dimensions: 6.56 x 4.18 x 3.88 in.
  • Headset weight: 7.76 oz.
  • Controller dimensions: 4.13 x 1.37 x 0.67 in.
  • Controller weight: 1.41 oz.

The smaller Pixel presents noticeable black bars on the outer portion of the screen, whereas on the XL, it’s practically invisible. The AMOLED screens themselves are fantastic and absolutely brilliant in terms of clarity, colour spectrum and vividness. Refresh rate and screen specs depend on the phone. For Pixel, you’re looking at 1080 x 1920 pixels (441ppi) and while the XL is 1440 x 2560 pixels (534ppi).

 

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Google Daydream Wiew – Snow, Slate & Crimson –

 

The difference in screen sizes means that smaller handsets won’t look as good using Daydream View since the FOV is bound to shrink. Which is something to keep in mind if you plan on using a Daydream-ready phone that’s less than 5.5-inch in size.

 

For those on iOS devices, it’s unlikely Google will pull a Cardboard again and let iPhones get in on the Daydream fun. It makes sense considering the platform is heavily geared towards Android. But like the Gear VR, this means it’s losing out on a hefty portion of people who want a good mobile VR headset.

 

 

Google Daydream View: Controller

The Daydream View controller is larger than a Rift remote and smaller than a Wiimote. It can fit inside the View headset when you’re done using it. This makes it as portable and easy to use as the View headset. It also means you don’t have to hold your hand up to your head for controls, or buy an additional third-party device.

 

It acts as an input device, as there’s no motion-tracking capabilities. But it has internal sensors that can tell where it is pointing, which is used for lots of point-and-click tasks. It’s responsive and accurate, so you can use it to scroll through controller daydreampages, select options from a menu, type on a virtual keyboard, or do other tricks in Daydream-compatible apps. The controller is also pretty durable.

 

There are only five buttons including a trackpad that doubles as a button. Below the trackpad, you’ll find an app button, which can show menus, pause, go back or change modes depending on the app itself. Then there’s the home button below, which returns you to the Daydream View’s home screen or re-centres your view. Lastly, you can find the volume up and down buttons on the right side of the controller. There’s also a USB-C port on the very bottom – which conveniently is the same as the Pixel’s charger, to juice up the device. It has a 12-hour battery life. A status light towards the bottom of the controller flashes three times after pressing the home button, lets you know if it needs recharging.

 

Various games involve aiming with it or using it to move around, and the tracking is surprisingly good. The only annoying thing is the constant re-centreing. Just like the major headsets where you can re-centre the view, Daydream View lets you re-centre the controller and headset. To charge the remote, simply plug in the included USB-C cable. When you want to store the remote, tuck it into the groove on the inside of the front panel of the headset, and firmly affix it with the elastic loop.

Simple.

 

What does Daydream View remote have?

  • Integrated trackpad for swipe input
  • Three primary button controls
  • Built-in battery; USB-C charging

 

 

Google Daydream View: Setup

Step one: download the Daydream app.

 

Step two: slot the phone into the View and secure with the elastic bungee.

 

That’s it.

 

The embedded NFC chip will make the phone automatically switch into the Daydream interface. If there are any problems with calibration during use, then the remote control’s Home button can be pressed and held to reposition the centre view. A quick, simple, and sensible solution.

 

Google Daydream View: Apps and phone selection

Although only the Pixel phones officially support Daydream right now, more manufacturers have already announced that they’ll be releasing new phones. Plus, with Daydream baked right into the latest version of Android, at some point all new Android phones will support the platform.

 

Although the Google Cardboard headsets work fine with iPhones, and many apps are available in both systems, so far Daydream looks to be a little too closely tied to the Android operating system to work on iOS. That could change google-daydream-viewin the future, but if virtual reality support is important to you, then this might be the reason you finally switch. Moving on to the apps, Daydream launched with a nice base — YouTube, Hulu, CNN, USA Today, Street View, a couple of games, and the new Ghostbusters and Fantastic Beasts.

 

The Daydream View home looks a lot like Oculus Home, which you may have seen on Gear VR or Oculus Rift. That’s not a bad thing, especially since the interface is intuitive and familiar. A simple swipe or a tap on an arrow with the controller’s trackpad lets you navigate the library and Google Play Store menus swiftly. From the Play Store, you can download and install apps and games immediately.

 

The usual Google repertoire is always fun to use in VR, with YouTube, Google Street View, Play Movies, Photos and Arts & Culture being the ones available. With the exception of Play Movies, the apps have all been used on Cardboard before so they’re not exactly earth-shattering options. However Google has revamped YouTube a bit and made it much more VR friendly, you get to watch all your favorite 360-degree channels along with non-VR in 2D videos.

 

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Google Daydream Wiew – Apps & Games –

 

There’s even a Google Assistant voice search if you want to go hands free. On the game side of things, We were able to try Hunter’s Gate, Claro, Wonderglade and VR Karts (among others) all of which provided a well rounded experience that showcased just how much Daydream View can do.

 

Hunter’s Gate is a dungeon crawler that has you playing one of two characters who automatically shoots at the demons you’re aiming at. This game is able to show off the controller’s ability to aim as well as move the character around with the trackpad. It takes a minute to adjust and then it’s a breeze. You can change the aiming mechanism to use your head as well, which has been a staple for many VR shooters.

 

Claro is a lovely puzzler that isn’t too difficult and lets you relax a bit while moving the sun around with the controller in order to help a tree grow. Wonderglade has four carnival-esque mini games that again use the controller’s aim along with its internal sensors. VR Karts does the same thing and has you turn the controller so you’re using both hands. From there, you’re able to test out your racing abilities by tilting the controller to hug the turns.

 

Swim with a school of dolphins, take in the full majesty of the Taj Mahal. Stand at the edge of a volcano, Explore the world’s most famous paintings in a virtual museum or even put yourself in the middle of the action. With Daydream View, you can teleport from virtually anywhere to pretty much everywhere. Go from the sidelines to the heart of the action and feel the adrenaline rush as you speed down the racetrack, bowl a strike with a swing of your arm or cast a spell with your own magic wand. With the Daydream View controller, all you need is your imagination.

 

Google Daydream View: Is it differ from Google Cardboard?

Let’s rewind for a second. In 2014, Google launched its first foray into VR, Google Cardboard. The name wasn’t a misnomer either: Cardboard is, indeed, based around a hold-it-to-your-face cardboard construction, again with a compatible phone slotted inside.

 

Daydream View is so much more than that. It’s different from Cardboard in that it’s Android-only and has a set of minimum standards that will ensure image quality, responsiveness, and lag times are significantly better than Cardboard. These are the things that Daydream has and Carboard does not have:

  • Material build for comfort
  • Adjustable strap for hands-free fit
  • One-handed controller included

 

Daydream View is differentiated from some other VR headsets. It comes with a multi-button handheld remote in the box. This lets you interact with games and experiences. It’s a one-handed controller. It’s not a proper gaming-style controller, so it’s easy to use even if you’ve never gamed. The “welcome” setup demo is a great way of getting familiar with it.

 

Daydream View is available in 3 different colors:

  1. Slate79,00$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)
  2. Crimson79,05$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)
  3. Snow79,00$  (Buy it at Amazon.com)

 

Verdict

Bottom line: this is the best-of-breed mobile headset, the best overall headset for the general public, and the best headset for 360-degree videos and casual games. It doesn’t compete with the HTC Vive, or the PlayStation VR. Google is hoping that its 79$ price range is cheap enough for you to forget about 54$ Samsung Gear VR.

 

daydream colours 1And you know what? Google Daydream View is the easiest to put on and most comfortable VR experience bar none. It is a dream come true for mobile VR. It’s comfortable, lightweight and attractively designed which is half the battle won in the world of virtual reality.

 

The other half is price which Daydream View also succeeds at by keeping costs low. However the lack of iOS compatibility, a few design flaws keep it from receiving a perfect score. Daydream View is still one of the best, if not the best, mobile VR headsets you can try right now. The Daydream View VR headset by Google has high-quality. Just place your Pixel Phone by Google or other Daydream-ready phone into the headset, and the VR mode launches automatically.

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Need to know

Price: 79$

Phone compatibility:

Pixel and Pixel XL only compatible phones

Daydream app from Android 7.1 and up

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AGAINST AND FOR GOOGLE DAYDREAM

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