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Google Daydream View VR headset: What sets it back in India

July 28, 2017 14:23 IST

At ₹6,499, the VR headset offers a comfortable and immersive VR experience, but it could have done much better with more supported smartphones and apps, says Khalid Anzar.

VR Google

When search giant Google crafted its ultra-affordable 'Card board VR' headset, with a minimalistic design, it introduced the masses globally to the immense potential of virtual reality (VR).

Going a step ahead, the company recently launched the Daydream View VR headset with improved design, better support and Bluetooth-enabled controller that doubles up as a remote to navigate around the Daydream's interface, interact with apps and play games.

While the Google Daydream View VR headset is certainly a move in the right direction, what really sets it back, especially in India, is the rather slim list of devices that is supports.

They are just a handful -- Google Pixel, Pixel XL and Asus ZenFone AR.

It is understood that the Daydream View VR would soon become compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, but there is concrete information on that yet.

That, obviously, limits the catchment for this superb device to a small user base of only three devices.

Google daydream view VR

Talking specifically about the features of the VR headset, the device feels light and fits perfectly even with spectacles on.

It offers a no-frills design and is made with a breathable fabric; these make it convenient to wear for long hours, without any discomfort.

Pairing the headset with a smartphone is fairly easy -- open the front cover, put the smartphone in, close the cover and secure the phone with the elastic band on the top. The smartphone detects the VR headset with the help of near-field communication (NFC) and enters the daydream console mode once paired.

The remote controller, which comes bundled with the VR headset, needs to be connected with the smartphone via Bluetooth to enable remote-based functions.

Once all the pairing and connecting is done and the VR headset is mounted, the remote controller asks for recalibration of the view through long-pressing the app key in the desired direction.

After being calibrated, the VR headset shows a list of apps compatible with the headset.

Currently, not many apps are available for Daydream View; but the most-used ones like games, videos, television shows are readily available and can be accessed right through the headset.

For starters, the VR headset supports YouTube VR, which shows normal videos on a flat or curved plane and immersive 360-degree videos.

There is a Street View app that allows virtual tours of famous locations around the world.

And there also are some third-party apps that can be added for enhanced VR experience.

As for the quality of the VR experience, the smartphone-based experience is still far from perfect.

It is not the headset that hampers the experience, but the screen quality and resolution, which are the main pivots for a good VR experience.

The Google Daydream View headset is available on Flipkart for ₹6,499. At this price, the VR headset with motion controller offers comfortable and immersive VR experience, but it could have done much better with more supported smartphones and apps.

Khalid Anzar
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