VR headsets are becoming more affordable, more user-friendly, and more useful than ever. They’re much more popular in recent years, too. In 2015 there were only about 6.7 million VR users. Today there’s over 170 million—and that number is only growing. The future of VR is bright, and it’s not just limited to gaming and 360 videos.
With the growing popularity of VR, many companies are getting in on the action by making headsets for a number of useful applications compatible with your smartphone. Here, we’ll examine 10 smartphone VR headsets to consider for your introduction to virtual reality.
1. Google Daydream View
The Google Daydream View Headset is constructed of lightweight, breathable materials that claim to deliver a comfortable, immersive VR experience. It’s compatible with smartphones from Google, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Huawei, ZTE, and others. However, one of its major drawbacks is that it doesn’t work with Apple phones.
The Daydream View allows you to stream your VR experience to your television so others can see what you’re experiencing. It’s compatible with apps like Google Street View, Open House, and Discovery VR—letting you explore new worlds and places. It works with major video providers like Netflix, HULU, and YouTube. And you can really get in the game with VR apps from the NBA, NFL, and MLB.
The controller is simple and intuitive and easy to use (and lose), but it gives you a greater sense of control when using apps, playing games, or watching videos.
2. Samsung Gear VR SM-R322 Virtual Reality Glasses
Made by another big player in the smartphone industry, the Gear is Samsung’s VR headset. Weighing in at only 1.06 pounds, it’s lightweight and comfortable.
Featuring Netflix compatibility and access to all of Samsung’s VR content, the Samsung VR headset offers access to many options. The biggest drawback of this headset is that it only works with Samsung smartphones.
3. Riviera RC Virtual Reality Smartphone Headset
The Riviera RC is a standard entry-level VR headset. It’s comfortable and lightweight at 1.19 pounds. It can be used with most smartphones with screen sizes between 4.7” and 6”. With a low cost, this white VR headset is a good way to dip your toes into VR.
The Riviera can more than handle videos and apps but isn’t the best option for gaming or other interactive VR experiences.
4. iLive 3D Virtual Reality Headset
The iLive 3D VR Headset is another standard entry-level headset. It’s affordable, comfortable, and compatible with most smartphones with 3.5” to 6” screens. It also features a ventilated design to keep your face cool during use.
It’s fully adjustable, with a customizable strap and foam pad. Its best feature is it’s lightweight. At only .86 pounds, it’s very comfortable, even for long periods of use. It doesn’t feature a controller, so if you want to use it for gaming you’ll need to supply your own.
5. MERGE VR Goggles
Unlike some of the other headsets on this list, the Merge headset is constructed of a soft, flexible foam material that naturally conforms to the face of the wearer. This makes it lightweight and ultra comfortable. In fact, it only weighs 12 ounces. It also features adjustable lenses to allow for detailed customization.
With dual input buttons on the top, you don’t need to worry about losing a controller. It’s designed to withstand bumps and drops all while keeping your smartphone secure—making a good choice for younger VR viewers, especially with its bright colors. It works with all smartphones from 4” to 7” that operate on iOS and Android.
6. Ergoguys Spectra VR – Virtual Reality Goggles
These quality VR goggles are a step above standard entry-level headsets. They’re made from better materials to a bit more comfortable and are compatible with a number of VR apps, too.
Weighing in at 1.2 pounds, the Spectra Goggles are lightweight enough for extended viewing, but solid enough to provide an absorbing experience. The only drawback is the price. While still about half the cost of headsets by some of the biggest players in the field, it doesn’t carry their signature features either.
7. Discovery Kids Virtual Reality Headset
The Discovery VR Headset is an option intended for younger VR users. Most parents know that kids love playing with phones and this will allow them to take the experience to the next level, without the worry that they’ll break an expensive VR headset. It does weigh 1.2 pounds, which can be heavy for younger users. While the body is a little smaller than most standard VR headsets, it may still be too bulky for some children. It is only recommended for users aged 8 and up.
8. View-Master VR Headset
View-Master has a long history of transporting viewers on a virtual tour. Building on their famous stereoscopic viewing goggles, the View-Master VR Headset is a great way to watch videos, play games and explore the world from the comfort of your couch.
With available apps and a wide range of smartphone compatibility, including Samsung, Motorola, Apple, and more, this headset is a great way for kids to explore the world of VR without a heavy investment. It’s not the lightest, or most comfortable, or built from the softest materials—but it is affordable.
9. Cygnett Virtual Reality Headset
The best feature of the Cygnett VR Headset is the flip down the hatch with a magnetic closure system. This allows you to load quickly and unload your smartphone from the device—plus, you can charge your smartphone during use.
This lightweight, fully adjustable VR headset is compatible with all VR apps and all smartphones from 4” to 6”.
10. BlitzWolf 3D VR Glasses
The BlitzWolf VR Headset delivers comfortable, adjustable VR viewing for customers that want quality at an affordable price. Each lens is adjustable for pupil distance and focus; this allows you to get a crisp image that works for your eyes. It works with all smartphones with a screen size up to 6.3”. This headset is all about comfort—featuring adjustable lenses, adjustable head straps, soft leather padding, and extreme heat testing. It doesn’t come with a controller, so if you want to use it for gaming you’ll need to purchase that separately.
Immerse Yourself In Virtual Reality
The virtual world becomes more interesting and immersive every day. From gaming to videos, real estate tours to home renovation planning, educational material to traveling the world from the comforts of your living room—VR headsets allow you to see the world like never before. With so many options, there’s never been a better time to take a virtual trip.
About the Author: David Olson is a writer, eBook author, and content strategist. He specializes in the latest developments in technology and how they help companies communicate with evolving consumer bases worldwide.