Anyway, after having several discussions around VR headsets and the different flavours out there an opportunity came up to test this offering from UMi.
In the box?
In the black box are the following –
- 1 x UMi 3D VR Glasses
- 1 x Instructions manual
- 1 x Cleaning Cloth
The headset itself is pretty well made, white and black plastic with no rough edges, elasticated and adjustable headstrap that is pretty comfortable for wearing (even if you have an odd shaped head like me). There an assortment of buttons on the device, the top dial adjusts the spacing between the lenses, the 2 side dials adjust the focal point of each lens by moving the phone section closer/further away to the lenses. Finally there is a sliding magnet underneath which is used in certain apps (in Google Cardboard its used to accept the selection). – This button on mine is very stiff and it really needs some sort of small knob so it’s easier to use, either that or grab a pencil/pen and use this to flick the magnet.
The phone sits in a flip down section which holds a variety of sizes and comfortably held my iPhone 6S+, there is plenty of protective foam around the edges but could do with a little more in the centre section where the screen sits. There is a removable section which is used in certain apps/games by using the camera on the rear of your device.
There are quite a few options out there in apps, games and a videos to use for your viewing pleasure – For the purpose of this review I’ve used Google Cardboard and Youtube App – both installed on an iPhone 6S Plus.
The first thing to do is remove the lens protector inside, pretty obvious but this will ruin your viewing pleasure otherwise! Without the phone it’s worth trying it on and performing all the strap adjustments, it’s just easier.
My first test was Youtube and it’s selection of videos, just search 3d vr and you’ll find a large selection. There are a lot of videos made by other Youtube users so are edited at home and are filmed on a variety of kit and this shows, the low quality ones look awful but the high quality ones work very well. On your first video spend the first minute or so adjusting the top dial and 2 side dials so it’s in focus and looks right on the screen.
Now after you’ve made all the adjustments its where it gets interesting, its a little odd having a full screen 3d video playing – I own a 3D TV and I’ve been to IMAX cinemas but they are both different from this experience. The poor quality videos being fuzzy could give you a headache, but the high quality are fine.
Google Cardboard – this really brings these headsets into their own, it works, plain and simple. Install the app and follow the instructions, the basic demo of how it works is very good quality and gives a very good show of what these headsets can do and they are very impressive when teamed up with the right software/video.
All in all I like this headset, it might be a gimmick but it’s a gimmick that I like – Just avoid the poor quality videos and you’ll be fine, the only disappointment is the magnet switch on the underside, it needs something to help you move it.
I received a sample of this product for the purpose of reviewing it.