We knew it was coming sooner or later; the deluge of smartphone-powered virtual reality headsets entering the market, following in the footsteps of Samsung’s Gear VR. As smartphone manufacturers begin to take note of the success that Samsung has had with their $99 VR headset, they too seem anxious to grab as much marketshare as possible.
Besides Samsung, the only other smartphone manufacturer to enter the space has been LG with the LG 360, which still has yet to ship. Today, however, that all changes as the 29-year-old Shenzhen, China-based smartphone manufacturer, Huawei, has unveiled what they call Huawei VR. Coming just 8 days after the company announced two new flagship smartphones, the P9 and P9 plus, this headset looks very similar to Samsung’s Gear VR, and is the first such headset to utilize a USB-C connector and not a micro USB. Looks are not all that Huawei VR appears to have taken from the Gear VR. Just like the Gear VR there is a touch pad for control, as well as up, down and back buttons. From the exterior of the device it almost appears as if they took the Gear VR and slightly changed the shapes of certain components before putting it all back together and rebranding it their own.
With that said, the headset does offer things that the Gear VR does not. This includes what Huawei claims is the first ever 360-degree sound field system. Users are able to utilize headphones in order to take advantage of a system which the company claims can direct sound in what appears to be different areas of a 360-degree sphere. For instance, if a dinosaur is chasing you, its roar will sound as if it’s coming from behind you, and as you turn to look the creature in the eyes, the roar will come from the front.
While this device is certainly a notch above the competition when it comes to audibles, it’s lagging behind in visuals. While this has more to do with the 1080p screens found in the the P9 and P9 Plus smartphones, which are currently compatible with the headset, Samsung is able to offer a higher quality experience via the QHD displays within their Galaxy line of smartphones. As for specifications they are as follows:
- 20ms Latency
- 95-degree Field of View
- Anti-blue Light Filter
- Adjustable Lenses Accommodate Myopia Down to -7.00
Huawei has yet to mention a price, which we assume will fall close to Samsung’s $99 price-tag, and the company says that the device will be available sometime this year. With its launch will come 4,000 free movies, 350 panoramic images, 40 games, and 150 panoramic tours. Let’s hear your thoughts on this new headset in the Huawei VR forum on VRTalk.com