6 Best Standalone Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets in 2018
In 2012 the only way to have experienced virtual reality was with a high-powered computer and headset.
This dynamic presented a problem for consumers, who had to spend a considerable amount of money on both items to jump in virtual reality.
Price limits accessibility, and increased accessibility means a bigger market for VR startups and investors to fund and grow and create amazing content for the metaverse.
Unless high-powered computers will drop significantly in price tomorrow, a new solution must be birthed. Introducing the industry’s latest and greatest attempt at opening the door towards mainstream affordable virtual reality that still features considerable performance, standalone!
Standalone virtual reality headsets are an all-in-one device that can power virtual reality on their own, with no computer or phone needed.
Fast-forward 6 years, and there are many standalone VR headsets out on the market today with many new ones in the coming months. I’ve rounded up a collection of the best standalone VR headsets even this early in the game.
Are standalone devices the future of immersive virtual reality?
Mi VR Standalone
Extremely limited details are available on Facebook’s partnership with Xioami to create the Mi VR Standalone headset. No price was announced but it is rumored to be the same cost as it’s North American equivalent Oculus Go at $199. Xiaomi’s Mi VR Standalone comes with a motion controller, built-in touchpad and trigger as well as spatial audio (developed by Oculus) as well as a 3.5mm audio jack.
Identical to the Oculus Go, the Mi VR features a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor to power the device’s immersive content. As an example, most of the powerful smartphone’s today use this same processor. If Facebook can collaborate with Xiamoi successfully it will be interesting to see how the device evolves and gets more powerful and immersive over time.
The Vive Focus is the most powerful standalone at the moment. Perhaps the most exciting element is the 6DoF tracking, this allows for the Vive Focus to track your position in a room without any external tracking sensors.
Viveport is subscription based so you can get all of the apps if you pay $6.99/month. Since buying games can be pricey, having a subscription could save the user money.
Electric Blue at ¥4,299 Almond White at ¥3,999
- 3K (2880×1600) AMOLED display
- 75 Hz refresh rate
- 101 degrees field of view
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
- Built-in microphones
- Built-in speakers
- 3.5mm stereo audio jack
Facebook announced a new VR headset, the Oculus Go at the Oculus Connect 4 keynote. No official tech specs have reported by Facebook. But we do know that the headset will have three degrees of freedom (DOF) and a resolution of 2560 x 1440.
At $200 it is more accessible than all other high-end VR headsets. Many customers will lean more towards the cheaper option if it can guarantee a great experience.
Additionally, there is a considerable amount of content for the Oculus Go. The Oculus online store has various virtual reality experiences that aren’t on Viveport. Oculus Go seems like a great beginner device for those who want to start using VR. According to Facebook the Oculus Go will launch in early 2018.
Will Oculus deliver a great experience without burning a hole in your wallet?
Lenovo’s headset was announced after Google cancelled their deal with HTC to bring out a standalone headset. This headset features a nice sleek daydream design and 110 degrees FOV which is identical to the PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC vive. 2,560 × 1,440 Resolution which is approximately the same resolution for the Gear VR and Daydream compatible phones.
Google and Lenovo are building a 7 hour battery life using extra storage on the headset itself as well as a thermal dissipation system that will not make overheating an issue. Lenovo’s Mirage Solo features World freedom allowing the headset to track its position in 3D space using inside-out positional tracking using front-facing cameras.
Believe it or not the Mirage Solo weighs more than the PSVR, Vive, and Oculus Rift. Despite the headset’s positional tracking the controller itself unfortunately only has rotation sensors and no position tracking.
The Neo is the first All-in-One VR headset to incorporate 6DoF hand controllers using ultra-sonics. This technology enables the Neo to deliver high fidelity control without the need for any external cameras, trackers or wires.
Pico Neo features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB High-Speed RAM and SD support to 128 GB. Built-in dual Speakers deliver AM3D 3D spatial rendering engine delivers a premium hi fidelity audio experience with 3D spatial sound mapping.
Available for pre-order for business customers only at $749.
Pico Goblin features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU with 3G high-speed LPDDR4-1866 RAM and 16G eMMC 5.1 ROM. Built-in 5.5” fast TFT LCD Display with 2560×1440 Resolution. The goblin includes a simple and lightweight 3DoF controller.
Pico Digital Store features over 70 games on the official channel as well as hundreds of videos available through the VEER app.