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Chinese VR Headsets: BoboVR Z3 and VR Shinecon

BoboVR Z3 VR Shinecon

Lets start by mentioning what distinguishes The BoboVR Z3 and the VR Shinecon from other Virtual Reality Headsets: the Price!

Just 18$ for the Bobo VR Z3 and 23$ for the VR Shinecon (including a Bluetooth controller).

These are VR Headsets for Cardboard VR prices! VR Headsets from China to be specific. That explains the price. In most cases the shipping cost is also free. Maybe the Chinese government  pays the shipping costs?

But are they any good?

About a year ago I already reviewed a Chinese VR Headset and it was an insult to VR and should be prohibited from being sold.
We can not compare these two headsets with that one. They are better in almost any possible way.

Box

BoboVR Z3 Shinecon VR Virtual Reality

Starting by the packing. The Chinese headset I reviewed last year came in a small garbage bag and that's where it should have stayed!
The BoboVR Z3 comes in a simple cardboard box containing the headset, a small manual and a tissue.
The VR Shinecon come in a well designed quality packing which contains the VR Shinecon itself, a Bluetooth controller, a manual and a tissue.

Both Headsets are designed for the bigger smartphones like the iPhone 6 plus. Smaller smartphone can be used but the FOV is very small and unpleasant.

BoboVR Z3

BoboVR Z3 VR Headset

The BoboVR Z3 looks good. It's quite big, has some ventilation gaps on top, a magnetic front opening and 3 buttons to adjust the view.

It has big 42mm plastic lenses, a removable cover to enable Augmented Reality or access to the back camera, a 3-way headstrap, adjustable IPD and adjustable lens distance.

Insert your smartphone by opening the magnetic front and place your smartphone. This part of the device feels a bit cheap but it works. Your phone is not likely to fall out but you have to center the phone manually.
The field of view is about 82 degrees on when using a smartphone with a large screensize.

BoboVR Z3 VR Headset
If you wear prescription glasses you will not be able to fit them in the headset but thanks to the adjustable lenses it might still be possible to get a clear view.
The feax-leather cover on the face mount gives comfort,  BoboVR has small ventilation holes and a big opening for the nose to prevent the lenses fog.

BoboVR Z3 weights about 320 grams which is a bit heavy.

BoboVR misses a Google Cardboard v2 button. Personally I find this a must have feature to play games nowadays as the Google Cardboard SDK is the dominating  used in the VR iOS AppStore Games.

BoboVR Z3 Virtual Reality

Price: 17,99$

Country of origin: China

Website: Gearbest.com

VR Shinecon

Shinecon VR headset

The VR Shinecon is made from a better plastic quality than the Bobo VR Z3.

It does not have the big plastic lenses the BoboVR has. VR Shinecon has 35mm lenses just like most Cardboard v2.

Like BoboVR, VR Shinecon has a 3-way adjustable headstrap, adjustable lens distance and IPD and the front is removable to enabled AR and the back Camera. It also comes with a Bluetooth controller which works poorly on iOS (and works fine on Android devices). There are a few VR Games in the iOS AppStore that support these kind of BT Controllers. Sadly they only support one or two buttons. VR Shinecon also does not have a conductive Cardboard v2 button to control games and apps.

VR Bluetooth Controller

I am really surprised by the quality the overall quality of this headset. The design is okay and it has an incredibly good quality for such a low price. It's comfortable, the headstrap seems durable, its lenses are adjustable and it weights about 380 grams.

I am a little disappointed about the FOV (Field of View). I tried this headset with the iPhone 6 and the FOV is lower than 80 degrees. This VR Headset is only suitable for bigger smartphones like the iPhone 6 plus and Galaxy Notes.

Shinecon VR

Shinecon VR Headset

Price: 23$

Country of origin: China

Website: Gearbest.com

Final Thoughts

These two devices are both very well priced and you won't get anything better for under the 30$. They have a few downside: they feel a little bit cheap, the have no conductive button and they do not work well with smaller smart phones. Apart from that, if you have an iPhone 6(s) plus or a similar smart phone there are both good choices to introduce you to the Mobile VR world. Owning an iPhone which is an expensive device I would personally prefer to spend  more and buy a premium headset like the Merge VR.

If I would have to choose between these two I would buy the VR Shinecon because of the overall quality, the extra comfort and its size. BoboVR Z3 on the other side has larger lenses and weighs less so it's a very difficult choice. For such low prices, maybe you should buy both 😉

BoboVR Z3 Shinecon VR

Readers Comments (6)

  1. Jewell Tipton 28/04/2016 @ 00:22

    I’m trying to find a controller, in order to play games and other uses for this head set. But I have yet to get an answer to my question. Can someone PLEASE TELL ME WHAT KIND OR TYPE OF CONTROLLER I NEED for the BOBO VR Z3, so I can start enjoying this product???

    Reply
    • Unfortunately at the moment cheap bluetooth controllers are not supported in iOS 9,2 and beyond.
      So the best option is a MFi supported controller like SteelSeries Stratus.
      Note that not ALL games support these controller.

      Reply
  2. Jewell,

    check out Gearbest.com they have bluetooth controllers for vr devices. I dont think it matters what controller you buy

    Reply
    • Hi Brandon,
      Actually it does matter. Apple only allows MFi supported controllers. GearBest sells lots of Bluetooth controllers that do not work with iOS 9.2 and above. Even on older iOS versions they only partially work.

      Reply
      • Well, if you’re daft enough to still be using Apple garbage that keeps throwing in limitations where there need be none, you deserve the hassle.

        Reply
  3. It would be great to have FOV specs as standard in all reviews because the devices available have a widely varying degree if FOV.

    Reply

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