Today, let's compare 5 portable and affordable Virtual Reality Headsets
For this comparison we come up with a few boundaries to make a selection.
The headsets must be properly portable in one of the regular clothing pockets and should be priced at less than 30$
These mini mobile VR headsets do not replace your high-end VR-headset but are essential for those who need or want a VR immersion anywhere anytime. I always carry one (or a few) with me for professional usage. Some of these headset are really cheap and are great give-aways.
These VR headsets come from all around the world: France, Russia, China, and the last two come from the United States.
All of them were developed with portability as the primary feature and approach the price you would pay for a Google Cardboard V2.
One thing I love about this portable headsets is the screen access.
Although they do not have a iOS compatible button, the screen touch input is possible.
Most normal VR headsets lack this feature which is very important. Another great thing is its portability.
When a VR headset fits in a front pocket it turns into a device which is broadly used and is always there when needed.
Off course this comes with a compromise: immersion quality. These headsets do not have any frame block light in the area between the smart phone and the lenses.
Another downside is that they do not have a headstrap.
If these are key feature for you than the Stimuli 2VR might be the device you would like.
2VR works like a regular set of glasses and has (adjustable) temples that make it hands-free, besides that the textile case also functions as a cover to block the light when using it. The 2VR is a bit more expensive than most others costing around the 30$ and it's not very portable. It is as portable as your sunglasses.
If you do not want to spend the cash, the Chinese headset is the one you are searching for. It's less than 5$ and it has big lenses.
The design is very simple and its made to do the job: no extra features, no luxury case or ingenious folding mechanism. Just simple good VR at the spot.
This Virtual Reality gadget does not have a proper grip which makes it hard to maintain quality immersion when in use.
Sometimes one wants to carry 5 VR headsets without anyone noticing... Homido Mini is your pick.
It's really small when folded. It has the good European quality we already know from other Homido headsets (Homido VR and Homido Grab).
The simple but refined design and folding mechanism make this a small and affordable premium headset. The lenses could by bit larger dough.
Its obvious these low prices and small sizes couldn't be achieved without compromise.
One of the most important comprises is the lack of adjustability: focal length adjustability and interpupillar display adjustability.
If you need a set of goggles that has an adjustable IPD than there is just one: Fibrum Nippers.
Fibrum Nippers has manual and independent adjustable lenses. It's the least portable and shares its appearance with the American C1 Goggles. Fibrum Nippers is not very easy to buy, being available in Russia and costing US dollars.
Last but certainly not least I Am Cardboard now sells its crowd funded Pocket 360 VR.
A very portable Virtual Reality Mobile headset which is available in various color for a very nice price and comes with a compact casing to protect the headset when it's on the move.
|Model||Lens Size||Portable size (h*l*w)||Weight||iPhone 5/5S/SE||iPhone 6/6S/7||iPhone 6+/6S+/7+||Country|
|3D mini goggles||38mm||65*75*22mm||37gr||yes||yes||yes||China|
|Stimuli 2VR||34mm||75*147*35mm||55gr||no||yes||yes||United States|
|Pocket 360 VR||30mm||75*68*23mm||45gr||yes||yes||yes||United States|
Each one has a feature in which it stands out. This could be the determining factor for one to buy a headset.
The Homido mini is by far the smallest when folded, comes with a QR-code in the instruction manual looks descent. Fibrum has adjustable IPD. For those with an IPD that is more narrow of wider than average this should be a very decisive feature. The Chinese 3D mini goggles are extremely cheap and work well with large phones like the iPhone plus models. This headset has no extra accessories and does not provide a QR-code. I found it's best to use the Fibrum Nippers QR-code. 2VR is the only one that can be used hands-free and has a cover to block light. Pocket 360 is very affordable, has a very good FOV for both the iPhone 4.7" and 5.5" models and has a small casing to protect the lenses when carrying.
Taking into consideration all divers aspects of these headsets its difficult to choose the ultimate portable headset. But we tried:
If you own a 4.7 inch iPhone the I Am Cardboard Pocket 360 VR would have my preference. Its price and the FOV were decisive. It's not the best quality headset and it's would not win any design or originality award but the largest (reasonably good quality) lenses, its price and the portable casing make this headset our preferred portable headset at the moment of writing.
If you own a large 5.5 inch iPhone model 2VR and the Chinese 3D goggles have the best Field of View. 2VR is hands free and the cover improve its immersion.
Keep in mind that FOV is very personal depending on interpupillar distance which varies from person to person.
My Top 5 would look somewhat like this:
- Pocket 360 VR - 10$
- Stimuli 2VR - 29$
- Homido Mini - 15$ / 15€
- Chinese 3D Mini Glasses - 5$
- Fibrum Nippers - 29$
Price are always changing. These are the price indications at the moment of writing.
Don't agree? great! please give your opinion bellow in the comments...
For extra detailled information please check our individual hands-on Reviews: Homido Mini, Fibrum Nippers, Stimuli 2VR and I Am Cardboard Pocket 360.
Are these your only options? Nope. Also check out VR Cups and iPhone VR cases like VR Cat Case, Dodocase Smart VR and Figment VR.
Where to buy
If you live in the United States the Homido Mini and Stimuli 2VR are all available at Amazon.com. Pocket 360 VR is available at ImCardboard.com, as are other I Am Cardboard VR headsets.
In Europe you might best be of buying the Homido Mini at Homido's official website or at Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk.
The budget Chinese 3D mini glasses are sold though Chinese websites like Aliexpress.com
Fibrum Nippers is available at Russian website Fibrum.com.
2VR is now available in white, black, blue and red.