I hate mobile VR. H.A.T.E. Now before you snigger because you think I hate everything… I don’t. I love money, and all the nice things I don’t have. What I do have, however, is a lot of mobile VR headsets, and they all blow, harder than a SpaceX rocket taking off!
I’ve had the Cardboard for a while, and got myself a Gear VR 2017 (with controller) for my Samsung S8+, and for some strange reason, I decided that my Pixel XL was feeling lonely and needed Google’s Daydream View.
I probably just got suckered by the Flipkart discount offer for existing Pixel owners, because, you know… I can’t pass up a discount!
Wow! Just ₹3,999 for something that others will pay ₹6,499 for! Hah! Suckers! Oh no! Limited time offer… click, click. Buy, buy! More like “bye bye” to my money!
So why did I rush to buy the Daydream View when I had a perfectly good Gear VR collecting dust? Because I figured a Google made product would be far superior in terms of integration than the monstrosity that Oculus and Samsung created and then foisted on me.
I like the potential that VR has. I love the experiences on offer by Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, and the graphics can be incredible sometimes. However, I always found myself tripping over wires, or accidentally strangling myself. Mobile VR, on the other hand, is portable, no fuss, and looks worse than a warthog’s backside! I guess I’m looking for an in-betweener, and after trying the Daydream View, I can honestly say I was wishing for Rift and Vive like cables so I could’ve strangled myself…
The Daydream View is special though… in the way a pimple is special just before it’s about to pop – it’s ugly and squishy, and you poke it all the time in fascination, wondering what you did to deserve this, but happy that it will be forgotten soon enough.
The Daydream View has like this squishy-foam body, which immediately looks like it will be more comfortable than, say, the Gear VR. It isn’t. It could have been, but some genius decided to not add that extra strap over the head. Thus, you end up having to choose between either stopping blood from flowing to your face, or raising your blood pressure as you irritatedly keep adjusting the device – either way you end up red-faced.
Even strapping it as tight as a straitjacket won’t prevent the light from bleeding in though – from the sides, from the nose cutout… The plus point is that I can walk about and clearly see my own feet, which helps avoid all the traps the guys set in office as practical jokes every time someone puts on a head mounted display (HMD).
The controller must have been awesome when compared to the older Gear VR – which made you feel like you were Cyclops from the X-men, but instead of deadly optic force blasts, you were just clicking on stuff. However, compared to the Gear VR controller, it’s terrible. Just the lack of a trigger button (as on the Gear VR controller) makes this controller feel totally useless.
I thought the HMD had used some thermal-like material when I used it, because I found my face getting all nice and toasty. Turns out, the Pixel was overheating after 30 minutes or so of playing some games – in fact it got so hot, it shut itself down! Bravo Google. You made Daydream View specifically for the Pixel phones, and even they can’t handle it!
Even almost a year after Daydream launched, there’s hardly any content for it. I’m pretty sure this thing is going to find a place behind my Gear VR in my cupboard. At least that I might pull out once a year or so, but this thing is about as useful as that scroll lock key on my keyboard!
I wish I could say I was looking forward to Apple’s VR implementation, but that would mean having to buy an iPhone, and the only thing I hate more than the Daydream View is iOS…
This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of Digit magazine. To read Digit’s articles first, subscribe here or download the Digit app for Android and iOS. You could also buy Digit’s previous issues here.