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Review: Google Daydream View

Install the Daydream app from the Play Store, strap in one of these devices into the comfortable all-fabric headset body, pick up the included wireless controller and you’re set

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For the most of us, virtual reality has so far been limited to uncomfortable cardboard/plastic headsets that allow you to fasten your phone for a faux-VR experience. Unless you’re ready to put down some serious cash for a HTC Vive/PlayStation VR headset, Google’s Daydream View (Rs 6,499) VR headset may be the upgrade for you… as long as you have one of the few Daydream compatible devices out there. For now, it works only with the Pixel devices and the Moto Z, though Samsung S8/S8+ support is imminent. Install the Daydream app from the Play Store, strap in one of these devices into the comfortable all-fabric headset body, pick up the included wireless controller and you’re set. The controller is arguably the best part of the product — it pairs with the phone and gives you an in-VR navigation and gameplay wand to control and select stuff when you’re wearing the headset.

Within the app, you can pick up installed apps or browse through apps from the Play Store, though the selection is limited and most of the apps and games are rather expensive to boot! Google’s first party apps — YouTube, Photos, Play Movies and the Play Store — are all Daydream ready and offer an immersive experience to watching 360-degree content, and some of the casual and action-role playing games I tried were well executed. Daydream really ups the game and delivers rich immersive experiences rather flawlessly.

That’s not to say the whole setup is without its share of niggles. The phone heats up to alarmingly high levels when you’ve got the Daydream app running. Plus, if you’ve got any sort of eyewear, your mileage may vary — the headset can accommodate thin spectacle frames but people with larger frames may have issues with the headset. And then there’s the bane of most VR experiences — the novelty usually tends to wear off. That said, it’s an exciting peek into what Google is doing with VR, and if you have a compatible phone and a yearning to get a taste of well-executed smartphone VR, it’s worth the asking price.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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