Google Daydream

The world of virtual reality is becoming more and more fascinating. Launching of new VR gadgets has been the order of the day, with companies doing all that it takes to introduce better products to the market. It was just a matter of time before Google moved from Cardboard and started taking virtual reality seriously. The outcome was the birth of Google Daydream – the company’s first mobile VR headset. Just like the Samsung’ Gear VR, Daydream is powered by Android. The big difference is that the gadget works across a wide variety of Android phones that support the Google platform.

google daydream photo

Photo by pestoverde

We are entering the perfect time of the year to test VR headsets. Google Daydream is available at the low cost of $79, and provides a great entry point to new users. It’s poised to work on many more Android devices than any other device available on the market, it will just take a bit more time. The gadget is ready to transform your next Android phone into an incredible VR headset for an excellent price. To get a better understanding of Daydream, let us review it further.

Headset

The headset is comfortable to wear and comes with a controller that is simple to use. The soft wearable design is inspired by clothes we enjoy wearing. It’s made of soft, breathable fabric that helps the user stay comfortable. The headset will be available in different colors later this year, and users can then make a choice on the color to match their style.

The Daydream is lightweight and is designed to fit comfortably over eyeglasses. Whenever you like, you will be able to remove it and wash. The Daydream controller is natural and intuitive. It lets the user interact with the virtual world the same as real world. The controller comes packed with smart sensors to comprehend user movements and gestures easily.

google daydream photo

Photo by pestoverde

Hardware

The hardware consists of VR headset and a controller and combines with a Daydream-ready phone. The headsets are designed for high-quality mobile VR experiences. Instead of using a trigger button, users interact with VR applications using the controller. Hooking up your phone to the view is much simpler than ever. You only need to open up the front latch, drop the phone with the screen facing the lense and then close everything up and secure it with an elastic band. You then tighten the headband and slip the daydream view over your head while making the necessary adjustments.

 

Display

To sandwich a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL phone between the Daydream front flap and lenses is incredibly simple and secure. The display is limited to 1080p Full HD display, but the 5-inch Google Pixel screen looks alright for general use. However, the 5.5-inch Google Pixel XL has a Quad HD display giving it a better look. Mobile VR makes a better case for 4k phone displays due to their higher resolution. The gadget comes with a tiny remote control making the 360-degree games a better experience.

The controller emulator app allows the user to use second Android phone in the place of a controller, just in case you don’t have access to one. To comfortably use the emulator, you must have a spare phone running the KitKat version and above.

google daydream photo

Photo by pestoverde

Phone Compatibility

Daydream is ready to work with your Android phone. The gadget is smart, powerful and build to explore the world, and gives you an easy way to experience 360-degree games, panoramic photos, and videos in an amazing way. Its biggest difference with other controllers is the integration of a controller. The high-quality VR experiences and motion controller makes VR immerse. On the con side, not many apps are available yet. Many Daydream phones are coming but are not here yet.

Not all phones are compatible with Daydream headset though. Only devices with hardware that meet specific Google-determined criteria are eligible to work with it. Google made those requirements public in its community specifying the minimum hardware specifications for the most recent version of Android. Devices must have a 1080p screen and measure between 4.7 inches to 6 inches diagonally.

 

Daydream Software

Google announced that the latest version of its Android mobile operating system – the Android Nougat is optimized for applications. This operating system will be fine-tuned for performance and responsiveness to work with the daydream system. Third-party support for it will be robust. It appears several apps have already hit the Play Store market including apps such as CNN VR Hunters Gate, Fantastic Beats, Turning Forest among others.

As good as the controller may be, it may not be able to come close concerning precision as compared to the most precise systems such as HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR. Another downside is that the VR apps and games will drain your battery quicker than any other application. Google says there will be about 50 Daydream VR apps and games available in its Google play app store. However, these apps are far less than the 150+ apps and games found on Samsung’s Gear VR.

google daydream photo

Photo by Dushan and Miae

The Experience

You can travel through space, play games, get front-row seats and put yourself in action. Daydream gives you some of the ‘best experiences the world has to offer. You can explore new worlds by visiting famous museums, away cities, planets and beyond. You can turn the headset into a personal cinema. In that way, you shall be able to watch movies on big virtual screens and experience the best of what sports and concerts can offer. In terms of gaming, you are not left aside. You can fly through space using an intuitive controller that puts you in action.

 

Verdict

Daydream is built for virtual worlds. Its power comes from apps and games designed and built by an active community of Google developers. The gadget is affordable, portable and easy to set up. The bundled motion controller is easy to use and quite convenient. On the bad side, it only works with Google Pixel at the moment. The headset is a bit front-heavy and may need adjustment from time to time. Also, there is limited app selection at launch. However, the bottom line is that Google Daydream is the simplest and most affordable way to turn a phone into an excellent VR headset.