The best VR headsets for 2018: all the information, comparative and prices
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Virtual Reality headsets

Guide 2018

What Virtual Reality headset should I buy in 2018?

2018 has come with great news for the market of augmented and mixed reality devices. That’s why it’s time to update our Guide of virtual reality headset 2017 with the most interesting models that have seen the light in recent months.
THE CABLE IS DEAD, LONG LIFE TO THE STANDALONE DEVICES
If last year we basically talked about projects and prototypes aimed at eliminating the annoying cable that connected our glasses, now we can say that, definitely the era of cable has been left behind. And by the way, there is another death announced:  the glasses-smartphone marriage, but that’s another story.
The main protagonists of this year are standalone devices and the great novelty is the democratization of prices. From now on, those who do not have VR glasses will be because they do not want to.
These are the five models, in our opinion, most outstanding of the first semester of the year:

OCULUS GO

The expected device from Facebook’s company was slow to arrive (Zuckerberg announced its release to the market earlier this year), but after a few months of uncertainty, on May 1 went on sale simultaneously in several countries.
Oculus Go is a device called to evangelize mass users for the VR cause; perhaps not so much for its benefits that, although worthy, are far from the best in the market, as for its price, which will be affordable for almost all pockets (In Spain only costs € 218, taxes included).
oculus-go-vr-zuckerberg
The last member of the Oculus family is a standalone device that, unlike similar competitors, like the Samsung Gear, does not need a mobile phone to act as a processor, which is already integrated directly into the hardware. We will only need access to a wiffi network and our mobile phone to configure the glasses for the first time.
The Go is a lightweight glasses-less than half a kilo, strong-looking, comfortable and quite intuitive to use thanks to the manual control included in the kit.
Its main limitation is that there is not system of space cracking, what makes that we only have 3 degrees of freedom (DoF), and therefore we can not approach, move away or bend, just move our head from left to right and above down.
Oculus-MobileRegarding the quality of the image, one of the elements that most rumors had unleashed before its official presentation, it must be said that Oculus has approved more than with note this subject. It has an LCD screen with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,449 pixels (WQHD) and a pixel density of 538ppp that provides a very remarkable image quality.
One of the most curious elements is the spatial sound, located at the beginning of the elastic band, which provides an immersive sensation well achieved.
Our opinion is that the Oculus Go are worthwhile (we already have ours). The relation quality price is insurmountable right now and it is clear that they have been conceived to take control of the market of the big consumption.
If you are new and want to enter the VR world or if you are looking for a model with which to enjoy your virtual leisure, these are the glasses you need.
Advantage
• Standalone (Totally independent of a Smartphone or a PC)
• Great value for the price
• Comfort
• The entire Samsung Gear catalog (more than 1000 applications)
Disadvantages
• Does not have 6 degrees of freedom
• Battery life: About 3 hours at full capacity and a full charge time slightly longer than two and a half hours.
Price
32 Gb: 219€
64 Gb: 269€
Official web

HTC VIVE FOCUS

We continue talking about standalone devices and rumors that have finally materialized. For some time it has been speculating that HTC, the company that probably best immersive experiences have offered so far, prepared a cable-free device that has finally seen the light. Although currently only available in China, in Europe we will have to wait until the end of May, although they can already be booked from the official website of the company.
The Focus are located halfway between the original Vive and the Google DayDream. The most interesting is that they have a system of integrated motion sensors, which allow the user to move without having to have other external sensors. But you have to take into account that it does not map the room, so it is highly recommended to remove the vases from the room when you use them.
HTC-Vive-Focus-Con-fondo
Regarding the external appearance, we have a quite bulky and heavier casing than other similar devices, which leads to a somewhat uncomfortable feeling when you spend a while interacting with it.
Its main value is that it has 6 degrees of freedom, which allows us more freedom of movement, such as moving forward or crouching on the scene. The bad thing is that the command has only 3 degrees, so it captures only the rotation, not the position, which can sometimes lead to a strange feeling that does not convince us. The AMOLED screen offers high resolution viewing.
The processor is much more limited than the HTC, as it is the Snapdragon 835, the chip that phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, although in the tests we have done the operation has been quite optimal.
Nuestra valoración es que estamos ante un dispositivo interesante, pero que con la aparición de las Oculus Go, parece un tanto abocado a quedarse en tierra de nadie; a medio camino entre los dispositivos low cost y los de alta calidad.
Es difícil hablar de un cliente objetivo para las Focus, ya que los usuarios más experimentados o profesionales van a seguir demandando mayores prestaciones que las que ofrece. Por el contrario, aquellos que quieren adquirir su primer dispositivo VR los 685€, precio al que se oferta actualmente en la web, probablemente les desanimará a escoger este modelo. Además cuenta con un catálogo de contenidos, el Vive Port, más limitado que otras propuestas.  
Advantage
• Standalone
• 6 Grados de libertad, lo que permite movernos por la escena
Disadvantages
• The command has only 3 degrees of freedom
• Housing too bulky, somewhat uncomfortable and too “plastic” looking
Price
685€ (Presale now available, first shipments from the end of May 2018)
Official website

PICO NEO VR

A step higher, in terms of performance and possibilities, within the category standalone, are the Pico Neo VR, which offer absolute positioning, and not only with the glasses, also with the controls.
A very interesting product to experience virtual reality in a completely immersive way, without the need for computers, telephones or external sensors. Pico Neo are in general terms a very complete product, although apparently more oriented to the professional sector than to a mass audience. In fact, its website, for now, limits the sale of devices to companies. Its price, of about 600 $, also places it in this line.
Pico-Neo-VR
The new model of the Chinese brand have two front cameras to track. There is also the possibility of acquiring the controls with 3DoF or with 6DoF, being without a doubt the second option the most interesting (although according to their website they are currently sold out).
The curious thing is the control-gafa communication system through ultrasound. In the tests we did the operation was quite correct, although sometimes the command did not follow the movement of the hand in real time.
The high quality of vision is another positive point. With a 3K resolution in LCD viewfinders with a resolution of 1440 x 1600 and a refresh rate of 90Hz.
The adjustment to the head is quite different from other glasses, and perhaps not the most comfortable, since instead of ribbons it has a kind of plastic headband that is adjusted by pressing two buttons.
The audio, as we saw in the Oculus Go, is integrated into the same device, although its quality leaves a lot to be desired and is an element to improve in future updates of this model.
Pico-Neo-VR2One of its main problems is the scarcity of content, much more limited than in the rest of brands. If we also take into account that many of these contents are not designed to be experienced in 6 degrees of freedom, the great added value provided by this camera will not be of much use to us.
Our assessment is that it is a very interesting glasses but we get the impression that, like the HTC Vive Focus, have been located in a somewhat diffuse field between the demands that are required to high-end devices for more professionals and glasses of mass consumption, where the price and contents are a more effective call than the degrees of freedom.
Advantage
• Standalone
• 6 degrees of freedom, in glasses and control
• Two integrated cameras that perform tracing well
• High vision resolution
Disadvantage
• To some users the case could be heavy and sometimes uncomfortable
• Very high price
• The version of the 3GoF control is not worth it
• Very limited content
Price
$599 (At the moment, sale limited to companies, not individuals)
Website
Official web

LENOVO MIRAGE  SOLO

Google and Lenovo have also seen a niche business in the standalone eyewear sector, so they have partnered to create the first fully independent Daydream virtual reality (VR) glasses.
The Lenovo Mirage Solo features a Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64Gb, expandable to 256 with an external Micro SD card. As Pico Neo has two cameras integrated in the front to map the space around us.
lenovo-mirage-solo
Despite this advance in the possibilities of the glasses with respect to the previous DayDream model, the manual control is still only 3 degrees of freedom, which, as we pointed out when talking about the HTC Vive Focus represents a problem, since it limits the Immersion sensation.
Unlike other devices such as Pico Neo or Oculus Go, whose sound system is integrated into the housing itself, the Mirage Solo have opted for the traditional system based on connecting some type of headset to the glasses.
In addition, the device counts as a companion with the Mirage Camera dual lens camera (sold separately at a price of € 300). Its mission is to capture photos and video in 3D format – but not 360º surround – so that it can be enjoyed with all its depth in the VR Mirage Solo viewer.
The helmet is comfortable and the vision is quite good with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 px and a refresh rate of 75Hz, although they are not too compact glasses (not to mention their weight close to 650 grams).
Regarding the contents, it has a quite extensive and interesting catalog, although again we are faced with the difficulty of finding experiences that are compatible with the 6 degrees of freedom offered by the Mirage Solo to get the most out of it, although we are sure that it will be a matter of time.
Our assessment is that it is a device with a lot of potential, but its price of about € 400 practically doubles that of the Oculus Go, which cost € 219, offering a similar experience. We will have to wait for the next versions to see if they are better suited to the needs of the market.
Advantage
• 6 degrees of freedom in the glasses
• Expandable memory via microSD
• Two integrated cameras that perform tracing well
• High vision resolution
• Comfortable helmet
Disadvantages
• Control of only 3 degrees
• Does not have integrated audio system
• Very high price
• The version of the 3GoF control is not worth it
• Very limited content
Price
399$ (In Europe it is not yet available)
Official web

OTHER 2017 MODELS 

Although in this article we have focused exclusively on the new devices that have come to light in this 2018, we can not ignore those that, although being from 2017, are still interesting products and in many cases remain at the top of the list. This year’s sales list. This is the case of Samsung Gear with control or Play Station VR, whose reviews you can read in this article.


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