You are interested in VR (virtual reality) games and/or applications, but you’re not sure if you’re willing to pay for an expensive system like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. You’re probably wondering if there are something out there that can give you a taste of the VR experience without breaking the bank.
Introducing Google Cardboard. From the Google Cardboard website:
“Experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way.”
I couldn’t have said it better. This is a VR system at the $20 or less price point, it’s probably the best deal out there. Just to set your expectation, you will need to bring your own mobile phone (byomp) to project the VR experience. Don’t expect the AAA gaming experience since your mobile phone only has so much graphical capabilities. You can spend long hours with the Google Cardboard gig, but my guess is that you’ll make up your mind whether to get a more expensive VR rig rather quickly. In the Google Cardboard site, they provide all the instruction to create your own Cardboard box for free or you can purchase one from one of the 3rd party manufacturers out there. For today’s review, I will be reviewing Splak’s Google Cardboard. If you’re not a fan of reading, you can watch my review below.
For those of you who prefers reading, the Splak’s Google Cardboard do provide some enhancements to this rig such as:
- Suction cup to provide extra gripping capability on your mobile phone so that it doesn’t accidentally slide off the box
- Nose padding for added comfort
- Big lens for the added VR Experience
- Supports Android and Apple devices (they all support it, but just wanted to put it out there as many of you are probably asking that in your head)
Splak’s Google Cardboard Review
Splak’s Google cardboard came with instruction printed on the rig itself. I know this might be a challenge to some folks, but if you can assemble Ikea furnitures, you can assemble Google Cardboard with no problem. If you happen to run into any issues, watch my video review above and I’ll show you how to put the Google Cardboard together!
Setting up the cardboard took me about 3 minutes or less. I spent more time looking for games and applications to try out. As mentioned, this is an entry level VR system, so your options for games and applications are limited compare to Oculus and Vive.
The headband is attached to velcro so you can adjust the tightness based on the circumference of your head. My first thought when I put the Google Cardboard on my head was the smell of paper. To some people, this might be distracting. It was okay for me since I didn’t mind the smell of paper. I have a medium-sized nose, the nose bridge fits me just fine. My wife also tried putting on the Google Cardboard and she had to pad it down with additional paper towels since her nose is much more slender than mine. Due to the discomfort of the nose bridge, the rig is not built for long-term gameplay or application use.
My final verdict on the Google Cardboard is that I found out to truly experience VR, I need a dedicated VR system like Oculus or Vive. Having said that, I feel Google Cardboard has helped me answer my question whether VR is right for me without having me to break the bank to find out. It’s really hard to describe what it feels like to be in a VR environment. All I can say is get the Google Cardboard and try it out yourself. I find it very enjoyable with my underpowered mobile phone and you might see a review in the near future on a dedicated VR system. I can’t wait on what VR has to bring in the near future!