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Mobile Accessories

Meet the SVR Glass headset, a cheaper Galaxy Gear VR

This Chinese virtual reality headset will fit any phone with screen sizes ranging from 4.7 to 6 inches and it costs under $50.

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The SVR Glass works with most phones with screen sizes ranging from 4.7 to 6 inches. Aloysius Low/CNET

SHANGHAI -- When it comes to Chinese products, most people expect to find cheap knock-offs and designs that look remarkably similar to branded ones. So it should be no surprise to most that the SVR Glass virtual reality headset from Chinese company SnailVR would look like the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Gear VR.

Priced at 299 yuan (about $50, £30, AU$60), it's a fraction of the cost of the $199 Galaxy Gear. The SVR Glass also supports a wider range of devices -- not just Samsung phones, like the Galaxy Gear. The SVR Glass will support any phone with a 4.7-inch to 6-inch screen. You'll just need to download the SVR app and slide the phone into the headset before you're all ready to go.

Like the Gear VR, the SVR Glass supports a 96-degree viewing angle, though the quality of what you're watching will really depend on your phone. A 4.7-inch 720p display won't look as good as a full-HD resolution screen.

If you're near-sighted, fret not. The SVR Glass lenses can be adjusted for near-sightedness, though there's really no indicator to let you know how much you need to turn the focus ring. It's touch and go, but when I tried it without my glasses, things appeared pretty sharp (though I can't say the same for the poor quality display of the test phone).

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Short-sighted? No worries. Aloysius Low/CNET

The build quality isn't quite as polished as the more expensive Gear VR, so don't get your hopes up. I found it too plasticky in general, and it felt more like a cheap toy than the refined-looking gadget shown on the SVR Glass website.

Content-wise, the app comes with a whole bunch of ready-made videos you can download, though the iOS version of the app it seems to be missing movies, based on screenshots shown on the SVR website. The Android app (which is not in the Play Store) may offer a different experience.