HolidayBuyer's Guide

​LeEco's Explore VR is yet another VR headset we probably don't need

Another company throws a VR headset at the wall.

For a hot five seconds, Chinese tech company LeEco showed a VR headset at its debut US press conference.

From there, well, it's anyone's guess.

The Explore VR has USB-C, "lag-free" VR, and LeEco promises that it's "not a VR headset." But it is a VR headset.

The headset has a large, overhead band that attaches instead of an elastic strap. It's a phone-connected VR headset, where the phone drops into the front. (Presumably, the phone will be at least one of new LeEco phones, the LePro 3 and Le S3, that LeEco also announced at today's event.) The Explore VR works with Bluetooth headphones, something many phone-based VR headset makers don't recommend.

If LeEco is making a superior VR headset, it better work with a display that has superior resolution and no lag...and it needs superior software, something LeEco, of course, didn't spend a second on. Alcatel's recent attempt at a VR headset, for instance, was pretty bad.

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Will the Explore VR be better than the many alternatives?

Photo by James Martin/CNET

Excuse me for my impatience, but making a pair of goggles with lenses is the easy part. What VR needs to prove is how well it works, and how much people can use it. LeEco announcing a VR headset randomly, with no additional details, is the sort of thing that can turn VR from a promising industry into a landscape of me-too commodity products.

Unless, of course, it's good.

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