Standalone VR comes to Google's Daydream world.
If you're interested in VR without any PC or phone needed, Google's new headset made by Lenovo might be of interest: the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream.
The Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is not a name that rolls off the tongue.
Along with the Lenovo Mirage Camera, a $300 180-degree 3D point-and-shoot, the two products are part of Google's next-step VR visions.
The Mirage Solo is $399, which is twice the price of the Oculus Go.
You can peer into VR worlds, anywhere. And you can even move around a bit, taking a few steps.
But not too many: this is the amount of space you can freely wander using the headset's built-in tracking.
The Mirage Solo comes with a headset, a USB-C charger, headphones, and a controller.
The Mirage Camera (seen in the center) is sold separately, but 3D 180-degree videos and photos can be seen in the Mirage Solo if you own both.
The two fish-eye cameras in the headset can track the world and add extra tracking (called 6DOF) to VR, like PC-connected Microsoft VR headsets do.
The included controller is a letdown: It's the same as you'd get with the Daydream View VR goggles sold for Android phones.
I can duck down in Mirage Solo VR apps that support the extra motion, something you can't do with the Oculus Go.
It's a bulky headset, bigger than the Go.
The visor can be tightened, and reduced VR goggle-face.
Volume buttons, and a headphone jack. The Mirage Solo doesn't have speakers for headphone-free listening (the Oculus Go does).
A button on the bottom moves the headset closer and further from your face for comfort.
A knob on the back tightens the fit.
The visor part won't detach from the goggle part, making it hard to pack for travel.
It's a lot less likely to leave my home (or office).
The Snapdragon 835 processor, LCD display and 64GB of onboard storage all come inside. There's also expandable storage thanks to a microSD card slot (the Oculus Go doesn't have that).
It charges via USB-C.
So does the controller.
It runs Daydream apps just like Daydream View VR headsets do, all self-contained. Google Play is there. But not all apps support the extra motion tracking (60 by end of year, per Google).
Next to the Google Daydream View, which works with some Android phones (right), the Lenovo Mirage Solo (left) is big.
The Mirage Solo (left) next to the Oculus Go (right): it's bulkier.
Some games are great.
The remote has a clickable touchpad, volume buttons, and motion tracking like a Wii remote or Apple TV remote.
But the remote's tracking accuracy isn't the same as the headset's.
A view from the back.
Google and Lenovo hope the headset is used for longer periods of time. I played for half an hour at a time, no problem.
But who is this headset for?
Daydream VR fans might find it too expensive.
It's not as easy to set up as the Oculus Go.
It's a sign of where VR is heading, though, but next year's VR headsets will probably have even better, larger-scale room tracking.
The Mirage Solo can connect to Google Cast to a TV. I tried that out here so you can see what I'm seeing.
Me in Blade Runner: Revelations, which was cool. (Resolution looks lower here because the stream sometimes got choppy, but to me it looked great).
A look at the app dashboard.
Browsing art in Google Arts and Culture.
Throwing snowballs in a VR game shows how the controller isn't anywhere near as motion-accurate as PC or console VR.
BBC's animated tour of Earth has some lovely direction. I follow an otter, and can dip my head beneath the waves.
You can look at pictures of your kids in VR with Google Photos, which is weird.
YouTube is a great Daydream VR killer app, with an infinity of content.
Google Street View has some impressive 360-degree spaces that feel like Google Earth.
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