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Google's Lenovo-made VR headset stands on its own

Standalone VR comes to Google's Daydream world.

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Scott Stein

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Sarah Tew

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Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
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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.

Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
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The Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is not a name that rolls off the tongue.

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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.

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The Mirage Solo is $399, which is twice the price of the Oculus Go.

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You can peer into VR worlds, anywhere. And you can even move around a bit, taking a few steps.

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But not too many: this is the amount of space you can freely wander using the headset's built-in tracking.

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The Mirage Solo comes with a headset, a USB-C charger, headphones, and a controller.

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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.

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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.

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The included controller is a letdown: It's the same as you'd get with the Daydream View VR goggles sold for Android phones.

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I can duck down in Mirage Solo VR apps that support the extra motion, something you can't do with the Oculus Go.

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It's a bulky headset, bigger than the Go.

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The visor can be tightened, and reduced VR goggle-face.

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Volume buttons, and a headphone jack. The Mirage Solo doesn't have speakers for headphone-free listening (the Oculus Go does).

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A button on the bottom moves the headset closer and further from your face for comfort.

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A knob on the back tightens the fit.

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The visor part won't detach from the goggle part, making it hard to pack for travel.

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It's a lot less likely to leave my home (or office).

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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).

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It charges via USB-C.

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So does the controller.

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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).

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Next to the Google Daydream View, which works with some Android phones (right), the Lenovo Mirage Solo (left) is big.

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The Mirage Solo (left) next to the Oculus Go (right): it's bulkier.

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Some games are great.

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The remote has a clickable touchpad, volume buttons, and motion tracking like a Wii remote or Apple TV remote.

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But the remote's tracking accuracy isn't the same as the headset's.

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A view from the back.

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Google and Lenovo hope the headset is used for longer periods of time. I played for half an hour at a time, no problem.

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But who is this headset for?

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Daydream VR fans might find it too expensive.

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It's not as easy to set up as the Oculus Go.

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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.

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The Mirage Solo can connect to Google Cast to a TV. I tried that out here so you can see what I'm seeing.

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Me in Blade Runner: Revelations, which was cool. (Resolution looks lower here because the stream sometimes got choppy, but to me it looked great).

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A look at the app dashboard.

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Browsing art in Google Arts and Culture.

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Throwing snowballs in a VR game shows how the controller isn't anywhere near as motion-accurate as PC or console VR.

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BBC's animated tour of Earth has some lovely direction. I follow an otter, and can dip my head beneath the waves.

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You can look at pictures of your kids in VR with Google Photos, which is weird.

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YouTube is a great Daydream VR killer app, with an infinity of content.

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Google Street View has some impressive 360-degree spaces that feel like Google Earth.

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