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Up close with Google's updated Daydream View

How does it compare to the original? Check out these side-by-side photos.

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James Martin
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1 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

Google's new Daydream View is here -- a headset that unlocks the VR powers of (some) Android phones! It's actually more expensive at $100, £100 or AU$150, but it's got a revamped design that makes it one of the most comfortable VR headsets we've tried. 

Let's take a tour.

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2 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

For starts, you might notice a new top strap -- this really helps to distribute the weight and make the headset feel less front-heavy. Which is good when we're talking about a phone pulling down on your face.

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3 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

There's also a new loop in back (with little rubber retainers) to hold the included motion controller.

Google Daydream VR
4 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

The big news is all in this photo though: Way, way bigger lenses for a wider field of view, and (can you see it?) a magnesium heatsink built into the lid to help remove heat from your phone. 

Google Daydream VR
5 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

The headset also comes in this coral color. 

But let's get down to business with some head to head photos between the old and new Daydream View headsets. Next slide!

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6 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

New Daydream View on the right, old Daydream View on the left. You can definitely see that magnesium heatsink in this photo, compared to the solid plastic lid of the original. 

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7 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

And check out that new fabric texture. Which is to say, it actually has texture. The original feels more like a squishy foam.

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8 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

That third strap really comes in handy -- and it's removable if you want.

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9 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

Check out the difference in lens size. The new lenses are a fresnel design, compared to the aspherical lenses of the original. There's a tradeoff, though: Low-res phones, like the Pixel 2, actually look a little clearer with the old lenses. 

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10 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

The facepad's been redesigned to press more evenly on the face. The old headset (right) had a tendency to dig into my cheekbones.

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11 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

Here's where the controller goes on each model, when it's not in use.

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12 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Daydream View face-off

You can see the new design has more fabric in play.

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13 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Gear VR vs. Daydream View

Here's how the Samsung Gear VR looks next to the Daydream View. I like how the Daydream doesn't use any velcro fasteners. It's all simple sliding strap adjustments.

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14 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

The original Daydream View

The new Daydream View makes the old one feel a little cheap. Here's just one example: the stretchy elastic/fabric tag on the old headset, compared to... (next slide)

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15 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

Here's the new silicone rubber tag you use to keep the new headset's lid secure. See how perfectly it nestles into its groove?

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16 of 20 Josh Miller

The original Daydream View

The controller (here, we're looking at the old Daydream View) has changed slightly too.

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17 of 20 Google

Google Daydream View (2017)

Now, there are more prominent menu and power buttons. Otherwise it's much the same, with the same internals, battery, and USB-C charge port.

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18 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

You can still remove the facepad to wash, or replace it. It also gives you access to the lens assembly, though we're not sure if Google sells replacements there.

Google Daydream VR
19 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

Here's the Charcoal Black color of the new Daydream View.

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20 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Google Daydream View (2017)

Last pic. Just me, or does the new Daydream View look like a duck sticking out its tongue?

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