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Dlodlo's V1 promises VR in a slim form factor (hands-on)

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Jacob Krol/CNET

Dlodlo, pronounced "dodo", is the latest company entering the virtual reality market. The Shenzhen, China-based company showed off its new device, the Dlodlo V1, at an event in New York City on Monday.

While this was the first time that working models were available for demos, the device has been teased for quite sometime. Dlodlo is looking to change the VR landscape with its new and lightweight headset. Current VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are bulky and require being tethered to an expensive computer, but the Dlodlo V1 resembles a large pair of sunglasses and can be powered by your smartphone.

The headset weighs only 3.1 ounces, or about half the weight of an iPhone 6S Plus, and can be folded to fit in your pocket. While the design and hardware showed promise from afar, actual usage fell short of my expectations.

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Jacob Krol/CNET

The glasses feature a 2,400x1,200-pixel resolution display in front of each eye, which is equivalent to over 800 pixels per inch, and has a 105-degree field of view. Yet, my experience certainly didn't look like 2K -- images, videos and gameplay appeared blurry and not as sharp as on an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or even the Samsung Gear VR. We tested early production models, though, so there is a possibility the display will improve.

The V1's design also fell short. There is no strap on the back, and I had to use my hands to make sure the glasses wouldn't fall off. Similar to the LG 360 VR, light leakage was a serious issue. There was light coming in from the top and even more so on the bottom, which removed me from the immersive experience and made it harder to concentrate on the screen.

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Jacob Krol/CNET

Along with the headset, Dlodlo is releasing a small device that resembles a chunky iPod Touch. The Dlodlo D1 is a WiFi-only device that is used to power the V1, although it will also work with smartphones and computers. The device is equipped with a quad-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery, which the company said will give you up to two hours of a continuous VR usage.

Dlodlo's marketing materials show the headset by itself, however this isn't entirely accurate. The headset isn't wireless and does require a cord to be connected to the device powering it, whether that be the D1, a smartphone or a computer.

The Dlodlo V1 will be available for $559 (which converts to about £430 and AU$730) as part of a Kickstarter campaign that is slated to begin in coming weeks. A developer edition will begin shipping in October. Pricing and release information wasn't announced for the Dlodlo D1, and it remains unclear if it will come bundled with the V1 headset.

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Dlodlo Glass V1

Part Number: CNETDlodlo Glass V1

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