It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed anything techy, so I leapt at the opportunity to try the Utopia 360° Elite Edition VR Headset with HD Stereo Headphones. Virtual reality is something that’s really taken off over the last few years and has been used in advertising and even featured in music videos.
I’ve used Google Cardboard at work when testing panoramas created by the software, but of course one of its main uses is for gaming. There are plenty of games you can buy from the App Store or Play store, many of which are free!
Setting up the VR headset is easy and there are bits you can twiddle to adjust it for your comfort. These include the back of the halo band to make it a better fit for your head, as well as focal length adjustment. With one for each eye, it helps you to get the correct focus, bearing in mind that your phone is a good couple of inches away from your eyes. This is probably a good time to mention that it would be better to use this with contact lenses if you need visual correction. However, I have managed to use it fairly comfortably with glasses on, it depends on your frame I suppose!
There is also an ‘interpupillary distance wheel’ so that you can modify the distance between the lenses. As someone who has worked in optics, I appreciate that this can make a big difference to your viewing comfort as well as the quality. My husband’s pupils are a good 10mm wider apart than mine are, so it’s great that we can adjust this.
Speaking of my husband, he had a much larger than average head (he can never find hats to fit). However, I have passed this on and as such this may be taken into consideration in the future. Most people shouldn’t have this issue though and the ventilated cushioning at the back of the band feels very comfortable.
It’s really easy to fit the phone into the front of it, as the phone cradle opens and grips the phone either side. This stops the phone from sliding around and prevents buttons from being pressed by mistake. It’s best to remove any screen covers or protectors on your phone at this point, to ensure the best clarity. This phone cradle is described as universal. According to the bottom of the box, the phone should have a maximum height of 6.3 inches and be between 2.3 and 3.15 inches in width. My Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge fits very well in it. There is a headphone jack that folds out and plugs into your phone if you’re using the headphones (which are detachable in case you’re not). It has a built in microphone and volume controls. Meanwhile, the controller connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
This VR headset feels well designed and I like the shape of the controller. Perhaps it feels like it could have been built a bit sturdier, though. As you’d expect from the HD optical resin lenses, the clarity is very good. The field of view is pretty good too. I didn’t have to turn my head as much as I thought I’d have to. I’ve played games including paintball and swam with turtles, which was amazing and I felt so much more relaxed afterwards!
The sound quality of the headphones was good and you also get a one year warranty. This would make a good Christmas gift for someone and be good entertainment when travelling. In the UK it’s available from Dixons Travel and WHSmith Travel.
Oh, also, this video of it in action is pretty awesome!
Have you ever tried a virtual reality headset? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Disclosure: I was kindly sent a Utopia 360° Elite Edition VR Headset with HD Stereo Headphones to try out for the purpose of this review. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.