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Homido VR Headset is a big plastic step above Google Cardboard

Virtual Reality headsets have been making waves for months now, giving us a new way to experience our games and apps. Headsets allow you to dive all the way in, without holding up a unit to your face, so it's no wonder people have been clamoring for them. If you've been hoping for a great headset that's compatible with plenty of phones and has access to the many Google Cardboard apps out there, but isn't made of actual cardboard, there aren't as many options.

Homido is one such option, and the company is offering more than just a plastic shell for those interested.

Homido and carrying case

Homido Virtual Reality Headset comes in a nice semi-soft carrying case, to keep everything safe and away from dust when you aren't using it. Right off the bat, this is a fantastic move, since we haven't seen many carrying cases for Cardboard units, or for the newer Gear VR. It could be argued that Carboard made of cardboard doesn't need a case, but if you've ever accidentally sat on one of Google's phone sleeves you know that's not always true. Inside the case you'll find the plastic headset itself, two bands to attach it to your head, a cleaning cloth, and special lens cones for near sighted or far sighted users. The first thing that you are going to notice when you pull it out and set it up, is just how small this headset actually is. It's the same size as a cardboard unit in height and width, but is a fair bit deeper.

At the top of Homido, you'll see some vents to help keep the lenses from fogging, along with a red scroll wheel. If you move it one way or the other, this will move the lenses inside Homido closer together, or further apart. On both the left and the right side of the headset there is a small red and black knob. Turning these will expand the viewing space inside the headset. The side knobs, consequently, should both be turned at the same time since each one only moves that side of the viewing space. It uses a two strap design similar to the Gear VR Innovator Edition, with Homido branding on the lower strap. The front of the headset has Homido branding as well across the clip that your phone fits into.

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Homido view space

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Homido right side

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Homido top

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Homido bottom

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Homido in carrying case

Using VR headsets while wearing glasses has been an iffy process at best. That's actually one of the really awesome parts about the Homido Virtual Headset. They made a real effort to make sure that those of us who wear glasses could still use their product. Allowing a deeper viewing space, adjusting the distance between the two lenses, and giving consumers the Near and Far-sighted lens cones made it much easier to use the headset without having your glasses on. The cones sit over the lenses, so to switch out for one set of cones or another you do actually have to pop the lens out and adjust the correct cone over it before putting it back into the headset. It's actually very easy to do, we promise.

If all you want to do is access Google Cardboard apps, your work is finished. Load an app and go nuts. To use Homido's extra features, the first thing you need to do is download and install the Homido Center app from the Google Play Store. This app works as a home base for all Homido apps. It's designed well with featured apps available up and center, or an exhaustive menu found by tapping the icon in the upper left corner. You can browse by type of app you're looking for, see new apps, even bookmark the ones that catch your eye so they can be found again easily. Homido Center works as a great hub for finding the great VR content, and when you tap to purchase an app it will open in the Play Store. Everything worked very easily, making this a great hub for finding and using VR apps and experiences.

Smaller folks won't have any issues, but if you're not tinythere is a serious concern that your nose will be too big for the viewer.

After you have Homido Center installed, you just need to download your VR app of choice and you're nearly ready to go. From there you need to pull open the clip located at the front of Homido Virtual Reality Headset, and slide your phone inside. Getting your phone to sit correctly inside the headset is a bit of a hassle at the get go since there aren't many markers to show where your phone should precisely sit. That's because Homido is made to be compatible with as many phones as possible, and that means both Android and iOS devices. Once you are set up though, all you have to do is put the headset on and enjoy yourself.

One of the biggest drawbacks to the Homido Virtual Reality Headset is actually it's size. Smaller folks won't have any issues but if you're not tiny there is a serious concern that your nose will be too big for the viewer. Mostly this is a comfort concern, being able to use the headset for more than a few minutes before things get awkward is kind of important if you're going to be spending more than you would for a more traditional Cardboard experience.

Homido Carrying case

So the question that has to be asked, is whether a VR headset with only slightly more function than Cardboard is worth the price tag. If you're an individual who wears glasses, the added lens cones, and ability to customize the depth and width of lenses can really make up that price tag. Especially because we just haven't seen this approach to users with less than stellar vision previously. It's also a very sturdy design, with plastic, which means dropping it isn't the end of the world — although we'd suggest not dropping it with your phone inside for obvious reasons. Having a well built headset that is compatible with plenty of phones means spending money, but at more than twice the cost of Mattel's View-Master VR it's a big ask. The added software Homido puts in here accounts for a fair bit of this added cost, but in the end it's a tough call to make.

VR definitely has a future with apps, experiences, and videos, and if you're looking for something a little more than Cardboard than Homido might be an option worth considering. Compact, compatible with plenty of devices, and easy to use. Will you be checking Homido Virtual Reality Headset, or has another VR headset already won your heart? Let us know in the comments!

€85 from Homido

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

  • bought from mobilefun. nothing amazing but its sure better than googles
  • Could you write a guide on the best vr headsets? Posted via the Android Central App
  • " It uses a two strap design similar to the Gear VR Innovator Edition" The GearVR Consumer edition also has a top strap, I'm not sure why nobody uses it. It makes a huge difference for comfort.
  • I have the innovator edition for my Note 4, and it has and uses a top strap. Your comment says it doesn't have it. The innovative and the consumer editions have the same head straps. The innovative edition had a better caring case that the consumer edition has.
  • I think you misread my comment. I never said the innovator GearVR lacked the top strap, I simply said that the consumer GearVR ALSO has it. The innovator and consumer GearVR do not have the exact same top strap, the innovator has that white (plastic?) piece, while the consumer GVR has a regular strap on top, same as the horizontal strap. Also, the innovator GearVR DOES INDEED have a better carrying case for the GearVR, because the consumer version of the GearVR has NO case at all. ;)
  • This looks like a great way to experience some Cardboard-type apps, but after trying the GearVR, you'll never waste your time on Cardboard again. Also, the GearVR has a full store of special games, apps, videos, etc. that is run by Oculus.
  • I have both and the Homido optics are far superior to those in the Gear VR where they seem almost to be an afterthought. The Homido has adjustable IPD which the Gear VR does not. For Cardboard app viewing, choose the Homido.
  • Buy a Gear VR instead (if you have the right phone). You can access the Oculus store AND use it for regular cardboard vr stuff. This looks like a nice piece of kit for people with non Samsung phones though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I actually think you should go with the HomidoVR over the Gear VR personally. Some of this depends on your head shape and phone, and I couldn't ever get used to the Gear and had to purchase an HomidoVR. I agree with Codius that some phones may be better on Gear, but I would go with the HomidoVR if I were you.
  • I recently started researching headsets and this one made the short list, but I haven't made a purchase yet. I'm not terribly interested in VR and only marginally interested in 3D, thus the Oculus and other things currently making a splash at CES don't hold much sway for me, especially at $500 or more. All I really want is to be able to watch movies (2D is fine) or TV that I've loaded onto my phone, tablet, or USB in privacy while on long flights. What would be the best, most affordable option? I have an LG G3 and am not binning it just to get all of Samsung's kit.
  • I just purchased a Samsung Gear VR with a gift card I received for Christmas, and I could not be happier. And at $99 it's a cheap way to experience VR. The only hitch is that you have to have a compatible device from Samsung. The gear VR is awesome. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Gear VR is currently the best mobile headset on the market but ONLY if you have one of the four compatible late-model Samsung smartphones. It also has a very small selection of apps, though for movie-watchers, it does have Netflix and a virtual reality Web browser where you can watch other videos on a giant virtual screen. In my opinion, the best alternative on the market today is the Baofeng Mojing 3 (number 4 just came out, but I haven't tried it yet). It's got a similar look-and-feel as the Gear VR, but works with ALL phones, and runs all the Google Cardboard apps, and comes with a remote controller. It doesn't have the extra built-in electronics that the Gear VR has, but, on the plus side, it costs half as much. Look for it on Amazon, GearBest, or AliExpress. I find the field of view and image quality of the Baofeng Mojing to be excellent, the headset is light weight, the lenses are adjustable, AND it fits over your glasses. Plus it has one of the easiest-to-use smartphone holders on the market - just flip open the translucent front panel, put your phone on the little shelf, and snap the front panel closed.
  • Maria, thanks for the tip on the Baofeng Mojing 3. It looks like version 3 is better for VR, while their Storm II is better for watching movies. I have a Star Wars Cardboard viewer, and the much nicer but fatally flawed VR Box. The VR Box is comfortable to wear, but holds the phone too far away so you see the edges of the phone. I may end up making straps for the Cardboard unit or modifying the VR Box, but I'll probably give the Baofeng a try.
  • Samsung dropped the ball on the carrying case and cleaning cloth... Shame shame Via the Android Central App on my S6 edge
  • Yes !! VR Headsets Has been revolution in terms of visual effects companies like Google & Oculus VR Headset has taken to new level and I believe next level of technology would be far better than 2015. It' s been craze and gadget potential has been drastically increased from level to level and technology from strength to strength