The awareness of virtual reality is at an all-time high, with people excited about the technology and the future it holds. But many just cannot afford an expensive PC setup that is required to run the powerful capabilities required for a true, immersive VR experience. Gamers and VR newcomers without access to this hardware have been waiting for an untethered all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. Luckily, there are multiple all-in-one VR headsets on the market right now. These headsets are completely wireless, meaning they do not need a PC to power them nor do they need a phone to slide into it. Here are our picks for the best ones:
The Oculus Quest is Oculus' first all-in-one VR gaming system. The headset offers a premium virtual reality experience, comparable to that of PC-tethered VR devices. The headset was announced last year at Oculus Connect 5 with an upcoming launch time of Spring 2019. This conveniently coincides with Facebook F8, which is being held in San Jose, CA on April 30 + May 1, 2019. It is likely that during these dates that the pre-orders will open for the Quest. The device will sell for $399 USD. Oculus Quest is the final piece of the puzzle that will complete the first generation of Oculus Products.
The Oculus Go is the first standalone VR headset manufactured by Oculus. With a relatively affordable price and little setup needed, the Oculus Go is perfect for first-time users of virtual reality.
- Oculus controller: includes a trigger, trackpad, and various buttons.
- Sound: there are built-in headphones, but users may also choose to use their own headphones.
- Oculus content platform: users have access to hundreds of games and apps offered by Oculus.
- Adjustable strap: for more comfort.
Pros and Cons
This all-in-one virtual reality headset is available at the manufacturer starting price of $199 USD for the 32 GB model, and $249 USD for the 64 GB model (see on Amazon).
Lenovo Mirage Solo
The Lenovo Mirage Solo is a standalone VR headset by Lenovo in collaboration with Google. Lenovo, the manufacturer, is based in China. This standalone VR headset is compatible with Google's Daydream VR platform. Daydream boasts a wide range of existing content. The Mirage Solo features 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, although there is a microSD card slot for users requiring more space.
User reviews for this all-in-one VR headset are quite positive regarding the 75 Hz refresh rate and the quality of the LCD display. The VR community also praises this HMD's positional tracking as well as its battery life. However, users claim that the headset is a bit heavy and bulky.
- Wireless Daydream controller: Lenovo's 3DoF controller features a clickable trackpad and buttons as well as a volume rocker.
- Comfort-oriented design: this headset is designed to fit different face shapes and head proportions. There is also specific load distribution to reduce strain on the front side. It is possible to use this headset with glasses.
- Google WorldSense: the Mirage Solo features a built-in tracking cameras and sensors, for more freedom to move (6DoF).
- Battery life: according to Lenovo, users should be able to use this VR headset for about three hours.
Pros and Cons
The Lenovo standalone VR headset is at the manufacturer price of $400 USD (see on Amazon).
HTC Vive Focus
The HTC VIVE Focus is a standalone VR headset made by HTC, a world-famous technology manufacturer from Taiwan. HTC’s VIVE Focus is one of the first standalone VR headsets to have 6DoF (6 Degrees of Freedom). HTC is famous for their PC tethered counterpart model, the HTC VIVE and HTC VIVE PRO.
VIVE Focus users have access to VIVE Wave, HTC’s open content platform. This platform integrates the content that is already present on the HTC VIVEPORT platform.
- Inside-out 6DoF: this wireless VR headset provides 6 degrees of freedom without the need for external sensors or lighthouses. This is possible thanks to the headset’s dual front cameras.
- 3DoF controller: a Bluetooth controller comes with this virtual reality headset (switching to 6DoF mode is possible).
- Removable leather face cushion: enables users to easily clean the face cushion when necessary.
- microSD card slot: users have the possibility to access up to 2 TB additional storage.
- Built-in microphone and speakers: for more immersion. There is also a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack if users wish to use their own earphones.
2.0 Software Updates
- 6DoF controller mode
- PC VR streaming function
- Basic gesture tracking functionality
- Passenger mode allows for extra battery life
- Additional HTC smartphone-to-headset features
Pros and Cons
The VIVE Focus is available either in Electric Blue or in Almond White for $650. This standalone virtual reality headset comes with a controller.
Pico Interactive Goblin
The Pico Goblin is a standalone VR headset made by Pico Interactive, a manufacturer from China. This all-in-one VR headset connects to the Pico Digital Store- Pico's proprietary content platform, which provides over 70 games. The VEER app also allows users to access hundreds of VR videos.
The Pico Interactive Goblin is praised for its lightweight and comfortable fit, which belies how much hardware is crammed into it. It has a 5.5-inch LCD screen and a 2560 x 1440 resolution, as well as a lighting-fast processor that allows you to seamlessly experience the virtual universe.
- 3DoF controller: this lightweight controller offers users a more intuitive experience.
- Wireless and lightweight: weighing in at 440 grams and requiring no smartphone of PC connection, the Goblin is fully portable.
- Comfort: a cushion surrounds the headset's rim for more comfort.
- Memory: 16 GB of flash memory is available, but users have the possibility to insert a Micro SD card through the headset's speaker or plug in their headphones
Pros and Cons
The standalone VR headset is available at the manufacturer price of $269 USD (see on Amazon).
Pico Interactive Neo
The Pico Neo is a standalone VR headset made by Pico Interactive, a manufacturer from China. This headset is the more high-end version of the aforementioned Pico Goblin. It is also an all-in-one VR headset that connects to the Pico Digital Store- Pico's proprietary content platform, which provides over 70 games. The VEER app also allows users to access hundreds of VR videos.
The Pico Interactive Neo is praised for 6 Degrees of Freedom (movement in all directions) built right into the headset, which enables the user to experience full VR immersion in a totally un-tethered, fully mobile package. It has 2 x 3.5 Inch LCD displays - each with 1440x 1600 screen resolution, delivering a total resolution of 3K and a 90Hz refresh rate, as well as a lighting-fast processor that allows you to seamlessly experience the immersive experience.
- 6DoF (6 Degrees of Freedom): for more freedom to move within a fully mobile VR experience.
- Hand controllers: the Neo’s 6DoF hand controllers communicate with the headset using ultra-sonics.
- 3K resolution and 90Hz refresh rate: these provide a smoother user experience.
- Built-in dual speakers with 3D sound mapping: for a more immersive audio experience.
Pros and Cons
The standalone VR headset comes with two 6DOF controllers and is available at the manufacturer price of $749 USD.
DPVR M2 PRO
The DPVR M2 PRO is a standalone virtual reality headset made by DPVR, a manufacturer from China formerly known as Deepoon. Therefore, users also search for this product under the name "Deepoon M2 PRO".
- Wi-Fi connectivity: allows users to access online VR content such as games and movies.
- Fast charging: it takes less than two hours to fully charge the headset’s battery.
- Low latency: the M2 PRO provides an image latency of 15 milliseconds.
Pros and Cons
This VR headset is available at the manufacturer price of $590 USD.
GenBasic Quad HD
The GenBasic Quad HD is a standalone virtual reality headset made by GenBasic, a manufacturer based in the US.
This all-in-one VR headset runs on Android 5.1, but it’s also possible to plug it into any PC or gaming console via HDMI. There are buttons on top of the headset to control the device and navigate through VR content.
User reviews are negative regarding the lack of comfort and limited game compatibility.
- Standalone and plug-and-play: the Quad HD is compatible with the Google Play Store and its many VR applications. It is also possible to plug it into any device with an HDMI cable, and therefore to access more platforms. However, according to users, not many games are compatible with this VR headset.
- Built-in headphones: for a more immersive VR experience.
- Compatible with additional controllers: this headset is compatible with most third-party controllers.
- Blue-light filter: enables a more safe and comfortable experience for the user.
Pros and Cons
This standalone VR headset is available at the price of $199 (see on Amazon).
By Brandon Kerman
Base Reality, LLC