[Test] Google Daydream View - New leader of mobile VR

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Alejandro Crespo Martínez
@alejandrocrespomartinez
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Summary

  • Test Google Daydream View
  • Buy the Google Daydream View at the best price
  • Buy the Google Pixel at the best price
  • Unboxing Google Daydream View
  • Design and Ergonomics of Google Daydream View
  • Comfort of Google Daydream View
  • Getting started with Google Daydream View
  • Google Daydream View graphics
  • Daydream Home vs Oculus Home
  • The Google Daydream View compared to the competition
  • Our opinion on Google Daydream
  • Buy the Google Daydream at the best price
  • Buy the Google Pixel at the best price

Our test of the Google Daydream View, the new mobile virtual reality headset from Google



Google is not at its first attempt in mobile virtual reality. Indeed, the American company has greatly participated in making this new technology known in recent years. In particular with its Google Cardboard, a cardboard, light and accessible VR headset released in 2015 which despite a cruel lack of interactivity constitutes an excellent introduction to virtual reality. The Google Cardboard is this cardboard device that has long been found in trade fairs and events in the hands of companies that have adopted 360 video to promote their activity.

Since then, virtual reality headsets have undergone a marked improvement. Several competitors have entered the smartphone VR market with more advanced devices incorporating electronics: mobile virtual reality headsets. Today, the list of devices is vast and continues to grow, especially in China, a country very active around this new market. The most notable helmets are the Zeiss VR One Plus, Homido V2 and of course the Samsung Gear VR, which culminates in the top of the basket of these consumer helmets.



Test Google Daydream View

Difficult to dethrone the helmet of the Korean manufacturer, knowing that the latter is the result of a partnership with Oculus, to whom modern virtual reality owes. The Google Daydream View, released on November 10 in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom is not yet available in France. As discriminating as its main competitor, the Samsung Gear VR, it is only supposed to work with the manufacturer's smartphone, the Google Pixel (although some compatibility with other models has since been discovered).

So does the Google Daydream View, which has sparked so much excitement, keep its promises? Is it worth paying shipping fees to get your hands on this sporty-looking Google-branded headset? Is the Samsung Gear VR's first place in the mobile VR market threatened. We will try to answer all these questions in this test.

Buy the Google Daydream View at the best price

Buy the Google Pixel at the best price

Unboxing Google Daydream View

The packaging of the Google Daydream View is very sober. White in color, the various information on the box is arranged in an airy manner. Google, certain of its strength, does not have to do much. VSThis type of packaging, not very differentiating, is clearly reminiscent of the one chosen from other manufacturers such as Samsung and Zeiss for their mobile virtual reality headsets.

There is a tab on the side of the packaging. By pulling on it, it reveals a sliding drawer containing the remote control dedicated to Google Daydream View, which is one of the major arguments of this virtual reality headset. Inside the box, you can find your device simply accompanied by a small safety manual and a strap to install on the remote control. Note that the manufacturer did not consider it useful to integrate a micro USB cable to charge the remote control, having probably thought that everyone today was equipped with it.



In summary, in the box of the Google Daydream View:

  • The Google Daydream View headset
  • The Daydream remote control
  • A wrist strap for the remote control
  • A safety manual

Design and Ergonomics of Google Daydream View

If visually, the Google Daydream View does not differ in its packaging, it is different for the headset itself. Indeed, Google's mobile virtual reality headset has an original and recognizable design. The gray version we tried displays a fabric texture. Aesthetically, it comes like a breeze where the majority of helmets on the market opt ​​for a white or black plastic. Pleasant to the touch, the material selected by Google allows you to identify your helmet even without having it in front of you.

To install the Google Pixel in the virtual reality headset, the American company chose the same solution as Homido: that of the valve. It therefore does not follow the same path as its main competitor, the Samsung Gear VR which holds the headset with clamps, nor that of the Zeiss VR One Plus, which is based on a drawer system. But unlike the Homido helmet, the valve is held not by a magnetic system, but by an elastic band connected to an attachment point, which further limit this impression of being in the presence of a high-tech tool and ensure even more the sympathy capital evoked by the Google Daydream View.


The straps, already installed when opening the package, work like those of a shoulder bag. We regret the scratchs, which are usually offered in other helmets, because the adjustment takes longer. Thus, it will take longer to provide VR experiences to several people. Moreover, the Google Daydream View only has a horizontal strap, unlike competitors who offer a vertical one, so that the weight of the device rests as little as possible on the user's nose.



Even if aesthetically, Google's mobile VR headset is attractive, the manufacturer's ideas in terms of ergonomics slightly reduce the accessibility of its product.

Comfort of Google Daydream View

The Google Daydream View, due to the choice of its construction materials, is very light, so you can use it long enough without needing to take a break. It is also very well ventilated, which limits the accumulation of heat and fogging within the helmet.

Nevertheless, some drawbacks tarnish the picture of this virtual reality headset. First, the foam that accommodates the user's face is very stiff compared to other VR headsets, which is quite uncomfortable. In addition, the helmet tends to move when the user turns their head quickly, because no top attachment allows optimal support of the Daydream.

Getting started with Google Daydream View

To begin with, it is necessary to talk about the installation of the Google Daydream View, which completely accompanies the user during his first use.. After downloading the dedicated Daydream Home app, you will be prompted to install some updates. Then, you will need to connect your remote control to your smartphone, by holding the pairing button. Here you are in the DaydreamHome interface. The latter has absolutely nothing to envy to the Oculus interface which until now dominated the market. You will begin an initiatory journey through different landscapes where you will be guided in an interactive and fun way in the discovery of your new virtual reality headset.

The real novelty of the Google Daydream View in the mobile virtual reality market is its remote control. The latter will allow you, using a pointer, to select and interact with the desired elements. Unlike other mobile VR headsets where the user's gaze acts as a pointer, the operation of the remote control is very similar to that of the HTC Vive, even if it does not appear in the device.

On this Daydream controller are a touchpad, an App button, a Home button as well as two volume buttons on the edge. With this user-friendly remote control because of its ergonomics and its weight, it's simple: you point, you click.

Google Daydream View graphics

When it comes to graphics, the Google Daydream View is slightly below the Samsung Gear VR and Zeiss VR One both of which feature high quality lenses. But the headset from Google still offers an honorable visual rendering.

However, and here is one of the big black spots of the Daydream, the rigid and thin foam, which effectively limits the accumulation of heat within the helmet, in addition to making it uncomfortable to wear. let outside light filter through the virtual reality headset. Immersion is thus greatly reduced. We therefore constantly have a window effect, which gives us the impression of observing the various contents through a window.

Daydream Home vs Oculus Home

There is currently no similar interface in the mobile market. So it's natural to compare Daydream Home to Oculus Home. The layout of the different tabs is almost similar, except that on the Oculus interface you also have a drop-down menu on the right. Daydream Home, on the other hand, offers a rather extensive configuration of its headset, as well as a left-handed operating mode.

Either way, you'll have immediate access to the Store and the library of downloaded apps. The real difference between these two interfaces lies in the artistic direction. Oculus Home offers a warm, yet serious living room, as the Daydream takes us into a cartoonish forest. The choice between these two interfaces will therefore depend on individual appreciation. However, the Daydream still gains sympathy with this bias.

For the moment, few applications are available in the Daydream store, and those that are are more of a demonstration than a real experience. But let's be lenient: Google's headset has just been released while the Samsung Gear VR has long been on the shelves. If Google keeps its promise, the Daydream should soon have a catalog as rich and varied as that of its competitor.

The Google Daydream View compared to the competition

By its original design, the Google Daydream View far exceeds the competition that has become standardized by offering models of plastic VR headsets. For example, at first glance, it's difficult to differentiate a Samsung Gear VR from a Zeiss VR One Plus. Its fabric texture, these different colors and its harness not only offer unprecedented lightness to Google's VR headset, but also breathe new life into the mobile virtual reality landscape.

The Daydream remote control is also a strong argument. Indeed, the latter makes the experience of VR by Google pleasant and interactive, offering what only high-end headsets have managed to offer to date: total interactivity within the dedicated interface. Even if the Samsung Gear VR offers integrated controls, it quickly hurts your shoulder when you lift your arm to reach it.

However, the Google Daydream View is positioned below in terms of visual rendering. It is not so much the quality of the lenses, which remain honorable, although below those of the Samsung Gear VR and the Zeiss VR One Plus, but rather the presence of openings around the user's face which allow the outside world to filter through, thus reducing the user's immersion. Finally, the helmet, even if its texture is pleasant to the touch, the very fine protective foam gives an impression of hardness which makes it uncomfortable to wear, thus making it more like a cardboard. The other helmets like the French competitor, the Homido V2 have long opted for a thick foam which conforms to the shapes of the face and hides the external light.

Our opinion on Google Daydream

Long-awaited Google Daydream Viewn, sold only $ 79, fails to overtake market leader Samsung Gear VR. But thanks to its design, its Daydream interface and its remote control, he easily managed to climb to second place on the podium, relegating the Homido V2 to third place.

The only real downside is the foam, too thin to offer total immersion to the user. Otherwise, this virtual reality headset has everything to please, as long as you are equipped with a Google Pixel.  This discriminating aspect is also more annoying than with the Samsung Gear VRbecause more people are equipped with Samsung phones. But Google promises that many new compatible smartphone models are expected to appear during 2017.

Buy the Google Daydream at the best price

Buy the Google Pixel at the best price

Good points

  • its design
  • Its remote control
  • Son interface Daydream Home
  • Its image quality
  • His price

Negative points

  • Not very comfortable
  • Window effect because less insulation
  • Still few applications
  • Low compatibility (for the moment)

8

Design: An original design, which renews the codes of mobile VR headsets. Graphics: Quality lenses, but space around the helmet which limits immersion Features: Very high interactivity thanks to the supplied remote control. Comfort: Relative comfort. The helmet is light, but the foam gives the impression of hardness on the face. Quality / price ratio: A very good helmet for a reasonable price.

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