Hands-On: Lenovo Mirage Solo VR Headset

Although Google IO 2018 was once most commonly about device and AI, a number of hardware companions made bulletins in tandem with the development. We noticed JBL unveil a Soundbar with Google Assistant, a trio of producers confirmed Smart Displays with Google Assistant due out in July, and Lenovo adopted at the heels of Oculus Go by way of pronouncing their standalone VR Headset- the Lenovo Mirage Solo.

We noticed the Mirage Solo on the blended Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tent at #IO18 the place we put the brand new headset to the take a look at. Here are some preliminary ideas after the use of the Mirage Solo for a short lived demo.

Mirage Solo on Amazon

How does it are compatible?

I’m a brand new recruit of the “glasses no longer contacts” membership and was once satisfied to be informed that the Lenovo Mirage Solo suits completely positive overtop glasses. After striking at the headset there are two changes you’ll make to make sure a comfortable are compatible.

The primary fastener at the rear of the headset is dial-based, which I like. It tightens in small increments because it turns, gently clicking into every notch. This mechanism guarantees a truly comfortable wrap round my gigantic dome and one that received’t slip or come unfastened whilst in use. It rides upper on my head than different headsets, which gave the impression to take weight clear of my face, nevertheless it felt a little bit too prime.

Luckily the second one fastener most commonly addressed this factor. While preserving a button at the backside left of the headset, you’ll transfer the headset additional or nearer in your face, accommodating more than a few face and nostril styles and sizes.

This very much stepped forward the are compatible of the Lenovo Mirage, nevertheless it wasn’t highest. It felt unfastened at the backside, underneath my eyes, which was once maximum noticeable when having a look down. That would possibly sound like a minor criticism, nevertheless it’s no longer. The objective is to be in reality immersed within the VR global. A not quite perfect are compatible is a continuing reminder that you simply’ve were given a large device strapped in your face.

I wouldn’t rule out purchasing the Lenovo Mirage because of this on my own, although. Not but a minimum of.  I handiest had 5 mins to toy with it and there’s an excellent chance with some apply and fiddling it will are compatible positive. For others, like my #IO18 spouse in crime Derek Ross, there have been no lawsuits.

Fit and luxury are of final significance in VR. At $400 it wishes to suit correctly. The number one tightening dial is a brilliant inclusion and I wouldn’t be stunned to look this followed by way of competition, however the jury continues to be out at the total convenience of the Lenovo Mirage Solo.

6-Degrees of Freedom

One key benefit of PC-driven digital fact headsets just like the HTC Vive is room scale interplay. Sensors positioned within the room engage with sensors within the headset, permitting customers not to handiest transfer their head up, down, left, and proper, but in addition transfer round within the bodily global with the digital global reacting accurately.

Headsets just like the Gear VR, Daydream View, or even Oculus Go don’t manner this realm. They center of attention handiest on directional head actions with clicks of a spouse controller used to teleport you throughout the digital area. The Mirage Solo does have a far flung and can be utilized to transport thru area within the VR global, nevertheless it’s no longer a restricting size.

The Mirage Solo has integrated proximity sensors, two monitoring cameras, and “WorldSense” positional monitoring that understands the place you’re on the subject of gadgets within the room. This permits a extra seamless connection between the bodily and digital worlds and thus a extra immersive revel in. As defined by way of Lenovo:

Lean and duck to navigate your method thru tight areas; leap to traverse pitfalls and dodge to keep away from incoming projectiles. Objects and landscapes keep mounted in position regardless of the place you tilt or transfer your head.

At least that’s the speculation. In our demo we sat in swivel chairs, giving us the facility to discover a complete 360 stage vary of visibility, however with none lateral actions. Sure, shall we duck our heads and spot the 6-degrees of freedom in motion, however to not an extent that presentations its worth past the contest.

This is crucial difference to be explored in a complete evaluation.

Daydream Compatibility

The number one distinction between the Lenovo Mirage Solo and the Oculus Go is content material. A VR headset is handiest as just right because the apps and video games you’ll get on it; the Oculus platform has 1,000+ titles to choose between whilst the Lenovo Mirage Solo – powered by way of Google’s Daydream 2.0 – sits at handiest about 250 titles.

That quantity will clearly develop, then again there aren’t hoards of recent and compelling VR reviews launching at the common. It’s nonetheless early days in VR and Mirage Solo homeowners are very a lot early adopters. Release momentum will select up when VR headsets themselves develop into extra not unusual, giving builders extra incentive to construct at the platform. But bet what? I mentioned that a couple of years in the past when the HTC Vive in the beginning introduced and the ball continues to be rolling relatively slowly… frequently, however slowly.

You can make a choice from a ton of video content material by way of YouTube and Google Play Movies & TV, however looking at 2D video in a VR headset isn’t the principle use case. Explore the kinds of content material and reviews Daydream 2.0 gives proper right here.

Specs and Battery Life

The Mirage Solo is powered by way of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 VR, 4GB of RAM, and turns out to run Daydream 2.0 flawlessly. The visuals at the 5.5-inch LCD display with QHD answer have been just right, however expectancies will have to be tempered- it is a devoted VR headset nevertheless it nonetheless can’t compete with an revel in powered by way of a complete PC.

The Mirage Solo handiest has 64GB of garage however a MicroSD slot will can help you ramp that up simply if you need get right of entry to to extra films, TV, apps, and video games. However a lot content material you may have, you’ll be restricted to about 2.5 hours of constant use with the Mirage Solo’s 4,000 mAh battery. That’s somewhat bit disappointing, however par for the course- imagine it a integrated reminder to relaxation your eyes and tether it to an exterior battery when you truly wish to push its limits.

You’ll get audio by way of connecting a 3.5mm headset jack at once into the Mirage Solo and fortunately there are VR optimized headphones that come within the field. We didn’t have a possibility to check out those particular headphones, however for the most productive revel in, you’ll most probably need to choose headphones of your individual.

Size and Weight

Coming in at 1.42 kilos the Lenovo Mirage is heavier than its direct competition. Its maximum direct competitor – because of the truth that it additionally has a integrated show that doesn’t require your telephone – is the Oculus Go VR headset from Facebook. It weighs simply 1.03 kilos.

Two different in style possible choices, the Gear VR and the Google Daydream View, require customers to snap their telephone into the headset, thus serving because the show. The Gear VR totals 1.09 kilos when accounting for the headset (.76 kilos) and a Galaxy S9 (.36 kilos) whilst the Daydream View weighs simply .80 kilos break up between the headset (.49 kilos) and the Pixel 2 (.31 kilos). Obviously when you’re the use of a heavier instrument the blended weight will build up, however they’re not likely to manner the 1.42 kilos of the Lenovo Mirage.

It doesn’t really feel dramatically heavier, although. It feels cast. Substantial. Built with function as its personal hardware relatively than an adjunct that tags alongside. Unfortunately, you pay for the ones fabrics and that construct high quality.

Bottom Line: is it value $400?

If you’re having a look to buy your first ever VR headset, Lenovo’s Mirage Solo is likely one of the highest puts to start out ($400 at Amazon). It’s a a lot better revel in than the Gear VR ($90 at Amazon) or the Daydream View ($80 at Amazon), however could also be 4X the associated fee. If you’ve already were given a appropriate telephone and haven’t attempted VR sooner than, I’d get started with the Gear VR or View and improve if you’re feeling pressured by way of the concept that and need a greater revel in all-around.

The actual festival is with the Oculus Go which is part the associated fee and has 4X the apps and video games. However, the Go doesn’t cooperate with Google’s Daydream ecosystem. It’s a tossup.

If you worth the portability of a VR headset then you definately will have to completely select the Oculus Go or one of the smartphone pushed headsets over the Mirage Go. The Mirage Solo is also extra robust and comfy, however its design and fabrics are inflexible, making it tricky to pack for journeys until you’ve were given numerous further room.

At this level, I’d say get started with the Gear VR or Daydream View when you’ve by no means attempted VR; improve to the Oculus Go if you need one thing inexpensive, however higher high quality that you’ll go back and forth with; and improve to the Mirage Solo if money isn’t a subject and you need the most productive informal VR Headset for your own home.

Which VR Headset would you select?

Do you already personal a VR Headset? Which one do you may have, why did you select it, and the way do you find it irresistible? Let us know within the feedback and proportion the way you assume the Lenovo Mirage Solo stacks up towards the contest.