I’m sure you already know all about virtual reality and how it’s making a comeback in the form of headsets. From Google Cardboard to Ocolus to Samsun Gear and many more, it’s not hard to get your hands on one these days to use with your smartphone.
VR Shinecon is another maker of “VR glasses” with a headset that is compatible with Android and iOS devices (with screens 3.6 – 6 inches). It can be used to play compatible games and watch 3D videos and movies.
With soft leather padding around the face mask area and a soft head strap, you’ll truly be immersed in whatever you’re doing or watching – without worrying about being in pain or uncomfortable. Here’s a closer look at the VR Shinecon virtual reality headset.
What’s in the Box
Upon opening the box, you’ll find the VR headset, manual, service guide, cleaning cloth, and six small little adhesives.
I see no mention of these pieces in the actual part of the manual that I can understand, so I have no idea what they’re for. Any guesses (hint: they’re not magnets)?
Setting up and Using the Headset
Before using the headset, you should know that out of all the included paperwork, only about 20% is in (broken) English. The other 80% (including the app that you’re prompted to download) seems to be Chinese. So you might miss out on some important info. From what I gathered, though, I don’t think I’ve missed too much by not being able to read the other two booklets.
To Get the Companion App or Not
If you choose to follow along with the manual to get started, you first need to scan a QR code on the manual. The first QR code will take you to the VR Shinecon website. The second QR code will take you to a website where you’ll be directed to yet another site to download an app that can be used to help you find games and other content to be used with the headset.
Luckily, the app isn’t needed; it’s just some recommendations to help save you some time. It would really be handy if it were in English. I could have saved the hour or so it took me to find some decent VR apps to try (including the trial and error of finding one that works properly).
My advice: Skip this first step since it’s not necessary and a complete waste of time. Instead, go to the Google Play store or do a Web search and find some cool VR apps to try out. I decided to try VR Cosmic Roller Coaster.
Insert Your Smartphone
When you’re ready (it’s a good idea to have the app open), you’ll need to open the front cover of the headset and insert your device. The front cover is secured by magnets and what appears to be a tiny little latch at the top. You have to push down and then pull out to get it open. It’s very secure and remains shut at all times. The part that holds your phone is also very flexible and adjusts to the size of your device.
Before closing the cover, you’ll want to be sure that you line up the center of the app (all VR apps are divided into two parts) with the center of the headset. As you can see, the lenses are separated by a middle divider as well. Each lens should have a clear view of its respective side.
Put On and Adjust as Needed
Now you’ll want to try on the headset and get it properly adjusted. The headset definitely shines when it comes to this. There’s a dial on top for adjusting the PD and FD (including within 600 degrees of myopia – no need to wear glasses), a knob on both sides for adjusting the object distance, and lenses that can be moved further apart or closer together for focal adjustment.
After playing around with each adjustment option, you should have a crystal clear view of the app or anything else you’re viewing.
You’re in Control (for the most part)
Finally, you’ll need to control the app by using your body – mainly your head. Since everything is in 3D, you have to act as if you’re right there in the setting; you’ll need to shake your head and rotate it to manipulate games and such.
If you’re familiar with Google Cardboard, you know that there is a magnet on the side that acts as an action button. For instance, in some games you have to pull down the magnet to shoot asteroids in space. However, this headset doesn’t have an action button, which actually is a letdown.
Some games support the use of a gamepad or Bluetooth controller, so you’ll be able to use that while using the headset (for shooting, etc. – not moving around). I tried this and it works well. For games that don’t support gamepads, you’re out of luck and won’t be able to get anywhere since you can’t actually participate.
Personally, I find some apps too difficult and frustrating to control by just moving my head around. They either move too slow or don’t move at all. Maybe I’m just too impatient.
I’ve tried a Google Cardboard knockoff in the past, and I must say this is much better in quality for obvious reasons. It’s very well padded, comfortable to wear, a lot more stylish, and doesn’t require you to put anything together; it comes ready-to-use right out of the box. It also has an adjustable strap for wearing on your head – no need to hold it the entire time like Google Cardboard. I only wish it had the built-in trigger / action button.
I like that I can view my device from his headset without any distractions. I can get a close enough fit to where only a teeny amount of light gets in, and I only notice it if I happen to look down (through the nose area). As long as I keep my eyes focused on my device, which isn’t hard to do, it’s great. The headset isn’t heavy at all and doesn’t put any pressure on your head of face which I appreciate since I can’t take anything even remotely tight on my head.
It’s suggested that you only use the headset for thirty minutes at a time. If you get dizzy easily, some apps may give you a little motion sickness. If you don’t have a queasy stomach or sensitivities with motion, it’s mostly smooth sailing. Whether you’re looking for a more realistic and rewarding experience when it comes to mobile gaming or you just want to watch movies in 3D, this is a very nice and affordable virtual reality headset.
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