The Merge VR goggle is an interesting piece of kit. It does a good job of being a Google cardboard compatible google. Its comfortable to wear and should hold up to drops pretty nicely. However, setup can be tricky for those who don't realize it uses Google cardboard and the Merge website that provides additional apps and other media customized for the VR goggles doesn't seemed truly geared for app discovery.
Let's start with the physical device itself. It's a soft squishy plastic, so can handle falls and some rough usage. What's great is that it's foam like construction would also protect your phone should it happen to be in the goggles when dropped. That said, one should take care to verify beforehand the sizing requirements for the goggles. If you have a larger phone, like the Galaxy Note series, you can forget about getting these goggles. Sure, you can shoehorn in the phone, but dialing in the focus will be a pain.
Finding instructions on setup is also a pain unless you've read this review and know to expect to install the google cardboard app. There was just one instruction card insert in the goggle's itself that provided instructions on setup. Skimming through the instruction booklet, reading everything on the box is no help. Going to the merge VR website is also no help, unless you take note of the tiny text at the very bottom.
Once you've crossed this hurdle, setup is relatively straightforward. You'd want to spend some time in the google cardboard UI getting focus and separation dialed in, since there's no welcome or other intro that helps with this process. Going "back" requires rotating the googles 90 degrees. . . while wearing them. This wouldn't be that big a deal if with my phone inserted correctly, going "back" didn't need me to also be upside down. So, most of the time, to go back, I physically took off the goggles and rotated them. Having a physical button or better mapping to the phone would have been very useful.
The trigger button setup is a bit iffy. Being in the middle of the goggles because it's integrated with the lens mechanism means more opportunity for your hands to get in the way. Not too big a deal, but with the UI dropping the ball, the hardware needs to pick up the slack.
For playing VR games, watching VR content, the Merge is on par with low cost google cardboard devices. For a bit more, you can get a device with dedicated app support and it's own separate ecosystem and UI. If you're going to use this a lot, it's well worth spending the money.
The other let down was the merge website itself. At first, it looks great. It's clearly optimized for mobile devices, though easy enough to navigate on a PC. However, to get good categorization of apps requires digging through menus or search. Pricing is not readily apparent and because there's no companion app to view the site on Android, you need to step outside the VR world to find an app. I ended up having better success simply searching via the Play store.
This is a decent piece of hardware and seems to be targeted towards children and families. If you're already a regular google cardboard user and have literal cardboard VR goggles, this is certainly a nice upgrade. But given the size limitations and other issues, I'd satisfy my VR goggle need elsewhere.