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Merge - VR Goggles-Angle_Standard

Merge - VR Goggles

Model: VRG-01MGSKU: 5655611

Customer rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 386 reviews

81%
would recommend to a friend

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Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Awesome VR Headset, Perfect with Merge Cube

    Posted
    teasten
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Disclosure: I am a Best Buy Tech Insider Network member. I received the Merge VR at no cost for review purposes and I received no other compensation. The following is my honest opinion of the product. Best Buy and the product manufacturer do not influence my review in any way. I remember when Google announced their cardboard offering and signed up early on to get one. The reality is that cardboard VR units do not really block the light and having to use your hand to hold it on your head undermines the whole VR experience. So I've always really wanted a VR viewer you can comfortbly wear on your head but that works properly with Google cardboard. The Merge VR viewer does just that. The Merge VR viewer is also the companion of the Merge VR cube (more on that later) What's in the box: - Merge VR Viewer - Quickstart Guide - Lense Cleaning Cloth Since this a review of the Merge VR I am not going to talk about VR apps, just the experience of using the headset (comfort, weight, phone fit). Your experience on VR really depends on what device and apps you use. The Merge VR does offer their own apps which work with the awesome Merge Cube (see that review). The Merge VR does offer pointers though on where to get VR apps for your phone (Android and iOS). A GREAT thing about the Merge VR Viewer is that it officially supports cardboard. There's a QR code inside the headband so you can pair it with the Google Cardboard App. There are also dual action buttons on the top, so you can click to select just like you would with a Google VR headset. Well done to Merge for supporting that! So if you're after an officially supported, quality Google cardboard VR viewer, this is for you. What's different about the Merge VR Viewer to other viewers is that your phone slides into a foam holder. There's no unclip, fold down container, weird elastic strap, etc. The foam holder fits an iPhone 7 comfortably (with the phone in the case). It didn't like the foam would stretch enough for the iPhone 7+ (with or without a case). So keep that in mind if you have a bigger phone. I do like that your phone sits in foam, as then you don't have to worry about hard plastic scratching your screen and there's no risk the phone will just fall out. The Merge VR Viewer is super comfortable. You can adjust the focus of the lenses, they slide using the same parts that the action buttons are on. It was easy to get the Google Cardboard demo VR at a comfortable viewing style for me and adjust for the rest of my family. There is ample foam paddig everywhere, so this is a viewer that is definitely child friendly. The adjustable head straps adust around the sides and top of your heads and we had no problems with anyone in our family. I really recommend buying the Merge VR with the totally awesome Merge VR cube. As a combination, it's fun, amazing and shows you just how smart VR can be. If you're looking for a fun toy or a great gift. Get the Merge VR and Merge Cube (Pictured). You won't be disappointed. Recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Affordable VR and AR Headset For Beginners

    Posted
    Shail
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Let me start with a disclaimer :) The rating above is for the product and not for the VR and AR technology. I had some issues while using these goggles but most of them are related to the technology at the moment and not really an issue with the product. So, let's talk about the goggles first. They are made of very comfortable foam kind of material. The straps are easy to configure and give you a very stable experience. The lenses are ok for the price. The mechanism to adjust them is good. The ease of inserting a phone inside them depends on the size of the phone. I have a nexus 6P which takes an effort to fit in. So, anything bigger than that will hardly fit in but because they are made of foam, they are kind of stretchable. There is a removable piece at the front which is very helpful when you want to use them with an AR (Augmented Reality) tool/product (e.g. Merge Cube). You simple remove that and then hold the cube in the hand. It is much easier this way rather than holding a phone/tablet in one hand and the cube in other. You will get tired really soon :). VR apps and videos and stretch the boundaries of your phone and as a result the phone gets really hot. Thus, it is really important that the design of VR goggles allows for as much air circulation as possible. The design of these goggles provides enough air to your phone so that it does not get super hot. When inserting the phone inside the goggles, be careful not to hit the power/lock button of your phone else you will need to take it out again. So, overall this is a pretty good product if you are curious about the whole virtual reality buzz. It is affordable, durable and quite practical to serve as beginner's VR/AR headset. My 10 year old son loves these and it's more fun to watch him enjoying these :) Few thoughts on the VR/AR technology: =============================== I tried various apps available at the moment on merge's web site as well as some cardboard apps available on Google play store. My first impression is that the VR technology is in its infancy and it has a long way to go. At the moment, the best experience is 360 videos. For most of the apps/games, you need some kind of bluetooth controller. As I don't have that yet my choices are limited. I also got a Merge Cube along with the goggles. The AR seems to be a really cool technology and having a simple cube made of foamy material turn into so many different things is just unbelievable. But again at the moment, there is only so much use of it and you get bored of it pretty soon.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Eye opening experience

    Posted
    Fordman9870
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
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    The MERGE VR glasses are made from a rubber foam base with plastic around the middle eye relief areas. I tested the phone area with an IPhone 4/6/6s and a Galaxy S6. All fit perfectly and since the rubber foam stretches a bit to accept different phone types the phone itself is snug and will not move around. The headset is both iOS and Android Compatible and fits phones from 123mm to 158mm in size. To seek if your phone is VR ready at VRTestNinja.com Before operating the device I downloaded a few free games from the link provided on their website (www.VRstart.com) once downloaded I started the app and inserted the phone. The head piece has Velcro straps that adjust to fit your head perfectly. I found that loosening them all the way up and putting the headset on then adjust straps accordingly worked the best. For those with glasses, I wore mine and had no difficulty at all with them. Once on, I adjusted the eye pieces from below the headset until I had a clear view, then enjoyed the app. I really like that they included input buttons on the top which make it a snap for using games that need user input (fire or select) The games they offer are great. They really make you think you are inside of a virtual world with a 3D effect. When paired with the Merge cube, I was blown away by the visual effects when I held the cube up in front of the head unit. Every time I turned the cube new views appeared. There are free games you can download and ones you pay for as well. They offer many different apps in conjunction with the cube. Both available on the IOS and Android systems. The cube is made of the same rubber foam type material as the head unit is. Very durable, A stand comes with it (thin plastic packaging) that will hold the cube should you need it or place the phone in the stand and when launching the app and choose phone mode so you can use it without the headset. These are a great combo when purchased together. It will provide hours of fun for kids young and old. New apps are being put out daily for download. One note, I did feel a slight strain on my eyes when I tested it for a bit. So make sure you have the eye ports adjusted for your fit or this may amplify eye strain. With no fault to Merge, My S6 got extremely hot after 15 minutes of use, but it is 2 years old. Newer phones have better processing than old and should not have this issue. Again this is not a Merge issue but just thought S6 users may take note to use it for short periods of time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    A neat novelty, but a novelty

    Posted
    JenN7
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    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Because software and apps can always change, I'm going to try and limit my review to the actual hardware and how well it works and feels as much as I can. I did test it with the Merge Cube as well as with a couple of standalone VR apps. As a regular VR headset, these goggles were fairly comfortable, if a bit heavy and blocky... I liked that the lenses were adjustable and they were not uncomfortable to wear with eyeglasses, which was nice. However, the foam material of the goggles did not allow my phone to breathe at all inside the goggles... my phone (a Pixel XL--admittedly on the large end of what will fit in these goggles) was almost painfully hot to the touch after only 10 minutes of use inside the goggles, which was really worrisome. When using Merge apps, with the Merge Cube for instance, the "trigger" buttons on top of the goggles worked well to select buttons and the Merge Cube was a pretty neat Augmented Reality accessory, but the apps and games to play with it are pretty short and demo-y without much meat, which wasn't really a big surprise. This is kind of geared toward 10 and up kids who will probably find the cube to be pretty neat for a little while. All interaction with the cube, though, is done using the triggers on the goggles... I kept wanting to use my fingers to interact with the cube, and was disappointed that it was more of a "look but don't touch" thing. With non-merge apps, I found that the triggers on the goggles didn't work so well... the apps worked well visually, but as with other VR goggles, it would be useful to have a bluetooth controller or some other input device, as the construction of the goggles makes it really hard to pull your phone in and out to touch the screen. You may find that on different sized phones, the triggers align better or something, but on my phone, they did not work well for non-merge apps from the Google Play store. I did not test this with an iphone. Overall, if you're looking for a VR experience for kids, this is a sturdy headset choice that will probably hold up really well to some wear and tear. Throw an old phone in there and let them go to town for a while. For older kids or adults looking for more than a novelty item or a toy, there are much better options out there. Recommended, with caveats.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Decent VR Googles, Needs Better App Support

    Posted
    zboot
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    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.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Comfortable , Does not fit all phone sizes

    Posted
    TechTux
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    Overall this is a good product for the prices. It is made to feel comfortably and fit middle sized phones without problems. If you have the Larger / Extra large (ex: Note 8 or S8+) phones they will not fit. PROS - Price 3 Adjustable Head Straps Lightweight / Easily rests on head Durability Free VR Software / Videos CONS - Does not fit all phone sizes Not Breathable, will get hot around eyes/forehead Irritation around ears after long use Must be on Network/Internet, No Standalone Software Merge - VR Google Unit - There are 3 adjustable straps that rest over the top of your head and ears. However after long use (40min) you will feel some irritation on your ears and heat/pressure on your forehead as its not very breathable foam. The unit itself is foam and plastic which makes it light and adjustable. It appears durable for wear and tear however wont know until long term usage. The goggles inside slide left / right to adjust viewing, comparable to old style binoculars. There is a button that is used to interact with the phone screen. However It is strongly recommend to have the phone setup first with software installed before placing into the head unit. Viewing Area is the full size of the phone , I did not notice any gabs in corners when using. Software- The headset does not come with any software. It directs you to their website MergeVR.com. The website is easy to navigate and does not require you to install anything onto your phone. Most of the VR applications are either links to YouTube or within the website directly. Most of apps are free except for a few items that use the MergeCube.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Surprisingly Effective VR on the iPhone 7

    Posted
    RedScorpion
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    So, these goggles are surprisingly fun. As someone who picked this up out of curiosity, I have to say I have enjoyed the Merge VR Goggles. The construction on these goggles is first rate. The foam is comfortable and light enough that I actually forget I am wearing them. The lens adjust easily enough and the entire thing is pretty simple. My girlfriend was able to wear them with her glasses. The lens come out easy enough for cleaning and the entire things is very user friendly. There's a pop-out slot on the front of the goggles to see AR devices like the Merge Cube. I used these goggles with an iPhone 7 and the performance was very good. The resolution is not quite up to something like the Oculus or the Vive, but it works and in the right program it provides a good 3D effect. I played Romans from Mars, Endspace VR, and Discovery VR and the 3D effect was quite good. I was a bit disappointed with some 3D youtube videos, but with the apps, the experience worked well. You can find plenty of apps and VR videos at vrstart.com/merge. If I have any complaint, it's that I never seemed to get things perfectly in focus. It was close, but seemed like I had to adjust the lenses every time I took the glasses off and put them back on. But then again, the focus also seemed to depend on the app. Still, if you are at all interested in Google Cardboard, this is probably the best option out there. The goggles are the best in their class and, as soon as my iPhone charges back up, I will be back to killing roman martians.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    My Kids Love These Glasses!

    Posted
    JulieC
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    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    My boys aged 9 & 11 have been wanting Virtual Reality goggles for awhile. They were very excited to give the Merge - VR Goggles a try. Set up was reality easy. My iPhone 7 fits perfectly in the glasses. Please note, the size of your phone does matter with these glasses as my husband's 7 plus is too large. You do need to download apps in order to use the goggles which was easy. We chose The Walk and Dig to try out first. Once the head straps and phone are positioned you can adjust the top buttons back and forth to focus the goggles. There are also two toggles underneath the goggles to help focus. The Walk - This is a Virtual Reality tightrope walk across two buildings. You get a 360 degree view and can also look down upon the city. The goggles are a soft foam type material that makes them relatively lightweight and comfortable on your face. The boys really enjoyed using this app. We looked at other potential apps, but many cost additional to download. We will likely purchase a few more in the future, but it is something to consider. I wish more of the educational apps were free. Dig - Dig is a building game similar to Minecraft and it utilizes the Merge Cube to play. This one was a free download from the app store. It took a little bit of time to figure out how to use the menu, but once we realized you have to use the top buttons on the goggles to do so, my boys figured it out. You can select different layouts and build or dig into you cube creation. They really enjoyed this game as well. Overall, I would say the Merge - VR Goggles are fun for older kids and my husband enjoyed it as well. I will say it was cool doing the tightrope from the safety of our kitchen. As with any 3-D type glasses, they do fatigue your eyes after prolonged use. We had our boys take turns and use them for short periods of time to lessen the effects. My youngest wears glasses and he found it harder to focus the lens while he was using them. I found the focus feature to work pretty good. I think the biggest negative so far is trying to find educational apps that are free. My son wanted to explore the ocean and human body, but all of those apps required a purchase. We also tried to download a Star Wars BB-8 game, but it said you have to scan the posters in order to play. Apparently, we do not have them so it wouldn't work. We hope to find more apps in the future for them to try.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Pretty impressive for 60 bucks VR/AR glasses

    Posted
    Aditya
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    I have tried google cardboard and occulus before. These Merge VR glasses are close to cardboard(which is evident from their price). With slightly more than these, you can buy daydream, but these works for both VR and AR and that is a great bang for buck considering the cube (which is required for AR) is only 15 bucks more. So brilliantly priced, lets see how they do in VR (I will post my AR review at cube page as that is where it belongs). Comfort: they are comfortable, but still on heavier side once the phone is inserted(I have a pixel). The strap on head does not go too deep on head and is probably the reason why it feels bulky in front. They could have done a little better here, but its mostly okay. Big drawback in comfort: Considering a big majority of tech enthusiast wear glasses; this thing is not very good when I wear my prescription glasses. There is space but something is odd. Durability wise, it looks like it will last, it is made from hard foam I believe and it does not looks/gets dirty by casual use. They say its drop tested, so very good if you are planning to gift it to your kids. Clarity: Clarity is okay for me, nothing spectacular; more like cardbox level and for sure not better. I tried adjusting but that is best I could get.(I do wear glasses). VR Experience: VR experience is on par with cardbox, which is no surprise. I tried a few apps from their official site and some free apps and all worked well. Played Roman from the wars and shooting was accurate. I think they need to come up with more free apps/game to spike the interest, or have trial of few good ones. Currently It does NOT work with Netflix VR application as is, as that needs a separate controller. It has right and left input button but that does not seems to do anything with Netflix. You can use another android phone, to act as a controller, search it online and with that Netflix may work. So for VR this works similar to google cardbox, unlike cardbox it comes with a strap so your hands are free, and this support AR as well. And it still maintains a good price of 59. Considering all the features, for the price, I am sold. I would have loved to see it be more accommodating for people with glasses, but its not that bad either. This holiday, if you are looking for an entry into VR for your kids, this could be it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Very good but watch out with large phones

    Posted
    Wolfganggold
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
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    I tried this with both my LG V10 and my Samsung Galaxy S4. The S4 is my work phone which I try to run as cleanly as possible so it's not the phone I would use in the headset on a regular basis. My V10 BARELY fits. You have to really stretch the headset to get it in. When measuring the phone using the ruler on the outside of the package, it's a few millimeters on the short side. The reason I mention all this is that I'm starting to get a rip in the foam material in a crucial spot. If it continues through and breaks, my phone will no longer be supported securely. I've attached a photo. It's something to keep in mind if you have a large phone. All that said, I really like this item. There really aren't many quality apps out for VR yet but the ones that you can find are pretty awesome. There's one called Titans of Space that's really great. It's a tour of the solar system and it really showcases the potential of this technology. A lot of the games are just demos (unless you pay for them) and are usually a single level so they're over in 5 minutes or so. The unit is very comfortable to wear. The foam (almost Nerf-like) material doesn't bite into your head and face and the straps hold it on securely. If you have a smaller phone, I would highly recommend this. If your phone is near the limit of the maximum size, watch out.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Serves the purpose for "some"!

    Posted
    MacUser
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    This was my first set of VR goggles. I have been wanting to get one but never bought them because I could never justify if they are worth it for me. But as soon as I saw these, I immediately grabbed them (considering their good reviews) and couldn't wait to open & use them. But all my excitement faded away after just 15 minutes of use. The goggles itself are very comfortable to wear and the phone (iPhone 7 in my case) fits very nicely but that's all about it. Using them was bit of a struggle for me and I can explain why. I'm a near sighted, so in order for these goggles to work, I had to adjust the focus on the lenses. The way you do it in these goggles is to move the 2 buttons on top from left to right and vice-versa. I had to move them closer to each other, meaning bringing both of them towards the center to set the focus & watch videos on Youtube. I still couldn't see it clearly. Not the goggles fault, just my eyesight is weak. The problem arose when I couldn't use the buttons while watching the videos on Youtube because when the buttons are at the center of the screen, no matter how much you press them, you won't be able to rewind or forward the videos on Youtube because to do that the buttons have to be on extreme left & right. You then tap once on left to back 10 sec, twice for 20 secs etc. and same for going forward. I wasn't able to do that. May be I'm missing the trick here but this was my experience. My second problem with this goggles was headache due to motion sickness. Again, this is my personal experience. I did read some reviews where people said they never had problems with motion sickness but experienced it while using these goggles. Mobile VR is pretty underwhelming and you'll probably put it down in a day or two. It will be interesting to use it with the cube but I hadn't had chance to do that. Price is okay but you will find way too cheaper VR goggles. I feel that this kinda stuff is basically for kids or the teenagers at the most. Adults like me will get bored of them quite easily unless you are too much into this "toy" stuff.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great VR Headset for use with your phone!

    Posted
    ShawnInKB
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    This VR headset is comfortable and lightweight. It worked well with an iPhone 6 and 7 (Both had slim covers on and they still fit well without having to remove the phone covers as the slot/holder is flexible foam). The adjustable lenses worked great when switching between users and is very quick and easy to adjust. We've only started playing games on it, but there seems to be a fair amount of content to play with. We also got the merge cube and that lets you interact with the apps and games with Augmented Reality by holding/seeing the cube in AR/VR but still seeing the room around you utilizing the phones camera. The AR foam cover pops in and out easily. It has buttons on top to interact with games with more than just your eyes or tilting your head which is cool. Seems like the foam would be easy to clean and overall the headset is fairly lightweight and comfortable to wear. Worked well for playing 360 content video on YouTube. On those videos a set of goggles comes up on the youtube video and you tap that to enter 3D/VR mode and pop your phone it to enjoy 360/VR videos. Note that this isn’t a full a VR system, but rather a VR headset and holder and for your phone (requires a compatible phone). Not the same full immersion experience as full blown VR system like the HTC Vive, but wasn't expecting it to be. Recommend it as a comfortable headset and a great entry into the VR market and the Merge cube makes playing with AR fun as well. Inexpensive and fun way for kids and adults to try out VR.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Affordable VR for Everyone

    Posted
    ryanmcv
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    I'm a big fan of virtual reality and 3D technologies and I'm happy that a company has taken the initiative to make an affordable, easy-to-use VR headset. The Merge VR headset won't win any awards compared to the heavy hitters like PS4 or Oculus, but it will provide hours of enjoyment. PROS: - Easy to set up and adjust. The straps have velcro that allows for quick adjustments. Once you have a VR app or video loaded on your phone, simply slide it into the slot at the front. - Lightweight and comfortable. Compared to the more advanced headsets, I feel like I can wear the Verge for a long period of time without feeling overwhelmed. - Wide selection of free VR apps and videos. The Merge website gives a lot of great recommendations. - Pretty decent VR effect. No, it't not perfect, but I honestly didn't even know my iPhone was capable of showing the things I've seen through the Merge goggles. CONS: - Not ideal for larger phones. My iPhone 7 Plus BARELY fits into the goggles. Another millimeter and it would simply be too large. - The adjustment knobs at the top also act as controllers and are very sensitive. You'll likely pause your video or VR app while trying to adjust the lenses. - I've seen a bit of ghosting or double-images. Not a dealbreaker, but again, this isn't a top-of-the-line headset. OVERALL: The Merge goggles are an excellent value for anyone looking to dip their toes in the world of VR. They are sure to provide great entertainment for family and friends. Recommended!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Expanding Universe of Virtual Realities

    Posted
    greenrita
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    ....in other words, mind expansion without the risk of brain damage. Great intergenerational gift! Very simple steps to access holographic experiences with the depth to entertain or educate. . You download the VR app from miniverse.com Select from the VR categories your preferred experience. Download any app from any category to get the feel then refine your direction after your get the gist of potentials held in your hand. You can find free apps but, generally, the apps are $1.99 to $2.99 and up. Thankfully, if you are not satisfied with your experience, you can request a refund from the developer. Before you begin your explorations with the multitude of available apps, you will be given information in advance on compatibility with your smartphone i.e. ios or android. Check specs of your smartphone’s dimensions and model to confirm compatibility. Knock out the pre-cut hole in your lightweight and comfy goggles for your phone’s viewer. (BTW, if you’re going to pass the goggles on to others, be sure to periodically clean your goggles to avoid the transfer of harmful microbes. Good thing is… they’re adjustable for any eye width and are super easy to wash down.) Slip your smartphone into your goggles with the viewer aligned with the hole’s opening. But, be certain to put your phone on auto rotate so you can get the correct orientation for viewing the Merge Cube through your camera. Adjust the straps on your goggles. And, you’re ready to roll: The image on your camera will guide you to ‘HOLD THE CUBE IN THE VIEWER’. And, when you get your viewer lined up correctly, your portal opens so the multidimensional action figures and architecture pops out at you. From this point, you can intuit how to move through the options to play games and have a kaleidoscope of trips at your fingertips. You can never get bored with the endless options generated by so many developers in the field. Can’t go wrong with this treat for any gathering of family, friends or colleagues at the office! Price is super reasonable and the gear is not only adjustable but near impossible to break as is the hieroglyphic wrapped cube.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fun VR Experience, Comfortable Fit

    Posted
    EricJay
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    Most smartphones these days have some sort of virtual reality capability available. With the right apps installed, iOS and Android can both generate separate pictures on each half of the screen, one for your right eye and the other for your left. This creates a 3 dimensional experience. The only thing your smartphone can't do on its own is separate your field of view so that each of your eyes only sees the half of the screen it's supposed to. That's where virtual reality (VR) goggles come in. VR goggles can be as simple as a cardboard cut-out that you unfold and hold against your face, but are available in a range of materials, built quality, and fit. These VR goggles from Merge, with their soft foam material, adjustable head straps, large plastic lenses, and clickable input buttons, are a huge step up from a cardboard cutout, that's for sure. However, they're not quite as high-end as the best VR goggles around. For example, they don't do a perfect job of filtering out ambient light, and aren't as "luxurious" in feel or build construction as the soft cloth premium products. One cool feature of the Merge VR Goggles is the cutout in the front that allows you to expose your phone's camera. This lets you use "Augmented Reality" apps. Instead of seeing a completely virtual world, you see the real world around you but with digital enhancements. I use an Android smartphone, so the first thing I did was download the Google Cardboard app (the name is a reference to the simple cardboard fold-outs that started it all) and use it to scan the code on the Merge VR Goggles. This calibrated my phone's screen to match the goggles. On screen instructions guided me through inserting my phone into the slot in the goggles and learning how to point, click, and go back. From there, I was off and running, exploring virtual worlds, flying through space, and visiting far off lands. Overall, I found the Merge VR Goggles to be easy to use, and relatively comfortable, with clean graphics and an immersive experience. Maybe not the most useful product in the world, but certainly a fun way to show off your smart phone's VR capabilities.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A Good Entry Point to VR

    Posted
    NickAtWTF
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    I'll preface this with: I was 99% sure in my experience with VR I'd be that luddite falling out of his chair or blowing chunks as a result of some rollercoaster app. Unboxing: kinda clunky, and I wish the CONTENT portion of setup had been more user-friendly, there was a lot of instructions for something that mostly relies on your phone to interface. The instructions were minimal at best and seem aimed at folks who've tried VR before in other settings or at least have some knowledge of where to go and what content to get. Merge needs a better on-boarding process than what they currently have. I had to take off my minimal tech21 iPhone case (I'm running an iPhone 7 Plus) to help it fit inside. The adjustable lenses were a huge plus, and the head straps were infinitely adjustable, but I couldn't figure out the triggers right away, so it ended up being a little frustrating at first. True to form, the first app I downloaded was the Cedar Point VR app, and of course, my wife chose that moment to pop in and say something to the effect of, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I don't remember exactly what she said because I was too busy falling out of my chair. Classic. The whole rig is well-designed, comfortable, adjustable, and in and of itself was pretty easy to set up; figuring out what content and where to go was the next tricky part and because Merge has no curated content ready to go, you end up going to like... Discovery and doing their stuff, which means you also sometimes have to pull the phone back out. There's a ton of Shark Week stuff, and a ton of gimmicky content right now, but the library of titles will grow. I've always wondered why you'd want/need a specialized device when most phones have insane graphics chips, cameras, retina displays, and almost everything else you need to be immersed in VR. Merge solves that problem and it's glorious (just remember to take your vertigo medicine first and lock your office door so you can't be messed with). All in all: a solid purchase and good entry point into VR if you're OK with limiting your content to whatever is available on your phone's ecosystem.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    This Merge VR set is very well designed

    Posted
    blah
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    This is essentially on the google cardboard VR design, which users could make themselves out of you guessed it, cardboard. This Merge VR set is very well designed. It is made of a very soft foam that is lightweight, and quite comfortable. Good thing it is lightweight, as you phone, Android or iPhone, will be mounted in the front of the headset. There are slots for you to put a headphone wire thru to the phone, on both sides, and also allow any speakers to pass thru sound and actually amplify them as they go out a bit too. There is also an area where your nose will fit into, so good thing this thing is soft. There is a flexible elastic band for wrapping around your head, plus an extra band for going from the back of the main band, over the top of your head, to help distribute the weight a bit. The design of that works very well. There is also access a front eye piece foam, which can be removed if you are using an app that is supposed to work in conjunction with, like if an app needs access to the phones camera, etc. Most of the time you would have that eye piece put in to block out any light. This VR headset will fit even larger phones, like the LG V10, and will stay put inside that very soft foam. One very awesome thing of the design, is that the lenses themselves will move left to right, to adjust for varying head sizes, so you can really get a good customization for your head. Most other google cardboard products don’t do this, and you kind of hold them, and then have to either keep them close to your head, or hold them away from your head. This solves that issue for such a relatively inexpensive device. The sliders for this adjustment also doubles as a push-down, in-app selection device in supported software. This slider/button is on top of the headset. The viewing experience is pretty good, not much latency that I could sense at least. The viewing experience was great, and not blurry as you might think for an item in this price range. This is a great gift for a young person(over 8 I would imagine), and even grown ups. Very fun to watch movies on too, without disturbing your significant other.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great mobile VR headset. Zero Regrets

    Posted
    TXEngineer
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I've been wanting to try out a virtual reality headset for a while now. After reading a lot about different ones I decided to try out these Merge VR's. I have to say, they're pretty cool! The first thing that stood out was how durable they are. They're made out of a soft foam and can already say that they stand up well to abuse from kids/travel. I downloaded a couple of the apps I recommended on the Merge site, loaded my iPhone 6, and was pretty impressed. Is it as clear and immersive as the Vive? Probably not. But for a mobile VR option, these are great especially for the price. They're really comfortable, and doesn't fog up. I can wear my glasses comfortably, which is a definite bonus. The lens adjustments are easy to use and the buttons on top are a cool feature. I'm looking forward to trying more apps that make better use of the buttons though. Overall very intuitive and easy to use. We recently took it with us on a road trip, and it kept the kids entertained (worth it's weight for that alone). My kids have my retired iPhone 5S and it worked just fine too. Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase. If you're looking for a VR headset that doesn't require a specific phone and travels well, I can definitely recommend this one.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    OK, but could be more universal

    Posted
    Phjilek36
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    These goggles fit ok on my head (adult), but my son (5 years) said that it hurt his eyes to look into it. I figured out why. You have to have your eyes lined up perfectly in the center of the lenses, or it looks blurry and very uncomfortable. The games to play with this are still very primitive, so eventually this will be really cool. Unfortunately the phone and games are what is holding it back at this point. The games seem like playing Atari again. My son was so excited to use it, but when he got to, he took it off in less than a minute, and didn't want anything to do with it anymore. For me, I thought it was cool to use and interact with, but the games are quite limited. Taking this review based only on the device, the device fit my Nexus 6 (6" diameter) phone when i shoved it in there. the power button was hit and turned off the device when I put it in the goggles. I had to take it out, and then turn on the device, because my power button could not be reached from the outside. I bet if my phone were smaller, it would possibly be able to turn off without taking it out, but it depends completely where the buttons are. The goggles have an opening on the middle bottom, but not all the way across. The opening for the camera lens is only on 1 side. So unfortunately the power buttons and volume buttons are always going to be pointing down, based on the buttons being on the right side of my phone, and the lens on the the top. If the goggles had an opening on both sides, then it could be universal, or fit better. At least the power button and volume could be reached. The straps are nice, that they can easily be expanded or retracted with Velcro. Thankfully they are not adjustable like snorkeling goggles, and only use Velcro. The material that it is made out of seems like a foam/rubber mix. If someone were to drop it, I wouldn't fear it breaking, which is great. Overall, I think the goggles could have been designed a little better, especially knowing how the phones these days are getting bigger and bigger, but also be more universal.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    There are better options at better prices

    Posted
    Arjay67
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    Merge VR Goggles I didn’t know quite what to expect from VR goggles. This was my first experience so I wondered if the experience would live up to the hype. Upon unpacking, I found the Merge Goggles (MG) to be mostly a soft foam-based creation. This is good as they are quite comfortable and you don’t have to worry about anyone getting knocked out from an inadvertent bump to the head with these. They have a slot near the front where you install your smartphone. For my use I pushed in my iPhone 6 and it was held securely by friction alone. I felt safe in using the device without the potential for damage to my phone. There’s also a triangular pop out to allow open access to the camera if you want to use it with AR apps and accessories like the Merge Cube. Apps vary greatly in their function and presentation. The 3rd party app that I first tried (recommended by the Merge website) was Ascape. They have a good library of media, some free and some paid. But it’s not suited well for the MG. It displays full-screen and the lenses cannot be adjusted to get a good image. For their stuff you’re better off just viewing it on your smartphone or tablet. (it which it works very well) Then I tried a couple apps that I found on the AppStore from Merge. These worked great with the MG lenses, but to achieve this the images are displayed as two smaller images on your smartphone screen and the lenses then magnify them. This causes them to be less than full view and very pixelated. The apps must be computationally intensive as they burn through your battery very quickly. You’ll see a drop of nearly 2% per minute of use and make your iPhone get rather warm. There is also the Merge Start portal, which is basically useless. Navigation and searching are difficult and when you attempt to use one of the apps, you get a persistent spinner and the app NEVER loads. Just sucks more of your battery away. Summary: Simple foam-based construction, seems a bit pricey. Works well with stock apps, but 3rd party or web based…..forgeddaboutit!

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend