Virtual Reality devices for smartphones are probably the most affordable VR option on the market right now. You can download VR apps to your phone, then slide the phone into a smartphone-compatible wearable VR device (sold separately). You'll see these products called goggles, glasses, headsets and viewers, and they let your phone become a portal to the virtual world. They're perfect for 360° gaming on the go. But VR on cell phones is not limited to gaming. Imagine a real estate agent giving a virtual tour of a property wherever they are, or a student getting a more lifelike learning experience.
There are two main types of products that will let you experience VR on your smartphone: 1) Handheld devices that require you to hold them up to your face, like binoculars, to view content, or 2) Headsets that are worn on your head, so you can free up your hands for other tasks.
Since VR devices for cell phones use your smartphone to function, you will need to make sure the VR device is compatible with your specific phone. Some devices will only work with iPhones, while others are designed to work with specific Android models. There are also devices that work with a wide range of phone sizes and types.
Smartphone VR Device Features
As more products become available, features will vary by product. However, here are some of the features to check out on current VR devices for cell phones:
Focus: Since VR is dependent upon seeing the virtual world through two lenses, the experience may differ based on the size and shape of your face. To compensate for this, many devices let you make adjustments to the focus to reduce blurriness, or the pupillary distance (PD), which could have an impact on image alignment and picture quality. With adjustable PD, you can calibrate the screens to line up with your eyes for an all-around better experience.
Faceplate cushions and vents: If you plan on using your VR device for long periods, you may want to consider a device with built-in faceplate cushions for added comfort. Some VR devices also have vents along the edges to help your face and the device stay cool.
Headphone jack openings: If you want to use headphones with your VR device, it will need to have an opening to accommodate the headphone jack on your phone, or you might want to connect to wireless headphones via Bluetooth.