Baofeng Mojing 3 best alternative to Gear VR yet

I just received the Baofeng Mojing 3 in the mail, and it’s the best alternative I’ve seen yet to the Samsung Gear VR. Plus, it works with all smartphones — not just the latest Samsung models.

Baofeng Mojing 3 VR headset. (Image courtesy Baofeng Mojing.)

Baofeng Mojing 3 VR headset. (Image courtesy Baofeng Mojing.)

It has an excellent field of view of 98 degrees, weighs a reasonable 15 ounces, adjusts both for interpupillary distance and focal distance, and comes with its own external controller.

No, it’s not a smart headset like the Samsung Gear VR — there’s no built-in trackpad, or back button, or volume button, or extra sensors, like the Gear VR has. But it’s also just half the price and it can run hundreds of Google Cardboard apps, not just the three dozen or so apps in the Gear VR app store.

My favorite part about the headset is the way it holds the smartphone in place. The front panel — which is actually transparent, for augmented reality applications — flips open easily. The smartphone sits inside on a ledge and a very soft foam pad then keeps it in place. Close the panel and it shuts tight, via some sort of magnetic mechanism.

There are vents on both sides for cooling, and for cords. Plus, there’s a built-in jack for headphones. And while the padded area that sits on your face isn’t as wide as that of the Gear VR, it was still more than wide enough for my glasses.

The headset comes with a second set of lenses, if you want a narrower field of view but better graphics — say, for watching movies on a giant virtual screen. It comes with its own virtual reality app, but it’s in Chinese, so I don’t know what goodies might be hidden in there.

I’m now using it as my main virtual reality headset.

Order it for $60 from Amazon or $39 from AliExpress. I ordered mine from AliExpress, shipping was free, and it took exactly two weeks to arrive.

Baofeng Mojing 4 VR headset. (Image courtesy Baofeng Mojing.)

Baofeng Mojing 4 VR headset. (Image courtesy Baofeng Mojing.)

But I recommend moving right up to the Baofeng Mojing 4, which is just 11 ounces and a fancier design, for $70 on Amazon or $48 on AliExpress.

On a side note, I’m noticing lately that the best mobile headsets — the Gear VR, the Baofeng Mojing, the Ling VR, Noon VR, XinGear — are all following a common pattern of white body and black faceplate and trim. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I personally like the look.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

21 Responses

  1.' Reza says:

    Thanks For the review.
    Why would you recommend buying the 4th version instead of the 3rd?
    Is the quality better or something? I just know that the 4th version doesn’t have the extra lens that the 3rd has.
    Thanks Again 😉
    Good Luck 😉

    • I haven’t tried the fourth version — the only thing I know about it is that it’s lighter and has a funkier headstrap.

      Meanwhile, switching out lenses is a huge pain in the butt. I’m going to guess that most people will pick one set of lenses or the other, and then either deal with playing games with a narrow FOV or watching videos with a larger one. I personally have no problems watching the videos on the larger screen. Yes, you do get the screen door effect more pronounced but I’d take that over the annoyance of finding and switching the lenses.

      I’m guessing that most people are like me — they’ll take the wider-screen view, and their phones’ screens are good enough that the image quality doesn’t suffer too badly.

      I think a bigger issue would be that V3 is described as holding phones up to 6 inches, while V4 only goes up to 5.5. So before picking one or the other, double-check that the headset fits your particular phone.

      •' Reza says:

        Ok, Thanks so much.

        What do you think about Merge VR? How would it compare to this?
        Thanks Again.

        • Merge VR costs twice as much, and has a slightly narrower field of view. However, it does have a button, so you can play more games without needing an external controller.

          I personally didn’t like the look and feel of the Merge VR — the purple foam makes it feel like a kids’ toy, but it’s way overpriced for that. I also didn’t find it particularly comfortable, but that could just be me.

  2.' jahepi says:

    Hi Maria, thanks for the review.
    How do this compare to the Freeflyvr headset, have you tried it, is it better than Baofeng?
    Thanks in advanced.

  3.' Samuel Drake says:

    Hi Maria, I just purchased the Baofeng Mojing 4 based on your reviews. Do you know how to get their bluetooth remote to work with cardboard apps?

    • On the Android, I just synced it, and the button on the remote worked like a button on the headset. I also bought a separate iPega, which I use with my Gear VR, but I haven’t found any Cardboard apps out there yet that support more than one button. (Has anyone else seen any?)

      Most apps don’t use any buttons at all, but have a look-to-activate functionality instead.

      On my iPhone, however, I haven’t been able to get ANY Bluetooth controllers to work. The iPhone sees them, but does register the clicks. I haven’t been able to figure out what the story is yet.

      •' Samuel Drake says:

        Thanks Maria, I appreciate all the research you have done. It has been very helpful. We have been enjoying the Mojing 4 but there are a few things I don’t like.

        It does not sit firm against my face and so when I turn my head it bobbles and the image blurs.

        The lenses are crystal clear right in the center but as you move your gaze toward the edges the image blurs and separates into colors. I used a Gear VR in Best Buy and it did not seem to have that issue. That must reflect the difference in price.

        The remote paired with my phone just fine, but will not work with any app that needs the magnet button, In fact i have only found one or two that it works with at all. I ordered an OTG cable and I am going to try pairing my ps3 remote to see if that works. I did pair a bluetooth mouse and the left click on that would trigger the magnet button.

        I used the QR code on your site for awhile but it felt like it was too far zoomed in to the image. I started using the QR code for the Mojing 3 and it seems better, I have a wider field of view with that one.

        Thanks again for all the info, its very difficult to make a purchasing decision on these things without some help. I think that the next time I upgrade my phone I will get the Samsung s7 and the Gear VR. That didn’t strain my eyes the way my Mojing 4 and Samsung s5 does. Its all fun and games until you get nauseous.

      •' p juneja says:

        Quick question. Can Gear VR be used with NON-Samsung phones for cardboard apps. I am fine if I cannot use its trackpad or any other feature and just as a dumb headset? I may use iPega.

  4.' Mustafa A. says:

    So you say mojing 3 has two lenses. What about mojing 4? And can u compare mojing xd-mojing 3-mojing 4- fiit vr ?
    İs fiit vr still your best?
    last question i heard about the 6 ınch phones dont fit in Fiit vr ,is that right?

    • Yes, I prefer the FiiT VR out of all three. The Mojing 3 came with two sets of lenses, the Mojing 4 just came with one — the wide FOV ones. (Maybe that was just me, though.)

      The FiiT VR is officially supposed to fit phones from 4.0 to 6.5 inches in size.

      One thing I have found out recently, though, is that not all headsets of a particular type or brand are manufactured by the same place, and may have different components, materials, etc… I’m already going nuts trying to keep track of all the brand names all the headsets are distributed under! So you’ve got multiple distributors AND multiple manufacturers … if anyone has any tips on how to get the OFFICIAL, best version of a headset, please let me know!!!

      The Shinecon and the FiiT VR in particular seem to be made and sold by a lot of different folks, under a lot of different names. My advice is to check the return policy carefully before buying, and if what you get doesn’t match what you expected, return it and complain in the comments.