Review: Noton a cute low-cost cardboard alternative

Noton (3)

My cellphone is just a tiny bit wider than the Noton headset.

If you want to trade up from a VR headset made out of cardboard, but don’t want to spend any more money than you would for a cardboard, check out the Noton headset.

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It is so small and cute.

The headset drops right in, and there’s a little pad inside the keep the phone firmly in place. The phone didn’t move even when I was whipping my head around in End Space VR trying to shoot down enemy spaceships.

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Front view of the Noton.

Even though it’s an enclosed headset made out of plastic, it weights just 6 ounces with straps.

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It came with a page of instructions and a lens cleaning cloth.

It fits any phone with screen sizes between 4.7 and 6 inches and the company claims a field of view of 95 degrees. It definitely felt that immersive to me.

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This is the box it came in.

The downsides is that it does not fit over glasses, and the lenses are not adjustable. There is also no button, and no direct access to the screen, so you will have to buy an external controller for some applications.

There is no padding around the lenses. This can make it uncomfortable for prolonged use, but also makes it easy to clean with a wipe if in a multi-user situation.

In addition — like many Chinese headsets — it did not come with a Google Cardboard QR code.

I tried several of the QR Codes on this page, until I found one that fit, which was from a BWM Cardboard viewer.

I’m posting it below as a temporary QR Code, until I find an official one:

Noton temp QR Code

Temporary QR Code for Noton headset.

I got mine for around $6 on GearBest with free shipping. It’s also available for $4 on DealsMachine, but you have to pay for shipping. I haven’t — yet — seen it anywhere else.

I’m definitely recommending this headset. I found it to have a clear and wide field of view, sturdy, and light.

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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.

8 Responses

  1.' Kerlen Ferreira says:

    Hi, Maria. Coudl you answer some questions?
    What’s the FOV of this VR Glasses? I bought one, but didn’t arrived yet.
    Those goggles have the “Tunnel vision”?
    Did you watch SBS movies with U Noton glasses?
    What’s you opinion about those glasses?

    • The field of view is 95 degrees. The degree of “tunnel vision” you get will depend a lot on your phone. With a large-screen phone, you’re going to see just a narrow black border around the edges. With a small phone, you’ll see more of the tunnel effect.

      Yes, you can watch SBS movies, 360 videos, and VR videos with these glasses, and with all Google Cardboard-compatible viewers.

      If you have normal vision and just want a low-cost, sturdy, easy-to-use headset, the Noton is great.

      • Update — when it comes to movies, if you have an older or low-res phone, you might want to pick a viewer with a narrow field of view. The Baofeng Mojing XD, for example, is specifically designed for watching movies.

        The Noton is great, however, for immersive virtual reality experiences, VR videos, and casual games.

  2.' ChicoMenashe says:

    Hey, thanks for the excellent review. But why, why require email verification for disqus…
    What is it with these Chinese sets, I have to through your helpful list of QR codes every time to try to find good candidates.

  3.' Jon S says:

    Would this work well with a 5.2″ screen?

  4.' Mike Cousins says:

    Hi Maria – I just finished modding my Noton and I’m planning to buy a bunch more of them from gearbest to give out as presents. Here are two pictures showing what i did and what i used. First off, the focus was off for me, so I used some foam board i got at a hobby shop for $1 and cut it to fit the front of the viewer, which pushed the phone out about a quarter of an inch more, and now the focus is nice and sharp. Then I went through several different ways of making padding for the back of the viewer where it contacts your face. I finally found some nice “rubber foam weatherseal” that i bought at home depot for around $4. I can probably do 4 or 5 more headsets with what i have left of it. it’s super comfortable. check out the pics…..