Disclosure: The folks at EverBuying just sent me a free review copy of the VRToto headset. Thanks, guys! The purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I know that carry it, with affiliate links where available.
Bottom line: This headset does not make my best-buy list. It is heavy in comparison to other viewers that have come out recently, and the focal adjustment distance does not hold steady — it’s too easy to hold the headset in such a way that the smartphone moves towards or away from the lenses, losing focus.
1. Field of view
The field of view is officially listed as 96 degrees, which is the same as the Gear VR. I have no complaints on this score. The view was sharp, clear and very immersive.
This headset is officially billed at 300 grams, or about 10.6 ounces, but on my kitchen scale it came in at 14 ounces, or about 400 grams, without the straps.
Usual straps that go around the sides and over the top of the head. No complains, but nothing particularly great about them, either.
4. Fits over glasses
My glasses fit, but just barely.
5. Adjustable lenses
The interpupillary distance is adjustable, which is the distance between the lenses. In addition, the focal distance of the lenses is adjustable, but not individually. However, the focal distance adjustment knobs aren’t sticky enough. That is, they move the entire front of the headset back and forth, and its too easy to undo the adjustment just by holding the viewer or setting it down.
Given the choice, I prefer that headset manufacturers move the lenses themselves back and forth, instead of moving an entire section of the headset itself.
6. Ready for augmented reality
The colored plastic panel on the front of the viewer comes off, allowing the outward-facing camera on the smartphone a clear view.
7. Fits over audio and power cables
Gaps on the sides allow for power and audio cables.
Mine did not come with a controller, but you will need one if you use apps that require you to use a button.
9. Ease of use
The mechanism to hold the smartphone in place reminds me a lot of the FiiT VR. You open the outside cover, and there’s a little shelf to hold the phone in place, with a sponge pressing against the back of the phone to keep it in place.
The one major usability issue, as mentioned above, is the focal distance adjustment problem.
The VRToto also comes with a unique little piece of hardware, a little cap that gets attached to the smartphone camera that lets it take side-by-side virtual reality photographs.
It’s a little black plastic device that seems designed to split the camera’s view into two images.
There was a little diagram that came with the headset that showed how you were supposed to use this, but I couldn’t figure it out.
In any case, if I wanted to take virtual reality photographs, I would simply use my Cardboard Camera app.
As I mentioned above, mine was free, but I probably won’t be keeping it. I’ll be giving it away to my readers who take a survey. However, if I were to keep it, I have a feeling it would become my go-to headset because it’s so easy to use.
Check out her author page on Amazon or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Her first virtual world novella, Krim Times, made the Amazon best-seller list in its category. Her second novella, The Lost King of Krim, is out now.
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