18 open-sided VR headsets

Open-sided virtual reality headsets are small, fold flat, and can be easily carried in a pocket or purse. Since most don’t have head straps, they are typically suited for quick, on-the-go VR experiences or demonstrations.

The open sides allow easy access to the phone screen for interactivity, or switching apps. However, they also allow in light and reduce the feeling of immersion.

I’ve used all the shopping sites mentioned below, including GearBest and AliExpress, and have been very satisfied with the service.

The headsets below are organized by price, with the least expensive first.

Disclosure: All of the headsets below that are linked to reviews, I’ve bought and paid for myself. For the shopping links, I’ve used affiliate links where available.


Mini VR 3D Glasses

$4 on GearBest, available for 3.5 to 5.5 inch iPhones and Android phones. Field of view ranges from 90 to 110 degrees, depending on screen size. Weighs less than 2.5 ounces.

VR Case 1SVR Case 1S

$4 on Amazon, available for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S, in black, gold, gray and pink.

VR Smart Pro 8 squareVR Start Pro 8

$5 on AliExpress, available for 3.5 to 6 inch iPhones and Android phones. In black, blue, pink and white. Field of view is 80 degrees. Doubles as a phone stand. A simiilar case is available for $4 from GearBest in white, blue and black.

Foldable VR 3D Glasses

$5 on GearBest, fits any phone from 3.5 to 6 inch screen size, available in black, folds in half. The field of view is 80 degrees, and the weight is less than 1.5 ounces.

Foldable VR Glasses - squareFoldable VR Glasses

$6 on GearBest, fits any phone from 4 to 6 inch screen size, available in white or black, folds in half.

VR FoldVR Fold

$9 on Amazon. 95 degree field of view, adjustable lenses, fits any phone from 4 to 6 inch screen size, available in black, purple and red, folds in half. Review here.

VR Case

$5 on Amazon, $9 on GearBest, available for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 6S, in rose gold and black. Folds flat, doubles as phone case and phone stand.

VR Case II -- SquareVR Case II

$10 on Amazon, available for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus, in gold, pink and gray. Folds flat, doubles as phone case.

Cobra VR squareCobra VR

$10 on Amazon, fits any smartphone, folds flat. Review here.

VR Cat squareVR Cat

$10 on AliExpress, fits iPhone 6 and 6s and iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus, folds flat, doubles as case.

Baofeng small mojing VR blackBaofeng Mojing Small

$12 on AliExpress, fits any smartphone, folds flat, adjustable lenses. Also available in purple for $16. Available on Amazon for $15 in black, blue and purple under the bThere brand. Review here.

Homido mini - squareHomido Mini

$15 on Amazon, fits any smartphone. Folds in half. Review here.

VR Cups - squareVR Cups

$20 on Amazon, fits any smartphone, cups stick to screen.

GoggleTech squareGoggle Tech C1-Glass

$25 on Amazon, fits any smartphone, folds flat, comes with nice carrying case. Review here.

AntVR squareAntVR

$30 on Amazon, $15 on AliExpress, fits any phone from 4.5 to 6 inch screen size, available in white and black. A very similar design is available from GearBest for $7Review here.

SmartVR from Dodocase -- squareSmartVR

Preorder for $40 from Dodocase. Fits all smartphones, folds flat.

Speck - Pocket VRPocket VR from Speck

$70 on Amazon, available for iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S7.

FigmentVR - squareFigmentVR

Preorder for $70, available for iPhone 6, 6 plus, 6S and 6S plus in white or black. Doubles as phone case.

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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.

12 Responses

  1. orxan.huseynov69@mail.ru' Orxan Huseynov says:

    Hi Maria!
    Can you tell me Baofeng 5 or Noon Vr or Homido VR? if you choose any of these three would you choose? I have 5,2 phone. Google Nexus 5X

    • Of the three brands, I’ve had the best experience so far, by far, with the Baofeng Mojing headsets. I haven’t tried the Baofeng 5 — is that one of the new open-front ones? — so I can’t compare those three directly. I have the 3, and 4, and the tiny little folding one.

      If you’re asking about choosing between the Baofeng Moving folding glasses, and the Homido Mini, I’d go for the Baofeng each time. It holds the phone with two arms, instead of just with one. The Homido Mini keeps sliding out of place, and the last thing you want in virtual reality is the view suddenly going radically out of focus while you’re engrossed in a virtual experience. Ah! The motion sickness!

      If you’re considering the larger Homido headset, based on the specs I’ve seen, it’s way over-priced and way under-featured.

      I haven’t tried the Noon VR but, again, from the specs it looks over-priced and under-featured.

      With a lot of the cardboard headsets, you don’t get what you pay for. The larger companies in China, like Baofeng, sell millions of these headsets (I’m not kidding — Baofeng is planning to sell 10 million this year) and the put a lot of money into development and get a lot of user feedback and are making a lot of improvements very quickly. The smaller firms, like Noon and Homido, seem to be falling farther and farther behind with every month, as other companies add features and lower prices — and they don’t.

      • orxan.huseynov69@mail.ru' Orxan Huseynov says:

        Ok. but if to choose between the two? Baofeng 5 or Fiit VR 2S? my phone 5,2

        • I’m not sure which of the Baofengs you’re referring to. If you mean the open-sided, folding Baofeng headset, that’s great option for when you need something that can fit into a small pocket or that you can give away as stocking stuffers or as conference promos. The FiiT VR 2S is for keeping at your desk or living room table for watching 360-degree videos and playing casual games.

          If you’re talking about the Baofeng Mojing D, which has a field of view of 60 degrees, I would only recommend it for people with old, low-resolution phones who like to watch regular movies and videos on a virtual movie screen. You don’t need a field field of view to look at a movie screen, and a narrower field of view makes the most use of the few pixels you have on your smartphone screen. But it’s not a particularly immersive way to enjoy casual games and 360-degree videos.

      • orxan.huseynov69@mail.ru' Orxan Huseynov says:

        Baofeng Morning 5 – its a new baofeng.

        • Ah, right — that’s the new one with positional tracking from Leap Motion and a touch pad:


          Waste of money.

          In order to use the positional tracking and touch pad, you need custom apps. Baofeng is big, but it’s not Facebook-big or Google-big or Samsung-big. So it’s not likely to attract a lot of developers to its platform. It is, however, big in China, so if you speak Chinese, you might be able to get something out of it.

          Plus, the trackpad and extra sensors require power, so you have to keep charging it up. Unless they somehow get a bunch of English-language developers onto this platform, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy it, unless they themselves are an app developer working in an enterprise, and plan to write custom apps that use the extra features.