HelloPro a solid VR viewer with headphones

It’s taken me a while to write this review, because I’ve been out of town and caught up with various other issues. So, my apologies to HelloPro, who sent me this headset more than two months ago. Sorry, guys!

HelloPro virtual reality headset in its original package. (Image by Maria Korolov.)

Now, I personally don’t like viewers with built-in headphones, and was at first put off by the headset’s bulk, stiff plastic construction and black color. But after trying it out, it turns out that this headset actually has everything that I am looking for in a Cardboard headset.

HelloPro viewer. (Image courtesy HelloPro.)


Disclosure: I received a review version of the headset free from HelloPro. But you know me — I’m happy to bash a headset that I don’t like, even if I do get it for free. Another disclosure is that if there are affiliate links available to the product, I’ll include them, which means that if you buy the headset through the link, we’ll get a commission that we can use to pay for more OpenSim coverage.

The HelloPro virtual reality headset comes with an audio cable, lens cleaning cloth, straps and user manual. (Image by Maria Korolov.)

1. Field of view

The official field of view is 102 degrees, which puts it in the “excellent” range. When I tested it with the Sites in VR app, it did seem to be in the high 90s. The field of view depends on the phone you have — mine is a Pixel XL — so your experience may vary.

Also, if you have an older phone with a low-resolutions screen, you won’t want a high field of view because it makes the image look pixellated. But with a new, high-resolution phone like mine, the wide field of view is excellent.


2. Weight

The official weight is 15 ounces, which is a little heavier than I like. However, some of that weight is in the headphones, which makes it a bit more balanced on your head. I personally didn’t have a problem with the weight while wearing it.

3. Straps

Standard three-way straps.

4. Fits over glasses

This headset fit easily over my glasses with room to spare.

5. Adjustable lenses

Both the focus of the lenses and the distance between the lenses is adjustable. Better yet — and this is very unusual for a mobile VR headset — the focus of each lens is adjustable individually.

Bottom view of the HelloPro virtual reality headset. The two dials adjust for lens focus, and distance between lenses. (Image by Maria Korolov.)

Combined with the fact that this headset fits over glasses means that there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll be able to see well in it.

6. Ready for augmented reality

There are cut-out windows on the front of the headset, which allows my smartphone’s camera to see out. Your should, too, unless you camera is in a weird position, like the center of the phone.

7. Fits over cables

There are openings on both sides of the front cover for cables to go through if you need to charge up the phone while using it. Plus, there’s also a built-in plug if you want to use the headphones that come built into the viewer.

8. Controller

This is the one thing I liked best about this headset — there’s a nice capacitative-touch button on the top of the viewer. If your phone is an iPhone and you can’t use external controllers, or you have an Android phone and just don’t like using external controllers, this is a must-have feature.

I tried it out with my favorite space shooter game, Minos Starfighter VR, and it worked great.

9. Price

The one that I received retails for $35 from Amazon. You can also get it for $28 from GearBest.

10. Ease of use

I’ve got to say, everything works. Putting the phone into the headset is super simple — just flip open the cover, drop the phone in, and snap the cover shut.

There are little adjustable shelves at the bottom to hold your phone in place. The first time I put in my phone, one of the shelves was higher than another, so everything was out of focus, no matter what QR Code I tried or how much I tried to calibrate it with calibration apps. So, if you’re having the same problem, check for that.

And speaking of QR Codes — the headset didn’t come with one. Instead, it came with a code that took you to a 360-degree video app, VeeR VR.

I couldn’t find an official Google Cardboard QR Code for this headset anywhere, so I made my own with Sites in VR:

Of course, my eyes are wonky, so if you have any problems with the focus using that QR Code, you can adjust it easily with the Sites in VR app yourself.

The instructions for how to calibrate your viewer with a QR Code are here.



Bottom line

I have nothing bad to say about this headset, and would recommend it for anyone looking for an entry-level virtual reality headset that works with late-model smartphones, both Android and iPhone. It is a very good headset for watching 360-degree videos and playing casual games.

This is also the only headset I’ve seen so far that has a built-in button, individually adjustable lenses, and built in headphones.

Maria Korolov