Google Cardboard vs Samsung Gear VR vs Oculus Rift vs VR One vs HTC Vive

Virtual reality is back baby – 2016 is all set to be the year when the likes of Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive Pre take VR mainstream. Virtual reality is an immersive experience in which your head movements are tracked in a three dimensional world, making it suited to games and even movies. To ease you gently into the world of VR technology we’ve explained the key specs and the major differences between the headsets below, as well as outlining how other headsets, such as Samsung’s Gear VR, Google’s Cardboard and the various other devices on the market, fit into the picture.

Oculus Rift

Of course, Oculus Rift is the virtual reality headset that started the current hysteria. Developed by Palmer Luckey, funded via Kickstarter and snapped up by Facebook for a cool $2 billion, the Rift plugs into your computer’s DVI and USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery to its stereo screens. Virtual reality is poised for a huge breakout in 2016 CES; we know this. The debut of Oculus Rift is imminent (and the latest version will be at CES), services (including Facebook) are already supporting 360-degree video and simpler viewers like Google Cardboard have whetted the appetite for immersive experiences.


It’s available to order now, with shipping expected in March 2016. The Oculus Touch controllers have been delayed until later in the year, but you will get an Xbox One control pad in the box. Make sure you check out or round up of the best games for Oculus Rift. ($599,

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung’s entry into VR has delivered one of the best all-round and consumer friendly headsets on the market, albeit, with a restrictive walled garden that we’re becoming accustomed to with its wearable offerings.


The Gear VR, now available officially to consumers, is an Oculus Rift powered device that uses a Samsung Galaxy smartphone as its processor and display. The Galaxy handset simply slots in front of the lenses, into a Micro USB dock, and uses its Super AMOLED display as your screen.

It’s already added a host of games and a whole marketplace of VR video content called Milk VR. And if you want to try it out, just head to Samsung stores, museums and even hotel rooms for a taster.

In our Samsung Gear VR review, we said that “Samsung’s first VR headset is an awesome peek into the future of VR for the rest of us and we’re betting on Samsung to make good on its promise to get enough movies, games and VR experiences onto the Gear VR as possible.” ($99,

Google Cardboard

Google’s been working tirelessly to make sure virtual reality isn’t just about pricey headsets that nobody can afford. That’s why it launched Cardboard in 2014. The idea was that Google would create a set of open-source requirements for smartphone-powered VR headsets, and anyone could go out and sell them to the public. The plans are freely available so anyone can make their own Cardboard headset, too.


Cardboard is very basic, and can be rather uncomfortable to wear, but it still provides a rough VR experience using hardware that people already own – their own smartphones. It offers nowhere near the same level of immersion as the more expensive headsets, but it’s there and it’s good for what it is. Never forget that a piece of cardboard and a couple of lenses mean you can use one of the thousand Cardboard-compatible apps whenever you feel like it. Be it wandering around Google Street View, practising your speeches, or even streaming games from your PC.

Plus the low-cost of cardboard means it’s easy to tweak and modify, which is what Google did with Cardboard 2.0 last summer. Obviously tweaking the Cardboard experience is bound to be on the agenda for I/O 2016, and there is no doubt that Google will have a few announcements to make. Rumour is that there is a plastic headset in the works, and even one that doesn’t need a smartphone attached.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive was unveiled at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress. It is a project by HTC and Valve and is designed to be used with Valve’s OpenVR platform. It also needs a powerful PC to work.

The HTC Vive was unveiled at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress. It is a project by HTC and Valve and is designed to be used with Valve’s OpenVR platform. It also needs a powerful PC to work.

The headset features a dual-screen display that offers a 1080 x 1200 pixel resolution that renders images at 90 frames per second and uses 32 headset sensors to work flawlessly. It is said the the HTC Vive headgear can give its users a room measuring 15 feet by 15 feet to work in, and a field of view of 110 degrees . It is also equipped with a front-facing camera to detect any moving or static object and it uses wall-mounted Laser sensors for the location and movement of the user.

Pre-orders will begin on Feb. 29 and the package includes two wireless controllers and room-scale motion tracking devices. It is priced at $799.

Zeiss VR One

Optics specialist Zeiss has its own virtual reality headset that converts an iPhone or Android device into an immersive 3D experience. The Zeiss VR One is very similar to Samsung’s Gear VR headset, but with a universal design. The VR One features a tray to hold your phone and you’ll need the appropriate tray for your handset, be that iPhone 6, SGS6, Sony Xperia Z5 and so on.

The VR One will work with any app that is made for VR headsets such as Cardboard apps, delivering two images, so that each eye is separate and allows for a 3D experience. The VR One has a head strap and the One GX, like Cardboard, is designed for holding to your face. The Zeiss VR One is available now for about £110.

There are many more systems like the Zeiss VR that will accept phones in various forms and offer a similar approach to VR. If you’re getting into smartphone-based VR, this is a good way to go.

PlayStation VR

Previously known as Project Morpheus, this headset has been christened PlayStation VR – somewhat fitting considering it is not PC but PlayStation 4 driven.

PlayStation VR, rather than presenting a complete VR system, is an accessory for the PS4 console, meaning it will be less costly to own than something like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive when it arrives in October 2016.

The headset itself will be just £349 ($399) – a lot less than equivalent rivals – and the fact that the console is less pricey than a high-end gaming PC keeps costs down further.

PlayStation VR uses the same technologies as the others, however. It tracks movement of your head and uses the PlayStation Camera, in combination with your regular PS4 controller, to present the VR experience, moving the visuals from your TV to your face. This is an extension of your PS4, which is likely to see it as an easy VR choice for many.

There will also be a full line-up of content available from launch later this year, with plenty of trailers released. On the cards for gamers are titles such as Golem and Ace Combat 7; we’ve experienced Drive Club on PlayStation VR and it was excellent and Gran Turismo Sport has confirmed support too, which is really exciting.

PlayStation VR removes plenty of barriers to VR because it’s an accessory to an existing platform. We expect to hear even more as the year unfolds. PlayStation VR is going to bring immersive gaming to your existing console.

Get the 3D Movies Experience on Google Cardboard/Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One

Are you owning one VR headsets? Or plan to buy one for viewing 3d movies with Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One etc? Yes, you can view 3D movies on Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One with smartphones, which is so amazing. But you should know these 3D glasses only support side by side 3D videos well. So in order to let you watch 3D films on Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One with 3D effects without any problems, you’e better convert your movies to Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One supported 3D formats with one professional 3D video converter for Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One – Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate (Mac). 

With it, you can convert any 2D/3D movies including 2D/3D DVD, Blu-ray, ISO, YouTube video, YIFY, MKV, MP4, AVI etc to any VR including Google Cardboard/Samsung Gear VR/Oculus Rift/VR One and other VR headsets formats for your easy enjoying anytime anywhere. Detail tips you can read how to view 3d movies on Google CardboardSamsung Gear VROculus RiftVR One, etc. (read review)


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