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Despite being popular and mainstream, for the average consumer that wants to partake and experience the world of virtual reality, it is not easy figuring out where to star. The virtual reality age is among us and many companies have launched their own VR headsets and distribution platforms. But which one is the perfect one for your needs and budget? Numerous competitors have emerged since the inception of VR headsets from Sony’s PlayStation VR and HTC Vive to headsets powered by smartphones like the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.
Furthermore, there are literally hundreds of developers creating VR apps and games as well as film-makers exploring the potential for animation and documentaries. Even social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have joined the bandwagon with their 360-degree videos.
However, if you’re a newbie to virtual reality, it can be overwhelming. You may be asking yourself questions like which VR set to buy? Are the virtual reality headsets worth it? Which phones support VR? And if you’re budget is constraint, what is the cheapest VR headset? Well, no need to worry, here at Latest Deals we have everything necessary you need to know about virtual reality. Plus if you’re looking for cheap VR headset, you’re definitely on the right place. We have the hottest VR headset, games and accessories deals, sale, discount codes and voucher codes from Amazon, eBay, John Lewis, Simply Games, Sports Direct, Currys, Tesco and more.
The basics you need to know
The VR headset is the most important piece of any virtual reality kit. It’s a device that looked like a thick pair goggles that you wear over your eyes. Those VR headsets of high-quality and higher price tags need to be connected to your computer for running games and apps, while there are cheap VR headsets that you can use on your smartphone and clipped to the front of the headset.
All VR headsets needs a good quality pair of headphones. You can also find other optional accessories on the market such as hand controllers and treadmills to enhance your virtual reality experience. A hand controller translates your real world gestures into whatever app or game you are using. Though you can also use a standard gaming joypad.
Just like a smartphone app store, VR devices have their own app stores as well, wherein you can download apps and games. You can access most of these stores using the VR device itself, while there are others can be viewed using your computer.
What to look for when choosing a VR headset
- Display. This plays a major role in making the whole experience a great one. Most displays are OLEDs which will have a couple of screens, one for each eye, and provides a very exceptional image colour, contrast and clarity. Make sure that the display resolution is at least 1080x1200. Another factor you need to have a look at is its image refresh rate which determines how fast the image moves and changes while you are playing. This should range from 90 to 150Hz if possible.
- Audio. Virtual reality is not all about the visual experience, audio is essential as well in making very gaming scene as real as possible. Sound quality will vary in every virtual reality headset as well as how audio is produced and the earpieces provided. High-end models will usually give you a truly spatial audio experience.
- Setup. Setting up any VR headset is straightforward but it is important to be aware of the variations like how many connections and wires are needed or if it’s wireless, where certain sensors are need to be placed.
- Required accessories. Always check if there are additional items the item needs to run before purchasing it as well as any add-ons that would add to its performance. Examine this thoroughly as VR headsets varies in this area massively. Some can be used right out of the box, where there are some that will require you buy additional accessories in order to be compatible in a certain console.
- Comfort and weight. Remember that you will be wearing the virtual headset all the time when playing so considering its weight and comfort are necessary. Check out the differences in head size adjustment, strapping, weight and connection type.
- Movement detection and in-game play. One of the biggest differences in VR devices today is how in-game play is truly recreated and then the user’s experience. Some headsets will need plenty of cables and wires connected together and ultimately to the movement sensor, headset and console.
- Controllers. Some controllers come with a single wire controller just like with PlayStation, while there are others that are totally wireless offering more flexibility when moving so you will not be restricted. The controller’s layout is also something you need to consider as their design differs from basic to ergonomic that will fit your fingers and hand perfectly.
- Price. Bottom line is, no matter how good a VR headset is or how its specs are, it will always boil down to your budget and how much you are willing to spend. Prices can really vary and differences can go up to a few hundred pounds and even wider when you want add-ons and upgraded accessories to complete the ensemble. So, are virtual reality headsets worth it? Well, whether you buy a very expensive or cheap VR headset, you will surely have a gaming experience like no other.
Which phones support VR?
You don’t need to speed a lot on a console or high-end computer to experience virtual reality. If you have a smartphone, it can be really affordable. Most iOS and Android support VR, but how they do it are not always the same way or equally great. Here’s a list of the best phones to use for VR:
- Samsung Galaxy 8 and 8 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
- Pixel XL
- Moto Z Force
- Moto Z
- Huawei Mate 9 Pro and Porsche Design Mate 9
- ZTE Axon 7
To check if your phone supports virtual reality, you can use the free VR Compatibility Checker app for Android that you can download from the Play Store. On the other hand, all iPhones starting from iPhone 4 have gyroscope, so they’re good to go.
High-end VR headsets
Oculus Rift, £549
- Top choice for room-scale virtual reality.
- Includes headset with built-in mic and headphones, remote, movement sensor and Xbox One controller.
- You will need a powerful PC for it.
- It’ll work well for more experienced players.
HTC Vive, £759
- Includes headset, a couple of wireless hand controllers, two base stations and also a link box where you can connect your computer into.
- You will also need a powerful computer for it.
- It is best for people who want the best and top specs for a home VR system, combining non-gaming and gaming experience.
Sony PlayStation VR, £350
- Includes headset, cables, earphones and processor unit.
- You’ll need PlayStation camera but you can use the regular PS4 joypads for games but some supports the PlayStation Move motion controllers.
- It is best for PS4 gamers since it will not be compatible in any other consoles.
Cheap VR headsets
Samsung Gear VR, £100
- Includes the headset only.
- You will need the latest Samsung phablet or smartphone.
- It is best for newibies who don’t want to be tied on a console or computer while exploring games and virtual worlds.
Google Daydream, £15-£25 and Cardboard, £69
- Includes the headset.
- You’ll need a smartphone for this. Cardboard headset and apps supports a wide array of iPhones and Android phones while Daydream is limited as it will only work on Google’s Pixel smartphones on its launch.
- It is best for people who wants to start experiencing virtual reality easily and cheaply.
Cheap VR headset deals in the UK
Cheap VR headset deals in Amazon
- You can find cheap VR headsets at Argos for under £15. Their clearance sale on headsets can save you up to £99 and up to 25% off selected items.
- You can get some of the best cheap VR headset at Amazon for less than £100. Amazon Prime members can also get exclusive discounts and free delivery.
- Currys PC World VR headset offers include bundle deals on the PlayStation VR Starter Pack & Game where you can get a good discount of £24.99 from its original price. You can also get discounts ranging from £5 to £100 on selected products. Their cheapest virtual reality headset is on sale and priced at just £9.98 at the time of this writing.