Virtual Reality headsets are slowly entering the mainstream market. Smaller, cheaper sets in the form of Google Cardboard have been out for a while and 2015 saw the much anticipated Oculus Rift go on sale for a whopping $600. The set is riding on the high end of the VR headset market requiring users to own a desktop running the latest hardware. Between Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift there are countless VR headsets currently available for anyone who wants to enjoy a VR game or an immersive VR experience without spending a lot of money and the VR Shinecon is one very good option. We took the headset for a test spin and here’s our review of the device.
The VR Shinecon weighs in at 1.1 pounds and require either an iPhone or an Android phone to power them. They cost $35 on Amazon as sold by Elegiant. The headset will work with a phone that has a 3.5 – 6.0 inch screen. The device does not have built-in speakers however, you can easily connect your headphones to your phone with excellent results. The device has no ‘action’ buttons, no screen tap buttons, and does not come with a game controller. All this limits the games you will be able to play using the headset and rules out some Google Cardboard games as well.
Setting up the headset involves little else than removing the little plastic films on the lens. A manual is included with instructions for inserting your phone and adjusting the pupil distance and object distance. You need to know where the wheels for both are located but will only be able to adjust them for yourself once you’ve got a game or app ready to play on your phone.
The device has soft adjustable leather straps that you should adjust according to your head size. They open/close with a Velcro patch and can be used to adjust the headset on a smaller or larger head.
The headset has two types of focal adjustments; pupil adjustment and object distance. Pupil Adjustment refers to the distance between your eyes. Although the difference between person to person might be very slight, when viewing a screen at such close proximity as in the headset, the small difference will have a significant impact. Adjusting the distance from the wheel at the top of the device lines up the image perfectly
The second focal adjustment is the object distance. It’s controlled by two knobs on either side of the set. Object distance will increase or decrease how ‘near’ your phone’s screen is. This allows you to focus your screen better.
The headset can compensate for anyone with Myopia (nearsightedness) up to six degrees which is the boundary for severe myopia and will likely cover a majority of visually impaired users. For anyone with a higher number, it’s best to use contact lens as glasses don’t sit too well inside the headset.
Hardware and visual adjustments aside, the important question with any VR headset is how well it tracks your movement and how good the view is. The device doesn’t have any sensors of its own and relies entirely on your phone’s sensors to give you the immersive experience. The field of view is somewhat lacking but still suitable for someone who wants to try out VR apps and games on something that’s a little more reliable than Google Cardboard.
The headset is pretty good for $35. We can hope that future models give a better field of vision but this does an alright job. It’s durable and comfortable to wear. If you’re not getting an Oculus, this is a pretty good, and very reasonable alternative.
You can search for and purchase the VR Shinecon From Amazon.