Virtual reality was said to be the future. Artificial intelligence added to it, was said to be killing every other technology when we talk of entertainment, gaming and such genres. But then, things are not so pacy as they should have been, and in several markets, VR is still in the nascent stage. In India, even though the large brands like Samsung have their full-fledged VR headsets already available, the price at which they are available make the user less interested because there is a lot of scope for improvement and the user still doesn’t get the point of buying a headset by spending more than a couple of thousand rupees.
Some of the VR headset makers in India are still trying their chance, with familiar options but one excelling over the other with some important USPs. One of them that I got to use recently through a good friend, is the AuraVR Pro VR headset. This, in a way, is a standard one that uses your phone as the screen and show it in the VR mode with its glass. But then, it isn’t like the basic Google cardboard and alternative headsets that are quite disappointing with the way they give a compromised VR experience.
This VR headset is priced at Rs. 1999, and at that price, not many should be keen to get one but after using a bunch of headsets in a price range from Rs. 400 to Rs. 2500, I am quite convinced with this one, thanks to the following reasons. Check out the takeaway points about the AuraVR Pro VR headset.
The build quality – A properly built, complete body made with plastic and having not just the headband that straps around your head but one that connects that strap with the headset too, which gives a good grip and you don’t need to worry about this getting loose and falling off the head. Next, the stabilizing of the phone is as important as having a stable headset itself. The phone in AuraVR Pro goes inside a casing that holds it firmly and since it is a spring mechanism, the two sides hold it in its place. The front of the headset has the door to hold the phone and on the top are three controls – the center one that moves both the lenses closer or farther, and the ones on the either side to move the lens front or back individually.
After holding and wearing so many headsets in the recent past, it is easy to say that the AuraVR Pro is so comfortable to use and wear, but at the same time, thanks to what all it packs, the weight of the headset is something you have to cope up with and will have to take a few breaks in between to give your head and neck some rest. On the inner side where you have your eyes close to the lens, there’s a cloth lining around the sponge to offer protection as well as comfort. You’d have by now noticed the number of times I have been talking about its comfort and there’s no denying the fact that this set is made with that feature in mind.
The strap that goes around the head horizontally isn’t all leather, as the one that contours on the back of the head is plastic and the connecting strap has the velcro adjustment options for the different head sizes. There are air vents around the phone so that some heat that is produced by the phone can be dissipated. The pack also has an external Bluetooth controller, which is a battery-operated unit having controls for VR gaming, and a simple button for connecting either to an Android or iOS device.
What’s in with the content?
Obviously, if we’re talking Android, there is a lot to offer in the Play Store itself. Tons of apps, and YouTube has a library that could go on for days of viewing if you wish to view 360-degree videos using the headset. Firstly, you need to have a smartphone with screen size between 3.5-inch and 6-inch, and that is quite a good range as you could try using one of the mini phones, to ones like Apple iPhone 7 Plus or even the Nexus 6. For these phones, the OS compatibility is another thing – at least Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or iOS 6 is required.
The 42mm nano-coated resin lenses do a lot when it comes to offering a good view with its 100-110 FOV. The focal and pupil adjustment are quite a big help and you don’t have to restrict the viewing because of this.
Final Verdict – Is it really worth Rs. 2000?
I’ve to be frank here. I am not fond of VR headsets, as they are a strain on the eyes, strain on the head and eventually, offer an access to a single user but that’s how VR functionality is. I use the headsets for a few hours while checking out how good they are against the competition, and if in the recent list of headsets that I’ve used I need to suggest one to purchase, it should be the AuraVR Pro. The same company has some cheaper alternatives, looking similar to the cardboard type ones but you know, what you pay is what you get.
The bluetooth controller is hard to get used to initially, and as hard is to find any relevant games that take advantage of it, so I’d keep it aside for the initial time when the VR industry is still building more and more content, and enjoy mostly the videos in 360-degree view, and occasionally try my hand on 3D or VR gaming if that does not need any standalone VR support and play well with the phone itself.
Also, the actual price of this headset is Rs. 3500. To be frank, too much to ask for, but the discounted price of Rs. 1999 is not bad at all when you are offered a very comfortable headset and a VR gaming controller along with it, of this quality that cannot be matched by many.