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The ₹1 VR Headset – OnePlus Loop VR | Hands on review

by on June 9, 2016
 

There are only two types of people in this world: One, those who manage to add a flash sale gadget to their Amazon cart and Two, those who don’t. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Wise words have been spoken! To much of my surprise, for the first time in my life, I got a chance to be part of the first group, here’s how…

OnePlus Loop what?

One odd day while surfing the depth & breadth of the Internet, I stumbled upon this OnePlus Loop VR page. I scrolled through the page until this caught my attention:

OnePlus Loop VR 1 rupee India amazon

The ₹1 VR Headset?!

OnePlus 3 is supposed to be around and they were giving away their VR headset for ₹1 (~$0.015) just like last year, but instead of old shabby cardboard VR, this time around it was the pristine Galaxy Gear VR type looking Loop VR with a great Field of view and compatible with plethora of devices.

OnePlus Loop VR looks like Galaxy Gear VR

Galax…err Loop VR!

Registrations were open, hence, I immediately registered & waited patiently for 6th June (the first day of flash sale).

On “the day”, the whole of my team (at Adobe) sat patiently while the counter decremented towards 00:00. I logged into Amazon app with both my Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6 ready to smash that add to cart button with my thumb(s). As soon as the counter hit the zero mark, I instantly pushed the yellow button and for the first time ever, I got to see “Congratulations! You have successfully claimed the product. You have 15 minutes to check out“. That feeling! I did the payment and the waiting game begins…

It’s here, Unboxing time!

On 7th June, I received the package and the unboxing process begun. I unwrapped Amazon’s cardboard box to unveil Loop VR’s clean white box. Irony. Get it?

White Minimal box - OnePlus Loop VR

Keeping it minimal.

OnePlus made Loop VR in conjunction with ANTVR (the guys behind the bundled VR headset with Lenovo K4 Note), which is pretty evident from ANTVR branding across the box. On the back side of the box, you can find the product detail sticker. Surprisingly, the MRP of this VR headset is ₹299.00 only, when compared to the ANTVR’s other headset costing ₹1299.00, this seems like a steal even without the flash sale if made available.

OnePlus Loop VR details

Product detail.

Upon opening the box, you will notice that headset it pretty snuggly packed and bare-minimum approach continues. Here are the box content(s):

You also get a “User manual” and a piece of cloth to keep you Loop’s lens clean. Even the rag carries ANTVR branding. User manual is just a 4-fold booklet containing pictorial representation of how to slide the smartphone in the headset and harness the headstrap.

OnePlus Loop VR User manual and cleaning cloth

Brand clan.

Coming to Loop VR headset..

>> Quality

  • OnePlus Loop VR doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s very well built and there are no rough edges.
  • The straps feel pretty sturdy and you can easily adjust strap length by a slider buckle.
  • Head strap plugs on the top of the headset and connects to the horizontal strap via the split clip.
  • The adjustable lens feels solid and offers a play of few MM for you to find perfect focus as per your eyes positioning.
  • The VR quality is not as top notch as Galaxy Gear VR but miles ahead of the cardboard VR.

>> Comfort

OnePlus Loop VR internal view cushion

Snug inner-padding

  • Even the internal padding feels comfortable and I didn’t feel uneasy upon wearing the headset.
  • Some people may complain about pain on upper nose but attaching the head strap should take off all unnecessary weight off the nose.
  • The adjustable lens makes sure there is no eye-strain and you enjoy the full immersive VR experience.
  • Straps have a good grip and make sure that headset remains in place and doesn’t slide on head movements.

But…some niggles?!

I don’t know what was OnePlus thinking when they contacted ANTVR because they skipped one of the most important components of VR experience – Fuse button. As per Google cardboard guidelines, devices like Cardboard should have a button on the side of the device for clicking on targets without leaving the VR experience.

OnePlus Loop VR front view 2

Lack of control is a turn off.

OnePlus Cardboard (previous iteration) did have a fuse button, not sure why they decided to skip it this time. Lack of fuse button render a lot of VR app on Play store useless or reduce the experience to an irritating one as one has to play the content before sliding in the device which is not ideal.

OnePlus had a great chance to make this a universal device but rather, they decided to go proprietary route to distribute this only for people to view the unveiling of OnePlus 3.

This shows the lack of vision in the company which is pretty sad as there is no excuse when you are on the verge of releasing your 3rd iteration flagship killer smartphone.

Edit: You can, however, get an external Bluetooth controller which shall work as Portable Mini Bluetooth Gamepad & Selfie Shutter Remote – Black (SP). While this does extends the functionality of OnePlus Loop VR, it’s still no excuse to exclude the fuse button.

Verdict time.

With everything free there’s always a caveat and that is that you can’t complain too much.

Is this the best headset out there? No, it isn’t. It’s not the most comfortable, it is a bit heavy and it lacks Google Cardboard compatibility, so as it stands, it’s not as functional as it could be. That said, it supports plenty of phone sizes and does so securely, it offers a modicum of adjustment for different sized heads and it looks good.

OnePlus logo on OnePlus Loop VR box

Third time’s a charm?

The Loop VR isn’t a silver bullet that will mean you don’t need to look out at other VR headsets for a longer-term solution, but it’s a lot more attractive than a piece of cardboard.


Next step -> Gear up for 14th June for the VR launch of the OnePlus 3! 😎


Let us know your experience with OnePlus Loop VR? Do you have any suggestion for our friends who couldn’t grab one in the flash sale? Drop your comments below. 😎

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