Lenovorsquo;s new Mirage Solo with Google Daydream separates good VR from a glorified View-Master experience owing of one thing: the faculty to move. No_ not turn your head as though locked in a brace_ but verity kneel on the floor and feel as though you just put your head underwater to get a better look at a kelp bed under in BBC Studios new sealife VR experience_ which was designed especially for the Mirage Solo.
Its useful in the US now from Amazon_ and in the UK soon.
As the leading stand-alone VR headset to let you do just that_ without needing a gaming PC_ relieve_ or separate doohickeys and emitters_ the Mirage Solo with Google Daydream almost aces it_ despite a few key letdowns. But leading letrsquo;s bask in its wireless six degrees of freedom.
The hidden sauce of the Mirage Solo_ and what likely raises its cost over the rivalry_ is its six degrees of freedom variously abbreviated 6dof_ 6DoF_ or 6DOF; wersquo;ve chosen the latter. In VR_ tracking exactness is nice to maintain the dream. In most phone-based VR_ as well as Facebookrsquo;s new Oculus Go_ you get 3 degrees of freedom_ which resources you experience VR as though your head were locked in a brace. You can look left and right_ up and down_ and tilt your head. But if you duck under a tree member in a game or video_ nothing happens_ owing your bodyrsquo;s motion isnrsquo;t tracked.
To accomplish 6DOF_ the Mirage Solo uses two front-mounted cameras and data from multiple on-board motion and acceleration sensors. Duck out of the way of the a snowball or tree member_ and the image you see in the headset reacts to your motion.
Google engineers who helped educe the method in the Mirage Solo told us the method is careful down to the millimetre. Although we were skeptical_ we have to say it appears to be true. We tried our hardest to make the Mirage Solo lose tracking_ and it didnrsquo;t.
Cover the lenses up for a few seconds_ use it in a pitch-black room or outdoors in the shining sunshine_ and the Mirage Solo wouldnrsquo;t get lost. And unlike Microsoftrsquo;s HoloLens method_ which takes a few seconds to scan a room precedently being used_ the Mirage Solo method seemed to track almost immediately. We could put the method to sleep and then wake it up in a fully different setting_ and it wouldnrsquo;t miss a beat.
With the faculty to track your motion_ you get almost an armsrsquo; length of space almost you to maneuver for your VR adventures. While HTC and Steam have ldquo;room layerrdquo; 15 x 15-foot space thanks to pair of emitter towers that aid tracking_ the Mirage Solo is far more limited to almost 5 feet in diameter. Rather than room layer_ itrsquo;s more like closet layer. Move over the 5-feet zone and the VR image begins to disappear_ so you know to recur within your safety zone.
As a stand-alone method no phone needed_ the Mirage Solo is facultyed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with integrated Adreno 540 graphics. Therersquo;s also 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of UFS storage. For those who must have more storage_ therersquo;s also a Micro-SD slot rated for up to 256GB over<_em>. Lenovo claims almost 2.5 hours of run time for the 4_000mAh battery on a full direct it directs with USB-C. Our experience bigly mirrored that.
Almost as significant to some is the strap method. Think of the Mirage Solorsquo;s design as a mixed of a Microsoft HoloLens and Sony PSVR. Lenovo uses a hard ductile band with a ratchet method for the rear pad that clamps onto your head. Some VR methods try to offset the front-weight by adding a top strap. Lenovo instead uses a big forehead pad to keep the method in locate. The other useful harmonizement lets you move the show advanced or back by almost an inch. For our big man head it worked just fine_ but it swam on a little childrsquo;s head.
One caveat almost the unbending band: Itrsquo;s cumbersome if you veritably want to journey with it. With an Oculus Go_ you just bunch bunch up the work strap and drop it in your backpack. The Mirage Gorsquo;s unbending band makes for one big bundle to carry almost.
The Mirage Solo headset components a 5.5-inch IPS 2560x1440 panel. Per eye_ that works out to 1280x1440 ndash; a higher pixel density than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. To form the showed image_ Lenovo uses a pair of fresnel aspheric lenses to give you a decent 110-degree field of view. Thatrsquo;s on a par with both HTC Vives and the Oculus Rift_ and on paper_ better than the 100 degrees of the Oculus Go. It all pays off: We establish graphics and text fairly crisp ndash; especially compared to a leading age HTC Vive.
You have to set up the Mirage Pro for Wi-Fi just like any other standalone unit. That resources using the laser-pointer-like Google Daydream controller to hunt and peck your Wi-Fi code into the unit.
The controller components trackpad button_ plus two push buttons and a size rocker. It works reasonably well but sadly_ itrsquo;s only a 3DOF controller. That resources it works fully fine as a glorified laser pointer in games and for input_ but itrsquo;s akin to playing a game with your arm handcuffed to your body.
You wonrsquo;t_ for sample_ use it to fire guns akimbo_ like Denzel Washingtons symbol from Training Day_ any time soon. Google officials said other Bluetooth game controllers will work_ but letrsquo;s be honorable here: They arenrsquo;t as good as the Oculus Touch or Vive Controllers. On the other hand_ those methods also need outer tracking equipment. Systems using the controllers from Microsoftrsquo;s Mixed Reality can accomplish controller tracking without outer hardware_ but their spotty tracking exactness and relifaculty has been one of the big turn-offs for Mixed Reality. For now_ it seems it is what it is.
Audio is lacking_ but you can lsquo;cast
Another big minus of the Mirage Solo is the lack of on-board speakers. Instead_ Google includes an analog 3.5mm jack for audio. Thatrsquo;s kind of a bummer owing sometimes you donrsquo;t want to jam anything in your ear. Phone-based VR methods_ of order_ include speakers in the phones.
Google makes up for this mainly by including the faculty to current whatrsquo;s on the screen including the audio to any television with a Chromecast. Itrsquo;s veritably a nifty component for those not wearing the headset. We had no major issues on our 802.11n network. Even when there were occasional dropouts_ it was only the current. The video in the headset never dropped out.
Daydream OS is built on Android 8.0 and is a clean_ VR-friendly interface. Yoursquo;ve seen it precedently on the phone-based Daydream View. In the Mirage Solo_ it worked fairly well_ but we did have issues finding and installing apps that werenrsquo;t surfaced in the VR Google PlayStore. Installing a third-party VR app demandd doing so from the app store on a computer. Even though it installed_ no app icon was formd_ forcing us to propel media files from a file explorer in the method view. To be fair_ despatch bumps like these scatter the VR roadway on all platforms.
To see how well the Lenovo Mirage Solo plays games_ we tried a few pre-installed products that support the positional tracking. The leading was a snowball battle game_ where you whip snowballs at neighbours and holiday-themed objects. The Mirage Solo effortlessly tracked our moving and ducking. We also played a snowboarding game where you lean and duck for control. As expected_ we had no issues with loss of tracking.
The last game we played was Blade Runner Revelations<_em>_ a narrative role-player. While it recognises your body position_ itrsquo;s not nice to the game at smallest not the sections we played through. That makes perception_ as it was educeed for the 6DOF Mirage Solo and the 3DOF Daydream View headset_ too.
Blade Runner<_em> as a game is set in the primary movies imagination of 2019. Itrsquo;s fairly immersive_ and it was hard not to conceive ourselves as Harrison Ford as we flew threw a dystopic forthcoming Los Angeles in an LAPD Spinner police car.
But Blade Runner<_em> also served as a reminder of the main debility of the Mirage Solo and other correspondent methods ndash; graphics steed faculty. As well as it tracks_ itrsquo;s quiet just phone graphics_ which canrsquo;t hold a candle to PC-based graphics. Blade Runner<_em> was plainly running at a lower separation to better its frame rates.
Speaking of frame rates_ Lenovo and Google say the Mirage Solo should be able to maintain framerate to hit its ultimatum cool rate of 75Hz. We never felt wanting for more higher frame rates ndash; but we did find ourselves wanting for higher separation textures and more polygons at times.
It feels_ like_ well_ it feels like yoursquo;re playing games on a phone. Overall though_ the experience holds up well and almost_ just almost justifies paying more for tracking over transmitted 3DOF methods.
As a media viewer_ the Mirage Solo is excellent. Therersquo;s a huge library of free 360 and sterescopic full on Youtube that springs to life in the Mirage Solo. With its high-pixel density and good field of view_ you can almost clear having a dedicated VR viewer today.
Wersquo;ll be the leading to receive that the Mirage Solo impressed us way more than we expected. We typically look down at our noses at less-than-PC-level VR_ but the Mirage Solorsquo;s 6DOF tracking accomplishance surprised us.
Its ease of setup_ wireless experience_ and Chromecast capfaculty make the standalone VR method to beat today.
With the newly released Oculus Go at imprison;199_$199 many will see them as competitors. Our sister site Tech Advisor has published at Oculus Go review_nbsp;which isnbsp;a 3DOF method built on an older graphics chip and CPU. That resources it probably comes down to what yoursquo;ll use it for. Our conjecture is that the Mirage Solo will outaccomplish it for gaming_ but both will be fairly even for media viewing.
So if yoursquo;re looking at a gaming standalone VR method_ the Mirage Solo has the edge with its 6DOF. For watching YouTube videos or looking at photos_ itrsquo;s going to be pretty hard to beat $199 for the Oculus Go.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site_ at no extra cost to you. This doesnt like our editorial independence. Learn more.<_article>