Google Daydream View Review: Features, Pros and Cons

The Google Daydream View aims to make virtual reality fun and accessible for everyone. Their simple headset allow users to turn any compatible smartphone into a virtual reality machine. There is definitely a lot of fun possibilities for users of the Google Daydream View. Some believe that this will completely change the way we interact with reality, while others are more skeptical. Keep reading this Google Daydream View review to see if it actually lives up to all the hype.

Google Daydream View VR headsets

Google Daydream View Features

  • Cloth covered headset holds phone in front slot and latches with a simple yet sturdy closure.
  • The headset weighs just 220 grams and is only 166 mm wide.
  • An adjustable band fits the headset against your face so you can view the phone through two eye lenses.
  • Each headset comes with a small remote control that fits in your hand and stores in the headset when not in use.
  • In addition to basic button control, the remote also has a touchpad and can be used for 360 degree motion-tracking control.
  • The headset is compatible with smartphones that have Daydream on them.
  • Google Daydream View connects to smartphones wirelessly.

The Good

  • The motion controller that comes with this headset makes the virtual reality a lot more immersive than VR headsets that only work with buttons.
  • Enhanced optics in the new version provide an even wider field of view.
  • The soft and lightweight fabric design makes the headset very comfortable, and it is also washable.
  • Plenty of VR apps to choose from at the time of this Google Daydream View review, including Netflix, HBO, LEGO Builder VR, and J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts.
  • Very easy to install the phone, setup the device, and start experiencing VR.
  • Can be worn with eyeglasses if necessary.

The Bad

  • Though there’s plenty of media, puzzles, and interactive experiences, there are not a lot of full-fledged VR games available for it yet.
  • Bright light can leak in around the sides, so it might not work well in bright areas.
  • Only compatible with about 10 different phone models.
  • Phones can get overheated when running more intensive games.
  • Testing for our Google Daydream View review finds that it can cause red lines around a person’s face when they are done playing with it.

About the Google Daydream View

Design

As far as appearances go, Google does a decent job of standing out from all their competitors. Instead of doing a basic plastic design, Google partnered with a clothing manufacturer to give the Daydream View a more appealing cloth appearance. A nice update on the design of the new product are the colored clasps and tabs that now match the light grey, dark grey, and coral color choices.

When starting this Google Daydream View review, there were some concerns that it might slide down without a top strap. However, the product is actually surprisingly well balanced, so it remains firmly situated around the face. Its design is also decent enough to ensure that all phones fit securely in the smartphone tray. If you are using a pricier smartphone in your Daydream headset, this is definitely important.

The design of this headset means that it will work best for VR that does not require you to move your body. Since the Google Daydream View is a mobile VR set, it cannot track your position through 3D space. However, you can turn to look 360 degrees around you thanks to the motion trackers in the headset.

Visual Performance

Google Daydream View with phone and remote

Your visual performance is going to change depending on the type of phone used. If you use a phone like the Google Pixel, which was designed specifically for the Daydream, then you will experience crisp graphics that look entirely realistic. However, phones with less resolution may look slightly grainy or gridlike in VR. The lenses for the Google Daydream View do an excellent job of portraying what is on your phone, so your visual performance will be fine as long as you are using a phone with the ability to render graphics nicely. The only downside to the visual effect of the Google Daydream View is that light may leak in on the side.

Audio Performance

This section in our Google Daydream View review is going to be a little short because unfortunately, there is no audio component to the VR headset. To hear things while using the View, you will need to listen on either your phone’s speakers or a set of headphones. Headphones tend to work best because Google’s Daydream technology will distribute noise to each headphone to make it sound like the sounds are happening around you.

Remote Control

Of course no Google Daydream View review is complete without a mention of the remote control, and this is really where the VR headset excels. At first glance, it just seems like a small, oval remote with a couple of buttons on it. Since the remote is connected to your phone with Bluetooth, you do not have to worry about dealing with wires and cords while you play.

However, the remote is actually motion controlled, so you can use it to steer characters, gesture with a magic wand, or drive a vehicle in your game. You can easily control anything with the addition of a volume control, a clickable top trackpad, and two buttons. The movements of the remote are surprisingly versatile and realistic, so fans of the Oculus Rift’s controls will be pleased.

Google Daydream View remote

Summing Up

The Google Daydream View is a great introduction into the world of VR. It is easy to use, comfortable to wear, and fun to play with. The only downside is that the headset’s performance relies so much on the phone being used, your headphone quality, and the type of games being created by developers. However, the Google Daydream View still stands out from other mobile VR headsets due to its intuitive motion-capturing remote that makes every game much more immersive.