We have been lucky enough to receive a 2015 pre-release Merge VR headset, which we got before Christmas. So we thought we'd start the new year out with our key theme of Virtual Reality with a review of said headset.
First impressionsInitial reactions around the office were very good. The foam construction makes handling it and particularly wearing it a very nice experience, the latter due to the overall soft feel and the soft moulded ridge over the nose. The foam also means the construction is very robust and chunky, but without feeling too heavy when wearing it for extended periods of time. You've got two nice chunky buttons on top which are built into the lens adjustment. Apps feel good running with clear and sharp vision, although some cardboard apps feel like the lenses need to move inwards a bit more than currently allowed. The head strap is a great addition and holds the whole structure in place with little shift in position as you move your head around. All good so far then.
Extended useGood things continued with extended use, which we've been doing on and off since November when we got the headset. However, occasionally some of the purple colouring on the foam strips off, but not so much as you'd notice. Also a very frustrating feature is on phone that have soft buttons facing the front, such as the Samsung S5 and S6, what we've found is as you slide the phone into the headset, one of the buttons is triggered and so dumps you out of VR and back to the home screen or into another app. It can be mitigated but you have to pull the foam back a way or be very very ginger when inserting the phone, but that's frustrating.
ConclusionsOverall we think the Merge VR Headset is great. It's fun, comfy and robust. If you do a lot of VR, we'd say buy one. Especially if you play our Spirit Runner game!