Huawei VR goggles turn compatible smartphones into VR portals


— 5:30 PM on April 18, 2016

Huawei is bringing its latest flagship smartphones on par with Samsung's in an important respect. At the Shanghai launch of its P9 smartphone Friday, the Chinese mobile giant announced its plans for "Huawei VR."  This plastic shell with optics inside looks outwardly similar to Samsung's Gear VR. Both devices cradle a smartphone inside to take the wearer inside 360-degree videos or other VR experiences. Huawei says there will be two different versions of the Huawei VR: one for the P9 smartphone and one for the company's Mate 8 phablet. 

The specifications of the Huawei VR won't blow anyone's pants off, but the headset's 95-degree field of view and sub-20ms latency should be serviceable, at least. Since all three of the phones compatible with the Huawei VR use 1080p screens, image quality almost certainly won't be as crisp as the Gear VR's, but Huawei is talking up the headset's "360-degree sound field" as an alternate source of immersion. The company also says that Huawei VR owners will have access to over 4,000 free movies, 40 free games, and 150 panoramic tours on release. Huawei didn't say how much the headset will cost or when it will become available.

   
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