The subgenre of VR headsets that don't require an attached PC or console seems to get a big release or announcement just about every week. The appeal of a VR experience without the expense of a discrete graphics card and a tangle of wiring is easy enough to understand, after all. Oculus and HTC recently joined Samsung and Google in offering standalone VR headsets. Lenovo has been talking about joining in on the fun since last May, and its Mirage Solo headset is the first standalone HMD that runs Google's Daydream platform. The manufacturer is also offering the Mirage Camera for recording video for playback in Google Daydream devices.
The Mirage Solo is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC found in pretty much every 2017 flagship Android smartphone. The chip addresses a 4 GB pool of LPDDR4X memory. The only version of the headset available so far includes 64 GB of onboard storage plus a microSD card slot ready to work with cards as large as 256 GB. As for the display, both eyes stare at a 5.5" 16.7-million-color LCD with a resolution of 2560x1440 and a maximum refresh rate of 75 Hz. The fresnel lens setup delivers a 110° field of view. The HMD's offers six-degrees-of-freedom tracking (6DoF) through the use of two coordinated cameras. The included controller tracks with three degrees-of-freedom.
The headset includes two microphones, but users must plug in their own headphones into the 3.5-mm jack. The manufacturer says the integrated 4000-mAh battery pack should hold enough juice for about 2.5 hours of "general usage." The battery is a contributing factor to the Solo's 1.4-lb (645 g) weight. The battery charges through the headset's USB Type-C connector.
The manufacturer's Mirage camera is designed to make it easy for users to shoot 180° video for playback on Google Daydream headsets. The camera has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC with 2 GB of memory and 16 GB of internal storage space. Users will want to put some kind of card in the microSD slot, since the software on the device takes up 7 GB of those 16 GB right out of the box. The camera weighs just five ounces (139 g) and Lenovo says the built-battery should allow for about two hours of recording.
Lenovo says the Mirage Solo and the Mirage camera are available for purchase now, though both units currently show as out of stock at Amazon. The Mirage Solo headset has a list price of $400 and the Mirage Camera rings in at $300. The price tag on the Mirage Solo is double that of Oculus' recently-released entry-level Go headset, but Lenovo's unit offers a more sophisticated tracking system and a substantially faster SoC. Meanwhile, compared to the Mirage Solo, HTC's Vive Focus has a similar display, the same Snapdragon 835 , and a six-DoF tracking system, all for for around $600.