Virtual reality is not for everyone, but that doesn't mean it can't be at least prepared to be for everyone on the off chance that people will change their minds and want to dive right in. The front runners of VR are undoubtedly some of the biggest names in technology right now. Facebook, HTC, Sony, Google, and Samsung, all of which either have a headset on the market or on the way. In fact, all of those companies but Sony have already launched their headsets and consumers can now pick them up. Taking a step back and looking at all of your options, most VR headsets from the bigger corporations aren't really set up to be budget devices.
The least expensive option, Google's Cardboard, is a little more limited and can be picked up for about $25, or you can keep your eyes peeled for one of the many ways to grab one for free. Beyond Cardboard though, the rest of the headsets from big-name companies, the noticeable ones that mainstream consumers are aware of, are all expensive or only moderately affordable. If you're looking for VR on a budget, though, you're not left without options. There are other headsets out there to check out from smaller brands, and here are five that may be worth looking into. It's worth noting though that all of these only seem to be listed with pricing for India, so exact U.S. pricing is not clear, however, the prices have been converted to USD as an approximation.
The first one up that you could look into is called the nHance VR2 from DOMO Gadgets Pvt Ltd. This is based on Google's Cardboard technology but it has a more robust design that looks much more comfortable, and it's got a built-in headband so you don't have to constantly hold it. It's compatible with Bluetooth keyboards and mice and it supports a wide range of phones from 3.5-inch displays all the way up to 5.7-inch displays, and it features adjustable lenses for a better match to your phone's display size. The headset costs about Rs 4,990, which is around $75 USD. There's also the Zebronics VR headset which is quite a bit less as it's listed at about Rs 1,400 which equals around $21 USD. The Zebronics VR headset is also based on Google' Cardboard platform so it's already compatible with the Cardboard VR apps that you can find in the Play Store. This headset also comes with a strap system that fits over your head so you can actually wear it, and it has padded cushioning on the inside rim so it should be comfortable for wear during longer periods of time. It features adjustable lenses to tweak the focus as well so you get just the right focal point for your device.
Another headset you can check out is the Irusu Play VR, which is actually one of a two different models offered by Irusu, and also comes with a little higher build quality as it's made with a plastic material and features a head-worn strap to keep it on without having to hold it, unlike their other model which is essentially their version of the Cardboard. The Play VR uses HD optical resin lenses that can be adjusted to tune the focus, and it supports both Android and iOS devices ranging from 4-inch to 5.9-inch screen sizes. Much like the other two listed here, it uses your device sensors for the head tracking, and it's compatible with all of the VR apps on the Play Store that are compatible with Cardboard. The Irusu Play VR will cost you about Rs 2,499, which is around $37-$38 USD. Next up is a headset called the PTron VR headset. This is also based on Google's Cardboard technology and like the others in this list it features a head strap so the headset can be worn. It has fully adjustable spherical lenses to get the best focus possible, and it supports eye tracking for movement and controls in things like games. There is also some padding on the inside so it should be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The PTron headset goes for about Rs 1,499.00, which is about $22-$23. The last headset is called the Agnus VR headset, which goes for Rs 2,499 and is the same cost as the Irusu Play VR, so the cost would be about $37-$38. As for the compatibility, the same thing applies here as the others. It works with all of the Cardboard compatible apps, has a head strap so it can be worn, is made of a stronger plastic material so it's a bit more sturdy than Google Cardboard, and it supports phones with screen sizes that range from 4-inches all the way up to 6-inches. All of these headsets should offer up a similar experience as they support 3D apps and games, 360-degree videos, and more, and most of them are fairly inexpensive.