With a new year and some time that's passed since the last list with VR headsets, it's time again to see which headsets are the best options for those looking to get into the VR headset market and take a dive into virtual reality for the first time or maybe even to replace an older option. There are quite a few VR headset options out there and many of them are readily accessible and they work with mobile devices, so let's check out which ones are the top options worth looking into.
We're starting this list out with something that everyone will recognize because quite honestly, it's a great little option for dipping a toe in the waters of VR without having to spend too much. In fact, you'll spend next to nothing to get a hold of one, and there is already a ton of content for it available for it on the Play Store. On top of all this, you can find plenty of options for it as there are quite a few companies that have built their own version of the Google Cardboard based on Google's design, just with their brand name, which makes finding one super easy.
Samsung Gear VR (1st Gen.)
Next up is the first generation of the Samsung Gear VR headset. While it has already been replaced by the new model that defaults to USB Type-C as it was launched alongside the Galaxy Note 7, the older model works out of the box with every current Galaxy device that's compatible with Gear VR. Since it's been around almost as long as Google Cardboard there is also a fair amount of content for the Gear VR platform, but you can only get this content from the Oculus Store through the headset app while you're using the headset. Since this is first gen. though, it's also cheaper than it used to be.
Xiaomi Mi VR
Xiaomi's Mi VR headset launched later in the year in 2016, and while it won't be as high-powered as some of the options on this list, it's a great option that won't cost a lot, and it has a decent design that will be easy to use. It works with most smartphones that are sizes from 4.7-inches to 5.7-inches, so it's versatile. Content will have to be picked up from the Xiaomi Mi VR app, so it might be a little more scarce compared to other mobile options.
This list wouldn't be complete without an option for the kids, and this is where the View-Master comes in. Partnering up with Google, Mattel has brought back this popular toy for kids but they have amped it up by building it off of Google's Carboard VR technology, opening up a whole new world for fun and even learning, letting kids experience and explore 360-degree environments.
The Pasonomi VR-X is one of the less expensive options available right now, and while it is on the cheaper side compared to some on this list, it actually comes with a controller to use that is similar to the Daydream controller, complete with buttons and a joystick. It supports a wide range of smartphones running on Android, as well as iOS, and it fits phones with screen sizes from about 4-inches to 6-inches.
The Oculus Rift isn't exactly mobile focused but that doesn't make it any less deserving of being on this list, as it's one of the best VR headsets on the market and it offers up a huge range of content. It's a bit pricey, but if the price doesn't scare you away you'll be more than happy with the content on offer. You will of course need a compatible PC.
Following in the same footsteps as the Oculus Rift, HTC's Vive is designed for PC gamers as it needs a decent PC to run it, but luckily the price has come down a bit for PC's that can handle the hardware. The headset on the other hand has stuck at its normal price of $799 for the most part, save for a deal here and there. All that aside, there's lots to love about the Vive and you can grab all of your content from Steam as Valve (the owner of Steam) took care of the software.
While only PS4 owners will be able to make use of the PSVR, it's considerably cheaper than both the Rift and the Vive headsets, and going all in to get the console (if you don't already have it) and the headset to get you started is at a cost that's about the same as it is to get just a compatible PC to handle the Rift and Vive, then you would still have to get the headset. This makes the PSVR a great option for those who want to jump into gaming at a high-quality level without paying the most expensive cost.
Samsung Gear VR (2nd Gen)
Next up is the most recent version of the Gear VR, and although the 1st gen is already on this list, this newer model is refined and offers USB Type-C by default, so it's future proof. It even comes with an adapter to use the older Galaxy devices that have micro USB so it works with everything that supports the Gear VR currently and any future products. Coming in at $99, it's also a relatively inexpensive option for VR compared to some of the options above, and it's mobile so you can take it with you.
Rounding out this list is none other than Google's newest VR option, the Daydream View. It's $20 cheaper than the latest Samsung Gear VR and it comes with the Daydream remote that makes it easy to navigate content and play games, and all of the content for it can be found in the Play Store. It also now works with more handsets beyond the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. In addition to that, you can now pick it up in all three colors which includes Snow, Slate, and Crimson.