At WCVRI in Nanchang, China, I have finally been able to put my hands on the just-announced Huawei VR glasses and so I can write a short review for you. I’ve come out pretty impressive by them, so be sure to read this article to discover with me why they are cool.
Some weeks ago, Huawei has announced some stylish VR glasses that connect to the phone, saying that they were disruptive for the VR ecosystem. What takes them apart from the competition is the stylish design, that looks more like cyberpunk glasses than VR goggles. This design has created a lot of interest in the VR communities, but the information on the headset has always been pretty confused, especially because most of the communication has happened in Chinese.
But luckily your favorite ghost has just been to China, and so he has been able to try the glasses at the WCVRI event. There, Huawei made people try the headset with various content: BoxVR, a shooting game with a plastic rifle prop and also a racing game on a stationary bike. It was a fun experience.
Here you are my hands-on impressions!
The design of the headset is exactly as you can see in the photos: very stylish, like a pair of big sunglasses. It is very cool, and makes every person appear cool. It is for sure the killer feature of this headset: I have never seen a virtual reality headset that is so good to wear as this one.
This design choice has also a drawback, though: you can see a lot of your world below you. The headset doesn’t enclose completely your vision, so if you look down, you see really a big portion of the real world. This may be an immersion killer for someone, but actually, it has not impacted much my experience while I was playing with it.
Another cool stuff of this headset is the resolution: with 1600×1600 per eye, and a pixel density of 1058 ppi, you have a clear vision of the world around you. 3200×1600 is a resolution greater than the Quest, Index and Focus Plus, so this headset comes to the market with a display that is better than the one of many competitors.
The pixel density is great, and the screen door effect is little. I was really impressed by the clarity of this device.
All of this density is also possible only because of the limited FOV of the device (the pixels of the display must serve a more limited vision area, so the density is more). I guess that having that compact form factor requires some compromises, and the field of view can’t be large as the one of the Valve index. Huawei hasn’t shared details on this, but my guess is that it is around 90°.
The colors of the display didn’t seem very vivid to me (on the contrary, they were a bit washed out), and the pixel arrangement didn’t look pentile, so I guess that the display is an LCD one.
What is special of the optics of this headset is the possibility to regulate the lenses to take in count the characteristics of your eyes. That is, rotating a ring around the lenses, you can adjust the optical property of each lens so that to make it correct your eye impairments. If you have myopia, presbyopia or such, you don’t need glasses inside these glasses, thanks to the 0-700 degrees diopter adjustment for each lens. You just rotate these rings until they represent your optical parameters, then you wear the VR glasses, and voilà! You have perfect vision without prescription lenses and without the risk of your glasses falling to the floor every time you remove your headset. This is just awesome, a new kind of comfort for every person that needs glasses.
This system has its own drawbacks, though. It is not super-easy to be used: the people at the booth had to ask our eyes’ parameters, then apply some weird calculations to obtain how much the ring had to be rotated to match our eyes’ parameters. If these glasses are personal, this is a nuisance you have to go through only once, otherwise, if you want your friends or customers to try these, you have to set this thing up every time.
Personally, I have no problems with my eyes, and the people at the booth have not been able to find a perfect fit for me. In the beginning, I had crossed vision, then they tried different settings and in the end, I obtained satisfactory visuals, but they lead to eye strain after a while. My buddy Max, instead, that wear glasses, was amazed by this solution because it gave him perfect vision in VR without needing to wear additional glasses or lenses. So I guess that the results depend on the person and on how much time do you want to spend to tweak parameters until you find a perfect fit. I am sure that at home I would be able to find the perfect fit with different trials and error, but in the exhibition there was little time for it.
The headset has integrated audio through speakers embedded into the frames. It worked well, and I could hear the sounds even inside the noisy exhibition. I can’t tell you much about the audio quality, though.
Huawei VR glasses also have a 3.5mm jack for external headphones, in case you want more privacy for your VR experiences.
The headset was incredibly light (only 166g!) and comfortable. It was a bit little for my head, but most probably because it was a model designed for the different shape of the head of Chinese people. I was impressed because when I wear a VR headset, I can really feel the fact that I’m wearing a big shoebox on my head, while with the Huawei VR glasses, the sensation was completely different.
Foto: Closer view of the VR glasses