Cardboardby Google

  • Cardboard
  • Cardboard
  • Cardboard
  • Cardboard
  • Cardboard
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
79%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • Google Cardboard can turn any Android or iPhone handset into a virtual reality viewer for a reasonable price.
  • This is a good entry point for anyone who wants to find out what the RV experience is all about.
  • This proof of concept unit is easy to assemble and not intimidating even for newcomers.

CONS

  • Expect only the basic, minimal VR experience from this starter headset.
  • The viewer is only as good as your smartphone, so the higher the resolution of its screen, the better the video looks.
  • Without a head strap, Cardboard is not a hands-free experience.
If you want to find out what the VR buzz is all about for the price of a picnic lunch, Google Cardboard is a respectable ticket into the virtual world. Cardboard is a do-it-yourself proof of concept that comes in an easily assembled package made of--you guessed it--cardboard. The unit accommodates all current Android or iPhone headsets, serving as a visual entree into 360-degree video from a variety of apps. You can use the Cardboard app--a good starting point--or download the increasing number of other apps and games available for the platform to whet your appetite for more sophisticated VR experiences in the future.
NameCardboardGear VRMerge VRVR OneNoon VR
ManufacturerGoogleSamsungMerge VRZeissNextCore Corp, Ltd
Techwalla Score
79%
81%
73%
67%
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List Price$13$100$99$120$89
96%

It was a joy to test out Mr. Cardboard’s solution for Google Cardboard. The POP! Cardboard 2.5 is extremely easy to get up and running. I lo…

It was a joy to test out Mr. Cardboard’s solution for Google Cardboard. The POP! Cardboard 2.5 is extremely easy to get up and running. I loved how simple and refined the product is.

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80%

There is a small issue in that if your eyes don't match the lenses, you have to focus a bit harder to get the images to line up, which cause…

There is a small issue in that if your eyes don't match the lenses, you have to focus a bit harder to get the images to line up, which causes some eye strain. I didn't expect anything better considering it was cheap and made of cardboard, so I'm still happy, it's just something to keep in mind.

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80%

If you're a VR fan, or just VR curious, then Cardboard is a great place to start. In some cases you won't be blown away. In some cases you'l…

If you're a VR fan, or just VR curious, then Cardboard is a great place to start. In some cases you won't be blown away. In some cases you'll find it irritating that developers haven't embraced better navigation frameworks or offered higher quality video. But in other cases you'll be grabbed, immersed, entertained and educated.

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60%

There is no way to have a hands-free experience with the kits, but I've seen people create their own versions of Cardboard where velcro piec…

There is no way to have a hands-free experience with the kits, but I've seen people create their own versions of Cardboard where velcro pieces have been attached making the little headset stay on without needing to hold it.

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This also isn’t a VR experience for hours-long play: It’s designed for quick-use (you don’t need to wear a strap on your head with it, for e…

This also isn’t a VR experience for hours-long play: It’s designed for quick-use (you don’t need to wear a strap on your head with it, for example) and the graphic-heavy VR apps are a drain on smartphone battery power.

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Once you get over the Ikea-esque, flat pack design, it quickly becomes clear that this is one of the finest low-budget creations Google has …

Once you get over the Ikea-esque, flat pack design, it quickly becomes clear that this is one of the finest low-budget creations Google has ever come up with. Of course you can’t refocus anything (because it’s made of cardboard, remember) and you’ll probably find that it offers a less immersive experience when compared to the Gear – but for the thrifty price of £15, can you really complain?

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The experience using Cardboard with an iPhone is basically identical to using it with an Android phone — there are a few different demo apps…

The experience using Cardboard with an iPhone is basically identical to using it with an Android phone — there are a few different demo apps (including a fabulous kaleidoscope demo), but other than that performance and the overall experience was nearly identical. Cardboard still offers surprisingly high-quality VR considering it's basically a piece of cardboard and a phone.

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Cardboard isn't a serious entry in the virtual reality arms race. It's something far more important than that: a dirt-cheap, accessible way …

Cardboard isn't a serious entry in the virtual reality arms race. It's something far more important than that: a dirt-cheap, accessible way to bring this oft-promised, largely indiscernible technology to the masses.

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Google Cardboard is just good enough to imprint a new paradigm on a nation of 8-year-olds. From now on, kids who’ve had the VR experience ha…

Google Cardboard is just good enough to imprint a new paradigm on a nation of 8-year-olds. From now on, kids who’ve had the VR experience have a new set of expectations of what it should mean to interact with a computer. Imagine what they’ll expect by the time they’re 18.

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Pressing the button triggers a lever inside the headset that comes down and presses the screen (see below). Cardboard apps register this tou…

Pressing the button triggers a lever inside the headset that comes down and presses the screen (see below). Cardboard apps register this touch as an action, giving you a perfectly serviceable controller (albeit a one-button one) on the corner of your cheapo headset.

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One problem with the optics being so basic is that nothing can be adjusted on the Cardboard 2, and getting a properly focused view of the co…

One problem with the optics being so basic is that nothing can be adjusted on the Cardboard 2, and getting a properly focused view of the content can be a bit of a pain. Because you have to hold it to your face by hand, if you shift it a bit while using it, you can lose focus on what you see for a second.

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Putting your expensive glass-and-metal pocket computer into a dowdy brown box you just folded together and raising it to your face feels a l…

Putting your expensive glass-and-metal pocket computer into a dowdy brown box you just folded together and raising it to your face feels a little silly. But watch someone try Cardboard for the first time, and you will usually see a grin quickly appear beneath the plain brown goggles.

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Using only your smartphone (either Apple or Android) and a simple headset, Cardboard has more than enough oomph to render a compelling virtu…

Using only your smartphone (either Apple or Android) and a simple headset, Cardboard has more than enough oomph to render a compelling virtual reality experience. And they're affordable: most kits (like Dodocase, I Am Cardboard, or Knox Labs) cost less than $10.

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One of the things I liked most was a switch located on the left temple, which consists of just a couple of magnets and a metal ring. I could…

One of the things I liked most was a switch located on the left temple, which consists of just a couple of magnets and a metal ring. I could trigger actions and select items in the menu simply by swiping down on it.

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Google’s Cardboard VR app first appeared last year at I/O 2014, but the initial version was somewhat limited in terms of device support. A n…

Google’s Cardboard VR app first appeared last year at I/O 2014, but the initial version was somewhat limited in terms of device support. A new version released this year works with devices with screen sizes ranging up to 6 inches, but the more exciting news for many might be that it now also works with iPhone.

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