As the VR market is expanding and already flooded with VR headsets, Xiaomi released Mi VR Play to beat all those plastic versions of Google Cardboard. Well, it’s official with a price tag of Rs. 999 as listed on official Xiaomi website but it’s not available to buy right now. Just like all other bands do, Xiaomi listed some features of Mi VR Play which other VR headsets lacks. In this review of Mi VR Play, we will see how those features make MI VR Play a suitable candidate to get over other VR headsets.
The first thing that we see in VR Play is that it’s made of some foam kind of material, it’s not completely foam nor plastic. Mi VR Play is made of Lycra (a synthetic material). It’s very elastic and especially used for sports clothing. The chamber where smartphone sits is made of plastic with smooth rubber padding to keep the smartphone from slipping in the housing once zipped. The cover to enclose the smartphone is also made of Lycra; Xiaomi used a zip to keep the smartphone trapped inside.
The head-part of the VR headset has an extra space for if you wear glasses and while testing we came to know that there is more than extra space which let the light come in and reflects on lenses; hence, spoils the experience. You can workaround this issue by using the VR headset in a dark room. Also, there is no padding to support the head, although the material is not too hard but it won’t adjust according to the face.
The straps are packed separately inside a cardboard piece, which is also the quick setup guide and printed with a QR Code with a link to Chinese version VR apps. The straps are made of elastic and Velcro on end for connecting it to the VR Play. This is not the smart move from Xiaomi as removable straps and the Velcro will wear off by time and there may be a chance of losing them (as I do with lot’s of my things) also adjusting the straps according to the head is not easy.
Now come to the features, Xiaomi did one thing right in VR Play by adding a button on the top. This button is spring loaded and pressing it triggers a rubber tab to tap on the smartphone display for action in VR apps. There are large windows on the front panel to expose the camera of smartphone putting it either way. One feature which Mi VR Play lacks is the cut-out or opening for the headphone jack; we managed to use the camera windows for the headphone jack, but if you are using a phone bigger than 5.5 inches, this won’t work.
There are a link to some VR apps inside the QR code printed on quick setup guide but only if you can understand Chinese. For more apps and VR content, move to Google Play store and download from there. The field of view is good not the best, watching 360 videos is a good experience on the VR Play. The lenses are fixed, you can’t adjust them according to increase or decrease the FOV for the content. It’s light too, so you can wear it for hours without feeling it (only if your phone is lightweight too).
Xiaomi did right by adding a button on the top of VR Play. This button is spring loaded and when pressed, triggers a rubber tab to tap on the smartphone display for VR apps.
- Material: Lycra
- Weight: 208 g
- Dimensions: 201 X 107 X 91 mm
- Compatibility: 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches (screen size)
- Decent build quality
- Action button
- Straps not adjustable
- The head portion is extra big and not comfortable
Xiaomi Mi VR Play is well built VR headset and Xiaomi has done a great job finding a right material to build it. But it could be better if Xiaomi has done some homework and made it a little more adjustable and comfortable, also it lacks the audio port slot. I am using VR headset a lot recently, also bought one cheap (than Mi VR Play) VR headset online made of plastic and I have to tell you, that one feels better wearing and comes with a headphone jack slot. So, if you are looking a VR headset for you, then you may find some better VR headsets online than Mi VR Play.