Google now has its own virtual reality platform called Daydream VR which is part of Android 7.0 Nougat. The company has recently revealed the hardware specifications and software requirements that a smartphone must meet in order to run Daydream VR.
Google recently updated its Android Compatibility Definition Document listing recommendations and requirements that OEMs should follow when making Android Nougat devices. The company also listed down the exact minimum specifications that would deem a phone Daydream-ready.
Smartphones should have a display size of at least 4.7 inches and must not exceed 6 inches. the displays should also have at least a screen resolution of 1080p with a frequency of 60Hz with 3 milliseconds or less latency and 5 milliseconds or less persistence. However, Google also recommends that displays should have Quad HD resolution or higher for a better experience.
Other requirements also include 2 physical processing cores, Bluetooth 4.2 LE connectivity, OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan, capability to decode 2 instances of 60fps video simultaneously and consistently render 60fps graphics and built-in temperature sensors capable of reading the device’s surface temperature. Here's the complete list of requirements.
When Google first announced Daydream VR, the company didn’t really specify its hardware/software requirements. This was troubling to many VR enthusiasts who worried that their current smartphones might not be able to experience Daydream VR despite having Android Nougat.
Although Google has outlined Daydream’s minimum requirements, there’s still a problem. Specifications like display latency aren’t usually listed on a smartphone’s spec sheet, as pointed out by Android Central.
Temperature sensors are also not standard on most smartphones, especially those in the mid-range or are at least relatively dated. The only way for most users to know exactly if a new handset is Daydream-ready is whether it’s advertised to them directly.
The requirements might also irk a lot of users who’ve already bought a flagship smartphone for 2016. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge for example are not Daydream-ready despite having Vulkan support, as pointed out by Android Authority. Right now, the only phones that are truly Daydream VR capable are Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL phones and the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe.