Huawei Technology has entered the mobile virtual reality competition. The Chinese company revealed Friday a VR headset that can be coupled with one of its own flagship smartphones, as is the case with the competing Samsung Gear VR. The Huawei VR headset will be launched in 2016, possibly in late spring, but the firm has not disclosed its pricing.
The Huawei VR will be paired with the recently unveiled Huawei P9 or Huawei P9 Plus. Both handsets boast 1080p displays, with the P9 phone’s measuring 5.2 inches and the P9 Plus phone’s measuring 5.6 inches. Each employs a USB-C cable for charging. The phones are geared toward photography enthusiasts with dual cameras developed in partnership with the famed camera manufacturer Leica. Huawei has not yet announcing the U.S. pricing or release dates of the smartphones, but in Europe the P9 and P9 Plus base prices will be 599 euros ($677) and 749 euros ($846), in that order.
— techradar (@techradar) April 15, 2016
The Huawei VR has a design that will be instantly familiar to anybody who has seen a VR headset in 2016. It is shaped to completely block the use’rs view with enclosed goggles. The headset uses the P9 or P9 Plus as the display with a 95-degree field of view, Engadget reported. Users can control the volume and navigate a menu with a touch panel on the side of the headset. The lenses can be adjusted to provide screen clarity for users who wear glasses. The lenses will work for nearsighted users with prescriptions down to -7.00. The headset will support 360-degree sound for select content. At launch, the Huawei VR will have a library of 4,000 free films, 40 games and other immersive experiences.
Excluding the poorly received LG 360 VR, Huawei’s major rival in this space is likely to be the Samsung Gear VR, created in partnership with Facebook’s Oculus unit. At $99, the Gear VR is an affordable gamble for anybody who wants to dabble in VR without shelling out hundreds of dollars for either the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. In the wake of Samsung’s recent release of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge handsets, the Gear VR display quality was significantly improved as a result of the so-called Quad HD displays of the company’s flagship smartphones.