5 fantastic virtual reality experiences for Google Cardboard & other Android VR headsets

5 fantastic virtual reality experiences for Google Cardboard & other Android VR headsets
Last week, we introduced you to the best virtual reality headsets for smartphones you can buy. Today, we're going to show you five of the finest VR experiences of Android. We're barely scratching the surface here, as Google Play is riddled with tons of VR apps of various quality. But these apps are a really good way to get novice VR headset owners started on the right track. Feel free to toy around with them, and do go on exploring the Google Play store for other gems - you never know what you'll end up finding!


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20 Comments

1. TBomb

Posts: 1484; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

if only my s4 didn't have a drift problem :(

9. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

All smartphone Google Cardboard devices have a drift problem.

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I can say that I have had drift issues with my Moto X, I credit the sophmoric code for the underdeveloped software.

2. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I fear my 2013 Moto X is a bit dated to provide a truly immersive VR experience. I cannot wait to upgrade my phone because whatever I choose, it'll hopefully provide a killer VR experience.

7. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Then wait for Note 5.

12. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

No offence to Samsung devices, I'm absolutely certain that the Note 5 will be a monster of a smartphone, but I prefer the stock or near stock Android experience over what Samsung offers. I suspect that my next device will be 2015 model of the Moto X, Droid, or Nexus.

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7367; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Do you want a QHD display with a 64 bit CPU and lots of ram. Well there is already a number of smart phones that meet that criteria today.

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Yeah, I want all that stuff, but my contract isn't up yet and I'm a poor somewhat newly wed so buying a phone off contract isn't something that's an option for me.

14. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Only the Gear VR provides a killer mobile VR experience and that is because it doesnt use the slower sensors of a smartphone but comes with its own faster and better calibrated tracking sensors. Furthermore it uses special code to get low level CPU access which bypasses Android to achieve a low latency of under 20ms, plus tweaks on the OLED display to get low persistence and prevent or reduce motion blur what you get with LCD displays. And the games/apps are optimized for Note 4 and S6 to run at 60Fps. Maybe other companies will adopt those faster sensors and Google will adopt part of this code to Android in the future but so far no other mobile VR headset delivers the same performance as Gear VR + Note 4/S6/S6 Edge.

15. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Please review comment 11. My interests in VR are outside the confines of a smartphone. That being said, there's no reason why a smartphone solution couldn't be sufficient enough to view something along the lines of a virtual theater were precision reflexes are not required for functionality, as well as other casual VR experiences where low latency couldn't have much of an impact. Smartphones should be enough to at least to hold you over until one of the standalone VR headsets gets released.

16. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

The view through Google Cardboard shakes and shiffers also when you just look ahead and dont move your head and you have heavy drift, so that you cant comfortable play a game for a longer time or watch a movie in a theater Which standalone VR headsets do you mean? I know only Oculus Rift, Morpheus, Vive and all of these need wires, a powerful PC/Console and a camera/basestations.

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I'm keeping an eye on the Oculus or Vive. I spent $1,800 on a PC I built a few years back, The SSD had the fastest read/write time I could find at the time of purchase, 16GB of DDR3 1600 RAM, and an i7 3770k processor. The GPU is a Gforce GTX 560, it's nothing to write home about but it's easily replaced.

3. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

After HoloLens, these things will be like View Masters.

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I disagree with you 100%. The HoloLens is an augmented reality device, It cannot offer 100% immersion that a virtual reality headset can offer. Also because of Google, pretty much anyone who has a smartphone already has a VR device thanks to Carboard. How much will the standalone HoloLens set you back?

5. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I wasn't referring to price or availability. I simply meant these, and others like it, will seem like toys compared to what HoloLens will bring. That wasn't so hard to comprehend was it?

8. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Hololens is not even in the same ballbark as real VR devices like HTC Vive. And besides in the future AR and VR will merge into one device but for now AR is miles away from the same immersion feeling as VR is. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-hololens-hands-on,29027.html

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Price and availability was not intended to be my main point, the full immersion of being in a virtual world is. The illusion of being anywhere, real of fictional is something that HoloLens won't be able to deliver. Seeing videos of people flip out while riding a virtual roller coaster, in an intergalactic space battle, or watching your favorite movies in an IMAX movie theater looks a lot more promising than playing mine-craft on my coffee table or virtual notepad on the refrigerator.

6. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Sorry cardboard is not immersion to me. Nice effect but no where near other VR imo that is. Also, what he is saying is this. When i go to the store and see those 100+ games in one, atari masters joysticks plug and play...that is what google cardboard will feel like. While hololens will feel like a pc/ps4/one. The price difference be damned. While there is markets for both, hololens imo, is much better out of the two interactions.

11. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I'm not saying that Cardboard is a quality experience, but it's a cheap preview of the Oculus Rift, Sony Morpheus, Valve/HTC Vive. My expectations for a Quality VR experience would rival anything the HoloLens could offer. Also, most of your flagship phones are coming out with resolutions far greater than 1080p and Cardboard is FAR from the only option out there to turn your phone into a VR headset. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Here-are-the-best-smartphone-virtual-reality-headsets-money-can-buy_id68574 I'm sure that Microsoft's headset will be neat, but I anticipate it gets about as much love as Nintendo's Virtual Boy from both consumers and developers alike.

20. sgodsell

Posts: 7367; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Elitewoverine Clearly you have no clue. AR is not VR. Besides everyone who has tried on and used hololens has mentioned that the AR view is much smaller then they expected. VR headsets completely take in your vision and you see what is on the screen. That is why QHD displays offer the best VR experience right now. What is the resolution of hololens? Not to mention bright lights effect hololens viewing. AR you see what is in real life with items and images over top of the real view. So stop trying to compare VR with AR. AR is cool, but it is totally different.

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