Google Daydream View (second-gen) hands-on

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Quietly announced alongside Google's other new devices that are slated to come out this holiday season, the company decided to upgrade its mobile VR headset after a year of first being introduced. Dubbed simply as the second-generation Google Daydream View, which will cost $99 when it's released on October 17th, it features new changes that'll hopefully deliver on more compelling mobile VR and AR experiences.

The biggest change we noticed is the addition of a pink colored version, supplementing the existing monotone colors we've seen before. Beyond that, they've added a second over-the-head strap to offer additional support and comfort during usage, a wider field-of-view with the lenses, a new two-tone mesh fabric construction, and a new front cover that helps to better dissipate heat buildup during usage.

While all these changes are greatly appreciated, we do have to inform you that the included wireless motion controller no longer tucks away into the headset, but rather, it's fastened and held in place in the small nook on the back of one of the head strap – similar to the Samsung Gear VR headset. 

We tried out the new Daydream View VR headset, and for the most part so far, the look, comfort, and experience doesn't seem to be anything dramatically different. At the core of it, we're able to watch high-fidelity 360 videos and play some VR games using the headset. The tracking and responsiveness using a Google Pixel 2 XL seemed spot on during our initial test drive, so the controller and headset communicate with one another to deliver a responsive experience. In particular, we used the controller to help steer our car in Need for Speed – while being able to freely inspect the car's interior by looking around with the headset.

Honestly, we're not too blown away by the stuff we checked out, it's simply more of the same. However, we're eager to see what Google has up its sleeves in terms of mobile VR. So far, we're actually more excited about to check out some of the AR stuff shown off at its event. It's a tease to say the least, but this year it seems as though augmented reality is getting more of the spotlight than virtual reality.

If you currently own the first-generation headset, we really don't see a whole lot of justification to fork over the $99 that's needed to pick this new one up instead. The design has changed, but the core experience still remains unchanged for the most part. Unless you're in love with the new colors, it's really tough to recommend jumping ship with the first-gen model for this one.

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