LGs VR glasses cause nausea and pain
Virtual reality glasses are considered the technology of the future. The cyber glasses are no longer a dream of the future, they have now landed in the present. Whether with simply constructed and therefore particularly inexpensive cardboard frames, the high-tech glasses Oculus Rift and HTC Vive or Samsung’s middle ground Gear VR – the dream of virtual reality is within reach.
So it is not surprising that other tech giants want something from the VR cake. Recently, Huawei presented its view of the multimedia future with the HuaweiVR, which LG naturally perceives quite differently with its LG 360 VR.
With the LG G5 presented at this year’s MWC and its “magic compartment”, the South Koreans not only rolled up their smartphone portfolio, they are also breaking new ground with the first USB VR glasses. “Computer Bild” tested the 360 VR and struggled with the pain.
Completely detached from the smartphone
With its 100 grams, the LG glasses are a real flyweight. The reason for this is the new form of representation in the smartphone world. Unlike Samsung’s Gear VR, the 360 VR no longer uses the mobile phone screen to transmit VR content. Instead, LG installed its own display.
The G5 mobile phone connected via the pioneering USB Type-C port (other smartphones are not compatible) serves as a remote control. This is the first time that the potential of this new type of connection has really been exploited. Actually an interesting approach that prevents the operating problems known from the cardboard alternatives.
However, a new, much more serious construction site appears: The small display with a screen diagonal of 1.88 inches offers a comparatively manageable field of view. Above and below is therefore comparatively much space for incident light, which takes any illusion and leads the VR idea ad absurdum.
Die-hard VR fans despair at the latest at the underground sound output. This comes from the mobile phone, which the user literally pulls behind him during head movements. However, the problem can be solved with headphones. The matching output is integrated in the glasses.
Evil screen with letter dance
The rough resolution of 970×720 pixels clouds the view. At a small distance between the display and the eyes, the individual pixels move visibly through the image, the resulting grid effect came across sourly in all testers.
Speaking of regurgitation: the lower refresh rate of the anything but high-quality display leads to unpleasant streaking. Especially when reading short texts, the dragging effects interfere. Then the letters dance wildly in all directions. Thus, many subjects complained of headaches and nausea after a very short time.
The recognition of the head movements did not even work flawlessly. Sporadic dropouts provided a short VR breather. Curious, but true: Everyone was happy to take off the glasses again and quickly look the other way. A devastating judgment that continues even in processing.
The plastic rescue rings saved compared to the cardboard competition quickly make themselves felt, creaking plastic dominates the outwardly less impressive appearance. A suede coating used in some places should give the 360 VR a more noble look. Unfortunately, this is placed exactly at the border and thus in the wrong place. Thus, the user involuntarily pushes down the shaky layer when putting it on.
The soft padding in other places would have been more than useful. The too small rubber coating for the nose goes under the poorly distributed contact pressure in the plastic sleeve, which leads to an unpleasant feeling. The comfort is not improved by the unpadded holder, presses down on the back of the head and by the way the ears.
It’s hard to think of long VR adventures. But even short trips into the virtual worlds prove to be painful in every respect. A visual aid does not improve the poor wearing comfort: small frames still fit easily under the LG 360 VR, with larger models the space runs out.
Then the dioptrin correction is used. This can be adjusted with the help of the viewing distance, but only very cumbersome. While the Samsung Gear VR relies on an easy-to-reach rotating wheel, the user turns the lens on the 360 VR. The problem: The glasses have to get off the head, the correction happens “blind”. A lot of time passes until the right attitude is found. Annoying!
It’s not all bad
Meanwhile, you may think that the author of this text was looking for every hair in the soup when testing the glasses. Only negative points – that can not be an objective test?! Yes, he is.
Especially since there were also a few bright spots to discover: In addition to the idea of showing the potential of the USB-C port, the implementation of the control system was also successful. The G5 can be conveniently controlled via the well-known swipe gestures and guides you precisely through LG’s special VR surface. The structure is very reminiscent of the chic menu of Gear VR, it shows all relevant apps clearly.
However, clarity is not generally positive: So the app offer is currently very manageable, it is limited exclusively to photo and video software. The video platform YouTube, for example, is available in an almost unadapted web version. Better than nothing, the offended Handyzocker may think. After all, not a single VR game has made it to the shop!
The price is everything, but not hot!
The question arises as to what the “FUN” will cost in the end. The test question caused astonished faces in the circle of colleagues. The projected price range after the VR excursion was between 50 and 150 euros. A realistic assessment that would correspond to the quality offered.
But LG sees it differently: The South Koreans call up a hefty 279 euros for the LG 360 VR – without the necessary LG G5. This costs an additional 699 euros, which results in a total price of 979 euros. If you want to feel the full VR experience, buy the LG 360 Cam for your own holiday shots in 360-degree panoramic view – for another 279 euros.
The bottom line is 1257 euros. Madness! Rarely were desire and price / performance as far apart as with these glasses. Here LG urgently needs to improve – the price and the variety of offers.
Conclusion: Phew, what a crash landing on the first big VR outing, LG! The details of the 360 VR sound promising, after all, with the USB Type-C connector you are setting off on a new interesting path. But the result is a disaster and not recommended even to die-hard VR enthusiasts. The processing is bad, everything presses, creaks and wobbles in front of it.
The dilemma continues with the poor image quality: visible pixels and grids are a punishment for the eyes, the streaks turn your stomach, and the incident light destroys any illusion. For longer game sessions, the … oh, games are not available at launch either, just a few video apps. The price of 279 Euro for the VR glasses – without the 699 Euro expensive G5 – is a cheekiness!
Strengthen: exploits the potential of the USB Type-C port. Good idea: Smartphone as remote control
Weaken: cruel image quality that can cause nausea, sobering processing that hurts after a short time, no app variety and no games, astronomical price
Test Score: poor (5,00)
More on the subject:
Samsung Gear VR review: the perfect addition to the Galaxy S7?
Source: “Computer Image“. More tests at computerbild.de.