Virtual reality is the new thing these days. With its ever growing popularity and immersive experience, customers are flocking in to get a hand on a technology that can harness the experience into the handiest interface, the Smartphone. Especially after the launch of the affordable Google Cardboard, companies have jumped on to the bandwagon and launched a range of affordable, as well as high-end VR headsets. Using these VR headsets with your compatible Smartphone, you can enjoy a wide range of VR experiences.
But before jumping into the drifting vogue of VR experience in Smartphones, there are four basic requirements that a cellular device will need for it to be VR compatible. They are:
1. Gyroscope –
The gyroscope, or gyro for short, adds an additional dimension to the information supplied by the accelerometer by tracking rotation or twist. An accelerometer measures linear acceleration of movement, while a gyro on the other hand measures the angular rotational velocity.
2. Magnetic field sensor –
The digital compass that's usually based on a sensor called magnetometer provides mobile phones with a simple orientation in relation to the Earth's magnetic field. As a result, your phone always knows which way is North so it can auto rotate your digital maps depending on your physical orientation.
3. NFC (optional)-
NFC or Near Field Communication is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 cm distance.
4. Internal compass –
This feature is present in almost all the Smartphones. It uses the magnetometer which senses the magnetic field around the cellular device. It gives a sense of direction to the user. It is similar to the magnetic field sensor discussed above.
You can check the availability of the above mentioned features in your phone through the following ways –
• Via VR compatibility checker apps - There are some very useful third party apps on Google Play store that can tell you if your phone is compatible with VR headsets. These apps check for the required sensors and let you know if your phone is fully compatible, partially compatible or just incompatible.
Some of them are – SensorBox, VR checker, EZE VR.
• YouTube 360 Videos.- These videos are available on YouTube. If your Smartphone can play these videos without defects (like motion sensing) , then you may sit back and relax. Your phone is VR compatible.
• FreeflyVR.( https://www.freeflyvr.com/compatible) – It contains list of all Smartphones which are VR compatible.
For the ease of the reader, I have taken the liberty of preparing a list of VR compatible Smartphones and Tablets. They are-
• HTC Sensation
• HTC Sensation XL
• HTC Evo 3D
• HTC One S
• HTC One X
• Samsung Galaxy S II (i9100)
• Samsung Galaxy S III (i9300)
• Samsung Galaxy S4
• Samsung galaxy S5
• Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is fully functional
• Samsung Galaxy R (i9103)
• Samsung Google Nexus S (i9020)
• Samsung Galaxy Nexus (i9250)
• Samsung Galaxy Note (n7000)
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Note 3, Note 4
• Sony Xperia P (LT22i)
• Sony Xperia S (LT26i)
• Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
• Huawei Ascend P1
• Huawei Ascend X (U9000)
• Huawei Honor (U8860)
• iPhone 5, 6+, 7
• LG g3 works, (but you need to put 2 pads on the cardboard to elevate the phone. Or the magnet doesn't work)
• LG Nitro HD (P930)
• LG/Google Nexus 4
• LG/Google Nexus 5
• LG Optimus 2x (P990)
• LG Optimus 3D (P920)
• LG Optimus Black (P970)
• LG Optimus G
• Nexus 7 (2012)
• Motorola Moto G 2014 (works with mixed results, need second opinion)
• Motorola Moto X 2014
• OnePlus One
• OPPO Find 7
1. Acer Iconia Tab A100 (7")
2. Acer Iconia Tab A500 (10.1")
3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer (TF101)
4. Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (TF201)
5. Motorola Xoom (mz604)
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab (p1000)
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 plus (p6200)
8. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (p7100)
9. Sony Tablet P
10. Sony Tablet S
11. Toshiba Thrive 7"
12. Toshiba Trhive 10"