When we mention virtual reality, most likely Oculus Rift comes to mind – to be honest, it has become the by-word for VR. If we push it a little bit longer, you might be prone to think of the HTC Vive, Project Morpheus and Samsung’s Gear VR.
Homido doesn’t ring any bells. Should it?
It’s considered to be a premium and more expensive Google Cardboard alternative. The G’s VR headset is designed to be affordable and accessible to emerging markets. It works with any fold-out cardboard mount, which you can even build at home yourself.
The Homido is made entirely out of plastic, which means that it’s a lot sturdier and more comfortable to wear.
The Homido works exactly like the search giant’s headset. You just slip in your smartphone into its dedicated slot on the front, and place the headset on your head. You’ll now be able to experience everything that the VR medium has to offer. Well, almost everything.
Besides differentiating itself from Google Cardboard by using different build-materials, the Homido is also pricier. The Homido costs approximately $90, where Google Cardboard retails at about 15 bucks. That’s a huge difference.
Is it worth spending that much money for something that you could definitely buy cheaper?
Find out below if this premium Google Cardboard alternative is really worth it.
It has a robust design and it’s compatible with a dizzying variety of devices. It’s super comfortable to wear because it’s made entirely out of plastic, but unfortunately it’s a limited device.
Game and app selection is painstakingly limited. You don’t have any interaction options whatsoever and it’s incredibly expensive for what it has to offer.
The Homido’s design is its key feature. Built from a sturdy plastic, with a matte finish, the VR headset has that premium feel to it. Soft foam cushions are present on the interior rear side of the headset. This makes it comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
If you tend to sweat a lot, be sure that its foam cushions will get all soaky. They are removable. However, you’ll find only one in the box.
Taking the Homido out of the box, you’ll notice that it comes pre-attached with a single strap. This holds the device onto your head. Note that you have an additional second strap in the box. Use it, because the experience will be far more enjoyable.
By attaching the second strap the headset will rest more comfortable on your head. The band will also ensure that the VR device won’t slip down your nose while you start moving around your room.
Yet, the design issue present in Google’s Cardboard headset is also found in the Homido. If you are required to wear glasses, then you won’t have the possibility of using these kind of VR devices.
The Homido does try to bring a solution forward, but I didn’t find it helpful at all. If you are using particularly petite and narrow glasses, then you might have a chance of using the device. Those of us who sport nerdier glasses are out of luck.
Homido tries to compensate for this design flaw by adding three interchangeable lenses – normal vision, far-sighted and near-sighted. You can easily switch out lenses until you find the one that best suits your vision.
To do so, hook your finger under the lenses’ rubber rim and put a little bit of pressure to pop it off.
There are two bright red knobs and a red slider found on the headset. Knobs help you alter image quality by turning them. This changes the distance between your eyes and lenses. The red slider adjusts interpupillary distance.
As I noted earlier, design is key when talking about the Homido. The advantage it has over Google’s Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR is that it has a large plastic smartphone clip on its front. This allows the VR headset to support a dizzying variety of devices – Android and iOS compatible too.
Smartphones between 4 and 5.7-inches can easily slide into the device’s dedicated slot. The VR gear manufacturer recommends owners to use a 5-inch display for the best VR experience possible. Nonetheless, it works exceptionally well with any screen size that fits in its bracket – iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Google Nexus 5 all were tightly secured in their place by the device’s clip.
Homido Games and Performance
The App Store and Google Play Store both feature a good selection of VR-ready apps. Homido takes charge and it attempts to make things easier for all of us. You have the possibility of downloading two home-grown apps – Homido Player and Homido Center. These two apps ensure a better VR experience, the company notes.
The Homido Player allows the user to watch 360-degrees videos directly from YouTube, iTunes and any other video streaming platform. Homido’s Player doesn’t have any video packed in. You’ll have to search them by yourself – some are free, others will cost you real world cash.
It offers direct links to 360-degrees vids available on YouTube. Yet, there aren’t that many interesting clips.
The Homido Center provides a selection of apps, games and VR experiences – like VR-friendly movie trailers. You can download and store them on you smartphone.
But there aren’t that many that I can recommend. Its novelty will run out in a few days mainly because there isn’t enough content available for VR enthusiasts.
This will most likely improve as developers understand the huge potential this kind of VR platform possess. Until then, you’re stuck with an expensive device.
You’ll definitely find a ton more on Android than iOS, thanks to Google’s meddling. Regardless, there aren’t that many, and what apps or games you find won’t manage to keep your attention for more than a few days.
Another issue found with the Homido is the fact that it doesn’t have any capabilities of interacting with games. Unlike Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR which both have a touch-sensitive button found on the headset’s side, the Homido doesn’t have such input.
Because it doesn’t have such input, some VR games for iOS and Android are basically unplayable. You’ll either have to buy a Bluetooth controller, like the Mad Catz CTRL R, or buy Homido’s proprietary Bluetooth gamepad, which retails at about $15. It’s fairly inexpensive, but it’s only compatible with the Android OS.
Considering that you just forked over 90 bucks, being forced to buy an additional accessory because more than half the games aren’t compatible with your device is really a deal-breaker.
Should you buy the Homido?
If you don’t mind buying a VR device that will attract dust once its novelty wears off, sure, go ahead, acquire it. But Google’s Cardboard is far less expensive, it does the same things, and all the games available on iOS and Android are compatible with it.
The thing with these kind of devices is that after a few weeks of fun they’ll turn into dust-riddled party pieces.
The Homido is a good effort, it has a premium design and it looks scrumptious. Because it lacks the input needed to play the majority of games available, it quickly turns into a one trick pony.
Homido Price $90.