Super-keen virtual reality nerds will already have queued up for hours to test out the hot Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive, but if you're just a casual user who wouldn't mind dipping your toe in the water, there is an alternative. Merge VR Googles and Zeiss VR One headset are two premium virtual reality headsets for iOS and Android that aim to give an immersive 3D virtual reality experience on smartphone. At this point you might be asking yourself Merge VR vs Zeiss VR One, which should I order? Here's some info to help you decide. Let's find out.
Merge VR and Zeiss VR One both have big lenses. Both come with high-quality lenses, crystal clear vision and it feels like you are very close to the screen. You can see the pixels, a retina display is just not enough to zoom in like these lenses do. The field of view is about 85 degrees on a iPhone 6 which is reasonably good compared to other high-end headsets.
On the Merge VR I notice some lens distortion. It does not bother me, but it is there. This could be the lens itself or it could be the Google Cardboard QR code. I don′t know but the Zeiss VR One has no noticeably lens distortion at all.
Merge VR is quite large and weights 340gr which is average, about the same as a VRizzmo and a bit heavier than a Freefly VR, however Merge does not bother or weigh heavy on my head at all. It's a very comfortable device and does not let a lot of outside light through either and the lenses do not get fogged at all. These are really important characteristics.
The Zeiss is a different story. It weights about 440 grams and it feels like 440 grams, a bit heavy and the device tends to eat my nose which fogs the lenses. Not much but it tends to happen some times. Another downside to the Zeiss VR One is that you can not adjust IPD. For me this is not a problem but I asked some others to try the devices and one of them sees double in the VR One because his IPD is not average. On the Merge VR (after adjusting the IPD) he did not have this problem at all. He is going to buy a Merge VR.
On both devices I recommend using the third head-strap, it takes the load off your jaw-bones especially if your playing for a longer period. I tested Merge VR with my iPhone 6 and iPhone 5. You can use it with an iPhone 5 but the FOV is much smaller so I do recommend using a medium or large smartphone in this headset. I could not test the Zeiss VR One with my iPhone 5 because it only came with the iPhone 6 tray. There are a few other tray's available for Samsung Smartphones (S5 and S6) and some 3D printable tray's. An iPhone 5 tray is not available at the moment.
Let me start by being very clear: both VR Headsets are great! Of course they come with a price tag which is higher than most VR Headsets, but you can not compare these two with cheaper headsets or cardboards. If you want premium quality and are willing to pay for it than pick one of these.
The real limitations are today's smartphones. I wrote about these limitations in one of my posts last week and I can not mention it enough. I will not bash Apple or any other smart phone manufacturer because the need for VR capable sensors and screens simply did not exist when they started developing these smartphones.
We can only hope that the next generation of iPhones (7) will be VR friendly, and if they wont then we will always have innovative headsets companies like ION VR and Cmoar that try to solve the issue's by thinking outside of the box and creating new VR solutions. ION VR has really surprised everybody at CES 2016 with its MotionSync Tech and it's partnership with Microsoft and it's RealSense tech. Very promising and I'll certainly write about this in the near future.
* Merge VR is compatible with iPhone models 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6S, 6 plus, 6S plus.
* Zeiss VR One natively supports iPhone models 6 and 6S when you order the iPhone 6. There are other trays available but not for Apple devices.
Merge VR Headset
Country of origin: United States
Discount Coupon code: VRIPHONE5 to get 5$ off! (only through MergeVR.com)
Zeiss VR One
Country of origin: Germany
Price: 129$ (with iPhone 6 tray)
Back to the topic: A Winner
Merge VR. If you want no lens distortion what so ever and like the mature design go for the Zeiss VR One. If you need the Google Cardboard App Ecosystem button, want more facial comfort, if you have more than one iPhone model and want to pay less: than Merge VR is the answer to your needs. Merge VR is my personal favorite and the new Zeiss VR One GX with outdated magnetic button (iOS incompatible!!!) headset will certainly not change my opinion.
Both Headsets are made from good materials with nice finishing details, they have great lenses, are AR capable, have 3-way adjustable head-straps and ventilation holes. They are not very portable and have no case but fit in a backpack. To check all the popular VR Headset, just read this top Virtual Reality Headsets Review.
Watch 2D/3D Movies on Merge VR and Zeiss VR One Without Any Limits
No matter how great the two premium Virtual Reality Headsets for iOS and Android are, they are far from perfection without any movies on them. Playing movies online is not a good choice all the time, and downloading movies torrents on Merge VR and Zeiss VR One are OK but VR heasets have limited video format supported and cannot play all videos due to the format issue.
On this point, most people would choose to convert 2D/3D Movies to Merge VR and Zeiss VR One by using a video converter, like iFastime Video Converter Ultimate.
It supports encoding incompatible 2D FLV, MKV, VOB, M2TS, WMV, MPEG, H.265/HEVC, XAVC, 3D YIFY, 3D YouTube, 3D MTS movies and rippinging 2D/3D Blu-ray, DVD to Anaglyph, Top-Bottom, Side-by-Side 3D videos for these premium Virtual Reality Headsets with no quality loss yet 6× faster speed. Converting and watching 2D/3D movies on Merge VR and Zeiss VR One can be so easy and fantastic.
Free Download iFastime Video Converter Ultimate:
1. Run and install the 2D/3D Movie Converter. Copy or download the movies you want to convert to computer hard drive. Click "Add video" icon to add them or directly drag & drop them into the converter.
2. Choose 3D output format. Click "Browse" button to select a destination folder.
3. Click "Start conversion" button to start encoding 2D/3D movies to Merge VR and Zeiss VR One.
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