Virtual Reality (VR) is an exciting and burgeoning tech market, but the hardware typically doesn’t come cheap: Stand-alone VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are pretty expensive, making this a costly hobby. If you already have a good smartphone, however, then you may be in luck, as there are some very nice and incredibly affordable VR headsets that use your phone as the display. One of our favorites, the Google Daydream View, is now on sale for a super-cheap $30 from Verizon.
As a smartphone virtual reality headset, Google’s Daydream View directly competes with the Samsung Gear VR. The Gear VR is another excellent entry-level device, but the Daydream View just barely edges it out of the top spot in our eyes (especially at this sale price), with our review citing the Daydream View’s snug and comfortable fit, good field of view with minimal light leakage, and intuitive, easy-to-use design.
The new 2017 refresh of the original Daydream saw a few refinements to Google’s headset. The most notable of these are an improved fresnel lens design, a wider field of view (at 100 degrees instead of the previous 90), and a new built-in heat sink to help keep your phone cool while in use. The 2017 model also features more comfortable foam padding and a better head strap, addressing some user complaints regarding the first-gen Daydream.
The main caveat to be aware of with the Google Daydream View is that, as a smartphone headset, it requires you to own a compatible device in order to use it. These are limited to select LG, Samsung, Google, Motorola, and other phones, but if you’ve already got one of these, then the Daydream is easily the best (and cheapest) way to explore virtual reality apps and games without having to shell out several Benjamins for a headset with a built-in display.
The Google Daydream View normally retails for $80 to 100, and at that price, it’s still a better deal than the Samsung Gear VR, which typically goes for around $110 to 130. Now, however, you can score a brand-new 2017 model in dark charcoal gray for just $30 with free shipping from Verizon after a solid $70 discount.