Do you want an expressive virtual reality headset that’s better than the Google Cardboard?
If you wish to get an affordable headset with your Google smartphone, the BoboVR Z5 is right up your alley.
When you pick the BoboVR Z5, you get a robust headset packed with an immersive experience with a comfortable head mounted display. Sure, it is comfortable and cheaper, but is it the right one for you?
So, I put together a detailed BoboVR Z5 headset review to help you make a choice.
What Should You Know Before Buying a VR Headset
Some of the popular headsets such as HTC Vive, Playstation VR and Oculus Rift can be expensive. You also need a gaming console or a high-end computer to pair with them. On the other end, you can see headsets that cost as little as $20.
So how do you figure out which one is good for you? Check out these factors before deciding on one.
Specifications to Watch Out For
For a mobile VR headset, you need a compatible smartphone. You may find that the headset doesn’t work accurately or is incompatible with older models.
If you have a high budget allocation, you can get a PlayStation or a high-end laptop with a graphics card. Mobile headsets offer good value for money.
Your VR Needs
If you are a fan of high-end gaming, I recommend choosing a tethered headset. As it will be wired to a gaming console or computer, it will have better motion tracking, graphics, and apps. For a great mobile immersive experience, your smartphone and a compatible VR headset would be good to get started.
Presenting the BoboVR Z5 Headset
The BoboVR Z5 is designed for Daydream VR. It is the newer version of the BoboVR Z4 that had positive reviews amongst VR enthusiasts.
The Z5 comes with a daydream controller that can be paired up with a Daydream ready smartphone. If you don’t have a compatible phone as yet, skip the controller and use it as a regular VR headset.
The Z5 comes in minimalist white packaging. I liked the molded plastic insert that was in the box. It helps keep the contents safe for transportation. On unboxing, I got the headset wrapped in feather-soft plastic bag. Along with it were the Daydream VR controller and a soft lens cleaning cloth.
BoboVR Z5 Features & Benefits
VR Experience & Setup
I used the One Plus 5T to test the Z5. It easily fit into the smartphone’s clasp without the need to remove the phone case. You can pull the clasp to find the AUX headphones nestled within. Just plug it in, and you can get started. I did miss the select button on the controller when I switched it on.
If you plan to use the Z5 as a standalone headset, I recommend that you get a cheap Bluetooth controller. Otherwise, you will be taking the phone on and off from the mount too many times.
Audio & Sound Quality
I quite like the built-in headphones that come with the headset. They are cushioned and quite comfortable to wear. The sound quality is reasonably good but have ample scope for improvement. I found the bass to be bit weak, and the sound did get muffled at times.
The Z5 has a audio jack that makes it easy to plug in headphones for an immersive virtual reality experience. It enhances the audio quality by several notches.
VR experience and Visuals
The Z5 has progressive lenses that you can adjust to fit into your face. Swing the dark gray dial on the top to set the focus of the lens. Now you would notice a smaller light gray knob below the bigger one.
The smaller gray knob helps you resize the distance between the lenses. This feature is an improvement over the Google Daydream that does not have adjustable lenses.
Design and Comfort
I appreciate the fact that the headset can be mounted comfortably over glasses. If you wear glasses, that’s one more reason to pick up the Z5.
To adjust the head strap, I used the large gray knobs just above the earphones. You need to give a pull and turn it. The headset has a single adjustable strap. I like the way it sits a little lower on the head and is comfortable once you adjust it.
I liked the curved cushioned bar that keeps the headset in place. Its expandable and can be tightened at the time of mounting the Z5. The headset cushion fabric is soft and perforated. It has velcro on the sides and makes donning the Z5 very comfortable.
Its design takes inspiration from Google Daydream but sports a unique style. The outer headset of the area features a grey fabric that lends a blend of style and minimalism.
If you like augmented reality, the Z5 will be a good pick. The phone’s camera can see outwards that makes it compatible with augmented reality apps. Since Daydream does not offer AR, the Z5 scores here.
The motion controller looks and works quite like the original Daydream View controller. I tested the controller with my all-time-favorite game of Eve Gunjack 2, and I liked it!
When I picked up the controller, I noticed that the square on the top is an activate button and a trackpad. On the right side, you will see the home and buttons positioned together. To adjust the volume, press the volume control buttons on the right side.
I found the strap missing on the headset, though there is a spot present for it. Do get a USB-C cable to charge your model as it doesn’t come with one. I was searching around for a space on the headset to store the controller when not in use.
But, I couldn’t find it as the Bobo doesn’t have one. The Daydream has that, which helps to keep it in a secure place and not get lost.
Ease of use
I found the Z5 easy to set up. I opened the front flap and secured the phone.
But the Z5 does not automatically go into the virtual reality mode. So, you will need to queue up the app and the video you want to watch before you can get started. You will need a QR Code to play the Cardboard apps, but the Z5 doesn’t come with one. If you want to play older Cardboard apps, this can be an issue.
What are Users Saying About the BoboVR Z5
I checked out user reviews online about the BoboVR Z5. The majority of the users had positive experiences. They liked that the headset offered compatibility with many Daydream friendly smartphones.
It can also be used as a standalone headset for other smartphones. Its controller is user friendly and makes for a good immersive experience when watching VR on the headset. They also commented that the Z5 offers good value for money.
Alternatives to the BoboVr Z5
VR Wear 3D VR Headset
I found the VR Wear 3D VR headset to be very similar to the Z5. It has high-quality lenses with breathable face padding. The viewing angle is better for the Z5 at 120-degree while the VR Wear offers only 105 degrees.
I found that larger phones up to 6.3 inches can fit into the VR Wear. For larger models, you might struggle a bit with the Z5. The VR Wear is compatible both with Android and iOS phones similar to the Z5. Well, the Z5 offers greater value for money as compared to VR Wear. It is also a better fit for you if you want a more immersive experience.
NeuTab VR 2nd Gen Virtual Reality VR Headset 3D Glasses
The NeuTab is lightweight and like Z5 in design. Both of them sport fabric covers and come with a motion controller. Other similarities include adjustable head straps and customizable focal distance.
I liked the fact that the Neutab has front padding that is removable to fit in phones. Phones from 3.5 to 6.5 inches can comfortably fit in on Neutab. The Neutab is a decent version of the original Cardboard. If you have an iPhone, the Neutab’s motion controller may not be compatible.
Pansonite Vr Headset with Remote Controller
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The Pansonite sports an ergonomic design and it’s lighter than the Z5.
That’s a big advantage if you want to watch VR for extended periods. You also get a controller with the Pansonite like the Bobo that is easy to use and navigate.
You will find the Pansonite comfortable to use with 4.7 to 6-inch phones.
While the Z5 fits in well with if your smartphone is around 5.5inches. On affordability, the Z5 scores over the Pansonite.
If portability is a factor for you, you may not prefer the Z5. But if you want an immersive experience with comfort, you will be in luck with this headset. It is one of the best options if you are not a Google Daydream Cardboard Headset fan.
It is affordable and offers a better alternative to Daydream in that budget. At this price point, it even comes with a Daydream controller and attached headphones.