Huawei VR Headset Rivals Samsung Gear VR With Smartphone Tether And 360-Degree Sound Field

It turns out that Huawei had something more up its sleeve than a pair of smartphone launches. In addition to recently unveiling its P9 and P9 Plus handsets, Huawei decided to formally throw its hat in the virtual reality ring by unveiling its own VR headset, one that will go up against Samsung's Gear VR gadget.

Similar to the Gear VR, Huawei's headset requires a smartphone. Specifically, it's designed to work with the company's two aforementioned handsets, along with its larger Mate 8 device, any of which slide into the viewer and connect using a USB cable. All three phones feature Full HD 1080p displays, so Huawei won't be setting any resolution records here.

Huawei VR

In lieu of that, Huawei points out that its VR headset is the first one to offer a 360-degree sound field, so it's not without bragging rights. The headset also boasts a 95-degree field of view versus 96 degrees for the Gear VR and 110 degrees for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and a low 20ms latency. There's also a blue light filter built into the headset.

The Huawei VR is similarly constructed to the Gear VR. It consists of a plastic chassis connected to a head strap. The chassis pops open so you can plop a compatible smartphone inside, which clips into place. There's a touch panel to play with, along with a back button and volume controls on the right side of the headset. Unfortunately you can't wear glasses underneath the Huawei VR, but it will accommodate myopia down to -7.00.

Huawei didn't say when its headset will be available or how much it will cost, but when it does ship, users will have access to more than 4,000 movies (only some are likely to be VR), 40 games, and hundreds of panoramic images and tours, all free.