Lenovo Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Review: Battling Darth Vader In AR

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Introduction

Tech loving Star Wars fans have something new to lust after this holiday season courtesy of Lenovo and Disney, the unique Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. This is an augmented reality gaming system featuring the Lenovo Mirage AR headset (which works with a number of smartphones), a fancy "collector quality" Lightsaber, and a lighted, spherical beacon that looks somewhat like Epcot Center.

sw collection

Oh, Lord Vader... That Lightsaber

The Lightsaber included in the kit looks fantastic and really is collector quality. It looks and feels like something you might pay big bucks for at a convention or specialty shop. It has a white tip when off, but glows a soft blue color when the saber is on and synced with a phone. The user experience is pretty cool when you get everything synced up, and when the game tells you to activate your Lightsaber, a glowing blade pops into your AR-enhanced view.

star wars wearing

What You Need To Get Your Inner Jedi On

The other portion of the system is the head-mounted display. The Lenovo Mirage AR needs to be powered by your smartphone, and although the list of officially supported devices isn't very extensive -- iPhones, Galaxies, and Moto devices are supported -- Lenovo has a big percentage of the market covered. Lenovo is promising to expand the supported handsets list, but for now, the devices that will work with Jedi Challenges include:

    • iPhone 8 Plus
    • iPhone 8
    • iPhone 7 Plus
    • iPhone 7
    • iPhone 6s Plus
    • iPhone 6s
    • iPhone 6 Plus
    • iPhone 6
    • Samsung Galaxy S8
    • Galaxy S7 edge
    • Galaxy S7
    • Google Pixel XL
    • Google Pixel
    • Moto Z² Force Edition
    • LG G6

To test the kit, Lenovo sent over a Moto Z² Force Edition (our review) and it worked perfectly with the game and head mounted display (HMD). Speaking of the HMD, it's very large at first glance, which may lead you to think it will be uncomfortable on the head -- it's not. It is very well padded and balanced, and isn't uncomfortable at all. It has plenty of adjustments allowing a snug fit on players of all ages and sizes. Only the smallest of players might find it a bit too heavy. We will talk more about the headset later in the review.

hmd straps

The third part of the equitation for the Jedi Challenges system is that Epcot Center-like dome that sits on the floor. It’s small and easy to place, though it is a critical component of the system. The dome is a tracking beacon that allows the headset to know where in space to locate the game content. The beacon is powered by a pair of AA batteries that are included with the kit and it lights up pink by default during gameplay. Here's a quick look at the rest of the specs and bundled items included with the system...

Star Wars: Jedi Challenge Kit
Specifications & Features
    In The Box
    • Lenovo Mirage AR headset
    • Lightsaber controller
    • Tracking beacon
    • Phone tray
    • Lightning to Micro-USB cable
    • USB-C to Micro-USB cable
    • Micro-USB to Micro-USB cable
    • AA battery x2
    • 5V/1A wall-charger and power cable
    • Quick start guide
    Lightsaber Controller
    • Dimensions: 315.5mm x 47.2mm
    • Weight: 275g
    • Buttons: Power, Activation Matrix, Control Button
    Lenovo Mirage AR Headset
    • Dimensions: 209.2mm x 83.4mm x 154.8mm
    • Weight: 477g
    • Buttons: Select, Cancel, Menu
    • Camera: Dual motion tracking cameras
    Tracking Beacon
    • Dimensions: 94.1mm x 76.7mm
    • Weight: 117g
    • Buttons: Power/color switch

Aside from the smartphone, the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges kit includes everything to need to play an augmented reality game right in your living room. More on the setup and experience coming up...

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