The Merge VR virtual reality headset for iPhone android users is a popular gadget that featured on our top 10 list of the best mobile VR headsets. It’s unashamedly purple and it’s boxy design definitely makes it stand out from the crowd. How does it compare to its rivals in a fast-growing highly competitive market? Our in-depth review will give you a rundown of the Merge’s capabilities and if it’s worth getting.
The Merge VR goggles use 360 to create an immersive experience all around you. As you already know virtual reality and augmented reality are taking the world by storm. Unlike the premium headsets, such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that cost upward of $600, the Merge VR goggles are priced at an affordable price point.
You can buy a Merge headset for less than $60. This is because the headset uses the power of your smartphone to deliver immersive VR and the best part is that it doesn’t feel less real just because it’s considerably cheaper than premium models.
The gadget is designed to securely position your phone and harness its capabilities to access great VR apps, games and video content. Is it worth it for the money? Read on to find out the reasons why I think it absolutely is.
One of the ways that VR has become so accessible to the masses is through cardboard viewers that are relatively cheap to make. A lot of companies have taken advantage of the inexpensive cardboard viewers to create customised complimentary VR material, in other words, freebies. Obviously, cardboard viewers don’t have a long shelf life and this is where the Merge VR steps in.
Obviously, cardboard viewers don’t have a long shelf life and this is where the Merge VR steps in. You get a robust VR headset that looks much nicer and is made from a high-quality foam-like material that will last much longer. The headset is based on the google cardboard aesthetic with a slot at the front to slide your phone inside.
To the rear of the goggles, you will find a couple of lenses for your eyes to view the screen. You also have vents on boat sides for speakers and headphone jacks.
On the underside, there’s a groove for your nose to comfortably snuggle into. You are supplied with robust adjustable straps to wrap around the back of your head and over the head to distribute weight evenly for even greater comfort.
There’s a pop-out section for your camera which allows for augmented reality apps. Merge pulled out all the stops and nothing was left out when designing the purple goggles.
Because of the flexible material, we don’t have to worry as much about which phones are compatible with a set up like this. This is a huge advantage compared to alternative products that might be too rigid and only support a limited range of smartphones.
The Merge VR Goggles address the compatibility issue and are even future-proofed so that you don’t have to keep buying a new VR headset every time you upgrade your phone. The stretchy foam will accommodate huge phones such as the Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge Plus, iPhone 7 plus etc.
The Merge VR is an official Google cardboard supported headset. You’ll find a QR barcode located on the inner head strap. Just download the Google Cardboard app to your phone, line up the QR code with your camera within the app and it will automatically launch and configure the Merge VR settings to your phone. Sweet!
One of the problems with mobile VR goggles are fixed lenses, especially if you buy the headsets at the lower price bracket. For most people with average size heads, this won’t be an issue, but if you have a larger sized head like me you might want to consider adjustable lenses and thankfully the Merge VR provide this as standard.
You can slide the lenses back and forth using two knobs located at the top of the headset. It’s really easy to adjust the lenses even when wearing the headset.
On most of the previous headsets, you’d just have to move them back and forth away from your face until you found the right focus. This wasn’t ideal, I would always feel like I was going a bit cross-eyed. The Merge ensures that you have the lenses positioned exactly where you need them to make everything crystal clear.
The clever design allows the knobs, that you use to adjust the lenses, to double up as the buttons to control elements in the Google cardboard user interface. Merge has released some apps specifically for this function, where you can use both triggers on either side of the headset. The trigger on the right is used to select and launch various video content and apps.
Apps and Games for the Merge VR
There’s a great selection of apps, video content and games available for merge VR.
Discovery VR: Similar to the Discovery Channel, you are presented with great educational videos in 360 for a fun VR experience.
YouVisit VR: If you fancy travelling around the world on a zero dollar budget you will love this app. Visually, it’s far superior to most of the other apps and lets you travel to amazing parts of the world such as London or Tokyo.
Roller coaster VR: If you are an adventurous thrill-seeker take a roller coaster ride through broken tracks, mountainous landscapes and Lakes.
Mad Race VR: Take a passenger seat in a buggy driving down streets at insane speeds. To add to the excitement, various objects are falling from the heavens.
Cardboard: This is the native Google cardboard app that comes loaded with an art exhibit, explorer and hiking functionality.
InMind VR: If you’d rather be shooting things, this game takes you inside a depressed mind. Your mission is to shoot down the depressed brain cells.
This is just a snippet of some of the immersive virtual environments that you can delve into with the Merge VR. Just make sure that you are sat in a swivel chair or if you must stand then do it in a room with minimal furniture.
- Pop-out slot for augmented reality apps
- Durable gadget made from a premium foam-like material
- Much cheaper than premium headsets. Costs less than $60.
- The most comfortable goggles you will ever put on.
- Easier to clean than rival headsets.
- Vents on either end for additional functionality and inputs.
- The best adjustable lenses in its class.
- Available in one colour only
- Would be better with a wireless controller
Where to Buy
Product Rating: 8/10
The Merge VR headset introduces great functionality and control of your smartphone in virtual reality. It’s priced very competitively and is a great all-rounder. It’s very comfortable to wear for long periods and the adjustable lenses make sure that you get perfect focus every time. The foam-like material is hygienic and simple to clean, Lens cleaner and sanitary wipes are provided.
If you enjoy watching movies, just pop on a pair of Bluetooth headphones and you immersed into beautiful viewing experience and completely shut out from the world.
Are you considering getting the merge VR or you already own one? Please leave your comments within the section below and let us know your thoughts