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article imageHuawei enters virtual reality market with its own mobile headset

By James Walker     Apr 15, 2016 in Technology
Huawei has announced its own virtual reality headset. The device is designed to work with a smartphone, rivalling Samsung's Gear VR and the LG 360 VR instead of the PC-bound Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It will launch later this year.
The Huawei VR is almost identical in size, colour and functionality to the Samsung Gear VR, according to news site TechRadar which attended Huawei's press event in China. A smartphone is placed inside the headset to act as its display and the two are connected together with a USB-C cable.
Unlike Samsung's Gear VR, Huawei VR uses a comparatively low-resolution 1080p Full HD display. The Gear VR has a quad HD screen which creates a sharper and clearer image when watching a film or admiring the scenery in a VR game.
When the display is just a few centimetres from your eyes, the difference between 1080p and QHD is much more noticeable than when comparing computer monitors or televisions. Higher-resolution displays generally create more immersive virtual reality experiences.
The headset can be used to play games, engage in virtual reality apps and watch 360-degree movies. It is controlled with a touchpad on the right hand side of the device, letting you swipe through apps to control the content. There is also a back button for simple navigation and a focus adjustment ring to ensure the image in the lenses is sharp and adjusted for your eyes.
Huawei VR headset
Huawei VR headset
Huawei hasn't said where content for the headset will be distributed from or how much it will cost. Instead, it announced that 4,000 movies, 40 games and "hundreds" of panoramic 360-degree images will be available to download at launch. That launch is said to be coming later this year and likely by the end of the season.
Rumours of Huawei launching a virtual reality headset have been circulating for some time. Today's announcement confirms the Chinese firm's intentions to become an early player in the field, initially launching into the smartphone space and focusing on mobile virtual reality experiences.
The company introduced Huawei VR today at the Chinese launch of its new P9 and P9 Plus smartphones. The handsets received their worldwide launch at an event in London last week and feature all-metal bodies with edge-to-edge 1080p Full HD displays.
The high-end handsets mark Huawei's increased ambitions to build premium devices for sale across the world. Just a few years ago, Huawei's name was hardly known outside of China. The few devices it sold worldwide were largely carrier-branded budget phones.
Huawei hasn't announced availability or pricing for the Huawei VR yet. Its unveiling inside China suggests it may only be sold in the company's home country initially, letting it launch its virtual reality efforts into a market it's already established in.
More about Huawei, huawei vr, Vr, Virtual reality, Headset
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