I have finally given up to the craze, and ordered myself a simple unofficial Google Cardboard virtual reality headset.
The official ones sold through Google's project page cost $15-25 USD on average, which in my opinion is way too much for a DIY device made of cardboard and 2 pieces of glass and 2 round magnets.
So I came across one on AliExpress, that (of course) was just $0.95 + ridiculously cheap shipping (another $0.95).
I didn't notice that the one I bought was meant for 5.0″ phones, while mine is only 4.7″ (LG E960). This is probably the reason why the button doesn't work correctly, but more on that later.
Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset – Review
Purchase link: http://ali.ski/zG5d5 (AliExpress)
Note: this is a version without NFC
I received the ‘virtual reality' viewer within a month, shipped inside a bubble mailer envelope.
Inside I found a few pieces of cardboard, 2 round magnets, 2 round glass lenses, 2 velcro patches and a thin rubber band.
No instructions were attached, but the holes were numbered, so with fine assembly skills of an elementary school aged child, it took me about 15 minutes to assemble the viewer into its final form.
The QR code on the side takes you to the app store. The app has a few short presentations (pretty lame IMO except for the Versailles one), but you can download a lot of different ones from the app store.
Functionality-wise, this viewer does what it is intended to do. The distance between the eyes is acceptable, so there is no double-vision; however, I imagine kids would not be able to fully enjoy this viewer because of its' size.
The viewer relies on the motion sensor, so wherever you move, the image moves with you.
To change the scene within the “presentation” you need to use the magnets on the left side of the headset. To change the “presentation” itself, you need to turn the viewer to a 90-degree angle. The magnetic button did not work for me, I am guessing since my phone was smaller than the viewer was made for, so the magnets did not reach the portion of the screen they should have been reaching. I had to open the viewer each time that I needed to switch the slide.
Overall verdict: Google Cardboard viewer is a fun, but a useless toy.
Check it out: http://ali.ski/zG5d5
If you are into VR gaming, or just find the technology as fascinating as 1000's of other people? There are much better VR headsets on AliExpress, like:
Xiaomi VR headset
Product link: http://ali.ski/MOMr0Z
with headphones (+ optional Bluetooth controller – 4 kinds)
Product link: http://ali.ski/a7-X-t