When it comes to working out, there is nothing more discouraging than seeing no progress being made. Seeing the same walls of the gym and hearing the same motivational songs that have all but run out of motivation only serve to make things worse it seems. But what if you could be somewhere new, doing something fun when you exercise? To accomplish this, the market has exploded with virtual reality headsets that provide various degrees of immersion into a digital world. This provides new platforms for one to experience while still training their body. A great example of this is the Omimo Uranus One, a standalone system that requires no extra hardware to play. This Chinese company is pushing standard features to the max with everything that they pack into this little device. It boasts a number of advanced technologies and perfect comfort and fit under one affordable price. But are users making out like a bandit, or are they getting what they paid for in a shiny box? Here’s what we discovered when we got our hands on one.
Cost Score 5/5
In the up and coming industry of virtual reality, there are two trends. One is that the VR headset is simply a display and controller. The other is that smart-phones are a viable alternative to expensive hardware and simply need a mount. The Omimo however sees a different approach, or perhaps a combination of the two. The Omimo integrates the VR experience into one device that can operate without a computer or smart-phone. As a mix of the two ideas, it’s price point surprisingly comes right in-between the leaders of either single idea. With smart-phone mounts asking upwards of $100 for their cheap solutions to the trend, and the high quality name brands being priced anywhere from $1200. The best prices for the Omino are coming in at $129 and the more expensive options going up to $299.
The complete package includes:
BT Gamepad (optional)
Certificate of Approval
As a fully standalone option, this is an amazing price! For the price of a parking ticket, a complete and ready to use VR experience is delivered, where it’s nearest competitor’s price had a head on collision with the top of the standard user’s wallet.
Weight and Wearability Score 3/5
When immersed in the world of our choice, playing a game or training our bodies, we want to be able to concentrate on the task at hand. I know I would have a heart attack if my VR gear suddenly decided to slip down my face while in the middle of scaling a cliff. This can be avoided with proper design of the headset though. Two things to take into account are weight and fit. The weight of the Omimo is on the heavier side. Weighing in at 1.3 pounds, it can give your neck quite the workout even in casual games, but this isn’t the type of training you want.
Weight aside, the actual comfort and fit of the headset is fairly well thought out. The point of contact with the user’s face is padded with breathable sponge made for comfort, and the optic chamber is ventilated for maximum fog-up resistance, with a second adjustable strap linked over the head for added stability.
However, it is important to note that the extra weight of the Omimo is due to the internal battery that eliminates the need for cords for app based games. This also produces some extra heat though and can be uncomfortable at times. Additionally, the headphones that are included in the complete package are of good quality but the extra wire hanging around your face tends to be distracting. An integration of these would vastly improve the experience of being in the game.
Technology Score 3/5
Purchasing a VR headset simply because it is the cheapest or because it fits nice is a risky thing to do even in the best circumstances. First of this one offers going cordless with a battery boasting a 10-hour life span. But it’s important to realize that if users want to use the system with anything more than app-based games, they will have to hook it to a computer or system. But regardless of the game, users can expect a dynamic 124° viewing range. That is a 14° improvement over the average for all VR headsets. This, paired with a 1920 x 1080 display, is making for a very tempting piece of hardware.
Hardware wise this is a great value, with an octa-core internal processor and eye as well as head tracking to allow greater focus and possible control options. However, these great hardware options are somewhat limited by the outdated OS. The Android 4.4 affectionately known as Kit-kat is known for excellent management of android phones and stable game and app operation. However, there are several bugs that come with the OS that sadly make flaws in the design of the Omimo a little more obvious. For instance, Android 4.4 has been reported to overheat even when in standby, and that doesn’t sound too awesome being strapped to your face. The 4.4 also has input lag problems, which can make or break a successful VR interface. This goes right in line with the last issue, namely refresh rate.
The Human eye can tell two frames distinctly apart at around 58 Hz, so the standard VR is set to function at 80 Hz for a smooth experience. It is widely accepted that 60 Hz is the minimum for nausea-free game play and movie watching. The Omimo offers a 75 Hz refresh rate which is only 5 Hz off the standard. But paired with the input latency of the Kit-kat, this can start to get on the queasy side once the device heats up. Overall a great piece of hardware that could use an update in software.
Games Score 4/5
The technology is a key part of any VR headset, but let’s face it: This device is meant to play games, so if the games are no good it makes all the hardware and value kind of useless. Lucky for us the designers of the Omimo took all this into account. Being the only VR headset that comes with GooglePlay preinstalled directly into the user interface. This makes playing app games as easy as downloading the game and starting it up. Just be sure to have WiFi available, it will not run off of a cell phone line. But on the bright side it won’t run up the data charges either.
As mentioned before, it also has the capability to hook to your computer for Steam VR, and other PC based games. This opens up hundreds of options for any kind of experience. But be aware that the Android 4.4 had been reported as having issues communicating with some computers. This glitch may make playing PC based games difficult for some users. However, good news for PS4 players; the Omimo integrates flawlessly with consoles, there is even an event going on right now where the hit released game No Man’s Sky is being played on this device.
As with consoles this device is perfect for any fitness controller or game. The wide range of compatibility this product offers is perfect for those who want to try as many games as they can.
This device is mediocre when it comes to the fitness side of the industry. The compatibility with a wide variety of products makes it an easy all around candidate for any equipment that integrates VR. The wireless design ensures that there are no cords tying users to a wall, however this device was not made exclusively for a work out experience so there are some features that detract from the efficiency in that area.
The weight of the unit is a problem. When making fast motions or through continuous repetitions the device can lose its position on a user’s face. Input lag and refresh rate are also a major factor as disorientation during exercise can be nauseating. The ability to link to almost any VR fitness device is a great plus, but without the corresponding equipment, the Omimo quickly loses any fitness potential.
If used with the right equipment, the Omimo performs extraordinarily wel
l. Having been vented against fog ups and allowing the contact points on a user’s face room to breathe with breathable sponge pads, it is the perfect companion for a pedal or rower control device.
Considering all things, the Omimo Uranus One is a competitor that focuses on it’s incredible value and versatility to find its place in the market. The Hardware is quality if not a little heavy, but the software needs a major update to put it ahead of the game. The games offered are almost limitless but again the software has some compatibility issues that need to be taken care of if the product is going to advance. If paired with proper equipment the user can get quite the work out, but the software is once again limiting the performance of the device with input latency. If we can see an upgrade to the OS in the coming months then the Omimo should be able to make a name for itself, but only time will tell if that happens. While it is currently unavailable on Amazon, you can find it and iterations of the same HMD on Aliexpress and several other online retailers.
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