The Freefly VR headset from Proteus VR Labs offers one of the highest fields of view on the market without sacrificing support for modern smartphone devices. We weren’t sure what to think of all the bold claims that Proteus was making about the device, so we decided to take a look for ourselves.
We examined the hardware as well as user reviews of this headset to form the fairest review we could. This device is certainly geared toward more advanced users, so we kept this in mind when did our research.
Freefly VR Headset: Specs
|Freefly VR Headset Specs|
|Headset Type||Cinematic VR Headset|
|Resolution||Dependent on Smartphone Model|
|Field of View||120°|
|Controls||Control provided through capacitive sensors|
|Platform||Smartphones 5.3-6.5 inches|
|Amazon Rating (out of 5)||3.5|
|Our Rating (out of 5)||3.7|
Most of the system is designed around completely passive parts that work much like any other Cardboard clone. The audio and capacitive sensors work with your phone’s onboard electronics, so these are more or less passive as well for all intents and purposes.
By applying premium technology and an excellent fit and finish to standard Google Cardboard technology, Proteus made a product that fills a pretty large gap in the industry. While the Freefly Mobile is a higher-end VR headset, it’s still easy to use and won’t beat users over the head with numerous features or decisions to make.
Pros & Cons
- Offers one of the highest FOV values on the market today
- Provides easy access to the headphone jack to make audio connections easy
- Tested with every official Google Cardboard game on the app store at time of release
- Doesn’t require an external controller for gaming
- Comes with a higher price tag than many other comparable units
- Can take some getting used to before the control scheme is second-nature
- Can’t be used while wearing eyeglasses
Freefly VR Headset: Design & Requirements
Freefly headsets work with most modern smartphones between 5.3-6.5 inches. But keep in mind that you’ll need an accessible headphone jack to use the audio system. Some users report that the position of the jack on their phones makes it difficult to plug the audio adapter in.
Most people found the design comfortable to wear, however, since the perforated padding molds to the shape of the person wearing it. Gamers, in particular, appreciated the generous number of vents installed on the sides that keep your face from getting too sweaty. That can be a problem for those who play for extended periods of time with other helmets.
Freefly VR Headset: Controls & Display
Google Cardboard devices generally come with a Bluetooth controller or simply require you to remove your smartphone each time you want to work with the device. Proteus installed trademarked Crossfire capacitive touch triggers on the Freefly so that you could work directly with the phone’s touchscreen instead of needing an additional controller.
This is especially useful for owners of Apple iOS products because iPhone users have had a hard time getting many of these generic Bluetooth controllers to sync up with their phones. Proteus’ own tests seemed to indicate that the iPhone easily works with this system, though your mileage may vary.
The 120° display is one of the larger ones on the market, and it’s quite possibly the largest out of the Google Cardboard clone devices. While Proteus’ engineers promise a massive pixel depth because of this, it’s important to note that the resolution you’ll see depends on the resolution of the smartphone you’re using.
Freefly VR Headset: Setup
Pushing a single orange button on the front of the smartphone dock to open it and then snap your phone in place. It holds very well and you shouldn’t have any problems positioning your phone provided that the audio jack ends up in the right place. Some users complain it’s difficult to configure the headset if their phone isn’t shaped properly. There really isn’t much to do beyond that.
Freefly devices don’t have any lens settings, so you won’t have to bother focusing the goggles. A few users say that this means they can’t use them very well since they’re never able to get an image in focus. Those who can use them will instead say this makes initial configuration a breeze.
Freefly VR Headset: User Experience
One constant complaint among users, including one who had a mostly positive review of the Freefly, is that you can’t adjust the lenses the same way you could with other Google Cardboard products. This really hurts an otherwise decent product according to another user as well. It’s this single gaping design flaw that seems to keep many users from giving it a higher rating. A third user even said that while the Freefly was really well-built, the view through it can be somewhat blurry when using an iPhone 6s in the bay. Different users may ultimately have different results.
While certain users complain about the audio jack and lens focus issues as well as the price, there’s no denying that the Freefly goggles solve several problems. It’s easy to control games while wearing them and you won’t have to worry about setting too many configuration options.
If you’ve tried out a pair of Freefly VR goggles, then we’d love to hear your opinion of them. Keep your eye out for more of our professional VR reviews.