Dave’s Review of Freefly Virtual Reality 3D Headset


Review written on August 21, 2016

 

Freefly VR Headset

Freefly Virtual Reality 3D Headset

4-star-rating

The Pros

  • High Field of View (120 degrees) giving you an immersive experience
  • Works with most phones (iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Note, etc.)
  • Any phone with a screen size of 4.7” (12 cm) to 6.1” (15.5 cm) will fit. Thickness is adjusted automatically
  • Free Bluetooth Glide Controller is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones
  • Light and comfortable

 

The Cons

  • No focus adjustment or adjustment for the distance between the two lenses
  • No magnet control, but comes with a Bluetooth controller

 

The Freefly Device

When my associate first tested the Google Cardboard and attempted to hand it to me. I immediately noticed the sweat/oil stain left on the cardboard from his forehead. No thank you. We attempted to glue a piece of material where the forehead rests to avoid this, but you still know! Fortunately we are talking about Freefly here. The portion that is placed on your face is made of soft faux leather. Easy to clean with a wet cloth or if you’re a germophobe, you can use an antibacterial wet wipe.

The Freefly headset has good lenses and is confortable to wear. The head straps are adjustable to give yourself a custom fit. However, an ongoing problem with this technology is some people will start to get headaches if the device is worn for too long of a period. If you are prone to motion sickness, this may also be an issue for you. For some people, taking the headset off every 10 minutes has led to relief from these conditions.

Like many other VR devices. Once your phone is in place of the headset, you can’t access the volume controls or any other buttons on your smartphone. However the Glide controller will give you additional functionality.

Putting your phone into the device is a breeze. Press the button on the front to release the wings. Then open up the viewing chamber. Load up a VR experience and place your phone in the Freefly. The padded clamps are movable, so you can move a clamp out of the way and allow a headphone to be plugged in. Basically you are just using the handy adjustable foam clamps and Freefly’s automatic thickness adjuster. Releasing your device is as simple as it is to put it in. Just press down on the release button. The clamps pop backwards to allow you to take your phone out.

Freefly Specifications

 

The Experience

The average person has a binocular vision (both eyes) of only 114 degrees horizontally. The remaining is a peripheral 60- 70 degrees. Why is this important? Because, the Freefly VR Headset gives you an amazing 120 degrees of field of view. That’s the highest in the market today, for this kind of device. Compare that to Google Cardboard, at 100 degrees and you can see how much more immersive Freefly is.

Freefly tracks your head movements, in all directions, and projects this onto your screen (using your smartphone). You can explore virtual worlds, play 360 degree games or watch a movie “on the big screen”. Some people enjoy wearing their device while sitting in a swivel chair. Allowing them to easily explore the 3D world they are currently in.

If you enjoy YouTube videos, there is now a multitude of 360 degree YouTube videos. With YouTube loaded on your phone, simply search “350 video”, for a growing range of immersive music, comedy and drama. Press the cog icon to switch to VR mode and insert your phone into your Freefly.

One user found that his phone was very warm when watching movies, due to ventilation issues. His suggestion was to drill holes in the front of the device to allow heat to escape. We don’t condone this advice, but it’s something to consider if you have this problem.

 

Freefly’s Glide Controller

We like Glide Controllers simple design. It is compact and meant to be held in one hand. There are various inputs on the controller. Including a mini joystick which is used for navigating the app menus and for walking around in many VR app worlds. Of course, while you are walking around, you just need to move your head to look around. This combination of the controller and the headset gives you a very futuristic and immersive experience, to say the least!

You simply plug it into a USB port to charge it. When it’s fully charged, press the start button in the middle and hold it down. Finally you go to your smartphone’s settings, enable Bluetooth and wait for your phone to find the device. Select Freefly VR Glide and you’re good to go. The Lithium rechargeable battery works up to 40 hours when charged.

The Glide Controller doesn’t affect the headset, it works in conjunction with your smartphone. So as an added bonus, you can use the controller to take selfies or even use this functionality to take wildlife photos! Wireless working distance is 6.6 feet (2 metres) to 32.8 feet (10 metres).

Freefly Glide Controller

 

Features and Benefits of Freefly Virtual Reality Headset

  • Huge 120 degree field of view
  • Lightweight design
  • No wires, you are free to move around
  • Fits any phone with a 4.7” (12 cm) to 6.1” (15.5 cm) screen size
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Comes with a padded hard carrying case with a lens cloth
  • Includes a free Bluetooth controller
  • Glide Controller has a joystick, mode switch and gamepad

 

Dave’s Conclusion

Only a few years ago, the idea of putting a device on your head and being immersed in a 3D experience was the stuff of science fiction. Not only is it available now, with Freefly, it is also very affordable. There is room for improvements, like being able to adjust the lenses and better ventilation for the smartphone. However, in this price category, those limitations are common. In this category, we believe that Freefly is the best of the bunch. That’s why we are giving Freefly 4 stars out of 5.