Zeiss VR One Virtual Reality Headset Review – 2017/2018

The way Virtual Reality is taking over our lives, it is no surprise that several big names are entering the fray.

One such entrant is the renowned lens maker from Germany Carl Zeiss. Their entry level VR headset the Zeiss VR One is a lightweight and portable virtual reality headset.

The company had decided to extend their expertise in precision lenses to the virtual reality world too, and hence the entry of the mid-range Zeiss VR One virtual reality Headset.

Here is an augmented reality headset that uses your Smartphone (screen size between 4.7 to 5.2 inches) to take you into the realm of VR. Maybe the manufacturers thought of introducing a model which does everything that other expensive VR sets do but at a lower price.

Zeiss VR One Review will tell you if the product is up to the mark or not.

The best features of Zeiss VR One

  • Design: Just because the headset is made of plastic do not think this headset is flimsy. Far from it, the VR One is a solid high-quality product that can withstand the test of time. The plastic makes the headset less heavy.

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The minimalistic monochromatic design is futuristic in nature and renders a sleek and elegant look to the Zeiss.

  • Comfortable: The product is comfortable to wear and use. The headset has three layers of foam which can be replaced if soiled. The foam is designed to protect your eyes and prevent the hard frame from pressing into your head.
  • Adjustable: The detachable head straps ensure that the Zeiss VR One is firmly in place. These straps can be adjusted to fit any size of head.
  • Anti-Mist lens: There is a thin black trim with ventilation holes in the headset to prevent lenses from misting and fogging. This trim is covered with a foam mesh to make it more comfortable.
  • Portable: The Zeiss VR One headset depends on a Smartphone to function. As a result, there are no wires or batteries that you need to worry about. It is completely portable.
  • High quality lens: Anything less will be unacceptable from the Zeiss; the lens is of the highest quality and the pictures that are duplicated are clear and precise; in fact, you can even read the text in the visuals.

  • Minimal distortion: Unlike other headsets, the picture distortion is very minimal in the Zeiss VR One that too only in the corners of your vision.
  • Wear your glasses: If you need glasses and have been wondering if any VR headset is suitable for you, then the Zeiss VR-One virtual reality headset has the solution. You can wear your glasses while using the headset.
  • Design your own tray: In case you don’t own an iPhone or an android then the phone tray is of no use to you. But you can design and 3D print one that fits your phone.
  • No pinch on the nose: The nose cavity is wide and large so you won’t feel the uncomfortable pinch that tight headsets often do. You do not feel the weight of the headset on your nose.

The not so good things about the Zeiss One

  • Can’t adjust the lens: The headset has been designed as one-size-fits-all even with the lenses; this is a very big letdown. Even though the lenses are of the highest quality, this approach is a disaster because you cannot adjust the distance between the lens and your eyes.
  • Can’t Adjust IPD: For a stress-free viewing it is essential that you be able to adjust the inter-papillary distance but that is not possible in the Zeiss VR One.
  • No Onboard controls: The absence of controls limits the use of the Zeiss considerably. You will have to remove your phone each time to make any adjustments right from audio; this breaks the immersive experience.

A Bluetooth controller needed: To overcome the above drawback you need to invest extra in a Bluetooth. If you are looking for a mid-range model, then this additional cost is disadvantageous.

  • Wide Nose cavity: Because of the wide gap, it is disconcerting to look down as you will be able to see your immediate surroundings; this change in visuals can lead to headaches.
  • Expensive: For the limited apps, limited tray selection the headset is expensive.
  • NO Google Cardboard Magnetic Buttons: The absence of these buttons makes many of the applications on the App Store incompatible with the Zeiss VR One virtual reality headset.
  • Limited Apps: There are barely a handful of apps that are compatible with the VR One and whatever is available is very basic and of low resolution.

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Advantages over competition

  • Can be used with glasses: Those of you who wear glasses are often disappointed that they are not able to experience VR fully, but with the Zeiss VR One that is a thing of the past. You can wear the headset over your glasses and enjoy VR the immersive way.
  • Comfortable: The triple layered foam padding makes wearing the headset very comfortable. The accompanying head straps too make sure that the headset fits comfortably and firmly.
  • Nice Design: The use of a sliding tray to fit your phone is a neat design that adds to the aesthetic value of the VR headset.
  • Augmented Reality: The use of this technology enables you to use the iPhone app Cloud Light FPV to watch your drones fly in the air in First Person.
  • Free applications: The three applications compatible with the Zeiss in the App Store are free to download.

Final Verdict

For a user who wears glasses and is not very particular about the quality of immersive experience this mid-range virtual reality headset from Zeiss is okay to buy. But if have seen better headsets than avoid this Zeiss VR One Virtual Reality Headset; it is not worth the money.

Starting from its inability to adjust the IPD, you having to buy your own phone tray seems unfair because you have already y paid a hefty price for the headset. Great lenses need not mean a great virtual reality experience.

There is a sad mix of plus and minus with this headset. It is light, looks sleek and elegant and you don’t feel the weight on your face, on the other hand, and its sheer lack of controls is irritating and frustrating.

  • The absence of the Google cardboards magnetic switch is another disappoint. This omission limits the use of the innumerable apps available on iOS and androids.  You can purchase an external magnetic switch from Zeiss and tape it to the headset, but it is not the same. And also the fact that you end up spending extras for all the integral features is hard to digest.
  • Zeiss VR One GX though comes with the magnetic trigger, but sadly that model is discontinued.
  • Several users have had episodes of dizziness thanks to the one-size-fits-all lenses. It’s time to ponder if this VR headset is worth the cost and the discomfort?
  • No doubt the Zeiss VR One is comfortable, looks elegant has the best optics in the VR but its lack of  trays for bigger phones and a price that is really ugly defeats the headset. If the makers can reduce the price, and renovate the design to accommodate more phones and bring in some controls the Zeiss VR One is not so bad. But for now, choose better mid-range models and avoid this pricey VR.

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