The virtual reality is the next barrier . A world with infinite possibilities that finally begins to come true, after many failed attempts (even Nintendo launched a console that wanted to enter this field more than a decade ago). LG wants to give its own alternative with its LG 360 VR , its first glasses designed to be used exclusively with the LG G5 . Unlike the Samsung Gear VR glasses , this gadget has its own LCD screen for each lens and connects to the phone via cable. In addition, the company wanted to highlight the lightness of its design with just over 100 gramsweight, much less than other market rivals. The price of the LG 360 VR stands at 300 euros. We have had the opportunity to test these glasses in depth, we tell you our impressions.
A slim and light design… with many buts
And we start, precisely, with one of the aspects in which LG has wanted to influence the most . Its LG 360 VR glasses surprise by its lightness and its slim format, when we compare them with other proposals on the market. In fact, in his own presentation video he wanted to defend the comfort with which these glasses can be used anywhere. And the figures seem to support it. Only 116 grams and dimensions of 164.1 x 185.6 x 45.9 millimeters. To achieve these measurements, we have chosen to display our own lenses and not use the screen itself.
But there the mirage ends. In our opinion, LG has wanted to differentiate itself so much from the design of other glasses such as Samsung's that it has sacrificed some fundamental aspects in the construction of its equipment. Starting with the material used. The glasses of the Korean company are made of plastic . That is not necessarily bad, but the truth is that it creates a somewhat flimsy feeling (probably due to the impression of being in front of several pieces joined in an unnatural way). In fact, the sideburns don't seem like they're going to last long in the event that pressure is put on them or if the clumsy cousin on duty starts playing with the 360 VR.
Impressions aside, the big problem with LG 360 VR glasses is the fact that they are not able to cover our entire viewing space when wearing them . The company has developed a rubber covering with small tabs that hook onto the glasses and are responsible for reducing the light that can enter inside. But neither its design seems very successful to us (its color and velvety touch detract from the final result's shine, in addition to ending up bending and leaving areas where it is not completely sealed) nor does it fulfill its purpose completely.
In other words, if you look down during the experience, you will see that you can continue looking "at the real world." Something that makes the experience of immersing yourself in the universe of virtual reality difficult. In addition, this poor seal also causes light to enter the space of the glasses , and makes the image look less sharp.
Another aspect that leaves a bittersweet feeling is the way in which the lenses have been thought. Each of them has a wheel to manage the focal length and center the image individually. In principle, excellent news for people who have different diopters in each eye (including myself) and that allows us to adjust the image in a more specific way. Of course, when it comes to practice this idea does not translate so well. And the process to find the perfect image is complex and it will probably waste a lot of time. The fact that the wheels are surrounding the lenses causes that we have to juggle to adjust it with the glasses on. Or, remove your glasses each time to test different points on the wheel and focus the image. It does not seem the most comfortable system, although the underlying idea seems very interesting to us.
The lenses themselves can be moved horizontally to better suit the shape of our head and the separation of the eyes. Speaking of lenses, the VR goggles Korean company make use of a panel type IPS LCD with 1.88 inch size and resolution of 920 x 720 pixels each. In other words, the resolution of these glasses is one step below what we can experience in rivals like the Samsung Gear VR. In addition, we miss a greater angle of vision, since the 80 degrees are a little too short at times.
Applications to enter the world of virtual reality
And what about the apps? It immediately becomes clear that LG has only begun to enter this world, with a fairly reduced catalog of options to make us enjoy virtual reality. To start the LG 360 VR glasses , use the “LG Friends” application. It is a tool that is already pre-installed on the G5 and has a very attractive and easy-to-use interface. In fact, one of the positive points of these glasses is that both their recognition and their start-up are fast.
One of the good news that 360 VR leaves us is the inclusion of a YouTube app to be able to see the increasingly extensive collection of videos on this platform. In addition, along with these glasses, a camera capable of recording videos and taking 360-degree photos has also begun to be marketed . Thanks to this, we will be able to immortalize our most precious memories in 360 and recall them each time as if we were really there.
The main tool among those deployed by LG is Jaunt . It is a portal with all kinds of content, which are grouped into four large groups: Travel, Movies, Music and Sports . As expected, in the first case, Jaunt takes us to corners of the world, such as Jerusalem, Machu Picchu or Nepal. Within the film area we have a selection of different shorts that have been shot in 360. Personally, one of my favorites is Kaiju Fury, although I think Google is one step ahead with their latest short in 360with a similar theme (and that you can experience from your mobile without the need for glasses). By the way, you can watch this video through the YouTube app. The other two fields are music, with concert experiences by artists such as Paul McCartney , or sports. Of course, so far we have not found football content.
In addition to these applications, we also have direct access to the phone's own apps, such as the photo and video gallery. Here we especially liked the way the photos are displayed, since to move between them, simply slide your finger on the mobile screen to one side or the other. That creates a pretty comfortable and engaging experience. Within the glasses configuration, we can choose between two different backgrounds. The last thing we would like to highlight at the software level is the option to receive notifications from the LG G5 without having to abandon the virtual reality experience. For example, WhatsApp messages appear small on the screen and are perfectly legible. Without a doubt, an interesting addition.
Handling via mobile
LG 360 VR virtual reality glasses work thanks to the processor and applications installed in our LG G5 . To work, they are connected directly through the USB type C port. That means that, a priori, we will not have any problem to continue using these glasses with new generations of LG G or with other models that the company makes compatible with this accessory. . And regardless of the size of the smartphone, something that is a major concern in Samsung glasses. To solve this problem, the Galaxy company opted for a larger design that could be adapted to use different format mobiles. In the case of LG glasses, you do not have this problem.
The LG 360 VR can be operated through the mobile and the sight or with two physical buttons that are located on the top of the glasses (and with the sight). This second option is very similar to the one offered by the Samsung Gear VR glasses, while the option of using the LG G5 offers another level of comfort. It is really agile to be able to move in the gallery by simply moving your finger across the mobile screen, centering the view or returning to the previous screen with just one press. In addition, this operation is very intuitive and in a few seconds you can begin to master without problems. Unfortunately, LG's glasses suffer from the same problem as Samsung's. By depending on the mobile processor itself, overheating is a factafter a few minutes of use. While in Samsung glasses we do not have direct contact with the smartphone, in the case of the LG G5 we do. And if we do not have the smarpthone positioned on a surface such as a table, the discomfort and even the option of taking a small burn in a mistake is a constant reality.
If this problem can be corrected in new versions, it is clear that we are facing a more than interesting option to enjoy a much more powerful control without having to go to the more expensive models.
Here we are not referring to the autonomy of the glasses, but to the performance that the LG G5 can give us every time we want to use the glasses. We already told you in our phone test that one of its weakest points was the battery. And, without a doubt, it is a problem that translates into taking it to its maximum potential to run virtual reality applications. The energy expenditure is more than remarkable, and if you take this phone and the glasses with you on a trip, it is quite likely that it will not last the entire journey (in our experience the phone lasted less than two hours with the glasses on ). Basically, as with the Samsung Gear VR, we are facing a gadget that is designed to be used for short periods of time.
Price and reviews
LG 360 VR virtual reality glasses are already on the market, with a price of 300 euros . And that is probably the biggest mistake of the Korean company. The cost of these glasses is three times higher than Samsung's. And if we add the money that the user already spends for an LG G5 (700 euros the official price), we would talk about an investment of 1,000 euros to be able to enjoy the full experience in virtual reality. In addition, until the content available on this platform is expanded, we should probably also buy its 360 camera (another 300 euros).
The fundamental problem that we see with this proposal is that it is LG's first foray into the field of virtual reality . Many of the concepts that the brand wants to deploy with these glasses are really interesting and can give a lot of play in later editions, but in this installment they stay halfway . In many cases, the problems that arise suggest that a bet more in line with what we have already seen in its rivals would have been preferable.. Personally, I would like to see how the concept of adjusting each lens separately (something promising for people who have quite a difference in vision in the two eyes) and the management of virtual reality with the mobile screen turned into a controller develop. In this second case, the solution is to improve the mobile's cooling systems to prevent it from overheating.
|Model||LG 360 VR|
|Type||Virtual reality glasses for the LG G5|
|Dimensions||164.1 x 185.6 x 45.9 mm|
|Colors||Gray and silver|
|Others||Rubber covering to help eliminate light ingress|
Rubber centerpiece for nose
Two physical buttons (OK and back)
Compatibility and applications
Jaunt (experiences of shorts, music, sports and travel)
|Resolution||920 x 720 pixels each lens|
|viewing angle||80 degree|
|Connectivity||Type-C USB port (the same one used by the LG G5)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity|
|Settings||A separate focal adjustment wheel for each lens|