India-based Portronics is known for its affordable audio systems, and has now forayed into the rapidly increasing Virtual Reality arena. While every major player is already at it, Portronics too has introduced two of its VR headsets targeted at budget-specific consumers. Also Read - Facebook brings Oculus Quest 2 VR headset with 90Hz refresh rate for $299Also Read - Internet turns 25 in India: Here's how the next 25 years may look like
We have seen a slew of high-end VR headsets launched in the market over the past year. However, it was not long ago that the Google Cardboard and DIY VR headsets broke new grounds making the technology accessible to all. Also, a majority of the smartphone makers are understanding the popularity of VR. A combination of a smartphone with a gyroscope sensor and a VR headset is all you need to experience VR from right where you are. Portronics sent us two of its recently launched VR headsets – Saga VR and Saga Mini VR. So we attached our smartphones and here are our impressions. Also Read - Apple acquires Virtual Reality startup NextVR
First off, the Saga VR and Saga Mini VR have an all-plastic build with comfortable padding of foam in all the right places. As the name suggest Saga VR is the larger of the two and thus comes with a little extra on everything as compared to the Saga Mini VR.
Understand it like this; the Saga VR is an affordable option in comparison to Samsung Gear VR or Gionee VR headgear. On the other hand, Saga Mini VR is a premium option in comparison to Google Cardboard and other DIY headsets.
The Saga VR has a nice black color option with accents of gray around. There is an adjustable “shark-fin” style head wrap with velcros to hold the headset in a place. You get an extra grip as the head wrap goes not only behind the ears but also over the head. The foam padding on Saga Mini VR has been covered with good quality synthetic leather which is good for long VR usage. It has a flip open cover on the front with adjustable brackets where you can place your smartphone. ALSO READ: Insta360 Air review: Ping pong ball-sized camera captures 360-degree photos and videos on the go
About the Saga Mini VR, the smaller sibling has a unibody design with a slot in front where you can push your smartphone. It is padded foam on the rear and around nose rest. The headset is accompanied by an adjustable strap to go behind ears. Both the Saga Mini VR and Saga VR come with levers at the top to adjust lenses as per your comfort level. These VR headsets can be used with any smartphone with a gyroscope sensor and a display size of 4.7 inches to 6-inches.
I have used plenty of VR headsets to date, including the latest Google Daydream, thanks to my profession. Considering my experience of consuming VR content on these range of VR gears, the Portronics Saga VR and Saga Mini VR are a good grab for those who don’t want to burn a hole in their pockets while not settling for just anything. ALSO READ: Google Daydream View VR first impressions: Virtual Reality gets as immersive as it can
The field of view in both the headsets is impressively immersive. However, it is important to understand that VR content experience has as much to do with the gyroscope sensor on your smartphone as much as the headset. During my usage of the Saga VR headset, the only thing I felt missing was some way to control VR apps while the phone is placed inside the compartment, in the form of a remote. But that is certain to bring a significant increase in the price of the headset as well, so it isn’t much to complain about. For now, you can use VR supported games, online VR videos or 360-degree galleries seamlessly. However, you will need to pull out the phone and play specific content each time you switch between games, videos or others.
The Saga VR series headsets are available to buy at various online retailers and are priced decently between Rs 700 and Rs 1500. At this price point, the two headsets are excellent starter options if you want to give VR a go.