As one of the world's leading and most ambitious tech startups, a Xiaomi virtual reality hardware has always been a given. Back in August, the company has already unveiled the Mi VR Play and barely two month after, Xiaomi released its successor, the Mi VR.
So what are the differences?
New VR Controller
Right out of the box, the Xiaomi VR headset will come with a controller. Xiaomi touts that it has a touch interface and a nine-axis inertial motion controller. This accessory also looks similar to the controller that ships with the Google Daydream View VR headset. Its predecessor, which offers basic VR experience not unlike the one offered by Google Cardboard, does not have a controller.
The overall look is also significantly different. The latest Xiaomi VR headset now sports new design features that not only improve the overall aesthetics but also ensure ease of use. For example, there is the strange-looking flap located at the top part, which seems to be designed to guarantee the headset's stability and comfort for its wearer.
The Mi VR hardware also looks more premium with a very well put-together design language. It offers stark contrast to the VR Play, which was predominantly wrapped in Spandex, Lycra materials. A solid-looking cover now holds the phone in place. VR Play users will certainly agree that it is a radical step-up since their devices hold the smartphone in place by a zipper.
The technical specifications are also much improved. The Mi VR is now outfitted with a dedicated motion sensor that can guarantee up to 16 times higher sensitivity. This variable is important because, alongside system-level optimization and the quality of the smartphone, it can dramatically reduce latency. This factor is critical because it determines how much motion sickness the wearer will be able to experience in the virtual space.
To sweeten the deal, Xiaomi has also created its own MIUI VR store where MI VR users can download content. Currently, the platform has more than 500 panoramic videos and 30 VR apps. This library is expected to get expanded further as Xiaomi revealed that the store has now more than 200 registered developers.
It is not yet clear whether the Mi VR supports Daydream, Google's VR platform. Some noted a hint of compatibility based on the previously mentioned controller.
Both handsets are not available in the United States. But there are China-based online merchants that are willing to ship these devices overseas.