Huawei unveils its own mobile VR headset

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Another handset maker is getting into the headset game. Huawei announced its entry into the world of mobile virtual reality today with multiple versions of a Gear VR-like headset simply called “Huawei VR” Engadget reports.

Huawei unveiled Huawei VR at a Shanghai launch event for the P9 and P9 Plus smartphones today. The headset is almost entirely a clone of the Gear VR in that you slot a smartphone into the viewer, put on a head strap and navigate VR content with a touchpad on the side. Regardless, it’s awesome to see more phone makers throw their VR hats into the ring early on, though it would be nice to see some added features here.

The report does quotes Huawei as asserting that the Huawei VR is the first mobile VR headset to support “360-degree sound field” (with headphones). The Gear VR does indeed support spatial audio through the MilkVR app so it’s a bit unclear whether this is just a meaningless marketing grab or whether there’s actually some cool new tech at work here.

One noticeable difference between the two devices in actual use will have nothing to do with the headsets themselves but will instead highlight just how lackluster the 1080p screen resolutions of the compatible P9 and Mate 8 smartphones are compared to the QuadHD displays on the new Samsung Galaxy S7 line.

Content-wise, the Huawei VR will launch with a ton of content including a host of movies, 360 videos, games, panoramic images and panoramic tours to check out in-headset.

No word on pricing or availability, but considering that none of the compatible smartphones are set to be released in the US, don’t expect to be wearing one of these bad boys stateside anytime soon.