The VR SKY CX-V3 VR headset is one of the first all-in-one VR headsets to come out of China.
Powered by the Allwinner H8 chipset, the unit claims it offers immersive VR experiences with its 1080p display and wide field-of-view. Is it any good? Read my VR SKY CX-V3 VR headset review to find out.
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In This Review
What’s in the Box?
Inside the box, you’ll get:
- VR SKY CX-V3 VR Headset
- Head Straps
- Micro USB Charging Cable
- USB Charger
- Instruction Manual
I’ll let you know that the included headphones are your typical cheap headphones so I’d recommend picking up something better.
VR SKY CX-V3 VR Headset Review: Hardware
If you’ve seen any all-in-one VR headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you know what to expect here.
The VR SKY CX-V3 is a solid unit that mounts a display directly to your face. The unit is quite bulky which seems to be the case with almost every VR headset on the market.
The underside of the unit has all the ports you’d typically expect to see with an Android device, including a USB accessory port, headphone port and a micro SD card slot.
Pretty much everything is controlled via the touchpad and back/volume buttons on the right of the unit. I found the touchpad could be quite fickle at times. Tapping for confirmation worked reliably but swipes would sometimes fail to register and needing a second attempt.
The unit’s 1080p screen (with each eye getting half that resolution) and 100° lenses offer an immersive image.
Thanks to the 1080p display, images are reasonably detailed. The panel itself has good sharpness and colour reproduction.
However, there’s some chromatic aberration (blueish fringing) which can be a little distracting. There’s also a minor “screen door” effect, where you can see the individual pixels due to the lower resolution, though you don’t notice it after a while.
VR SKY CX-V3 VR Headset Review: Software
The VR SKY CX-V3 ships with “Nibiru OS”, a VR-centric fork of Android 4.4. The OS itself is quite attractive and is built for VR from the ground up.
The UI features a curved row of tiles that involves you looking at the icon you’re interested in and tapping the touchpad. It’s all fairly intuitive if you’re sticking to Nibiru’s menus.
There’s quite a bit of content provided by Nibiru but none of it is particularly interesting outside of being a demo for the technology so you’re going to want to find your content elsewhere.
However, prepared to grab a keyboard and mouse as trying to use the built-in VR keyboard and head-controlled mouse is a frustrating experience. The virtual keyboard works but it’s slow and the unit’s large FOV makes it difficult to read content in the corners so I had to hold the headset a few centimetres from my face to see everything.
Nibiru OS does have some nice built-in features that I really liked. The included VR cinema is a nice touch, placing you in your own private cinema to watch your movies.
The whole experience is generally great and the most common formats (such as MP4) played back fine.
3D playback is a mixed bag. Top-and-Bottom VR movies don’t appear to be supported, with the app squashing the image when it tries to render it. Side-by-Side 3D movies worked fine however.
The included video player also won’t decode AC3 audio so those files will need to be transcoded.
Compatibility with Google Cardboard, Google’s VR technology for the cash strapped, is a mixed bag. I found that (after a firmware update) Google Cardboard apps were compatible. However, some apps displayed correctly without any tweaking, whilst others needed me to enable/disable the CX-V3’s “VR mode” in order to work. I should mention that YouTube’s 360 videos aren’t compatible either, as the YouTube app show the toggle for entering 360 mode so you’ll need to stick to those that will play inside the native player.
Don’t expect to play demanding VR titles either. The GPU on the Allwinner H8 is pretty mediocre. Playing InCell VR, one of my favorite VR games for Google Cardboard, wasn’t particularly pleasant. Whilst the head tracking worked fine, the game barely managed a playable framerate which pulled you out of the fantasy.
The VR SKY CX-V3 headset is a great idea that suffers from a few issues. Whilst the display and FOV is nice, it’s held back by confusing UI choices, an unresponsive touchpad and limited 3D capabilities.
That said, as a device for watching movies and 360 photos, it does the job well. If you’re wanting an all-in-one device, the VR SKY CX-V3 is a good option. However, if you’ve already got a a high-end smartphone, just pick up a Google Cardboard-compatible VR headset like the excellent Virtoba X5 Elite.
The VR SKY CX-V3 VR headset is available from GeekBuying.Check it out at GeekBuying