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DuckDuckGo: A real alternative to Google?

There was a time when we were growing up when we had many search engines active on the internet. Yahoo, AOL, and other search engines were all effective and had similar shares of the search market. That was until Google. It quickly became the king of search engines. However, a serious rival might have emerged in the form of DuckDuckGo.

The only real alternative

Currently, there are no real alternatives to Google when you need a search engine. There are others on the internet but most are afterthoughts. Google has a huge share of the market here. DuckDuckGo has been showing signs of being the only potential rival to it. Just this September, they have had 800 daily direct queries on their search engine. It is actually already profitable, which is quite impressive for the relative newcomer. However, profitability alone won’t keep a search engine afloat.

Privacy-friendly

DuckDuckGo’s entire selling point is its privacy. The search engine prides itself in not tracking your search history, time or location of your search, or your internet address. It’s a stark contrast to Google’s latest Google+ fiasco. This is the type of feature that will never feel like making a difference. This is because you don’t know what you’ve lost till you’ve lost your privacy. It’s not something you’ll find yourself caring about on a day to day basis. You will, however, need it every day with our ever-increasing dependency on the internet.

Easy navigation and similar results

Functionally, there are almost no differences between the search engines of Google and DuckDuckGo. The results are stunningly similar on all but a few niche words that are used much more sparingly. The navigation of DuckDuckGo is also very fluid. It’s fairly easy to conduct a search and use other related options. Image search is different to Google but still, show similar results. All in all, without the change of interface, you would have never known you’re using a different search engine.

Fewer ads

Again, the biggest marketing for DuckDuckGo is that it does not track its user. That’s why it should be a no-brainer that it doesn’t result in as many ads as Google. There will still be many ads in generic ad bait search phrases, but the number of ads on other kinds of searches are lower.

No spellcheck

One of the things that we have come to depend on here is the spellcheck from Google. Google provides the “did you mean” feature, which helps users identify if they have made a typo. No such feature can be found in DuckDuckGo.

Fewer results

Sure, no one actually turns to the second page of a search on Google. Still, there are ten or twenty pages of search results on it. This is something DuckDuckGo lacks. It only has a few search results shown comparatively. We could only click on the “More Results” button 5 times when searching Overwatch.

Cool extras

There are some interesting features on it. Namely, if you type stopwatch, you will get a stopwatch on your tab. DuckDuckGo’s “Bang” feature has generated some buzz in the tech industry. We find it to be gimmicky at best. For example, typing “yt!” takes the user straight to YouTube. This sounds cool in theory, but most of us millennials already get to YouTube by simply typing “y” in the URL bar.

Verdict

The DuckDuckGo is a cool alternative to Google, but it’s also less convenient. The privacy features make it a great option, but Google still has better convenience. Overall, if your main issue is online security, it would be a great choice for you. However, if your online presence isn’t something you worry about, Google is still too convenient to ditch.

Samsung launches a giant white board: The Flip

Samsung just launched one of its latest innovations in TV technology, the Flip, in Bangladesh. The digital board is designed to be used in businesses, or if you like your TV viewing to be vertical.

Why Flip

The Flip is specially designed to make meetings, collaboration, and brainstorming easier. It uses top of the line tech and connectivity. Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Business of Samsung Bangladesh, said that it is a digital and versatile replacement of traditional whiteboards. He added that it is an ideal tool for businessmen trying to reach another level of productivity. He hopes to see the Flip become a popular product in Bangladesh.

Details

The new Flip is made of trademark Samsung UHD. It’s a 55” behemoth that can be used on both sides, horizontally and vertically. The user can do whatever is possible with a whiteboard. There are a couple of stylus-like pens that can draw on the board in any colour the user desires. Just like a whiteboard, Samsung’s latest device can have things deleted off of it by simply wiping the screen with the users’ hand. It can have up to 4 people writing on it simultaneously, making brainstorming sessions more effective (or chaotic, if you work at HiFi).

Connectivity

The Flip enables teams to work faster by letting them take notes digitally, save files in onboard storage, send emails and even print directly from the board. The device has WiFi and NFC, giving it great connectivity.

The Flip is almost exclusively made for businesses where every millisecond counts. That’s why you won’t be surprised to learn that it is priced at a premium. For a stoutly 360,000 BDT, you too can own one. To do what is a question that you have to answer. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that it is a very cool device to have.

Samsung launches “N” Series TVs in Bangladesh

Samsung has unveiled their new lineup of TV’s in a ceremony this 9th of September, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. This new series, called “N” series, is the successor to last year’s popular “M” series TV’s. The lineup consists of basic LED TVs to QLED TVs.

Samsung showed off the new series to the guests at the event. There are many different sub-series’ in the “N” series. To name a few, the Joy Concert TV, billed as a semi-smart TV by executives, Smart Concert TV, a fully smart TV and the Premium UHD TV where shown off in the presentation. We also got to try them out in the experience zone. The best of the bunch was obviously the QLED TV’s, which is the very pinnacle of screen tech right now, according to Samsung. The concert TV boasts 4 separate speakers which can give the user a concert vibe. It comes in a smart variant as well. Joy Concert TV starts at BDT 29,990 while the Smart Concert TV’s start from BDT 36,990.

Samsung, QLED
It’s a wonderful TV to get, provided you don’t have to sell your organs for it

There was also the Premium UHD TV with its slim metallic design and an impressive 4K resolution. HDR elite enables it to show the user a billion colors. It starts from a whopping 449,900 BDT.
The star of the show was obviously the QLED TV’s. It’s billed as the first and only TV to achieve 100% color volume and features ambient mode, which can turn the turned off screen transparent, an information center, or even a piece of artistic expression. The QLED starts BDT 590,000.

Many executives of Samsung were present at the event. The Managing Director of Samsung Bangladesh, Seungwon Youn, was confident that the Bangladeshi market is prepared to welcome the latest innovations in TV tech. Head of Business (CE & IT) Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Sales and Partner Mangement Saad Bin Hasan and other high officials of the company and many partners and dealers of their products was also present.

Samsung also showed off many other home appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, AC’s, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. They also had gaming monitors present at the event. The ultra-wide QLED gaming monitor was one of the most eye-catching of the products.

The “N” series TV’s and other appliances will be available in all Samsung Bangladesh showrooms and authorized dealers.

Oppo F9: stylish but underpowered

The new Oppo F9 has taken the market by storm. With its one-of-a-kind notch, it certainly looks very unique. It also has very powerful cameras on its front and back. However, a notch and a couple of cameras alone don’t make a good phone great.

Display and appearance

The new Oppo F9 is a very sleek and stylish phone. The F9 is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides and has a big 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with minimum screen bezel and a very small water drop notch. The F9 has all the standard sensors you would come to expect, including a fingerprint one on the back.

The Oppo comes in three different colours, and they all look very fashionable. The gradient colour scheme is very unique and really helps the phone stand out amongst its peers. All in all, it’s a phone that wouldn’t be out of place in the hands of a supermodel, as Deepika Padukone has shown already.

Camera

Oppo is the self-proclaimed selfie expert. So it should come as no surprise how powerful its cameras are. The front camera is a whopping 25 megapixels and our testing at launch proved its power. The back cameras are also quite powerful, at 16 and 2 megapixels respectively. Oppo has targeted the selfie-taker with their tagline, so this is only expected.

Pouting is easier with the Oppo F9’s AI assisted mammoth front camera, which has a whopping 25 megapixels.

The Oppo F9 also features AI integration with the cameras. The cameras can automatically pick up what kind of photo you are trying to take and adapts to it. The image quality of the camera can be easily compared with the best in the market right now.

Battery

Another Oppo F9 marketing gimmick has been the fast charging capability of the phone. The Oppo F9 has VOOC technology, which makes charging very quick. In fact, the phone’s tagline claims that the phone can muster 2 hours’ worth of talk time with only 5 minutes of charging.

The Oppo F9 has a 3500 mAh battery, which makes this an impressive claim. It’s safe to say the claim is mostly true – we got 4% of charge in less than a minute.

Chipset and power

So far, the phone has looked quite good. This section is where that changes. With so many premium features packed into a phone that costs a fourth of the average iPhone, some concessions had to be made. The phone packs a very mediocre Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 chipset.

It does have an octa-core CPU, but it is paired with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. This makes the phone considerably less powerful than a flagship should be. The phone comes in 4 and 6 GB RAM variants. Both have 64 GB of internal storage. It has a dedicated slot for memory expansions of up to 256 GB. The Oppo F9 has 4G dual sim capability also.

Verdict

The Oppo F9 has quite a few things going for it. It has really quick charging, and the only phone in the same price range that has similar quick charging is the Lenovo Z5. The display is beautiful with possibly the nicest looking notch we’ve seen yet. The cameras are world class and can go toe to toe with every flagship in the market. The price, at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT for the 4 and 6 GB variants, is pretty low for a flagship quality phone.

Yet, there are some huge shortcomings for the Oppo F9. The power of the phone leaves much to be desired as they seem to be the only ones using Mali GPU’s in this day and age. For casual users and selfie addicts, this is a good phone and comes recommended. However, the mobile gaming community and others who want a lot of power in their phones would find the Oppo F9 to be lacklustre at best.

Oppo launches the new F9: sleek and notched

Oppo has launched the newest set to its line-up, the Oppo F9. They unveiled the new phone at a grand event at Radisson Blu Dhaka. The phone is designed stylishly with lots of power to boot.

VIP’s

The event saw many celebrities present, such as Taskin Ahmed of the national cricket team and renowned model Peya Jannatul. Managing Director of Oppo Bangladesh, Damon Yang, was also present. In between many TVC’s of the phone played at the launch, Yang hoped that the Bangladeshi consumers would be happy with their new product.

oppo, f9, taskin, damon yang
Managing Director of Oppo, Damon Yang (Left) with cricket superstar Taskin Ahmed (Right)

Phone Specs

The phone itself is very sleek and stylish. It comes in three different colors, Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue and Starry Purple. The gradient color design is new to the industry, according to Oppo officials. It features a 6.3-inch Waterdrop display and a very unobtrusive notch at the top. As a result it features a high screen to body ratio of 90.8%. The F9 comes with either 4 or 6 gigs of RAM, with 64 gigs of ROM in both versions. It runs on Color OS 5.2, a variant of Android 8.1. The Oppo F9 comes with an octa-core CPU as well. Most importantly it comes with support for 2 different 4G sim cards, as well as micro SD card functionality. Oppo officials say all three can be used simultaneously.

oppo, f9, vooc
The new Oppo F9

Battery

The battery of the F9 is 3500 mAh and has a much-hyped VOOC flash charging function. According to their marketing material, 5 minutes of charging is enough for 2 hours of talk-time. They even showed a TVC featuring Bollywood stars Siddharth Malhotra and Dipika Padukone. The TVC emphasizes how 5 minutes of charging gets 2 hours of talk-time out of the device.

Selfie Expert

Oppo is a self-proclaimed selfie expert. Likewise, the new F9 has great cameras on both the front and back. The two cameras at the back are measured at 16 and 2 megapixels, while the front camera boasts a massive 25-megapixel camera. It features AI sensors like most high-end smartphones. These AI sensors can automatically control the lighting and effects to make a particular scene look better according to the subject.

oppo, f9, taskin, peya
Taskin’s long arms aren’t just for bowling bouncers

Pricing and Availability

The Oppo F9 is priced at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT respectively for the 4 and 6 gigs of RAM versions. It goes on sale from August 31st, 2018. GP users will get 5 gigs of cellular data free with every purchase.

NVIDIA Turing: faster than Pascal but much more expensive

NVIDIA has recently announced the new generation of graphics cards they are going to produce. The new architecture, called Turing, is supposedly much faster than the current generation of Pascal cards. However, the cards themselves will be much more expensive than the current gen. Let’s find out whether they are worth the money.

The New Cards

Nvidia has so far announced three new graphics cards at different price points. The RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 are all sequels to the currently available 1080 Ti, 1080 and 1070. However, even the 2070 is set to be more powerful than the GTX 1080 Ti, according to Nvidia. The 1080 Ti is currently the single most powerful card in the market for gaming. The cards are priced at $600 for the 2070, $800 for the 2080 and $1200 for the 2080 Ti. The burning question we have is, is the new architecture worth it?

gpu, graphics cards, nvidia

Turing = 6X Pascal?

NVIDIA has been banging on the “Turing is 6X Pascal” drum since launch, but we remain sceptical. Even though technically true, the new technology is 6 times faster than Pascal at only NVIDIA’s in-house RTX ray tracing.

However, many games do not have NVIDIA’s RTX ray tracing tech, and will in no way offer the same massive performance upgrade as promised by NVIDIA. Going from a Pascal to a Turing card, you’ll be looking at a 50% performance improvement on most games.

Nvidia, performance, graph, turing

Why So Expensive?

Most of the new cards are double the market price of the 10 series card they are sequels to. This means you guys will have to pay double the price for a 50% increase in performance. The question now is why NVIDIA is putting such a premium price on their GPU.

This is where 11 different games come in. NVIDIA has announced RTX ray tracing tech for 11 games, among which are Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V. NVIDIA claims that Turing makes the lighting and shadows of these games significantly better. They are banking on this as a selling point for the new cards.

Verdict

The cards themselves may not be the best bang for your buck. The technology is, however. I would recommend a 1080 Ti owner to not dish out so much money for cards that will not improve performance a whole lot. Anyone who does not have a current gen card can buy the new 20 series cards to get a significant boost in performance. At $499, the 2070 seems like a pretty good deal for anyone using a 900 series Nvidia card looking for an upgrade, or someone building a new PC. The Founders edition cards are a hundred bucks more expensive so you might want to wait for other companies to make their own 20 series cards. Overall, this seems like the right direction for the company and the industry as a whole.

You can buy the new architecture cards here. Unfortunately they are not yet available locally. We will update you guys when they are available here in Bangladesh.

Helio launches their flagship S60

Helio, a concern of the Edison Group, has recently launched their new flagship phone, the Helio S60. It was launched in a grand ceremony at Spectra Convention Hall in the Capital’s Gulshan 1 area.

The ceremony had many upper management officials of Edison Group present. Mr Aminul Islam, the Chairman of the group, announced the S60 at the event. Mr Maksudur Rahman, Senior Director of the group, was also present at the launch.

smartphone, helio, bangladesh

Much of the phone seems inspired by the iPhone X. There is a notch in the front of the 6.2-inch FHD screen. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The rest of the phone is also very iPhone-like. It has a metal back, with two back cameras. The S60 also boasts an integrated AI, namely the P60 AI. It will supposedly support better photography, performance and power savings.

The S60 also has state of the art security with 3D face ID. This feature helps the phone to be unopenable to anyone but the user of the said phone. It is a hardware-based feature, which is certainly something different in today’s market. There is also a finger scanner at the back for more security.

face ID, 3D, lockscreen

The back cameras are of 16 and 5-megapixel resolution respectively. There is an LED flash in the middle. The company promises great a photography experience for the user. The front camera is 16 megapixels and does seem to take pretty good selfies, at least in good lighting. It comes with 4 GB’s of RAM alongside 64 GB onboard memory. The battery is bulky at 3000 maH and yet the phone is certainly closer to the slimmer side of the smartphone spectrum, which seems like an achievement. It comes with Type-C charging option as well as wireless charging. Every S60 also comes with a free wireless charger, sweetening the deal.

Priced at 25,990 BDT, the phone brings a fairly premium product within budget. There are EMI options available for select banks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a fine flagship, but not a giant leap for Note-kind

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a dream flagship phone. Let’s just take a glance at the spec sheet- Snapdragon 845, 6 GB or 8GB memory, dual aperture cameras and a 1TB maximum combined storage capacity. At a starting price tag of $1000- and a price cap of $1250, the Note 9 is also the priciest premium flagship on the market.

Is it worth an upgrade from a Note 8 or an Apple iPhone X? Short Answer: No. Long Answer: it depends on how long you are ready to wait for a more meaningful upgrade. But if you are looking for a first buy instead of an upgrade? It’s a no-brainer. There are few machines out there that can compete with this, unless you want to wait for the Pixel 2 and iPhone X successors.

Bigger and Better

The physical differences between the Note 8 and Note 9 are very subtle. The new Note’s slightly larger- 6.4 inches compared to the 2017 version’s 6.3 inches. The bottom bezel is also a smudge lower, and the fingerprint sensor now sits comfortably below the cameras. Instead of the traditional blue and black colors, the new Note 9 comes in blue and lavender colors for the US market and black and copper colors for the international market.

The Note 9 inherits the S9+’s dual aperture feature, letting in more light than its predecessor. Low light photography is also likely to be noticeably better. The Dual Pixel autofocus makes capturing sharp shots more convenient.

Another new feature, called the Scene Optimizer, is Samsung’s counter to Huawei’s and LG’s AI photography features. Once you point your Note 9 camera at a scene, it will detect the objects and adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and other settings to get you a filter-ready image. There is another new trick called Flaw Detection, where the camera detects frequent mistakes such as blinking subjects or smudged lens and asks you to retake the photo.

While the camera system is a definite upgrade over the Note 8, it will be hard pressed to beat Pixel 2’s cameras, which are still considered the market best. On the hardware front, Huawei also changed the game by launching a triple camera system with the P20 Pro. At any rate, it won’t be unreasonable to expect this year’s Pixel upgrade to trump the new Note as well.

More Bang for Your Buck

The major touted upgrade, this time around, is the revamped S-pen. The stylus can now act as a remote control for the handset. Some example use cases for this are changing slides during presentation and remotely controlling the camera. The S-pens are also colored- the lavender models are paired with a purple stylus, while the blue models come with a neon yellow stylus.

Battery life is one major area where Samsung has consistently lagged behind Apple. I am using a Note 8 as my daily driver since last December, and the battery drain increased considerably after the Oreo software upgrade. Although it’s Snapdragon 835 chip is great at multitasking, the phone frequently overheats, though not to the degree of older gen phones like the Note 5.

With the Note 9, Samsung has fit in a larger 4,000mAh battery into a frame that has increased only slightly in comparison to the Note 8. What makes this possible, in part, is the new “water carbon” cooling system, whose thermal spreader is three times larger. While this sound promising, I will hold my praises for the Note 9 until it’s been more properly tested under CPU-intensive conditions over time.

The performance bumps- a faster Snapdragon processor and a higher maximum memory- do make the pot sweeter for Note enthusiasts. Smartphone gamers will also receive an additional incentive- Fortnite for Android will be Note 9 exclusive for its first month of release.

Buy or Pass?

If you have yet to experience the joy of using a Samsung Galaxy Note device, then Note 9 is a fine device to lure you onto the stylus bandwagon.

However, if you are still satisfied with your Note 8, or would rather experiment with alternatives, then I suggest waiting until later this year, when the new iPhones and Pixels come out.

And of course, if nothing picks your fancy, there’s always the S10 and the Note 10 for next year.

Lenovo Z5: Hype or Quality?

The Lenovo Z5 made headlines across the internet when it was originally announced. The Vice President of Lenovo released sketches and pictures suggesting a fully bezel-less screen along with flagship beating specs and an enormous 4 terabytes of internal storage. For a phone that’s classed as a budget phone, it was quite the boast. Now that it has been released, it’s safe to say that all of these were blatant lies, but that doesn’t make this a bad phone to get. I got one for myself last month and it’s a phone that has its own pros and cons like any other.

Specs

The Lenovo Z5 comes with a mid-line Snapdragon 636 processor with an octa-core 1.8 GHz CPU. The GPU used on this device is the Adreno 509, which is admittedly a fairly high end GPU for a phone. With 6 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of internal storage which can be expanded with a memory card, it’s safe to say that the phone has no shortage of memory. It comes with a built in Chinese version of Android 8.0. The specs on this phone are not the best in the world, but certainly up there with the best budget phones out there, either equaling or outright beating other budget phones. It comes with a 3300 MAh battery that can be charge very quickly thanks to its type-C USB quick charging. The phone is sure to run most if not all games on the Play Store at the highest graphical quality, which might make gamers pick this up over other phones in its class.

The specs on this phone are not the best in the world, but certainly up there with the best budget phones out there, either equaling or outright beating other budget phones.

Display and Appearance

The phone looks absolutely gorgeous. Built with glass on the front and back, it really looks like a premium phone bought for a lot more money than it actually costs. However, it is not completely bezel-less, as the VP of Lenovo had alluded. It has an iPhone X-esque notch and a chin. The screen is an IPS LED screen that displays brilliant colors 402 ppi density with a 1080p resolution. The screen is 6.2 inches, and the screen-to-body ratio is 83.6%.

Camera

The camera was also hyped to be something special. While it certainly is very good, it’s not as good as it was rumored to be. The dual back camera has a resolution of 16 MP and 8 MP with dual LED dual tone flash. It has an AI camera as rumored but it’s not as groundbreaking as it was supposed to be. The camera has the standard features of HDR, panorama and the rest that you can find in most phones these days. The front camera is a bit of a letdown. While the 8 MP camera does a fine job during daytime or in good lighting, it really breaks down in bad lighting situations.

The phone looks absolutely gorgeous. Built with glass on the front and back, it really looks like a premium phone bought for a lot more money than it actually costs. However, it is not completely bezel-less, as the VP of Lenovo had alluded.

Miscellaneous

The phone comes with a headphone jack, a rarity in the post iPhone 7 age. It has a slot for a second sim, which is also the SD card slot. It has a really good speaker built into the phone, to the point where I really didn’t feel like using my earphones, at least when not in public. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back, as well as accelerometer, proximity sensor and other standard sensors.

Verdict

The Lenovo Z5 is a very good phone to get for the price. Priced at around 200 Euros, expected it to be around 25,000 in Bangladeshi Taka when it reaches our shores. However, it is nowhere near as good as it was marketed to be, and that certainly takes a few points off of the overall score for the phone. I would still recommend it to the reader if you want to purchase a phone without killing your wallet, while also having a luxurious looking phone that plays games well.

Virtual Reality – the next step in personal entertainment

Virtual Reality is a tech of the future, and as time passes by, AR and VR tech is getting more immersive and integrated into our lives. But it’s still a long time before VR becomes a piece of tech available for the masses, especially in Bangladesh. Despite being overpriced, VR is being developed in Bangladesh, with a lot of cheaper alternatives seeing use in Bangladesh among tech enthusiasts, developers and gamers.

Essentials and useful features

A lot of prerequisites are essential for a perfect VR experience. The best headsets feature head-tracking, motion-tracking and a surround sound. A 9-axis gyroscope helps a lot in this regard. Usually lower priced headsets rely on a smartphone for providing the experience, but dedicated VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift have their own screens and hardware to make the experience better. Usually these headsets connect to a PC. A powerful PC will run these headsets with ease.

The affordable options : VR with smartphones

The Google Cardboard VR Headset

There are a lot of cheap options for VR. The cheapest DIY option is setting up a cardboard headset. Here’s a guide from Google to make your own VR headset. The headset doesn’t cost much to make, and only needs a pair of lens and a cardboard box. The experience doesn’t come close to a fully fledged VR headset, but it offers a sort of experience.

The Xiaomi VR Play

The main issue with Google Cardboard is the quality of the materials. You can easily save your time and efforts by buying a Chinese VR headset instead. Options among these include Remax, Xiaomi and the mildly popular VR Box 2.0, costing from a mere 500BDT to 1500BDT, depending on quality and features.

The Xiaomi VR Headset

Move up to around 5,000BDT and you’ll get surround sound built into the headset, as well as much better head support and hardware support with the Xiaomi VR 3D Glasses. You’ll still need a smartphone to enjoy the experience, but needless to say the headset itself is quite well built. The Samsung Gear VR is a much better alternative at a similar price, but it only supports Samsung Galaxy phone starting from the Galaxy S7.

The real deal : 3 degrees of freedom in hardware

3 degrees of freedom headsets involve stationary experiences, usually seated or standing positions which measure roll, pitch and yaw axes.

The Oculus Go

Currently, the cheapest headset with 3 degrees of freedom and hardware support is the brilliant Oculus Go. The Oculus Go promises a no-frills experience by removing the need for any wire or a smartphone. And the best part is the price. The Oculus Go costs 200USD for the 32GB version, and 250USD for the 64GB version. It seems like the best starting point for getting into VR headsets, as the headset supports Netflix and a few games from it’s store.

The Lenovo Mirage

The next biggest substantial update is the Lenovo Mirage. The Mirage is a daydream VR headset which doesn’t need a smartphone to support itself. While Mirage Solo is an excellent VR device, it simply isn’t worth the 400$ price tag, especially considering Lenovo’s selection of video games and apps.

In this segment, it seems the Oculus Go is the best option for casual VR entertainment and activities.

The really real deal: 6 degrees of freedom in hardware

6 degrees of freedom allow the user to walk around inside a physical space. In addition to the 3 degrees of freedom explained above, these headsets also measure surge, sway and heave. These headsets offer the most advanced VR experiences, but they need a powerful system to run.

The Playstation VR

The most affordable experience currently, with 6 degrees of freedom is the Playstation VR. The PSVR is a great VR system by Sony. It isn’t perfect, as there are other HMD (Head mounted devices) offer far better value. But the PSVR can support SteamVR, which in turn opens up a massive library of games. The only edge the PSVR has is the fact that it has a 120hz display. But it’s also a bummer, as the display inside is a 1080p display.

The Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift costs only 400$, and it’s the original pioneer of VR. Problem is, the Rift still needs a room tracker for it to work on certain games, and compatibility with Steam is still quite dodgy. However, the Rift stands among the headsets as one of the lightest ones in the market, and that goes a long way in terms of comfort.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey

To have the best value in terms of hardware VR, you have to spend 500USD for the Samsung HMD Odyssey. The headset is a WMR(Windows Mixed Reality) headset, and fortunately supports SteamVR app store. This means that all the games up on Steam is supported, including Skyrim VR and Fallout 4 VR. The display is fantastic, using Super AMOLED panels and the head tracking is class leading as well.

The HTC Vive

Another option in the range is the HTC Vive. HTC Vive doesn’t really need any explanation to describe it’s reputation, as the Vive already has a functional enough software experience when compared to WMR. Availability is an issue, and when compared to the Samsung HMD Odyssey, the Odyssey offers better build and display.

Utilities of VR

VR has become a useful and cost efficient tool for everyone. VR helps train workers for efficiency with little cost in a virtual environment. Creating capable workers with utility becomes a lot easier. Getting the equipment is the easiest part, but setting it up for business and integrating the system into technical architecture is the hardest part. If executed properly, it will bring a revolution to the industry.

Efficiency aside, AR helmets help bring up a heads-up display(HUD) to manage inventory for the workers. With proper wearables, it can help managers ensure workplace safety in factories by monitoring heartbeat rate and blood pressure, also being displayed in the HUD of the worker.

Tilt Brush

Artists can make 3D drawings and paintings through Oculus and HTC Vive. Google even has an app for Vive and Rift called Tilt Brush for 3D painting, featuring dynamic brushes such as smoke, snow, fire etc.

And as usual, it brings an entire new dimension to video games. The hardware hasn’t gotten perfect enough to feel more intuitive and convenient than keyboard and mouse, but it’s development has been tremendous. The Oculus GO and it’s affordable price is a testament of how VR is slowly becoming more and more affordable. At this point, we can definitely say that VR is the future, and it’ll go a long way.