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Hands-On with Lenovo’s Standalone Mirage Solo Daydream Headset

Back at CES 2018, Lenovo unveiled the world’s first standalone Daydream VR headset called the Mirage Solo. The device doesn’t require any extra hardware to operate and uses what’s essentially a stripped down version of a smartphone to power the experience. Recently, the company reached out to offer us a review unit, and, of course, we had to take a look at it.

Here are some of my first impressions during our 48-hour hands-on experience with the Mirage Solo.

It’s Super Comfy

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After I charged the headset up, I put it on my head and the first impression I got was just how comfortable it is. Lenovo uses a ton of padding that sits on your forehead, the back of your head, around your nose, and all around your face to make it as pleasurable to use for long durations of time as possible. I can definitely say, even with my short usage, they achieved this goal.

It’s also really easy to adjust. On the back of the Mirage Solo is a knob you can twist to adjust to your head size. It’s a really elegant solution to make it as versatile as possible for all head sizes.

Great Performace (So Far)

To make the Mirage Solo a standalone headset, Lenovo uses WorldSense technology which utilizes tracking cameras that are mounted right inside the headset itself to track the world around you. This means you don’t need any additional hardware to make the headset work such as cameras, sensors, or wires. Using the lenses and rotational sensors, the headset can determine what position it’s in and adjust the Daydream interface to compensate.

Speaking of which, the Mirage Solo runs Google’s dedicated Daydream OS which operates exactly like how Daydream does with a smartphone. However, it feels a bit smoother than it otherwise would with a phone since it’s using resources that are dedicated to operating only the Daydream experience and not Android and all the other normal phone stuff. Things like a Snapdragon 835, a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, and 4,000mAh battery all help to create an experience that, during my initial use, feels really silky and non-stuttery.

I do have to note, however, that I’ve only had access to the headset for two days. Therefore, I’m unable to determine whether the Mirage Solo will begin to slow down after frequent use. I’ll detail this experience in my full review coming soon.

Tracking is On Point, Too

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During my first session with the Mirage Solo, it was clear to me just how good the headset is at tracking your head’s position and where the controller is. When turning my head suddenly, the WordSense technology would adjust what I was looking at without too much of a delay. Tracking the controller’s position, too, was a smooth experience without any issues. Again, I’ll need to test it more, but things seem positive so far.

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There’s still a ton I have to test regarding the Mirage Solo. I haven’t played any games yet, I haven’t used any of the pre-loaded software Lenovo provided for our review, and I can’t really speak to how convenient having the headset in your life can be and whether it’s worth its $399 price tag. Therefore, you’ll want to stay tuned for our full review.

For now, though, I’m really optimistic. I’m impressed with how well the headset operates and how comfortable it is to wear. Again, these are just early first impressions, but I feel like this review period will be pretty enjoyable.

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