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5 Virtual Reality Sets That Fit Your Tight Budget

Affordable, guilt-free introductions to the virtual realm
by KC Calpo | Apr 23, 2017
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Virtual reality (or VR, as we’ll call it from here on out) has become a staple in international tech news—both for the many possibilities that come with it, and our increasing need to get away from the absurdities of reality. Just days ago, Facebook released a new beta-stage VR app in the US, called Facebook Spaces, that’s meant to be used with Oculus Rift sets. We’ve also covered VR before. And hell, people like Elon Musk think that our entire reality is just a simulation!

The best thing about VR is that you don’t have to go broke to afford a headset or accessories/kits for it. Thanks to Google Cardboard and I Am Cardboard, everyone can get into VR as long as they have a compatible smartphone. Don’t expect these kits to come with the sophisticated features of its premium counterparts (although some may surprise you). Think of them as affordable, guilt-free introductions to VR.

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Pocketable glasses

After releasing Google Cardboard-certified glasses, what was next for I Am Cardboard? Three things, to be exact. One of the new toys in its lineup is the Pocket 360, a foldable VR kit that was a hit during its Kickstarter campaign. Simply open the folding panels, put your 6” phone into the built-in holder, and start using your VR apps!

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Sold in six color variants, it’s now available at the I Am Cardboard website for only US$9.99 (around PhP500 without shipping fees). Digital Walker also sells it in select branches for the same price—PhP500.

And for those who are curious about the product's design process, the I Am Cardboard blog gives you all the details.

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Time to daydream

If we’re going to spend a lot of time daydreaming, we might as well go with something tangible, like Google’s Daydream View. Sure, it’s pricier compared to its earlier Cardboard model at US$79 (around PhP4,000 without shipping fees), is made for use with these smartphones (so far, anyway), and requires more maintenance than a simple cardboard rig, but it’s also more immersive than its predecessor. It also allows for more VR app options, which is always good for consumers.

If you know of any local distro that has the Daydream View, please give us a heads up. Because as far as we know, you can only get this headset via the Google website, and Google doesn't have a Philippines store open online yet. But if you have a US credit card and shipping address... good for you.


Grab this

At just 29 euros (around PhP1,500 without shipping fees), the Google Cardboard-certified Homido Grab immediately grabbed our attention, and not just because of its loud red color.

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It would probably get a congeniality award of sorts for its friendliness toward a variety of smartphones (from 4.5" to 5.7"). It also has a 100° field of view, and also sells in black and blue for those who don't care for the flashier red version.


Magiove's 3D VR Glasses are compatible with iPhones, Androids, and Windows Phones, but only up to 6-inches. It has T-shaped straps for adjustable comfort, just in case you have a big head. It also allows you to adjust pupil and object distance, and it even comes with bundled headphones.

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And for a US$17.99 price tag (around PhP900 without shipping fees), it's a certified steal. Get it now over at

Let's Play

We can always count on Xiaomi to provide more inexpensive alternatives to our gadget lust! This time around, the Chinese manufacturer returns to the VR game with the Mi VR Play headset. This VR set caters to 4.7" to 5.7" phones, has a Lycra-clad exterior as opposed to the usual plastic or cardboard, and keeps your phone snug inside with two-way zipper locks.

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Too bad Xiaomi's content library is limited to the Chinese market. The good news? You can get your own Mi VR Play via the Xiaomi website for just US$14.99 (around PhP750 without shipping fees).


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