Google Cardboard is one of those ideas that is so simple and it makes you wonder why we could not come up with it before Google. In ease you have been living under a rock, it is a virtual reality headset made of cardboard, two lenses and a magnet.
There are no active components. You need to Insert your phone into it to make it work. All the work is done by Google cardboard app which create two separate views for your eyes.
Since it was very cheap I decided to give it a try. My plan was to try the cardboard version and if it was good enough, I was going to buy a more solid ones that are made of plastic and has a built in head strap. It was indeed a nice little gadget to have fun with, but when it comes to video quality it was a bit of a lead down.
Biggest problem is you are restricted to using a very small area of the screen for each eye. As a result, resolution of video playback was low even on a UHD screen. Having to split the video for each eye, and play it in parallel made the phone heat up quite a bit and drained the battery fast.
I don’t know how well the Samsung backed Oculus VR gear work. For it to give better quality, it will have to use much more screen area for play back compared to Google version of the app.
I would say that this is a nice little gadget to have fun with but not a replacement for consumer grade dedicated VR headsets. Even the more solid ones that are available for relatively cheap price might not work as a good entertainment device. Because they are also made to match Google cardboard specification to use the same app. However I shouldn’t be complaining too much. Google Cardboard was originally made as a free giveaway. And all similar devices that use the same app are sold at very cheap price. You should not really expect word class output from such a thing.