How to Buy Tech Like Virtual Reality on a Budget
We are living in exciting times. Every month there seems to be a new innovation, something new to get excited about and, in some cases, something that seems to have been plucked straight out of 1950s sci-fi novels.
But all of this technology is not very exciting if it’s not at all in reach. What’s the point of living in an age of high-tech advancements if you can’t afford any of it yourself?
To help you get access to the latest tech like virtual reality, here are some tips on how you can make them more affordable.
There Are Always Cheaper Options
If you just won the lottery, are claiming workers’ compensation benefits, or have successfully robbed a bank, (totally kidding here) then by all means invest big in Oculus and Playstation VR. You’ll certainly get a kick out of it. But if you’re like the rest of us and you’re not even sure if it will be to your liking (maybe you’ll get dizzy, maybe you’ll just get bored) then there are cheaper options.
When it comes to VR the best option is to simply get an app for your smartphone and then use this in combination with a VR headset. You can buy top of the range plastic sets for $30 to $50, but you can also get cheaper ones that are just as effective. The power lies within the smartphone, the app and the ability to separate what one eye sees from what the other sees. This doesn’t require great expense.
1. Pansonite 3D VR Headset 9/10 – $41.99 on Amazon
Close to a high-end virtual reality headset (like Google’s Daydream & Playstation VR headsets), this is one of the best overall VR headsets around at this price.
2. Topmaxions 3D VR Glasses 8/10 – $13.99 on Amazon
With a simple design, this headset works surprising well. There’s no way to adjust the focus but the visual quality is pretty good in particular with the Roller Coaster VR and a few 360-degree YouTube videos.
3. Pasonomi 7/10 – $23.99 on Amazon
This is the lightest of the full-sized headsets and one of the few that can accommodate large phones (over 6 inches). Colors look slightly muted on this headset and some adjustment on the lens is required for a clear image.
4. Sidardoe 3D VR Headset 7/10 – $9.99 on Amazon
The Sidardoe headset offers a few nice features that set it apart, but not particularly comfortable to use or nice to look at, and it may be a tight fit for bigger devices like the iPhone 8 Plus or Google Pixel 2 XL.
5. VR Elegiant 6/10 – $24.99 on Amazon
The VR Elegiant’s design is among the best. There are individual focus adjustments for each eye and the removable magnetic front panel allows you to explore AR apps. Image quality, clarity and color all prove excellent.
6. VR Box 6/10 – $6.95 on Amazon
The headset features a more customizable focus adjustment system than most with separate settings for each eye. VR content is clear and produces promising color.
7. Bnext VR Headset 5/10 – $29.95 on Amazon
This virtual reality headset has some style, but it’s far from perfect. Priced at $40, it’s not really worth it when you consider the competition.
8. TaoTronics 3D VR Headset 5/10 – $19.99 on Amazon
This headset is one of the smaller and lighter options on this list and is quite comfortable. Unfortunately, VR content looks slightly distorted and colors are a bit muted.
9. Destek V4 VR Headset 4/10 – $25.99 on Amazon
At a higher price range, the Destek V4 offers a pretty basic and sometimes mediocre experience. The design is as simple as it gets.
10. U-Scene VR 2 3/10 – $19.99 on Amazon
At only 6.7 ounces, the U-Scene VR 2 is the lightest VR headset causing a number disadvantages for the size, such as a lack of focus adjustments, little padding and no sides to block out the light.
Whatever tech you’re buying, whether it’s 3D or VR, you should always wait. As soon as the technology is announced as a preorder, it will be incredibly expensive. When it is released and has been available for some time, often just a matter of months, that price will start to come down. When more manufacturers get involved and start releasing their own versions, the marketplace becomes more competitive, new tech replaces old tech, and the thing you had your eye on at $3,000 could now cost just $500.
This industry moves very quickly and you can often get big savings like this simply by waiting 6 to 12 months. To learn more about the biggest advancements in virtual reality and what they will mean for your wallet, take a look at Real New World.
Tech is one of those things that we are reluctant to buy secondhand. It feels old and dated when it comes from someone else, but its price will reflect this as secondhand tech tends to be incredibly cheap.
Just make sure you buy direct from the previous owner and not from secondhand stores that buy and sell on. They will always try to make a substantial profit and in most cases you’ll only end up paying 10% less. This is simply not worth it.
If you’re getting something that is no longer the latest version and is secondhand, you should be getting a discount of at least 50%. And don’t fall for the “refurbished” trick either. Stores that sell used tech like to slap this label on to make you think they’ve brought it up to scratch and done a lot of work on it, but in most cases they’ve just polished it and put it in a generic box.
Try Before You Buy
One of the big issues with new tech like VR is that it’s not for everyone. This is why it’s important that you try it out first before you commit to making a purchase. Pay a visit to your local tech store and see if they have it in stock. Have a look, a play and a feel to decide if it is in line with your expectations.
Don’t buy there and then if it is. Give it a few days, think it over and then return. If you are still as excited as you were then you could be onto a winner. If you’re no longer that interested, then this is likely going to be one of those things that loses its appeal within weeks and ends up being a costly mistake.
We could all do with being a little less impulsive when it comes to big buys.