Xiaomi's Mi VR Play Virtual Reality Headset Only Costs 15 Cents, But Only To Chinese Beta Testers

(Photo : GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images) Xiaomi's Mi VR Play is currently under Beta testing with no word yet on when it will be commercially available.

Chinese hardware manufacturer Xiaomi unveiled on Thursday its first virtual reality headset called the Mi VR Play which works like the Samsung Gear VR.

Like the Samsung Gear VR, Xiaomi's Mi VR Play works with smartphones that have screen sizes between 4.7 to 5.7 inches. Users will simply unzip the fabric in front of the headset to put their phone in, according to CNET.


(Photo : Xiaomi)


The Mi VR Play also features a textured metal button that allows users to control their smartphone while wearing the headset, an anti-reflective aspheric lens for clearer images, anti-slip strips for comfort and consistent viewing quality and stylized skins so users can personalize the headsets to their liking.

"We are using Spandex, Lycra known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable fibre. This material is smooth and suitable for most of the people," Xiaomi said on its Mi website.


(Photo : Xiaomi)


The use of a zipper to secure a user's smartphone inside the headset is probably the biggest difference it has over other smartphone-powered VR headsets.

Letting users pick a stylized skin for the headset is also interesting especially with how most other products are plain-looking and boring.


(Photo : Xiaomi)


With the introduction of its own VR headset, Xiaomi announced the Mi VR Play app, its own virtual reality platform. The app lets users browse and search for VR video content, like movies. The company said that it has partnered with the likes of Youku and iQiyi to bring the best content to its customers in China.


(Photo : Xiaomi)


Xiaomi has not given an official retail price for the product just yet as it is currently in its Beta testing phase. The Beta test is only available in China, and those who registered will only have to pay 1 yuan (or $0.15) to get the test version of the headset.

Over a million people have already registered for the Beta test after it was first announced on August 1, according to The Verge.

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