August 9, 2016

Dlodlo, the word says it all! Not only is it a tongue twister trying to pronounce it, but it’s unthinkable to know that it’s indeed a product name for a virtual reality headset. Vive and Oculus might sound crazy on their own, but this one takes it to another level – and sadly for it, you’ll be saying slapping yourself with an appropriate “d’oh” if you ever have the unfortunate opportunity of checking it out in real life.

Dlodlo is a Chinese company that just introduced its new mobile VR solution, the Dlodlo V1, which is being heavily touted by them as being the “world’s lightest portable immersive VR glasses.” Funny thing, though, is that they also forgot to add in that it’s also arguably one of the most expensive as well.

Now, before we get down and dirty talking about our experience with this one-of-a-kind VR headset, let’s quickly jot down some of its specs highlights below.

  • Resolution: 2400 x 1200
  • PPI: 800+
  • Field of View: 105-degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz
  • Material: ultra-thin & highly-durable carbon fiber and skin-friendly silicon dioxide
  • CPU: 1.6GHz 64-bit quad-core processor (an advanced version w/Snapdragon 820 will be available)
  • Software: Dlodlo OS 1.0 that’s based on Android 5.0
  • Capacity: 2GB RAM, 32GB ROM

Dlodlo V1 VR Headset 15

Out of the bunch, the V1’s incredibly high resolution is a standout on its own, which at 800+ ppi, should deliver amazing details like no other. Right?? Secondly, it also offers a wider 105-degree field of view, which is a bump over most other mobile VR headsets, but trails Sammy’s new Gear VR by only a little bit. However, you’ll take notice of the fact that there’s a CPU listed there in the specs. In reality, the processing punch in actually provided by an external device, dubbed the D1, which is essentially the brains behind delivering the VR experience.

This particular implementation, regrettably, means that the Dlodlo V1 isn’t just a standalone VR solution, but rather, a tethered one that requires it to be attached to the D1. It’s the size of most smartphones, which also houses a 3000 mAh battery. Call it deceiving, especially when many of the stock images and renders for the V1 headset show it being worn by itself. Instead, a wire is coming off one side of the headset to connect to the D1.

Aesthetically, the Dlodlo V1 reminds us of a knockoff pair of Oakley sunglasses. Putting them on, however, we instantly realize that they lack any sort of substance. Sure, they’re lightweight, but the materials comprising the headset feels brittle and cheap – and it doesn’t help either that the wire coming out of it is a distraction. In fact, it just gets in the way because the wire itself it super stiff, so the glasses have a tough time staying on our face. Well, that’s unless we hold onto them, of course.

Dlodlo V1 VR Headset 12

Given how the company spent a great deal of time talking about its higher-than-normal resolution, we’re perturbed its impressive specs doesn’t have any merit in our experience. For starters, the displays seemed underpowered with their luminance, making what we were viewing on the V1 appear darker. Secondly, the content we were experiencing/viewing felt exactly like any other mobile VR headset we’re acquainted with – like the Gear VR. Of course, the lack of detail can be attributed to the lower resolution of the actual 360 video we were scoping out at one demo.

Out of everything, though, our issue with the Dlodlo V1 is that it doesn’t enhance or innovate the mobile VR experience. It’s still a static experience, meaning that we’re just given the ability to look around in free space. There’s no spatial tracking whatsoever, so don’t think for a moment it’ll be anything like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. And the worst part of it all is its price, which is slapped with a delirious $559 cost. At that point, you’re better off buying the Alcatel Idol 4s, which comes included with a free VR headset of its own.

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You’d be a fool to even consider for a moment that this is something worth picking up when it becomes available in the next few months. If you do, you might find yourself doing a double “d’oh” Homer Simpson style, after you realize you’re paying $560 for an overpriced, glorified Google Cardboard alternative. What do you think, are we being to harsh or is this one a definite pass?

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