The Good
  • Extremely comfortable during extended use
  • Compatible with the Google Cardboard app
  • Great apps available from Merge themselves
The Bad
  • Feels flimsy due to being made from a soft foam type material
4.5Overall Score

Okay, so I was surprised with this one. On one hand, the Merge VR looks like a toy, something you would give your kids as a stocking present to go with their new iPhone you got them for Christmas. On the other, the price tag is slightly brushing up against the likes of the Samsung Gear VR, which has earned a best in class reputation in the mobile VR market.

But hold on. The Merge VR definitely has its strong points too. Like take for example its light weight design. It’s covered in a garish purple foam that is firm, but soft to the touch. It really does feel like one of the most comfortable headsets on the market, especially when compared to headsets like the Cygnett Gateway. The foam is also antimicrobial to save sweat and moisture from transferring when swapping it around between a group.

I didn’t feel like there was a tight or rubbing sensation on the bridge of my nose. The Merge VR headset was comfortably used for around 30 minutes at a time. It fits securely around your head using adjustable straps on the left and right hand side, as well as a main strap that holds the headset in place over your eyes.

There are two joysticks on top of the headset which adjust the lenses so your eyes line up with the screen. They also double as action buttons to use during app use. Things like firing a laser while flying a spaceship. They’re for basic actions but work well.

The Merge Virtual Reality headset can use the Google Cardbord app as it recognises the Merge VR. This is mostly beneficial as it will then optimise each VR game to work with the Merge. Very handy, as we’ve found some of the best apps are downloaded through the Google Cardboard app. There are a bunch of games that are available on the Merge VR website, but most of the decent ones will set you back a couple of dollars.

One thing we did notice, which could be seen as a problem with long term use was the temperate the phone reached while inside the headset. In our case it was a Samsung S6 Edge so we can’t comment on other handsets. We unfortunately couldn’t get an exact reading on the temperate of the phone, but there was some definite increases which I think is due to the phone being trapped within the confines of a thick foam pouch.

The Merge VR headset is a great introduction into the world of virtual reality, able to be used with a vast number of VR and AR apps. It’s price point okay is a little on the pricey side compared to the likes of  the VR cardboard, but for that added comfortably and the fact it’s made from soft foam, makes it ideal for younger kids as well as adults prone to drop their tech on a regular basis.

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Stef Murphy

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