There is no doubt that very few people currently understand what Google’s Daydream VR is all about. It gets even worse when it comes to figuring out which devices can be used with this technology.
Well, you are not alone in this mystery world. In fact, the search engine giant has yet to give out the specific hardware specs needed to work with this technology. In what it calls Daydream-ready devices, Google is only referring to next-gen handsets that will come with the needed low-latency sensors, minimum GPU/CPU performance as well as low persistence display units suitable enough to deliver Daydream VR content.
According to the Google team at the I/O 2016, back then, there was no smartphone that could be characterized as Daydream-ready. Apparently, the main reasons behind this were because the then phones did not have the required sensors and that their display units lacked low persistence. This is where Google might find it hard to gain traction with this new technology as it would mean all current users of Android get new devices that can work with Daydream VR.
At the time of this writing, only a handful of devices exists in the Daydream-ready category. One of them is the ZTE Axon 7. The phone has a modest price tag of just $399, but for this, you will get a pretty amazing spec sheet. The best part of it all is that the Axon 7 is Daydream-ready, unlike other handsets in the market which have higher price tags, for instance, Samsung Galaxy S7. Surprisingly, the ZTE Axon comes with the same specs under the hood as the S7, with the likes of Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM as well as an AMOLED display screen.
Another phone that has been declared Daydream-ready is the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe. This is one of the best phones you can get on the market right now, not just for the price-specs combination it offers, but because is also supports Google’s Daydream VR platform. Just like we’ve now determined that having an AMOLED display screen, Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM are some of the requirements for a Daydream-ready phone, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe also adds more to this. It packs a RAM of 6GB and has onboard storage of 256GB. It also features the newer Snapdragon 821 SoC, however, the Snapdragon 820 version also offers support for this VR technology.
One surprising finding is that Daydream-ready phones do not need to have QHD display panels, Full HD panels are also OK.
Other phones that are possibly Daydream-ready
While the ZenFone 3 Deluxe and ZTE Axon 7 may be confirmed to be Daydream-ready, the spec sheet they offer could give us some greenlight on what other phones will possibly be ready to use with Daydream VR. Apparently, at least a Full HD OLED screen is needed alongside a Snapdragon 820 SoC and a RAM of 4GB. With these in mind, the likes of the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active, Moto Z, Moto Z Force, as well as OnePlus 3 could possibly be on the list. However, other major flagships such as HTC 10, LG G5 and Xperia X Performance could miss out due to their LCD display screens.
With the Nexus 6P being used as a reference yet it is powered by a Snapdragon 810 and has 3GB of RAM, it is possible that Google might find a way of incorporating current Android users into the Daydream VR system.