HTC Vive Flow – The lightest VR headset on the market - UltraVR Media

HTC Vive Flow – The lightest VR headset on the market

Is it worth buying?

The HTC Vive Flow headset is super light, with a weight of 190 grams, like wearing heavy glasses. So right now, it is the most lightweight VR headset available. It’s still just glasses; most of the weight will remain at your nose bridge. Furthermore, It may be very light, but a lot of weight to put on the nose. It can get a bit heavy sometimes, but it is still quite good. When it comes to video quality, the specs are impressive, given how small it is. At 1600 pixels per eye, which adds up to a total resolution of 3200 pixels – it is a very high resolution compared to other VR devices. It’s not the highest resolution available on the market, but it is very competitive with other VR headsets. The default FOV is 100 degrees, which is quite stunning, and it has a 75 hertz refresh ratio. Individual eye diopter adjustment is one of the few headsets’ most significant features of the Vive Flow. If you have any visual impairments, you can enter the tutorial mode and adjust the diopters on the inside to get a clear image. By the way – no tracking stations are needed for this device, so you don’t need to put the base station everywhere like a traditional Vive. All of that sound very impressive, 3K VR headset plays 60 FPS media, is completely wireless, and weighs less than your phone – but what’s the downside? There are still a few advantages and disadvantages, which we will talk about in this article.

External Power Required

This device requires external power – you must plug it into a cell phone charger or battery bank. You can plug it into the PC or the wall if you have a suitable converter. But HTC recommends a specific voltage and wattage on your power bank to work optimally. So yes, a significant downside here is the external power bank, so while it’s a wireless headset, you’ll have it on your head, with the little power cable going down behind your ear and probably plugging into your pocket. So it feels a bit more wired than what you probably want. 

Not compatible with PC

You cannot plug this into a PC for USB support, at least not officially. There is still no official PC compatibility support and no virtual desktop. But there is the option to unlock USB controls for developers, and you can run some unofficial stuff you have to download.

Mobile Only

This device controls entirely only by mobile phones, not PCs, not by its buttons, or anything, it’s all about your mobile phone, and it has to be Android. It has no support for wands or sticks, or other Vive accessories. It supposes to have a hand-tracking update that comes out later, so you can make some hand gestures. So all you do is take your phone and use it as a laser pointer.

Now let’s talk about software and the purpose behind the design of this device.

HTC seems to have designed it to be a portable media player primarily, and it is just a tiny VR media player for those who like watching 360 VR videos. So generally, it is about playing media and not about gaming. When you look at the advertisements, it’s all about relaxing – doing a conference, experiencing the music, doing yoga with these virtual instructors, and other things.

Depending on who you are, you might find it either good or bad that Facebook Metaverse is not working on the HTC Vive Flow. We don’t think the Metaverse is the most popular idea, so right now, it’s not a big deal for users.

They do also offer a couple of social experiences, like the Vive Hangout conference room, a business kind of thing, where you can load in little avatars and do a business meeting with friends or co-workers.

HTC Vive Flow has some other unique features that are worse talking about. First, it’s not entirely a solo experience. You have the option to cast to TV, and it will share whatever you’re seeing in the VR world. So if you want to watch videos, your friends can watch too or play a game and share. In the same way, you have the little option to cast YouTube to TV, Chromecast, etc. It works fine and doesn’t impact the device’s performance much. Because you can cast to TV, you can also cast to PC for streaming.

HTC Vive has the option to see out of the external cameras. If you want to see what’s in front of you and the world around you, you can hit a button, which will take you right back to alternate reality mode. These work on infrared cameras, so you get mostly black and white images with a little lower resolution than you want. FOV is not going to be real life, you’re going to feel like you’re zooming in through some binoculars, but it does work in case you need to do some things and then hop back into the game.

Is this a good or bad VR headset

This is the best possible VR media player on the market – completely mobile and portable, with a very low weight. So as a VR media player, this is a fantastic device. The price-to-value ratio is poor, costing $500 for the device. It also feels that the device cuts many corners, and inexperienced VR users may find this unusual. If you want a gaming headset, something more sophisticated, or something iPhone compatible, this device will be nothing but a nightmare for you. So we recommend this device for a specific subset of people that don’t mind paying a premium to get an excellent media player. And that’s kind of what it is, but it is still enjoyable, and you may even check out some VR applications or games. But if you decide to buy this headset, rest assured, you won’t be going to the movie theater again because you’ll have one at home.


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