Hands-on Gear Review

Bnext VR Review

Price:   $50 List | $39.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Cheap, easy to set up
Cons:  Not interactive, not user-friendly
Bottom line:  This low-cost VR headset earned the second-lowest score and is hard to recommend.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
Phones that fit:  iPhone 5 and newer, Galaxy S5 and Note 4 and newer, Google Pixel and other 4" to 6" phones
Adjustable Lenses:  Lenses slide left/right and back/forth
Sound:  Phone
Manufacturer:   Bnext

Our Verdict

Costing a fraction of the price of the top models, the Bnext VR headset is one of the more budget-friendly options. However, it scored very poorly overall, only distinguishing itself by being very easy to set up initially. Unfortunately, it is not very user-friendly when it comes to day-to-day use and is the least interactive of the bunch. This abysmal showing in our most important metric makes it hard to recommend this headset, with some other comparably priced models scoring substantially better.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Thursday
September 21, 2017

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Earning the second lowest score of the group, the Bnext only proved itself to be superior to the Canbor VR. It is outperformed by both the QERY and the Google Cardboard, with the Cardboard retailing for even less than the Bnext. All in all, the Bnext is definitely not one of our favorites.

The Bnext VR headset.
The Bnext VR headset.

Performance Comparison


To find out which VR headsets are worth purchasing, we bought all of the latest and greatest models on the market today and pitted them head-to-head in a rigorous series of tests. We split our testing process into five weighted metrics — Interactiveness, User Friendliness, Visual Immersiveness, Comfort, and Ease of Setup — each weighted based on its importance. The sections below detail the performance of the Bnext and how it stacked up against the rest of the headsets in the group.

There Bnext was not very interactive. There is no controller or button to use.
There Bnext was not very interactive. There is no controller or button to use.

Interactiveness


Taking credit for the largest portion of the overall score, the set of tests that comprise our interactiveness metric is by far the most important. Scores were based on the ability of each headset to allow you to interact with your VR environment and the accuracy of the motion tracking. Unfortunately, the Bnext delivered an overall terrible performance, earning a 1 out of 10 and the lowest score of the bunch.

There are no buttons on the headset and no hand controllers, restricting you to only passively observing your VR experience. However, the motion tracking is alright, as it relies on the phone's sensors, so it is on par with the other Cardboard-style mobile headsets.

There is some nice padding around the face  but where your nose goes there is none. Making it uncomfortable to wear if you have a large bride on your nose.
There is some nice padding around the face, but where your nose goes there is none. Making it uncomfortable to wear if you have a large bride on your nose.

Visual Immersiveness


Next up in our review process, Visual Immersiveness accounts for the second largest portion of the overall score at 20%. The Bnext delivered a relatively unremarkable performance, meriting a 5 out of 10 overall. This is based on the sharpness and overall condition of the image shown, if the headset adequately blocked ambient light, and its field of view.

Plenty of light leaks into this headset, with noticeable amounts around your temples and the bridge of your nose — enough to be decently distracting. The resolution of the image is dependent on the phone used, but we found text and images to be crisp and sharp when using a Samsung S8. The Bnext also has a decently wide field of view, showing approximately the same amount of our test image as the Gear VR.

The overall image quality is so-so, slightly below average, but it is better than the Canbor.

The Bnext was easy to slip on.
The Bnext was easy to slip on.

Comfort


Our Comfort metric comes next, accounting for 20% of the overall score as well. We rated each headset on how comfortable it was to wear for long periods of time, whether or not you could easily wear prescription glasses when using the product, and if the headset is breathable enough to keep your face from getting overly sweaty. The Bnext delivered another average performance, again earning a 5 out of 10.

This headset is about the same as the QERY in terms of comfort, offering some padding on your forehead, but exerting a non-trivial amount of pressure on the bridge of your nose. The head strap also falls where glasses do, adding to the discomfort. Speaking of glasses, there is some room to wear spectacles with this headset, but not much. Larger frames may be incompatible. However, this headset does have some ventilation, preventing your face from getting overly sweaty.

It was a pain to get our phone into the holder and on our head before we missed too much of a video.
It was a pain to get our phone into the holder and on our head before we missed too much of a video.

User Friendliness


Accounting for 15% of the final score for each headset, our User Friendliness metric consisted of rating each product on the difficulty in installing the smartphone and connecting headphones, the possibility of inadvertently hitting buttons on the phone, and if you needed to remove your smartphone from its case to properly use the headset. The Bnext did quite poorly, earning a 2 out of 10 for its showing.

The Bnext doesn't have any extra space for your phone, forcing you to remove it from its case before you install it in the headset. This product also has the most difficult installation process, forcing you to pull out a holder from the headset and clamp the phone into it, then insert the whole assembly back into the headset. On top of all that, this clamp tends to press buttons accidentally, interrupting your VR experience.

Your headphone jack might not play nice with the Bnext.
Your headphone jack might not play nice with the Bnext.

This also makes it decently hard to insert headphones into your phone, as the headphone port is probably obstructed, depending on the model of smartphone used.

There isn't much setup required to start enjoying VR.
There isn't much setup required to start enjoying VR.

Ease of Setup


Accounting for the residual 10% of the score, our Ease of Setup metric evaluated each VR headset on the amount of effort it took to assemble the hardware and install the software, as well as comparing the minimum system requirements to run each headset. This was the only rating metric that the Bnext excelled in, meriting a 9 out of 10 for its supremely easy setup process.

The initial assembly is relatively straightforward, only having you add some padding to more securely hold your phone and adjust the lenses to match your eyes. There isn't a special software setup to use the Bnext, instead simply downloading your VR app of choice. This model of headset also works with a wide variety of phones.

Value


This inexpensive VR headset isn't totally awful, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck with other products.

Conclusion


With a myriad of flaws and drawbacks, it makes it hard to recommend this headset. It works, but there are a whole host of better options than the Bnext, regardless if you want a top-of-the-line product or a budget model.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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