The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Canbor VR Review

This poorly performing headset is our least favorite, bested by every other model
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Price:   $50 List | $36 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to assemble
Cons:  Uncomfortable, not interactive or immersive
Manufacturer:   Canbor
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 21, 2017
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31
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Interactiveness - 35% 2
  • Visual Immersiveness - 20% 2
  • Comfort - 20% 3
  • User Friendliness - 15% 3
  • Ease of Setup - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Performing very poorly in our review, the Canbor earned the lowest score of the entire group. This product only excelled at being easy to initially set up, scoring below average in every other rating metric. We weren't fans of this headset would have a hard time recommending it.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This relatively low-cost VR headset scored correspondingly poorly in our review, scoring lower than the Bnext and the QERY. Both of those headsets scored better and retail for the same or less than the Canbor, making both of those products a better option.

The Canbor Virtual Reality Headset.
The Canbor Virtual Reality Headset.

Performance Comparison


To determine which headset is truly the best, we bought the best and most popular headsets currently available and put them through an exhaustive series of head-to-head tests to find the winners. These tests were divided up among five weighted rating metrics, each weighted based on its importance. These metrics were Visual Immersiveness, Interactiveness, Comfort, Ease of Setup, and User Friendliness, with the results of the Canbor described below.

The only cheaper model with a remote.
The only cheaper model with a remote.

Interactiveness


Comprising the largest portion of the overall score, our Interactiveness metric is responsible for 35% of the overall score. This metric encompassed our evaluations of how easy it is to interact with the headset and your VR experience and the accuracy of the motion tracking. The Canbor did not do very well, meriting a 2 out of 10 for its poor performance.

There are no buttons on the headset itself, but it does have a handheld remote. This remote has limited functionality, only working to control music when using iOS. It does have more functionality with Android, but it can be finicky and unreliable, with mediocre motion tracking.

Even with a remote the Canbor performed poorly in the Interactiveness metric.
Even with a remote the Canbor performed poorly in the Interactiveness metric.

The motion tracking for where you look is dependent on the internal sensors of the smartphone used, so it is reasonably accurate, on par with the other mobile headsets.

There is a lot of light that makes it in putting glares on the screen. It is also hard to get a clear image.
There is a lot of light that makes it in putting glares on the screen. It is also hard to get a clear image.

Visual Immersiveness


Ranking second in terms of importance, our Visual Immersiveness metric is responsible for 20% of the overall score. The Canbor again scored rather poorly, meriting another 2 out of 10 for its well below average showing. This score was based on the sharpness of the display, the overall image quality, and the field of view, as well as if the headset sufficiently blocked ambient light.

The Canbor does not adequately block out external light, letting a fair bit in around the bridge of your nose and the sides of the headset. While it didn't let in the most light, it still let in enough to be distracting and a detriment to your VR experience. This model does have a relatively expansive field of view — on par with the Bnext — with only a tiny portion of our test image truncated.

However, we found the overall image quality to be somewhat terrible — rendering this headset basically useless. It was exceptionally difficult to properly adjust the optics in this headset and our eyes always felt like they were straining to focus. The image also suffered plenty of distortion, making it very hard to read things. The distortion of the image was much more pronounced than with the Merge VR. The resolution of the image depends on the phone, but the amount of distortion renders even a top-of-the-line smartphone display essentially useless.

An extremely tight fit for glasses.
An extremely tight fit for glasses.

Comfort


Our Comfort metric — worth 20% of the final score — takes into account how it felt to wear the headset for prolonged use, whether or not there is adequate space to wear glasses, and if there is enough airflow in the headset to prevent your face from getting overly sweaty. The Canbor scored a little better this time, meriting a 3 out of 10 for its marginally improved performance.

The Canbor isn't very comfortable to wear for extended periods, being only marginally better than the Google Cardboard. It also is a very tight fit, with no possible room to wear glasses and this headset concurrently. However, there is a little bit of airflow to keep the perspiration at a minimum.

You can move the lenses back and forth and side to side with these sliders.
You can move the lenses back and forth and side to side with these sliders.

User Friendliness


Accounting for 15% of the score for the Canbor, our User Friendliness metric evaluated how much work it was to install a smartphone in the headset, whether or not you had to remove the case from your phone to accomplish this task, the difficulty in connecting headphones, and the likelihood of you inadvertently pressing a button when using the headset. The Canbor again scored quite poorly, earning a 3 out of 10 for its showing.

The cover is held closed by a magnet.
The cover is held closed by a magnet.

The cover folds out on the Canbor to allow you to insert your phone, with a clamp that secures it in place. This is definitely one of the more difficult methods to install a phone, but it is slightly easier than the Bnext. Unfortunately, this clamp makes it almost impossible to not hit buttons on your phone accidentally when using the headset, proving to be a constant source of frustration. This clamp system also means that there is no room to leave your phone in its case, but it does not impede access to the headphone port.

There isn't much setup  choose the video or game you like and put your phone in.
There isn't much setup, choose the video or game you like and put your phone in.

Ease of Setup


Our final metric, Ease of Setup, accounts for the remaining 10% of the overall score. This metric evaluated the amount of effort required to initially assemble and unbox the headset and install any required software, as well as comparing the minimum system requirements between products. This is the only metric that the Canbor scored above average in, meriting a 9 out of 10 for its easy setup.

The only tasks required to get the headset ready to go are adjusting the lenses and inserting batteries into the handheld remote. You can then download the VR mobile app of your choice and you are all set. This headset is compatible with a large variety of phones, both Android and iPhone, and we conducted the majority of our tests with a Samsung S8.

Value


The Canbor has a low price point, but scores very poorly, making it a bad choice when searching for a value option.

Conclusion


The flaws of this headset greatly outnumber its strong points, with other products matching or exceeding its performance in every aspect of our tests, causing us to urge caution if you are considering the Canbor.


David Wise and Austin Palmer