Unfortunately, we were far from impressed with the VR SHINECON. While this VR headset is quite economical, it isn't very good and we would struggle to recommend it. It's uncomfortable to wear after a relatively short amount of time, fails to provide a high level of interactivity, and doesn't give a very visually immersive experience. It is very easy to set up and relatively inexpensive, but there are still better value options out there if you are shopping on a super tight budget.
VR SHINECON Review
Pros: Easy setup, cheap
Cons: Not very interactive, uncomfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This headset finished right at the back of the group, only barely outperforming the Bnext and the Canbor. All three of these headsets cost about the same, but the SHINECON is just a little bit more user-friendly, giving it a slight edge.
To find out which VR headset truly tops them all, we bought all the most compelling models, then rated and ranked their performance head-to-head in a myriad of different tests. We grouped these tests into five weighted metrics, with our analysis of the SHINECON's results outlined below.
Accounting for 35% of the total score, our interactiveness metric has the most bearing on the overall score. The SHINECON merited a 2 out of 10 for its abysmal showing. This was based on how easy it is to control and interact with your virtual environment when using the headset, as well as the accuracy of its motion tracking and if there are any room limitations to using the headset.
The SHINECON doesn't have a handheld controller and only offers a single button on the device that you can use to interact with your phone, which severely limits the amount you can interact with your virtual world.
This headset is also only set up for 3-DOF motion tracking, so you shouldn't walk around when wearing, but you can look around in all directions. This is par for the course for most mobile headsets, with the accuracy of the motion tracking being determined by which smartphone you are using in the device.
Next, we ranked and scored how visually immersive of a virtual experience the VR SHINECON provided. We awarded points based on the field of view, resolution, and viewing quality, as well as how well it blocked out ambient light. It did fairly well in this metric, which is worth 20% of the total score, earning it a 5 out of 10.
This headset claims that it has a field of view between 100°-110° and it definitely feels like one of the wider fields of view of the entire group.
Unfortunately, the viewing quality was far from great and we had an incredibly hard time focusing on the image, with text being almost impossible to read unless you closed an eye. The resolution is also dependent on your phone, but the image is reasonably sharp with most newer phones. We did like that the SHINECON blocks out almost all ambient light, but it is hard to overlook the detriments of its focusing issue when considering the visual immersiveness.
Next, we ranked and compared how comfortable it is to wear each product, which also is responsible for 20% of the total score. We had a handful of different people try on each headset to see how it fit, noting if there was room to wear glasses with the headset and if they felt their face getting sweaty after using the headset for a while. We didn't find the SHINECON to be particularly comfortable, earning it a 4 out of 10.
This headset is about average when it comes to fit for most faces, but the padding is a bit thin and can cause a pressure point on your nose, depending on its size.
There isn't really that much space for glasses and your face definitely begins to feel a bit sticky or sweaty if it is at all warm when you are wearing it.
This metric basically judged each headset on how convenient and easy to use it is. We looked at the ease of connecting headphones, how much work it took to get it set up with your phone, and if you had to remove your phone case to make it work, as well as if it is easy to accidentally push buttons inadvertently on your phone. The SHINECON delivered another mediocre performance, meriting another 5 out of 10 in this group of tests, which account for 15% of the overall score.
This headset has integrated ear cups that you plug right into the 3.5 mm headphone port — or an adapter if you have a newer phone without one — making it one of the easiest in terms of audio hookups.
Unfortunately, it was quite a pain to get your phone in the SHINECON. There aren't any markings to help center the phone and you have to hold it at an extremely awkward angle to close it without your phone moving. This is probably our biggest issue with this product, as it makes it almost impossible to get it correctly in focus.
We never had an issue with hitting buttons inadvertently and you can leave most cases on your phone, but the locking latch that holds it in place comes off much more easily when the phone has a thicker case, popping open if you tapped the headset or set it down.
Ease of Setup
For the last metric, responsible for the leftover 10% of the score, we rated the difficulty of the initial setup and installation. The SHINECON requires almost no setup at all, earning it a 9 out of 10.
The hardware is ready to go out of the box and the only software to download is installing an app with VR content on your phone, so it takes less than 5 minutes before you are ready to go.
This headset is a poor value, as there are less expensive headsets that perform comparably and other products that are only a little bit more expensive and offer a huge increase in performance.
We weren't fans of the SHINECON and due to the huge pain in aligning your phone and getting the image to focus, wouldn't really recommend it for anyone.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer