There are a lot of headsets ‘powered by phones’ in the market. Broadly speaking they are all the same; they house a smartphone to be used and played with. Even a cardboard can do that. The most innovative headset I have seen is the Homido; glasses which can fit in a pocket. It’s absolutely genius.

The difference for most other headsets is comfort and stability; whether the headset actually feels comfortable and safe to use. The headset succeeds, while having a nice-feeling foam to make sure that bumps don’t hurt anyone. It’s bright colour scheme is also a great benefit for it’s target, children from techy families. Wisely, the headset is for children aged 10+; considering we do NOT know the effects of VR on the eyes of younger people, their safe approach has to be applauded.

Is it better than a Google Cardboard? I suppose so. It’s a more stable product for the travelling child. Yet it does take a lot of space, and as someone who travelled up to Scotland recently, I found it was more cumbersome for travel than I anticipated. It would be the sort of device you leave in home or the car than in a backpack a la the Nintendo Switch.

Merge and sense of style

I had an afternoon with a friend and tried it on; as you can see above, it looks good!

Mobile gameplay and education

Have to say though, I was very impressed with VR Start. Like Samsung VR’s website, it is a curated platform where VR experts find content for use. It has a quick guide, and even a quick way to see if the phone is VR ready; theoretically this is a really good way of checking the phone is ready generally, much like Can You Run It.  For adults it also has an email subscription so you know when new experiences are available; something which, as someone reliant on a computer, I am very thankful for.

I was very impressed with VR Start, and as a home for content it’s a strong place to start

Overall, I had a very positive experience? Do I recommend it? It depends; Google Cardboard sets fulfil the same goal, though the Merge feels nicer. I don’t personally have kids, but I can imagine a kid playing with it for a solid afternoon when bought. If you’re the travelling millennial you may want to pass, but if you know you’re based in a singular location with a family, I can see this being a good purchase.

Merge is available from GAME for £30 at the time of writing, and later this year they are launching the Merge Cube later this year (which, by the way, looks absolutely rad).

VERDICT: Recommended


Tom Ffiske