5 Stars By sr139 on 2016-11-10
I was not sure how he would like it or if he could figure it out
I bought this for my grandson for his 5th birthday. I was not sure how he would like it or if he could figure it out. Of course it needs some adult assistance because it requires the use of a smart phone. But when he put the View-Master up to look through it...He said Whoa!....then he turned and we got another WHOA!! He was so excited by the experience. We chose the National Geographic Dinosaurs. It displays in 3-D and is just like being in room where you can turn around and see something new. He kept saying over and over "I love this!". He could hear the sounds of the birds in the trees and see the dinosaurs moving and one dinosaur actually acts like it sees you and runs toward you roaring. It was so much fun seeing his reaction. His dad bought him the Space adventure, which also brought a lot of excitment.
We have not had the viewer long so I cannot speak to how it will survive a 5 year old...but I can tell you it was wonderful to see him and hear the excitment in his voice as he explored the dinosaurs and space.
5 Stars By Millennial on 2016-11-30
Good present for long-distance family
I bought this for my mom, who lives across the country from me. I take pictures of my life through the app and send it to her over text/email, and she can look at the pictures in the View-Master and show them to my grandma as well. My favorite feature is the sound recording. I can talk to my mom while I'm taking the picture, like audible captions.
3 Stars By MCRC on 1969-12-31
Poorly designed latch, needs to be broken in
I got this for $9 so didn't expect too much. But the latch on this thing is beyond terrible...it is incredibly hard to open and a couple times I was afraid my phone was actually going to be stuck inside it. I have to apply so much force to open it that I hurt my fingers, and the instructions to apply pressure to both sides of the unit simply does not help. Besides that, I have downloaded all the Viewmaster app demos, and none of them are particularly impressive to me, I'm using an iPhone5, maybe they'd look better on something newer- but the Google Cardboard apps are much better. I know there is a newer version of this item, so hopefully it is better designed, but at the same time I wouldn't pay the $30 they are asking.
EDIT: after using it for a few weeks, the latch has become quite a bit easier to use, though I would still consider it a very poor design. My kids will probably never be able to open it by themselves, but I will at least bump it up one star now that my biggest problem with it isn't as significant anymore.
4 Stars By Dustin on 2016-03-14
This is basically a VR headset like the Samsung Gear or similar
This ain't your old school View-Master, it is updated for the 21st century! This is basically a VR headset like the Samsung Gear or similar. This requires a phone to work, and you have to download the View-Master app to make the sample disc work, but there are many, many other free VR apps for Android, or iOS.
The sample disc that comes with it is ok, and as other reviewers have stated, the content is not work buying additional discs when the learning information is easily found in other apps. The disc requires you to point the headset at the disc for a few seconds until it recognizes it and loads the content. The problem is that the software kept telling me the disc was not recognized, or I was too close, or too far, or didn't hold it steady. Once I finally got it to work it was kind of cool. It then uses AR (Augmented Reality) so you will see your table, or whatever the disc is on, and the disc, then once the disc is recognized, a little safari (I used the wildlife VM app) comes to life right out of the disc. You still see all the reality (your table, chairs, room, etc.) but you also see a 3D image coming to life. It is cool, but it needs some work. Once you click (using the orange shutter) you go full VR into the world. For me it was a safari. Whichever way I turn, I saw different animals and they each had a floating icon that you can point and to get additional Nat Geo info.
Content discs aside, the reason I gave it 4 stars is that there is no good vent for your phone. Running VR on your phone takes a lot of CPU and my phone got too hot one time and shutdown until it cooled. Since then I do not play it long enough to overheat it, but every time my phone's temp is well over 110 F when I stop using it in the headset. Also there is no way to plug in headphones, at least not on my LG G4. Some apps use stereo sound to make the VR experience more lifelike and you can not hear well through the headset, much less hear in stereo. Those are my only 2 major complaints.
All in all this is great take on an old school favorite. The amount of VR apps and 360 videos on YouTube is growing by leaps and bounds all the time so this thing will continue to be used by my son (and I) for some time.
5 Stars By The Choosy Moose on 1969-12-31
Great Simple VR Headset
Great cheap VR headset, when I bought it the price was just barely more than Google Cardboard. Feels very solid and works fine with my HTC One M8 phone. Wouldn't mind some more padding on the eyepiece, it's a little too big for my face and lets in outside light, think this might be contributing to my VR sickness a little. Need to buy some padding and try modding it myself. Haven't done a headband mod yet, not sure if I will unless I can get rid of VR sickness in regular use.
VR actually makes me a little queasy, not sure if it's the technology or the gaps in the side of the headset. Recommend sitting down while doing this, it seems to help. Definitely a toy for me and not an environment I would be able to spend a lot of time in. Glad I bought an inexpensive headset for now, don't think the technology is there yet, which isn't surprising because smartphones were never designed for this. Will try with Google Daydream down the road and see if there's any improvement.
4 Stars By marshalmeg on 2016-01-17
Very fun with the right apps!
I'm going to be honestly and say I didn't 'get' the whole virtual reality thing until I got this for Christmas. This viewer has been extremely fun to use and a great experience. My phone (iPhone 6 Plus) fits perfectly and the viewer itself is comfortable with the soft black rubbery material around the eyepiece. The level on the side feels good and works very well. It essentially serves to move a stylus tip to touch the screen of your phone. The included 'reel' is pretty much pointless and View-Master's own apps are nothing special for their $15 price but this is a legitimate Google Cardboard viewer and there are a large number of excellent apps for both iOS and Android you can download (many for free) that work with any viewer and really bring this thing to life. There are all kinds of awesome experiences available through apps from artistic short films to virtual tours. A couple of things to keep in mind are that you will (most likely) have to remove your phone from its case and if you have a screen protector that can blur things and decrease your enjoyment. Also the latch on mine seems weak and it likes to pop open when I'm using it unless I am very careful on fitting it together and sort of hold it together with my hand while viewing. Holding it together is not as bad as you might think since your hands would be in that position anyway. The four star review is really for the weak latch. If that wasn't a problem I would give it the full five.
Again, do not rely on the included reel or View-Master's own apps as this will severely limit your enjoyment. Start with the Google Cardboard app itself and go from there.
3 Stars By Jessica on 2016-02-29
Cool concept but disks are expensive and you have to take your phone out of the case
Wow, a blast from the past. I had a viewmaster when I was a kid and when I saw this I thought, that looks so cool! Definitely a step up from the very low tech view master of my childhood. I know that you can get a cardboard version of this for super cheap but I wanted to give it as a gift to my kids and was looking for something a bit more rugged than cardboard.
I think that this is pretty well made. It was comfortable and not flimsy. Kids and adults were able to wear it comfortably - though I note that we all have pretty small heads - I am not sure if an adult with a large head would find it as comfortable.
My 3 complaints are as follows:
1. There are disks that are used with this but you have to buy them separately. You can definitely download apps on your phone that will work with this view master other than the branded disks but I felt that this should have come with more disks and content directly out of the box. Also, I did buy some disks separately and they were cool but I am not sure if they were worth the extra price.
2. I wear glasses and this is not really designed to comfortably fit over glasses. Fortunately I can see ok without them so rather than really struggling to make this work I just removed my glasses. Without my glasses the fit was pretty nice.
3. I have both an iphone and a moto. With the iphone I had to remove the phone from the case to make it fit. My moto phone was a bit too small, actually, but I kind of jimmied with it and made it work. Maybe some people take their phones out of the case all the time (to change the cases or the like) but I actually really don't like this. I have a kind of complicated case that is not easy to remove and I do not like taking it out - especially to put it in a toy that I am giving to my kids who then might open it and break my phone.
If this was designed to fit with my phone still in its case I would have given it a higher rating as for me personally this is a big enough negative to make me think twice about the product.
4 Stars By p. annoyed on 2016-01-07
Great cheap way to try out VR
I have the Samsung Gear VR glasses, and my dad loved them. He wanted to get them, but it only works with newer Samsung phones, and he has a Galaxy S4, which is not compatible. So I got him these, which you use with Google Cardboard, and compatible apps. They work really good, the viewing experience is about as good as the Samsung glasses. Obviously, they have a few downsides. First is that you can't play games with them really like you can with the Samsung glasses. These are more for viewing photos, or videos. Second is that you have to open the glasses to get to your phone every time you want to do something in an app, or start a new one. Those problems really can't be fixes as they're compatible with pretty much any phone. The one complaint I will make, and hope they will fix it is that the Samsung, and many other VR glasses compatible with cardboard have a strap so they can stay on your head while you're using them. These ones you have to hold up to your head the whole time, which is a pain if you're watching a longer video. That's a problem they can easily fix though.
4 Stars By Ed B on 1969-12-31
Pretty darn good for $14.99
This is a really simple and basic product, but I gave it a four star review because it's amazing to be able to get functional VR for under $15. The View-Master content is pretty cool, and works reasonably well although I also had issues with the lever, like other people. Publicly available VR movies/apps worked fine for me, although as with most smartphone VR viewers you can't control the content or even change the volume without opening the VR. My iPhone 6s fit fine in the clips with the case off, and was easy to center. There's no way to really focus or adjust the image, so perhaps I was fortunate that it works well for me as-is. If this had been a more expensive product, I'd be more critical, but for the price it works well. One thing that would have been nice is to include a headband so you don't have to continually hold the viewer up while watching a movie.
4 Stars By HeartyGuy on 2016-09-10
Wowed by the free vids you can access for viewing on this device!
The View-Master exceeded our expectations, especially when we finally understood how to use it with a smart phone to access thousands of FREE Google Play virtual reality compatible videos instead of buying the ones Mattel and other vendors offered for $14 and up! We had read the previous reviews on AlumiGogo; luckily there was one reviewer kind enough to point this FACT out to potential purchasers. We could have purchased a $15 viewer from Google called Google Cardboard (it's made of cardboard, but it works) however, we were happy enough with the cool, modern looking View-Master we chose, and it might last longer than a cardboard viewer for just a few bucks more.