Xiaomi today unveiled a low-cost VR headset alongside their Mi Note 2 smartphone at the company’s Mi Product Launch Event in Beijing. Much like Samsung Gear VR, Mi VR features a built-in dedicated motion sensor for low latency head-tracking and only works with a select number of the company’s phones.

Mi VR will ship with a 9-axis inertial motion controller with integrated touchpad, and is compatible with Mi Note 2, Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus, Mi 5—and only for ¥199 (~$29). Don’t count your quarters just yet though, because the low-cost headset is only shipping in China for now.

Xiaomi was listed as a future manufacturer of Daydream-compatible smartphones, announced at Google I/O 2016 earlier this year, but has yet to mention support for the platform explicitly.

According to an English language product unveiling by Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra, Mi VR “is already starting to follow the Daydream spec. It’s only launching in China for now, but we’re obviously keeping our eyes in the future here.”

See Also: Samsung, HTC, LG, and More Bringing ‘Daydream Ready’ VR Phones to Android

Mi VR will come along with its own app ecosystem called Miui VR, which boasts over 500 panoramic videos, 30+ VR apps, and 200+ registered developers for the platform to start with. Youku, China’s version of YouTube, is also prominently placed on the Miui VR app store. Youku has since integrated 360 video support for both their desktop and smartphone platform.

We haven’t seen any hands-on articles to point you to yet, but we’ll be keeping our eyes out until it inevitably hits unofficial retailers like Xiaomidevice.com, which is bound to bring western VR enthusiasts a taste of what Xiaomi has in store.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Any bets on how long it takes till Sony sues them?

    • Max The Magnificent

      On what basis? Oh yes, I guess the way it sits on your head is a bit of a giveaway LOL

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Yeah lol see my pic above, bought that one almost 18 months ago for a mobile.

    • Max The Magnificent

      Anyone remember the Russian Concordski? They claimed it was entirely coincidental that it looked just like the Concord (but they couldn’t duplicate the Rolls Royce engines — hence the crash at the 1973 Paris Air Show)

    • Steve Biegun

      What would they sue them for? Having a white head-mounted device? Maybe I missed something.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Why, it’s not like commercial VR headsets in the past didn’t look like that..

      • Duane Locsin

        And be wireless.
        It’s looking good for VR, now we just need something like the cyberith and virtualizer to make the movement standard and very accessible for most, improved spatial cameras and improved dual hand controls.

    • Reckless Mediocrity

      It does kinda resemble a PS VR headset. Especially the round button in the back that’s used for adjusting it.

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Should someone due SOny instead as this one i bought over a year ago !

      It uses forehead to hang instead of straps

      There are so many HMD been manufactured in China, however most of them never hit the news here anyhow.

      Suprised Xiaomi ended up here, but i would rather go for Huawei or ZTE for chinese brands, they are more reliable on their design.

      Keep in mind having the specs, does not mean their design is good.
      Phones rely on having a good tuned hardware and software, to make it a good products.

      Many times they dont perform as well as a little more expensive would , having the same specs.
      Thats why ZTE or Huawei are more reliable.

      • It doesn’t look like that head mount has the adjustable headband with the release button.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          It has, it can adjust with a turning wheel on the back to lock it and adjust its ring size.
          Anyhow the device was for that part good, the other parts fail was samsungs5 that timee not good enough for vr and the lenses are not that good too.
          But it costed me like $10 so not much to say about it rather then it already existed using hanging mechanism.

          • Your pic doesn’t show any of that.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            It has as i said it just is little out of the picture, even on top it had a wheel to adjust lens distance.
            Im not in the mood to make a new picture from it as i said its an old device and useless now.
            Just look at taobao.com the chinese online store you can easy find them there are so many versions.
            If you dont believe it is your problem not mines as there is no reason for me to go into detail for an older device.

      • Lucky

        What model is this, Do you recommend it? Price? hoping its compactable with all smartphones

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          No this is more like the google cardbox, i can recommend it as ther is much better stuff now based on Google daydream design.
          It is however ergonomic and feels great to wear, just it does not offer more.
          The xiaomi however looks nice, i can get it if i want as i am in China, however i will wait for the others to come as it is better to make a choice then.
          The downside is the xiaomi store instead of google daydream, as there is a lot of crap be made already in chinese android stores and i dont see yet they can make better VR app either.
          Especialy when i look at the apps been released on the HTC viveport, I would even not install the free ones as they look terrible already based on hte video and screenshots.

          Chinese phones for me are only usefull if i can get onto the google store itself to get my apps, just to be honest.
          For vive I go trough steam as there i can get the better apps instead of Vive portal.

          Developing good games is still a harder job as making a hardware device.

          My suggestion is to wait a little to end this year, upcoming year Q1 as you will have much more choices and there might be a big chance there will be a better one.
          For this HMD it looks to me better as the one google made and their controller seems to be very similar.
          The HMD i showed on the picture can handle most phones but it lacks a lot other features the new ones offer so i would not go for it unless you watch movies only.

          • Lucky

            Thanks for your reply, I finally pulled trigger on a Virtoba X5 Elite ( which is BOBOVR mini with no headset ) since it got good reviews, Mi VR looks great, but its limiting to their phone only, which is disappointing, since I like their products.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Your welcome, i am still waiting for what ZTE and huawei is going to launch.
            Although for me their hmd working with their phone only is ok, but not having the universal daydream store in the phone OS is my biggest issue.

  • Foreign Devil

    RMB 200 is super cheap for this. . that’s like $30 bucks USD

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Xiaomi is known for their cheap prices.
      I bought their bluetooth gamepad for 100 rmb which work great.

      All together the HMD + phone is around 3000 rmb if you take their highest model 5s plus.

      • Foreign Devil

        I’d totally buy a Xiaomi phone if they were easily available in North AMerica. Major value for the buck.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Yeah, the problem is pattent issues they have to fight in the US, that why they dont sell easy.
          Althought you could try trough jd.com or alibaba.com

  • Get Schwifty!

    Sony seems to have gone the right route with the HMD design, sure hope Rift and Vive copy them next go round…

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Damn, when I read the headline I thought it was an actual HMD….

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      It is an HMD for their phones based on google daydream concept.

      • The Moose

        He meant being a ‘good’ HMD. The market for cheap phone VR HMDs is getting saturated quickly.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Well yeah it is VR but its the same to compare a pad to an i7 PC, they both are computers but different in their performance and usage ofcourse.
          Mobile VR will for sure have limitations.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          It can be good enough for a certain kind of people, especially non gamers.

      • Buddydudeguy

        He means he thought it was the real deal not a cell phone strapped to your face with magnifying lenses. This garbage is not doing VR any favors and is leading the less tech savy into believing this is VR. It gets a whole lot better with a Vive or Rift.

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Ofcourse it does get better with the higher end, although it is VR too, just very basic entry level VR.
          My first VR expierence was also very early cartonbox based, even though it was far from working good, it was the only thing that I could try in the past.
          It also let me more easy buy the high end VR at the time it was available.

          So IMO I would not say it is bad to have it.
          There are also many people which dont like to play games, but they like to watch movies, for them this kind of VR is more suitable.

          In China most people will NOT have high end VR, but rather will enjoy this in a arcade palce instead, I predeicts similar in the west although more people at home will own one high end too.
          In china movies on mobile is a big thing, many people watch on their phones and this kind of HMD will just let them enjoy it even more.

          Addtional you also nee to think about pictures you made, being able to see in larger scale and 360 videos or panorama pictures.

          At the end you just do different things with it as a high end devices.

          Therefor I could not agree it is not VR or not good enough or even destrying the VR market, as not everyone uses VR the same way as you and I do.

  • OgreTactics

    NO SHIT. Why does Xiaomi makes ways better conception and design of their smartphone and virtual headsets?

    As of now, of course it’s the WAY to go as far as designing a VR HMD.

  • Buddydudeguy

    All these articles that imply smart phone VR is on the same level as a PC+ HMD are not doing VR any favors. This is not a VR headset. This is a enclosure for your cell phone to strap to your face.

  • Xenan

    Too bad this is not Daydream compatible headset and none of Xiaomi phones are Daydream compatible. Xiaomi is making great hardware but closed Chinese VR platform is not something exciting for the rest of the world. I wonder if Samsung will move to Daydream with GearVR. We don’t need content fragmentation in mobile VR for Android.

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Samsung will also have a daydream phone, based on the specs, but it does not mean it will use the daydream store however.

  • polysix

    Mobile VR is NOT VR. It’s like a halfway house between 3D TV and VR, not the real deal.

  • hp

    Again this white plastic around the lenses which is awful for immmersion in the gear vr, why?