Another hardware option has hit the burgeoning portable virtual reality market. LG just announced a new, plastic version of Google Cardboard called VR for G3. The device is a a mere shell with lenses which, like Cardboard, relies on the phone's internals to power the virtual reality experience. That experience is powered by a small suite of apps and games that are already available on Google's Play Store.
A more solid version of Google Cardboard
The design is based off of the blueprints for Cardboard, which is to say it's a very simple-looking headset. The same ring magnet sits on the left side, which is used for selecting menu items. There's a cutout on the back of the device lets you reach the G3's rear volume rocker, with smaller cutouts for the flash, laser autofocus, and speaker. LG positions this as an advantage because the volume rocker is typically obscured when placed inside Cardboard, but it's unclear if it will be used for anything other than easier access to volume controls.
There's no real assembly needed — you just drop a G3 into place and jump right into the experience. The three main pieces of the shell appear to lock right into place, which means there won't be a need for the rubber bands or velcro needed to keep Cardboard together. There also appears to be two slots that could be used for a head strap.
Free with purchase, for now
Samsung has been playing in the portable VR space since it announced the Gear VR last September, but LG will have an advantage over its rival if it follows Google in keeping the price of VR for G3 low (or free). We've found the $200 Gear VR to be a lot of fun, but that cost can skyrocket because it only works with Samsung's Note 4.
VR for G3 will be available for free to those purchasing a new LG G3. Past that, there are no further details on pricing or availability.