Freefly VR Headset Review: The Best in Budget Virtual Reality

We review the Freefly VR Headset - the sub-£100 virtual reality device for iOS and Android that brings a touch of class to the sector

Here at Shopomo, we've reviewed a decent number of VR headsets in the past, so we're getting to the stage where it's tough for new arrivals to stand out. We're pleased to report that the Freefly VR headset does just that, however, thanks to a meticulous design that spells the most comfortable accessory of this type we've ever strapped onto our head. It certainly goes to a penalty shootout with the soft 'n' squishy Merge VR goggles. So what's on offer? Well, the Freefly VR headset boasts a 120-degree field of view with 'anti-fog coating', wide 42mm lenses (no focus adjustment, however) and supports even…

Freefly VR Headset

Design
Usability
Build Quality
Value for money

Brilliant fun, excellent value

Put simply, the best VR accessory we've reviewed at this sub-£100 price bracket

User Rating: 2.03 ( 158 votes)

Here at Shopomo, we’ve reviewed a decent number of VR headsets in the past, so we’re getting to the stage where it’s tough for new arrivals to stand out.

We’re pleased to report that the Freefly VR headset does just that, however, thanks to a meticulous design that spells the most comfortable accessory of this type we’ve ever strapped onto our head. It certainly goes to a penalty shootout with the soft ‘n’ squishy Merge VR goggles.

So what’s on offer? Well, the Freefly VR headset boasts a 120-degree field of view with ‘anti-fog coating’, wide 42mm lenses (no focus adjustment, however) and supports even the biggest of phones, up to 6.1 inches.

The Freefly VR Headset
The Freefly VR can handle almost any smartphone

We had absolutely no trouble clipping in a OnePlus One, thanks to the accessory’s handy adjustable clamps.

Users slide their phone in front of the Freefly’s peep holes and attach the viewer to their head to experience VR apps available on both Android and iOS devices. The number of apps available on Android is higher than on iOS, although Apple’s App Store is catching up.

Look and feel

The Freefly arrives in an admittedly chunky box which contains the headset itself, a mini thumb-sized controller called a GLIDE (we’ll come to that) and instructions. There’s a cleaning cloth too, for all you mucky pups out there.

An over-the-head strap provides additional support for apps that require you to bounce your head around, and the straps support bonces big n’ small.

FAux leather padding on the Freefly VR headset
The faux leather padding adds a welcome touch of class

The area you press your face against is finished in faux leather, which brings a touch of class to this VR gadget. We absolutely love that it’s included, as gone are the days where we’re wiping sweat marks off the hard surface of a Google Cardboard.

Using the Freefly VR Headset

In short, Freefly is a joy to use.

This VR headset finishes top of the class when it comes to securing your smartphone in position. A pair of adjustable foam clamps press against the sides of your mobile to stop it wiggling about and it’s possible to charge your smartphone with a cable while it’s still attached to the wearable.

Removing a device when you’re finished with the headset is easy too. You press down on the release button and the adjusted clamps ping backwards to let the phone slip out. It’s a cool design and certainly beats all other VR headsets in this area.

In short, using the Freefly is a joy

So let’s talk about the GLIDE Bluetooth controller that comes with the Freefly.

We were actually pretty chuffed with the GLIDE during our play sessions. The mini thumb-sized controller isn’t going to win any design awards any time soon, but it looks OK and functions well. You have to hold the gadget sideways for some VR applications but it’s not a hassle in the slightest, responding well with no noticeable latency issues.

There’s four input buttons on the GLIDE along with the mini joystick, which are used for navigating app menus. The stick acts as a means of walking around in many VR apps. Walk with the stick, look around by moving your head. It’s an immersive experience and an exciting one too.

Freefly VR headset clamps
Use the Freefly’s moving clamps to secure your phone

It’s great news that the folk over at Freefly treated us to a VR Bluetooth controller, because some of the other input devices we’ve used in the past have been far too fiddly to enjoy.

In some instances, we had trouble removing the GLIDE controller as a recognised ‘physical keyboard’ on our smartphone, but we soon mastered the process. We had to manually ‘forget’ the GLIDE and then assign our old keyboard in phone settings after each play session. It’s a slight nuisance, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Note: that if you are using iOS 9.2 or higher on your iPhone, the GLIDE will not work as a controller.

Whilst we haven’t had any troubles ourselves, some users online have reported that the back of their phone gets particularly hot during lengthy play sessions. Apparently, this is due to the lack of ventilation for the back of gadgets strapped into the Freefly.

All in all, we were thoroughly impressed by the user experience. You don’t have to be a VR know-it-all to enjoy the Freefly VR headset and controller.

Our verdict

You can pick up the Freefly VR Headset from the official website for £55 (down from £75), which is a solid deal in our opinion. This means it’s far better value than headsets like the Homido, which don’t feature as much when it comes to design. Sorry, Homido.

Simply put, Freefly’s VR headset is brilliant, brilliant fun.

In conclusion, the Freefly VR headset is the best VR accessory we’ve reviewed at this sub-£100 price bracket, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Simply put, Freefly’s VR headset is brilliant, brilliant fun.

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The Shopomo editorial team writes our buying guides and reviews based on first-hand knowledge of the products featured and the marketplace they operate in. Shopomo makes a small commission on links to a retailer if a purchase is made but the final decision to feature a product, and how highly it is rated, is purely an editorial one.

  • billparker2381

    Can the Freefly be used while wearing glasses?

    • Rhett Garland

      Unfortunately not.

  • Michel Laflamme

    I can not understand why the developers did not planned the adjustment for horizontal and vertical distances of the two lenses; since particularly, is not possible to wear glasses with this headset. I love this headset, but because of the lack of adjustments, I will look for another model.

  • Geoff Kell

    If the GLIDE controller cannot be used with IOS 9.2 or beyond, how can the device be controlled. Is it still a worthwhile Xmas present purchase for an iPhone user?

    Cheers