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Yesterday HTC announced its latest VR headset hardware, the HTC Vive Flow. It was pretty heavily leaked beforehand, but now we have a better idea of what the company is trying to do, and it’s… well, interesting.
- Like the Oculus Quest lineup, the HTC Vive Flow is entirely self contained (minus the battery pack), meaning you don’t need a high-powered PC to use it.
- You do, however, need an Android phone to use as a controller. No iOS here, sorry folks.
- It’s fairly impressive in terms of specs, with a 1.6k per-eye display with a 100-degree field of view at a 75Hz refresh rate. It runs on the last-gen Qualcomm XR-1 chipset with 64GB (or more) of onboard storage.
- But the most striking thing is its design.
- Instead of straps, it’s built more like glasses and slips on and off of your head with ease.
- They sort of look like very bulky sunglasses… that make you look like a bug.
- If you wanted to see what they actually look like on a person, you’re out of luck. All of the HTC promo images are stock photos with the headset photoshopped in. Oof.
- The battery pack is also external, making them lighter than most other headsets at just 189 grams.
- The headset will launch in November starting at $499, with the battery pack costing an extra $79. HTC says that any USB-C battery pack will work, though.
So where does this new headset fit into the market? Well, somewhere new.
- HTC is positioning the Vive Flow as an alternative for users who find traditional VR headsets too complicated or intimidating.
- More specifically, the large older audience of “boomers” in the US.
- In many ways, it’s similar to the now-discontinued Oculus Go, but at more than twice the price.
- The Verge got some hands-on time with the headset, and found it to be “a mixed bag.”
- Reviewer Adi Robertson praised the lightness and ease-of-use, but didn’t like how easily it slipped off of her face without a strap.
- Will this be enough to attract a new audience to VR? At this price, it’s going to be a tough sell.
📱 Honor’s first phone with Google services since gaining independence from Huawei is here! Hands-on with the Honor 50 (Android Authority).
📅 The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has yet another rumored launch date. Maybe this time it will stick (Android Authority).
🕵️♀️ Poco’s latest budget device was spotted passing through the FCC. Can Xiaomi keep the Poco M4 Pro under the €200 mark once again? (Android Authority).
💸 A new Pixel phone and a suite of services from Google at a fixed price? Yes, please. Here’s how much our readers would pay for Google’s Pixel Pass (Android Authority).
⌚ Find out if Fitbit’s latest justifies the price hike in this Fitbit Charge 5 review (Android Authority).
🐶 It was only a matter of time: They’re putting guns on robot dogs now (The Verge).
🖥 A reporter in Missouri found 100,000 social security numbers on a government website by simply clicking “view source.” Now the governor wants to prosecute him as a hacker (Vice).
🚗 IndiEV revealed an electric car with a built-in gaming PC but not much else. Why, though? (The Verge).
💨 Some good news: The US government is planning to expand offshore wind over the next decade (Ars Technica).
🤔 There are some strange ones: What is the strangest compliment you have ever received? (r/askreddit).
Remember that game you used to play as a kid where you and a sibling had to keep a balloon from hitting the ground while simultaneously dodging living room furniture and family pets?
Well, now it’s officially a sport. Yesterday was the inaugural edition of the Balloon World Cup, with Portugal taking home the golden balloon and 10,000 euros in prize money.
- The brainchild of footballer Gerard Pique and Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos, it featured representatives from 32 countries around the globe in 2-minute one-on-one balloon-offs.
- Playing in an 8 x 8m space filled with living room furniture, they competed to be the last one to hit the balloon before it hit the ground.
- Competition was fierce, and the sponsorships were huge. Oreo, Doritos, Volkswagen, Mentos, Amazon, and several others funded the event, which had some serious production value.
- Llanos and Pique served as sportscasters and hype men, alongside veteran Spanish football announcers and referees.
- Viewership piqued at 630,000 concurrent viewers, but averaged 500k throughout the event.
- Watch the entire (nearly six-hour) spectacle in Spanish here on Twitch. In this case, seeing is believing.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Nick Fernandez, Editor