The question of whether VR will be accessible to more smartphone in the future is still uncertain. Many manufacturers continue to make smartphones without putting much thought into giving them VR capabilities. Having said that, Google just announced that it will be making 11 Daydream compatible phones by the end of this year.
The news comes straight from the horse’s mouth – Sundar Pichai, who revealed that he wanted to make Daydream more compatible on a wider range of handsets to up to 11 in number, by the end of this year. For Android users, this will be important, especially for developers since it will give them motivation to create new content and apps just for VR use. Daydream brings along the complete VR Suite to smartphones for users who would have otherwise needed to resort to something like the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, which are heavier, need to be tethered and are expensive. This expansion of Daydream to compatible devices will make for a more accessible VR experience.
Apart from the few handsets that support Daydream such as the last generation Pixel handsets, there is also the Moto Z, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro and the Porsche Design Mate 9 along with the ZTE Axon 7 and the Asus ZenFone AR. Samsung have announced that Daydream support will be coming to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus as part of a new update that will be rolling out in the next few days. Among the few devices that Pichai said that will support Daydream in the future, the new Pixel phones will definitely be among them.
Should Android be able to cling VR and take excel in its development, it will probably leave iOS behind in the race. Daydream is a much more practical and comfortable option compared to traditional means of accessing VR and now that smartphones have the hardware capability to back the processing power required, it would be silly for manufacturers not to make it a default feature on their phones, especially in the flagship spectrum.
There are a few prerequisites for a phone to be Daydream compatible. A 60Hz refresh rate is a must, among the high-end processing power required. This means that budget-phones and mid-rangers will find it difficult to be Daydream handsets. With processors now surpassing clock-speeds and multi-tasking performance however, this may soon be possible. Until then, we can at least look forward to the 11 new releases expected to happen this year which will feature the VR.