There is a swarm of affordable VR headsets that you can get your hands on these days, but honestly, most of them are junk. I was interested when I saw the DARTA VR headset, as it appeared to be more solidly constructed than some of the other headsets I’ve seen recently.
I picked one up and have spent a few hours with the device, and I wanted to give you my honest thoughts with this DARTA Virtual Reality headset review.
Does it stack up well to the competition?
Top Things to Know Before You Grab a Mobile VR Headset
Virtual reality is absolutely fantastic, especially when you’re using a quality headset that has some good apps.
As the owner of more than five headsets, I would like to share what I feel are important when deciding to purchase a device.
If you’re picking up a mobile VR headset, you’re going to want one that fits your smartphone and also supports it in terms of software. Some higher end devices are branded for specific phones (Gear VR is a prime example).
Make sure the headset you’re considering is going to work with your phone.
Viewing Screen Size
To go along with compatibility, you’re going to want a headset that fits your phone’s screen size.
Some headsets only can fit a phone with up to a 5.5 inch screen, so if you have a Note 8 or something similar, you may be out of luck.
Cost of the Headset
If you have tons of money to spend, you can skip this section altogether.
But if you have a budget, it makes sense to know that VR headsets come in a wide variety of price points.
With more moolah, you can get a higher quality headset.
If you are on a budget, you can easily find cheap VR headsets that start from as low as $10.
I would recommend skipping these in favor of headsets that can give you a decent virtual reality experience.
Presenting the Darta Virtual Reality Headset
The Darta Virtual reality headset is manufactured by the consumer electronics manufacturer, Southern Telecom who also owns brands such as Polaroid, Emerson, Sharper Image and Westinghouse.
It is a simple headset that lets you experience stereoscopic three-dimensional environments using VR compatible media. It is made of ordinary plastic with a removable cradle for placing a smartphone.
It is similar to the majority of the cheap VR headsets in the market.
It doesn’t come with any special features to make it stand out, which is a shame. To it’s credit though, it is comfortable and solidly built.
Features & Benefits of the Darta Virtual Reality Headset
Looking at the price, the Darta seems to be a decent entry-level VR headset.
But the question is, does it give you a decent VR experience?
Honestly, I am not too impressed, as there’s a complete lack of features on the headset.
Design and Comfort
The DARTA has a decent design, though the build quality leaves a lot to be desired.
I did not find the headset to be the most comfortable when I put it on.
The visor was soft though, as advertised.
I checked out the instruction manual and got down to business.
I adjusted the head strap to get a secure fit, and felt things were snug and relatively comfortable.
Once you pull the tab, you can easily get the removable cradle out.
I got my iPhone 8 to use with the DARTA headset as it fit inside the tray nicely. I did have to struggle to get the phone into the headset with the case on.
I finally chucked the case and managed to slide the phone into the cradle.
After mounting the headset, I adjusted the lenses. Here there are two different dials that help to adjust the focal distance for the left and the right eye.
I personalized my view with the focal adjustment dials on the top of the headset to get a clear view of the content.
I did not find watching VR on Darta to be an enjoyable experience as there were too many disruptions due largely to the lack of ability to use a Bluetooth device to switch videos.
Everything had to be mechanically done. To watch my favorite game of Startrek -Bridge Crew, I had to set it up on the phone and then slide it into the cradle of the headset. Not cool at all!
I was not too happy with the overall VR experience.
The lack of high-quality lenses was a huge disappointment. The Darta is not a suitable choice if you want high-quality VR experience and immersion, look elsewhere.
Darta is designed to work with both iOS and Android phones.
A smartphone with a screen size of less than 3.5 inches and more than 6 inches will not pair up with this headset, so most phones on the market these days are compatible.
That doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a fantastic experience, though.
Darta doesn’t give you any dedicated virtual reality videos, movies, or games to play.
You will need to source your virtual reality content from the App Store or Google Play.
Check out the 360 degrees YouTube videos too, as they’re some of the most compelling VR-style media out there.
Interacting with the app is impossible with the phone placed inside. Anytime I wanted to change the game, video, or restart; I had to open the cradle every time.
This is a major letdown, especially if you’re using an Android device.
Since this is a newly introduced headset from Darta, I was not able to find any reviews on it.
With that said, here’s a Youtube video that shares the unboxing of the headset and gives you a look of the actual design.
Alternatives to the DARTA Virtual Reality Headset
Honestly, I recommend you check out these alternatives to the DARTA headset, as they all provide a much better mobile VR experience for users.
Samsung Gear with Controller
- Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images. 360° experience. Weight 0.76lbs
- Use the intuitive controller that comes in the box to drop, point, select and Drag with a Wave of your wrist
The Samsung Gear is the go-to headset if you own a compatible Samsung phone.
Lightweight with a user-friendly interface, the Gear is one of the most popular VR headsets in the market today.
You get access to the Oculus library of virtual reality content, including games, videos, movies, and the user experience is second to none.
Oculus Quest All-in-One Gaming Headset
- All-in-one VR: No PC. No wires. No limits. Oculus quest is an all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. Now you can play almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers.
- Oculus touch controllers: arm yourself with the award-winning Oculus touch controllers. Your slashes, throws and grab appear in VR with intuitive, realistic Precision, transporting your hands and gestures right into the game
Want a powerful standalone VR headset? The Oculus Quest is right up your alley. It actually provides a desktop-quality VR experience with a completely wireless setup.
These things are selling like hotcakes due to their awesome features, and I can’t recommend it enough.
This device is the future, and if you’re all-in on VR, this is a perfect choice.
Sony PlayStation VR
- Contains: PlayStation VR headset, Processor unit, PlayStation VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, AC adaptor, PlayStation VR Demo Disc
- Games Come First - With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR
When I think of gaming consoles, Sony is one name that automatically comes to my mind.
With high definition virtual reality and advanced VR technology, you can get lost in the PlayStation, and now with the PSVR, you can do it in 3D. This device is the best-selling VR headset of all-time, and there are a bunch of great Sony exclusive titles to try out.
I particularly love Astro Bot.
The DARTA is a budget device, and you certainly get what you pay for. Instead of buying this, I recommend a Gear VR or Oculus Quest. Check out those alternatives above.
Still want to check out the Darta?