Mi VR Play

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Mi VR Play
Xiaomi’s Mi VR Play.jpg
VR/AR Virtual Reality
Type Head-mounted Display
Subtype Slide-on HMD
Developer Xiaomi
Operating System Android, iOS
Requires Smartphone with display screen between 4.7 to 5.7 inches
Successor Xiaomi Mi VR Play 2
Display Depends on the smartphone
Resolution Depends on the smartphone
Pixel Density Depends on the smartphone
Optics Anti-reflective Aspheric Lenses
Tracking IMUs in Smartphone
Weight 208.7 grams
Size 201mm x 107mm x 91mm
Release Date 2016
Price $15
Website http://www.mi.com/en/mivr1c/

Mi VR Play is a virtual reality headset developed and manufactured by Xiaomi. Mi VR Play is hoping to create a buzz in the market by making virtual reality more affordable to customers. Mi Play supports smartphones that have a display screen size between 4.7-5.7 inches. Xiaomi’s Mi Play aims to offer the experience of high-end VR headsets at a budget of Google Cardboard.

Introduced to the world in mid-2016, Mi Play is eyeing the VR market share captured by Google Cardboard. Priced at $15, Xiaomi’s Mi Play is just one-fifth the cost of many top-rated, high-end virtual reality headsets like Gear VR.


Like the other smartphone dependent VR headsets, Mi Play also has a simple technical design. The body of the headset is made of a lightweight yet sturdy material called as Lycra.

Xiaomi’s VR headset weighs around 209g, that’s lighter than many other gadgets in the same category. The headset is comfortable to wear even after hours of use by VR enthusiasts. The eye socket is spacious and the three-way strap holds the device in place. The hook and loop tapes on the three-way strap allow users to adjust the headset to fit any head size. The Mi Play VR headset can be worn with eyeglasses on, but the user might feel congested inside the eye socket.

To facilitate slight adjustments and allow free flow of air the front-end of the headset is provided with dual openings. The two-way zipper grip holds a wide variety of smartphones, having display size from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches, securely in the front-end slot.

To facilitate easy navigation, textured button is provided at the top of the headset. With the goal of reducing optical aberrations and producing distortion-free images, Xi Play has fitted the headset with anti-reflective Aspheric lenses.

Content Library

To make its presence felt in this highly competitive market, Xiaomi’s Mi Play is focusing heavily on creating a solid content library. It has already partnered with the Chinese video sharing site Youku, Conde Nast Traveler, and many others. To feed the growing demand for video content, Xiaomi is planning to invest $1 billion for this purpose.

Inside the box

Xiaomi’s Mi Play VR headset is delivered to the customer in a contemporary black box with an inscription that when translated means ‘Go Explore’. At the other end of the box, customers can find standard instructions, necessary information about the manufacturer, and a section that lists the items included in the box.

Inside the box, the users will find a small instruction booklet, the three-way strap, and the Xiaomi Mi VR Play headset. The instruction manual is in Chinese; this makes nearly impossible for people who don’t know the language to understand the instructions. Customers can use the QR code in the manual to download the VR app that gives access to Chinese websites such as VR hotcast, iQiyi, Youku, etc.

The Mi VR Play users who intend to play various VR games using the navigation button won’t find the QR code for the Cardboard app on the instruction manual. The same can be accessed through various third party websites.

Lens Protection

Before wearing the headset remove the plastic protection placed on the front and back end of the lens. The blue plastic protection is placed to prevent fingerprint marks.

Future Plans

Xiaomi, the makers of Mi Play, have also announced that variants of this virtual reality headset in camouflage, leopard, floral, and denim designs are to be launched in the future. At present, the headset is available only in black color.


Virtual reality enthusiasts aren’t required to shell out a hefty sum to make Mi VR Play their own. Xiaomi’s new VR headset costs just $15. Although Mi VR Play wants to compete with the big boys in the future, Xiaomi’s immediate aim is to use its entry level VR headset to capture a sizeable chunk of the Google Cardboard market.

At the time of the Mi Play’s launch, the makers also announced the release of Mi Live app. The Mi Live is Xiaomi’s live streaming application that supports live virtual reality content.

An Overview of the Key Features

  • Xiaomi Mi VR Play headset is made of Lycra – an ultra-comfortable, lightweight fabric.
  • Button with textures on the top of the headset for easy navigation and game control.
  • To ensure maximum clarity, reduce optical aberrations and produce distortion free images Aspheric lens with anti-reflective feature is fitted in the headset.
  • The anti-slip strips hold the smartphone in place so that users don’t have to constantly fiddle with the phone to find the ideal angle.
  • Compatible with all smartphones that have a screen size between 4.7-5.7 inches.
  • The makers are heavily investing in expanding their panoramic, 2D and 3D content library.
  • Dedicated virtual reality app for the headset to access content from various Chinese websites such as VR hotcast, iQiyi, Youku, etc.


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