Late last year HTC announced the Vive Focus, a standalone VR headset for China. The Focus signalled the end of HTC’s plans to bring a standalone Daydream headset to the rest of the world, instead seeing the company focus on its more vibrant Chinese market.

That’s a shame, because I got the chance to use the Focus last week at MWC Shanghai, and it’s actually pretty great. The Focus’ neon blue design isn’t subtle, but it sits comfortably on the head and feels a lot more ergonomic than the regular Vive.

It’s powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor, and has a resolution of 2880 x 1600 with a 75Hz refresh rate and a field of view that felt every bit as wide to me as the Vive. It charges over USB-C and the battery lasts between 2 and 3 hours, according to HTC reps.

The most important spec of the Focus is its inside-out, six-degrees-of-freedom tracking, which allows you to freely move around virtual environments while wearing the headset. Like Lenovo’s Mirage Solo, this works through two front-facing cameras that scan the world around you and translate that data into your own virtual movements.

In my brief time with the Vive Focus, it worked really well. I played a game in a large, open environment that was kind of like Super Mario in first person — I had to walk along tricky edges, jump over gaps, duck hazards and so on. Read more from…

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