Are you looking for a pair of headsets to help you explore virtual reality using only your Smartphone? Have you come across the Astoria VR Headset and you were wondering if it’s worth the price? The answers you need come with research and information, so let’s dig deeper into the presentation of this product and the reviews it has received so far, to see what it has to offer.
What is Astoria VR?
Astoria VR is a mobile headset. Mobile headsets are basically shells with lenses. You place your smartphone into them, and they turn it into a VR device, separating the screen into 2 distinct images. Since the smartphone handles the processing, there is no need to connect wires to your headset, and the price remains low.
Keep in mind, though, that there is a limit to the image quality mobile devices like the Astoria VR Headset can provide. If you want to experience virtual reality in the best conditions possible and you are willing to spend big bucks for it, consider tethered headsets.
Returning to the product at hand, before you spend any money on it, you should find out more about what it can do and how it fares against its competitors. Competition is tight in the VR headsets niche, so take your time and review your options carefully!
About Astoria VR Headset
This device promises to let you enjoy VR content and take your gaming experience to a new level using your smartphone. The key to its impressive functionality seems to lie with its innovative design, relying on:
- A focal adjustment knob with a focal length range of 20mm
- 8-layer lenses with nano-coating for great resolution
- Comfortable headband made of high tensile strength material to provide optimum head support
- Magnetic front plate capable of augmenting reality
- Rotating side knob for distance adjustment
- Leather foam cushions and ergonomic design for improved comfort and fit
Why is the design of the Astoria VR Headset so special? According to the official website, the high-definition lenses made of optical resin block your smartphone’s blue light and ensure a more immersive view.
The headband’s lightweight material and T-shaped strap decrease pressure in the head area and around the eyes, providing excellent comfort. Due to its flexibility and adjustability, the headband helps the headset fit any user.
Resembling binoculars, this headset has two knobs that let you adjust Pupil Distance between 55 and 75mm and Focal Distance to ensure optimum 3D experience. It is also advertised as fit for myopia sufferers and compatible with eyeglasses.
Another feature that recommend the Astoria VR Headset as a great buy is its compatibility with most Android, Windows and iPhone devices. The only requirement would be for these devices to have the screen size between 4.7 and 6.0 inches.
According to the official website, Astoria supports hundreds of apps from the Apple and Google stores, ensuring astonishing 3D effects. It is also very easy to use, only requiring users to choose their favorite VR app, place their smartphone in the headset, and enjoy virtual reality.
For best results, one of the websites selling the headset recommends pairing it with the Astoria Bluetooth Controller ($19.99) and the Astoria in-ear headphones ($14.99). The controller enables in-app actions. The headphones provide stereo sound and help block surrounding noises.
So far, you have to agree that the Astoria VR Headset looks very promising. To make it even more attractive, the official website deems it as the best selling VR headset in the US, and mentions celebrities like Tim Ferriss, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Spacey, Casey Neistat, Joe Rogan, or Duncan Trussell.
This is where things begin to get shady. The respective celebrities confessed or were surprised using VR headsets, but not this particular product. According to our research, this product is far from the advertised best-selling status, and has average to poor ratings with 3rd party retailers like Amazon. The only websites featuring high ratings are affiliate websites.
We also didn’t like the fact that the developer promotes the Astoria VR Headset on several similar websites, with the only link between them being an easy to overlook mention in the Terms & Conditions sections. The numerous affiliate websites are misleading as well, and succeed to confuse anyone looking for information on the headset.
Finally, we hate the fact that the seller does not offer any guarantees or refunds (they only provide refunds for unopened, unused merchandise). In fact, they decline any liability for the product’s performance or ability to live up to their claims.
This is very disturbing, considering that the standard price of the headset is comparable to that of the far better rated and better performing Google Daydream and Samsung Gear. We’ll cover the seller’s prices, warranties, and shipping policy in the following lines, so stay with us!
Astoria VR Headset Price, Warranties, and Shipping Policy
The standard price per headset is $59, but drops to:
- $48.50 when you buy 2
- $39.99 when you buy 3
- $42.25 when you buy 4
- $29.99 when you buy 5
- $35 when you buy 10, 15, or 20
Unbelievable, but the price is higher when you buy 4 headsets than when you buy 3, and when you buy 10 or 15 headsets than when you buy 5. Therefore, if you plan on ordering in bulk, consider splitting your order into smaller 5-piece orders, to save money.
Shipping is advertised as free on all Astoria VR Headset orders. The seller claims to process U.S. orders within 2-4 business days, and international orders within 4-6 business days, but acknowledges further delays are possible.
We were disappointed to discover that the seller does not offer any warranties and has a useless, close to non-existent refunds policy. In their terms and conditions, on all websites, they warn that they offer no warranties regarding the products they sell, their merchantability, fitness for a specific purpose, or any other implied warranties.
As for refunds, in theory, they are available and limited to a 14 days period. In practice, the 14 days period begins upon Astoria VR Headset order placement, and orders usually arrive after the 14 days period has already passed. Also, they only apply to unopened, unused products.
Therefore, you can only recover some of your money if you decide to return the product without opening it, before receiving it, and only after negotiating the return with a customer service that will most likely never respond or convince you to try the camera.
Assuming you manage to contact customer service and get them to provide the Return Merchandise Authorization, you will still have to cover the cost of return shipping, and the seller will deduct their shipping and handling costs.
The Terms & Conditions are quite confusing, interpretable, and, judging by the numerous complaints and the lousy BBB rating, we have reason to believe the seller will do everything in their power to avoid refunds.
If you made the mistake of ordering the headset and you want to contact them and try getting a refund, or an extension to the 14 days refund period, you can call 888-248-0201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The company selling the headset is Kanderian Enterprises Inc., with registered address in Westborough (1773), TX 77449, Dr. Suite 120 Katy.
Astoria VR Headset Reviews Summary
Surprisingly or not, this head set is the world’s no. 1, best-selling device of its kind only on the official website. No other companies, tech websites, or specialty magazines list it among the best VR headsets in 2017.
As for buyer reviews on 3rd party websites, we found numerous, averaging ratings like: 2.5/5 stars on Amazon (where the price is 3-4 times lower, just $12.97), 1.4/5 stars on Highya, and 1/5 stars on the BBB website).
According to these reviews, we’re dealing with a low quality, poorly performing VR headset, from a poorly reputed company, with lousy customer service, and abusive charging policies. The product is poorly assembled and difficult to adjust, lacks image clarity, and deliveries are always late.
Astoria VR Headset Strengths
- Compatible with most smartphones: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, any device with screen size between 4.7 and 6 inches
- Does not require any wires, batteries, complicated setup procedures, or PC connections – You just choose the content you wish to play and place your smartphone into it
- Lets you play content from iTunes, NYTime, National GeoGraphic, YouTubeVR, Discovery +, and many other sources
- Supports hundreds of apps from the Apple and Google stores
- Adjustable Pupil and Focal Distance for enhanced 3D immersive experiences
- Lightweight, ergonomic design ensuring comfortable wear
- Consistent discounts available for multiple headsets orders
Astoria VR Headset Weaknesses
- Sellers employ deceiving marketing tactics, using celebrity names and making unjustified claims
- The product is available through several websites posing as the official one, some linked to one another and managed by Kanderian Enterprises Inc., others as affiliates, posting confusing, sometimes contradictory information and misleading visitors
- The product is available at lower prices with unauthorized, 3rd party retailers than with the official distributor
- There is no parts or labor warranty, therefore no way to recover your money if the product breaks down or does not work as advertised
- The seller only allows 14 days from order placement for refunds, and the products usually arrive after more than 14 days
- Refunds are available only if you return the Astoria VR Headset to the seller unused, unopened, in its original packaging, within 14 days, and do not cover shipping and handling
- The customer service is unresponsive and/or unhelpful
- The company behind the headset has a very poor reputation
- Buyer reviews deem the product as cheap and useless, not worth its price
- Contrary to seller claims, the headset seems to support a limited number of apps and provide poor VR experiences
- Ordering the headset at standard price, with the remote controller and the headphones, brings the costs up to the price of far superior VR headsets, like Google Daydream VR and Samsung Gear VR.
We’ve been waiting for VR equipment for years, and the movies and TV shows featuring it promised life-changing, astonishing experiences. It is easy to understand why you would feel tempted to invest your hard-earned money in a VR headset like the one under discussion.
Yes, there are reliable VR headsets on the market, some costing less than $100 and compatible with most smartphones and dedicated apps. Unfortunately, the one under discussion doesn’t seem to be one of them, and this conclusion is based on several considerations.
Our research shows that the Astoria VR Headset is similar to As-Seen-on-TV products that promise the world for a bargain and never deliver on those promises. Buyers report it is cheaply built, shows double and foggy images, and breaks down fast.
Considering that the seller does not provide any warranties, and you will most likely not be able to obtain a refund, we strongly suggest that you stay away from it. If the headset really lived up to its promises, the seller would have no problem standing by it, buyers would have no reason to complain about it, and we would surely find more unbiased reviews, don’t you think?
We have no information regarding the manufacturer of the Astoria VR Headset. Moreover, it seems there is a similar, if not identical VR headset on the market, called Tepoinn. If you ignore the writing, both products have the same design, the same features, and even similar presentations.
Could it be a coincidence? We sincerely doubt that. Moreover, whoever is behind these products found a way to make easy money, taking advantage of VR dreamers with limited budgets and high hopes. Of course, we hope our predictions will turn out false, and the company will prove the worthiness of their product through friendlier warranty and returns policies, and a more transparent presentation. Until that happens (if it ever will), we welcome any Astoria VR Headset reviews.