Huawei recently announced they are releasing a VR headset, which should bring some competition to the so far unrivaled Samsung Gear VR. The Shenzhen telecommunications firm shed light on their virtual reality ambitions during their P9 smartphone launch event in China.

Huawei VR offers a 95 degree field of view – 1 degree less than Samsung’s headset; 20ms low latency and an anti-blue light filter to protect your precious retina. Similar to the Gear VR, there’s also a touch pad, focus wheel, volume control and back button on top of the headset.

Huawei VR will work with the P9, P9 Plus and Mate 8 smartphones. Unlike the developer-friendly Samsung Gear VR which utilizes the Oculus platform, it uses its own ecosystem that apparently offers 4,000 movies, 30 games, 150 virtual panoramic tours and 350 panoramic images all for free.

More realistic audio makes for a more realistic virtual experience. 3D audio is something that’s been overlooked by smartphone-powered VR, although you’ll find it on high-priced headsets such as the Oculus Rift. As Huawei are gunning for high-end, they have equipped their headset with 3D audio which is a first for mobile VR.

huawei-vr-with-360-audio-mobile-vr

Although it looks like a Samsung Gear VR ringer on the outside, Huawei’s headset works more like the LG 360 VR as it connects to your smartphone using a USB-C cable. It has its own display that takes some of the workload and according to gizok offers a pixel density of 639ppi. Connecting the HMD via cable gives it the versatility to work with the different sized Huawei smartphones.

It looks like Huawei VR will launch in China this season – not sure when it will land in the west and the price is yet to be announced.