Asus, ZTE, and Huawei phones are deemed Daydream-ready

When Google launched its Daydream VR headset last year, it included some hefty requirements for handsets to be deemed worthy, including OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan graphics, and displays with 3ms or less latency. That left a lot of flagship phones in the cold, but things are already looking up in 2017.

With a flurry of announcements at this year’s CES, Google has already begun to welcome new members to its exclusive VR club. Along with its own Pixel phones and the Moto Z, Google has declared four new handsets to be Daydream-ready, meaning they meet the strict demands with “high-resolution displays, ultra-smooth graphics, and high-fidelity sensors for precise head tracking.”

The first phone on the list is ZTE’s Axon 7. With a Snapdragon 820 chip and a 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 AMOLED screen, it has technically been able to support Daydream since its launch back in May. However, since one of Google’s requirements is support for Nougat, the handset fell just a bit short. Now that ZTE has announced that a Nougat update will be arriving with weeks, Daydream is coming along with it.

Next up is the ZenFone AR from Asus, a Tango-based handset that puts AR and VR side by side for the first time. While it won’t be available for purchase until the second quarter of 2017, the phone promises to bring an unsurpassed virtual experience, letting you explore virtual worlds and open up new areas of exploration in the real one.

Finally, Google is touting Huawei’s efforts to support Daydream as well. While the U.S.-bound Mate 9 isn’t included on the list (likely due to its LCD screen), the Mate 9 Pro and $1,600 Porsche Design Mate 9 are. And Google also touted Huawei’s own Daydeam headset, which is due sometime this year: “It has an adjustable focus so it can be used without eyeglasses, and provides a 95-degree field of view. By bringing new headsets onto the Daydream platform, we hope to give consumers even more choice in how they enjoy VR.”

Why this matters: Google’s Daydream platform is one of the best around, striking a perfect balance between comfort and power, with a price low enough to encourage adoption. The more phones that are deemed Daydream ready, the faster the technology will take off, which will bring more apps and content into the fold.

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