back to article Google's new VR Daydream View will cripple your phone

Google's new Daydream View VR is knocking out users' phones. Early adopters using the headset with Google's new Pixel phones have told El Reg that the phone shuts down within minutes because of thermal issues. A Reddit thread echoes the issue, where one user comments: It's remarkable that any phone is capable of longterm VR …

  1. tony72


    Hmm, well I just bought a Pixel, and am waiting for the headset to become available, so I guess I'll find out soon enough if this is a real issue. For sure, extended VR use of my Nexus 5 with Cardboard leaves it very hot and crashy, but I kind of expected that since Pixel has actually been designed for VR use, that that wouldn't be such an issue.

    On the plus side, it's winter, and the advantage of phone-based VR is you aren't tethered to a PC, so I guess I can always go outside and freeze my nuts off to keep the phone cool.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boo

      since Pixel has actually been designed for VR use

      No! Noooooo! NOBODY can possibly believe that, no matter what marketing peeps claim. It's a phone FFS.

      I'll wager that it was designed with "being a phone" in mind, and maybe a bit of Facebookery, Youtube, and cheapskate satnav use. The people writing the press materials wouldn't even know what VR stood for (well, maybe Victoria Regina, but not much else).

      1. tony72

        Re: Boo

        No! Noooooo! NOBODY can possibly believe that, no matter what marketing peeps claim. It's a phone FFS.

        A Daydream-compliant phone is by definition designed, at least in part, for VR; that's the whole point of having the spec. Now while a manufacturer could in theory go to the trouble of meeting the fairly stringent display, sensor, and processing requirements to comply with the Daydream spec (which only the Pixel and the ZTE Axon 7 currently meet), and then not bother to do any development or testing of it under VR usage, that would seem to be a strange thing to do. Especially if the phone is being built for Google, and VR with Daydream View is one of it's more hyped features.

  2. Jim84

    Water cooling

    They could add a pipe through the phone running over the processor heat sink. Just have and input and an output at each end of the phone and have the headset run water through it. That would probably add to the weight and cost of the headset though.

    I think one of the Samsung phones (and the Sony Phones) already have vapour heat pipes in them. Surely someone on youtube has already tried modifying them to get water flowing (safely) through the phone.

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: Water cooling

      Add tea leaves at the outlet and set the VR to its highest quality for a really hot cup of tea on tap.

      (other hot beverages also available).

    2. mosw

      Re: Water cooling

      If the phone is water proof just drop it into that cold mug of tea you've been ignoring on your desk. It will be warmed up and ready to be ignored again while you get back to your VR world.

  3. redpawn

    Build the visors better

    Just add a nuclear battery and a refillable tank of liquid nitrogen and people will enjoy the full processing power of their smart devices for more than half an hour without it going dead or setting their faces on fire. Should fit in a stylish visor with no problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build the visors better

      Now you know why Darth Vader's helmet is so big.

  4. Len Goddard

    You have to be kidding

    AFAIC this headset is usable with just one phone - the Pixel - from the manufacturer of the headset. So how could this not come out in testing?

    If they did any.

  5. twilkins

    Warm Runnings

    I have a Pixel and - thanks to reading the Reg - a tinfoil hat.

    My Daydream headset is on it's way so I can switch off the heating and enjoy a toasty bonce this winter.

    P.S. Anyone who straps a Samsung to their face will probably end up like the poor fellow in the photo that heads the article.

  6. goldcd

    Got mine today

    Just used it for maybe 30 mins with an XL... and no issues at all.

    Phone certainly got warm - but no throttle, shutdown etc.

    Wonder if it's an issue with the regular non-XL (same hardware, held in a smaller "radiator" with less sticking outside of the Daydream?

    I'm actually pretty impressed with it. Was cursing my idiocy for coughing up for what I suspected was a "well made cardboard" - but works well and the little controller is quite marvellous.

    Does make you look like an utter tool though.

    1. goldcd

      *flicks V's at fate*

      Nope - just been playing with it again "Device overheating, please close app"


      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: *flicks V's at fate*

        Can't they say something that more conveys the urgency of the situation, like "take it off your face now before it explodes"?

  7. Mage Silver badge


    Needs a strap over top of head or going to be very uncomfortable, slip down, tiring etc, never mind the phone overheating.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Photo

      So .... the possibility of bondage gear with additional porn view capabilities is practically writing itself...

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Photo

        Typical, eh? Crashes just as you get to the money shot climax of the VR experience.

  8. john devoy

    not a big problem

    luckily the phone isn't actually IN the headset, a quick redesign of the back panel that holds the phone in should fix it, maybe one with a little fan.

    1. Grade%

      Re: not a big problem

      Just add a couple of heat pipes to this:


      1. Infernoz Bronze badge

        Re: not a big problem

        That picture is dumb and heat pipes suck because they use inflexible metal pipes and tend to require significant heatsink area/volume, so better to have the phone back resting on a silicone water bag, on a foam pad (to apply fitting pressure for different phone thicknesses and profiles), with flexible water pipes and have the water pumped through an external water cooler radiator, possibly not on the head unit. Using cool bags and other stuff below condensation temperature maybe a bad idea because any condensation could be a nuisance or even cause damage!

  9. Mike 16

    I can see it now

    First class seats will have power, WiFi, and chilled water.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Daydream experience

    Yes, the Daydream gets warm, but I've used this thing repeatedly for more than 30 minutes and never encountered a device shut-down. It depends on how you use it. If it's for passive media consumption, the temperature generally doesn't go up as high as when you play games.

    My biggest problem is that there's no VR browser and so for now at least you're limited to curated content made available by Google.

  11. chronic8000

    I cooled Daydream VR

    I may have a cooling fan assembly for daydream view and google pixel for sale soon.

  12. chronic8000

    I cooled Daydream VR

    I have made a cooler for my hot pixel on my daydream view. I can use it as long as I like now :) I might be selling them soon.

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