Google Android 7.1 has a new virtual reality mode called Daydream baked in, but not every Android 7.1 phone will support the platform.

While we know the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are Daydream-ready, most older phones are not. That includes Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X smartphones from last year… and pretty much every phone that was released prior to Google’s unveiling of the Daydream VR platform earlier this year.

Asus and ZTE say their new flagship phones are compatible, but Google has yet to confirm that. But now Google is finally giving us a look at the features a phone needs in order to qualify.


The Android 7.0 Compatibility Definition Document was released this week, and folks have been poring through it to find details about the things Google is asking phone makers to do in order to be eligible to load the Google Play Store and other Google apps on their devices.

While Android is open source software that anyone can use, those Google apps are not. Device makers need to comply with Google’s licensing terms if they want to ship phones with the Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, and other core apps pre-installed.

Section 7.9 of the new document is all about virtual reality, and section 7.9.2 pretty much spells out the requirements for a Daydream-ready phone. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Screen size must be between 4.7″ x 6″.
  • 1080p or higher-resolution displays are required, and 1440p or higher-resolutions are strongly recommended.
  • Displays must update at 60 Hz or more in VR mode.
  • Display latency on gray-to-gray, white-to-black, and black-to-white switching must be 3 ms or less.
  • Displays must support s low-persistence mod with 5ms or less persistence (the amount of time a pixel is emitting light).
  • Devices must have at least two physical cores, and one has to be fully dedicated to the foreground app in VR mode.
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • OpenGL ES 3.2
  • Vulkan Hardware Level 0 support required, Vulkan Hardware Level 1 recommended
  • H.264 decoding of at least 3840 x 2160 video at 30 frames per second (40Mbps) is required.
  • HEVC and VP9 decoding of 1080p/30fps content required, and 2160p/30fps decoding recommended

Other requirements look at performance issues. For example, “The GPU and display MUST be able to synchronize access to the shared front buffer such that alternating-eye rendering of VR content at 60fps with two render contexts will be displayed with no visible tearing artifacts.

Since many of these features aren’t typically printed on the box, we’ll probably have to wait for phone makers and/or Google to let us know which phones support Daydream. For now, the only models have have been officially confirmed are Google’s Pixel phones.

via Android Central and /r/Android


Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,536 other subscribers

8 replies on “Google spells out requirements for Daydream VR-ready smartphones”

  1. What does a Nexus 5x phone lack …. I am sure on the display conf in this device

  2. Hopefully someone will come out with a simple app that we can install to tell us if our phones are compatible.

  3. It’s not that demanding. Aside from the finer technical screen specs I think many of the current mid-rangers actually meet the requirements (the Xiaomi redmi note 3 pro for example). Of course, the crux are those screen latency times which the general public can’t know.

    1. Pentile displays Works but you will se the black points between pixels when, for example, one Collor is lit. In reds you see little red dots with a big spacing. It is not the ideal, but Works, you will notice a less ideal resolution. Off course rgb is much better. (I think 1440p pentile look like 1080p In some colors

    1. No. And it probably won’t be. But that’s okay – you have the Samsung Gear VR thing already!

      1. Based on what people have been reporting, the GearVR is as good (or slightly) better than Daydream.

        However, moving forward…it’s likely VR Apps/Games will be made according to Daydream specifications and SDK.

        So, if you want MobileVR today… GearVR will suffice. If you can hold off, you would be better served with a Pixel/GalaxyS8.

        But then again, if youre actually interested in VR…the PlayStation VR is a big upgrade over these. And a SteamVR Vive (gaming pc) would be an upgrade on top of this.

Comments are closed.