Hands on: Lenovo Explorer review

Mixed reality gets comfortable

What is a hands on review?

Early Verdict

It's too early to judge the Lenovo Explorer properly, but an attractive and comfortable design may make it one of the better Mixed Reality headsets when it comes to market.


  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Sharp display


  • -

    Quite expensive

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This is a flash hands on review to give you the chance to see what the headset is all about as soon as possible. Stay tuned as we'll be expanding and upgrading this review with more info.  

The Lenovo Explorer is the Chinese company's first foray into the world of mixed reality headsets and will be landing later this year for you to connect to your PC.

It's a comfortable fit and will support Microsoft's Mixed Reality on Windows 10. The headset just launched at IFA 2017 and we got the time to try it out for a short while.

Our experience with the headset was limited to one demo, however, and that was a 3D video experience created by Lenovo, so we hope to soon try out some more videos and experiences and update this hands on review.

Lenovo Explorer release date and price

The Explorer will be coming to markets around the world in October this year. However, an exact date for the headset's launch is currently unclear, and pricing for some markets is currently unavailable.

What we do know is it will cost £399 (around $510, AU$650), but those prices for the US and Australia are currently just estimates.

Design and features

The Lenovo Explorer has a particularly simple design, as the aim of this device is for it to be as easy to set up and use as possible.

There's a click wheel on the back of the headset to pull it back for the shape of your head, and while we wore it the strap felt comfortable.

Unlike some other headsets, the goggles part was light and meant it didn't weigh down heavily on your face. If you've used VR headsets such as Samsung's Gear VR you'll particularly note how comfortable this is to use.

Inside the headset are two 2.89-inch LCD displays both with 1440 x 1440 resolution, and when wearing the headset we found the experience to be sharp and clear.

In the box will come two motion controllers that feel comfortable to hold, and feature a number of buttons in easy reach. These feel like a merging of the Oculus Rift Touch controllers with the ones which come with the HTC Vive.

We didn't get the chance to use these though, but we look forward to in time for our full review.

Instead, we controlled the experience with an Xbox controller, which will also work if you connect this up to your PC.

The Lenovo Explorer is set to support Mixed Reality experiences from Windows 10, so there should be lots of support from developers offering 3D videos and gaming experiences when it launches.

So far we haven't had any time to try out any VR gaming on the headset, but considering the attractive and comfortable to wear design we think it should be an experience you'll be able to do for some time rather than just a few minutes.

Early verdict

It's very difficult to judge the Lenovo Explorer as we were unable to experience the controllers or any gaming experiences on the headset, but everything else here seems to add up.

As the headset is light and it will support mixed reality headset experiences for Windows 10 there may actually be a good reason to the buy the Lenovo Explorer.

  • IFA 2017 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced. 
James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.