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This Quest 3 Battery Strap by Kiwi Design Embarrasses Meta’s Stock Strapby@limarc
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4,468 reads

This Quest 3 Battery Strap by Kiwi Design Embarrasses Meta’s Stock Strap

by Limarc AmbalinaMarch 23rd, 2024
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When it comes to VR accessories, I’ve reviewed almost every major thing on the market. Every hardcore VR user knows there are two important things when it comes to daily VR gaming: comfort, and battery. One accessory that can improve both of those things is a headstrap that houses a built-in mobile battery, or a “battery strap”. Let’s face it, the stock strap that comes with the Quest 3 is a complete joke. It almost offends me that Meta raises their prices every year and continues to find materials from the dollar store to make their stock strap. Thus, users have no option but to buy a new one, and Meta bets on that. That’s why they keep doing it and they make it simple to plug and play new straps into the headset; they’re too cheap and lazy to make a quality one of their own.
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When it comes to VR accessories, I’ve reviewed almost every major thing on the market. Every hardcore VR user knows there are two important things when it comes to daily VR gaming: comfort, and battery. One accessory that can improve both of those things is a headstrap that houses a built-in mobile battery, or a “battery strap”. Let’s face it, the stock strap that comes with the Quest 3 is a complete joke. It almost offends me that Meta raises their prices every year and continues to find materials from the dollar store to make their stock strap. Thus, users have no option but to buy a new one, and Meta bets on that. That’s why they keep doing it and they make it simple to plug and play new straps into the headset; they’re too cheap and lazy to make a quality one of their own.


For the past month, I've tested KIWI's latest offering – the Single-Point-Charging (SPC) Battery Head Strap for the Quest 3. Now, if you're anything like me, the thrill of diving into VR worlds comes with the nagging dread of seeing that low battery warning pop up just as you're getting into the groove.


Battery straps aim to solve these problems. With a bunch of cheap options on the market, I want to show you want $79.99 can get you in today’s VR landscape.


What We’ll Cover:

  1. Specs
  2. Design
  3. Features
  4. Cons
  5. Final Verdict


Disclaimer: I’ve not been compensated by Kiwi in anyway to write this review. However, they did send me their item for free to test for this article.


Specs

  • 6400mAh lithium polymer battery
  • Provides extra 2-4 hours of playtime
  • 1.89 pounds
  • 10.04 x 9.45 x 2.76 inches
  • Memory foam cushion
  • Cable-holding attachment


This strap was manufactured by KIWI Design, a China-based company that's been carving its path in the VR scene since 2015.


The company is a culmination of years of VR innovation, backed by over 100 patents. What stands out is its claim to balance comfort with extended playtime, addressing a fundamental flaw in VR headsets: their notorious front-heaviness. This strap aims to redistribute that weight, making long sessions in virtual worlds less of a strain and more of an immersive joy.


Design



Now, let’s talk about the design.


The first thing you'll notice is the memory foam padding. It's like a gentle hug for your head, soft yet supportive, a far cry from the standard straps that are $10-20 on AliExpress or Wish.


The overall aesthetic is sleek and modern, a white and black strap that has a fair amount of polish.


But it's not just about looks; the functionality is where this design truly shines.


The balance achieved with this strap significantly reduces the front-heavy drag, showing that KIWI has not only listened to user feedback but acted on it in a meaningful way.





With a closer look at this strap, you can tell it’s a blend of thoughtful ergonomics and subtle aesthetics. The smooth, matte finish coupled with the sleek, curving lines gives the strap a futuristic vibe without trying to stand out too much.





Form Factor

The contours appear to follow the natural shape of the head, suggesting that comfort was at the forefront of KIWI's design philosophy. The integration of the battery itself is seamless, maintaining the headset’s clean lines—a stark contrast to the often bulky add-ons that can feel tacked on rather than part of a unified whole.


And let's talk about that battery housing for a second. The way it's positioned and padded, it’s going to give you that counterbalance for the front-heavy feel of most VR headsets, which is exactly what you want for those marathon sessions.


In my opinion, this isn't just another clunky power bank slapped onto a strap. It's meticulously crafted. It’s easy to buy a velcro band and strap an external battery back to a standard Quest 3 strap. I’ve done that for years. However, with this strap, I no longer felt much need to add more counterweights on my own. I may dabble in that just to see how it feels, but this is honestly enough for me in terms of counterweight.


Features

Focusing on features, KIWI’s SPC Battery Head Strap ticks a lot of the boxes we need for long VR gaming sessions.


  • Built-in Power: With a 6400mAh battery, KIWI fulfills the promise of doubling or even tripling your playtime.


  • Single-Point Charging: It’s a plug-and-play system that allows simultaneous charging of both the headset and the battery strap with a single cable. This convenience is the kind of detail that shows KIWI isn’t just manufacturing accessories; they’re crafting seamless user experiences.


  • Ergonomic Design: VR gamers know that the full adjustability of the strap isn’t just about tightness —it’s about angle and positioning. The freedom to position the back cushion precisely where it feels best is a huge plus. Whether you like it high up near the crown of your head or low for a traditional feel, this strap adapts to your preference.


  • Compatibility and Portability: It’s been designed to snuggle right into the official carrying case, and by extension, most aftermarket cases. KIWI recognizes that VR enthusiasts are on the move, and they’ve made sure your power-packed head strap doesn’t tie you down.


Cons

Even the best-designed products have their drawbacks, and the SPC Battery Head Strap is no exception.


  • External Compatibility: It's a bummer that the SPC's innovative charging feature is limited to the KIWI RGB Vertical Charging Stand. If you're not on board with this specific dock, you're out of luck, missing out on one of the strap's key conveniences. I guess it could work with another dock that uses a similar magnetic pin connector, but there’s a very low chance you’ll find a non-KIWI dock that works with this.


  • Weight Distribution: Although the counterweight design is a step in the right direction, it could do with a bit more heft for an even better balance. Some users might find themselves needing to add an extra counterweight for optimal comfort during those longer sessions.


  • Exclusive Ecosystem: While the seamless integration with KIWI's charging stand is a plus, it also means you're buying into a specific ecosystem. If you decide to switch to another brand's accessories or docks in the future, this head strap's unique charging feature becomes redundant.


  • Pricing: At $79.99, the sticker shock is real. Sure, we're getting a head strap that doubles as a lifeline for our VR sessions, thanks to the integrated battery pack. And when you consider that this strap itself becomes literally half of the headset, the price tag starts to seem more reasonable. I always think VR accessories are too damn expensive. However, it’s not just VR. If you want to buy a new PS5 controller, the price is around that $80 mark, so this is standard for the gaming industry.


    But let's not sugarcoat it—if your wallet's feeling light, or you're trying to keep your VR spending in check, this head strap is a luxury rather than a necessity. It's perfect for those willing to invest in their VR experience, but for budget-conscious gamers, it might be a stretch too far, which is likely why Meta has become criminally cheap with their stock headstraps - they know it costs a lot to make a quality one.


Despite these points, it's important to consider them in the context of your specific VR setup and how you use it. These cons may not be dealbreakers for everyone, and for those who are fully invested in the KIWI ecosystem, the advantages might far outweigh the limitations.


Final Verdict: 8.5/10

Taking all of this into account, the SPC Battery Head Strap from KIWI is a strong contender in the Quest 3 headstraps market. It's thoughtfully designed with user comfort and convenience in mind, backed by a powerful battery to keep you immersed for hours. The single-point charging capability and the ergonomic design make it stand out from the crowd.


If you're already using or planning to get the KIWI RGB Vertical Charging Stand, this head strap is practically a must-have. It makes the entire setup more cohesive and user-friendly, turning what could be a tangled mess of cables and charging times into a streamlined process.


Overall, for those committed to the KIWI ecosystem, the SPC Battery Head Strap is a wise investment that enhances your VR experience significantly. It offers a comfortable, long-lasting, and hassle-free solution to one of VR gaming's most persistent issues — battery life. My recommendation? If you're looking for a top-tier VR head strap and you're cool with the KIWI universe, go for it. It's an 8.5/10 from me, earning its place as a staple in my daily VR sessions on the Quest 3.