Nexus 5X Though Less Powerful, Can Be Used to Run Daydream VR; Here’s How

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Dec 13, 2016
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Google has already pointed out that running Daydream will require you to satisfy a long list of requirements, and suggested that current generation smartphones will not be able to support the platform due to lack of processing capabilities. However, the Nexus 5X, which was released last year and is rocking a Snapdragon 808 has managed to run Daydream, despite the odds stacked against it.

Nexus 5X Is Able to Run Daydream VR Through an Elaborate Process – Does Require Root Access Before the User Can Proceed

To recap, Nexus 5X features a 1080p display, a Snapdragon 808 and 2GB of RAM. Even though you need a 1080p display as a bare minimum to render Daydream content, the Snapdragon 808 and 2GB of RAM is far less than the actual requirements, which ranges from having at least a Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM and running Android Nougat 7.0 (which will provide support for the Vulkan graphics API and reduces CPU and GPU overhead). So how did last year’s stock-Android smartphone manage to run one of the most taxing platforms of 2016? Through a very elaborate process.

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One Redditor by the name of ‘CharaNalaar’ details out the entire process below, but the user states that you will be required to root the smartphone before proceeding, as well as making sure that the Nexus 5X is running Android Nougat 7.0.

“Here’s how I did it:

This requires root, Android 7.0, Google VR Services, and the Daydream app to all be installed on your phone. It also requires a compatible Daydream viewer and controller (I use a Cardboard viewer with the controller emulator running on an old device).

Using a root explorer app, navigate to

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/system/etc/permissions/handheld_core_hardware.xml. This is where the system features of your phone are listed.

Inside the file is the list of permissions, formatted as XML and nicely commented (as least on my 5X). Add the following lines into the root permissions tag:

<feature name=”android.software.vr.mode” /> <feature name=”android.hardware.vr.high_performance” />

They might even be mentioned and explained in the comments.

Reboot your device. You should be able to launch Daydream from the app.

I hope this is of any use to anyone who’s tried to get this working previously.

EDIT: After doing this, all my Daydream apps are updating through the Play Store. It’s also allowing me to download apps that previously were marked as incompatible.”

While CharaNalaar manages to get the software running on the smartphone, he says that the experience is far from pleasant. The content lags a lot and the resolution is awful. Ideally, Google recommends that your smartphone features a QHD AMOLED panel for the best possible experience, along with the display possessing a high refresh rate. Keep in mind that even the Nexus 6P was not rated to run Daydream content, and the Nexus 5X managed to fulfill this, which is quite a feat.

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