(Pocket-lint) - There's been an explosion of virtual reality - better known as VR - in recent months. But if the idea of PlayStation VR, Vive or Oculus sounds like an over-expensive pipe-dream then here's a budget option: the Homido Mini.

It's not the first time we've seen a budget entry point into VR. There's Google Cardboard, the literally cardboard-made viewers that offer a way to utilise your phone with various 3D-VR apps.

READ: Google Cardboard review

Which is, in many respects, why the Homido Mini does such a good job: because VR apps are available in abundance on the Appstore and Google Play, so no need to pay a bunch of cash for fun gaming experiences.

The plastic contraption, which costs £15 and clips onto the side of a phone (we tried it with the iPhone 6S), doesn't add the faff of additional layers - so, unlike Cardboard viewers, you're not locked away from the phone's touchscreen and controls to jump in and out of apps; you literally hold the phone and peer through the lenses and that's it, job done.

Not that it's a perfect product: it's entirely exposed, so ambient light is all around you, but we actually found that rather freeing. Homido also makes a strapped-on overhead viewer, for £50, but after testing a rollercoaster title on that we felt sick as a dog - not so with the “open air” Mini experience.

So there we have it, in the year that promises to be the year virtual reality hits the big time, you might want to test the water first with the Homido Mini. It's available from the company's website only at present, until final packaged products hit store shelves later down the line.

Writing by Mike Lowe.