Blurry Google Cardboard - 5 Quick Fixes

January 27, 2016 Kevin F

So you just got your brand spankin’ New Cardboard Viewer and while you think it’s awesome, the quality seems to be overly blurry. 

The good news is we’ve put together 5 quick tips you can try to easily improve the visual quality of your viewer:
  1. Viewer Distance: At the top of your your viewer you’ll notice the velcro strap that you use to hold your phone in place when mounted. One of the easiest fixes is to try playing with the distance of the phone to the lenses - meaning, try fastening the velcro at different levels while looking through the viewer. Once you’ve found the clearest “setting”, fasten the viewer at that point to lock it in. I’ve found this tweak to improve visual quality by up to 100%. 

  2. Screen Settings: Smartphones are notorious for having poor battery life and as a result, many handsets come with “power saving” modes to help maximize use time. This can be an issue for us Cardboard fans because these power saving modes usually dim the screen brightness and reduce vibrancy. So without getting into a mind boggling discussion of the fields of light physics and optics, what this basically results in is potentially diminished image quality when viewed through the Cardboard lenses. So the simple solution is to is to temporarily crank your screen brightness up and disable any power saving modes to see if that does the trick. 

  3. App Settings: Some apps such as Youtube have settings for the quality of the video output and can even adjust dynamically based on your network connection. So while specifics for each app will vary, check to see if the app your using has a HD or high-quality mode and enable it. This will ensure that you're viewing the highest quality source material to begin with.

  4. The Lenses: If you just received your cardboard, be sure to check if there’s a protective film covering the lenses and remove them if so. Our viewers come standard with these protective covers and feature a little peeling handle for removal in under a second, but the one’s you’re using (if different) may have them too. Also check to see if the lenses are dirty and wipe them with a clean cloth to clear them up.

  5. Crappy Viewer: If you’ve done all of the above and your viewer is still so bad it’s unwatchable, it’s possible you may have bought a viewer that was poorly constructed with low quality materials. The lenses that go into the cardboard viewer have extreme specifications and any deviation by manufacturers looking to save a buck can cost you in quality! So at this point you may just have to invest in a better viewer if you want a better experience.

    We sell high quality bi-convex lenses manufactured to the exact recommended specifications provided by Google and invite you to checkout The Store if you think you might need to get a new viewer. 
It’s important to put things in perspective when evaluating the image quality of your Cardboard viewer. While these steps will help you create a very watchable experience, if you’re expecting crystal clear HD quality VR from a $10 headset, this may not be the viewer for you. Google Cardboard is an insanely affordable way to get a taste of future technology right now, and certainly doesn’t promise perfection. 


  • Cam Nygaard

    Oct 11, 2018

    These tips finna help me

  • Tobi Areje

    Jun 19, 2017

    I still had the protective film over the lenses. Lol

  • MEgs

    Dec 26, 2016

    Thanks for the good tips. Resolved my issue!!

  • Kinda

    Sep 05, 2016

    good tips

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