“An innovative design in the world of VR technology”
To say that a certain device comes with an innovative idea in the world of VR technology is like saying a newborn discovered a new law of physics. The entire VR world is still in its baby steps and producers are testing technologies and experiences to see what works and how much it does work.
The Samsung Gear VR is completely a Samsung experience that is aimed at certain Samsung phone users which makes the experience exclusive and downright personal. Samsung, in collaboration with Oculus (the creators of Oculus Rift) created a device that transforms the latest smartphones from Samsung into a VR generator.
Thus, the main difference between the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and even PlayStation VR, is the source. In this case, all the VR experience is created by a phone, which makes the experience extremely accessible. Not to mention that this headset is a lot cheaper than the ones we mentioned above.
But is it really possible to enjoy true VR with just a phone? Don’t you need a powerful machine to create and display the images and sounds? Well, let’s see how the Samsung Gear VR feels and behaves hands on.
Design & Accessories
The design is quite classic as Samsung VR has the same shape of oversized glasses all VR headsets have. The fit on your head is done with 2 lateral headbands and one that goes over the top. This one is removable so you have the option to save your hairstyle and still enjoy the VR experience. Still, it’s a nice addition and keeps the glasses in place.
On the inside, the area that gets fixed on your face is cushioned with a soft material that feels nice on the skin. However, if it’s hot, you may sweat and this material is pretty absorbent so you may not want to share the device with friends too much. There is also enough space inside to wear these with glasses if you need to.
The device is light but when you add the phone you’ll feel a slight difference. Also, the phone must be positioned right in front of the goggles. For this, Samsung gear VR implements a special clip that will keep the phone tightly in place.
Samsung Gear VR - Official video
The phones supported by the Samsung Gear VR are the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7, and the Galaxy S7 Edge. You don’t have to be a Samsung user to notice that these phones are different in size. This is solved in the Gear VR headset with the help of a clip that offers two positions (A and B) so both large and a bit smaller phones can fit in.
Since the main source of this experience is actually your phone, you can use any type of compatible headphones.
Since this is not a gaming rig or a console, the only controls you have are embedded in the headset. Thus, on the right side, you’ll find a small gap shaped like the 4 arrows on the keyboard. These are touch controls and you have a small nub on the middle so you’ll know which key you press without looking. Just above this gap, you’ll find the back button (the same you have on your phone), that allows you to browse through games and videos.
The performance is influenced by the phone you use. Thus, phones with smaller screens offer a lower field of view while the ones with large screen are more generous on this aspect. Still, the smaller screen also has more pixels per inch (577 compared with 518 on big phones) and this means the images will look just a bit sharper.
The content library is not as rich as we’d like it to be but it’s growing slowly. There are action games, highly graphical ones, puzzle games and almost anyone can find something to play or see.
- A wireless experience
- Comfortable fit
- You’ll have to purchase the latest Samsung phones if you really want it
- The content library is still developing
If you’re already a Samsung phone user and you have one of their latest models, a Samsung Gear VR headset may be the perfect acquisition for you. This way you get to immerse yourself in the world of VR graphics without spending too much on a technology that is just starting to take shape.