What is the Samsung Gear VR?
The Samsung Gear VR in the simplest terms is a Samsung Virtual Reality Headset. We live in the virtual reality games era and Samsung is quite aware of it. The Gear VR headset is a combination of the powerful Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones and a VR headset add-on. The Samsung Gear VR has only been possible because of a collaboration with Oculus. And the guys at Oculus are no strangers to VR, as they are the pioneers of virtual reality – with their PC-based Oculus Rift.
That marriage between the top-notch smartphones and Oculus VR expertise results in a comfortable, efficient, practical and yet affordable VR experience. Virtual reality systems nowadays are somewhat expensive and lack mobility, but that’s where Samsung Gear comes in.
This headset isn’t just a plastic holder for a Samsung Galaxy phone. It’s a sturdy construction designed to fit comfortably for long sessions of VR gameplay, making sure that the controls are at the tip of your finger and that there’s very low latency to assure zero motion sickness. Besides housing the phone and providing the necessary lenses for VR, the Gear VR also sports a Home and Back key for Menu interaction and a touchpad for easy navigation and control.
Virtual Reality shouldn’t have any input lag and has to offer fluid visuals and gameplay. Samsung knew this and made sure that the Gear VR had a physical connection with the Samsung Galaxy phone. A Micro USB connection serves as bond between Galaxy and Oculus headset. Simply secure the phone in the frontal part of the headset, secure the Micro USB and get ready to enjoy one of the best affordable VR headsets.
The main difference, and what truly makes Samsung VR unique, is its button layout that allow users to experience mobile VR while having a precise input to interact with the VR worlds and menus. That button layout and a physical connection makes this headset stand out from its mobile VR competition.
At this moment the only direct competition you can find for the Samsung Gear VR is the newly released Google Daydream View. Daydream lacks a physical connection to the smartphone – which doesn’t assure the low latency response that Samsung Gear VR can offer. Also, menus can easily be roamed with the physical buttons of the Gear VR, while Daydream offers no physical buttons on its headset. If you go the Daydream View route you will be missing this key feature, plus, the Oculus supported library that Samsung Gear VR offers.
Overall, the Samsung Gear VR is your best mobile VR option due to its premium quality and great pricing. No other mobile VR headset will offer you key features such as physical buttons and you most definitely will not be able to enjoy the extensive library that you can easily access from the Gear VR. Oculus support is a big deal, especially because of their trajectory in the VR business, and you can only find their stamp of approval on the Gear VR. So you can have a better perspective of some the competition in the VR world and general pricing we have an excellent article that can help you clear all doubts.
What phones work with it?
As you would expect, since this is a Samsung branded device, it loyalty lies with their devices and will not work with any other Android device. The Galaxy line of products is the one that is certified Gear VR compatible. For the moment, according to the Samsung Gear VR site, the following devices are Gear VR ready:
- The Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 5
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
- The Samsung Galaxy S6
- And the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge