Samsung Gear VR Review

samsung-gear-vr-review

Introduction to the Samsung Gear VR

This Android-based mobile Virtual Reality headset is currently the most popular on the market. In my opinion, it’s earned the title. This is a damn good VR headset, and the world knows it. Recently, Samsung announced that they have already shipped 5 million of these devices.

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Samsung Gear VR - Virtual Reality Headset - 2016 Edition (US Version with Warranty) - Discontinued by Manufacturer
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Samsung Gear VR - Virtual Reality Headset - 2016 Edition (US Version with Warranty) - Discontinued by Manufacturer
  • Turn your compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone into a completely portable and wireless virtual reality machine.
  • Easy to use touch pad with dedicated Back and Home buttons
  • Wide field of view, precise head-tracking and low latency brings reality to the virtual, Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images, Thousands of 360 degree panoramic photos
  • Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity (Mount/Unmount Detection)
  • microUSB connection to the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge

The Gear VR, it is a Samsung-exclusive advice, and it works with a large percentage of their premium devices:

Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

It works particularly good, however, with the S7 and S7 Edge. These devices have an amazing compatibility with the technology. The Gear VR had a recent release in 2016, and there were two versions before that. A new update is expected to come pretty soon.

Although the hardware is designed by Samsung themselves, the Gear VR is created in partnership with Oculus, who have been very much on the forefront of the Virtual Reality movement over the last several years. Strategically, this was a great partnership for Samsung to make, and it pays dividends as far as the quality of the product goes. Oculus is in charge of the app store for Gear VR, so the apps are, not surprisingly, top-notch in comparison to many competitors. Apps that are submitted for the Oculus store need to meet certain specifications and quality standards, which ensures consistently great quality in the downloadable apps that are available from the store. Considering the platform has been growing and advancing for several years now, the app store is filled with a lot of great games, apps, and experiences which other devices will have a hard time catching up to.

Now, let’s get to the practical stuff. The hardware is very, very good. It is well designed and incredibly built to be functional, comfortable, and aesthetically impressive. There are additional sensors inside the headset, as well as additional software that is installed on the supported Samsung devices; this combination makes the entire performance very impressive, and the whole interface is very user-friendly.

The lenses on the headset are adjustable, and unlike many headsets, there is room for those of us with four eyes (glasses) to wear them inside of the headset; for those who this impacts, it’s a huge step up from many competitors which don’t allow that freedom. Samsung phones work as an excellent platform since they have really nice image quality; if you have a 7 or a 7 Edge, the Gear VR is an ABSOLUTE “must” purchase. If you have any doubt whatsoever, erase it.

The input interface is much better than many other headsets. There is a touchpad with several buttons, it is simple, but comparably more advanced than most other headsets that have only 1, 2, or even 0 buttons on the side… It’s not too much, though, as the buttons are just for “Home”, “Back”, and “Volume”.  A lot of the great games require a controller to play, which is not bad, but right now there isn’t one specifically made for the software. At the moment, the best option is probably the Xbox One Bluetooth controller.

But here’s the real question: Is it better than Google Daydream?

That’s hard to answer, as it’s a matter of opinion. Both are amazing, and compelling cases could be made for both. What I can say is that the outside design is not quite as impressive as Google Daydream, which sets a high standard… In the end, I would say that Gear Vr, for me, edges out the Google Daydream just ever-so-slightly. This is likely a war in which the power will shift continuously over the years, but right now the large selection of apps, high quality of hardware, and the compatibility with the extremely impressive Samsung phones– the Gear VR is, in my humble opinion, the best on the market… for now.

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Samsung Gear VR
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