Item: Samsung Gear VR
Price: $ 129.00
Best place to buy: Amazon
Rating: 4 and a half star
Hello there! I am here to talk about the Samsung Gear VR goggles designed for the Galaxy S phone series because of this frequently asked question: Is the Samsung Gear VR worth it? I am talking about the Samsung VR Goggles 2017 edition which was released in the early part of 2017.
As we all know Samsung is a great mobile company, the only company that can go head-to-head with the iPhone in terms of function and performance. And sometimes it has more to offer to the user compared to the latter. What is great about this is that it is powered by Facebook’s Oculus the makers of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.
These two companies tied up to create the best Mobile Virtual Reality headset so you can experience Virtual Reality without buying the tethered VR like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR.
The Motion Controller
An addition to the 2017 model is the motion controller. This makes navigating and playing games very comfortable. You can just sit back and point and click whatever app or game is in front of you. You can even browse the internet or go to Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites or watching Netflix. It really does make a big difference. Everything is a breeze.
What I like about this is the trigger-like button on the front because I love first-person-shooter games this is a big plus to me. At least it makes you feel like you are really pulling the trigger. Thank you for that. Although, I wish they made it at least an inch bigger because it is rather small.
Even though not as powerful as the PC based VR headsets the motion controller at least frees you from the shackles of the wires and makes you feel much more immersed because of the freedom the motion controller brings.
However, the drawback for the controller is that it is not rechargeable, for some strange reason they went primitive with the power- they require two AAA batteries for it to operate. For me this is sacrilege, you had a perfectly fine advanced technology and then you blend in some old school set up that does not mix well with the entire assembly. Why couldn’t they just make it rechargeable?
If you still have the old Gear VR my advice is just buy the motion controller that way you can save money. The motion controller costs an additional $19.00 alone on Amazon as of this writing.
Galaxy S6 and Later Models are Compatible
Most of the Galaxy S series starting with S6 to S8 is compatible with the Gear VR. If you still have your old S6 phone it still can be used to view VR on the goggles and so is Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge plus, Galaxy note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy 8.
You see, Samsung made sure that you will still be able to use the old models with your gear VR. Unlike like some phones’ that you can’t use the charger for the next higher model. Kudos to the company.
What Changed for the 2017 Version?
The 2017 design of the Gear VR has taken away the cover for the phone in the front. So when you use it the phones’ backside is open. It is like the phone is just pasted to the goggles. Some said it feels uneasy because you feel the phone might fall anytime as there is no more protection.
The main purpose of the plastic cover on the older version was to prevent light from leaking inside the goggles as this will disrupt the natural screen lighting on the inside. Technically, there is still a cover but only serves if there is no phone in place. The makers must have found a way to totally prevent any seepage of light in the latest design and then tried to make the weight lighter for the user by doing away with the cover.
Speaking of lighter, it does feel heavier on the old version. Now that the cover is gone a significant lightness can be felt. The front heaviness is manageable, it is always advisable to use the strap across the head for a full support so that weight distribution is disseminated and fatigue can be minimized. My answer to that is to make a lighter phone.
I was able to try the Gear VR with an S8 and the result was really satisfying. If you are starting out on VR the Samsung Gear VR Goggles would be my highest recommendation. The screen resolution is outstanding for a mobile VR this greatly adds to the immersion experience.
First off, you should set the resolution to 2960 x 1440 to get the best possible experience. For me it was already heaven, really nice crisp colors.
Although it is just your basic sit back and look around VR experience it could already pass off as Great for a mobile phone. You can only experience full immersion with the high-end tethered headsets as of the moment. It will take time before we can fully experience the full immersion like the PC-based VR does.
However, when it comes to games immersion depends on the type of game you are playing some programs are well suited for just a sit down type like Gunjack is immersive but not as immersive as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.
Mobile VR will someday have tracking and motion sensors like the PC based VR’s for now we will just have to deal with the present technology which is not at all bad. If you cannot afford the high-end VR, like me, the Samsung Gear VR is already mind-blowing in its present form.
So is it worth it?
Absolutely. With a price of a quarter of the leading VR’s, the Gear VR already gives you a taste of what is yet to come and the possibilities of the potential for entertainment, education, communication that is brewing in the future.
Anyway, when the time comes, in a year or two there will be more advanced mobile VR’s, either that or the price of PC based VR headsets will go down and we finally can afford the most expensive headset.
Please leave comments, reactions, thoughts below. Thanks for reading.