The Galaxy Note 7 is paving the way for a new wave of VR. Samsung has decided to accompany this landmark release with a new version of the Gear VR. This new addition to their roster allows people with recent Samsung phones to enjoy quality VR. The best part is it’s available at a surprisingly affordable price.
Samsung Offers New Version of Gear VR
It’s no secret that the VR industry is advancing at lighting quick speeds. Samsung has teamed up with Oculus to pioneer this new market. They aim to prove this with their recent releases. In less than a year they have released two VR headsets. These latest releases have made huge strides since the original “Innovator Edition”. The fact that all these advancements have transpired in under two years makes this feat even more remarkable. Even though we are a long way from breathtaking VR, we are well on our way.
The frantic pace of the industry is opening up doors to plenty of innovative design work. With almost every major tech company furiously experimenting with new VR models, the next breakthrough is on the way. While the new version of the Gear VR isn’t a game changer, it does feature some interesting improvements.
The driving force behind this redesign was the Galaxy Note 7. Since it boasts a USB Type-C connection, it’s completely incompatible with the original Gear VR. Samsung fixed this by installing a Type-C docking dongle on the front side of the new Gear VR. They also switched out the pass-through charging slot on the underside with a USB-C friendly version. But don’t lose hope if you don’t have a Galaxy Note 7! The new model is compatible with any Samsung phone that’s a Note 5 or newer. All you have to do is slide out the docking dongle & replace with the older USB micro dock. The new headset also comes with tiny adapters to receive a charge with older cables.
Another big difference with the new Gear VR is the touchpad. Samsung has smoothed down the bumps from the older version for a sexier design. Now we have a sleek touchpad with a shallow divot & a super small bump in the center. Your fingers are also guided by a gentle lip on the edge. This is a huge difference from the T shaped groove of the older model. The thick circular bumps are now a thing of the past, allowing your fingers to swipe seamlessly.
There are also a few less noticeable differences that make the new Gear VR stand out. Last year’s bulky front cover has been replaced with a thin piece of black plastic. While it exposes some of the docking machinery, it reduces glare by improving the filtering of outside light. The eye sockets are now separated by a vertical black plastic bar. This keeps the sides of the screens separated & prevents unwanted distractions. You also get an improved field of view, with this year’s model offering 101 degrees.
The only problem we could find was the weight. Instead of slimming down this version, it’s actually a few grams heavier. This was a big disappointment, since the first Gear VR shed 22% of the weight of the Innovator Edition. Even though it isn’t unbearable, a few extra grams is still a noticeable inconvenience.
All in all Samsung did a great job with their new version of the Gear VR. They managed to accommodate the Galaxy Note 7 without shutting out other Galaxy owners. This new version also does a valiant job of shutting out light, while the eye separator contributes to keeping the graphics pristine. These exciting new developments are ushering in a bright future for VR.