Today I’m going give a review of brand new Samsung Gear VR for the year of 2017. It was announced around S8 and S8 plus launch (29 March 2017). Now it is available with most retailers. Let’s check them out!
Going over the physical items, it comes with a controller of course; Two AAA batteries which is a bonus, micro USB adapter from USB C included. So older models of Samsung mobile phones will work on this as well. Adjustable Velcro straps are provided to adjust the fit on your head while wearing. This does work for both the S8 plus and smaller S8 along with other various other Samsung phone models. Comfort wise this is not necessarily heavy on your head but with my S8 plus it does feel front heavy. I didn’t have wearing fatigue but did have to wear it somewhat tight to prevent it from constantly moving forward. It’s not a big deal, just I wanted to point out that most might experience.
If you like to go through Google cardboard VR headset review
On the Right side of the unit is a touch sensitive pad, with the home and back button on top. Volume up and down buttons are nearby if you decide to use this rather than the controller. The controller itself is much smaller than I anticipated. Still works but something with a bit more meat and length would have ergonomically felt better. It’s not the most robust controller you ever have felt. None the less, having all the buttons in here does help big time vs using the headset’s scroll pad for navigation and playing games.
Getting into content and overall experience. Strapping this thing on and adjusting focus wheel on top, you are greeted with an eerie 3D open space experience. It’s pretty cool. Specially those who never have experienced this before. You are greeted with the home screen, from there you can navigate to different from of entertainment offered.
In the home screen you are greeted directly with ‘welcome to Oculus home’. You have featured apps on the left and at your right have friends and family listing (with requests and party section).
Netflix is available, you get this huge big screen here for watching movies. When movies play there’s ambient lighting spilling over the sofa and floor having the viewing experience quite immersive. And of course you can always look around too. Now, for other forms of entertainment you can watch twitch, youtube, vimeo via the build in web browser. Now what makes Samsung Gear VR very intriguing is the events tab. A year later I’m seeing more content that is available for you to watch live. At one point I have seen a SpaceX rocket launch as an option or tour of some temples in the jungles here live and in 360. Said it a year ago and I’m saying again, imagine if Samsung offer best ball games court side, live and free or at least offered with your cable package. That would be crazy!
Although it seems to have expanded in content, it is incremental though at least content that worth watching for the average consumer. Regarding gaming, the controller helps big time, it’s pretty obvious. The engagement level while playing is significantly improved. One game that is included with the bundle that is End Space. Strap into the spaceship and you hold on to the controller just like a flight stick here and movement of the controller moves the ship while the head movement aims the cross hairs.
If you have motion sickness like I do, I’m seriously sorry for the segment here. Jumping over to the first person zombie shooter game, Drop Dead, it’s pretty simple and the graphics is not too intriguing it’s kind of reminds me of the old House of the Dead. But it did keep me entertained for a while though. There are some random games that offer support for the controller and from my experience some are better than the others. Besides these slightly improved line up of contents, one of the biggest downfall for me is the visual experience granted for smart phone, pushing 500 pixels per inch is great but for Samsung Gear VR the lenses in the headset magnifies the screen substantially to fill up your peripheral vision and by doing so you still get some pixilation.
If you think to go for with lower price but want a good enough quality VR headset than you can check Xiaomi Mi VR Play Review .
Around your peripheral vision is not clear as well. And at times you see colour fringing at the edges of objects and texts. What I also noticed while testing adjustment is the controller could not be calibrated and the controller is either off to the side at times or the controller is not reading at all. There’s definitely some kind of connectivity issues. So overall here I think most people will feel like this even without owning the product that the gear VR still fit into a very niche audience.
Samsung Gear VR at the time of writing this article states that they have around 700 apps in the Gear VR store but I notice it’s still not hitting that sweet spot for many to use this on daily basis let alone for longer period. Considering Samsung has been pushing the 360 camera, if they offer free sporting events, that’s when this will see a lot of mainstream averages consumer attention. In the meantime, if you didn’t get the VR for free, I don’t think many will be spending 129 dollars to get experience as cool for a day or two which dies down quickly. In my experience, unless you are really a techy person you are not likely to give it a shot immediately.
May you like to get VR for games: Pasonomi VR headset
Compatibility of Samsung Gear VR 2017
This virtual reality headset compatible with Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Note 5, S7 edge, S7, S8, S8+.
- Charging while using.
- You can use it with your glasses on (if you are).
- Large app store (about 700 at the time of writing).
- Feel lighter to get lost in the vr world
- Feel comfortable no matter your facial structure
- Can control the controller naturally with one hand
- Wide 101 degree field view
- Controller batteries not rechargeable.
- Controller needs re-calibrating at times.
Samsung Gear VR is a value for money and an awesome experience.
Virtual reality headset for 3D games: NSInew VR headset