Droidtalk: Samsung new Gear VR headset Experience

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Today Samsung has launched the new Gear VR headset for the Galaxy Note7 in India along with the Galaxy Note7, IconX EarbudsE and Gear Fit2. If you’re not already familiar with the Gear VR, it’s a virtual reality headset developed jointly by Samsung and Oculus VR, the Facebook-owned company behind the Rift headset. Today at the Media launch event of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 we were allowed to experience the new Samsung Gear VR and over the course of our time with the Gear VR we are quite impressed with the headset, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

The new Gear VR Visually looks almost identical to the model it’s replacing. It’s primarily made from plastic and it’s now black in colour, rather than white. Overall it looks far nicer, and more stealthy, than before. The field of View (viewing angle) of the new Gear VR has been increased from 96 degrees to 101 degrees for an immersive video and gaming experience. The VR now features another button to the side of the device too, meaning you can now hit it simply to head back to the main home screen when in a virtual world. Even though the Galaxy Note7 has a USB Type-C connectivity, but the Gear VR comes with a micro USB connector for providing backwards compatibility with Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+ smartphones.

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The VR feels more light-weight now. The foam lining that sits against your face is more rigid and less prone to sucking up sweat. We really liked the improvements here, building on an already functional product. The headset also features a new external port, to which you’ll be able to attach accessories to the unit directly. These could include plug-in game controllers and possibly even cameras such as the Gear 360. However it’s too early to tell whether this is the major upgrade we need to the Gear VR to make it truly compelling – it’s a refinement rather than an overhaul. The VR has a Oculus-inspired interface none of this has changed with the updated version. The initial setup for the Gear VR is pretty straightforward, it can just be a little time-consuming as there are a few apps and some other content to install. Samsung and Oculus have worked with game developers and some other big companies to make the entire experience a lot more appealing. However, the software has been greatly improved from last time. I had no issues with buggy content, crashing or any unresponsiveness. It was very easy to use, regardless of who was using it. Although it’s not perfect yet but it has improved a lot on comparing it with its predecessor.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy setup
  • Wide variety of content
  • Completely wireless
  • Great head tracking

Cons

  • Only compatible with a handful of Samsung phones
  • Resolution is a little disappointing
  • game library not massive

So, if you own a new Samsung phone and have some level of disposable income, the Gear VR is absolutely worth INR 7290. Yes, it only works with a limited number of phones, but right now, there’s no better option if you want to give VR a try. Although the Gear VR is a big step up from Google Cardboard, it’s a long way behind  the PC-level VR systems. However, It will be available along with the Galaxy Note7 starting from September 2nd. As a part of launch offer, Samsung is offering the Gear VR for INR 1990 for Note7 pre-bookings from 22nd to 30th August.

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