Samsung’s premiere virtual reality system, called the Samsung Gear VR, is the brand’s virtual reality headset made strictly for wireless Samsung products. Not to be confused with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or other VR products intended for stand-alone gaming with augmented reality, the Samsung Gear is made for Samsung products such as: the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, and the Edge series.
These mobile devices are connected to the VR headset directly, where the user can play games on their phones and experience virtual reality on the go or at home.
Not only can the user play select games on their mobile device using the Gear, but they can also watch certain movies and shows in virtual reality via streaming or download.
The Samsung Gear VR headset is lightweight, at only 11.2 ounces in weight. It also has a unisex fit and allows for wear with or without glasses. It is compatible with the following Samsung devices: Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, and the S6 Edge+.
The Gear is wireless and uses the cellphone’s Wi-Fi or Mobile Data for connection as well as for battery power. Make note that the Gear uses the cell phone’s battery as its main power source, so making sure you have a full battery is important. It also means that game or film time is limited using the Gear VR, so having a full battery is important.
The lenses used to create the 3D picture and augmented reality are adjustable so that each user can adjust it to their needs.
The Gear user can download games, watch movies (including 3D films), stream Netflix, browse YouTube, and much more. For gaming, the Gear offers head movement control for more in depth immersion into the virtual reality experience, as well as an optional Bluetooth controller for gameplay.
This optional Bluetooth controller is called the SteelSeries Stratus XL, and can be purchased for Android. This controller can be used in tandem with the Gear to provide an elevated and immersive gameplay experience.
The price of the Samsung Gear VR Headset is $99.00. Unlike VR sets intended for home use and gameplay with gaming consoles or platforms such as Steam, the Samsung Gear is strictly for mobile VR usage with a compatible Samsung Galaxy device. Be sure you have a compatible device before purchasing this VR Headset or it will not work.
For its intended usage and price, the Gear VR is worth it as a great VR device with excellent resolution, for the everyday consumer. Gamers may be a bit disappointed in the lower level of augmented reality, but this is because the Gear VR is built for mobile devices and at a cost of $99, does not contain the technology that other virtual reality headsets, such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive do.
However, for those who want to enjoy films, mobile app gaming, and tv shows on their phone in 3D with virtual reality controls, the Gear proves to be worth the price.