Ready or not, virtual reality is here. Samsung has released its first true consumer VR headset, the Samsung Gear, for the retail price of $99. While the device isn’t perfect, which isn’t surprising since it’s the first one of its kind on the market, it’s still a solid product that should satiate the VR fan base until more advanced competition hit store shelves. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from the Samsung Gear.
The build of the product is impressive. It’s much lighter than its predecessor, which was never made widely available, and is far more comfortable to wear. It has straps that easily attach to your head and a cushion around the perimeter of the headset that contours comfortably to your face. It’s even comfortable enough to use with glasses, although it might be better to ditch the additional eyewear and simply use the focus adjustment knob on the device for a clear image. It features a docking port to easily snap in one of the four compatible phones (The Samsung Note 5, S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+), and a four way directional touchpad to control the action. Overall, it feels like exactly what you would hope for from a VR device.
The Gear benefits from the recent influx of VR apps at its disposal. Now there are games, streaming video apps, and other content designed specifically for a VR environment. They all work surprisingly well, although the magnification of the phone’s screen can sometimes result in a less-than-sharp resolution. VR use will also drain a phone rather quickly. One hour of VR use knocks out 20% of charge. It’s also possible that prolonged use could cause some nausea or headaches. However, the positives seem to outweigh all of the negatives, because it really does create an immersive, satisfying VR experience.
The only competitor on the market is Google Cardboard, which really is just a cardboard box with magnification built in. The Gear is a true VR headset with built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers to create a fluid, 3D environment. While it won’t be as powerful as future VR headsets from Oculus and Sony, the current offering is a great first step into the world of virtual reality.
Read the full article here: Samsung Gear VR review (2015): A no-brainer if you own a Samsung phone