Samsung Gear VR (2015/2016)

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Samsung Gear VR (2015/2016)
Samsung gear vr2.jpg
Basic Info
VR/AR Virtual Reality
Type Head-mounted display
Subtype Slide-on HMD
Platform Oculus Rift (Platform)
Developer Samsung, Oculus VR
Manufacturer Samsung
Release Date November 20, 2015
Price $99
Website Samsung Gear VR Website
Requires All Samsung Smartphones 2015 and newer
Predecessor Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition
Successor Samsung Gear VR 2
Operating System Android
Display 5.7 / 5.1 inch Super AMOLED (RGBG PenTile)
Resolution 2560 x 1440, 1280 x 1440 per eye
Pixel Density 518 PPI - 577 PPI
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Persistence 3.4ms (Galaxy S7), 5.0ms (Galaxy S8)
Field of View 96° (nominal)
Tracking 3DOF
Rotational Tracking Accelerator, Gyrometer, Proximity
Positional Tracking None
Update Rate Rotational: 1000 Hz, high accuracy
Latency Motion to Photon: Less than 6 ms
Audio 3D Spatial Sound
Camera High Frame Rate Preview (60fps)
Connectivity microUSB to the smartphone
Weight 318g
Input Touchpad, Back Button, Volume Key, Focus adjustment wheel
Size 201.9 x 116.4 x 92.6 mm


Samsung Gear VR is a Virtual Reality head-mounted display developed by Samsung and Oculus VR. Succeeding the Gear VR Innovator Edition, Samsung Gear VR is Oculus Rift (Platform)'s first consumer mobile device and the 2nd device in the Gear VR series. To use Gear VR, users need to mount a 2015 or newer Samsung Smartphone inside it. The smartphone serves not only as Gear VR's screen but also as its computer. Unlike other mobile HMDs, Gear VR does not solely rely on the smartphone's IMUs for tracking. It has additional IMUs and Oculus' rotational tracking technology built within, allowing for fast and accurate tracking of the user's head movements. While impressive, the current Gear VR does not possess positional tracking.

Announced during Oculus Connect 2, Samsung Gear VR was released in November 20, 2015 for $99. Users who pre-order Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will receive the HMD for free.


Gear VR works with 2015 or newer Samsung smartphones such as Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5. All phones must be running Android Lollipop 5.0.1 and newer to work with the headset.

Comparing to other mobile HMDs:

Gear VR has high quality lenses for better viewing quality and a touchpad for input. It also does not rely on the smartphone's IMUs for head tracking. Gear VR has IMUs built within, allowing for fast and accurate rotational tracking.

Comparing to Innovator Edition:

The design of Gear VR is less bulky and more streamlined than its predecessor. By replacing some plastic parts for webbing and mesh, Gear VR is 22% lighter than the Innovator Edition. A soft layer of microfleece is added where the HMD meets the user's face. The touchpad on the side the HMD now has small grooves that guide the user's fingers in the 4 directions.


Head-Mounted Display

Part Spec
Field of View 96° (nominal)
Dimensions 201.9 x 116.4 x 92.6 mm
Weight 318g
Interpupillary Distance 55-71 mm????
Sensors Accelerator, Gyrometer, Proximity
Tracking 3 degrees of freedom (rotational)
Update Rate Rotational Tracking: 1000 Hz, high accuracy
Latency Motion to Photon Latency: Less than 20ms
Focal Adjustment Covers Nearsighted / Farsighted Eyes
Input Touchpad, Back Button, Volume Key, Focus adjustment wheel
Connectivity microUSB connection to the Smartphone


Spec S6 S6 edge S6 edge+ Note 5
Display size 5.1" 5.1" 5.7" 5.7"
Resolution 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440
Pixel density 577 PPI 577 PPI 518 PPI 518 PPI
Screen shape Flat Curved Curved Flat
Storage 32/64/128 GB 32/64/128 GB 32/64 GB 32/64 GB
Battery 2550 mAh 2600 mAh 3000 mAh 3000 mAh
Weight 138 g 132 g 153 g 171 g
  • Note that all 5 phones have identical CPU and GPU.


Samsung Gear VR Controller


VR Apps from Oculus Store

To use Google Cardboard apps, users must install CB Enabler for Gear VR[1].

Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Photos, Oculus 360 Videos and VR Gallery.

TheBluVR, Milk VR


Oculus Mobile SDK

Oculus Mobile SDK is initially developed for Gear VR.


September 24, 2015: Samsung Gear VR CV1 is announced during Oculus Connect 2.

November 20, 2015: Samsung Gear VR CV1 was released for $99.

January 30, 2016: Video capture function is added to Gear VR SDK.

Feburary 21, 2016: During Android World, Samsung announced that users will receive a free Samsung Gear VR for each pre-order of Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone.

May 11, 2016: Oculus VR announced that Gear VR has reached over 1 million monthly users in April 2016 and over 250 apps in the Oculus Home for Gear VR.[2]

January 4, 2017: Samsung announced that 5 million Gear VR headsets are sold to date.

May 10, 2017: Samsung sold 782,000 units of Gear VR in Q1 2017[3].