Samsung Gear VR (2017)

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Samsung Gear VR (2017)
Samsung Gear VR (2017).jpg
Information
VR/AR VR
Type HMD
Developer Samsung and Oculus VR
Versions 2017
Requires Controller
Predecessor Samsung Gear VR 2015/2016
Field of View 101 degrees
Tracking Sampling rate 1000Hz
Sensors Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
Input Home Key, Back Key, Touchpad, Volume Keys
Connectivity Micro-USB, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
Weight 345 gms
Size 207.8 x 122.5 x 98.6 mm
Release Date 2017
Price $129
Website http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-vr/


Introduction

Samsung Gear VR (2017) is a virtual reality HMD jointly developed by Samsung and Oculus VR. The latest, third edition of Samsung Gear VR, succeeds the Innovator Edition of 2014 and a subsequently updated edition of 2015/2016. The new Samsung Gear VR is the third device in the Gear VR series and the second consumer mobile device of the Oculus Rift (Platform).

The new Gear VR with the controller was launched along with new Samsung smartphones – Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The new head-mounted display device comes free with every pre-order of the latest Galaxy S8 phones. Orders for the new phones can be placed from anywhere around the world. After the new Galaxy Series phones are out, the new virtual reality headset can be purchased for $129.

Hardware

In terms of design, not much has changed, the headset exterior is hard plastic and the interior is cushioned to ensure comfort. The two noticeable design changes are the faceplate and the casing of the USB Type-C port. The previous model had matte faceplate; it has been replaced with a glossy one. The matte black of the USB port is replaced with a light gray casing.

In the new Gear VR HMD headset changes have been made to the phone case. Compared to the earlier versions the indented area of the phone case is slightly wider. Samsung S8 series and other compatible phones will fit in just fine.

The protective shield in front of the phone slot is missing, but the side locks that hold the phone in place are highly secure, allowing the user to use the headset without fear or worry. The soft cushion padding inside the VR headset adds comfort and coziness.

The controls, similar to the previous versions, are on top, right side, and underside of the headset. The distance between the display lenses and the phone can be adjusted using the turning wheel on the top. The back key, home key, volume controls, and the touchpad are situated on the right side of the device. Finally, the USB Type-C port that allows powering of the phone is on the underside of the headset.

Controller

Finally, Samsung has decided to get serious with its controller. The two biggest changes are the addition of the trigger button and the three degrees of freedom. The changes will drastically improve navigation and open up the doors to more compelling games.

The trigger button is cleverly placed at the front, where the index finger rests. Using the trigger button mimics the experience users get while shooting a real gun. The touchpad with its touch sensitive surface also functions as a press down button. The Gear VR Controller is powered by 2 AAA batteries, unlike the Google Daydream View Controller, which uses a rechargeable battery.

The new Samsung Gear VR headset comes with a slot, on the head strap, that can house the controller when it’s not used.

The Samsung controller is available independently of the headset. People who own the earlier version of the Gear VR headset can purchase the updated controller separately.

Setup

Positioning any Gear VR compatible phone in the headset triggers the launch of the Oculus Gear VR app. The app then guides the user to connect the headset to the controller. This is followed by a short how-to tutorial about the controller. Then the user is taken to the Oculus Home screen. All the content the user downloaded is displayed on the Oculus Home screen.

Compatibility

The new Samsung Gear VR works with Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge+. The VR headset also comes with two USB ports – Micro USB and USB Type-C. The Micro USB ensures that people using older phones don’t miss the opportunity to experience the latest Gear VR headset.

Content, Apps, and Games

Content, app, and game options that are compatible with the latest controller are few. But, the situation is changing fast. Consumers can soon expect new content, apps, and games that can take advantage of the new and updated controller.

It needs to be mentioned here that users can still use/play the older Gear VR apps and games with third party controllers or built-in gamepad. The only drawback is that they will miss the services of the motion controller.

Specifications

Samsung Gear VR Headset

Part Spec
Color Orchid Gray
Field of View (FOV) 101 degrees
Dimensions (in mm) 207.8 x 122.5 x 98.6
Weight 345 grams
Interpupilary Distance (IPD) 62 mm (fixed)
Eye Relief 10 mm
Head Tracking Sampling rate 1000Hz
Sensors Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
Input Home Key, Back Key, Touchpad, Volume Keys
Connectivity Micro-USB, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
Compatible Operating System Android Lollipop 5.0 or later
Compatible Phones Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge
Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge+

Controller

Part Spec
Color Black
Dimensions (in mm) 48.1 x 38.2 x 108.1
Weight 64.3 grams (including strap and battery)
Sensor Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetic
Indicator 3-color LED (1 each)
Input Trigger Key, Touchpad, Home Key, Back Key, Volume Keys
Battery 2 AAA Batteries (1000mAh)

References


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