Virtual reality

Your connection between real and virtual world

Samsung Gear VR: the best VR for mobilephones on the market

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Samsung Gear VR is one of the best and cheapest ways to experience virtual reality if you own a smartphone. And since you can now pair it with a motion controller, it seems a lot more impressive.

The latest Samsung Gear VR for 2018 highlights a simplified, slightly improved design and features a USB-C connector that connects directly to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. However, the big advantage here is the included wireless controller in the box.

It’s a small remote that looks similar to the HTC Vive controller, an elevated touchpad, a powerful trigger and everything else. And, while they may not get points for originality, it just works. Mounted in the right or left hand, this controller is easy to pair with your phone, and the motion controls add a new level of interactivity that was missing from the Gear VR package.

What is Samsung Gear VR?

Samsung Gear VR, a virtual reality hedset created by Samsung, requires a smartphone to work. The product is only compatible with Samsung phones. However, this is not a problem for Google DaydreamView VR hedsets. It can be used with any smartphone that meets Google’s minimum specifications.

The first version of Gear VR was released alongside the Samsung Galaxy S7. Customers who bought a mobile phone before launch get Gear VR for free. However, the latest upgrade comes with the Samsung Galaxy S8. The new model is more elegant and comfortable than the previous one. Oculus, VR suppliers, made Gear VR. All games can be found in oculus store.


Samsung phones compatible with Samsung VR include Galaxy S9, S9+ Note8, Note8, S8+ S7, S7 Edge, Note5, S6 Edge+, S6 edge+ S6 edge, S6 edge, S8, A8+. Samsung’s Galaxy VR is one of the most popular virtual reality hedsets on the market. But how does it stand in relation to the competition?

Design and comfort

Despite several updates over the years, Gear VR hasn’t changed much in terms of design. The foam lining hedset comes with a set of Velcro straps to help you fit your head perfectly. There is also the possibility of removing/replacing the underlying if it gets too dirty or wears out.

The appearance of the new compared to the old Samsung Gear VR is not night and day, although it has lost about 110 grams in weight. Compared to the sleek, smaller Google Daydream View, it’s still pretty monstrous, but its size advantage brings unique advantages over Google’s hedsets that fit everyone. For one thing, the inner optics can be adjusted using a dial mounted on top to make it easier for your eyes to see the image. Google’s hedsets come in a fixed position and it may take extra effort to see a clear image. Light retention is something the Gear VR has always been good at and the new model is no exception. A welcome area of improvement is the breathability of the hedset. On the first iteration, things would steam after a few minutes of use, making the lenses blurred like a mirror after a hot shower. But by adding a few more air vents under the eyes, blurring is no longer a problem.

Unlike other devices that have their own built-in display to offer, the Gear VR works with a Galaxy or Note phone from Samsung, which is mounted on the front and connected to the hedset. On the side there is a touchpad, as well as buttons for home and back to navigate through your phone system. You can also use the focus wheel on the front of the hedset to meet the requirements of your vision.

Samsung Gear VR is spacious and relatively comfortable, fits well over glasses and reduces some of the heat associated with similar hedsets. The latest Gear VR is a bit larger than the original, measuring 12 x 2 x 9.9 cm and a weight of 345 g (not including your phone) compared to 318 g, but those extra few grams won’t make a noticeable difference when wearing it.

The pads around your eyes are now much thicker and have more support, allowing you to use Gear VR for extended periods of time without feeling uncomfortable. Blocking outdoor light is just as effective as the Samsung Gear VR released in 2017, ensuring that your session won’t be interrupted by any unwanted sunbeam. Samsung has upgraded the plug-and-play port on the hedset to USB-C so you can charge your phone while using Gear VR. This can be exchanged for the old microUSB, which allows compatibility with much older Samsung models. The layout of the buttons on the hedset has been slightly replaced to match the mapping of the buttons on the controller, which I’ll turn to next time.


The highlight of the hedset is a small controller powered by two AAA batteries. It also has a volume button and a round touchpad. One trigger is located on the back of the hedset. This is handy for first-person shooters, as several games offer controller compatibility. They work the way you’d expect from the games you played on Google Daydream or Nintendo Wii. To select, shoot, or grab objects in virtual reality, you can use a controller to target the world. Samsung’s controller works and feels comparable to other experiences.

The controller itself easily fits in the right or left hand and has a touch pad, a large button, trigger and buttons for the home page, return and volume. It is powered by two AAA batteries that Samsung says will last 40 days of use. It can detect a slope, but not free movement in space. Using Gear VR is still a simple experience, unlike the HTC Vive ($131.03 on Amazon) (Opens in a new window) or Qualcomm’s standalone Snapdragon 835 VR platform.

At 36 grams, the 10.6 x 4.5 x 3.8-centimeter controller is light weight but significant, and it owes its weight mainly to a pair of AAA batteries that power the Bluetooth peripherals. The touchpad is fast and accurate, making it easy to navigate Facebook or destroy zombies. The rear trigger allowed for a nice kickback, as did the touchpad and front buttons.

The bonus factor of the controller is that it is ambidextric, which means that, whether you are left-handed or right-handed, you will be able to use it without problems.


Since Samsung Gear VR uses your phone as a display, visuals and screen quality depend on which phone you have. If you’re using the S9 from Samsung, for example, you’ll enjoy Quad HD technology and exceptional resolution, as well as an AMOLED display. There is very little concern about ghosts or blurring with this device, but as mentioned, visual performance varies depending on the device you have.

A 101-degree field of view follows your head as you move, and there are some grainy pixels that are seen from time to time. Another thing to note is that while the visual appearance can be pretty good depending on the phone you choose, phone performance can sometimes be problematic. Remember that your smartphone doesn’t always have the same processing power as a full computer. The device will often warm up quite a bit after just a short use, so be careful.

Ease of use

Among other more complicated VR headsets, Samsung Gear stands out as one of the most affordable for beginners. While at first it seems a little odd to put your smartphone in front of your eyes, gear quickly delivers an impressive experience that helps you forget about it all. When you first connect your device to Gear VR, you will be prompted to install the Oculus app to use, which will sync with all the accounts you have on your COMPUTER.

Recently, the Oculus controller has been turned on to transform the Gear VR experience, which is a handy alternative to controlling everything using the hedset itself. The handheld is available as a standalone product if you already have a Samsung Gear VR headset.

Setting up and saving your VR system is a relatively easy experience with Samsung Gear VR. There is a lot of information that will walk you through the installation process and make sure that everything fits right. However, the process of calibrating everything takes a little time. On the plus side, you’ll be able to charge your phone while using it.


If you’re a newcomer to virtual reality, Gear VR is an affordable option to try. It won’t compete with a PC or standalone VR hedsets, but if you already own a Samsung Galaxy, then it’s a pretty good choice. The choice of content continues to grow, and is also easy to use once it’s set up. The fact that there is a controller now means that it is much easier to play games as well. However, if you don’t already own a Galaxy smartphone, then it’s probably not the best choice given that it won’t be compatible with your existing phone.

If you’re buying a new phone, then with a new Galaxy it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a hedset. It costs nothing and you don’t need any existing computer accessories with it.