The new and improved Gear VR
Samsung has unveiled a second generation of the Gear VR headset, recycling the original name. And we’ve got our hands on one to try it out.
Most noticeably, it’s a different colour. The frosty white is gone, being replaced with a dark blue and black scheme. There’s also a dedicated ‘home’ button now, so you don’t have to hold the ‘back’ button to return to Oculus’ main menu.
On the inside, the lenses have been made slightly larger, giving you a wider field of view, and the SDE (screen door effect) has been reduced. The SDE is what you experience if you get really close to a device’s display, showing the fine lines between the individual pixels. With this upgrade, you should be able to enjoy a more immersive experience.
When it comes to wearing the headset, it’s all very familiar. The straps fasten around your face and over your eyes in the same way as they did before, and the buttons are all in the same place.
The other big news is that the headset is compatible with both USB Type-C and micro USB, meaning it’ll work with any future handsets featuring the new USB technology.
What is the Oculus-driven VR headset without its mesmerising apps? Check out a few of our favourites to get you started…
The Night Café
This app will wow any art history buff, providing a view of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works like never before. The 3D environment you’ll find yourself in is completely made up of the Dutch painter’s brushstrokes, eventually bringing you face to face with the man himself.
Unfortunately everything on Netflix wasn’t filmed on 360-degree cameras in the hope that one day you’d buy a VR headset and tune in. But you can enjoy a viewing experience with a difference.
The Netflix app transports you to a lavish ski lodge, where you can kick back on a plush sofa in front of a giant TV. It sounds odd, but it’s quite easy to forget about the real world once you get stuck into the film.
You may have heard about EVE: Valkyrie, the intergalactic shoot ‘em up that’s making headlines on Oculus Rift. And if so, you’ll have probably heard how awesome it is.
Unfortunately it’s not available for Gear VR. But, EVE: Gunjack is - and it too is pretty awesome. The objective is simple. Jump into your gunship and defend the mining platform from anything that moves.
It may seem nonsensical to have come this far in the gaming world, only to regress to Pac-Man - but they’re called 'the classics' for a reason. Oculus Arcade lets you dive back into 21 timeless games on an old school upright machine. Top titles include Sonic the Hedgehog (1, 2, and Spinball), Streets of Rage and Galaga.
To be the first to get your hands on the new Gear VR headset, pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note7 here and receive it as a welcome gift.