Samsung has outed its new virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, and we’ve got our hands on one to give you a sneaky first look at this state of the art technology.
Virtual reality has been hitting the headlines over the last year thanks to a company called Oculus. It’s been creating a headset designed for virtual reality games and movies and has become so popular that Facebook recently bought it. And Oculus also happens to be the company that teamed up with Samsung to develop the Gear VR.
Unlike Oculus’s own Rift headset, the Samsung Gear VR doesn’t have a built in screen. Instead, you plug in a Galaxy Note 4 to power your virtual world. So the Gear VR is just made up of some adjustable, padded head straps and a mount for the phone.
It’s a combination that we think works really well thanks to the Note 4’s big Quad HD screen. It’s sharp enough that things look lifelike.
But the Gear VR does have a micro USB plug so it can talk to the Note 4. That’s because it has a built in touchpad, volume keys and back button so you can control the phone without needing to touch the screen.
And we really like the way everything worked. Its lenses focused the Note 4’s screen really well so we could see everything in 3D. And the focus wheel on top of the headset made it easy for people to adjust the effect for them.
Most impressive was how easily and quickly the Note 4 sensed our head movements so we could look around apps smoothly without any lag.
The Gear VR’s padded head straps are really comfortable too. Although one of the guys at the office has quite a big head and the Gear VR’s straps couldn’t be adjusted quite enough for it to be comfortable, so he got rid of the top strap.
Overall, we really like the Samsung Gear VR. It seems surprisingly simple and has fantastic potential from what we’ve seen. Holiday photos could transport your family to your favourite places on Earth. Movies could grip you more than ever. And games could be terrifyingly brilliant. We can’t wait to see what apps and games developers create once the final software is out there.