Samsung’s Gear VR has been the talk of the town from a long time now. The users who want to have a bite of the Virtual Reality Experience are finding it quite helpful. After several years of hypes, leaks, rumors, render and specifications the VR headset has finally made its place in the market.
Samsung Gear VR is limited in its functionalities and software front. But it is the best Virtual device for all the newbie who want to experience the world of motion. The device is not for the regular VR geeks, but it will offer you a really fun experience with head full of Virtual motion.
Here’s the full review and do tell us about your VR experience too;
- A very suitable price
- Lightweight, Easy to handle
- Conveniently accessible
- A wide range of eye-catching visuals
- The Games and offerings are worth all the hype
- Faces overheating issues
- Extremely limited functionality and software library
- Only works with Samsung’s latest devices
- No integrated audio
A COMPLETE REVIEW
Samsung Gear VR, as we mentioned above, is worth the hype. While, the functionalities and software are limited there is a completely new experience to the world of motion. But, spending $100 to get this headset and more than $700 to get a compatible Galaxy device seems like a lot of money.
But, for this, we have reviewed the device and provided you with all the details of this headset. Read and decide if you want to buy it or not.
Get An Entry To Whole New World
Samsung Gear VR is a collaborative venture between Oculus Rift and the Gear VR. The headset is considered as the first headset ever accessible for normal users, other than the developers and designers.
Gear VR offers you a really wide world of content and fun. You can have games, movies, videos, educational apps, virtual tours and live events etc are strapped to your eyes. The users can also use the concept feature through which they can easily find experimental apps and games. The apps are all available on the Oculus Store and the good consumer experience entirely depends upon them.
Hands-On The Design
No matter if you are a fan of VR tech or not; you cannot ignore this device. The slick and glossy appearance makes you fall in love with it on the first sight. The frost white and matte black plastic frame is also worth drooling over. The headset will be affixed on your face with the help of a pair of black stretchy bands. The bands are kept into place with the help of Velcro.
The other part which is fitted over the top of your face has a soft gray material that is easily removable. The new VR Edition also has a focus wheel on the top. The wheel is situated at the center and helps you to control the function of biconvex lenses. There is also a touch panel and back button that will help you navigate your functions through the Virtual Experience.
For the charging, there is a miniUSB charging port on the bottom right that will be connected to your Smartphone. You can also connect it on charging while enjoying some game or movie. To keep your device cool, there is a pair of black ventilation slots that will help you to keep your phone cool while you are using the headset. The ventilation vents are larger than the previous edition, so they somewhat tackle the overheating issue. But the same problem is also persistent on the new VR headset.
The Galaxy Smartphone will connect through separate built-in compartment that is situated at the front of the VR. As soon as you place your device, it will securely be adjusted. And for swimming into the VR world, the only thing left is to attach the glossy matte plastic plate with your phone and then you are done.
The only problem that is faced when critiquing on a design is that the headset has all the modern features but no built-in audio. You would have to insert headphones or hand free to enjoy the audio experience. If you don’t have both, then, pathetically you would have to rely on you Samsung device which has equal pathetic audio.
Also, the headset entirely covers your eyes and you totally become oblivious to your surroundings, so it is not a public device. But, obviously you won’t make a fool out of yourself by using it in any place other than your home. Right?
Feels Right At Home
Samsung when patented the idea, claimed that the VR headset won’t be unwieldy or clumsy. Unlike many others, Samsung fulfilled this promise. The elder sibling of the device was equal to 14.2 ounces while the current rendition is weighs 6.9 ounces.
You definitely would feel the softness and lightness when you will wear the device for long period. The Samsung was also quite creative while designing this headset. Thus, keeping in mind that most of the girls have long hairs, you can unfasten the strap and place all your hairs comfortably. After that, place the strap a little tighter so the headset won’t feel loose.
To ensure the comfort, there is also a plush which is a fabric-cloaked padded lining to be placed on face. The padding is what allows being comfortable and wearing the VR headset for hours. As soon as you start the device, the lenses will start displaying the content. But, at -degree field of view at 2560 x 1440p you will be able to view it properly.
Also, those who have problems due to the motion sickness, than you can face nausea while playing some selective games. You stomach would be all gooey and jumpy, but that is what you will have to cope if you want to use the VR properly. This is the one place where we can’t blame the Samsung Gear VR.
Games, Apps and Beyond….
The hardware of the Gear VR is no doubt subtly and near to perfectly designed. But, the hardware can never function well without the software. Samsung, Oculus and other contributing developers to the Virtual world have created a complete app centre. You can educate, entertain, enjoy and connect to the fellow Virtual-ers in a very fun way.
The store can be totally free or purchase up to maximum of $14.99. The Oculus store contains the hundreds of apps relating to different niches and genres. From what we observed, there are some very entertaining apps that are hard to resist. For instance, on the educational platform you have The Body, which shows you all the aspects of the human circulatory system. Similarly, BluVR app takes you to observe the completely arrogant and mysteriously beautiful Blue Whale. On the games front, if you love experiencing dread and horror in a realistic way, what would be best than the Dreadhalls.
Tilt you head right and you go right, sway you head and oops you are flying. Hence, each direction you move the game will move along with you too. There are number of different games like Asper, Herobound, Anshar Wars 2, Ikarus, Proton Pulse, and Darknet etc. These games will make you feel like that you are live playing. On the game front, seriously there could be nothing better than the VR.
However, there are very limited options to choose from. At the moment, there are not many games available on the store, out of which some would make you outright queasy. Samsung has announced to launch a compatible store soon. Let’s wait till then.
The Not So Social VR has Interesting Social App
The people who were against the notion of Virtual Reality had offered some ideas that the VR will be the end of human experience and social gatherings. Well, now it seems that Oculus and Samsung won’t allow anyone to point any finger on them. Oculus has unveiled its Social App.
The beta software of the new app allows you to virtually connect with five friends of fellow VR users in a lounge and watch movies etc together. You can also chat on the virtual lounge. The options of the app are limited for the time being. It only allows users to watch or stream videos from Twitch or Vimeo.
The whole chatting and befriending option is quite easy. You will have to choose an Avatar and scroll through the available lounges. Whichever chat room you like, pick it up. After making your choice, you are taken to a room which has a complete theatrical look, large screen comfy couches etc. This is the standard lounge room, but different rooms depend upon the choice of the owners. You can have an open terrace theater, you can also sit among the stars and watch the moon shaped theater screen.
The avatars will be shown to you through the floating heads of the users who are a part of the chat room. The process to chat is bit confusing, but you can chat if your headphones have an integrated mic.
Searching Has Never Been Easier
Long gone are the days when you had to rely on your laptop for every single thing. By using Virtual Reality all by yourself, you can find latest news, videos, recipe of your favorite dish etc. Recently, it is presented in the Web Browser as a streamlined version.
The default search engine is Google. You can also switch to Yahoo or Bing through changing the settings. Choose the link and scroll the touchpad, simply tap on the headline you wish to read. You can also chose options like Home, Back, Refresh, Forward, Zoo, Bookmarks, Tabs and Voice Search.
There is this one thing, that through the touchpad option several of the tabs would open at once. Samsung Internet leaves them all open. You can choose whatever page you like read it and then cross-check it with some other page. But, the same easiness gets irritating after a while.
Kids, Kids, Everywhere
The app is kid friendly. You won’t have to worry after you have handed your VR headset to your kid. There is hardly any app that does not have PG-13+ imprinted on the top. As different critics and analysts are constantly highlighting the effects of VR on youngsters, the developers are also very keen to make it no problem at all.
Another important aspect here is that there are two different level of each game choosing. The comfortable for most and comfortable of some assures you that what kind of app would be better for your children. The apps which do not require much movement like Bazaar and Netflix are comfortable for most rated. On the other hands, the intense apps like BluVR or the games like Dreadhalls falls under the comfortable for some category.
To go through the safe and protected VR experience, it is recommended that the Gear VR should have an average frame rate of 60 fps. Otherwise, there are ugly textures and frame rates that will make you face nausea.
The overheating has been the main issue which has made this app falls down in the ratings category. The overheating not only slows the VR performance, apart from heating it, but the sensitive people can also face nausea issues.
To prevent the problem of causing you some damage, the screen of the headset fades to black. It means that you have now an option to thing before you proceed. For this time, it is highly recommended to give your family some little time.
The Samsung Gear VR also has the problems of its compatibility. The headset, for most of the time, relies on your Smartphone for processor, display and the most urging feature; battery. The proper Virtual content consumes more energy and power than the normal surfing or watching videos.
Experiencing the VR will definitely take a toll on your device. It is recommended that you put your mobile into an Airplane mode and use Wi-Fi to help light some weight on battery. Still, there would be about 45-50% drop in battery rate is just 45-50 minutes.
The Samsung Gear VR has finally started to incorporate itself among masses. If you have or plan to buy Samsung’s latest high-tech phone, then buying the VR too won’t be a bad choice. The price of the VR is affordable, and according to me it is the best priced VR headset.
The Gear VR delivers you an enjoying experience along with giving you an entry to world of apps, games, education program and more influential experiences. However, there are some issues of facing nausea and the popular over-heating problem. This must be kept in mind that this is still the early stage of VR content. There are several problems which need to be addressed immediately.
The lack of built-in audio and a 360-degree soundscape immersion are one of the issues which should be resolved soon. The mainstream gamepad should also be swiped with some other graceful, modern and elegant device like a traditional gamepad etc.
The Samsung VR has the golden opportunity to roll itself into the masses before the more advance Oculus Rift makes itself public. The Gear VR provides you an immersive and enjoying experience. The VR is must have for all the tech geeks and will provide you with good experience. For me, using the VR headset is must have for everybody, at least once.