Samsung’s Gear VR has started a mobile virtual reality revolution over the past couple of years. In 2014, Samsung released the Innovator Edition of the Gear VR before releasing the first commercial version in 2015. The headset has fascinated many, but it has also received some mixed reviews.
The Verge gave the device an overall positive review but noted some not-so-minor problems.
“The quality of the image was abysmal when streaming. It improved once I downloaded the videos, but still looked like a 720p YouTube clip at best… Like almost all mobile VR headsets, this one is low resolution enough to have a slight ‘screen door’ effect.
The reviewer, Ben Popper, noted that he often noticed the edges of the lenses and, like others, saw bits of light coming from outside or reflecting brightly off the lenses. He thought things like this prevented the Gear VR from being totally immersive.
Perhaps Samsung is going to right the wrongs of the previous Gear VR headset by releasing a new one to go along with the upcoming Galaxy Note 7. Phone Arena has the news.
“But just a couple days back, India’s import/export database registered Samsung importing some new test hardware to the nation, with the model number SM-R323. One of the database entries even identifies SM-R323 as the Gear VR by name, and as we’ve yet to see any existing version of the handset pick up this model number, it’s not a huge jump to assume we might be looking at a new Gear VR for the Galaxy Note 7.”
The article adds that the new Gear VR could have a new kind of Bluetooth connectivity that may be for controllers. It most likely can’t be for the screen since the Gear VR requires the Samsung screen in the device to work. Commenters after the article expressed their hopes for the new device.
“My Gear VR always seems slightly out of focus… Hope the next iteration is better,” says Mreveryphone.
“Hoping for bigger fov, and better compatibility, with other stuff, allow pass-through of USB, so it can be connected directly to computer and such, letting computer drive stuff for low/mid end VR,” expresses Xondx.
Still, a lot of Twitter users love their current Gear VR virtual reality headsets.
I freaking love my Samsung Gear VR. The best part so far has been the concerts. Sia and @Alabama_Shakes were amazing— Tony Runnels (@TonyLRothschild) June 25, 2016
I love my Gear VR. I was able to talk to someone in the Netherlands today whilst watching other people play Holograms Against Humanity.— Meryl Vixenburgh (@Otacon918) June 29, 2016
A couple of months back, Variety stated that Samsung may release a Gear VR that doesn’t require a smartphone. They said that Samsung’s virtual reality plans go beyond the company’s current VR headset. Samsung is working on a standalone virtual reality headset that will include positional tracking similar to that available on higher-end headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
The HTC Vive, in particular, has taken a lot of hype away from the Gear VR, as many believe it offers a “real” virtual reality experience. TechRadar gave the HTC Vive five stars.
“Describing what it’s like to use virtual reality of this caliber is an almost impossible job. It’s like describing video games to someone who’s never played them before or a symphony performance to someone who has never been to a concert. It’s possible, yes, but the words you use will pale in comparison to the experience of actually trying it for yourself,” says reviewer Nick Pino.
We will know more about Samsung’s new plans for the Gear VR next month when they announce the new Galaxy Note 7. Do you have the current version of the Gear VR or any other virtual reality headset? Tell us about your virtual experiences in the comments section.
[Image via Daryl Deino]