The new Samsung Gear VR was announced alongside new phablet, the Note 7. It’s not the massive upgrade we want, but it’s here for now.
Samsung only briefly mentioned the new Gear VR at the Galaxy Note 7’s unveiling in London. To be fair if it got more than 30 seconds of stage time, eyes would have started to glaze over. The slightly upgraded Samsung Gear VR doesn’t have that upgraded resolution that we crave, that’s because the Note 7 uses the same QHD panel as the S7 Edge. You’ll have to wait for Samsung’s next generation of devices for the resolution bump.
Instead we get a new Gear VR, compatible with USB-C compatibility, increased field-of-view and lighter. The USB-C pin is modular, you’re able to swap it out for a micro USB pin, included with the new Gear VR. This is good news for those of you who picked up an S7 Edge, but want that wider field-of-view. Being modular, the adapter isn’t a flimsy mess that’d break after the 500th time you use it. If the Note 7 wasn’t evidence enough, the new Gear VR shows how Samsung are now ready to embrace USB-C. With the leading Android manufacturer in the USB-C club, we can expect others to follow in droves.
But what’s the advantage of USB-C you may ask? With micro USB you could keep your device charged if plugged in during use, with USB-C data can also be transferred over. This opens up the possibility of peripherals being created, maybe a HTC Vive style stick controller? Gaming would be more viable on the mobile VR platform.
Samsung Gear VR 1.1
You’re probably thinking they made it darker because white attracts dirt marks quick. On the contrary Samsung has made it black/blue as whit interfered with immersion by reflecting light. Adding to the immersion is the 101 degree filed-of-view, upgraded from 96 degrees. It doesn’t feel like a massive upgrade when we tried it on, will definitely need the older version for comparison.
A new dedicated home button is now included above the smoothed out trackpad, this will give the back button much needed respite from your energetic finger.
The Samsung Gear VR will begin shipping August 19th for £80 ($99), and will come free for those that pre-order a Galaxy Note 7 before the 30th of August (with certain networks).
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