Samsung Gear VR w/Controller Headset Review

January 17, 2018
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Samsung Gear VR Controller Headset Review

The Samsung Gear VR headset is hands down the best virtual reality headset for Android smartphones. Now that it’s paired with a motion controller, gamers have every reason to give it a try.

The Gear VR headset features a streamlined design and a USB-C connector that plugs directly into your smartphone. However, the wireless controller seems to be the big draw here.

The Newest Wave in Mobile VR Gameplay

Basically, the type of gaming experience you’ll enjoy with this headset can heavily depend on what type of smartphone you have. However, the headset works well even with older Samsung models, but the Galaxy 8 will see a jump in sales thanks to its wider screen.

The latest version of Samsung’s headset uses the same one hundred and one-degree viewing angle. In terms of visual quality, it’s about the same as what you’ll get from the PS4VR. The darker tint in the lenses works to significantly reduce reflections and glare.

While the headset is far from perfect it’s one of the leading mobile models around and for plenty of good reasons.

The headset’s controller consists of a small remote that has a design that’s similar to the Vive controller. The controller adds a new level of immersion and can be easily paired with a smartphone.

A more affordable option than the PlayStation 4 VR headset, the Gear VR gives gamers a true taste of the virtual reality world, and it’s the best VR headset offered at a more affordable price. The headset is also much lighter, and it’s also compatible with older models of Samsung phones.

The updated version of the Gear VR isn’t drastic, although it now sports a lighter frame. However, compared to other mobile VR headsets it’s a little on the bulky side. Yet, its larger size does have its advantages.

To start, the optics can be easily adjusted using the dial located on the top of the headset. Other mobile VR headsets typically feature optics that are fixed, which can make it difficult for some gamers to see clearly.

Just like the last version of the Gear VR, this updated model does a fine job of keeping the light out. Improved breathability is another reason to purchase this newer version. With the past model, the lenses tended to steam up rather quickly. The manufacturer paid attention to this issue and solved the problem by adding more air vents located directly under the eyes.

Upgraded Mobile VR Gameplay

Additionally, we found the headset more comfortable to wear. The cushion located around the eyes is thicker, offering better support.

The location of the port and buttons remain the same, however, there were some tweaks made. The touchpad on the headset now has a home button, so it matches the controller’s layout. The home button can be used to take the gamer directly out of a game, quickly.

If you used the past Gear VR headset, then the controls will be easy to adjust to, but beginners may not find the controls very intuitive.

Another change is the USB-C port which takes the place of the past Micro USB port located on the bottom of the original model. The manufacturer markets it as a multifunction port, which gives us the impression that Samsung will soon be coming out with new accessories designed to expand the headset’s control capabilities.

The biggest omission here is a pair of headphones, but that’s not a surprise considering the lower price of the headset.

The lenses really set this headset apart from competing models. While other headsets in this price range usually stick with the basic curved lenses, the lenses on the Gear VR provide a generous ninety-five-degree diagonal field of view. While this isn’t quite as wide as what you’ll get from a top of the line tethered headset, it’s wide enough that gamers won’t feel as though their field of view is too limited.

Inside the headset is a small sensor that will detect whether or not a face has been placed inside the viewfinder. If the sensor doesn’t detect a face it will automatically shut the headset off. This is a great power-saving feature, especially for those gamers who are often guilty of forgetting to switch their headset off.

Motion Control in the Palm of Your Hand

The new compact controller steals the show with its dark aesthetic that complements the headset nicely. It’s powered by three AAA batteries and comes equipped with a circular touchpad, volume rocker, and home button. Located on the back of the controller is a trigger that’s perfect for use in first-person shooter games.

Pros

  • The new controller will encourage gamers to give mobile VR play a try.
  • The lightweight design and additional padding make this headset more comfortable to use.
  • The added vents solve the huge foggy lens issue that plagued the past version of the Gear VR headset.
  • Controls are easy to use and intuitive.
  • We love the fact that the headset is also compatible with older Samsung smartphones.
  • The trigger on the controller allows gamers to now play first-person shooter games on a mobile VR headset, which is a huge bonus.

Cons

Currently, the number of apps that support the controller is very limited.

The headset works with only eight Samsung smartphone models.

Gamers interested in a more versatile mobile headset should take a closer look at the Zeiss VR One Plus Virtual Reality Headset.

The Samsung Gear VR headset is hands down the best virtual reality headset for Android smartphones. Now that it’s paired with a motion controller, gamers have every reason to give it a try. The Gear VR headset features a streamlined design and a USB-C connector that plugs directly into your smartphone. However, the wireless controller seems to be the big draw here. The Newest Wave in Mobile VR Gameplay Basically, the type of gaming experience you’ll enjoy with this headset can heavily depend on what type of smartphone you have. However, the headset works well even with older Samsung models, but the Galaxy 8 will see a jump in sales thanks to its wider screen. The latest version of Samsung’s headset uses the same one hundred and one-degree viewing angle. In terms of visual quality, it’s about the same as what you’ll get from the PS4VR. The darker tint in the lenses works to significantly reduce reflections and glare. While the headset is far from perfect it’s one of the leading mobile models around and for plenty of good reasons. The headset’s controller consists of a small remote that has a design that’s similar to the Vive controller. The controller adds a new level of immersion and can be easily paired with a smartphone. A more affordable option than the PlayStation 4 VR headset, the Gear VR gives gamers a true taste of the virtual reality world, and it’s the best VR headset offered at a more affordable price. The headset is also much lighter, and it’s also compatible with older models of Samsung phones. The updated version of the Gear VR isn’t drastic, although it now sports a lighter frame. However, compared to other mobile VR headsets it’s a little on the bulky side. Yet, its larger size does have its advantages. To start, the optics can be easily adjusted using the dial located on the top of the headset. Other mobile VR headsets typically feature optics that are fixed, which can make it difficult for some gamers to see clearly. Just like the last version of the Gear VR, this updated model does a fine job of keeping the light out. Improved breathability is another reason to purchase this newer version. With the past model, the lenses tended to steam up rather quickly. The manufacturer paid attention to this issue and solved the problem by adding more air vents located directly under the eyes. Upgraded Mobile VR Gameplay Additionally, we found the headset more comfortable to wear. The cushion located around the eyes is thicker, offering better support. The location of the port and buttons remain the same, however, there were some tweaks made. The touchpad on the headset now has a home button, so it matches the controller’s layout. The home button can be used to take the gamer directly out of a game, quickly. If you used the past Gear VR headset, then the controls will be easy to adjust to, but beginners may…

9.3

Conclusion & Rating

If you own a newer Samsung smartphone, such as the Galaxy 8, then you’ll get the most out of this headset. The addition of the motion controller has added a new layer of depth to mobile VR gameplay that you won’t get from competing models, and it really helps in terms of expanding the types of titles you can enjoy with this headset. While at times movement tends to feel a little limited, this is pretty much the norm with most mobile VR headsets. We would recommend the Gear VR to anyone interested in exploring mobile VR with game genres to choose from. We gave this headset a rating of four and a half out of five stars.

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VReality Reviews Score
9

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