Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy Note7
Jim Martin looks at Samsung’s upcoming VR headset
The focus might be on the new Galaxy Note7 but Samsung also announced a new Gear VR headset to go along with it. Here’s what you need to know about the new virtual reality gadget, when you can get one and how much it will cost.
The Gear VR ships late August if you live in the US, but those in the UK will have to wait until at least September. The earliest you can get a Note7 in the UK is 2 September, and although there’s no confirmed UK release date for the new Gear VR, Samsung has already confirmed that some preorders of the Note7 will come with a free headset, so it’s safe to assume that 2 September is the UK release date for the Gear VR too.
Again, the US price is already confirmed at $99, and you can pre-order it through Samsung’s website (samsung.com).
In the UK, the 2015 version of the headset is the only model you can buy, and it costs £80 from Samsung’s website (samsung.com/uk).
Considering the 2015 Gear VR cost $99 – the same as the 2016 version – it’s likely that the price will also remain at £80 inc VAT. However, due to the recent change in exchange rate, it’s possible Samsung will put the price up to £89.99. We’re waiting for confirmation on this.
The revised version has a fair few updates and tweaks. First, and most obvious, is the all-black design (which is really more very-dark-blue than black). The inside is also blacked out, in response to owners of the old version which said the white interior reflected light and ruined the immersion.
Second is the USB-C port. There are two: one which connects to the Note7, and another on the bottom which is for developers to use in the future. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it’s possible you’ll be able to plug in a game pad, charge your phone or even connect some motion controllers.
On the side, the previously sculpted direction pad is now a flat surface, but there’s an additional ‘Home’ button which takes you back to the Gear VR main menu – it sits next to the back button which, on the old model, you could hold down to achieve the same thing.
Other tweaks include thicker face padding and an increased field of view, from 96- to 101 degrees. These are minor changes, but definite improvements on the previous version.
Note that the phone connection is modular, and Samsung bundles a Micro-USB connector which can be swapped in instead of the USB C, and this makes the Gear VR compatible with the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S6 edge+.
207.8x122.5x98.6mm 345g (312g without Front Cover) 101-degree field of view Accelerator, Gyrometer, Proximity USB Type-C Micro-USB