Sam­sung Gear VR for Galaxy Note7

Jim Martin looks at Sam­sung’s up­com­ing VR head­set

Android Advisor - - Contents -

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.

Re­lease date

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.

Price

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.

Fea­tures

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+.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

207.8x122.5x98.6mm 345g (312g without Front Cover) 101-de­gree field of view Ac­cel­er­a­tor, Gy­rom­e­ter, Prox­im­ity USB Type-C Mi­cro-USB

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