There’s a new Samsung Gear VR to play nice with Note 7

Chris Davies - Aug 2, 2016, 10:00am CDT
There’s a new Samsung Gear VR to play nice with Note 7

Samsung isn’t just launching a new phablet today, but introducing an updated version of its Gear VR virtual reality headset, complete with a new connector and a more immersive experience. The new Gear VR picks up where the existing, Oculus-powered model leaves off, with the Android smartphone docking in a bay at the front and lending its processing power and display to 360-degree photos and videos along with games and apps.

The changes are subtle but various. The color-scheme is obviously different, and though simply aesthetic for the most part, the darker interior portion around the lenses does address complaints of reflections in the previously white model.

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Samsung has increased the thickness of the face padding, and the straps are longer for more flexibility in how you wear the headset. The buttons have redesigned, with a dedicated Oculus store and library key, and a smoother trackpad.

There are two major differences, mind. The first is the switch to USB-C, which comes along with the Note 7. Samsung has actually made the connector removable, and will include a different one for microUSB phones like the Galaxy S7 in the box with the new Gear VR.

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Thanks to that adapter, the Gear VR will not only work with the Note 7 but the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the Note 5, Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and the S6 edge+.

A USB-C port on the bottom of the headset, meanwhile, will serve double-duty, both allowing for pass-through power to keep your phone charged, while also opening the door to future peripherals.

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Meanwhile, the field of view (FoV) has increased marginally over the outgoing Gear VR, rising from 96-degrees to 101-degrees.

And what of those who have already invested in – or been given freebies of – the previous Gear VR? Samsung tells me that it has no plans to offer an trade-in program or discounts for upgrades, and neither will there be a new Gear VR bundled with the Galaxy Note 7. Instead, Samsung’s promotion of choice is a 256 GB memory card or a Gear Fit2 wearable for early-adopters of the new phablet.

The new Samsung Gear VR goes up for preorder from tomorrow, August 3rd, and will launch on August 19.


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