This week we had the opportunity to visit a Verizon Wireless Smart Store to get a demo of the latest Samsung smartphones and the Gear VR. We get to evaluate the Galaxy S7 Edge and Gear VR for a month or so and during this time we’ll let you know what we think of mobile VR. Today we’re just giving you a quick look and the hardware and some initial thoughts.
With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the company has brought back the external storage card slot. The latest version of Gear VR, as opposed to the Innovator Edition has a modified design, weighs a few grams less, and has a better strap for comfort.
In the video below you’ll get to see me with these pieces of hardware and a few things I’ve noticed so far after a few days.
Initial thoughts about the Samsung Gear VR
Gear VR is a nice headset from a hardware perspective. It’s comfortable around the head and on the face. Even without using the top strap the weight of the headset and phone there isn’t a lot of pull on your head. Thanks to content from both Oculus and Samsung there’s plenty of video and experiences ready to use with a Wi-Fi or data connection or a quick download. One of the first videos I watched was the Wall Street Journal’s video introduction to virtual reality. The video is well produced and gives users plenty of demonstrations that VR could be used for.
Initial thoughts about the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The smartphone I’m using in collaboration with the Gear VR is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The phone is brand new and has a curved screen on both edges of the phone. The S7 Edge also has a great rear camera that you can even use to connect with the real world while you’re using the Gear VR. I like this feature and it gives me a taste of what the HTC Vive will be able to do with its outward facing camera. Although my first time trying out the camera and one other time so far the S7 Edge has completely rebooted while using the camera passthrough feature.
Mobile VR is fun with good social interaction. It is a great way to help grow the VR ecosystem and encourage users to invest in more powerful virtual systems like the Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, and the HTC Vive. Even though I’d like to think of mobile VR as strictly a gateway to high end virtual reality systems, Gear VR proves it can take the concept of Google Cardboard and take into a more stable consumer quality version powered by a mobile device. I’m really impressed with the portability of this mode of VR and I look forward to the future and competing manufacturer’s products.
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- Vive Tracker sells out in three days - April 7, 2017
- Vive anniversary deals are live! - April 5, 2017
- Back the PP Gun get a Vive Tracker in March, err April - March 2, 2017
- Sign-ups for Vive Tracker now open - January 25, 2017
- Vive hardware announced during CES 2017 - January 20, 2017
- VR For Impact offers $10million to develop for humanity - January 19, 2017
- Digital Trends calls Vive Best Product of 2016 - January 1, 2017
- Vive After Christmas Sale - December 27, 2016