Samsung Gear VR (2015) - Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/Warranty - Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Light weight so you can play and watch more comfortably
- Easy to use touch pad
- Wide field of view, precise head-tracking and low latency brings reality to the virtual. Be transported to amazing new worlds in games, video, and images. Thousands of 360 degree panoramic photos
- Compatible with: Samsung Galaxy Note5,S6 edge+,S6,S6 edge
- Improved fit, including room for most eyeglasses and improved padding for extra comfort and durability
- Light weight so you can play and watch more comfortably
- Easy to use touch pad
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From the manufacturer
At a Glance:
- Be transported to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images
- Thousands of 360 degree panoramic photos
- Improved easy to use touch controls
- Games and applications available from the Oculus VR app store
Samsung Gear VR
Amazing Virtual Reality Anywhere
Mobile virtual reality is finally here. With the Samsung Gear VR, you can play amazing games, watch Hollywood’s best movies in your own private cinema (or even on the moon!), socialize with friends new and old, be at the center of a suspense thriller, and so much more. The Gear VR drops you right into the action—and it’s only from Samsung & Oculus.
The next generation of Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, has been upgraded with new and improved features:
- Lighter weight so you can play and watch more comfortably
- Improved fit, including room for most eyeglasses and improved padding for extra comfort and durability
- An upgraded touch pad that’s even easier to use
Compatible with more phones (software update from your carrier required for S6 edge+ and Note5)
- Galaxy Note5
- Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+
- Galaxy S7, S7 edge
There are amazing new things to do in Gear VR. Try hundreds of games, apps and experiences.
Samsung Milk VR
Bringing you amazing 360° virtual adventures, Samsung Milk VR is video like you’ve never seen. You are literally surrounded by the action. Amazing tours around the world, some of the world’s coolest cars, celebrities, musical performances and documentaries. There’s always something new in Milk VR.
Best of Hollywood Entertainment
Buy and watch hundreds of Hollywood movies & TV shows in Oculus Cinema. In Oculus Video, watch 2D videos including trailers, clips, and your own movie files in a completely new way. You can choose from multiple VR theater environments including a home theater, a huge screen theater, and even the surface of the moon!
And Much, Much More
Enjoy incredible premium games for purchase such as Eve: Gunjack and Land’s End
- Play 20 arcade classics in Oculus Arcade
- Stream over 1 million short films and videos on Vimeo
- Keep up with the best gamers in Twitch
- Enjoy amazing new 360° videos daily on Samsung Milk VR
The Jurassic World: Apatosaurus VR Experience allows the viewer for the first time to see what it feels like to be in the presence and close proximity of a living dinosaur and to experience a sense of connection with it - with the mixture of awe, striking beauty and danger that this implies.
2015 Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Samsung, Galaxy, Note, Gear, Samsung Milk VR and Super AMOLED are all trademarks owned or registered by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Other company names, product names, and marks mentioned are property of their respective owners and may be registered trademarks. Screen images simulated. Actual appearance may vary.
Use only in a safe environment. The Gear VR produces a distracting, immersive virtual reality experience that blocks your view of your actual surroundings. Read and follow warnings and instructions included with the Headset before use. The Headset should be calibrated before each use. Not for use by children under 13. A virtual reality experience may trigger health reactions. See a doctor before use if you have a history of seizures. Stop use if you experience a health reaction. Always be aware of your surroundings when using the Gear VR. Remain seated or stationary at all times. Take special care to ensure that you are not near other people, objects, stairs, balconies, windows, furniture, or other items that you can bump into or knock down when using – or immediately after using – the Gear VR headset. Do not handle sharp or otherwise dangerous objects while using the Gear VR. Never wear the Gear VR in situations that require attention, such as walking, bicycling, or driving.
Some apps and services may require payment or subscriptions to use. Netflix streaming membership required. Charges may apply.
|HTC Vive||Oculus Rift||PlayStation VR||Samsung Gear||Google Cardboard|
|Platform||Windows PC||Windows PC||PlayStation 4||Samsung Smartphone||Smartphone|
|Experience||Seated VR, Standing VR, Room-scale VR (up to 5 m diagonally), Positional tracking||Positional tracking, Standing VR, Seated VR||Positional tracking, Standing VR, Seated VR||Seated VR||Seated VR|
|Field of View||110 degrees||110 degrees||100 degrees||96 degrees||Varies|
|Refresh Rate||90 Hz||90 Hz||90 - 120 Hz||60 Hz||60 Hz|
|Display Resoluion per eye||1080 x 1200||1080 x 1200||1080 x 960||1440 x 1280||Varies|
|Headset Weight||1.2 lbs||1.0 lbs||1.3 lbs||0.7 lbs||0.2 lbs|
|Fit||Adjustable headset strap, fits most glasses, 2 eye relief adjustments: lens distance from eye & interpupilliary distance||Fits glasses, Iinterpupilliary distance adjustment||Fits glasses, lens distance from eye can be adjusted, Iinterpupilliary distance adjustment||Fits glasses, focus adjustment||Varies|
|Included in the box||Headset, 2 x Controllers, 2 x Base Stations, Earbuds, Link Box, Link Box power adapter, Link Box mounting pad, 2 x Base Station power adapter, 2 x Micro USB chargers, Sync cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Cleaning Cloth, Alternate face cushion||Oculus Rift Headset, Camera Sensor, Remote, Xbox One Wireless Controller, Xbox USB Wireless Adapter, 2xAA Batteries, Integrated Headphone Removal Tool, 2 x Oculus Logo Stickers, Oculus Lens Wipe Cloth||Headset, Processor Unit, connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphoes, AC power cord, AC adaptor, demo disc||Headset||Headset|
Virtual reality is the next big thing, and Samsung's Gear VR Immersive Viewing Goggles have arrived just in time to help you get there. It lets you immerse yourself in your favorite games or movies. Its compatibility with major Samsung devices results in the best kind of synergy imaginable.
Top customer reviews
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I Pre-ordered mine for Best Buy. I use it with my International, unlocked, Galaxy Note 5, 64GB model. I mention this because after I ordered I saw the phone would require a carrier update, since my phone is carrier free, I wasn't sure if this would be a problem. Its not. My Note 5 detected the Gear VR and installed the needed software. Set up was easy and painless. Some of the things I've done with it.
I took a trip through our solar system in an experience called Titans of Space. It made it feel like you were in a little ship, flying up to each planet and some of their moons. The information panel or hud, gives information on each(Planet,Moons, Stars), then sped you through space to the next planet. I'd look up and see space and stars, turn around in my real sit to see part of my virtual chair, look down I could see the controls, and out the windows more space and whatever planet I was near. I am a sucker for space and this just blew my mind. After the tour of our sun, it started showing other suns in scale so that you could see how much larger it was over our sun. I saw a blue sun in the Orion system, another red sun that was so large, if dropped where our sun is, it would reach close to Saturn. And of course the demo in this part of the tour was to give you a sense of scale. I was completely immersed and it made me see just how much potential this tech has. Something like this for learning and retention beats a text book and teacher lectures any day.
Netflix has an app that puts you in this château up in the snowy mountains. Nice big screen on the wall and to your eyes it really is a big screen. I have a 52" in my house but in VR, I felt like I was in front of a much much larger screen. Imagine when this stuff goes full HD. The mobile version is only 420p I believe.. That's really the only downside to it. PC version will have higher resolution and cost a lot more.
I've also been in an App. I forget the name of it. It may have been Oculus Video but don't take this as truth. Anyway, the App allows you to pick from a home theater setting, a movie cinema, on the moon, in the forest of ANTS (that animated movie from years ago) and black Void. I usually use the cinema and the screen appears to my eyes as big as an IMAX. I never expected these types of experiences from this headset and my phone.
I'm not really interested in it for gaming. For seeing shows, live events or visiting places you'd never get to see is really cool. If I turn I can see what's going on behind me, above, below and in front. Really tricks your brain when you reach out to touch what you see and it's not their. I can see this as being the next big fitness craze. Imagine walking in place on a treadmill while walking the tropics of Hawaii.
I did a couple of under water experiences. I honestly am not overly interested in the sea or sea life but this blew me away as well. full 360, look below and I could see the light above penetrating the surface of the ocean where I was. I was in a cage in the ocean, watching a great white shark swim around and bump the cage trying to get to me. Took an under water tour of the Arctic seas. Saw different varitaty of whales with a narrator giving information on each one.
I see so much potential for this. Right now games have the most attention but as the tech matures it can be used for a lot of things. I took a tour of some really fancy house. I could move through every room, check out the ceiling, the floors, just like I was there and my thought was, this would be so cool for real estate. Imagine shopping for your next house and not having to leave the house unless you found one you really liked. This could be a time saver in real estate. Get more houses shown, save realtors on gas money you name it lol.
I saw a beautiful performance with Cirque de Soleil's Zarkana. I've watched it six times. It puts you right there on stage and it was amazing. This will be huge for live events one day.
And what is a review without pros and cons.
Pro's: Lots of content both free and paid. Inexpensive to get into if you have the right phone. Fully Immersive and entertaining. Its Mobile
Con's: Low Res. Sometimes I can see a screen door effect.
Worth 99 bucks? I cannot stress enough it is worth every penny. Its been a long time since anything fully blew me away. If your on the fence about the more expensive VR thats coming, this is a good way to try it before going all in.
Update: Seems Samsung is releasing a browser tomorrow. This is suppose to allow you to check out YouTube videos without the need for an APP. If this is important to you and your trying to decide between the two, this might level the field a bit more. I've since bought a ViewMaster VR while it was on sale so I could try Google Cardboard stuff. Its (Google Cardboard) is not as seamless and hassle free as the Oculus/Gear VR combo is. Google stuff seems to be a holder for the phone, which I constantly had to open and close to keep selecting what I wanted to see. Gear VR on the other hand, you don't have to remove the glasses. Its easy to go from store to library to content using just the side button.
Any questions feel free to leave a comment.
NOTE: I’ve paid for these goggles. They were not a freebie in return for a review (unfortunately). Although if someone wants to send me some free ones they are more than welcome ;)
First some background. I’m a military pilot. I have 20/20 vision and have never required any vision correction. My vision gets tested annually. I also don’t suffer from motion sickness. I only mention this now, not to brag, but it will become pertinent later when I bring up a couple of things I’ve learnt about myself from operating with Night Vision Goggles (NVG’s). I’m also not an optometrist/ophthalmologist so hopefully my opinions are close to correct.
I’m using my goggles with a Galaxy S7 Edge (no screen protector – as instructed by the goggles instructions).
First the good stuff…
- The Oculus app, and store (that come included – and are indeed required) is great. The Oculus app is it’s own ecosystem of apps… and all other apps are launched from WITHIN the Oculus app. It looks professional and sets the tone for a great VR experience. It’s your very first look into the VR world, and as soon as you put the goggles on you know you are in for something special. Oculus have done a great job and Samsung has done well to pair with them.
- A good number of the apps you can access for free, through the Oculus store, are pretty impressive even just simply accessing their main menu screens. They really leverage the VR experience.
(1) The download and installation of the REQUIRED Oculus app is fully automatic once you connect your phone. The setup is really easy so don’t stress if you are concerned about a big setup process. The Oculus app makes it all very easy.
(2) If you are like me and want to try and download the Oculus app and additional content prior to the arrival of your goggles don’t worry about it. There appears to be no way of doing it without the goggles, so like me you will be just wasting your time looking. I found there is not too much about the how to access the Samsung VR/Oculus apps written anywhere – I did search beforehand and was a little confused as to what was available and how to download them from Google Play Store. Basically… you don’t! (NOTE: you will find ‘Google Cardboard’ VR apps in the Google Play Store, and also find online workaround tips on how to use ‘Google Cardboard’ apps with the Samsung VR goggles. This is definitely not required, and these apps are run EXTERNALLY to the Oculus app and it’s ecosystem.)
(3) Definitely try the Netflix app, Moon VR player, Samsung Milk VR, Titans of Space. They are all pretty impressive. A number of the VR players on there will also allow you to play your own content from your SD Card.
Next… Get a controller… maybe…
- Although the Samsung VR goggles come with a touchpad controller on the side, which can do MOST stuff, life can be a little easier with a separate Bluetooth controller (sometimes). It also gives you access to some of the content that requires a controller.
- Don’t get confused when you read online about people using ‘magnets’ to control VR apps. This is a ‘Google Cardboard’ thing, and once again does not apply to anything from the Oculus store.
- I happened to have the “MOGA Pocket” Bluetooth game controller already, just by chance. It works with the Samsung goggles if you set it up properly. It took me a little while to track down the info on this.
- The “MOGA Pocket” is an older controller (but feels good and works well enough) that’s on Amazon for only $6 right now so why not? (That’s way less than what I paid for it 6 months ago.)
MY TIPS FOR THE “MOGA POCKET” CONTROLLER:
(1) Forget about the “MOGA Pivot App”. Unless you want it for the games on their website which (a) aren’t good (b) aren’t free (c) reportedly no longer work or download properly. Importantly… THE MOGA PIVOT APP DOES NOT WORK WITH THE OCULUS APP. I wasted hours trying to get this to work before conceding defeat and giving up. The redemption code included in the box for a free game also doesn’t work. Overall… very poorly done.
(2) Download the “MOGA UNIVERSAL DRIVER” from the playstore. Manually pair the controller via Bluetooth to your phone (I think my controller showed as ‘BD&A’ or something like that), then open the “MOGA Universal Driver” app, and continue the setup, and add it to your keyboards. NOTE: You need to open the app, pair the controller activate the keyboard, and enable the driver, prior to inserting your phone into the goggles each time. (There is probably a more automated way but I haven’t worried at this stage).
(3) There is more info in the Amazon reviews for the MOGA controllers if I’ve not been clear here. (This was not meant to be a MOGA Controller review :)' )
(UPDATE: please note that someone in the comments has mentioned that they have had trouble trying to get this controller to work with the headset. The best I can offer is that the MOGA controller worked fine for me, although I no longer have the headset to test it out anymore (still working fine for Non-GEAR VR apps right now though)... if this concerns you there are a number of other controllers out there give a go. I do believe it was worthwhile having one.)
Now the negatives… and there’s a pretty big one…
… Within about 5-10mins of putting these goggles on I start to feel a painful eye strain. It is NOT excruciating, however it is quiet noticeable and uncomfortable and more importantly I can still feel it some many hours after taking them off. This is not motion sickness, but eyestrain. It feels like pulling a muscle… in your eye sockets. I’ve spent ages trying to work it out and I think it all comes down to the basicness and cheapness of Samsung’s build/design.
I’m not an optometrist/ophthalmologist but for what it’s worth here are my thoughts.
- Inter Pupillary Distance (IPD) – IPD is the distance between the pupils (your eyes) and hence how far the lenses are apart. Most of us have used binoculars before. You will recall there are normally 3 basic adjustments to be made:- IPD (when you adjust the width of your binocs), Diopter, and Focus. The IPD in the Samsung goggles is fixed, yet we don’t all have one-size-fits-all heads. I've read previously that the Samsung VR goggles are designed for 55-71mm IPD (I'm not sure what mine are). The spacing between the two images on your phone screen is also fixed. This affects the ‘convergence’ of your eyes. Think of the case where the lens’ IPD are too far apart. Each eye will be trying to look in opposite directions to see through each lens at the same time, whilst simultaneously trying to converge the 2 images into one in an attempt to create a stereoscopic image. This is not normal for your eyes. In real life they normally naturally converge onto one subject in a manner comfortable to them… not look outwards (as in the ‘too wide’ case) at 2 separate images. The opposite is true for too close – you must go slightly cross-eyed. Ideally, you should be able to adjust the lenses in the goggles, to your eyes IPD and natural convergence range.
Also... if you aren't looking through the centre of the lens, but rather the edge, they go out of focus. The spacing of the lenses in the is not the same as my IPD hence I am not looking through the centre of the lens most of the time.
- Diopter – Diopter is designed to let you compensate for differences between your own two eyes. Basically, some people’s eyes don’t focus equally… so what you do is close one eye, then focus for the open eye normally. Then change eyes and adjust the diopter for the now open eye. Both eyes should now be in focus. Think of it as individual focus for each eye. (On your binoculars it's the eyepiece with the +/- numbers around it.) The Samsung VR goggles do not have the ability to adjust diopter or focus for each eye individually. Just one central focus adjustment.
Now, as some background, prior to each flight on NVG’s we place them into a calibrated test unit and adjust the diopter and IPD (amongst other things) for myself and my special head. Most of us are all slightly different. The outcome however is that we can wear these goggles comfortably for many hours with no adverse eyestrain. In my case my diopter is generally 0 meaning my eyes focus about the same. The same goes for the diopter setting on my Canon DSLR. Now I don’t know if I have a bad set of VR goggles (but I do tend to trust the expensive and calibrated aviation NVG's), but with the Samsung VR goggles I find that if I close one eye and focus the goggles, when I switch eyes the other is always out of focus. Sadly as there is no way to adjust diopter (or focus each eye separately) this cannot be rectified and may be another source of this discomfort – as one eye is always struggling to focus an unfocusable image. I certainly personally have never experienced eye discomfort like this wearing goggles.
So why such a low rating from me? Because regardless of how awesome the technology behind it is, and how good the Oculus store and associated apps are, it is all a deal breaker if the goggles cause eye pain.
AND, because there are a number of small no name chinese manufacturers out their turning out plastic Google Cardboard goggles that are of comparable build quality (the Samsung goggles only have plastic lens’ also), that also offer IPD adjustment and individual eye focus, for less than $30. I find it astonishing that Samsung has not incorporated these features and can only assume that they might have been able to rectify my discomfort. Considering this is Samsung’s second generation of these goggles, and considering the resources behind Samsung, and considering SAMSUNG CHARGE 3xTIMES MORE! for their goggles, I would expect that they would have these basic features also included, just as the cheaper manufacturers have (they could also easily include a calibration section in the Oculus app allowing you to adjust the goggles and set the apps IPD, as well as calibrate Diopter).
So, whilst it guts me to say this, and I really really want to keep them… but every time I use them I can’t help but feeling I’m doing irreparable damage to my eyes… So I’m going to have to send them back. Hopefully Samsung will do a better job with their 3rd generation goggles - we are almost there.
In the meantime I might try some of the 3rd party goggles and see how they feel and will likely report back here with an update.
Sorry for the long winded review. Hopefully you found some of it useful.
1. Overheating - It will run on my Galaxy S6 Edge for maybe 10min with video before it overheats. This makes it very tough to enjoy with friends out of the box.
2. Most of the games can not be played because there it does not come with a controller. It is hard to even find the Samsung controller. I have purchased four games that I was excited to play and still have not been able to play them. I have tried the PS4 controller, but it does not work.
3. The sensor that detects if the device is being worn also makes it very tough to let little people watch or use the device. It will shut off when removed and requires the new wearer to press a button. As you are not wearing it, and can't see what the wearer is seeing, it is tough to let them use it.
HOWEVER, This thing is amazing. For the cost of a family of four to see a movie with drinks and a popcorn (wow, that use to be about $10!), you get to experience whole new worlds. Even the pictures of foreign and local places are amazing! I love watching my little ones reach around to touch things that aren't there or watching friends jump while watching horror videos.
Below are some workarounds to the issues above
1. Build a cooling unit. I have some images of what I built for about $20. This fan is dead silent and keeps my phone cooler than it normally is in my pocket (~70'F).
2. Controllers are available, I just haven't ordered one yet. I hear the Moga controllers work well.
3. Put a piece of tape over the sensor. It will then stay on so that the device can be shared with other less capable people.