This is not so much a review of the Samsung Gear VR, but more of just my initial thoughts. Please enjoy the following post as such.
Over the weekend, I ended up at my local Best Buy to upgrade my old Galaxy S3 for a shiny, new Galaxy S6. During the transaction, I was informed I was eligible to receive a brand new Gear VR at no cost.
That’s right, I got it for free. At that price, how could I say no?
Now, I’ve seen a TON of videos on Youtube of people playing games on their Oculus Rift dev units, but had never actually tried out a modern VR headset. And after hearing about the retail price of the Rift, I assumed I likely wouldn’t for a while. I mean, how could I justify spending that much money on something like that?
After about 30 minutes with the Gear VR, I can see why someone might shell out the cash for one.
Now, just to be clear, this thing ain’t no Rift. It cannot connect to a PC, and can’t be used to play that one Steam game you might have that supports VR. What is does do, however is still impressive.
If you’ve never heard of the Gear VR, it’s a VR headset co-developed by Samsung and Oculus. Instead of connecting to your PC, it uses a Samsung Galaxy phone (either the S6/Edge/Edge+ or Note 5), which must be inserted into the front of the device. The phone then functions as the device’s screen, with a touchpad, back button, and volume controls on the side.
So far, there are a number of free apps to download and try, though they are mostly just VR experiences that let you explore and look around. There also a number of games, but since they are not free, I’m gonna wait a little before I pick any of those up.
The number of free apps I’ve tried were great, though. My personal favorite so far is GrooVR, a music app that lets you view select expierences that glow and change to the music. It uses the music stored on your phone, or you can stream music from Soundcloud or Spotify. It has a few different videos to try out, and well worth the view.
I haven’t had enough time to see everything the Gear VR has to offer, but now that I have it, I can’t wait to see what else it has in store. Now I just need a Bluetooth gamepad for some of the games on it....