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Samsung Gear VR review – immerse yourself in 360 degree pictures and videos

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Samsung has just released the third generation version of the Gear VR headset to deliver a mobile virtual reality experience with the company’s latest high quality smartphones.

The latest Gear VR model is compatible with Samsung’s Galaxy Note5, the S6 edge+, the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge and immerses you in amazing content.

These devices with sharp and bright Super AMOLED displays, act as the Gear VR’s screen when it is placed inside the device, and provide impressive clarity and a wide variety of apps and content that can be enjoyed like never before.

You can view content in 360 degrees, watch videos in a cinematic wide view like having your own portable cinema and even play VR games.

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Samsung’s Gear VR was created in partnership with Oculus and is light and comfortable to wear with a padded eye piece and adjustable head strap and top support strap.

Inside are two lenses that allow users to focus when they are wearing the unit with a dial on top to fine tune the focus even further.

 

The compatible Samsung smartphone clips into the front of the headset and fits into the microUSB connector so the phone actually powers the device.

On the right side is a trackpad to allow users to navigate the menus and choose their onscreen content.

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Speaking of content, there’s plenty to enjoy with the Samsung VR with plenty of apps available from the Oculus Store which you will be able to access when the smartphone is connected to the unit.

The menu system you first see gives you plenty of choices and you simply move the pointer by looking at the app icon you want to activate.

You can access the Samsung Internet for Gear VR which is a browser that you can use with the unit to surf your favourite sites like never before.

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You can also watch 360 degree videos on YouTube.

Netflix also has an app that can be used with the Samsung VR.

When you fire it up you are seating in a large room in front of a large screen TV.

The Samsung Galaxy Note5 clipped into the Gear VR
The Samsung Galaxy Note5 clipped into the Gear VR

From here you can actually sign in to your Netflix account and kick back and watch your favourite like you’re in your personal home theatre.

On the picture quality side don’t expect 4K or even full high definition quality.

You have to remember that while the smartphones screens are high quality Super AMOLED, they are positioned a few centimetres in front of your eyes so the sharpness takes a hit.

The Samsung Gear VR home screen
The Samsung Gear VR home screen

But it’s still an impressive experience that includes the ability to be truly immersed in whatever you’re watching.

You can be sitting in Paris outside the Louvre and feel like you’re there. You can look in every direction to appreciate your entire surroundings in 3D.

There are other apps that allow you to watch content with your choice of setting whether it’s home theatre or full size cinema.

And you can even look around at all the empty seats around and behind you.

Netflix on the Gear VR
Netflix on the Gear VR

The strength of the Samsung Gear VR ecosystem is going to come from the apps and the content that is created for the platform. There is already plenty available and a lot more to come so it’s a great time to get onboard.

VERDICT

The Samsung Gear VR is an impressive unit that allow users to get even more out of their Samsung smartphones and provide an exciting virtual reality experience which will become even more popular in 2016.

And because Samsung utilises your smartphone as the Gear VR’s screen it has also reduced the cost and made it quite affordable at $159.

Samsung Gear VR

Price: $159