At its unpacked event in New York today Samsung, Samsung unveiled a certain new phone. Oh, and a VR headset too.
It’s pretty much exactly what the leaks indicated. The main changes in the new Gear VR (that’s the official name) are the wider 101-degree field of view(instead of 96) and a smoother, more minimal touchpad.
There’s now a dedicated button to get back to the Oculus home instead of long-pressing the back button – thank goodness – and, well, the headset is black now. Besides looking cooler, it also helps with reflections.
I was able to try it out with a virtual skateboard ride, and though it’s not anything revolutionary, it’s certainly an improvement. The wider field of view is a bit more immersive, the optics have a less aberrations towards the edges, and the smooth touchpad definitely makes more sense than the old ridged one.
My favorite change is simply the softer padding though.
For new VR customers, it’s also backwards compatible all the way back to the S6 via a swappable connector – it comes with both USB-C and Micro USB. The OTG port is only USB-C, however.
The new Gear VR goes on sale on August 19, along with the Note 7. It will cost $99 – same as the old headset, which is now being discontinued.