4 key features of the improved Samsung Gear VR and controller

A headset that continues to push the bounds of reality — and virtual reality.

 

Named a Mashable Choice for 2017, the latest Samsung Gear VR features a new controller along with a series of improvements that create what CNN calls a “more believable, you-are-there experience." The 3rd-generation device, which works with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7 and S8 smartphones as well as the Note 5, offers improved resolution, faster load times and longer battery life than previous versions.

Here are 4 key features of the improved Samsung Gear VR:

1. Well-designed, responsive controls: “The controller is the biggest upgrade to [the new] Gear VR, and offers a more immersive experience in mobile VR,” Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) reports. The controller’s motion detector tracks movements up, down and side to side, while the large touchpad and trigger button allow users to select, drag, drop, point, lift and move with lifelike agility. Ultimately, GHI testers found the controller’s design “very comfortable to hold and a much easier option than reaching up to use the controls on the side of the headset.”

 

2. Ease of use: Designed for young, old, advanced and novice users alike, the new Gear VR gets a strong recommendation from CNET. “It's easy to put on and move around in, it's a lot cheaper than the high-end models, and it has some great VR experiences available for it,” the editors note, including a broad range of gaming, entertainment and educational apps for teens and adults.

3. App options: “Samsung’s partnership with Oculus has managed to assure the app store is ... full of interesting and diverse selections,” writes Paste magazine. “Games, experimental VR experiences, social networks, and video apps are overflowing, and there are a lot of really worthwhile things to do with the headset,” the editors note, especially when it comes to learning. The Night Sky experience, for instance, provides an introduction to the world of astronomy, allowing users to identify and connect stellar constellations with Gear VR’s new controller.

4. Affordability: “At $39 on its own, the controller is a no-brainer purchase for existing Gear VR owners,” Engadget notes. And while professional VR headsets and gaming systems typically start at around $400, the Samsung Gear VR with controller costs significantly less. “Ultimately, the Gear Controller is exactly what we've been waiting for from Samsung,” Engadget says. “It lets consumers get a taste of large-scale, motion controlled virtual reality at a fraction of the price.”

As Mashable's review sums up, "If you own a modern Samsung Galaxy phone, this is the VR gear for you."

 
 

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