Samsung today revealed the consumer version of the ‘Oculus Powered’ Gear VR headset which is now compatible with four of Samsung’s latest phones. The headset looks similar to the two prior versions but a careful look (or a scale!) will reveal big changes.

The most notable improvements to the consumer Gear VR headset are a 22% reduction in weight—now down to 310 grams—compatibility with four phones, and a $99 price tag.

A quick Gear VR history lesson. The first Samsung Gear VR launched as the ‘Innovator Edition’ a semi-beta product that was ‘intended for developers and enthusiasts’, though the unit was sold openly to anyone interested. This first version was compatible with the Galaxy Note 4. Shortly thereafter, Samsung revealed a new version of the Gear VR (you can think of it as ‘Gear VR 1.5’) which reduced weight, made a few design improvements, and was compatible with the Galaxy Note S6 and S6 Edge.

samsung gear vr consumer version (9)

The new Gear VR, which Samsung says is officially the ‘consumer version’ brings weight down even further and is compatible with four of Samsung’s latest phones: Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge. They also cut the price in half over the former headset, now down to $99 from $199 previously.

samsung gear vr consumer version (6)

The headset has seen a continuous iteration on the side touchpad since the first version. The consumer Gear VR now has a valley indented in the trackpad on the horizontal and vertical directions to help users understand the orientation of the touchable area.

samsung gear vr consumer version (7)

The headset’s faceplate returns. The original also had a removable faceplate to cover the phone after being inserted, through this was removed as of the second version of the device. In my use I found that I’d often forgo putting the faceplate back on as it didn’t serve any function in the experience.

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samsung gear vr consumer version (3)

The top strap of the headset is now shown here but it will be included with the device. A new foam liner has also been made which Samsung says will improve comfort.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Darshan Gayake

    Galaxy S7 or Project Lucky support? What will be price? Any improvements in price performance ratio?

    • Don Gateley

      $99. Did you read the article?

      • Darshan Gayake

        I intend price of Galaxy s7 aka Lucky LTE. Also price performance ratio of new phone carmack hinted in tweet.

  • pedrw nascimentw

    And the picture quality? Still has the screen door effect? What is the phone working better with the new Gearvr? And the battery still overheats?


    • bkydcmpr

      should post the question to carmack on twitter, I don’t think anyone can answer your question here at this moment.

    • MasterElwood

      For a few bucks you can put a little fan in the faceplate and never worry about overheating again.

      I did the same for my note 4 – works like a charm…

    • Darshan Gayake

      Same question eager to read answer from Ben at least when event over. Besides screen door n fov bound to be variable as all 4 devices announced support have slightly varying degrees of screen specifications.