We had the Samsung Gear VR team in our office recently and they gave us a hands on look at the new Gear VR headset for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Here are some of the notable improvements.
This guest article comes to us from Dan Ferguson, Director of Interactive Digital at Reel FX, a Golden Globe nominated visual effects and animation studio. Dan is responsible for creating digital experiences for the company’s VR and mobile clients, including the Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot VR experience which debuted at Legendary Pictures’ 2014 Comic-Con digital activation, and the Insurgent VR mobile app created for the Lionsgate film – Insurgent.
First of all, the headset is lighter and the phone connector is tighter. Apparently it’s 15% percent smaller than the original Gear VR for Note 4. Newly added is a silent fan that helps keep the lenses fog free.
One thing we noticed and totally appreciate is the USB port on the bottom of the headset, which allows you to charge while the phone is plugged into the unit. We do a lot of events and having a plug on the outside is going to come in handy for keeping the phones powered throughout the day. The original Gear VR didn’t have a plug on the outside, you had to remove the phone to charge.
The focus wheel on top of the Gear VR for S6 gives you an extra 10-20% more tuning ability over the original. This diopter adjustment brings the virtual reality image into focus without the need for glasses, offering a more comfortable view and increasing the field of view by allowing the lenses closer to the user’s eyes than if they were wearing glasses.
For those of you that always had a hard time locating the trackpad on the side of the unit, they have added a small tactile bump, which is great for finding the center of the pad. The trackpad feels like it’s been indented a little more, making the edges more pronounced.
We got to look at some of our latest work on the Galaxy S6 which fits beautifully in the headset. I have to say that it delivers the best picture quality we’ve ever seen in a VR headset. The 577 PPI pixel density of the S6’s 2560×1440 display is fantastic, removing the screendoor effect that has plagued headsets for years (the Note 4 used in the original Gear VR has a larger display of the same resolution, resulting in a lower pixel density). The future looks great.
The Samsung Gear VR for S6 is now available for pre-order from Best Buy and will be available for sale from BestBuy.com and Samsung.com starting on May 8th.