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Очки виртуальной реальности Samsung Gear VR (SM-R325)
|4||4.5||102 USD Buy|
|Usage||For PCFor SmartphonesFor quadcopter|
|Operating system||Minimum system requirements|
|Type||AvailabilityAR - See-through|
|Size||N/ASmartphone screenPresentField of view horizontal101°|
|Adjusting||Focal lengthLens diameter|
|Support||SteamVROculus HomeWindows Mixed RealityGear VR|
|Sound||Headphone input 3.5mm|
|Contents||Touch control panelControl consoleUSB holder|
Samsung Gear VR overview(from 2018 — Samsung Galaxy VR) is a virtual reality headset developed by Samsung and Oculus. It belongs to the mobile VR segment where a smartphone is absolutely necessary to make these devices work. This gadget is compatible only with Samsung flagships starting from the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge models. It does not require a connection to the PC. Gear VR is the best option to get acquainted with the virtual reality for the first time if you have a Samsung smartphone. In other cases, there are more affordable and productive alternatives. Let's deal more precisely with its features.
Samsung had been working on the virtual reality devices since 2005, when it took out a patent on HMD — head-mounted displays. In 2013, a separate team for the VR development appeared, and a year later the Oculus experts known for the Rift and Go headsets joined this team. The first prototype was shown at the IFA exhibition on September 3, 2014. The test model labeled SM-R320 was released in December 2014, but it did not go on sale on a mass market. The gadget was supposed to demonstrate the VR capabilities and to show the developers how to work with the system. The prototype worked only with Samsung Galaxy Note 4, modern glasses with this smartphone are incompatible. The company produces new iterations 1-2 times a year. In 2018, Samsung decided to rename the Gear VR range Galaxy VR. This is a result of a common policy to simplify names, and there are also trademarks of Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Fit. The next generation of glasses with a new name can be waited for this autumn.
Apart from the prototype SM-R320 which is not available to regular users, there are five versions in the range:
Each next iteration supports the previous smartphones, but not vice versa. Therefore, the SM-R325 works with a full list. SM-R323 was stopped to be released because of problems with the Note 7 model for which the glasses were made. The latest version costs 130 USD on the official website, 100 USD on Amazon, but you can find a markdown up to 50 USD.
|Colour||White||White||Dark grey||Dark grey||Dark grey|
|Launch date||March 2015||November 2015||August 2016||March 2017||September 2018|
|Supported smartphones||S6, S6 Edge||S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge||Is not released||S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, Note Fan Edition||S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, Note Fan Edition, Note 8, A8, A8+, S9 and S9+.|
Pros of Samsung Gear VR
Convenient design. Compared to Google Daydream View, the Samsung gadget may seem to be large. But you do not get tired of it even after two hours of playing, your face does not sweat, and the patch around your eyes is soft and reliable.
Easy setup and installation. You do not need to connect a lot of wires, cameras or base stations. To enable the device, just insert the Samsung smartphone into the front panel and log into your Oculus account.
Economical battery use. During one hour of playing or watching a movie the smartphone battery discharges at a maximum of 30%, this is a good indicator. For comparison, standalone VRs work no longer than 2.5 hours without recharging.
Access to the Oculus store. There are more than a thousand games, virtual rooms, players and movies. It is one of the best content libraries for the mobile VRs.
Cons of Samsung Gear VR
Low quality of VR. The system works from a smartphone, so it depends directly on its screen and processor. Even in the top flagships of 2018 the picture can twitch and break up into pixels.
It does not recognize movements. There are no sensors in the system that track body or hand movements. Therefore, the control is limited to the turnings of the head with glasses and one hand with the controller.
Limited smartphones support. There are only 14 models, all of them are Samsung flagships, and new ones cannot be installed in obsolete versions of glasses. Competitors have only a limited screen size.
No adjustment for IPD. The distance between the lenses cannot be set manually, which is inconvenient. Because of the fixed parameter people with different interpupillary distance can see the picture as being distorted and fuzzy.
Competitors of Samsung Gear VRMany users compare the gadget with Oculus Rift and other connected headsets. Sometimes Oculus Go is also considered to be a competitor. In both cases this is incorrect: the flagship headsets are much more powerful and better in the picture quality because they use the PC and console hardware, and standalone devices work from their own processors. Therefore, we compare Gear VR with mobile systems that work from smartphones:
- Google Daydream View. It is the main competitor of the gadget from Samsung. Versions of 2017 are almost identical in technical characteristics, but Google has made a more compact and convenient gadget. Daydream View supports more smartphones, including S8/S8+, but has less applications. The price is 100 USD.
- Zeiss One Plus. In its design it is the closest option to Gear VR, but it is suitable for smartphones working on iOS and Android with a diagonal of 4.7-5.5 inches. It has quality optics from Zeiss. It supports augmented reality. There is an open source code, but there are not enough applications yet. The price is 70 USD on the official website and from 15 USD on Amazon.
- Merge VR Goggles. Like Daydream View, this gadget is made of a smooth to the touch soft material instead of plastic. The glasses are universal for smartphones with a 4–7-inch diagonal and also allow you to adjust the distance between the lenses. They are suitable for children from 10 years. The price is 30 USD.
Samsung Gear VR design and ergonomicsThe device body is made of solid dark gray plastic. From the inside, the mask along the perimeter is covered with a soft foam pad, it fits the face comfortably and tightly. It is fixed with two straps with Velcros on the head — with horizontal and vertical ones. The smartphone place is covered with a plastic cover. The kit also contains a controller and a holder for it. The disadvantage of the design — you cannot play in prescription glasses. If you have already used Samsung Gear VR before, then there will be no problems with its control. If you have not, you'll have to get used to it. The headset has several key elements:
- Upper edge — there is a small wheel in the centre that adjusts the distance between the smartphone screen and the lenses. The more precise the setting is, the sharper the image is. IPD is not adjusted.
- Right side — there is a large sensor area in the centre slightly recessed into the body. Above it are the "Back" and "Home" buttons. They are used to control games and menus.
- Front panel — there are clamps for the smartphone on both sides, and there is a USB connector below on the right. It is interchangeable, i.e. you can install USB-C or micro-USB in the socket, both items are included in the kit.
- Inside — in addition to the lenses, there is a proximity sensor here that automatically turns off when a user takes off glasses.
Samsung Gear VR display and lensesA system of double lenses standard for VR is installed in the glasses. It expands the image from the screen and creates the effect of natural vision. The viewing angle in the last three generations models is 101 degrees, before it was less — 90-95 degrees. In computer and console headsets this figure is 110 degrees. But in Samsung Gear VR the immersion effect is also fully felt thanks to the isolation from the external light. The image is far from ideal because it is transmitted from the smartphone screen. Blur, pixels, a decrease in quality at the edges, a feeling of cartoon graphics where you do not need it — these are all common phenomena for mobile VRs. It means that a complete illusion of real life cannot be achieved. In all fairness it should be mentioned that even top headsets do not produce such an effect either. The display does not have glasses because they work from the smartphone. So the quality depends on the Samsung model which you install. All compatible flagships produced since 2015 offer a screen resolution of 2560x1440, and S8/S8+ — even 2960x1440. Therefore, even with old phones VR works quite well, but not much else.
Samsung Gear VR controllerIn the last two versions (SM-R324 and SM-R325), the controller is included in the kit. It looks good, matte plastic almost does not collect fingerprints, and it is convenient to hold it in hand because of the curved shape. It is powered by two AAA batteries, they are also in the box. They are enough for 80 hours. There is also a strap, so that the gadget does not fall off the hand, and a cloth clamp with the help of which the controller is attached to the headset. Let’s deal with control:
- Touch zone at the top panel, it is suitable for navigation.
- The "Back" button returns to the previous menu.
- The Home button goes to the main screen. Both buttons are under the touchpad.
- Volume rocker under the buttons adjusts the sound from the smartphone speakers or headphones.
- Trigger under the sensor zone works like a trigger and a simple selection of objects.
- The light indicator above the Samsung label displays a Bluetooth connection or a sleep mode.
Samsung Gear VR principle of operationLike any mobile VR device, the Samsung gadget cannot work without a connected smartphone. So, games and movies are shown on the phone's display, and lenses transmit the picture into the eyes. Performance, autonomy and quality also directly depend on the smartphone hardware, i.e. the more advanced the flagship you connect to the glasses is, the better the system works. For example, from Samsung Galaxy S8 on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with 4 GB of RAM available games and movies work smoothly, albeit with pixels. After 2 hours in the virtual reality the smartphone almost does not heat up, and the battery consumption is up to 40%. It is logical that on old smartphones Samsung Gear VR will work worse, there may be lags, slowdowns and low resolution of pictures. Since the glasses and the controller do not support physical movements, you can play anywhere and in any position. Samsung advises users to do it while sitting on a swivel chair.
Software and games for Samsung Gear VRTo get started, you will need to download the Oculus application for Android 5.0+. This is a basic program that will configure the system and open access to the virtual space with the store of other applications. The list of available content is on the official website, there are about 1400 games in total, of which 700 are free. These are mainly casual games, demo videos and virtual rooms. The games are simple and almost without any plot, which is standard for Oculus. There are advanced titles such as Minecraft and Hitman GO. Frankly speaking, there are a lot of low-quality demos, so it's better to choose them based on reviews and ratings. What’s more, each game is marked by a level of comfort — quick action games often cause nausea and dizziness. Native applications support usual and VR video and movies. You can install third-party players to watch YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. Through a built-in browser it is convenient to watch websites and videos without downloading applications. The text is not very readable yet because of low resolution. One more advantage of Samsung Gear VR — educational features. A first-aid training program is already built into the glasses. There are documentaries in the store with the effect of immersion, travel around the world, the solar system or inside the human body. In virtual rooms, for example, Oculus Rooms, you can also study, watch movies or chat with friends.
Samsung Gear VR packaging and arrangementThe standard packaging of the latest generation is a large box with labels and technical characteristics on the side edge. The kit includes:
- Samsung Gear VR glasses.
- Head straps.
- Samsung controller.
- Hand strap.
- Mount for controller.
- 2 AAA batteries.
- USB holder.
- User guide.
The hidden costs of purchasing Samsung Gear VRThe only thing you need for a full system operation and what there is not in the box is a smartphone. Samsung S6 or S6 Edge are the cheapest, but also the least productive options at the price from 170 USD to 200 USD. The most expensive will be the top Samsung Galaxy S9+ which is sold on Amazon for 800 USD. Therefore, the total price will be from 220 USD to 930 USD.
Accessories for Samsung Gear VRFor a change, in addition to the VR system you can buy the following items:
- SteelSeries Status XL gamepad, 40 USD. It is recommended by the manufacturer. It is a wireless joystick similar to the original Xbox controllers. It gives more control options, but there are not many games for it.
- MOGA Pro gamepad, 40 USD. It is also a wireless option with a fastening for a smartphone, i.e. it will be useful not only in the virtual reality. It has its own library of games.
- Samsung Gear 360 camera, 95 USD. It can record video in the 360 degrees format, which then can be edited, modified and watched in VR. In fact, it is an advanced webcam.
- Headphones, 10 USD+. Since there are no loudspeakers for the glasses, you will have to listen to music via the smartphone. It is much more convenient to buy headphones — there are a lot of options, including in-ear headphones or large headsets.
Samsung Gear VR installation and setting upBefore installing, download the Oculus application on your smartphone and go into your account. Then insert the gadget into the mounts and plug it into the USB connector, detailed instructions are provided in the box and on the Internet. It's quite simple and it takes about five minutes. Then the headset calibration will take one more additional minute. After the downloading opens the virtual space — home with screens where you can configure the system, choose and download games, and run applications. The control is performed by the touch panels in the glasses and in the controller, but it is much more to do it with voice, although the feature is under beta testing yet. As a result, the whole setup takes no more than 30 minutes, including the virtual reality checking and selecting of the first applications. There are no wires and cameras, all sensors — inside the glasses and smartphone.
Problems with the device and recommendations for Samsung Gear VR usageThere are no critical errors and bugs in Samsung Gear VR, but there are several things that can spoil the impression of its usage. As for the hardware, all processes occur in the smartphone, so first of all check it. Owners of the old flagships, for example, of the S6 model note that the phone becomes very hot during the game. The solution is to sit in a chair directly opposite the fan. It was not noticed in new smartphones. Remember that virtual reality can cause nausea and dizziness regardless of the glasses used. In case with Samsung Gear VR, the main problem is the unregulated distance between the lenses, which reduces the quality, distorts the image and makes the brain and eyes tired. Try to adjust the focal length with the help of a small wheel, this can compensate for the problem. And always stop playing if you feel badly. 1,5–2 hours are usually enough for the full immersion. To configure and test the system, use the Universal menu. To open it, hold down the "Back" button on the headset when it is turned on and is put on the head. In the menu you can:
- Enable / disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- Enable Do Not Disturb mode to stop calls and messages.
- Look through the straight-through smartphone camera at the real world.
- Calibrate the image and adjust it to the viewing angle.
- Adjust the volume and brightness.
Reviews about Samsung Gear VRUsers mention the assembly quality, good design and ergonomics, the full effect of immersion in the virtual reality, control through the controller. But the image quality with a pixel grid, insufficient updating rate and overheating in old smartphones make you tired and do not allow to enjoy VR to the full. There are many complaints about the Oculus content store where the best games and videos must be paid for and there are few free applications. At the same time savvy users have already found a lot of ways how to install third-party games and even to stream content from the PC. Instructions can be found on 4PDA. Samsung Gear VR is a great headset to learn about the virtual reality if you have a supported smartphone. At the same time on the electronics sites you can find past generations with a significant markdown up to 20 USD for SM-R322 (suitable for S6 and S7). If there are no Samsung flagships, then look for more affordable options, for example, standalone VR headsets.
Analogs Samsung Gear VR SM-R325
Showing 1-10 of 10 items.
|1,796||Google Glass 3.0||640×360||13°||36|
|7||VR Box VR 2.0||4.5 – 6"||100°||350|
|21||BOBOVR Z4||4.7 – 6.2"||120°||410|
|14||HIPER VRX||4.3 – 6"||360|
|27||Xiaomi Mi VR 2||103°|
|13||HIPER VRW||4.3 – 6"||390|
|18||HIPER VRQ+||4.3 – 6"||380|
|7||Remax VR Fantasyland||4.5 – 6"|
|7||Buro VR-369||4.7 – 6"||345|
|39||BOBOVR Z5||4.7 – 6.2"||120°||350|
|Model||Gear VR||Glass 2.0||Box VR 2.0||Z4|
|Total weight||345 gram||36 gram|
|Body weight||345 gram||350 gram||410 gram|
|Dimensions||207×99×121 mm.||200×110×130 mm.||215×120×195 mm.|
|AR - See-through|
|Smartphone screen size||4.5 – 6 inches||4.7 – 6.2 inches|
|Field of view horizontal||101 °||13 °||100 °||120 °|
|Minimum system requirements||Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge||устройства на базе Android 4.0.3 и iOS 7.x|
|Video recording options||720p|
|Headphone input 3.5mm|
|Touch control panel|