Samsung reveals the Gear VR, a shell that turns a Galaxy Note 4 into a virtual reality headset
Looks like Samsung's got its fingers in a shiny new virtual pie
Alongside the Note 4 and Note Edge announcements in Berlin, Samsung surprised the tech world with another, rather different product – the Gear VR.
It’s a virtual reality headset not unlike the Oculus Rift (indeed, it was created in collaboration with the Oculus team), but it does have some major differences.
For starters, the Gear VR isn’t dependant on a PC. Instead, it’s powered entirely by the Note 4 itself, which slots in front of the VR’s built-in adjustable lenses, beaming its sharp 5.7in 2K Super AMOLED screen straight into your retinas.
The Gear VR has a touchpad and a back button on the side for menu navigation and basic gameplay, although you can beef up controls in more complex games with Android-compatible Bluetooth headsets.
Currently, the Note 4 is the only device supported by the Gear VR, and not just because it’s the only one that’ll fit inside it.
Samsung tells us that the power of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with the pixel packed density of the 2560 x 1440 display, means that the Note 4 should deliver a quality, fluid VR experience
In our brief hands-on session with the Gear VR, we were left feeling rather surprised with its near-Oculus Rift levels of immersion, although it lacks the infrared camera 3D head tracking which lets you peer around virtual objects and corners.
There’s no price or release date announced for the Gear VR as of yet, although we expect to see some Note 4 bundles when it launches.
Stay tuned for more info, as and when we get it.