Gear vr with controller

Gear vr with controller DEFAULT


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Our Verdict

For virtual reality newcomers, the new Gear VR with controller is one of the best options on the market as well as one of the most affordable. If you own the latest Samsung phone, or one released two years ago, this headset and controller combo is the best option available.


  • Lighter and more comfortable
  • Supports two year’s worth of Samsung phones
  • Controller is well made


  • Larger and more expensive than the Google Daydream View
  • Controller batteries not rechargeable

TechRadar Verdict

For virtual reality newcomers, the new Gear VR with controller is one of the best options on the market as well as one of the most affordable. If you own the latest Samsung phone, or one released two years ago, this headset and controller combo is the best option available.


  • + Lighter and more comfortable
  • + Supports two year’s worth of Samsung phones
  • + Controller is well made


  • - Larger and more expensive than the Google Daydream View
  • - Controller batteries not rechargeable


Update: Samsung has been fairly quiet about VR recently, but it's offering Gear VR owners a free adapter to make it compatible with the Galaxy Note 9, so it's definitely not forgotten about it. Rumors of a new headset have been circulating for a while, but we've yet to see anything concrete from the company.

The Samsung Gear VR is one of the best and cheapest ways to experiences virtual reality if you own a Samsung smartphone. And, now that you can pair it with a motion controller, it’s feels a lot more immersive.

The newest Gear VR for touts a streamlined, slightly improved design and features a USB-C connector that hooks directly into the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. However, the big draw here is the included wireless controller in the box.

It’s a small remote that looks similar to an HTC Vive controller, elevated touchpad, punchy trigger and all. And, while it may not get points for originality, it just works. Placed in either the right or left hand, this controller is simple to pair to your phone, and the motion controls add a new level of interactivity that was sorely missing from the Gear VR suite. 

Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View

Altogether, with the robust and ever-growing collection of VR content and the new controller, the new Gear VR is a painless recommendation. It’s lighter, more comfortable and cross-compatible with older Samsung phones, too. However, if you already own a previous version of the headset, you can pick up the controller separately.   

Samsung Gear VR price and release date

The new Samsung Gear VR is available now to the tune of $ (about £, AU$) and includes both the updated headset and its new accompanying controller. If you hunt, you can find it for cheaper online.

For those already rocking a Gear VR headset, Samsung plans on selling the controller separately for $39 (about £30, AU$50).

And, if you’re looking for a deal on the Samsung Gear VR, you’re in luck. Right now on Amazon in the US, you can pick up the Samsung Gear VR for just $ (about £, AU$) with a controller.  


The look of the new versus the old Samsung Gear VR isn’t night and day, though it has shed about a quarter pound in weight. When compared to the sleeker, smaller Google Daydream View, it’s still rather monstrous, but its size advantage yields unique benefits over Google’s one-size-fits-all headset.

First off, the optics inside can be adjusted using the top-mounted dial to make the picture easier to see for your eyes. Google’s headset comes at a fixed position and it may take some extra effort to see a clear image.

Keeping the light out is something that the Gear VR has always been good at and the new model is no exception. A welcome area of improvement is the breathability of the headset. On the first iteration, things would get steamy after a few minutes of use, rendering the lenses foggy like a mirror after a hot shower. But by adding a few more air vents beneath the eyes, I no longer find this to be an issue.

Compared to the older model, the cushion that rests around your eyes and nose is noticeably cozier and more supportive. Included in the box is a controller holder that can be installed into the head strap for easy storage.

The buttons and port location are familiar on the new headset, though they have received some tweaking. To match the layout of the new controller, the new headset’s touchpad now features a home button to take you straight out of any app or game that using you’re using.  

Confusingly, Samsung steamrolled the directional pad-shaped indicators on the touchpad. Sure, if you’ve used the Gear VR before, you’ll probably adjust easily to the change. But VR first timers might be put off, as the new solution doesn’t present the most intuitive control scheme.  

Instead of the microUSB port found on bottom of the original Gear VR that was used for keeping your phone charged, the new headset features a USB-C port that can do the same. Samsung touts it as a multifunction port, so it’s very likely that we’ll see more accessories coming that expand its capabilities, much like how the controller has done.  

Samsung includes a swappable microUSB connector, which enables compatibility with the following devices: 


The little controller is certainly the highlight of the show, so let’s dig into it. The motion-enabled wand matches the dark aesthetic of the new Gear VR, though it also goes nicely with the older model.

Powered by two AAA batteries, the small controller features a volume rocker, as well as a circular touchpad and the back and home button duo to mimic what’s found on the side of the headset. On its back, there’s a single trigger, which is nice to have for the inevitable onslaught of first-person shooters.

There are a handful of games that offer controller compatibility and they work in a manner that you’d expect if you’ve played anything on Google’s Daydream headset or even the Nintendo Wii. You can aim the controller around in the virtual reality world to select, shoot or pick up objects. Compared to other experiences, Samsung’s controller feels and performs on par.

For many early pre-order adopters of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, the new headset and its controller will come free. But even at $39 (about £30, AU$50), the controller is a welcome, well built addition to the Gear VR family.  

Samsung has made the controller compatible with the backlog of apps and games that are already available to users. Both the trigger and touchpad execute the same simple “confirm” command, but the motion capabilities are otherwise turned off.  


Current page: Introduction, design and controller

Next PageSoftware, performance and verdict

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.


Samsung Gear VR

Virtual reality headset by Samsung

The Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality headset developed by Samsung Electronics, in collaboration with Oculus VR, and manufactured by Samsung. The headset was released on November 27,

When in use, a compatible Samsung Galaxy device acts as the headset's display and processor, while the Gear VR unit itself acts as the controller, which contains the field of view, as well as a custom inertial measurement unit, or IMU, for rotational tracking, which connects to the smartphone via USB-C or micro-USB. The Gear VR headset also includes a touchpad and back button on the side, as well as a proximity sensor to detect when the headset is on.[3]

The Gear VR was first announced on September 3, [4] To allow developers to create content for the Gear VR and to allow VR and technology enthusiasts to get early access to the technology, Samsung had released two innovator editions of the Gear VR before the consumer version.


The Samsung Gear VR [5] is designed to work with Samsung’s flagship smartphones. Currently supported are Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy A8/A8+ () and Samsung Galaxy S9/Galaxy S9+.[6]

The Galaxy Note10, Note10+, Note10 5G, and the Note10+ 5G are not supported by the Gear VR.[7][8]

The focus can be adjusted using the wheel at the top of the headset. A trackpad is located on the right of the device, home and back buttons are located just above it. Volume can be adjusted through the volume rockers also found on the right hand side. A USB-C port is located on the bottom of the headset.[9]

Some of the major goals Samsung set for this project regarding hardware were: that their headset could support MTP (Motion to Photon) latency less than 20 ms; the optimization of hardware and kernel; and also to create Galaxy Note 4’s QHD display that enables high-resolution rendering in the headset. The lenses field of view are 96° for the first three models[10][11] and ° for the R[12]

Oculus Home is the main facility to download and use content on the Samsung Gear VR. Oculus Home is also the main line for software distribution on the Gear VR. The primary appeal of the Gear VR is for mobile virtual-reality based gaming and simulations, however, recent interest is growing in the effective use of this device in science and medical education.[13]


Although the Samsung Gear VR consumer edition was released in November , Samsung had obtained a patent on a head-mounted display (HMD) in January This was one of the first ideas of using a mobile phone as the display for a HMD. However, mobile phone technology at the time the patent was submitted limited the degree of quality and performance possible. Samsung continued to research VR and HMD internally.

With the release of the Galaxy S4 in , Samsung formed an official team dedicated to developing a virtual reality based device that would work with a smartphone. While this team developed multiple different prototypes, the performance and display (despite the Galaxy S4 having a Full HD display) were not yet up to standards.[14] In Samsung partnered with Oculus (the creators of another well-known virtual reality device, the Oculus Rift) to help with the development. The Samsung Gear VR was unveiled during the Samsung press conference at IFA Berlin on September 3, (along with a smartphone capable of running it, the Galaxy Note 4).[15]

Hardware editions[edit]

Two women wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets

The first edition of Samsung's Gear VR, the SM-R, was released in December This version was only compatible with the Galaxy Note 4. This edition was mainly released for developers so they could get an understanding of how the device worked and so they could create content which would be ready for the official release of the consumer version of the device. It also gave the chance for VR/technology enthusiasts to gain early access to the technology.[16] The second edition of Samsung’s Gear VR, the SM-R, was released in March This device supports only the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. A micro USB port is also added, to provide additional power to the docked device, as well as a small fan inside to prevent the lens fogging.

The next edition, SM-R, was simply referred to as the Samsung Gear VR. It was released on November 20, Pre-orders for the device went live on Amazon, Bestbuy and Samsung on November 10, and the device was sold out on the day of release. This edition has again a few minor changes compared to the previous iterations. This edition supports six Samsung Galaxy devices so far: the S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Note 5, S7, and S7 edge. It is also 19% lighter than the previous Innovator Edition, it has improved ergonomics and a redesigned touchpad for easier navigation.[17]

The SM-R model was released alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and features minor changes, including an improved field of view, increased cushioning, a flat trackpad, and changes to the cover and body of the device to reduce glare. The model also utilizes USB-C connector instead of USB Micro-B so that it could be connected to the Note 7. The port is also capable of data transfer. Adapters are provided for use with older devices using micro USB connectors.[18][19][20] On October 11, , in observance of a recall and discontinuation of the smartphone, the Gear VR was made incompatible with the Galaxy Note 7 for safety reasons.[21]

An updated model, SM-R, with support for the larger Galaxy S8 was unveiled on 29 March , for release alongside the phone on 21 April Samsung also unveiled a handheld Gear VR Controller accessory, which is bundled with the updated model, and will be available as a standalone accessory for existing devices. It remains compatible with existing supported devices.[22][23]

An updated model, SM-R, with support for the larger Note 8 was unveiled on 15 September , for release alongside the phone. Samsung also unveiled a handheld Gear VR Controller accessory, which is bundled with the updated model, and will be available as a standalone accessory for existing devices. It remains compatible with existing supported devices.

End of Samsung support[edit]

On May 11, Samsung announced that it will be ending service for its XR applications. The service will terminate as a whole on September 30, [24]
With the announcement ° video uploads and premium video purchases were disabled immediately. Premium videos from the service are accessible until September 30, Samsung XR and Samsung VR Video clients will no longer receive updates.

On June 30, the support for the Samsung VR Video app ended on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest and the app was removed from the Oculus VR store.

From September 30, on all Samsung XR user accounts will be disabled and removed and the according account information and data will be permanently deleted from the Samsung XR service. All published videos will be removed from the Samsung XR service. The Samsung VR Video app will no longer be supported on Samsung Gear VR and Windows Odyssey. The app will be removed from the Oculus and Microsoft Mixed Reality stores. The Samsung XR mobile app will no longer be supported on Android devices. The mobile app will also be removed from the Galaxy Store and Google Play.

Oculus (now owned by Facebook) continues its support with the Oculus Gear VR app currently available from Google Play. The Oculus Gear VR Store allows Facebook users to download hundreds of Oculus Gear VR VR experiences, games, apps, entertainment, and more.

List of editions and smartphone compatibilities[edit]

Samsung Galaxy VR (SM-R)[25]

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (with adaptor from Samsung) Galaxy Note9 is compatible with Gear VR model number SM-RNZVC*** only[26]
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Utilises a USB-C connector and can be used with the below models using an adaptor
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 Star

Samsung Galaxy VR (SM-R)

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Utilises a USB-C connector and can be used with the below models using an adaptor
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy VR (SM-R)

  • Samsung Galaxy Note7 (initially)
  • Utilises a USB-C connector and can be used with the below models using an adaptor
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Gear VR (SM-R)

  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Gear VR (SM-R)

  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Gear VR (SM-R)


  1. ^"Samsung Confirms 5 Million Gear VR Mobile Headsets Sold To Date".
  2. ^"Specifications | Samsung Gear VR with Controller". Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. Retrieved May 11,
  3. ^"Samsung Gear VR - Specs". Retrieved October 10,
  4. ^"Samsung Explores the World of Mobile Virtual Reality with Gear VR". Retrieved June 11,
  5. ^"Earn % Cashback on Samsung Gear VR".
  6. ^"Samsung Gear VR consumer edition goes on sale in the US". TrustedReviews. Retrieved November 26,
  7. ^"The Note 10 isn't compatible with Samsung's Gear VR headset". Android Central. August 8, Retrieved August 17,
  8. ^Staff (August 14, ). "Samsung Galaxy Note 10 marks the end of Google Daydream, Gear VR". BGR India. Retrieved August 17,
  9. ^"What are the buttons on my Samsung Gear VR Innovator's Edition, and what do they do?". Samsung Electronics America. Retrieved November 26,
  10. ^"Gear VR: How Samsung makes Virtual Reality a Reality". Samsung Electronics Official Blog: Samsung Tomorrow. Retrieved November 24,
  11. ^"Samsung Gear VR review". Engadget UK. Retrieved December 10,
  12. ^"Samsung Gear VR review". Cnet. Retrieved October 16,
  13. ^Moro, Christian; Štromberga, Zane; Stirling, Allan (November 29, ). "Virtualisation devices for student learning: Comparison between desktop-based (Oculus Rift) and mobile-based (Gear VR) virtual reality in medical and health science education". Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. 33 (6). doi/ajet ISSN&#;
  14. ^"Samsung Gear VR consumer edition goes on sale in the US". Trusted Reviews - The Latest Technology News and Reviews. Retrieved November 26,
  15. ^"IFA Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Gear VR and Gear S hands-on". Retrieved November 24,
  16. ^"Introducing the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition". Retrieved November 24,
  17. ^"Samsung Gear VR now available for pre-orders at $99". Retrieved November 24,
  18. ^"Leak: Samsung's new Gear VR has wider field of view, works with Note 7".
  19. ^"New Gear VR redesign doesn't fix what wasn't already broken last year". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 1,
  20. ^O'Kane, Sean (August 2, ). "Samsung gives the Gear VR a facelift". The Verge. Retrieved October 4,
  21. ^"Oculus disables Gear VR on Galaxy Note 7 over safety fears". The Verge. Retrieved October 11,
  22. ^"Samsung Galaxy S8's VR headset delivers refined graphics, so-so controller". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved March 30,
  23. ^"Samsung's Gear VR may be the Galaxy S8's greatest fringe benefit". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30,
  24. ^"Samsung XR is ending service for its XR apps on September 30, ". Retrieved September 14,
  25. ^"Which Galaxy smartphones are compatible with which Gear VRs?". Samsung. Retrieved August 23,
  26. ^"Specifications Gear VR Compatibility". Samsung. Retrieved October 30,

External links[edit]

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  2. How to mute roku remote
  3. Ali low back seamless
  4. Pizza in somers, ct
  5. Amazon paint by numbers kids

The Gear VR, a mobile headset created by Oculus and Samsung, has played a huge role in advancing virtual reality. It was the first commercial headset to combine a wireless, phone-based design with real power and interactivity, and at over 5 million shipped, it’s the most widely owned headset outside Google Cardboard. But it’s succeeded in spite of some frustrating design problems, particularly the lack of a good control system. This week, that’s being fixed with a new handheld controller, which will be bundled with the Gear VR from now on. It’s a big step forward, but the execution raises one big question: how long will Samsung and Oculus keep retrofitting the Gear VR instead of redesigning it?

The new Gear VR controller, which will be released on April 21st, won’t replace the headset’s built-in controls — in fact, the Gear VR itself isn’t changing at all. Instead, it copies them onto a small black remote shaped like a botched eclair. The Gear VR trackpad becomes a clickable pad at the round upper end, and the Back and Home buttons sit side by side just below it, while the volume clicker is turned into a flat strip of plastic right in the middle. On the underside, there’s a new trigger.

Like Google’s Daydream controller, the Gear VR controller also has limited motion sensing capabilities. While it’s not fully tracked, you can use it to point at things in VR or make simple gestures. All this brings the Gear VR’s total price from $99 to $, and if you already own the headset, you can add one for $

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

The controller doesn’t transform how you can use the Gear VR in the way the way motion controls transformed the Oculus Rift. But it makes the headset far more convenient to use. The Gear VR’s built-in controls force you to keep your hand raised to your head for long periods of time, and it’s difficult to find the textureless trackpad on the side. The controller offers something you can easily hold at all times, it adds tactile feedback by making the trackpad clickable, and if you’re left-handed like me, you aren’t stuck using the controls with your off hand. Beyond ergonomics, having a separate pointer lets you interact with objects while looking somewhere else, instead of having to click while staring right at an interface element.

Like the headset itself, the controller is artless and sort of ugly. It’s designed with the same chintzy indifference as Samsung’s old gamepad, made of dull black plastic. The trigger feels loose and mushy, and although you can click individual corners of the trackpad, it all feels like pressing different sides of the same button. Daydream’s remote feels cheap, too, but its design is intentionally light and toylike, without so many separate, imperfectly fitted pieces of plastic. (Also, after this price bump, Daydream is much cheaper than the Gear VR.)

But in terms of pure function, Samsung’s design works great. The contours let you grip it in a way you can’t do with Google Daydream’s remote, and the trigger — which Google considered but cut from Daydream — is an intuitive selection tool. And like Oculus Touch, the Gear VR uses disposable batteries instead of USB charging, which is helpful if you don’t want to worry about maintaining a steady recharging regimen. In my non-scientific tests, the motion controls also drifted out of place less frequently than with Daydream, although I still needed to reset the perspective every so often.

Oculus says over 70 titles will soon be optimized for the Gear VR controller, and it let me try out roughly a dozen titles that supported it. In most of them, like Facebook’s degree video app or the Hearthstone-like game Dragon Front, the controller is just a more convenient way of doing the same things you did before. But it makes shooting games feel very different, since you can use your hand as a simple gun instead of attacking things by staring at them. Not everyone will prefer this, but it’s great to have the option.

Zombie rail shooter Drop Dead pushes the motion controls a step further by having you drop your “gun” downward to reload, which is clever and effective. On the other hand, I had a bad time with Oculus-published game Dead & Buried in an earlier hands-on — it asked me to simulate quick-drawing a gun, which felt clumsy and unnatural without full hand tracking. While I didn’t get to try it again for this review, it suggests where the limits of this controller might lie.

Overall, I also wish the Gear VR controller felt more like an integral part of the Gear VR, instead of one more piece added to an already overcomplicated platform. Having two very similar control systems could be convenient; you could leave the remote at home, for instance, and use the built-in options on the go. But it can also be confusing. Sometimes the device would go on standby when I put it down to watch something, and it would take me a second to figure out that I’d switched over to head controls when I was done. Also, not every app had the same basic interface when I tried them: social app vTime used trackpad clicks instead of the trigger, and Dragon Front was stuck in right-hand mode.

The Gear VR has so many little accessories at this point that I’m almost scared to take it out of its box. There’s the removable over-the-head strap, the slide-on adapter for different generations of phone, the protective front panel that I’ve lost on multiple Gear VRs — and now this controller, too. (You’ll also still need a console gamepad for some games.) There’s a small elastic strap that can hook the controller to the side of the headset so you don’t lose it, but it’s an inelegant solution compared to Daydream’s self-contained design.

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

As of this week, the Gear VR is the most full-featured and versatile mobile headset on the market, including Google’s Daydream View. But it’s striking how little it’s changed since the development kit, when it has such annoying and eminently fixable issues — like the lazy industrial design, the frustrating process of clipping in a phone, and now a duplicate control system.

It’s possible that Samsung doesn’t want to do a radical redesign while smartphones are going through some small but important design changes, like the switch from Micro USB to USB-C or the ongoing headphone jack battle. Or it could be waiting for Oculus to make more progress on inside-out tracking, which would be a massive leap for mobile VR. Releasing incremental, backwards-compatible updates would be a user-friendly way to improve the Gear VR while designing a cohesive second-generation revamp.

But this lag could also suggest the Gear VR is more a stepping stone than a serious product. It’s remarkable that Samsung and Oculus — two companies known for designing great-looking devices — have produced so many generations of the same ugly hardware, then extended that design to a new accessory as well. They’ve got a powerful core system, but haven’t polished it up. And both companies are working on dedicated headsets that don’t need a phone. If these come to fruition, the phone-based Gear VR could become more like an entry-level budget option, or be phased out altogether. If that happens, at least this controller will put it out to pasture gracefully.

Samsung Gear VR SETUP \u0026 REVIEW with Galaxy S7 \u0026 S7 Edge (4K)

Samsung Gear VR () review: Samsung Gear VR's best feature isn't the Galaxy S8, it's the controller

Gear VR is a snap-on, wireless affordable way to turn your Samsung Galaxy phone into a surprisingly capable basic virtual reality headset. And years later, it's still pretty impressive.

What's new in the latest version of Gear VR:

  • A wireless motion controller finally adds one-handed, easier controls in apps.
  • A revamped Gear VR software update adds higher resolution, a built-in web browser, and VR apps run smoother and cooler on existing phones and headsets.
  • The new Gear VR headset fits the new S8 and S8 Plus phones, but it's basically the same as last year's headset.

The new Gear VR headset works with the Galaxy S8 Plus, S8, S7, S7 Edge, Note5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ and comes with Micro USB and USB-C adapters. The extra bits of gear, however, mean keeping track of small dongles. Google's more elegant Daydream View design works without any plug-in dongles at all, but the larger Gear VR, while bulkier and more plastic, fits better on my face.

Again, don't get a new Gear VR headset if you have an old one; just buy the new remote instead.

The Gear VR still works with wired headphones, leaving the headphone jack space on the phone unobstructed. But it's probably better to use wireless headphones to reduce the cable tangle.

I've been using the latest version one with the new Galaxy S8 Plus over the last couple of weeks. To be clear, this isn't the same high-end VR hardware as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Those are more-advanced pieces of tech that also require a cutting-edge PC.

No, the Gear VR does not push the envelope, but it's probably the VR I'd use daily, and the one I'd recommend to most people as a starter kit. Why? Because 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.

Gear VR came free if you preordered a Galaxy S8 but costs $ for the controller plus headset for everyone else. If you already have an older Gear VR headset, the controller works with your older setup for an extra $

Compared to other mobile VR systems like Google's Daydream View, Gear VR currently has more apps to choose from. For that reason alone, I'd still go with Gear VR over Daydream. But most people, I'd say, should simply get the one that matches the phone they have or want.

If you already have Gear VR, get the new controller, because it's the best part of what's new. But just be forewarned that right now there aren't a ton of apps that take full advantage of it.

VR needs a good remote

Instead of touching an awkward trackpad on the side of your head, there's finally a remote. It has a home button, back button, volume controls and a trigger on the bottom, plus a click pad. It feels like a pointer, or a magic wand. In my hand, it's a better version of what Google packed in with Daydream. But it's also bulkier and not as cleverly packed into the headset design.

Samsung includes a simple elastic strap that's meant to tuck the controller into the Gear VR's headband when not in use, but I worry that this will be one more remote to lose.

The controller can be waved around to track motion, and its motion-sensing is cleverly tuned to fit the hand you're holding it in. Also, the pointer seems slightly larger in VR than it actually is in my hand. The controller doesn't vibrate, but it has all the other basic controls a VR remote would need. Instead of USB charging, it runs on two AAA batteries to last longer.

Facebook's all over this thing

Facebook owns Oculus, and Oculus powers the software and apps of Gear VR. The future of Facebook and Oculus becomes clearer with the latest Gear VR software update I used. For one, the Oculus app that runs on your Galaxy phone now defaults to a Facebook log-in, instead of an Oculus account.

Using Facebook means an easier way of looping in friends to connect with in VR -- something that Facebook is actively concerned with -- but it also means that your mobile VR experience via Gear VR will become increasingly interlinked with your Facebook life.

Facebook is Gear VR's Facebook-specific app, but it's not much more than a small collection of panoramic and degree videos and photos from your friends' feeds. Facebook's bolder, far more interactive Spaces app isn't available on Gear VR (yet), and there's no clear indication when it will come to Gear VR, if at all.

No more hot phone

Oculus' Gear VR software update, which also runs on older Samsung phones using Gear VR, is more power efficient. I haven't tried it across older Samsung phone models, but the Galaxy S8 Plus with Gear VR doesn't get super-warm like the previous model did when plugged into VR. And, the battery drain seems so far to be a lot more manageable. An hour or so of VR used up about 15 percent of my battery. With older Gear VR models, I'd be lucky to get a couple of hours of VR use max on a full charge.

A handful of controller-ready apps

Don't expect all Gear VR apps to fully work with the new remote. Right now, a couple dozen apps are fully remote-supported, which use the controller as a pointer and controller. Hulu, Altspace VR, the excellent Gear VR battle game Wands, and Harmonix' karaoke game Singspace are some of the notables.

Other older apps can use the controller's touchpad, but not the motion controls. Samsung promises more apps will adopt the remote fully, but that depends on app developers bothering to update their apps.

The best mobile VR for now

VR will keep evolving, adding room-sensing cameras for full motion tracking, or maybe even hand-tracking without a remote. Gear VR isn't the bleeding edge anymore. In fact, its new controller is really just letting it keep up with what Google has done with Daydream VR last year. But the total expansive package of Gear VR apps, and the growing Facebook-supported functions in Oculus' apps, make it a better package than before.With augmented reality possibly stealing VR's thunder in the next year or so, and newer VR hardware coming sometime down the road, you're best thinking of Gear VR as the most polished way of trying videos and basic VR right now. For that, it's worth the expense. It's clear that Oculus and Facebook have plans that go way beyond what Gear VR can do right now. But at the moment, Gear VR remains every Samsung phone owner's greatest fringe benefit.


With gear controller vr

Setup instructions

  1. Insert your supported Android phone into the Samsung Gear VR headset.
    • If prompted, eject your phone and proceed to complete the Gear VR installation or upgrade process.
  2. Launch the Oculus Browser (or the Samsung Internet browser) from the Oculus Lobby.
  3. Load or
  4. Enjoy WebVR content!

Supported browsers

Samsung Internet


Oculus Browser




Supported phones



How do I install the Gear VR software on my Android phone?

It’s just plug-and-play! If your Android phone is compatible with Gear VR, simply insert your device into the headset viewer.

The models from – have MicroUSB plugs, although the latest model has a default USB-C plug (i.e., for newer phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8), but the product box also contains adapters for MicroUSB (for older Android phones that are still compatible with the Gear VR).

Now put the headset on your head. The system will automatically detect if it needs to download and install (or possibly update) the software. (Make sure you’re on a WiFi connection before proceeding.)

Can I still use the older versions of the Gear VR (models from –)?

WebVR is still supported in the initial version of the Gear VR that was released in model () or the earlier model (), but it’s recommended that you purchase and use the latest model, the Gear VR with Controller (Galaxy Note8 Edition) ().

The latest model has a default USB-C plug, but the product box also contains adapters for MicroUSB (for older Android phones that are still compatible with the Gear VR).

My controller won’t turn on!

You may find yourself pressing buttons on the controller but the indicator light won’t turn on. The trick is to press-and-hold down the Home button for several seconds.

Home button on Gear VR controller
How do I pair a new Gear VR controller?
  1. Ensure your phone is properly set up for VR.
  2. Insert your phone in the headset, hold the controller in your hand, and wait for the Oculus Lobby to load.
  3. On the controller, press and hold down on the Home button for several seconds.
    Home button on Gear VR controller
  4. Remove your phone from the Gear VR headset.
  5. There will be a system notification that will take you to the pairing flow. (You can also access this from the Android Settings: > > .)
  6. Insert your phone back in the Gear VR headset.
  7. To reorient your position in VR and to turn the controller on later, hold the Home button for several seconds.
How do I use the Gear VR controller?

You can use the 3DoF motion controller that ships with the latest model of the headset, the Gear VR with Controller (Galaxy Note8 Edition) (). You can use only one controller per headset, so you can choose to hold the controller in your left or right hand.

Here are the controls:

Touchpad on Gear VR controller
Back and Home buttons on Gear VR controller
Volume buttons on Gear VR controller
Trigger on Gear VR controller
My controller position is misplaced in VR. How do I fix this?

While in VR, hold your head still, and then press-and-hold down the Home button for several seconds.

Home button on Gear VR controller
Samsung Gear VR Controller Review

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