Samsung has made the Galaxy Note 8 officially official, and that means there are at least a couple of folks out there wondering what upgrading to this new phone means for your existing experiences. If you have a Galaxy S7, is this the big upgrade you've been hoping for? Our friends at Android Central have been breaking down all of the reasons to consider an upgrade from a smartphone perspective, but if you're passionate about the Gear VR or Daydream experiences that your current phone is capable of there's a few things you need to know about this new Note.
That processor though
Any concerns you have ever had about your phone overheating in VR disappear with the Galaxy Note 8. On top of having a larger body to dissipate heat, the phone is powered by Snapdragon's impressive new 835 processor with Samsung's equally impressive cooling system. This cooling system delivered some impressive results with the Galaxy S8 released earlier this year, and this more capable processor is going to make sure your battery lasts longer and your phone is nowhere near as warm as other Gear VR experience from the past.
Bottom line? If you see an overheat warning with this phone in a Gear VR it's probably because you're playing near a volcano. Don't play in VR near a volcano, that's not safe.
Bigger displays aren't always better
If you want a huge display with your phone, the 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy Note 8 will give you plenty to ooh and aah at, but in VR things are a little different. Size doesn't matter nearly as much as density when connected to a Gear VR or Daydream View, and in that respect the Galaxy Note 8 is actually the worst of Samsung's recent phones by far.
This massive display has the same 2960x1440 resolution as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, which are both physically smaller. This means the display on the Galaxy Note 8 has fewer pixels per inch, which means the screen door effect will be slightly more pronounced on this phone than the others Samsung has released this year.
Is this a huge deal-breaker? Not for most people, but it's important information to have when choosing which phone is your next if you care about VR.
Big questions about battery
This Galaxy Note 8 has a larger display than a Galaxy S8+ but somehow also has less battery? Everyone knows the display sucks down more battery than anything else, which means there are a lot of things we don't know when it comes to how well this phone is going to perform over time.
Seeing 3300mAh on a specs sheet does not mean for sure the Galaxy Note 8 will have less battery life than the 3500mAh battery in the Galaxy S8+. There are a lot of things to consider, especially when it comes to the energy saving capabilities of the Snapdragon 835 processor. This phone could well be better with VR than the Galaxy S8, but it's going to take some testing to be sure.
Call this one an unknown, because right now it really could go either way.
Older Gear VR headsets need not apply
Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 will fit into any Daydream View headset with no problem, but you're going to need the "new" Gear VR when you upgrade to this phone. The Galaxy Note 8 will not fit in the cut-out of the older Gear VR headsets, which means you wont' be able to get the seal needed to start the Oculus software. This version of the headset is available on September 15th, and its one big feature over the previous generation is being able to fit the Note 8.
You could probably modify your headset if you're feeling brave, but it's probably a much safer bet to just grab a new Gear VR when you grab the Note 8. Alternately, you could also give Daydream a try. You've got options now!
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