Samsung ditches the white plastic for a sleeker look, with lots of functional changes in tow.
With the Galaxy Note 7's move to using a USB-C port, Samsung had to refresh its Gear VR headset — and it used this opportunity to make some solid changes to the headset overall. The new headset has swappable plugs to accommodate either USB-C or older Micro-USB Galaxy phones, with a clever system that lets the plugs be swapped out in a matter of seconds. The headset itself now has a USB-C port for pass-through charging, and even offers data transmission — which isn't in use yet, but surely opens up the door for the future of VR peripherals.
The latest version of the Gear VR is immediately recognizable as it moves from the previous white plastic build to a dark blue and black shell, which not only looks sleeker but will cut down on light reflection on the inside of the headset near the lenses. That slick new dark design shouldn't distract from the functional changes that Samsung has made, though.
Those who bought recently may feel a little slighted when seeing all of the improvements.
The touch pad on the right side is now smoother and easier to navigate, and there's a dedicated home button that will quickly send you back to the main interface. The foam padding for your face is even more comfortable, and the straps are now longer and more adjustable for long-term use. In the smallest of tweaks, the lenses are now set up to offer a 101-degree field of view, up from 96-degrees in the previous version.
With its interchangeable plugs and design tweaks, the new version of the Gear VR will be able to completely replace the previous version, which will help standardize everyone on the same headset going forward and also keep the price down.