Picking the right phone for VR has never been so fraught.
The Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 all deliver an excellent experience in VR whether you want to enjoy Gear VR, or Daydream. Trying to figure out which of these excellent phones is the best one for VR is tough when they all are fantastic, but when it comes time to upgrade you'll only be able to choose one. That's why we've pitted these three phones against one another, to work out which one is the best for VR.
Keep reading to see whether Samsung's Galaxy S8, S8+ or Note 8 is the superior phone for VR!
When it comes to the look and feel of Samsung's Galaxy line, the S8, S8+ and Note 8 are all very similar. This means the differences in design are small, making them easy to overlook when you're trying to decide which phone is the right one for you.
The Galaxy S8 is the smallest of the three with only a 5.8-inch screen. The S8+ delivers slightly more screen at 6.2-inches, and then the Note 8 tops out the display size with 6.3 inches. All of the phones deliver a super-tall display, meaning that you get plenty of screen space to feast your eyes on when your phone is in a VR headset. That increased screen size also means that the Note 8 is easily the heaviest at 195 grams, while the S8+ is 173 grams, and the S8 weighs only 153 grams.
While the difference in weight is small, it does end up making a big difference. That's because no matter which phone you decide to run with, you're going to be wearing it on your face when you are in VR. The S8 and S8+ don't start to feel heavy for quite a while when you are playing, but the Note 8 is a different matter. It becomes noticeable after just a few short minutes and becomes uncomfortable by the time you hit the 30-minute mark.
From the outside, the phone looks nearly identical. The S8 is a bit smaller, with rounded corners and a curved screen versus the bigger boxier look and feel of the Note 8. With such a large screen, the phone itself is just huge. When it's slotted into the Gear VR it leaves absolutely no extra room. However, of the three, the S8+ does the best job of slotting into the headsets without being too big or unwieldy when you do.
Of course from within VR the only thing that you can see is the screen. While all three phones have great screens, the S8+ wins out by having a screen with the highest density of pixels. This means that you aren't going to run into the screen door effect.
Under the hood
Of course when it comes to a phone running your VR experiences, then it's really under the screen that matters the most. In that case, all three of these phones run an excellent processor, capable of letting you enjoy any game you decide to download and play.
The big difference under the hood is really when it comes to memory. All three phones can be expanded to 256GB with an additional memory card, but the Note 8 has 6GB of RAM versus the S8's 4GB. Likewise, you can only pick up a 64GB storage S8, while the Note 8 comes in 64, 128, and 256GB of storage space. Both have very capable batteries, but the Note 8's 3300mAh beats out the S8's 330mAh, the S8+ has the biggest battery with a 3500 mAh battery.
While specific features that each of these phones deliver are awesome by themselves, the most important part for VR is how they all work together to create an awesome experience. While the Note 8 has more RAM, more storage for games, and the biggest, brightest screen, it actually doesn't deliver the best overall experience.
Between the smaller battery, the sheer size of the phone, and the weight that comes with it they take away from the things that the Note does right. When it comes to combining excellent battery life, a lighter weight while you are wearing it on your face, and a processor capable of running great apps and games, the Galaxy S8+ rises to the top.
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the best phone for VR
Samsung's Galaxy line of phones are the best of the best, and with Gear VR, all of them are built with VR in mind. With three different excellent phones to choose from, there really isn't a bad choice. What there is, is a better choice. The Note 8 does an admirable job in VR, but this phone is built with very specific uses in mind, and VR isn't the first priority. The Galaxy S8+ is light, and it has plenty of expandable storage.
The big win for The S8+ is intertwined with that gigantic battery, and the pixel density of the screen. It's got a better battery than the Galaxy S8, and the screen is denser than the Note 8. These little things all add up making the S8+ the best option for your adventures in VR!