Samsung's Gear VR has been around for two years now, delivering great VR content wherever you happen to be. If you've been waiting to pick up a headset, and you've decided on the Gear VR then you have some options available to you.
That's why we've put together the Pros and Cons of the different models so that you can easily make the decision that is right for you.
2015 Gear VR
If you have been following VR since it started to become popular in 2015, then this is the model that you're going to remember. It was the first consumer model that Samsung put onto the market, and the first headset that was easy to wear on your face without needing to hold it in place. While it made VR much more interesting for new fans, there are a few things to remember.
This headset with made for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5, which means many newer model phones will not fit properly in the headset. While it was the cheaper headset at one point, it's now basically the same price as the 2016 model, meaning the big reason to purchase one is if you're still using an older model phone. If you've already upgraded past these phones,
The only real downside to owning this model if you can find it for cheap is the inability to support phones with USB-C ports for power and data. Your current phone will work just fine with this headset, but you next one probably will not. That means you'll need to update your VR headset when you update your phone if you want to keep the Gear VR apps and games you've already purchased.
2016 Gear VR
The most recent model of Gear VR, took everything the 2015 model did and improved upon on it. The 2016 model is lighter, larger, and the glossy white of the original has been changed to a matte black. The updates in the headset are small things that make big changes, like making the headset accessible to a larger family of phones, and far easier to use for an extended period of time. It's also a better experience for those with glasses, and the matte black interior reduces light reflection considerably.
While the many changes to the design of Gear VR's headset are fantastic, the most important is the ability to switch between Micro and USB-C connections. This means that if you've already upgraded to a USB-C phone — or plan to in the near future — you'll still be able to use your Gear VR. If you're looking to purchase the Gear VR that will last you the longest then it's going to be the 2016 model, as more phones are introduced with USB-C connections. This model is also much more comfortable to wear for a stretch, especially if you play in VR while wearing glasses.
What about Gear VR controllers?
While Gear VR has boasted a touchpad on the side of the headset since it's first model, and now they're going a step further. Their new controller will be compatible for any model of Gear VR, and will need to be purchased separately. They'll make interacting and being a part of your VR apps and experiences adds a serious layer of immersion, as any Daydream player can tell you. The new Gear VR controller has a touchpad along with several buttons, making it easier than ever to interact without being pulled out of the experience.
So which one should you buy?
Each model of Gear VR has it's own perks, and detriments. This is definitely a decision that you need to make for yourself, but by having all the information you can rest assured that you're making the best choice possible. 2015's Gear VR model is going to be a bit bulkier, and won't be usable if you have a USB-C phone.. In comparison the 2016 model is lighter, larger, offers more versatility with a swappable connection, and is going to be the best choice for longevity. Out of the two, the black 2016 Gear VR is definitely the more solid choice, especially if you've got your eye on a shiny new Galaxy S8.
Which Gear VR did you pick up? When did you grab a Gear VR? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments!
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