After the successful launch of the innovative Gear VR for the Note 4, Samsung is continuing its virtual reality push with a new version of Gear VR for the S6 and S6 Edge.
I’m a huge fan of Gear VR, and I’m very happy to see its continued success.
The main difference is that this one is powered by the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
The S6 is slightly lighter and smaller than the Note 4, so this Gear VR version is also slightly lighter and smaller.
Also, this version will allow USB charging while using the headset. Whereas the Note 4 must be removed from the Gear VR to use its charger. In my use of the Gear VR, I have rarely felt a need to charge it while using it. I imagine that heavy use while charging would frequently lead to overheating. Due to its smartphone architecture, the Gear VR automatically shuts down when the temperature gets too high.
Another difference is that the S6 does not feature a removable SD card or removable battery. This is probably the biggest disadvantage for this model, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker as the internal storage for the S6 should be enough for most people.
I would also note that the Note 4 has a stylus whereas the S6 doesn’t. I have been an Iphone user for a long time, and I thought that the stylus was a thing of the past. However, it is actually a brilliant feature for this device. It enables you to use the screen without getting it covered in oily fingerprints which affect the display.
Also, the Samsung S series is somewhat cheaper than the Note series. This means that it is cheaper access to the Gear VR experience.
[Updated March 2015] A new very interesting difference has come to light. We see that the new Gear VR has a fan to prevent lense fogging. As someone with a lot of experience using Gear VR, this is a very nice new feature. It’s easy in a hot environment to make the lenses fog.
But Mostly The Same Thing
So those are the differences. But by and large, the new Gear VR experience is very similar to the last.
The S6 and the Note 4 have the same screen resolution: a very respectable 2560 by 1440 pixels. So the visual fidelity should be about the same.
The computer and graphics power behind the two phones is also very similar. This means that all apps designed for the Note 4 version should work well on the S6 version, and vice-versa.
The Future of Gear VR
This new Gear VR release shows that Samsung is serious about virtual reality. The Gear VR has been selling much better than expected.
John Carmack, the legendary engineer leading the Gear VR project, stated the importance of getting out a product and then iterating on it. He talked about how great it is iterating along with Samsung’s predictable product releases. This is proof that those forecasts are coming along.