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CNET First Look
Samsung's Gear VR brings virtual reality to the massesCompetitively priced virtual reality is here -- provided you're a fan of Samsung phones.
The new Samsung Gear VR Headset is the company's best effort yet. It's lighter than the virtual reality headsets that have come before it, works with more phones, and is just 99 bucks, it's a great deal. Provided, of course, that you're set on being a virtual reality pioneer. And already own or at least are willing to buy a new Samsung phone. The new Gear VR is compatible with four phones. The Samsung Galaxy S6 The S6 Edge the Note 4 and the S6 Edge +. Switching between them is easy. There's a switch on the corner here. Bigger phones fit into tab A and you just slide it over to tab B to fit the smaller devices. The phones pop in and out really easily. And the Oculus store app is smart enough to start itself up whenever you plug it into the headset. Even if your phone is locked. Previous versions of Gear VR has only worked for the single phone. So this is a much nicer option. It'll make it easy to share VR with your Samsung only friends. The headset is smaller and lighter than the older VR Innovator addition. Which is important for something that's going to spend a lot of time hanging out on your face. It's comfortable too. The straps on the side are each to adjust, but the strap that goes on top of your head is optional. I like the secure, snug fit, but if you don't want it up there messing with your hair, just get rid of it. The padding around the goggles is soft and feels good after a long session, but I do worry about getting sweaty, especially if you're planning on sharing this with your buddies. There's a touchpad on the right side that sensitive [UNKNOWN] groove and a little nub on the center so it's easy to find the controls you need while you're fussing around in the dark. There's also a back button just above the touchpad that'll help you get through menus while you're playing games or watching movies. I don't wear glasses, but the Gear VR should be large enough to accommodate you're specs. There's also a focus real if you or your friends need to fine tune the experience. Now the focus here is still gaming but videos are becoming interesting. The Oculus Store has grown steadily and there are now over a hundred games in the [UNKNOWN] You'll swim with sharks, blast robots in space, or wander mysterious worlds solving puzzles, but you're still gonna have to take my word for it. This is a very personal experience. Tough to describe and impossible to really Show. You'll soon be able to try for yourself at places like Best Buy, and you'll really need to go hands on to see if virtual reality is right for you. Virtual reality is still young, and it's still not for everyone. Look, I'm not gonna tell you to run out and grab a Samsung phone just so you can check this out, but if you already own a compatible phone or are pretty much set on getting one. The 99 bucks is a great price to pay for a taste of what could be the future of gaming