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Up close with Samsung's $99 Gear VR headset (pictures)

Here's the official way to turn your Samsung smartphone into a virtual reality headset.

Sean Hollister
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
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It's a virtual reality headset for your smartphone. Any 2015 Samsung Galaxy smartphone, in fact.

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2 of 13 Nate Ralph/CNET

It's basically a plastic box with lenses and inertial sensors inside.

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Think of it like a pair of ski goggles. You strap it to your face, and look through the lenses.

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You control the virtual reality experiences with a touchpad on the right side, just over your temple. The new version's touchpad has indentations so you can clearly tell which directions are up, down, left and right.

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The virtual worlds you see through those lenses are actually displayed on the magnified screen of your smartphone -- stretched across your field of vision.

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Or you can just remove the smartphone if you want the Wall-E look. You know, for Halloween or something.

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A new addition to the content you can view through a Samsung Gear VR: Netflix! No, the movies aren't converted to virtual reality. They're still flat, but we're guessing you can watch them on a giant screen in a virtual reality theater.

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The new headset works with four different smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5.

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Here's the the retaining clip you need to adjust the headset for different size phones.

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And here, up top, is the dial you rotate to adjust the focus for your eyes.

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Another look at the front of the device, minus the smartphone you need to make it complete.

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Here's the new Gear VR on the Oculus Connect 2 stage, where it was announced.

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And here's how much you'll pay: $99, this November.

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