Samsung HMD Odyssey Plus improves on comfort, screens

A refreshed version of the company's Windows Mixed Reality Headset lets you customize the fit and claims to smooth out what you see.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
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Lori Grunin

The Samsung HMD Odyssey Plus.


In the year since Microsoft launched its Windows Mixed Reality program, headset sales haven't exactly been on fire. But Samsung clearly hasn't given up, releasing an update of its HMD Odyssey, the HMD Odyssey Plus, that addresses two major complaints about VR and mixed-reality head-mounted displays: comfort and display artifacts that can cause dizziness and nausea. 

It's shipping today in the US for the same price as its predecessor, about $500 with controllers. The original headset doesn't seem to have shipped in the UK or Australia yet, but the US price roughly converts to £385 and AU$705.

A few ounces lighter, the Plus also lets you adjust the distance between the screens to better align with your vision in addition to the headband size. 

The updated AMOLED display tackles the screen-door effect -- that's when you can see the individual pixels because your face is so close to the screen and the pixel density isn't high enough -- by "applying a grid that diffuses light coming from each pixel and replicating the picture to areas around each pixel." 

Essentially, it aims to hide the noticeable space by interpolating between pixels or antialiasing slightly in front of the screen. Samsung claims it doubles perceived resolution, but color me dubious. However, the slight blurring may help alleviate the unpleasant physical side effects caused by trying to focus on fast-moving subjects.

Otherwise, the specs are the same as its predecessor -- disappointingly, it hasn't yet adopted the new VirtualLink single-cable USB-C standard.

Windows Mixed Reality Headsets blend real and virtual worlds

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