Why you'll soon need yet another Gear VR headset

Buying a Galaxy Note 8? Want to keep VRing? You'll need yet another headset.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR | Gaming | Metaverse technologies | Wearable tech | Tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read
New Samsung Gear VR for Note 8

Oh come on. Another Gear VR headset?

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung's newest phone looks great. But the Galaxy Note 8 has an unfortunate accessory problem: it needs a new VR headset.

The Oculus-partnered Gear VR has seen several goggle iterations over the years, the last one arriving alongside the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. According to Samsung, the new Gear VR is just like the old Gear VR... but it's a bit wider to accommodate the Note 8's chassis.

The new headset is $130, just like the last model, and comes with a wireless Bluetooth controller. It's backward-compatible with Samsung phones going back to the Note 5.

New Samsung Gear VR for Note 8

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But if you have an older Gear VR and plan to use the Note 8 with virtual reality, you'd better be ready to trade in your headset. Or, rather, buy a whole new one. Which is a big letdown, especially when you consider the last version of Gear VR just debuted about six months ago. The "new Gear VR with Controller" arrives September 15.

Will Daydream View work with the Galaxy Note 8?

You'll need that Gear VR, because it's still unclear whether Daydream View will work with the Note 8, or when. Google's Daydream View VR headset works with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, but we're waiting for absolute confirmation on whether it's also Note 8-compatible at launch. According to a Samsung representative, "We have a great, long standing partnership with Google and work with them on many fronts. We have nothing to share right now, but please stay tuned for future updates."

Read CNET's full impressions of the Galaxy Note 8, and our review of the last model of Gear VR. I tried the Note 8-connected Gear VR briefly, and it seems pretty much the same. Which is all the more annoying for long-term Gear VR users.

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