So, a while ago I ordered myself a Gear VR and was promised it would arrive before Christmas.
It didn’t, and arrived today instead, but that’s not my point.
It was quite cheap (120 AUD) and compatible with my phone (Samsung S6 edge plus) so I figured I would give it a shot.
This is my review after a day’s use:
It’s amazing! It really takes you away to another place. You are very much immersed in another place. Even just watching all the little 3D demos and stuff are amazing. There’s one where you’re on a motorbike doing jumps and sand-dunes and it’s very impressive. You can’t help but look around at the 360 degree landscape. I haven’t tried any stereoscopic 3D movies or anything but by all reports they’re meant to be amazing.
Also, because of the little touchpad thing on the side, it’s very easy to pretend to be Cyclops (everyone’s favourite X-man).
I tried watching an episode of Supergirl in the home theater thing but switched it off for a number of reasons: my eyes were tired after about half an hour. The lens kept on fogging up, which was frustrating and I found myself constantly adjusting the straps and the focus to try to get headset comfortable, but I could never quite get it right.
Also, because the goggles are basically magnifying lenses, you will see the pixels on films and videos even if they’re very hi resolution, because of the pixellation of the phone screen (this is quite frustrating to be honest).
When you sit down and put it on, you’re pretty much locked in at that point, so make sure you’re comfortable. There’s a couple of little reorientation and camera options, but it’s very very difficult to navigate in the ‘real world’ once you’ve put on the headset.
Finally, after about half an hour of wear you do feel the weight of the goggles, and headphones, and the heat of them. And it drains your phone battery like a monster.
It’s an amazing experience but for the novelty only (although the novelty is quite high). I can’t see it taking off for another few years yet with most consumers though. Like something like a Smartwatch, it’s an impressive piece of tech that wears out it’s usefulness fairly quickly. Nonetheless, the novelty value remains high.
Edited to add: No, I have not used it for ‘other stuff’. Why does everyone keep asking me that?