Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let’s go for a walk on parallel worlds!

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let's go for a walk on parallel worlds!

Yes, in this case, a virtual reality helmet is only a supplement to the accessory flagship smartphone Samsung. Last in this bunch plays almost all the roles – he is responsible for image processing and playback of sound and image the user sees on the screen of the device directly. Without it, the device in question can not simply nothing.

GALAXY Gear VR comes with a convenient hard carrying case. Inside it are hiding themselves glasses, face seal, printed documentation, microfiber cloth, and MicroSD memory card with SD-adapter, which recorded a demo content.

Head-mounted display from Samsung is made of plastic. The outer panel is black, basic – white. Design, it should be noted, is quite shaky.Plastic significantly squeaks and backlash – when it comes to optics, on a usually pay attention.

Smartphone is installed on the front panel – display to the eyes of the user. He connects with a virtual reality helmet by connector Micro-USB 1.1. A little strange that Samsung engineers opted for advanced devices such as an old version of USB. This can be explained optimization of costs and the lack of need for the transmission of large amounts of data. Top smartphone can attach the plastic tip that protects the unit from damage.

For smartphone hide two large blocks of lenses. During the week of the test they had to get the small speck of dust, which is very bad – clean them from dirt easy. Front glasses resemble the eyes of the robot WALL-E from the same cartoon.

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let's go for a walk on parallel worlds!

Location of controls in the device is very unusual. On the right side of the case is a small touchpad button “Back” button and adjust the volume. It turns out that the right hand of the user resides somewhere in the vicinity of the temple. We can not say that it is inconvenient to get used to such management is fairly easy.

Also, virtual reality from Samsung can be controlled by any Android-compatible joystick. However, in the standard package, unfortunately, is not included. A pity – some applications do not work without it.

To provide a clear three-dimensional image, you must configure a helmet for themselves and their vision. To do this on top of the device has a special wheel which brings the smartphone to the eyes or postpones it.

There are many adjustments to the helmet, making the gadget will be able to stay on the head of any shape and size. However, Velcro and strive to loosen when removing or wear a helmet, but this stuff. A special face seal to operate the device comfortably for a long time.

Samsung GALAXY Gear VR Innovator Edition
Display 5.7-inch, 2560 × 1440 pixels, Super AMOLED (Samsung GALAXY Note 4)
Viewing Angle 96 degrees
Motion to photon latency <20ms
Interpupillary distance adjustment From 55 to 71 mm
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor
Interface Micro-USB 1.1
Dimensions 198 × 16 × 90 mm
Weight (without smartphone / smartphone) 379/555 g

The first launch and impressions of the work

Just get it out of the box Gear VR and immediately plunge into virtual reality will not work. Before the first use the device you must create a Samsung account for GALAXY Note 4 and downloaded from the app store brand GALAXY Apps special client software for the operation of the device. With it, you can download the utility “essentials” for Gear VR from Oculus – gallery panoramic “circular” image collection volume video and to see their own multimedia content stored on your phone.

Samsung GALAXY Gear VR – standard applications from Oculus

Then everything is simple: connect the smartphone to the Micro-USB connector in Gear VR, wear a helmet on his head – and plunge into the virtual world. The device is equipped with a light sensor – it will turn off automatically when removed from the head, which is very convenient. And indeed on the glasses themselves do not need to press any key to turn on or off. After the first run unpretentious user is learning how to navigate the local menu, switch between applications and play games with the touchpad on the end points.

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let's go for a walk on parallel worlds!

Interface home screen GALAXY Gear VR performed using tiles in the style of Windows Phone 8. In the center of the screen is a small mouse, well, or rather sight – the most it looks like a “+” symbol. To move it around the screen, you need to rotate or tilt your head. In other words, the menu navigation is carried out almost look. Get used to it very simple – it takes just a couple of minutes. To select an item on which the cursor is stopped, you need to touch the touchpad. Some colleagues somehow seemed to select an item, you can just blink, but the helmet does not perceive blinking – it is simply nothing. Also, as we have said, there is a special hardware key to return to the previous menu. It is also used to exit the settings menu: to get into it, you need to pinch and hold the button.

Samsung GALAXY Gear VR – service menu

In the settings you can activate the “Do not disturb” to set your smartphone to adjust the brightness or use “comfort” mode, biasing the white balance to the warm tones and color scheme makes a little more relaxed. However, the real need for this mode is not. In this menu you can activate the camera smartphone. This option is useful in acute and urgent need something to shoot. However, when using this option should previously thought that it would be necessary to remove the protective cover, otherwise the picture will not too informative.Also in the service menu displays the time, information about the level of signal reception, wireless modules (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), and the remaining battery charge in percent. Actually, most GALAXY Gear VR battery is not – all electronic components are powered by a battery of the smartphone.

Samsung GALAXY Gear VR – home screen

The main screen of the device is divided into three conditional parts: two app stores – one of Oculus, second from Samsung, six icons of frequently used applications, and link to the library of all installed programs. Already in two virtual stores applications, frankly, not very wide range. However, it expected – a device something completely new. It is noteworthy that all the games and all the video content is free, however, some applications are demo – with the restriction on hours of work.

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let's go for a walk on parallel worlds!

In Samsung and Oculus chorus promise regular increase in the number of applications available for Gear VR. So far, the list of the most interesting games for the virtual reality helmet that we would have brought the volume Temple Run, in which, if the turn, you can see who is running for a virtual character, and shooting simulator Shooting Shadow. Also in the app store, you can download a live recording of the American pop band or movie appearances Circue du Soleil. When you view them really gives the impression that all the action takes place right in front of you. The effect of the presence of more powerful than any 3D-TV. Very spectacular looks and great thematic collection volume panoramas from Oculus. In general, to explore the “virtual reality” content accurately enough.

What is happening is so unusual that when GALAXY Gear VR puts a man who does not know what he will see, he begins to groan loudly, waving his arms at the nose, twist a finger to his temple and generally behave quite strange. Of course! Really feel unusual sensations when unfolding before his eyes almost the whole world: front – sea bottom – sand, top – the sky, and behind – the rock. Want to miss a single detail, consider all the details. That shook his head from side to side. With all of the software component is very smooth – all applications are stable, without any hint of braking. However, during the operation points smartphone significantly warmed, and one hour of work with GALAXY Gear VR can spend up to a third of the battery.

After some time, wah passes and turns to evaluate the device more sober. Individual pixels begin to irritate the eyes. They appear because the display of the smartphone user, in fact, looking through a magnifying glass, and each eye sees no more than half of all pixels Quad HD-display. Visible, and other flaws with the technology Super AMOLED pixel layout scheme PenTile – for example, colored halos on the contrast transitions. Also clearly visible trail (“ghost image” – doubling circuits pictures) with rapid turn of the head. All this spoils the overall positive impression of the GALAXY Gear VR.

Did not like and ill-conceived ergonomics interaction of virtual reality helmet and your smartphone. During use Gear VR user can not answer calls. That is, the device displays the incoming call, but offers only reject it. To talk on the phone, it is necessary to remove the glasses and pull the unit out of the bracket. Incoming SMS-messages can be read with Gear VR, but to answer them (even some pre-harvested patterns), alas, can not. Finally, there are no points of its own dynamics – an external loudspeaker Note 4. Of course, accompany such a three-dimensional image primitive and flat sound – not the most elegant solution. For better immersion in virtual reality we have to use a headset.

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let's go for a walk on parallel worlds!

On the other hand, AMOLED-screen GALAXY Note 4 with a negligible response time possible to reduce the time between turning the head and draw the image that John Carmack calls complex term motion to photon latency and great spoils the impression that when dealing with other Head-mounted display using LCD LCD monitor. When working with GALAXY Gear VR does not have the feeling that the picture is not keeping pace with the user’s eye, – the delay is less than 20 ms.

Instead of a conclusion

What in fact is the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR? This plastic glasses with magnifying lenses, allowing to focus on the vision of nearby objects and software package (toys and other applications), as well as optimized content. “Volume” is realized by the stereoscopic effect, the existence of which humanity knows is not the first year and not even the first decade – here there are no innovations. Such a device Google showed another I / O conference in 2014, and it was carried out of cardboard. So where is the declared Innovator Edition?

The thing is that the GALAXY Gear VR – this is the first virtual reality helmet, designed for mainstream users and is already on sale for public. Here and collect yourself do not need anything, and a package of specialized applications has been prepared. Of course, during the first run will have to tinker with your device, but it’s much easier than, for example, cut yourself out of cardboard glasses. The official cost of the gadget – $ 200. Agree, this is a relatively small price to pay for the opportunity to touch something new, very unusual. In Russia, however, the device is not yet officially on sale, and shops, had brought him “the gray” want him fi 27,000 rubles. Apparently, they know something about the dollar.

Unfortunately, the GALAXY Gear VR works with only one (well, two – in fact there are two different GALAXY Note 4), the most expensive smartphone Samsung, which will have to pay for another seven hundred dollars. So the proposal is primarily for those who already have GALAXY Note 4. Also worth bearing in mind that this is a kind of “first attempt”, and let it not quite lumpy, but flaws and shortcomings he has enough – apparently, the Samsung too much in a hurry to bring the gadget on the market.

Review of Samsung GALAXY Gear VR: let’s go for a walk on parallel worlds! updated: February 5, 2015 author: John Malkovich