Gear VR 2016 vs 2015 – Head-to-Head Comparison, FAQs, Tips & More

With the release of the new Samsung Gear VR in October, the virtual reality market gained a lot of attention from the media and consumers alike.

However, with so many headsets hitting the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. 

To make things a little easier, we’ve put together this article as a comparison between the latest Samsung Gear VR vs its predecessor highlighting the pros and cons, features, and more.




Display & Lenses






Gear VR 2015


Gear VR 2016


This table only gives a quick idea of what each product offers, let’s take an in-depth look at both products.

Gear VR 2015 Review - Best Consumer-Level VR headset

A collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, the Samsung Gear VR headset is one of the best mobile VR headsets in the market. Samsung Gear VR 2015 is the first proper consumer version of the VR headset that was introduced on November 27, 2015.

Four different Samsung phones work with Gear VR. However, VR technology hasn’t yet developed into a must-have consumer product, and Gear VR doesn’t alter that. It’s the best consumer-level VR headset we’ve tested, but it’s mostly a novelty. 

You can have a lot of fun with it, and it won’t cost you much. The aspect ratio and density of the Samsung Gear VR 2015 are dependent on the smartphone. The Samsung Gear VR 2015 can display media with a frame rate of 60 frames per second or higher. 

Features of Gear VR 2015 

  • The Gear VR is a virtual reality headset that was released in 2015.
  • It is compatible with select Samsung smartphones and can be used to view virtual reality content or play VR games.
  • This headset features a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope for tracking head movement
  • The field of view of this headset is 96 degrees and a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
  • The headset is powered by the phone’s battery and must be connected to the phone via micro USB.
  • It uses Oculus Rift technology.
  • The device also has an in-built touchpad, a back button, and a volume rocker on the right side for interacting with VR content.
  • The Gear VR weighs 345 grams and is 22.5 centimeters long, 10 centimeters wide, and 9 centimeters high.

Benefits of Gear VR 2015 

There are many benefits to the Gear VR 2015, including its lightweight design, it is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, its easy-to-use controls, and the ability to experience virtual reality without being tethered to a computer or console.

Moreover, the Gear VR 2015 offers a wide field of view and high-quality visuals and audio, making it an excellent choice for virtual reality gaming and other immersive experiences. 

Some other benefits include its portability, which allows for easy travel and storage; affordability, which makes it a great option for those on a budget, and a variety of experiences that are available for the Gear VR, from gaming to watching movies. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Gear VR 2015


The Gear VR is a traditional plastic setup, but it feels sturdy. It’s considerably heavier than the Daydream, but the head strap is much better. The over-the-top band helps distribute weight better, and it actually makes the device less front-heavy.


The Samsung Gear VR 2015 is compatible with the following devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 active
  • Samsung Galaxy Note4


The display of the Gear VR 2015 is a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440x2560px. The lenses are designed to minimize distortion and provide a wide field of view.

Controls and Navigation

Controls for this device are “swiped” from the touchpad on the right side of the headset, making this device almost useless and extremely awkward and difficult to operate unless you also buy a dedicated Bluetooth controller for gaming. Even after using the gear a few times, the built-in controls never feel “comfortable.”


The Gear VR 2015 is a highly connected piece of technology. It features built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing you to connect to the internet and other devices wirelessly. It also has a USB port, so you can connect it to your computer or other devices for charging or data transfer.

What Do the Customers Think?

From what we can tell, the customers who have purchased and used the Samsung Gear VR 2015 seem to be quite happy with it. 

They love the fact that they can use it to immerse themselves in virtual reality, it has a good field of view, easy to set up, and is very comfortable to wear.

There have been a few complaints about the field of view being too small, but overall, people seem to be very pleased with the product.

gear 2015 social proof
gear 2015 social proof
gear 2015 social proof

Best Consumer-Level VR Headset

The Gear VR is the best consumer-level VR headset because it offers the most immersive experience, comfortable, and the best value for your money.

Gear VR 2016 Review - The Up-Dated Gear VR

The Gear VR 2016 is a mobile virtual reality headset developed by Samsung Electronics in collaboration with Oculus and released on November 27, 2015. 

The 2016 Edition Gear VR has padding that is intended to make it more pleasant to wear and weighs 0.76 lb. The touchpad on the Gear VR offers better control over all of your VR content, including games, movies, and user-generated films.

The Gear VR makes use of Oculus technology, and you can download a vast selection of material from the Oculus store. Furthermore, Samsung’s Milk VR service often adds unique 360-degree content.

Additionally, you may watch user-generated content posted on websites like YouTube and Facebook 360 as well as streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

It costs not much, it has handy features like a touchpad for app control and a comfortable fit, and it works well as an alternative to more expensive PC-based tethered VR headsets like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift for those who want to try it out.

With the Samsung Gear VR 2016 Edition virtual reality headset, seek out new realities.

 Features of Gear VR 2016

  • The Gear VR 2016 is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note 5, S6 edge+, S6, and S6 edge.
  • It has a field of view of 96 degrees and lenses that are 42mm in diameter.
  • The Gear VR 2016 is 22% lighter than the previous model and has a fabric covering that is designed to be more comfortable.
  • The touchpad has been redesigned and is now located on the top of the headset instead of the side.
  • The Gear VR 2016 includes a new feature called Home Button, which allows users to access their favorite apps quickly.
  • The device is powered by the phone, so there is no need for an external battery pack.
  • The field of view has been increased to 101 degrees, making it more immersive.
  • A new strap design makes it easier to put on and take off.

Benefits of Gear VR 2016

The Gear VR 2016 has many benefits that make it a great choice for those looking for a virtual reality headset. 

It is compatible with select Samsung smartphones and allows users to experience virtual reality content through apps and games that are available for download from the Samsung Gear VR app store. 

The headset is lightweight and comfortable to wear and features a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope for tracking head movement. Gear VR 2016 also includes a touchpad and button for interactivity and a proximity sensor for detecting when the headset is close to your face. 

The Gear VR 2016 features a super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440×1280 per eye, a field of view of 101 degrees, and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The Gear VR 2016 also features a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Gear VR 2016


The Gear VR 2016 has a black midnight blue finish. It is much lighter and felt comfortable on your head, staying pressed snugly against your face without any irritating rubbing of plastic on the skin or awkward distribution of weight against the straps.


The Samsung Gear VR 2016 is compatible with a wide range of Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge, and A8.


The Display & Lenses of the Gear VR 2016 are top of the line. The display is a Quad HD Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, and the lenses are designed to minimize distortion and provide a natural viewing experience.

Controls and Navigation

The Gear VR 2016 is controlled using the Oculus Touch controllers, which are included with the headset. These controllers offer precise control and allow you to interact with your virtual environment naturally. You can also use the Gear VR’s built-in trackpad to navigate around.


The Gear VR 2016 has a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer as well as a microSD card slot for additional storage. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. For connectivity, the Gear VR 2016 uses Bluetooth 4.2 LE and Wi-Fi 802.11ac.

What Do the Customers Think?

There are many positive reviews of the Samsung Gear VR. People appreciate its sleek design, its comfort, and the quality of the virtual reality experience it provides.

 However, there are some complaints about the Gear VR. Some people find it difficult to set up, and others feel that the field of view is too small. Overall, though, the Gear VR is generally well-liked and considered to be a good value for the price.

gear 2016 social proof
gear 2016 social proof

The Up-Dated Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR 2016 is an updated Gear VR as it provides a more immersive experience with more high-quality games and apps, all in a more compact, more comfortable headset. 

Buyers’ Guide


Design is essential for any product, but it is especially important for smartphone VR headsets. The headset needs to be designed in a way that is comfortable to wear and use and that maximizes the field of view.

In addition, the headset should be designed to work with a variety of different smartphones so that users can choose the one that best meets their needs.


Smartphone compatibility is important for several reasons. First, it allows users to take advantage of the processing power and features of their phones. Second, it greatly expands the potential content library that can be used with the headset. 

Finally, it can provide a much more immersive and convenient experience than a dedicated VR headset.


When looking for a VR headset, pay close attention to the display as it is responsible for creating the virtual world that you will be immersed in. A good display will provide a high level of detail and clarity, making it easy to lose yourself in the experience. 

A poor display can make it difficult to stay engaged with the VR world, causing you to become quickly frustrated or even nauseated.

Controls and Navigation

The control and navigation capabilities of a VR headset are critical for providing users with an immersive and interactive experience.

Without proper control, you may not be able to properly interact with your virtual environment. Likewise, without proper navigation, you may not be able to move around freely and explore your virtual world.


The significance of connectivity for a VR headset cannot be understated. A strong and reliable connection is essential for providing a smooth and immersive VR experience. 

Without a good connection, the headset can become laggy and unresponsive, which can ruin the immersion and make the VR experience unpleasant.

A good connection also ensures that any tracking data from the headset is accurate and responsive, again helping to create a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the Samsung Gear VR Worth It?

The Samsung Gear VR is an excellent first choice for newcomers to virtual reality, for those owning a Samsung phone, and for those seeking an economical introduction to VR. 

If, on the other hand, you are familiar with the technology and own a powerful PC, you may be interested in the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift instead.

Is the Samsung Gear VR 3D?

Yes, the lenses of the device assist in creating a stereoscopic 3D image. This allows you to play games and watch 3D movies. It also tracks 360-degree head movements.

Why Is the Samsung Gear VR Blurry?

The headset has an adjustment knob that allows you to change the distance from the lens to the screen. You may need to adjust this if you notice blurriness. Most VR headsets have a “screen door” effect where individual pixels are visible. This effect is normal.

Can the Samsung Gear VR Watch YouTube Videos?

You can view both regular and 360-degree videos on YouTube with this device. You must have an active internet connection to do so.

Can You Use the Samsung Gear VR With a PC?

It’s possible to combine the two experiences with the headset, even though the headset doesn’t connect directly to PCs. 

With the big screen app installed on your PC and the sideload VR and streaming theater app installed on your phone, you can use your Samsung Gear VR headset to play some games on virtual screens. However, this process requires a lot of setups and technical knowledge.

Is The Samsung Gear VR Bad For Eyes?

There is not enough evidence at this time on whether VR glasses are generally harmful to users’ eyes. Some people claim that electronic devices are bad for your eyesight, while others say otherwise. 

It is not possible to observe effects in such a short period of time, and research is ongoing. Use your device responsibly and moderately, and take breaks if your eyes become tired or strained.

What Is the Samsung Gear VR Innovator?

Samsung Gear VR headsets have had various iterations over the years. The innovator edition was the early headset that was created specifically for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.

Final Verdict

That concludes our Samsung Gear VR 2015 vs. Samsung Gear VR 2016 comparison article.

Samsung Gear 2015 is the first consumer edition of Gear VR and is compatible with a relatively small number of Samsung smartphones. So if you’re new to the VR world and you have a Gear VR 2015 compatible smartphone, this is for you.

Otherwise, the Samsung Gear VR 2016, which is slightly more advanced than the Gear VR 2015, is the best choice.

We hope this article was helpful to you. Let us know what you think in the comments below. 


  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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