When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 8, it couldn’t fit the old Samsung Gear VR Headset. So, they released a new model specifically for it.
We tested this model over the course of a few months with different VR titles to see how it performed.
In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into what this Samsung Gear VR Headset model has to offer and also, provide some alternatives to it.
Samsung Gear VR for Note 8
Similar to the original model, the top-notch visuals with crisp clarity return with this headset. You get the controller as well which is largely the same. Naturally, the headset is slightly bigger to accommodate the Note 8 but it’s still quite lightweight despite its larger size.
BNEXT VR Headset
The BNEXT VR Headset comes with great adjustability options and the lenses used are quite high-quality as well. It’s not priced too highly but despite that, its build quality is great and it’s sure to last you a long time.
Pansonite VR Headset
The Pansonite VR Headset comes with its own remote controller that you can use to control your VR apps. You get a ton of adjustability options with this virtual reality headset such as pupil distance and lens distance.
Quick Summary of the Main Product
Similar to the original model, while this Samsung Gear is designed for the Note 8, it can still be paired with any Android device that is able to fit within it. It’s not super expensive compared to most other mobile-based VR headsets in the market.
The controller is smooth and responsive.
The variety of buttons also ensures that you can fine-tune settings and have an added level of control to your VR apps as well as VR games. It runs on two AAA batteries and is super responsive and feels satisfying to use.
The trackpad is an especially neat addition since it has a variety of functions. It can work as a trackpad, a scroll wheel and also, a cursor.
Features and Benefits
Long Battery Life
The Note 8 model for the Samsung Galaxy Gear retains the same great battery life that is boasted by the original. It connects via USB C and not only does the battery last you a long time but the VR headset also charges within a very short time.
If you put it on charging before you sleep, the VR headset will be fully charged and it’ll last you the entire day.
We mentioned how it can be used to run with any Android phone out there. Since it’s bigger to accommodate the Galaxy Note 8, that means it can also accommodate other Android phones that are of the same size.
You can use it to run pretty much all the VR titles that are available on the Play Store or will come out on the Play store in the future.
Comes with a Controller
It’s great that you get a controller with the Samsung Gear even though it’s so cheaply priced.
Not only do you get the controller but the controller itself is also extremely high-quality. It features a variety of buttons such as volume controls, directional buttons and a trackpad that is multi-purpose.
Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Samsung Gear VR for Note 8
The Samsung Gear VR is a great mid-range option when it comes to mobile-based VR headsets. It only works with Android phones so make sure you don’t intend to use it with any other type of smartphone.
The price is definitely worth it. This is especially true since it’s much cheaper than other types of headsets such as stand-alone or PC VR headsets.
Design and Comfort
The Samsung Gear for Note 8 is quite well-designed to ensure that the user remains comfortable throughout their VR sessions.
The adjustable head strap ensures that it can be worn by anyone. Furthermore, since the VR headset is larger, that means it can accommodate larger head sizes than the original model as well.
The VR headset is built with care from high-quality materials. There are no rough or jagged edges and the entirety of the headset is smooth to the touch.
The foam and cushioning inside it are also high-quality so that it rests smoothly on your skin and does not irritate it.
Advantages and Disadvantages
We wanted to check out what other users and consumers thought of this version of the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR Headset.
So, we went to Amazon to read some user reviews on the product.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
Similar to Samsung Gear VR for Note 8 (Recommendations)
#1: Best Affordable Alternative - BNEXT VR Headset Review
The BNEXT VR Headset offers great value since it’s available for a budget-friendly price but comes with a sturdy build. Normally, with such cheap but sturdy VR headsets, they are very rigid and thus, quite uncomfortable to wear.
That’s not the case with this VR headset.
The plastic is durable but also flexible. It allows you to rest comfortably on your face as you enjoy your virtual reality experience. Furthermore, it can support a wide range of phone screen sizes as well.
Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy BNEXT VR Headset
Price: We have the BNEXT VR Headset as our “affordable alternative”. That should let you know that it’s priced quite generously and most consumers will be able to afford it with ease.
Design and comfort: As mentioned earlier, the plastic that the BNEXT VR Headset is durable but also flexible. It does not dig into your skin such as on your forehead when you have the headset on for a long time.
Build quality: The build quality is great as the headset’s plastic is flexible but also quite high-quality. This allows it to bend in response to any strain put on it and thus, that’s how it keeps itself from breaking or being damaged.
Best Affordable Alternative
The best affordable alternative is the BNEXT VR Headset thanks to its wide range of support, user-friendliness and sturdy build quality.
#2: Best Alternative with a Remote Controller - Pansonite VR Headset Review
The Pansonite VR Headset is not too expensive from most of its competitors but it offers a higher value than them because it comes with a remote controller.
That means you don’t need to have some other third-party controller to control the VR apps on your smartphone as you use the Pansonite VR headset.
It’s a rudimentary but functional controller.
There’s nothing too fancy but it gets the job done and allows you to control your VR apps with ease.
Furthermore, it’s a very lightweight controller which means that it doesn’t weigh too heavily on your face. This allows you to get less fatigued when you play VR over longer sessions.
Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Pansonite VR Headset
Price: While the Pansonite VR Headset is definitely slightly more expensive than its competitors, it’s to be expected because of the added value. When you look at its quality, the added controller and overall features, the price is still justified.
Design and comfort: The Pansonite VR Headset features adequate cushioning inside it to ensure it doesn’t protrude into your face too much. Furthermore, it’s highly lightweight which means you can enjoy your VR apps and games unencumbered.
Build quality: The build quality of the Pansonite VR Headset is surprisingly great for a headset that’s so lightweight. The plastic is flexible but still quite strong. It bends but does not break even under high stress.
The light weight also ensures that it won’t get damaged if it’s accidentally dropped on the floor.
Best Alternative with a Remote Controller
The best alternative with a remote controller is the Pansonite VR Headset thanks to its great build quality, user-friendliness and versatility.
Nobody wants to spend their money on a piece of tech that won’t get used that often. Even worse, nobody wants to end up with a VR headset that does not fulfill all the needs that they expected it to. However, what every consumer needs to understand is:
You’re responsible for what you buy.
It’s important to spend thorough time researching the product you intend to buy so you can make an informed decision. If you rush into it and buy something that isn’t appropriate for you, you only have yourself to blame.
These are the factors to consider when you want to buy a VR headset:
First of all, you must consider the price range of the VR headsets that you’d like to look at. Of course, this will depend on your budget. Not everyone has the money to spend on high-end VR headsets and it’s completely fine to opt for a budget-friendly option.
You must be careful with budget-friendly options, though.
This is because, while worthwhile budget-friendly options exist, there are a ton of shady manufacturers out there as well. These are obscure companies that cobble together VR headsets for cheap materials.
As you can probably imagine, such VR headsets are not comfortable to wear, they come with a slew of technical issues and they often break down within a few weeks. If your intention was to save money, such VR headsets won’t really be worth it.
That’s because once they break down, you’ll either have to just live without VR or buy another headset.
Hence, conduct thorough research if you want to opt for a budget-friendly option. Look up user reviews for the product, go to the manufacturer’s website to check how well-established they are.
Once you’re confident that a company is well-reputed and their products are well-built, you can opt for the budget-friendly VR headset you had in mind.
VR headset technology is still evolving. Hence, technical issues and bugs are something that almost all VR headset users face.
However, the difference between good VR headsets and bad ones is the developers and how they handle it. Dedicated manufacturers will come out with regular firmware updates and patches to fix any known issues that occur.
Furthermore, better VR headsets will have much less frequency of bugs compared to ones that are not too well-designed.
You don’t want to run into technical issues during a VR session.
It’s much more frustrating than when you run into such issues while playing a regular video game.
This is because when you’re playing VR, it’s a much more physically intense experience. You don’t want a bug or a technical issue bringing the enjoyment to a halt.
Furthermore, issues in VR are also much more annoying to fix compared to regular video games on PC or consoles.
What can you do to avoid such issues?
Well, before you buy a VR headset, you must conduct thorough research. Check online to see if a VR headset you’re considering is known to have any bugs or issues or not. Is it notorious for having issues that you don’t want to deal with?
If so, you’ll know that you must avoid that particular headset.
Design and Comfort
Being comfortable during a VR session is crucial because it’s a physically intense activity. You don’t want your enjoyment or your skill to be affected due to the fact that your VR headset is too unpleasant to wear.
Budget VR headsets are notorious for being uncomfortable.
This is often because they’re made for cheaper material that does not fit onto your head as snugly as a higher-end VR headset would.
VR headsets can be very difficult to design and if a manufacturer does not have the resources for a good design team, it can often result in a highly uncomfortable headset.
You want to look for a VR headset that has thick cushions that are made from flexible, light and breathable material. This ensures that the VR headset doesn’t sit too tightly on your face and at the same time, the inside does not get too hot.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for adjustability options within a VR headset. This is especially crucial if you intend the VR headset to be used by multiple people.
A VR headset should have the ability to adjust the head strap. Other adjustments include lens distance, pupil distance, velcro adjustments, cushion positioning and more.
This is important to consider with just about any piece of tech but with VR headsets, it definitely is crucial.
Well, a good VR headset is supposed to be light and flexible so you can enjoy your VR sessions unencumbered. However, if a product is light and flexible, it can also be prone to damage and possibly breaking entirely.
This is why higher-end VR headsets are often durable as well as comfortable; Since larger manufacturers have the resources to invest in higher-end materials that are sturdy but also flexible.
With lower-end VR headsets, it’s typically a trade-off between comfort and durability.
If you intend to buy a budget-friendly VR headset, you must consider whether you want more comfort from it or more durability. If you end up with a headset that’s not as durable, just make sure to treat it with care.
It’s a good idea to buy a VR headset in person because then, you’ll really be able to inspect it up close and get an idea of its build quality. Not only that but you might even get to test it out as well before you buy it.
If you cannot buy a VR headset in person, then at least try to look up online reviews for it to see what people have to say regarding its build quality.
Field of View (FOV)
The field of view (FOV) of a VR headset essentially refers to how much of the environment you can see at any one given time.
If your VR headset has a smaller FOV, you’ll have to move your head around a lot to take in your environment. If it has a higher FOV, then you’ll be able to take in your surroundings with relatively little head movement.
In most cases, it’s a good idea to opt for a VR headset whose FOV lies between 110 degrees and 120 degrees. This is because it’s much closer to what actual human vision is and thus, it feels much more natural.
Wrapping Things Up
That’s the end of our Samsung Gear for the Note 8 review.
It’s just as impressive as the original model and retains the same features of it, extending its versatility to support larger Android phones.
The controller is a welcome addition and is super satisfying and responsive to use. Furthermore, you get all of this at a very reasonable and consumer-friendly price.
What do you think of this version of the Samsung Gear? Let us know in the comments section below.