As with previous editions, the Samsung Gear VR doesn’t have a screen of its own, similar to Google Cardboard, which means you have to place your device inside the front of the head-mounted unit.
The $100 device is the first consumer-focused version of the virtual reality headset, and it supports all Samsung’s 2015 smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The company worked with Facebook-owned Oculus to make the unit a little bit sleeker and slimmer — the new incarnation is 19 percent lighter and sports new foam cushioning.
Samsung Gear VR headsets have been made available to buy before. Following the launch of the original Samsung Gear VR last year, which was only compatible with the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, Samsung launched a version for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. This was made available in April through Best Buy. However, the so-called “Innovator Edition” wasn’t pitched as a fully consumer-ready product.
“This is an incredible moment for virtual reality as we introduce the absolute best VR experience on mobile today,” said Max Cohen, the head of mobile for Oculus. “People all over the world can now turn their mobile phone into an immersive VR experience with made-for-VR games and thousands of amazing 2D, 3D and 360 degree videos and films.”
The new Samsung Gear VR is available to pre-order through Samsung.com, Amazon.com, and BestBuy.com now, and will start shipping from November 20.