There are already a few North American users who have received their Gear VR and we have collected some impressions that we think can give us an idea of the sensations, quite positive by what it seems, of the new Samsung viewer for the Note 4.
The new subreddit dedicated specifically to Gear VR already offers interesting impressions, especially from users who have been able to try both Gear VR and the DK2. The first difference that is commented is comfort, the Samsung device being noticeably more comfortable than the DK2, and it is that it is noticeable that Gear VR is a commercial device, despite Samsung calling it Innovators Edition and is aimed in principle at the most enthusiastic users. Although the device looks quite heavier than the DK2 (once we introduce the Note 4), it seems that the weight distribution and the rigid parts included on the top and back make it fit perfectly. In addition, those who have tried it claim that the foam is more comfortable than the one used by Oculus and can be easily detached by velcro, with a spare one included.
The lenses are somewhat smaller than those of the DK2 and the FOV is very similar, although in Road to VR they claim that it is somewhat lower, in addition to noticing a reduction in the sharpest viewing area (what they call sweet spot), which can be more problematic the further we move away from the average interpupillary distance. However, a very important novelty is the inclusion of a wheel at the top that allows focusing the image, something that users who use glasses will appreciate, since Gear VR is a smaller device than the DK2 and the use of glasses is even more complicated. We expect Oculus to implement something similar with the CV1.
As for the resolution with the Note 4, it is obviously higher, although on Reddit they claim that the pixels are still obvious, especially when reading text, which is logical. We are convinced that we will still continue to see pixels until the resolution increases dramatically, but the experience is undoubtedly a step forward with respect to the DK2, and it is something that we will discuss in more detail in our next RoVCast, since we have a Note 4 that we are testing with other adapters.
Another point to note is that Gear VR seems to completely block the light coming in from the outside, unlike the First two Oculus Kits, which always let you see a narrow strip of the outside world below. This strip is useful when interacting with the real world without having to take off the visor, but if we are looking for maximum immersion, it is obvious that it is best that the device is completely closed.
The most negative points that Reddit users comment on are the lack of absolute positioning, something that takes a lot of getting used to after using the DK2, and the famous black bleed, which also makes an appearance on the Note 4. We assume that at 60 Hz it will be even more noticeable than at 75, however it is commented that the overall feeling of the screen is very good, and it seems that between the low persistence and the timewarp they manage to make us forget that it is only working at 60 Hz.
To close the news, comment once again that the Gear VR sold in the USA only works with North American versions of the Note 4, as confirmed by this tweet from Samsung support, so we have no choice but to wait, or get an American Note 4. Even so, we would have to use a VPN, since the Oculus store also has regional restrictions.
@mavfan4sho We do apologize for the inconvenience but the Gear VR is only compatible with the US versions of the Note 4. ^Ema
– Samsung Support USA (@SamsungSupport) December 9, 2014