Two years ago, Samsung partnered with Facebook-owned Oculus VR – the result was the Gear VR. Samsung is now the leader in the VR consumer space and today released the new version of the Gear VR, drawing inspiration from Oculus, with sleek black lines and hardware improvements.

Here is a quick look at the changes:

  • All-black design. Samsung has replaced the white interior of the old Gear VR. Complaints mentioned the white colour reflected light and ruined the immersion. The new black interior cuts down on unwanted reflections, improving the overall VR experience.
  • Oculus buttons. The previous Gear VR had a clunky press-and-hold back button that was hard to use. The new device features the Oculus home button, back key, and a flat cross pad, making the controls larger and easier to use with touch alone. Jump in and out of apps with ease.
  • Improved comfort. The device comes with an improved cushion that feels more comfortable on your face.
  • USB-C ports. Two USB-C port replace the old Micro USB port that used to charge your phone. The new USB-C can transfer data and charge. Samsung has teased the port with “future accessories”. Oculus Touch? The user experience will be much better now that accessories do not need Bluetooth. The USBC-C connects directly with the new Galaxy Note 7. The headset can also connect to older Samsung devices, via a little Micro USB dongle attachment that looks easy to lose.
  • Improved optics. The view angle has increased from 96 degrees to 101 degrees. The goal is to reduce tunnel vision and provide a more immersive user experience.

Samsung Gear VR Oculus Touch

 

The new Gear VR looks a lot better, and provides improved user experience, too. The device will begin shipping on August 19 for ($99 £80, AU$159), which is the same price as the previous model. Reservations start tomorrow.