Samsung Gear VR vs Google Cardboard: the differences are night and day

As an owner of a Google Cardboard model, I had doubts about how Samsung Gear VR could really make a difference when the experience should depend more on the mobile phone than on the mobile VR glasses themselves.

In fact, to me the Samsung Gear VR weren’t nothing else than a expensive, pretty version of the Google Cardboard, by I was wrong. On a recent poll in Reddit, some users pointed out the big differences:

  • Better optics
  • Better field of view
  • Better head orientation / tracking (custom sensor vs under-optimized phone sensors when you use Cardboard)
  • Low persistence (reduced blur)
  • Low latency (OS level changes in Samsung phones made by Oculus)
  • High quality lenses
  • Inbuilt ventilation ducts to prevent lens fogging
  • More content
  • A proximity sensor between the lenses so it waits for it to be on your head to begin (and when you take it off, it pauses)
  • Built-in controls (at the right side of the goggles)

The difference is clear according to one of those users:

Cardboard is a toy, Gear VR is real virtual reality

And the recent The Verge’s review confirms that Gear VR’s experience is much more suited for VR fans. We’ll see how Oculus Rift performs -it should nicer, but also more expensive and you’ll need a powerful PC- but it seems Samsung has made a compelling case for affordable* VR here.

*Not that affordable considering that you’ve got to be owner of one of the “2015 Samsung GALAXY flagship smartphones” :/

Author: Javier Pastor

Javier Pastor is a technology journalist that has been writing about tech since 1999. He started writing for PC Actual in Spain, the leading printed magazine in the country, and in 2006 started to write online. First as the Chief Editor for The Inquirer ES, and after that for MuyComputer until 2013. That year he became senior editor at Xataka, the leading tech news website in Spanish with over 5M uniques/month (Aug'15, comScore). Xataka is part of Weblogs SL, a blog network that gets over 40M uniques/month and that has a wide catalog of publications in Spanish. The Unshut is his new venture and allows him to express his opinions and thoughts on everything touched by technology, and follows what he has been doing at Incognitosis, his personal blog, since 2005.