Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View

Google Daydream View vs Samsung Gear VR

The mobile virtual reality space has been dominated by two companies; Google and Samsung. Google was the first to launch a mobile-powered VR device with their Google Cardboard headset. Although a simple concept, it invited other companies to test the capabilities of mobile processors in virtual reality. Samsung launched the Gear VR back in 2015 but have released a number of improved iterations since. With the Daydream View, Google has upped their game in terms of functionality and manufacturing quality. These two headsets are similar in many ways, but which is the best mobile VR device? We take a look at the Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View in their critical areas.

 Samsung Gear VRGoogle Daydream View
Samsung Gear VRGoogle Daydream View
RRP Price (USD)12999
RRP Price (GBP)10099
Display ResolutionDepends on mobileDepends on mobile
Resolution Per EyeDepends on mobileDepends on mobile
Positional TrackingNoNo
Head TrackingYesYes
Display TypeDepends on mobileDepends on mobile
Field of View101º100º
Headset Weight345 g261 grams
Headset TypeMobileMobile
Refresh RateDepends on mobileDepends on mobile
Integrated AudioNoNo
SensorsGyro sensor, Proximity sensor
Controller(s) IncludedYesYes
Controller Type3 DoF Wireless Controller3 DoF Wireless Controller

Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View: Cost

When comparing VR headsets for mobile, there are two prices you have to bear in mind. The first is the cost of the device itself. In this instance, there’s barely any difference. If you were to buy from the manufacturer, the Gear VR comes in at £120/$129, while the Daydream View totals £99/$139. However, it’s often common to find them for cheaper on sites such as Amazon, and usually, the View is a little less expensive. However, the difference isn’t significant. The second price to bear in mind is the cost of the smartphone you’ll need in order to use the headset. Compatible Android handsets vary in price, but the Samsung Galaxy range tends to be more expensive than the Google Pixel range. You also have more options to choose from with Google’s headset.

Compare the best prices for each of these headsets:

Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View: Features

In truth, neither of these devices is particularly packed with features. They’re fairly similar in the sense that you affix them to your face and plug in a smartphone.

In truth, neither of these devices is particularly packed with features. They’re fairly similar in the sense that you affix them to your face and plug in a smartphone. The lenses they use are comparable, as are the handsets that come paired with them. One slight advantage the Gear VR has is the inclusion of controls on the headset itself. Previous modes were not bundled with a controller, which meant the only way to navigate the interface out of the box was using these controls. Now that there is a controller, it’s nice to have the option to reach up to change settings/apps rather than have to keep hold of a handset.

Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View: Design

Samsung Gear VR Headset
Google Daydream View

One of the most significant differences between these two VR devices is the design. Samsung follows the more familiar convention of a plastic box that sits on the face. The Gear VR is a little heavier than the Daydream View and is also bigger. It does have an extra strap that goes over the top of the head, which can make it feel a little more secure than Google’s device, however. The Daydream View is covered with a soft fabric, which is a welcome break from the trend. Overall it feels nicer and slightly more comfortable. Some glasses wearers have also reported that the View affords a little more room, making for a better experience.

Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View: Content

Content is another area where these devices differ somewhat. The two headsets use different content stores; Google uses their own content distribution platform, while Samsung opts for the Oculus Store. This means that the apps and games that are available for each are different, although there is some crossover. It’s hard to make a detailed comparison of which platform has what apps as there are so many, but overall it seems that the Gear VR is better suited to those who like games. Of course, there are plenty of Games for the Daydream View too, but the quality seems to be generally better on the Gear VR. Conversely, Google provides a lot of great video, pictures, and experiences that aren’t available on its counterpart.

Those looking to have fun, explore virtual environments, watch movies, and learn will find the Daydream View ideally suited to them. Those who want to play some innovative virtual reality games will appreciate the choice offered by the Gear VR.

Samsung Gear VR vs Google Daydream View: Which is Better?

It’s rather difficult to determine which of these headsets the ‘better’ of the two is. They’re fairly evenly matched in many aspects. We really like the design of the Google Daydream View; the fabric is comfortable and looks great, but the Gear VR isn’t particularly unattractive or uncomfortable. The choice will largely depend on which Android handset you use. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy owner who likes to game, the Gear VR is an inexpensive way of trying out virtual reality. For those who have other types of Android smartphones, you may find the Daydream View more suited to your needs. This is really the main determining factor between the two, although we prefer the range of content offered on the Samsung Gear VR.

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