Written by Jimmy

Expert review: Samsung Gear VR with Controller

Almost simultaneously with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung announced a new version of the Samsung Gear VR. These VR glasses is a small yet interesting update of the previous Samsung Gear VR 2. The new Gear VR you use with the Samsung Galaxy S7 or Samsung Galaxy S8 and comes with a controller. In this review you can read how I like it.

Samsung Gear VR 4 + Controller

Your smartphone's screen | Suitable for Samsung phones | Suitable for people who wear glasses | Integrated control | Adjustable lenses
no longer available
  • The included controller makes the operation in VR very natural.
  • Better lenses provide a wider viewing angle and sharper image.
  • I also use the Gear VR for augmented reality apps.
  • The controller runs on 2x AAA batteries and can can not be charged.
  • You only use it with the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S8 (plus).

In short

In short

I have tested the new Samsung Gear VR in combination with the Samsung Galaxy S8. This brand new phone ensures that VR apps are displayed without hesitations, which benefits the VR experience. The Gear VR is with 2 straps around your head and is easy to adjust with Velcro. The lenses can be adjusted to the distance between your eyes and the distance to the screen. The included controller has a trigger button, which makes shooting games very fun. The controller accurately detects your movements so that you can easily select something.

In the box

In the box

When I open the box I encounter 2 things. The Gear VR glasses themselves and a small box with separate accessories. After unpacking the box is on the table:

  • The new Samsung Gear VR
  • The Samsung Gear VR controller + wristband
  • 2x a loose headband
  • 2x AAA batteries + micro usb connector

Before I To get started, I first have to attach the headbands and provide the controller with batteries and the wristband. After connecting the Galaxy S8 the necessary software installs automatically, even though I have to go through a number of unpleasant registration processes. Then I enter the VR world.

The Gear VR in use

In use

The new Samsung Gear VR sits comfortably on your face, just like its predecessor. The fabric inside does not bother your face, although it does absorb all your sweat. The viewing angle seems larger, so I saw the zombies in a shooter like Dead and Buried. The motion controller can be used throughout the screen, allowing me to get the most out of my wrist. The controller registers my movements very accurately. After some practice, I get a headshot easier for each other. During the game you go into the experience because of the large viewing angle and you do not suffer from black edges around the screen.

Swing around with the controller

Waving around

Instead of using the buttons on the side of the Gear VR, I now started using the Gear VR controller. With this motion controller I am just relaxed in my chair, and navigate from the loose wrist through menus and apps. Sometimes I have to re-center the controller, but that happened quickly by pressing the home button for 2 seconds. In games, the controller changes into your virtual weapon and you get to shoot at your opponents. You use the trigger on the back of the controller, just like when selecting in a menu.


The new Samsung Gear VR is a fine iteratie compared to the Gear VR 2 in terms of ease of use and image quality. The improved lenses ensure that you get even more involved in the virtual reality experience. Before you get started, however, you have to go through a number of registration processes and link your Facebook account. The controller simplifies the operation of the VR glasses and provides a number of fun games. For a next version of the Gear VR I would like to see that also depth movements are registered, so that you can move around objects.

Article by:
Jimmy VR Expert.

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