Virtual reality has long been the subject of cartoons, sci-fi films and TV shows, but now it’s genuinely hitting the market. Companies including Samsung and HTC have both recently introduced their efforts – but which is the best VR headset going?
The Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive are both showing plenty of promise since their respective introductions. So let’s take a look at both virtual reality headsets to see which one takes the biscuit!
How do VR Headsets work?
VR, or virtual reality, is currently portrayed in two main ways at the moment. One way is through the use of an individual device which powers itself and the other by offering a way of displaying a piece of technology (like a phone) as a VR projector.
The Samsung Gear VR works in the way of the latter statement – meaning that it requires you to use a Samsung smartphone in the main panel as its display. At the moment, only four devices can actually do this: the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, S6 and S6 Edge.
HTC however, has opted to make the Vive a completely individual device, meaning that you don’t need a certain phone to use it. This essentially means that you aren’t piggybacking off your smartphone screen when you use the headset.
Each side obviously has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, the Gear VR is likely to be much cheaper than the HTC Vive as it doesn’t pack all of the technology, but you will need a Samsung device to use it.
The HTC Vive doesn’t need you to pick from a certain selection of devices, but will cost much more and require you to get to grips with a completely new system. So, you’ll have to pick and choose between these two styles if you do plan on investing.
Gear VR vs Vive: The best VR Headset Specs
Specs are pretty much the lifeblood of any technological device – they run the system, power the device and dictate its quality. This means that it’s a pretty important part of these gadgets as well, but which is the best VR headset spec sheet?
HTC Vive Specs
HTC has used the assistance of long-time game developer Valve to ensure that the Vive is the ideal VR kit for gaming. Within the headset, you’ll find two separate 1200×1080 displays (one for each eye), whilst the system is also guaranteeing a 90fps frame rate.
Add to this numerous sensors, with laser positioning and a ready-made game pad and you’ve got yourself a powerful piece of kit which you can actually walk around with during a game. This is topped off by giving us full audio support with a headphone jack – fully immersing you in whichever game you choose.
Samsung Gear VR Specs
With Samsung using your phone as its display, you won’t be surprised to hear that you get specs which are heavily linked to your chosen smartphone. If you invested in a Note 4 device, then you’ll get a 5.7” QHD effort to cover both eyes, whilst the S6 devices offer a smaller 5.1” QHD range.
The frame rate also takes a bit of a hit as well – with only 60fps on offer. Samsung has ensured that you can still keep the experience going by adding a trackpad and several other buttons on the headset itself.
Samsung has also used some similar motion sensors to help you move your head within the game, but it doesn’t account for quite as much as the Vive. It does offer a 96 degree viewing angle however, whilst also including a headphone jack with the capabilities of 3D special sound.
Of course, with both devices you will be paying a fairly high amount to pick them up, and both are currently in a ‘developer phase’, meaning that you’re likely to find a few bugs with each one.
Save Money With Google Cardboard!
It’s not the most hi-tech option that’s a given, but if you fancy getting in on the VR groove without splashing the cash then Google Cardboard could be the way to go!
Much like those old episodes of Blue Peter – there’s a fair bit of instruction to follow before you end up with the finished article, but here you can see one that’s been made earlier. You do have to bring some of your own kit to the product as well, namely a rubber band and a few other inexpensive products you can find at your nearest hardware store.
Once assembled, the Google Cardboard can house most smartphones and with numerous apps running with it, it will turn your smartphone screen into a cheap VR experience. The foldable headset comes in four different styles, along with a list of instructions – so if you don’t mind building it, Google Cardboard could be all the VR equipment you could want.
What’s the Best Wearable Headset on the Market?
Samsung and HTC have impressed us with the Gear VR and Vive, whilst Google Cardboard is a legitimate budget option. However, all three are relatively untested, first phase devices which are in currently uncharted waters.
Making a call now on which one will be the best is impossible, but it’s safe to say that VR will be the future of technology – especially on the media and gaming market. It’s just a matter of time…