It's been nearly two years since the original Gear VR launched, and the latest model – which hit stores in April 2017 – has reignited public interest in Samsung's flagship virtual reality device. So what's new with the 2nd generation Gear VR?

New Samsung Gear VR Design

The latest iteration of the Gear VR hasn't taken a quantum leap in terms of design, although the phone dock can now accommodate the larger Samsung Galaxy S8 and Plus models, along with a new USB-C connector.

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The headset has a few quality-of-life improvements, with a notably comfier cushion for the eyes and nose, and a built-in optics adjustment to help you find a focus more easily. As before, it offers head tracking and a 101-degree field of view, although the revamped Gear VR software promises higher resolution and smoother running on most existing handsets.

Gear VR Wireless Controller

The real star of the show is the all-new wireless, motion-tracking controller – something the Gear has lacked up until now, and it's set to be a game-changer in more ways than one. With a circular trackpad, a back button and a home button on top, and a trigger button underneath, it's similar in size and design to the Google Daydream View controller.

The trigger button is a clever addition that's sure to make shooters feel more immersive, and could open up whole new possibilities for VR apps – like adding a more natural-feeling "grip and hold" controller for manipulating virtual objects. Of all the features the new controller has enabled, the trigger button could end up being the most important one.

Gear VR Apps and Games

On the day of its launch, there were 20 apps in the Oculus store that supported the new controller, and this is expected to grow to more than 50 over the course of the year – something early adopters are sure to welcome, and which might help entice a few new people into the scene too.

Samsung's Gear VR might not be quite as technologically capable as the kits at the highest end of the market - the PC-based Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the devices currently at the cutting edge of the VR experience - but in terms of accessibility and affordability, the latest Gear delivers in spades.

If you're a gaming fan, don't forget to also check out the upcoming XBox One X

Gear VR Compatible Phones

If you want a taste of the VR Revolution, all you need right now is a compatible phone and a reasonably-priced headset.

Tempted by the new Gear VR? Here's a list of the phones it supports:

Galaxy Note 8
Galaxy S8 and S8+
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Galaxy Note5
Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+

Browse the great deals we have on Samsung phones here at Mobiles.co.uk and start your journey into virtual reality today.