Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Not Compatible With Gear VR
Samsung’s newly-announced Galaxy Note 10 phones will not be compatible with its Gear VR headset. The tech company has confirmed that users will not be able to use the Note 10 or the bigger Note 10+ with the Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset.
The Gear VR headset works only with a phone which is slotted in front of its lenses so the decision by Samsung to cut off support for the headset in its latest flagship phones raises doubts about the future of Samsung’s headset along with other phone-based headsets. This is a logical progression given the rise of the standalone VR headsets such as the Oculus Go and Quest which have built-in displays.
When Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, the tech giant also released a Type-C adapter that enabled the phone to work with the VR headset which was built for its predecessor. This time round, Samsung is not going backwards to provide for compatibility with Note 10 and Note 10+. It’s simply scrapping the headset support altogether although in a statement it issued to Engadget, the tech giant says it is still “committed to innovating” in virtual reality and augmented reality to deliver incredible experiences to end users.
During today’s Unpacked event, Samsung failed to mention Gear VR. The last time the headset was updated was in 2017. The most recent Samsung phones that supported the headset were the four Galaxy S10 models that were announced this February but the support was only enabled through an adapter, as was the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 which was released last year. There is still a product page for the Samsung Gear VR on the Samsung store website but it doesn’t appear like it is still available for purchase. However, you can still order it on Amazon for $99.99.
It’s not yet apparent whether Samsung is once again going to provide an adapter that will work with the Galaxy Note 10 to ensure compatibility or whether this will be the end of the VR headset.
However, in spite of the negative news today, the Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset still seems to have some future. The product has been bundled with various Samsung phones and it still has compatibility with the older Samsung models. The Samsung Gear VR also finds wide application at various events such as film festivals where it is used to showcase virtual reality.
As long as the standalone virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Go and Quest are still priced in the mid-range point, the Samsung Gear VR will still have a market niche as it is currently one of the lowest-priced virtual reality headsets that can still offer a relatively OK immersive experience and it is widely deployed to bring virtual reality in areas such as classrooms and events. As a low-priced VR head-mounted device, it is more practical and more sensible than the equally low-priced Google Cardboard. Additionally, the headset continues to get app updates as well as new releases.
But with the latest news of lack of compatibility with Samsung’s latest flagship phone along with Google’s decision to discontinue Pixel 3a support for the Daydream platform, the writing is on the wall for phone-based virtual reality.