Hands-on with the updated Gear VR with controller


It's finally happened! The Galaxy S8 and the S8 plus have been shown to the world with availability starting from April 21 but other than the infinity display powered stunners, the unpacked event also saw Samsung launch a new version of the Gear 360 camera.

Both Oculus and HTC have alluded to a shift of priorities away from their high-end headsets and toward the more financially accessible smartphone market, and this new Gear VR will be the driver for Oculus. Rumours are circulating that we'll see a new, updated version of the popular 360 camera revealed later today. Users can also convert the 360 images into standard formats for easy sharing. The recent price-drop of the Gear 360 - and subsequent special offer packaged with the Samsung Gear VR - would add fuel to this fire, though nothing is confirmed. The main novelty is the ability for the camera to make videos in 4K. Expect battery life to be shorter when recording in 4K. The new Gear 360 replace the two 15 MP sensors on the 2016 model with two 8.4 MP sensors coupled with fish-eye lens. When taking a 360-degree photo, it will combine the two images and produce a 15MP photo.

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The Samsung Gear 360 (2017) comes with an improved design. Last year's model, for a comparison, is available for purchase at £249 from Samsung website. We also don't know how much it will cost, either as a bundle with the Samsung Gear VR itself or as a stand-alone device for existing Samsung Gear VR owners. However, it will only work on newer iPhone models running iOS 10 or later.

Samsung will also sell the new controller separately for $39.99. Users can now use the Gear 360 app to send a live-stream capture wirelessly to a smartphone and then upload the video as a "live broadcast" at 2K resolution to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Samsung VR. The company also hasn't given an exact release date only stating that it will start shipping in "the spring".

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