The touch buttons on the Gear VR do take a bit of getting used to, and you’ve definitely got to run through the tutorial when you first put the headset on. The remote on the Google Daydream View is awesome. It gives you so much control and it makes it so easy to navigate through your 360 experience. I was really surprised at how accurate and how easy it is to use. The controller also adds a whole new level to 360 gaming as well. Now while the Gear VR doesn’t include a remote with it, there are quite a few gaming controllers available to take the experience up a notch. The Gear VR also includes a focus adjustment on top of the unit so you can really get it set up right to match your eyes and your vision. But even though the Daydream View doesn’t have this ability, it always seemed to be in focus for me. Setting up your phones to work with these headsets was really easy for both. On the Samsung Gear VR, we used a Samsung Galaxy S7, and for the Google Daydream View, we used a Google Pixel XL. Probably the biggest difference between the two headsets is that the Google View doesn’t need your phone to be plugged into the headset.
With the Samsung VR, you are actually connecting either with a micro USB or with a USBC into the unit itself. Once you’ve got your phones mounted in the headsets, they actually both feel pretty solid. Even though the Google View doesn’t have a physical connection between the phone and the headset, it still feels pretty solid when it’s in place. Once you’ve got the headsets on is where you’ll start to see some differences feature-wise between the two. What I really like about the Samsung Gear VR is how easy it is to get to Facebook 360 videos and how seamless the process is and how well they play.
Accessing YouTube videos and 360 YouTube videos though on the Gear VR is another story. You’d need to install the Samsung internet browser and use the internet browser to access YouTube as you would through your mobile device or through a computer. So, while all that is achievable and it works, there are so many extra steps to get to YouTube. And a lot of the times, once you get to YouTube and start playing your video, you have to manually select 360 degrees from the player so that your video will play back in 360.
But on the Google Daydream View, the experience is almost the opposite. Accessing Facebook and Facebook 360 videos is much harder. Whereas accessing YouTube is really easy and seamless and it works really, really well. But, obviously, the headset is Google, YouTube is Google, so it should all work well together. Outside of Facebook and YouTube, there are currently more games and VR experiences available for the Gear VR. Mainly because it’s been available for a much longer time, but apps, games, and VR experiences are growing fast for Google Daydream too.
Quality wise, it comes down to the quality of the phone or the display in the phones that you’re using. Between the S7 and between the Google Pixel XL and the headsets, I really couldn’t tell much of a difference between the two. While you can see the pixels, after a while you don’t even notice and you’re just immersed in the 360 experience. So both of them work really well in that regard. One downside with the Daydream View compared to the Gear VR is the viewing angle.
80 degrees compared to 90 degrees. So this means that there’s more shown in your field of view on the Gear VR and most likely this was done so the Daydream View can support a larger range of phones at some point. So it’s not a huge thing, but it is noticeable when comparing the two side by side. What I have noticed on multiple occasions now, after using the Gear VR is that after 15, 20 minutes my eyes start to hurt. Whereas on the Google Daydream View, I haven’t had any problems using it for upwards of an hour. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the Google Pixel XL heats up really quick when you’ve got it in the headset. And you can feel the heat coming through onto your face. And while that’s not necessarily a great thing, it doesn’t seem to affect the performance at all. Now, comfort wise between the two headsets, they both do a great job of holding that amount of weight comfortably on your head.
If I had to pick a winner between the two, my preference would be the Google Daydream View. It just seems to fit my head better. Both Samsung and Google are constantly running out updates to improve the user experience, to improve the feature set on both of these units. And I’m sure we’ll be seeing some big changes and big innovation in this space in the near future. So, as for which one you should get or which one is right for you, what’s really going to come down to which device you have. If you’ve got a Samsung phone, then it would make sense to get the Samsung headset. Beyond that, there’s not really a huge difference at this point, between the two.
Yes, YouTube is more streamlined in the Google headset and Facebook 360 is more streamlined in the Samsung headset. But really, the cross-over or the overlap between the two is huge, and on a lot of levels, it’s really a much of a muchness. If you found this video helpful, we’d really appreciate a thumbs up, and make sure you click that “Subscribe” button if you haven’t already. If you’re interested in creating 360 videos and you’re not sure where to start with which cameras to buy, then check out the link on screen now.
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Updated on 2018-04-19 at 12:16