Should Samsung Galaxy S8 owners buy a Gear VR or Google Daydream?

This week, Google announced a critical expansion of a Daydream practical existence platform. Daydream, now usually accessible on niche Android phones, is rolling out to a Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus this summer. That means that millions of smartphone owners will shortly have dual outrageous tech companies perplexing to sell them VR headsets.

Google is charity a $79 Daydream View, that you’ll need to launch Daydream apps on your phone. Samsung sells a $129 Gear VR, that lets we entrance Oculus Home, a height combined by Facebook-owned VR association Oculus. Both headsets work a same way: after we shave a phone into a headset, we can correlate with VR practice regulating a tiny handheld remote. But they demeanour and feel really different, and any has a totally apart app ecosystem.

Unlike picking between dual costly desktop headsets like a Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, shopping a mobile headset isn’t a outrageous investment — many of a cost is in a phone itself. Retailers and manufacturers also adore charity VR headsets as sweeteners, so we might finish adult removing one (or maybe both) for free.

But if you’re going to buy a Gear VR or Daydream View, that one is a improved use of your money? We’re here to answer that question.

Photo by Amelia Krales / The Verge

You don’t wish to sequence anything right now — it’ll expected be a integrate of months during slightest until a update. But formed on a stream app ecosystem, you’ll find some-more to do on a Gear VR this summer, outweighing a aloft price. It’s value deliberation removing Daydream too, though, generally as a library expands. Keep an eye out for sales, and we might get both during a low bonus or totally free. And if you’re not furious about possibly one, we can reason off though feeling too much fear of blank out.

For a motive behind this verdict, review on.

The box for Daydream

The Daydream View is $50 cheaper, for one thing. It’s some-more compress and reduction intimidating than a Gear VR, and it’s quicker and easier to insert your phone and get started. You’ll get entrance to YouTube VR, that is one of a default locations for posting 360-degree video. (You can entrance YouTube videos by Samsung’s Gear VR web browser, though it’s a lot reduction convenient.)

Daydream also connects we to a Google ecosystem that you’re substantially already invested in. You don’t have to say a apart Oculus account, and Daydream lets we launch VR practice directly from your home shade instead of going by another app. Daydream also creates it really easy to launch web-based VR experiences, and a VR chronicle of Chrome will let we bookmark them on a desktop and come behind to them after in VR.

The box for Gear VR

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Games and apps. Daydream boasts of a fast-growing catalog, though it’s still tiny compared to a Gear VR’s offerings, and it’s doubtful to strech relation by this summer. While it doesn’t have YouTube, there is a Facebook 360-degree video app. And unsurprisingly for a Facebook-owned company, Oculus has a some-more strong amicable sourroundings so far, with common bedrooms and scarcely cold avatars.

The Gear VR hardware also has benefits. Its straps are reduction superb though fit on your conduct some-more snugly, and it’s got a concentration dial for opposite student distances, that can make a picture clearer for some people. Its side trackpad also offers a failsafe if your controller runs out of battery, an emanate I’ve had with a rechargeable Daydream remote.

The Gear VR isn’t an alone improved product or platform, though for now, you’ll find some-more to do on it, unless you’re privately invested in YouTube’s 360-degree video. When you’re in a cost operation between “impulse purchase” and “major investment,” it’s value profitable some-more for something that will expected get a many use in a brief term.

Google Daydream and Gear VR: what apps should we try?


Daydream View

Gear VR



Daydream View

Gear VR


360-degree video


Facebook 360

Jaunt, Within, NextVR

2D video

Google Play Movies, HBO Now

Oculus Cinema

Netflix, Hulu

Web browser

Chrome VR

Oculus browser, Samsung Internet

Social experience

Group YouTube sessions

Oculus Rooms

AltspaceVR, vTime


Virtual Virtual Reality, SculptVR, Need for Speed: No Limits VR

Dead Secret, Minecraft, Rangi, Esper, Dead Secret, Hitman Go VR

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, EVE: Gunjack, Wands

Total apps, May 2017



The Gear VR and Google Daydream have really opposite ecosystems. Here are some of a games and practice we should try on each.

The box for neither

Mobile VR headsets are essentially party devices, not critical capability tools. And a party they offer is fun, though it’s reduction worldly than what you’ll find on some-more mature mediums, and there’s not scarcely as many of it. One of a many renouned kinds of calm — 360-degree video — is accessible outward VR, too.

Mobile VR headsets are also reduction gentle than desktop ones, since you’re putting a weight of an whole phone on a front of your face. The controllers work impressively good deliberation a technical hurdles involved, though they yield a singular operation of motion.

I’d inspire anyone who’s meddlesome in VR and has a Galaxy S8 to get a mobile headset. But it won’t harm to wait a year or dual and see how things develop. Google only non-stop submissions for Daydream’s Google Play territory a few months ago, so a app preference might demeanour really opposite by then. Besides, in a subsequent era of VR, a best mobile headsets might not even need phones.

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