Google Cardboard vs Samsung GearVR Virtual Reality Headsets

The two most accessible platforms for Virtual Reality (VR) content right now are Google Cardboard and Samsung’s GearVR. Both only require a mobile phone to operate.

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GearVR and Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Headsets

 

How do they work?

gearvr_vs_cardboard_lensesBoth use a smartphone as the display, and have lenses that make the small screen fill your entire field of view. The phone sensors are used to detect where you’re looking so that a Virtual Reality app can update the display.

Overall Performance and Compatibility

GearVR provides a high-end experience. The lens are bigger and the headset is specifically designed and tuned for a number of the latest Samsung phones, including Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+. These high end phones provide high resolution, fast updates to head movements, and large screens–overall a very immersive experience.

As opposed to the Gear VR, almost any recent smartphone will work in Google Cardboard. The more high-end smartphones in our opinion yield experiences closer to the Gear VR. An older phone with one of the earlier Cardboard designs will not have as big of screen or respond to head movements as fast which produces a less immersive experience. But no matter the platform, the first time impact using VR is almost always jaw dropping.

Cost

The current Gear VR costs $99, but also requires a new Samsung phone, which range from $600 – $900 off contract. Google Cardboard in single units costs about $20, but can get down to $5 in quantity.

Use Cases

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Custom branded cardboard virtual reality viewers

Many companies custom print Cardboard as a giveaway or mailer. Cardboard provides a way for a brand to connect with an exciting new technology, and give a customer a branded takeaway that they can continue to use with many other apps.

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Gear VR is best for trade shows or in-person visits. Check out our blog post on how to best use a Gear VR at your next trade show!

Whether Cardboard or Gear VR, companies typically develop a custom app to showcase their products. For example, the New York Times produced an app that contained 360 degree videos, including one from a refugee camp. Star Wars released small videos daily in the days before release of the latest film. Several of our clients like BetterCloud or Probrew have also created Cardboard apps to showcase their experiences. Cardboard apps are usually delivered through the Apple AppStore for iPhones or Google’s Play Store for Android. Samsung has a store for Gear VR, but has so far only allowed very few apps in. This is usually not a problem, as apps can be directly installed on devices rather than going through the Samsung store.

If you have questions about how to utilize Virtual Reality for recruiting or marketing, or would like help producing a custom virtual reality app, please let us know.

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