The Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) both appear relatively similar in terms of aesthetic. There has become a standardised design for virtual reality (VR) HMDs that doesn’t look like it will be changed for many years to come. However, internally the prospects are very different. While the Gear VR is out in the wild and available to consumers now, the Google Daydream remains an unknown quantity in many respects. VRFocus breaks down everything you need to know about what these two devices will be capable of.
Samsung Gear VR Technical Specifications
The Samsung Gear VR is a collaboration with Oculus VR. While it is Samsung who are taking charge of distributing the platform at a commercial level, it’s Oculus VR’s technology that powers the VR experiences. Each and every videogame and software release on the Gear VR undergoes rigorous testing by Oculus VR to ensure that it adheres to set standards of performance.
The Samsung Gear VR can be a confusing proposition as there are currently three editions in the wild: the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition for Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition for Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge, and the Samsung Gear VR. The latter of these is intended to be the consumer edition of the device, and as such the specifications that follow below apply to this version:
Dimension: 200.4 x 87.6mm (280g)
Field of View: 96°
PUI / Button: Touchpad, Back key, Volume Key, Focus adjustment wheel
Sensors: Gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity
Charging port for mobile phone: Micro USB
Google Daydream Technical Specifications
While the Samsung Gear VR has a readily available technical specification due to already being available for purchase, we do not have that luxury with Google’s Daydream. The recent announcement of the device was accompanied only by a mock-up of what the head-mounted display (HMD) could eventually look like. However, it is known that Google won’t be solely relying on their own manufacturing capabilities, instead partnering with other hardware manufacturers to release various editions of the device. This, most certainly, will confuse things.
What we do know however, is the design of the input device. Google’s HMD will be delivered with its own proprietary Google Daydream controller, the details of which follow below:
PUI / Button: Clickable touchpad, app button, home button
Tracking: 3DOF scalable tracking
Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR: Technical Specifications Summary
What this means is that while it’s currently unknown what kind of field-of-view the Google Daydream will offer or how comfortable the HMD will be (an important factor to take into account for even short amounts of time in VR), it takes the edge due to having a singular proprietary input device. The Samsung Gear VR relies on a touchpad mounted on the HMD itself or additional investment in a Bluetooth controller (more details on which can be found in VRFocus‘ guide for the best Gear VR gamepads), neither of which are optimal for the best mobile VR experience.