Gear VR vs Oculus Go, Which One to Buy?

Gear VR vs Oculus Go

The Gear VR vs Oculus Go is interesting to talk about because both bring different things to the table. For starters, you should know that the two fall under different categories of VR headsets.

The Oculus Go provides an all-in-one solution to those who want to immerse in a virtual world. Meanwhile, the Gear VR is slightly different. Instead coming with its own resources to play VR content, it relies on the power of your Smartphone.

Yep, this VR is Smartphone based, meaning that the performance highly depends on how your phone performs. If it comes with high specs, then there’s no doubt that the experience will be amazing. If you’re curious to know how they differ, let’s delve deeper into the specifications.

Gear VR vs Oculus Go


image credit: driving.co.uk

Design

At a glance, the Gear VR is noticeably larger, but it isn’t really surprising because the average Galaxy phone is large. It needs to provide enough space to slide your phone into it. Besides, it packs some internal hardware, which also contributes to the bulkiness.

If you’re more into compact designs, the Go might interest you more. With such a streamlined design, the Oculus Go manages to shed some weight, making it lighter than the other. If the Gear VR weighs about 503gr, then the Go weighs about 466 grams.

Keep in mind that the VR isn’t fixed weight-wise. It depends on what phone you put in place. If you keep a heavier type, then it will weigh even more. Weight is one of the factors in choosing a VR headset. A heavy headset, while feels solid, will drag your face down, making it uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Weigh aside, both deliver when it comes to comfort. We’re talking about the padding and how they fit on the face. For audio output, the Gear VR produces sound from the phone. In other words, the quality of your phone speaker greatly affects the experience.

Meanwhile, on the Oculus Go you can find small speakers on both sides close to the ears. They allow you to hear sound of the VR content without teleporting you another realm. But if you want to be immersed to the fullest, take advantage of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Display

Display is another aspect that you’ll notice the difference between the two. The Go does well here because a 1280×1280 display per eye is squeezed right into the housing, creating captivating and detailed visuals. That’s not to say that the Gear VR pales in comparison, but the lower resolution that your phone has probably can’t keep up with the experience the Go has to offer.

There’s also something called Fixed Foveated Rendering on the Go which helps reduce the GPU load on VR scenes. This is considered a groundbreaking invention in VR advancement.

Next, we can compare them by field of view. On the Gear VR, the FOV is around 101 degrees. The figure that the Go showcases isn’t that much different. It’s close to that, so they both deliver here.

image credit: amazon.com

Hardware

As said before, the Oculus Go is a standalone headset, meaning that it can work independently. Whether or not you have a powerful Smartphone, it’s not a big deal because the headset has its own processing unit to produce VR content for your eyes.

The differences will take off from here, though. The perk of using a standalone headset is you can use it right out of the box. There’s no need to worry about battery or anything because it supplies you the whole thing necessary to make it work. Besides, it should be optimized in a way that doesn’t drain power fast.

Quite the contrary, the duration in which you use the Gear VR will depend on the phone slid into it. But even so, the power consumption should be more efficient on the Go with all the proprietary technology built into the system. Another difference is the audio quality. The speakers on the Go are optimized for spatial audio.

Software

Due to the partnership, the Gear VR includes Oculus software, including Oculus Runtime and Oculus Store. Even the payment is done through Oculus services.

With Oculus Go, the integration feels even more seamless. It’s Oculus on the outside and inside. Overall, you wouldn’t see much difference between the two in terms of software.

What sets them apart is the number of apps installed. The Gear VR is going to have more apps than the Go in the end.

image credit: amazon.com

Performance

Performance sort of falls into the gray area because they are different types of headsets. While we can measure the Go’s performance with the built-in system, the same can’t be said about Gear VR because it all depends on the phone put into the holder.

If you insert a powerful phone, then it can give the Go a run for its money. It’s worth-noting that the Go runs VR software, which means it should be efficient because it doesn’t deal with other tasks like a Galaxy phone does.

But here’s the interesting twist. Even if the Gear VR lags behind in performance now, there could be more powerful Galaxy series released in the future.

On the other hand, the Go will stick with what it has today, no option to upgrade performance. The flexibility that the Gear VR has may place it ahead of the Go in the long run.

Final Thoughts


The Gear VR vs Oculus Go is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s hard to play favorites due to their contrasting characteristics. As said before, the Oculus Go is a standalone VR, so it can’t be replaced with the Gear VR if you’re specifically looking for a headset that doesn’t require additional items to be functional.

In terms of performance, though, it gets the job done, but still lags behind the Oculus rift. But in its defense, it costs almost half, so it makes sense to not match its power. Under the hood, the Go and Gear VR are quite comparable.

For those unaware, the VR is a result of Oculus and Samsung partnership. Both can run the same software.

So, which one should you buy?

Well, if you already own a Galaxy phone, then the VR set would make a great complementary device. But if you don’t, then the Oculus Go is an ideal substitute.

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