What Phones Work With Samsung Gear VR?

This post has affiliate links. At no cost to you, we earn a commision for puchases made through links in this post. Read more

Technology never stops surprising us. In a world where Virtual Reality is making its way to the top, Samsung, in November 2015, launched its Virtual Reality Headset in collaboration with Oculus VR. The VR only works with Samsung Flagship smartphones. This article will answer the question- what phones work with Samsung Gear VR.

Let us first take a look at how the Samsung Gear VR set works. 

How Does Samsung Gear VR Work?

A Samsung VR Headset is similar to Google’s Cardboard. The only thing you need to operate it is a smartphone that works with Samsung Gear VR.

The VR headset consists of a strap that is used to secure the headset in place on your head. It has buttons and touchpads on its side and the basic VR Headset phone holder at the front.

You will need to install the Oculus app on your smartphone to make this Gear VR Headset work. The app functions as a storefront for the headset. It also acts as an easy Virtual Reality Game launcher.

The Gear itself acts as the controller. It has a proximity sensor that helps it detect when the headset is being put on.

What Phones Work With Samsung Gear VR?

Given below is the list of Samsung flagship smartphones that are compatible with the Samsung Gear VR.

Different models of the Gear VR are compatible with different smartphones.

Galaxy VR (SM-R325) Is Compatible With –

Without a separate connector,

  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy S9
  • Galaxy S9+
  • Galaxy S8
  • Galaxy S8+

With a separate micro-USB or USB-C connector,

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Galaxy S6 Edge +
  • Galaxy Note 5
  • Galaxy S7
  • Galaxy S7 Edge

Galaxy VR (SM-R324) Is Compatible With –

Without a separate connector,

  • Galaxy S8
  • Galaxy S8+

With a separate connector,

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+
  • Galaxy Note 5
  • Galaxy S7
  • Galaxy S7 Edge

Galaxy VR (SM-R323 & SM-R322) Are Compatible With –

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+
  • Galaxy Note 5
  • Galaxy S7
  • Galaxy S7 Edge

Galaxy VR (SM-R320) Is Compatible With –

  • Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy VR (SM-R321) Is Compatible With –

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 Edge

All the Galaxy Note 10 variants are incompatible with Samsung Gear VR.

Newer models of Samsung Smartphones may not be compatible with the older models of Gear VR. Check the model numbers beforehand.

How to Use Samsung Gear VR in Other Phones?

For the people who do not have any smartphones that work with the Gear VR, here is a hack to use the Samsung Gear VR headset with other smartphones.

Make Sure the Phone Fits

You cannot use the Gear VR without plugging in your headset. You need to make sure that your smartphone fits perfectly in the headset.

On experimenting with various smartphones, it was found that the phones of a size larger than the Note 4, were too big for the headset. So your smartphone should be smaller in size. A few smartphones that did fit in the headset are, 

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Nexus 5
  • Motorola DROID Turbo
  • Oneplus one

Install the Right App

Once you’ve checked if your phone fits, you will have to install an app to make the headset function. Since you will be using an incompatible smartphone, the Oculus app will not work.

The best choice may be Google Cardboard. It comes with a lot of easy-to-use features. You can import your own videos and watch them on a stereoscopic view. It creates a nice three-dimensional environment that you can explore by moving your head in different directions.

The app includes several demos to help you get the hang of it.

It also allows you to watch Youtube videos as if in a virtual theatre.

A less featured app is the VR player. Although it does not offer all the amazing features that Google Cardboard does, it does allow you to watch 2D and 3D videos in a VR box, like the Samsung Gear VR.

This buyer guide for the top 10 smartphones for VR might help you decide which smartphone to invest in.

Is It Worth It?

You will spend around $200 on your Samsung Gear VR. Using it with an incompatible smartphone might make you feel as if it was a waste of all that money.

Since you will be using other apps and not the Oculus app which was specially made for Samsung Gear VR, you will be missing out on a lot of the VR functions. The touchpad, volume buttons, and other buttons on the VR headset will not function. Also, you will not get access to the Oculus store. 

Although it is a cheap hack, it is not worth it. The VR experience will be compromised. 

If you’re not ready to upgrade to a phone that works with Samsung Gear VR soon, you might want to turn your head away from the idea of buying the Gear VR. 

Has the Samsung Gear VR Discontinued?

Samsung announced that they are drawing the Samsung XR service to a close. It is the service that provides the facility of Virtual Reality, viewing 360° pictures and videos.

This, in turn, led to the discontinuation of the Samsung Gear VR Headset. The company also removed the Oculus app from Microsoft’s and Oculus’ stores.

The reasons were the extreme heating problems in the headset. Since June 30, the already installed Oculus apps have stopped working. The company says that by the end of September 2020, all the Oculus accounts will be disabled. 

Step Into the Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is the ongoing trend and we do not see it ending very soon. Most of the gaming companies are starting to focus on creating Virtual Reality games only. 

With the Samsung Gear VR on the verge of coming to an end, many other companies are coming up with their VR headsets. Take a look at this buyer guide for the best VR Headsets to easily analyze and invest in a VR Headset other than the Gear VR.

We hope that after reading the article, you have the answer to the question of what phones work with Samsung Gear VR along with other relevant information about the same. Have fun with Virtual Reality!