Explore virtual reality with your phone

It’s an exciting new era for virtual reality (VR) on smartphones – and you don’t need any special skills to get immersed. For example, if you have one of the newer Samsung phones, you can just fit it into a VR headset (the Samsung Gear VR) and you can play games, watch videos and lots more.

While we still have a long way to go before the technology unlocks its full promise, VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Keplar VR pro goggles are making huge strides, opening up breathtaking new experiences for gaming, photos and videos on your mobile. As the buzz around VR continues, now is the ideal time to dive into the virtual universe yourself.

Read on for our beginner’s guide to VR – including the best phones to experience it with.

Immersive entertainment

With its stunning 5.8-inch rounded-corner Infinity Display, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a premium choice for a mobile VR experience. Combine it with the amazing Gear VR headset and you can access a world-class range of content that’s constantly being updated. Play immersive and interactive games, view videos and photos as if you’re in them, and much more.

 

Get in gear

Choose a headset that truly brings VR to life. Samsung recently tweaked the Gear VR’s design to make it more comfortable for people who wear glasses and improve ventilation to reduce screen fog. It’s widely recognised as one of the best mobile VR headsets available in terms of tech. Clear, vibrant visuals are backed up by a simple and smooth user experience. And, with an ever-expanding range of apps and games, it’s getting even better.

Capture your own worlds

Create and share your own immersive VR content with the Samsung Gear 360. Portable and easy to use, it’s twin cameras let you capture a full 360-degree view of the world as video or photo. With 4K capability, your videos will be crystal clear – whether you want to capture the panoramic majesty of mountain walk or the romance of the first dance at a wedding. And five viewing modes let you create unique images at 15-megapixel resolution. You can even broadcast live.

A headset for all seasons

If you’re looking for a reliable headset that works with most smartphones, check out the Keplar VR pro goggles. They’re a great, affordable intro to the world of virtual reality.

Good to know

  • The world is yours

    One persistent question about VR that puzzles people is: What can I do with it? Lots. Games and app developers, filmmakers and creatives are falling over themselves to bring fresh, ground-breaking content alive with VR technology. Read on for examples, or look online for articles recommending the best demos and experiences. We’ve mentioned a few examples below – of course, other games and platforms are available.

  • Gaming in your eyes

    For casual and hardcore gamers alike, there’s already a massive range of titles that push immersion further with VR. Build castles and fight monsters in Minecraft, get trigger happy in space with sci-fi shooter Gunjack, solve a spooky murder mystery in Dead Secret or solve puzzles in magical, tranquil landscapes with Land’s End. All of these are available on Samsung Gear VR.

  • App happy

    From Netflix to virtual chatroom Altspace VR to immersive video hubs like Jaunt, VR offers plenty of springboards so you can dive deep into a connected, virtual experience. From familiar activities like web browsing and Streetview to bold new outlets like artistic simulator The Night Café, VR can redefine how you enjoy your apps.

Evolve with accessories

Not so long ago, the whole point of a smartphone seemed to be its unique ‘all-in-one’ capability – but now some manufacturers are actively challenging that status quo. The stunning range of accessories created for the modular LG G5 range and high-spec Samsung S7 range prove the point. Take 360-degree photos and video with the Samsung Gear 360 camera, then play it back on your Gear VR. Or enhance your LG G5 SE with unique modules that let you tailor your mobile experience – including the LG 360 VR headset.

Do it like a pro

Using VR is usually as simple as fitting your phone into your headset and firing up the app or game you want to use. However, we recommend you read the instructions carefully before use, and ensure the headset you want is compatible with your phone before you buy.

Other handy tips: Make sure your phone is securely fitted into the headset before you use it, and watch out for overheating – while this is unlikely, VR can be a big drain on power.

Future visions

If you’re after innovative tech that sits right on the cutting edge, VR is the place to be. From V-sports (yes, virtual reality sports) to subscription services for VR content to sensory feedback in gaming (touch, for example), VR will continue to push the limits of how we use and enjoy our devices. Augmented reality (AR) is also enjoying a golden age, and as smartphones become even more sophisticated the only boundaries may soon be our own imaginations (and maybe our phone’s battery life). With so much future potential, it’s a great time to master the basics.