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.
Get the edge on VR
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are premium choices for a mobile VR experience. Combined with the amazing Gear VR headset, you can access a world-class range of content that’s constantly being updated by Samsung and Oculus, who partnered with them to create the headset. Play immersive and interactive games, view videos and photos as if you’re in them, and much more.
See our Good to know section for more ideas.
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.
For a truly versatile phone that’s VR-ready, consider the distinctive LG G5 SE. It’s compatible with the LG 360 VR headset. Its 135-degree rear camera means you can capture wide-angle footage that looks jaw-dropping when viewed in virtual. What’s more, the G5 SE can be customised with LG’s cool range of modular accessories, all of which plug into the phone’s lower half to transform your experience. Alongside VR, the possibilities for creative fun are endless.
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.
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.
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.