Samsung has been very active in the virtual reality (VR) space these past couple of years, culminating in the release of the Samsung Gear VR headset. This headset is still powered by Samsung’s flagship smartphone devices, and Samsung is yet to put out a standalone VR headset. Even the 2017 version of the Gear VR headset – the one which accommodates the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – is still dependent on the power of the smartphone snapped on to it. But heads up, a new headset called the Galaxy VR might be on its way.
Sources mentioned by Samsung-specific tech blog SamMobile say that the Gear VR will be rebranded as the Galaxy VR. It is not clear at this point what the headset will be like, or if it will still be smartphone-dependent. VR users are hoping that it will be a standalone device – by “standalone” we mean a totally separate device, and not needing to be tethered to a laptop or high-end PC – but there are not a lot of those out there at the moment.
Lenovo currently has the monopoly on standalone VR devices in the Mirage Solo. It is quite a capable device and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset, and ultimately able to run Google Daydream VR platform. The Samsung Gear VR uses the Oculus VR software platform, and that probably won’t change soon, but a standalone device from Samsung will definitely be something to talk about if ever.
Samsung is also keen to drop the “Gear” branding on its devices, as recent patent applications for the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Fit are a big evidence that the Korean gadget giant is looking to unify its product lineup under the well-known “Galaxy” branding. If Samsung is doing it with its wearables, it would only make sense for them to do the same with the Gear VR
That said, SamMobile clarifies that it does not know for a fact when Samsung will do the rebrand, or if it will actually go through with the changes. There are whispoers of a high-resolution display on next year’s Galaxy S10. That could work well if the upcoming Galaxy VR is still going to be using smartphones, and it would be nice to unveil it alongside the tenth-anniversary Galaxy S flagship. We’re hedging our bets on early next year.
Still, a launch together with the Galaxy Note 9 later this year would not be out of place. That would mean Samsung would be able to launch the Galaxy VR brand name earlier. What do you guys think?