The Gear VR is compatible with certain Samsung phones - the Galaxy S6 and S7 lineups, as well as the Note 4 and Note 5. The Gear VR uses the phone as the display, speaker, and brains - the headset itself is just a head-mount with lenses and controls on the side.
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Pro Complete freedom of movement thanks to being untethered
Gear VR doesn't have any wires that limit your movement, allowing for complete mobility. The device works when any modern Samsung phone is connected and is controlled with a touch sensitive panel on the side of the headset or through a controller (although some games require the controller).
Pro Consistent development as it is powered by Oculus
Gear VR uses Oculus Mobile SDK and a variant of Oculus Tracker and firmware (Oculus being developed by Facebook and having consistent money backing it).
It comes with Oculus Home, an interface for the Oculus Store, Oculus Cinema, a virtual movie theater and Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos that allow panoramic content playback in a VR setting. These add up to an experience that is already fleshed out with support for many types of media access built in.
Pro USB charging port
The headset features a USB charging port, so you can keep the phone battery charged while it's still in the headset.
Pro Big enough for most glasses
You can wear your prescription eyeglasses under the headset, though with the adjustable focus, this might not be necessary.
Pro Good 1440p Amoled display
The Gear VR is compatible with a number of high end Samsung phones, all of which have high quality 1440p Amoled panels. While the PPI varies with the actual phone used, they each offer a good viewing experience.
Pro Quick reaction time to movement
The delay between head movement and screen refresh is below 20ms, allowing for low latency refresh rates. This helps to reduce motion sickness, which can be caused by delay from the time you move your head to the time you see the movement.
Pro Focus can be adjusted
The dial on top makes it easy to adjust the focus (even while playing), unlike most Cardboard models where that's fixed.
Con Phone is prone to overheating
The Gear VR does have a USB charging port, but in practice this doesn't extend the play time much. When the phone overheats, it interrupts your game, then instructs you to remove the phone and let it cool off.
Con 60hz refresh rate causes flicker issues for some people
This can also increase the movement-to-picture delay, which can cause sensory dissonance in quick movements (when the eyes see a change that doesn't match how far they can sense their head has turned) and therefore (possibly) cause nausea.
Con Not future-proof
The Gear VR uses a micro-USB port in an age when virtually all phones are releasing with USB-C ports. With no room for an adapter in the casing, this means that the hardware connector will be outdated shortly.
Also, in Fall of 2016 Google is expected to be unveiling 'DayDream' - a standard for mobile VR. Current generation phones aren't expected to make the cut, and because Gear VR is powered by Oculus, it is very likely going to be ineligible for DayDream.
Con No positional tracking
VR without positional tracking significantly increases user VR sickness. The Gear VR can only track rotation just like Google cardboard. It's ok for short bursts for the most part, but wearing it for extended lengths can cause motion sickness.
Con Only works with specific Samsung phones
Only supports Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S7, S7 edge, and Note 5. Which limits the available devices and userbase. While Samsung is one of the biggest manufacturers of mobile devices, those that have already bought into a device manufactured by a different company will be out of luck. This can also be exacerbated by the fact that most mobile phones in the states are locked to a two year agreement, so being able to switch to a compatible device is not really an option for those people.
Con Touchpad is finicky
While quite an improvement over Cardboard's simple magnet switch, the touchpad on the side is hard to use. It's easy to input the wrong direction and click when you don't mean to. This makes the Oculus store hard to navigate in VR mode and some games almost impossible to play without a Bluetooth controller.
Con Not as powerful as a desktop PC
Phones currently can't offer the power of a desktop PC. Graphics will not be as crisp as a PC can offer. Also, the experience is prone to lag because of thermal throttling or power saver modes reducing performance.
Con Blurry text
Even though all of the supported phones all have a 1440p resolution, text can be a bit pixelated (especially near the edge of one's vision) and straight lines end up looking jagged. In games the resolution isn't a problem, as moving around helps blur the images together, but it's noticeable on menus and other static pages.