Samsung will hold its Mobile World Congress press event on February 21, where it will reveal brand new Galaxy mobile hardware. While we’re expecting the Galaxy S7 to be top of the list, there are likely to be a few surprises, because a teaser video heavily emphasizes the Gear VR virtual reality headset. In fact, we don’t see any phones at all.
The video blurb says, “Get ready to rethink what a phone can do.” Samsung’s Gear VR headset requires a Samsung Galaxy phone to operate, so we’ve been doing that to an extent already — but this does suggest Samsung has a Gear VR update, or that the newly launched phone will have features that make the Gear VR even better than before.
Samsung released the first consumer version of Gear VR at the end of last year, so a complete revision sounds unlikely. However, the Gear VR’s smarts come from the phone, so VR-specific features on the Galaxy S7 may give it an update of sorts. Alternatively, Samsung may have a range of accessories that complement the Gear VR to show off.
For example, what is the Gear VR wearer reaching for at six-seconds into the video? Sure, it could be the Unpacked box — Samsung has long referred to its major events as Unpacked, and used a box in teaser images — but it could also be a hint regarding controllers. The Samsung Gamepad, which came with early Innovator versions of the Gear VR, has been discontinued for a while — and a replacement would make sense, particularly as VR games get more complex.
Samsung’s event will join similar gatherings already announced by LG, Sony, and Huawei during MWC, suggesting this year’s Barcelona mobile show will be very exciting, with more major smartphone announcements than ever before. We’ll be at the show, and will bring you all the news as it happens.