The wait for Daydream on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is finally over. Months after Samsung promised to support Google’s mobile virtual reality platform would come to its flagship, it’s made good: Over the next few weeks, Galaxy S8 units across all carriers will be updated to work with Daydream View headsets and Google’s motion-sensing Daydream Controller.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up Daydream on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. If you’re looking for more Daydream-related content, check out our roundup of Daydream headsets, smartphones, controllers, and software.
How to set up Daydream on the Galaxy S8
Getting Daydream VR up and running on the Galaxy S8 isn’t too challenging. But you’ll need to install the Daydream app.
- Open the Google Play Store, type “Daydream” in the search bar, and tap Install. Alternatively, click this link to install it remotely.
- Launch the Daydream app and sign in with your Google account. If you have a Daydream headset, tap I have a headset. If not, tap Get one to see a list of compatible devices available for purchase.
- Tap Next on each subsequent instructions screen, and optionally sign up for Google’s Daydream newsletter by toggling the Email newsletter button on the second-to-last page.
- Tap Create PIN, and enter a password you’ll remember — you’ll use it to confirm purchases in VR.
- You’ll be prompted to install the Daydream Keyboard. Tap OK on the popup that appears, which will bring up the app’s Play Store page. Tap Install, and hit the Back button once it finishes.
- You’ll have to update the Galaxy S8’s Google VR Settings. Tap OK on the popup that appears, and tap on every item in the Google VR checklist that has a circle-shaped exclamation icon next to it. Enable each setting until every item’s grayed out and checked off, and then hit the Back button.
That’s it! You’re ready to start using Daydream on the Galaxy S8. Pop your phone into a Daydream-compatible headset, make sure the controller is fully charged, and slap the Galaxy S8 into your Daydream headset — Google’s Daydream tutorial will start automatically.
Once you’ve completed the tutorial once, you don’t have to do it again. Launching Daydream is as easy as opening the Daydream app, tapping the circle-shaped headset button in the bottom right-hand corner of the app, and slotting the Galaxy S8 into the headset.
So just how well does Daydream work on the Galaxy S8? Just as well as any other phone, really. We noticed a few framerate issues during the first few tutorial scenes, but restarting the Daydream app seemed to get rid of them.
It was smooth sailing once we reached Daydream Home, Daydream’s app screen. The onscreen pointer responded pretty much instantly to the tilts and turns of the Daydream controller, and the apps we tested worked without issue. We were especially impressed by 360-degree videos in the YouTube app, which looked colorful and vibrant on the Galaxy S8 Plus’s big screen.
VR experiences aren’t exactly new to the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus. Both phones support Samsung and Oculus’ $130 Gear VR, which boasts a much larger content library compared to Daydream. Now that one of the world’s most popular high-end phones supports Google’s VR platform, developers have more incentive than ever to start targeting it.