Google added two Samsung Galaxy-class smartphones to its Daydream VR list

Google Daydream
Google said on Monday that Samsung is now distributing an update to its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones that adds support for the Google Daydream mobile VR platform. That means in addition to supporting Samsung’s Oculus VR-powered Gear VR headset, these two phones will be compatible with Google’s Daydream View headsets as well. But the overall list is still extremely slim for customers wanting to take advantage of Google’s new mobile VR platform for Android despite Samsung’s new Daydream entries.

Here is the updated Google Daydream phone compatibility list:

Asus: ZenFone AR (coming soon)
Google: Pixel
Pixel XL
Huawei: Mate 9 Pro
Porsche Design Mate 9
Motorola: Moto Z
Moto Z Force
Samsung: Galaxy S8
Galaxy S8 Plus
ZTE: Axon 7

Currently, Samsung sells seven smartphones that are compatible with its Gear VR headset but the platform is proprietary to these devices. Meanwhile, Google’s Daydream platform is open to all Android smartphones that meet a specific list of hardware requirements, such as a processor with at least two cores, support for OpenGL ES 3.2, support for HEVC and VP9 codecs, a screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 or greater (1,440p recommended), and more.

For Samsung customers with older Galaxy-class smartphones that work with Gear VR, this latest update could be a sign that their phones will eventually support Google’s Daydream initiative. Based on the list above, Daydream-compatible phones sold in the United States rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon-branded processors with four to eight cores: The Snapdragon 820, 821, and 835 chips. Huawei is the only manufacturer on the list that solely relies on a proprietary eight-core processor (Kirin 960).

According to Google, 11 different smartphones will support the Daydream platform by the end of 2017. The initiative was first introduced in May 2016 as a high-quality successor to Google Cardboard. Google followed up with an official launch of the platform and its own Daydream View headset in December. The company then revealed Daydream 2.0 “Euphrates” in May 2017 that will support Google’s stand-alone mobile VR headset collaboration with Qualcomm.

Unlike Google Cardboard, the Google Daydream platform is packed with immersive VR content that can now be experienced on Samsung’s two Galaxy S8 phones. These include Ubisoft’s Virtual Rabbids, Eclipse: Edge of Light, Hungry Shark VR, Fantastic Beasts, and more. There are also standard apps designed specifically for virtual reality provided by The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, the BBC, CNN, USA Today, and so on.

With Daydream View, Google created a headset that is soft and light for a highly comfortable experience. Google says Daydream View is “inspired by the clothes you wear,” using “breathable” fabric that can be hand-washed when needed. The faceplate is removable so you can safely remove facial gunk and sweat stains stemming from long sessions. By contrast, Samsung’s Galaxy-locked Gear VR headset has a hard outer shell while the only removable component (other than the head straps) are the cloth strips outlining the faceplate that are held into place by Velcro.


Happy Valentine’s Day! Coffee Meets Bagel dating app data may have been breached

Are you planning on using Coffee Meets Bagel to find love on Valentine's Day? If you've been using the app for a while, you'll probably want to change your password -- the company said a data breach may have taken place before May 2018.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

10 common problems with the Samsung Galaxy S8, and how to fix them

Despite being one of Samsung's flagship phones, some users are facing problems with the Galaxy S8. Thankfully, there are fixes and potential workarounds for those struggling. Our troubleshooting tips are easy to follow.

Galaxy S10? Foldable phone? What to expect from Samsung’s Unpacked on Feb. 20

Samsung's skipping Mobile World Congress 2019 to launch its next big smartphone a week earlier in San Francisco. We're fully expecting the Galaxy S10 to show up, but what else will be there? Here's what to expect.

The Moto G4 Plus is finally getting the update to Android Oreo

We've reached out to every major Android hardware manufacturer and asked them when they will update their devices to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo.

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.