Is there a new Samsung Gear VR on the horizon?

Leaked images show a reported Gear VR 2 that looks remarkably similar to the first

samsung gear vr galaxy note 7 news version 1470124400 gallery sam
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends
The Samsung Gear VR is an excellent way to enter the world of virtual reality, a strong midpoint between Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift — and there may be a new version coming soon. The Gear VR has been around for longer than you may think: Developer editions were produced long before the official consumer launch at the end of last year. So is the time right for Gear VR 2?

While Gear VR 2 may not come along for a while, we may see a revised Gear VR headset in the near future, ready for use with a currently unofficial (but highly likely) Samsung smartphone. And now, support for that theory has emerged in the form of a render published by NowhereElse and a pic posted by PhonesReview. Both show a reported Gear VR 2 headset with a black exterior and slightly redesigned facial foam.

GearVR-2016-Press

If the images do, indeed, depict a rumored Gear VR 2, Samsung appears to have borrowed liberally from its predecessor’s design. The focus ring hasn’t moved from its position on the Gear VR, and neither has the directional pad or volume rockers. It’s remarkably similar to the current-gen Gear VR, and that’s potentially by design — Samsung could be striving for product continuity in an effort to avoid confusing would-be buyers.

A NowhereElse report went into greater specificity. The new and improved Gear VR reportedly features a 110-degree field of view, up from 96. And it’s lighter — 300 grams versus the old model’s 318 — but “taller, wider, and thicker.”

It may already be shipping, too. According to a listing on the Indian import database Zauba, a Gear VR with the model number SM-R323 has been sent from South Korea for testing. The significance of the model number comes from the current Gear VR being the SM-R322, and the previous developer and innovator editions being SM-R320 and SM-R321, respectively.

Any change in model number suggests new features and design, but at the moment we don’t know anything about what secrets the SM-R323 holds. We can sure speculate, however.

Samsung engineered the Gear VR to work with several of its top smartphones, to which it connects using a MicroUSB connector; but what if the Galaxy Note 7 uses the USB Type-C? That could end up being the defining difference between the current Gear VR and the SM-R323, ensuring Samsung can still use the Gear VR as another reason to buy an expensive smartphone. It even gave the Gear VR away as a free gift to people who pre-ordered the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, so if a new version is coming (and needed due to the Note 7’s spec), we should expect a similar promotion to run.

The Galaxy Note 7 may be announced at the beginning of August, if the rumors are correct, at which time a revised Gear VR may make an appearance as well. Nothing is official for now, but we’ll keep you informed.

Article originally published in July 2016. Updated on 07-29-2016 by Kyle Wiggers: Added render of reported Gear VR 2 headset. 

Andy Boxall and Kyle Wiggers contributed to this report. 

Photography

Adobe concocts an A.I. that can detect — and reverse — manipulated photos

The company behind the software that's often used to manipulate photographs may help make it easy to spot a fake photo. Researchers at Adobe recently created an artificially intelligent program that can recognize fake photos of faces.
Mobile

Global Honor 20 launch marred by fear, as Huawei gets squeezed by U.S. ban

The launch of the Honor 20 series may be the first new device range to be seriously hit by Huawei’s presence on the Entity List. Huawei executives reportedly fear sales will be poor, which may force it to cut off shipments.
Small Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

May may be coming to an end, but the bonanza of tech jobs just keeps coming. High-paying jobs abound at companies where people love to work. If you’re ready to make a change, this is a great time to look for something more fulfilling…
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for June 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for May 2019.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Photography

Tapped out? Edit faster with 5 gesture shortcuts in Lightroom CC on mobile

Missing those keyboard shortcuts when photo editing on a smartphone or iPad? Lightroom has a handful of gesture-based controls that can help fill the gaps, if you know where to find them.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Learn how to create a 360-degree panorama with your phone and Google Street View

Google Street View encourages you to explore the great outdoors, including landmarks, natural wonders, and even your own neighborhood. Learn how to create 360-degree imagery using your smartphone camera to add locations to Google Maps.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Mobile

Israeli company claims it can unlock any iPhone up to iOS 12.3 for police

Israel-based forensics firm Cellebrite claimed that its UFED Premium service can unlock any iPhone. The device will be sold as an on-premises tool, which means that the police will be able to use it any way they want.
Cars

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.
Mobile

American Airlines expands its fast in-flight Wi-Fi, but it will still cost you

American Airlines has completed the installation of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi for the whole of its mainline narrowbody fleet comprising more than 700 planes, mainly on its domestic routes. But the service still costs.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 30 Pro render shows 2019 really is all about weird camera arrays

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.
Mobile

How to turn on Now Playing and see music history on your Google Pixel

The new Now Playing feature is perfect for if you often hear songs you like but don't know the name of. The feature essentially shows songs playing around you on the Pixel lock screen. Here's how to turn on Now Playing on your Pixel.