Virtual reality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that’s especially true if it doesn’t work properly. The Samsung Gear VR headset is a great gadget that has a lot to offer, but only if it works properly.
We’ve prepared a list with 14 of the most common problems relating to Samsung VR, as well as solutions and tips to help get you back to (virtual) reality.
If you haven’t bought one yet, check out our product review to find out what we thought of the device.
Let’s get started with a simple one;
1. Casing issues with the Gear VR
Will your phone slot into the Gear VR headset if you have a case on?
Your device won’t clip in if you’ve left the case on, so you’ll have to be careful while you’re using it.
Here’s a list of compatible devices:
- S7 edge
- S6 edge
- S6 edge+
As it is, you won’t be able to have any casing on your device while it’s connected to the Gear headset. Users have reported that it can even partly unpeel screen protectors, which should give an indication of just how snug it is.
2. Overheating with the Gear VR
This is a big one, and one of the most talked about issues with the device. (Just take a look at the image above.)
My S7 didn’t get unbearably hot during use, but there was definitely a temperature rise which wasn’t very nice. Some users have reported warning messages, and it seems to be more prevalent on older devices.
If you continue to face problems, make sure to keep it off charge during use, as that can also contribute to overheating. If your device gets too hot make sure to stop using the VR headset, as you don’t want to cause any long term damage to the device.
3. Sickness, Headaches and Nausea
How bad was it for you when you first used the Samsung Gear headset?
As you might expect, it can be hard to get used to VR at first, and it’ll affect everybody differently. I felt really sick when I started off, although the feelings did subside after a while.
Check out our Samsung Gear product review if you want to find out just how bad it was for me.
Sitting down is one of the best ways to get rid of any nausea, although you should remove the helmet if the feelings continue to persist. They will go away eventually, but be careful if you tend to suffer from motion sickness, or if you don’t have the strongest stomach.
4. Slow Audio
This is a simple issue to resolve, as you just have to reset your device to get the audio working again.
If you continue to face issues with slow audio, it’s possible that using a Bluetooth headset could be the cause. Switching to a normal pair of headphones should help in the meantime.
5. Black Screen with the Gear VR
If you’re facing issues with a black screen, the best thing to do is to wait for a few seconds, as it could potentially be lag. If it persists, you’re going to have to reset if you want to get going again.
I didn’t have these issues myself, but it’s annoying when you just want to play about with VR, or if you’ve purchased a new app that won’t work.
We’ll discuss issues with lag below, so carry on reading if you want to find out more.
6. Issues with the store
If you’re having problems with the store, you’re not the only one. As a society, we’ve become used to app stores working perfectly over the years so it can be hard to know what to do if it’s not as responsive as we would like.
There’s no clear fix, as it could be dependant on your carrier and your location. You’ll have to wait for an update or a fix if you continue to have problems.
7. The Lens
As you might expect, the lens is pretty powerful, and it’s not a good idea to look into the sun. (You could severely damage your eyesight with a direct glance.)
You’ll also have to be careful when putting it down, as it has the potential to burn a surface if it’s left with the lens focused downwards. (Don’t get any ideas, ant-burning fans!)
This is really unlikely to happen, but it would be devastating if it did. Be aware of your surroundings, (if that’s possible in VR) and stay away from the sun!
8. Battery Issues with the Gear VR
Of course, when we say battery issues we’re referring to the battery on your device.
VR is always likely to cause battery drain on your phone, given the nature of what you’re using the device for.
You don’t even need to have a headset to have issues. Here’s a comment from the S7 Reddit page:
My wife and I both have Verizon S7s. We don’t have Gear VR devices (or any gear or VR devices). Yet, when I look in the app manager to see which applications are draining the battery, at the end of every day the past week on each phone, “Gear VR Service” is 23-28% of battery life…the option to uninstall/silence this app is greyed out, and it doesn’t appear in Tasker’s app kill list. Anyone else having this problem? Anyone know how to disable this service?
(For the record, you can disable a few packages within the option settings on your device to kill these tasks.)
You don’t want to ruin the battery in your new device, so be careful if you plan for extended sessions. When combined with overheating, it can drastically drain your overall battery life.
Be careful, and listen to any warning messages if they appear.
9. Fog with the Gear VR
This is more of a minor issue, but it’s annoying nonetheless. The fog is caused by the difference in temperature between your face and the inside of the headset, and it should go away over time.
Warming the goggles slightly before use is an option, although anti-fog products are also available if you’re impatient.
Here’s an example that is pretty cool if you live in a um, cool area.
10. Minimum age requirements for Gear VR
There’s a minimum age requirement for the Gear VR, and it’s advised that children just above the age should be careful while using the tech.
The Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has confirmed why they made this decision;
We put a warning on right when you put it on and the age of 13 was something that made a lot of sense when we became a part of Facebook, their age is 13 as well. And so we just felt ‘let’s start at 13, let’s evolve the technology more, let’s build more confidence, in the health and safety side of it. And eventually, one day, we definitely want to have Oculus for kids, especially for all the educational use of this.
So, it’s probably not a good idea to let kids play with the technology after all. (Especially considering that the CEO himself said that it was a ‘health and safety’ issue first and foremost.)
Some rules are made to be broken, but it’s best to take his advice about this one.
11. Comfort with the Gear VR
A number of people have said that they just can’t get used to the headset for extended periods of time, despite the foamy bits inside.
I didn’t have any issues, but maybe I’m just lucky that I don’t wear glasses and I have a generic shaped head. Back to the point, Android central noted that the headset is glasses-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be comfortable for you.
Quite a few people own a headset, so ask around and try it out on before you rush to get one.
12. Network Errors
Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but you could get a few network errors like the user above. (This is specifically for when you’re attempting to set up the device.) For any Samsung S7 issues, ask below and we’ll help out.
It’s worrying to think that the headset could potentially damage your new Samsung handset, but a reset will get it working again and it’s unlikely to mess up your device.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no fix for this problem, and you’ll probably have to wait for an update if you keep getting network errors when you try to connect your phone.
13. General Lag
Lag will always be a problem, but there are times when it can be unbearable.
If you have a newer handset, you should have less of an issue, but it will affect everybody differently, depending on your device and what you have running in the background. (Disabling some background apps and tasks should help.)
It’s usually caused by updates or poorly optimized code, and there sometimes isn’t much you can do about it. Waiting it out can be tough, but that’s how it is sometimes with newer technology.
14. Apps, Games or Software isn’t working or downloading
If one of your new VR apps or games refuses to download, you can restart the device to attempt to start it again.
It seems likely that Facebook permissions could also be a cause, so check this forum post if you’re still having issues.
Frequency of Issues:
Despite all of the problems listed above, most can be solved with a simple fix. The headset doesn’t really have many issues, and it’s good to know for current owners and those thinking of getting one in the near future.
(It’s also worth remembering that the technology is still being improved, and the headset is a very early model.)
There are always issues when it comes to integrating new technology. You’d think that the small selection of devices would make it easier to develop for, but there were always going to be teething problems along the way.
It’s a great piece of kit despite the issues, although it’s a shame that some people will be unhappy with VR because of problems that stemmed from the hardware itself.
If you’re not impressed than wait a few years and try again. You might be surprised at just how good virtual reality really is!
Despite these issues, what do you think of the Samsung Galaxy VR? Do you have a separate problem or solution to anything on our list? Let us know in the comments below!