Samsung News: Gear VR goes on sale; while company exits UK camera market!

Samsung has made its Gear VR available for sale in its online store as well as through other retailers including O2 starting today.

Gear VR will retail for just £80 and will be available in Frost White.

However, there won't be any point in purchasing the Gear VR if you do not own any of Samsung's premium phones like the Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge. The earlier Gear VR Innovator Edition was compatible only with the Galaxy S6 and the Note 4 phones and Samsung seems to have restricted compatibility of the new Gear VR with its own phones. As per Samsung, a Super AMOLED display is required to "provide the colour, clarity and performance needed for an amazing virtual reality experience" which explains the logic behind the restriction.

Samsung's new Gear VR poised for launch come November

However, the new Gear VR rocks several upgrades over the existing Gear VR Innovator Edition. The new one is 19 per cent lighter and will feel more comfortable around your skull thanks to its new foam cushioning. Despite its compactness, it sports a larger touch pad than its predecessor and the touch pad offers easier and more accurate control.

Weighing at 318g, the new Gear VR offers a 96 degree field of vision and will enable you to view 360 degree videos and gaming content. Samsung is offering a range of games and experiential content in its online store that you can play or view on your Gear VR.

The release comes at a time when Samsung also announced that it is leaving the UK camera market.

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"In the UK, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories. For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products," said Samsung, confirming rumours that had been doing the rounds since September.

"We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. In the UK, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories. For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products. This is a local decision, based on local market conditions," the company added.

Samsung Gear VR hands-on: I saw the future and I liked it

It seems curious why Samsung decided to launch the Gear VR at a time when it is phasing out sales and marketing of other standalone digital cameras. The fact that Gear VR offers niche experience including 360 degree viewing and 3D imaging and also that it has partnered with Oculus to bring in additional content may have encouraged it to make one last charge at the camera market.

Whether Gear VR will succeed or follow the course of existing digital cameras will be interesting to note in the coming months.

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