GearVR 2 (CE2) Backwards Compatible!


By VRift720


      The Samsung 2016 Summer Unpacked Event has concluded last night with the release of the Note 7, which sports a number of decent additions centered around the pen’s functionality.  The phone has an Iris Scanner for increased security.  Photos and videos use HDR (High Dynamic Range) with larger pixels for greater color reproduction.  The pen and phone are both water resistant like the S7.  There is a painting program for drawing professionally right on your phone.  Plus, now all of the pen software goes in the same application now instead of being spread all around your phone, and thus hard to get to.  Now, it’s all in a single place: the “S Pen” Notebook.

      But for us VR fans, the amount of information given at this event was pretty darn thin and unsatisfying overall.  Many rumors were confirmed to have been close (confirmed 101 FOV, not 110!) and there was at least one other great surprise concerning the CE2, GearVR’s second iteration which this piece’s title gives away from the start (wink).  Now, let’s just have a look at the CE2 and see if we can spot all the new things and differences from CE1. 




The CE2 sports a black and dark-blue matte finish.  A great color combo!


The eye ports are now considerably larger, with remodeled nose contouring.


Made to fit Note 5, S6, S6+, Note 7, all Edges, and all of Next Year’s S8 models.


On the inside, we now see the matte-gray (darker) interior paint asked for by us fans.


Here’s the redesigned dock with a Type-C USB slot that’s also backward compatible!


A closer look at the Type-C USB port with a locking mechanism/switch there… ?


The Lock/Unlock switch from previous image allows the Type-C USB interface to be slid out and replaced by a standard USB for Note 5/S6 to use.


A look at the bottom reveals two air vents.  Could these vents sport dual air-flow fans?


The eye shape seems more ergonomic and organic  than before; much nicer!


No change to the clarity adjuster ring.  The Innovator Edition once sported metal edging.


A redesign of the button layout:  now a new Home button, plus the same Back button.


The trackpad has returned to the original great, flat design: way less complication!

      See the little hole in the bottom of the CE2 from the previous image (above)That’s now a mini-USB slot.  It can serve as an accessories port now, since the Type-C connector can draw power and data simultaneously.  Of course, that arrangement would only work for Note 7 and S8 going forward, as if you swap out for the S6 USB module, you would still only get data and not power.  But for the newer phones, you’d be able to plug in a motion controller of some kind, or a cable gamepad if you like.  Or perhaps … even cooler things we haven’t even thought of yet!


      The CE2 seems better in almost every way, with new improvements, but also getting rid of the mistakes they made coming from Innovator Edition 2 to the first Consumer Edition.  Plus, the fact that it’s backward compatible so that it works with S6, S6+, Note 5, as well as the new devices, is just a spectacular surprise!  Confirmed:  It won’t work with Note 4.  The fact that it works with S6 and Note 5, just wow!  I didn’t see this being backwards compatible, I was sure they would be saying we all had to upgrade … or else.  It’s nice to see Apple’s greedy tactics haven’t rubbed off on the whole corporate world. 

      The price is said to be $99 and will be available by August 19th for purchase.  With the greater greater FOV and increased comfort alone, it would be worth this price.  The CE1 trackpad changes were a stupid move last time, but thankfully they realized their mistake and went back to what worked before.  They made the tiny centering divot about three times larger than it was before, so I appreciate that too. 

      All in all, while it would have been nice if it included extra batteries or an SD-card storage solution for off-site storage that the device would see natively, the fact that there was a nice color change, greater FOV, and backwards compatibility is all enough for me to happy with what they’ve done so far. 

       I can’t wait to get one!



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