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Gadgets - May 12, 2016

How-To: Set Up and Use Samsung Gear VR

Ready to blow your mind? Follow these simple instructions and start experiencing virtual reality in no time.
Photo by Gabrielle Lurie / AFP / Getty Images.

Virtual reality (VR) is the hot new technology this year, and the Samsung Gear VR is a headset that’s poised to take it mainstream. Lightweight and easy to use, the headset is a good entry-level device for VR newcomers, but any tech-savvy user will appreciate what it does, too.

The Gear VR is compatible with a range of Samsung smartphones – Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note5 – and currently doesn’t work with any other devices.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get your smartphone up and running with the Gear VR.

  1. The software required to use the Gear VR isn’t available as an app on Google Play, but the setup cleverly begins automatically, you just have to connect your phone to the cradle at the front of the headset.

  2. Once it’s attached, bring the headset to your face and look through the lenses. A voice will then prompt you to disconnect the phone to begin the setup process.

  3. With the phone now disconnected and in your hands, tap Next on the Welcome screen to start the install.

  4. Various prompts will then appear. Tap Accept to allow Google to check your device. Tap Agree to the terms and conditions in the User Agreement and then tap Next. Review the health and safety warning, and then tap Confirm.

  5. The Gear VR setup wizard should now appear. Tap Install and follow the prompts.

  6. Follow the instructions to create a free Oculus account.

  7. Log in with your new account information on your phone.

  8. Reconnect the phone to the Gear VR and put the headset on.

  9. You should now see a Welcome screen and a main menu with different content sources.

  10. Browse and explore by moving your head and aiming the crosshair cursor to make selections. Or use the touch-sensitive button in the middle of the directional pad on the right side of the headset to do so manually.

  11. Use the Back button above the pad to go back a step anytime you need to.

  12. Download and play games, watch Netflix and enjoy as your mind is blown.

When disconnected from the Gear VR, you can use the Oculus Store app on your phone to browse, purchase and download available video, apps and games for later viewing on the headset.