Complete Roundup of Best VR Headsets for Galaxy S5 [2020 Update]

While finding a headset for the latest Galaxy smartphones is straightforward, it is trickier when you need one that is going to be an ideal fit for the Galaxy S5.

We aim to use this best VR headset for Galaxy S5 review to make the choice easier for our VR enthusiasts. The units included in this list were selected based on factors such as looks, comfort, display, audio, and expectations.

Product Roundup

Product

Weight

Padding

Head Strap

Controller

BNEXT VR

8ounces (227g)

Yes

Yes

No

Merge VR

12ounces (340g)

Yes

Yes

No

VIOTEK SPECTRE

6.4 ounces (184g)

Yes

Yes

No, but has touch buttons on device

Google Cardboard

3.4 ounces (96g)

No

No

No

One of the best ways to experience virtual reality is with the BNext VR Headset, which has a price tag of about $30. As compared to other expensive VR headsets for gaming such as the Oculus devices, this device is more suitable for VR viewing than gaming.

The device is made up of ABS plastic which is quite durable but does look a bit flimsy.

In terms of comfort, I think it does the job for the price you pay. The forehead area has foam padding which doesn’t cut into your skin, causing irritation. The device has a nose gap which causes quite a bit of light to leak in the headset.

Lack of buttons or a controller makes gaming a big NO unless you purchase a Bluetooth controller along with the device.


Pros

  • Sufficient ventilation
  • Skin-friendly foam padding

Cons

  • Lack of a control panel
  • Lack of space for prescription glasses
  • Major light leak

This is probably the headset with the easiest initial setup. While devices like the BNEXT VR require you to completely remove the phone holder and then fit your phone and then slide it back in, the Merge has a slot on the top through which you can easily slide your phone in and start your VR experience.

The Merge VR is made for kids but can also be used by adults because of the adjustable straps which will allow the user to adjust according to head size. Since it made for kids, the device is extremely durable and can withstand multiple falls.

However, ventilation can be quite a problem and after some time, it gets stuffy. The device is also quite bulky and has space inside for users with prescription glasses.


Best of all, the device also supports AR.


Pros

  • Made for kids
  • AR capable
  • Poor ventilation

Cons

  • Lens adjustment is poor
  • Little content or supporting apps
Merge VR Headset - Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset, Take Virtual Field Trips, Watch Educational 360 Degree VR Videos, STEM Tool for Classroom and Home, Works with iPhone and Android (Moon Grey)
Compatible with the Merge Cube for mixed reality experiences (not required); Works with iOS and Android smartphones, and easy to use for kids ages 10 and up

A folding VR headset? Yes, please.

The VIOTEK spectre is a folding headset that comes with a carrying case. This is the device’s best feature and as if that’s not enough the device also has a capacitive touch button. The touch buttons function as a touch screen that can record haptic feedback and enables the user to play VR games.

The device is also low weight and has a two-strap system to securely hold the device in place. It also supports AR.

Pros

  • Supports AR
  • Can be folded
  • Touch buttons for gaming

Cons

  •  Flimsy design

Ah! The famous piece of cardboard.

The google cardboard has nothing much of a design. It lacks adjustable straps and foam padding but offers the most value for its price.

It is perfect for the Galaxy S5 because let's be honest, the Galaxy S5 is quite outdated and you’re not going to be using for high-end VR purposes.

You just have to hold the device against your face to enter your VR world. It is perfect for VR viewing. Don’t even think of gaming with the Google Cardboard

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Good App Ecosystem
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Lacks a control panel, head straps, and foam padding
  • Loads of light leak
Google 87002823-01 Official Cardboard- 2 Pack, Brown
Immersive experience; Works with your smartphone; Lots of content to explore; Clever, user friendly design

VR Headset Buying Guide

VR devices can be used for various purposes. But my guess is that if you’re using a Galaxy S5, it’s not for high-end gaming or advanced uses like training or interior designing. You’re probably going to play a simple game or watch a VR movie or video.

There are also various types of headsets ranging from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars. The price range is determined by several factors such as VR experience, design, comfort, and much more.

Let’s look at a few and decide what kind of headset is ideal for the Galaxy S5.

- Comfort

First things first, comfort is the most important thing when it comes to VR goggles for Galaxy S5. Like I mentioned before, you probably aren’t going to use it for high-end purposes.

When it comes to high-end devices, such as standalone or tethered devices some may argue that display quality or audio quality might be more important.

Comfort is equally important when it comes to mobile VR headsets that depend on the mobile device for screen resolution or audio quality.

So always look for lightweight VR headsets with comfortable padding that doesn’t cut into your skin and adjustable straps that securely hold the device in place.

boy using a VR headset

- Display & Audio

In my previous point, I mentioned that these two factors greatly matter when it comes to standalone devices.

When we’re talking about VR headsets that use a mobile phone, the display quality depends on the mobile phone being used. Read the FAQ section to find out more and if the Galaxy S5 is your best option.

Something I always say is that the display is only 50% of the experience while audio makes up the rest of the 100%. Audio in a mobile VR headset depends on the pair of earbuds being used or the soundcard of the mobile device.

Some high-end VR devices like the PSVR have inbuilt headphones but still, you can opt to use external headphones with cool features such as 3D sounds. Do check out our best PSVR headphones roundup. Some headphones in the review work with mobile devices too.

- Expectations

Let’s be real if your expectations are high and you want an out of this world experience with the Galaxy S5 and the low-cost VR headset, you’re going to be disappointed.

If you want the best experience it is recommended that you ditch the galaxy S5 and invest in a better phone or invest in a high end tethered/standalone device.

Check out our best phone for VR guide over here.

FAQ – Samsung Galaxy S5

How does VR work in Smartphones?

For VR to work in a smartphone, 3 types of sensors are required. Namely the magnetic sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope.

The magnetic sensor isn’t really necessary but is a good addition. The main purpose of this sensor is to switch the screen on when the absence of a magnet detected. Most headsets today have a front phone slot where you fit your phone to start the VR experience. These front covers usually close with the help of a magnet.

The accelerometer is important for VR games where it measures the accelerations and controls your movement.

The gyroscope is very important as it measures the orientation of your phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has all 3 sensors so that won’t be an issue.

However, the Samsung galaxy S5 sports the Samsung Exynos 5420 mobile processor. Most phones today sport Snapdragon processors and most VR games and videos require at least a Snapdragon 650 or above.

Is the screen size and resolution in the Galaxy S5 enough?

Ah, the question that we all ask.

Screen resolution and PPI have a massive effect on your VR experience. PPI or Pixels per inch as the name explains is the number of pixels per inch. Some phones have high resolutions but due to the large screen size, the PPI is low. 

Why is PPI so important? A low PPI gives way to the Screen Door Effect, which is a leading VR issue.

With a screen size of 5.1” and a screen resolution of 1080x1920, the Galaxy S5 has a PPI of 432. This is pretty low but it’s better than most 6” displays today with PPIs of 400 or even less.

The Galaxy S5 isn’t the best but if you’re stuck with it might as well try to test the VR waters.

The VR experience truly depends on the capability of the mobile device unlike in standalone devices.

If you want a truly immersive experience, maybe it’s time for a phone change.


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