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September 4, 2014

Samsung aligns with Facebook for Gear VR headset

Also announces Galaxy Edge at Ifa, a rolled-screen smartphone.

By Ben Sullivan

One of the major talking points from this year’s Ifa tech show in Berlin so far is Samsung’s virtual reality headset and a smartphone with a screen that rolls around one of its sides.

Called the Gear VR and the Galaxy Note 4, the devices hope to boost Samsung’s performance with innovation as the company’s smartphone market share fell from 32.2% in the April – June quarter, according to IDC.

The headset is made in conjunction with Facebook’s Oculus VR arm, and is an extension for the Galaxy Note 4, a phablet with a quad HD screen, showing off impressive detail.

The device also has a ‘fast charging’ ability to help keep up with intensive battery demands, claiming to be able to reach 50% charge in just half an hour.

The Gear VR utilises the phablet’s 5.7-inch screen to provide an all round virtual reality experience with a series of sensors on the device that help to track head movements.

The headset claims to offer a 96 degree field of view, which is equivalent to looking at a 175-inch screen from two metres back.

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The Galaxy Edge has a screen which rolls off the right hand side. Samsung said that the point of the design highlight was to offer a method of accessing frequently used applications, as users can slide them onto the main screen quicker. The portion of the rolled-around screen will also be visible when a protective case covers the main section of the phone, allowing for locked functionality.

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