Oculus Go performs 'significantly better' than Galaxy S7 in a Samsung Gear VR

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If you have any technical questions about the Oculus Go headset, just tweet John Carmack, Oculus Chief Technology Officer, and he’ll probably have an answer. 

In a Twitter exchange with a curious Samsung Galaxy S7 owner, Carmack assured them that the Oculus Go mobile VR headset will perform “significantly better” than an S7 in a Samsung Gear VR headset. 

Both devices’ CPUs are similar – the S7 has the Snapdragon 820, while Oculus Go will have an 821 – but the Go’s processor will be solely dedicated to its apps and videos, and has 'dynamic clock scaling', which improves frames per second (FPS) and performance, and which is only present in the Galaxy S8 onwards. 

Newer smartphones like the Galaxy S9, which uses the Snapdragon 845, may already have surpassed Go’s maximum capabilities by the time the phone launches on March 16. But again, Carmack’s “significantly better” assertion suggests that the headset is intended to surpass our expectations.

Carmack also took some time to address whether Oculus Go will support casting VR to your TV, which Gear VR does support. He says the tech is being worked on, but that he “doesn’t think it is going to be ready on day 0.” 

Predicting performance

Leaked photos from last month show the Oculus Go will support "1,000 apps, games and movies" at launch, including Netflix, Hulu and Facebook, and come in at least a 32GB storage option. We also know that its LCD display will support 2560 x 1440 resolution, and that it will sell for $199 (about £150, AU$255).

Carmack’s Twitter exchange begs the question of whether the Go’s “significantly better” performance over a Galaxy 7 will convince buyers to jump in on the headset. Those 1,000 apps will likely come mostly from the Gear VR library, perfecting visuals for already accessible mobile content. And even Carmack can’t clock a Snapdragon 821 up to play the kind of VR you’d see on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

Once the Oculus Go finally releases – it’s slated for early 2018, though we’re still waiting – we’ll have to see how the Oculus Go compares to VR you can experience through a Galaxy 9 or Google Pixel 2. Hopefully, Oculus hasn’t waited too long.

Via Upload VR