Later this year Samsung Electronics is expected to launch its next “Galaxy Note” in the series, and assuming that the rumors so far are correct, the terminal will be released under the “Samsung Galaxy Note 7” moniker, despite it being the 6th model in the series. But more to the topic at hand, new evidence now suggests that Samsung could also release a redesigned Gear VR headset to match the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The mysterious device was recently spotted on the import-export tracking website “Zauba” in India, where the headset seems to have been shipped for testing and evaluation purposes.
Although several flagship phones launched this year have been equipped with the latest USB Type-C reversible connector, one of the most exciting top-tier smartphones so far did not. We’re referring, of course, to the Samsung Galaxy S7 series, which uses a more conventional microUSB port instead. This is because, by the time the Samsung Galaxy S7 lineup was released, the first commercial version of the Samsung Gear VR headset was already on the market. Needless to say, the Samsung Gear VR lacks a USB Type-C connector and relies on microUSB, so one of the main reasons why the company’s latest flagship phones have not jumped on the USB Type-C bandwagon was to maintain compatibility with the Samsung Gear VR. However, it’s logical to assume that at one point in the future, Samsung will have to switch lanes and adopt USB Type-C in both its VR headsets and future flagship phones. That point in the future could arrive along with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, expected to adopt the newer USB standard. However if this is the case then it’s also logical to assume that Samsung should be working on a Gear VR redesign for a late-2016 release, otherwise the company would leave the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 out of the VR market. Sure enough, fresh evidence now suggests that Samsung Electronics could have already shipped its redesigned Samsung Gear VR to India for R&D purposes.
Specifically, a new Samsung device identified by model number “SM-R323” was spotted in India, and the model number itself strongly suggests that this is a new Samsung Gear VR headset. This is because the first Innovator Edition Gear VR for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was identified by model number “SM-R320”, whereas the Innovator Edition for the Samsung Galaxy S6 carried model number “SM-R321”. The ongoing consumer version is known as “SM-R322”, and so the newly discovered “SM-R323” appears to be part of the same line of products. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 should be officially unveiled in late-August / early-September at IFA 2016 in Berlin, and assuming that the “SM-R323” is indeed a redesigned Samsung Gear VR with a USB Type-C connector in tow, then it’s very likely that the product will be unveiled along with the Galaxy Note 7. However, only time will tell whether or not the headset will offer any other new features aside from a different connector.