The Samsung VR Android app for the company’s Gear VR headsets was already updated with support for the Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018), Samsung’s latest mid-rangers announced earlier today. Despite the fact that the newly unveiled handset duo still isn’t available for purchase, the South Korean phone maker started updating its mobile app portfolio to accommodate it, with this particular revision being particularly noteworthy as it marks the first occasion on which Samsung added a non-flagship device to its virtual reality ecosystem.
The Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) are set to be released next month and will retail for approximately €499 ($589) and €599 ($707) in Europe, depending on the exact market. Both handsets ship with Samsung’s Infinity Display panels boasting an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, with the smaller one having a 5.6-inch screen and the larger handset shipping with a 6.0-inch module. Their displays are advertised as being perfectly suitable for VR applications, featuring an unconventional FHD+ resolution of 2,220 by 1,080 pixels, in addition to being powered by the mid-range Exynos 7885 SoC and 4GB of RAM at a minimum, with a more premium variant of the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) also boasting 6GB of RAM. In practice, the two Android smartphones should offer a similar level of VR performance compared to their high-end counterparts, Samsung suggested.
Besides the newly added compatibility with the Galaxy A8 (2018) lineup, the latest build of Samsung VR also ships with improved support for Android 8.0 Oreo-based Samsung Experience 9.0. The Seoul-based tech giant is still in the process of optimizing its Oreo build for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, with the firmware itself remaining in an experimental phase of development and recently receiving its fourth preview build. The update is scheduled to start hitting the company’s 2017 pair of flagships in late January or early February and should make its way to the Galaxy Note 8 shortly after that debut, whereas all of the firm’s other devices will receive it at a later date. While Samsung has yet to announce a beta testing program of Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy Note 8, the fact that Samsung VR’s new changelog specifically references this OS version indicates that its launch is also coming in the near future.