I have to make a confession: usually when I’m prompted by a site to answer the question “have you read and agreed to the terms and conditions” I lie and say yes. For all I know Facebook and Twitter are now each entitled to one of my future children. However, for the first time in my life I read a terms and conditions document just so that I could bring you this complete guide to Samsung’s recently announced Gear VR giveaway. The promotion is accompanying pre-orders of the company’s new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. You can thank me for this gesture by helping me reclaim my son from Mark Zuckerberg five years from today.
Here are the things you need to know:
When And What To Buy
Pre-orders for the S7 and S7 Edge are live beginning February 23. If you buy one of those devices before March 18 you will be eligible for the free Gear VR, while supplies last. If you’re making your decision based on the VR capabilities of each phone, keep in mind that some – like Oculus CTO John Carmack – are suggesting that the S7 Edge may have more light leakage than the S7. So the regular S7 might be the better choice for VR.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) February 22, 2016
The actual process to get the free headset is a little more complicated than simply purchasing the phone early. It can be broken down into the following three steps:
- During the “purchase period [February 23-March 18]” go online or into a “participating retailer” and buy a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge smartphone. Participating retailers include Target, Best Buy, and Costco; as well as major phone carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile according to a representative from Samsung. The same representative confirmed that there are a myriad of stores offering the promotion from small to large and suggests checking with your local shop for information.
- During the “redemption period [March 4-March 31]” go to this website and complete the “offer claim form.” Samsung will ask for all the basics like name, age, and address; but it will also request that you include the purchase date of your phone, the IMEI number of your phone, the Wi-FI MAC address of your phone, and a photo or PDF of the physical receipt from your purchase.
- After you’ve filled all that out successfully you should receive an email either confirming or denying your approval for the promotion. If you are denied you can re-submit the offer claim form as long as the redemption period has not expired.
- Once you get your approval email the device will be shipped to your address in approximately 4-6 weeks.
According to Samsung, The IMEI and WiFI Mac addresses are typically included on pre-order receipts for smartphones and so you won’t have to wait until your device physically ships until you submit your offer claim form. Also, some retailers will be able to provide the Gear VR headsets in store when you pick up the device, although Samsung was unable to say exactly which ones and again suggests you check with your local supplier for specifics.
The terms and conditions also outline the bonus content that will ship along with the free Gear VR. In addition to the free headset, participants will also receive bundled content that includes six free games from Oculus (valued around $50 total). If you buy the phone online through Verizon you can also chose to receive a Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch in lieu of the Gear VR. If you buy through T-Mobile, you can additionally receive a code for a one-year Netflix membership on top of the headset.
According to the Oculus blog, “bundles vary by phone carrier and include hit games and experiences like EVE: Gunjack, Land’s End, and Anshar Wars 2.” An image from the blog post details the titles included in each bundle, but Oculus has yet to confirm which bundle belongs to which carrier. We’ll update this post if they do.
To redeem the titles you will need to download the Oculus app on your eligible device by April 20 and set up an Oculus ID. “If properly redeemed, the Oculus Content will be available based on your Eligible Product through your Oculus account,” read the terms.
It should be noted that these rules and restrictions apply to customers in the United States only.
So there it is. Good luck with your free headset dreams and I’ll see you in 2021 for our siege on 1 Hacker Way. Valhalla!