Note 8 Works With Previous Model Gear VR, But Samsung Doesn’t Recommend It

by Jamie Feltham • September 7th, 2017

When Samsung’s Note 8 smartphone launches on Sept. 15 it will be accompanied by a new version of the company’s Gear VR headset, made in partnership with Oculus. This latest iteration doesn’t boast any new features, but Samsung did say that it was the only version of the device the Note 8 would support.

Yesterday, however, we received a tip from Josue Feliciano, who says he got a Note 8 early through Verizon. Feliciano upgraded from the Galaxy S8+, which was released earlier this year alongside the last iteration of the Gear VR (pictured above). The S8+ and Note 8 are both big phones, so Feliciano tried to fit the new phone inside the early 2017 Gear VR. He said it works.

So we reached out to Samsung to ask about Note 8 Gear VR compatibility. The company told us: “The Galaxy Note 8 requires the new Gear VR with Controller headset, which is available for pre-order now and will go on sale September 15.”

Feliciano then sent us a video of the Note 8 being inserted into the older version of the Gear VR. The phone fits into the device with what appeared to be little trouble and boots up in VR as expected.

We followed up with Samsung. The company offered the followed statement: “We introduced a new Gear VR headset that accommodates the Galaxy Note8 form factor while ensuring backwards compatibility. We do not recommend trying to fit the Note8 into older Gear VR headsets.”

If you’re planning to pick up a Note 8 and the new Gear VR within the next few days and you already own the older 2017 model perhaps it is best to wait and see more first-hand reports, or if Samsung provides more detail as to why this is not recommended. If you don’t own it, then the $129.99 price is exactly the same as the older model.

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  • Royce Mark

    basically because it won’t fit the old ones. lol

  • Samsung should explain why…

    • Matt Davis

      simple, $$

  • cj

    I just tried my Note 8 inside my 2017 Gear VR (SM-R324) and it didn’t fully click down. I’m not saying I couldn’t shave the plastic to achieve a more satisfying fit, but I’m not planning on doing so.

  • T Taylor

    Brand new note 8 into a brand new 2017 UK gear vr. Yeah, it’s a tight fit but it worked just fine. Don’t get me wrong, it was scary enough forcing my new £800 phone into the headset that I’ll probably be buying the new one, but it does fit (just)

  • Richard Falk

    How would this fit into older units? The Note 8 has the new USB-C connector and the older VR units accept the standard connector (one side is flat in the charger cable and C is round on both ends).

    • T Taylor

      Yes, I think it would only work with the 2017 model that was compatible with the S8 and came with interchangeable USB-C and micro-usb connectors on the headset. That was the one I tried and while tight, it does fit and work as normal. I very much doubt you’d stand any chance of getting it working in an earlier version.

  • Willie D

    Note 8 absolutely DOES NOT fit in any older VR headsets. I have one, tried it, no go.