Samsung Gear 360: Don't just play with VR, create it

The snooker ball-sized camera creates stunning images and videos

Virtual Reality is one of the more interesting concepts from the world of technology in recent years. The technology has evolved from being only available to the mega rich, to being sold for €30 in certain retail outlets. Now, however, we've taken another massive leap forward with the Samsung Gear 360. Rather than just watching VR content, we can create it. 

Out of the box, the first thing I noticed with the Gear 360 is the weight. This is a sturdy piece of equipment, which sits nicely in the hand. It also made me feel that it would not blow over in a strong breeze (more on this shortly). 

The camera comes with a small tripod, pictured above, and screws into place. This screw fitting is compatible with a whole host of tripods, should you wish to place the camera on a higher or lower stand. 

Powering the camera on and pairing with my smartphone was a breeze. Simply switching Bluetooth on and following the steps on screen did the trick. One thing to note here, however, is that the Gear 360 only works with the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge. 

Once it's paired up and you have the Samsung Gear 360 app on your phone, you're ready to go. When the camera is powered on, your phone will switch to "Live view". This shows the user what the camera can see out of the two 15MP lenses. You can then decide to take photos or videos. The timer will count down before your image is captured. 

Out and about:

I took the device with me on a weekend away and loved playing around with the different shooting modes. One thing I must point out, however, is that my phone was quite slow to load the "Live view" within the app. 

It's hard to illustrate just how good the images look without a VR headset. This is a panoramic version of a photo of my room. When viewed within the 360 app, or on my VR headset, I can look all around and see the ceiling, the walls or the carpet. It's incredible. 

Whilst out on my travels, I captured a few images on the go. At one stage I placed the 360 on a bench, but the tripod slipped and it fell on the ground. It's sturdy build meant I picked up the camera to find it was without a blemish.

Here's a video that manages to illustrate just some of the brilliance of this camera. 

I'm still using it, trying to find flaws and bug bears, but as it stands I really like it. It's €360, so a Euro for every degree! If you're looking for a gift idea for a photography fan or someone who loves outdoorsy adventures, this is most certainly worth considering.