Why Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is now the best smartphone for VR

Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.Getty Images/Jung Yeon-Je

Google has confirmed that a Daydream-ready update is now rolling out for Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones. Samsung's flagship joins the Google Pixel, Moto Z and a number of other Android devices that support Alphabet's virtual reality platform.

The move also gives Samsung's 2017 phone a significant advantage over its rivals when it comes to VR, with Samsung's own Oculus-powered Gear VR and the cheap-and-cheerful Cardboard all now compatible with the impressive handset.

Following the confirmation in a Google+ blog post, Galaxy S8 can now be seen taking pride of place on Google's Daydream page - a worthy inclusion considering the relative lack of other big name Android flagships that work with Daydream's ecosystem and Google's excellent Daydream View headset.

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While the page suggests that Daydream-ready phones are "built for VR with high-resolution displays, ultra smooth graphics and high-fidelity sensors", the actual criteria for compatibility is a little more nuanced.

Back in January, Amit Singh, Google VR's VP of Business and Operations, confirmed that potential Daydream devices need "the right GPU, Android N and above, and [an] OLED display. There are others, but you need that spec for high performance. If you don't, your latency is high enough that you'll notice it, and that immersion is broken and that's not a good experience."

The key factor here is the OLED panel, with many recent phones from other Android heavyweights like LG, HTC, Huawei and others still opting for LCD displays.

Google confirmed at its I/O conference in June that dedicated Daydream VR headsets that don't require a phone at all are on the way. Lenovo and HTC's Vive team – the latter of course responsible for the PC-powered HTC Vive – were both said to be working on Daydream units.

In the meantime, Google's Daydream View retails for £69 and is definitely worth a look. We lavished the fantastically fabric gadget in our review, noting that it comes within "milimeteres of achieving mobile VR's "iPhone moment".

Google's Daydream View VR headset.IBTimes UK

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