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Samsung Fights VR's Screen Door Effect, Doubles PPI With HMD Odyssey+

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung arrived late to the Windows Mixed Reality (MR) lineup. Microsoft's attempt to make VR accessible to as many Windows users as possible was initially dominated by so-so headsets that couldn't really compete with the Oculus RiftHTC Vive and other premium VR devices. That changed with the release of the Samsung HMD Odyssey in March. Less than a year after the headset's debut, Samsung is back at it with a refined headset in the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ announced today. 

We praised the original HMD Odyssey in our review for offering a far better experience than competitive Windows MR headsets. The offering cost a lot more than its competition--competitors were available for roughly $200-$250, and the HMD Odyssey was $500--but it justified those prices with far better hardware. That didn't mean it was perfect though, and the HMD Odyssey+ packs numerous upgrades.

Samsung HMD Odyssey and Odyssey+ Specs Comparison

NameSamsung HMD OdysseySamsung HMD Odyssey+
Display SizeDual 3.5 inchesDual 3.5 inches
PPI6151,233 "perceived" with Anti-Screen Door Effect tech
Per-Eye Resolution1440 x 16001440 x 1600
Refresh Rate60Hz (integrated GPU) 90Hz (discrete GPU)60Hz (integrated GPU) 90Hz (discrete GPU)
FOV (HxV)110° x ???°110° x ???°
Lens TypeFresnelUnknown
Lens Adjustment60-72mm mechanical IPD adjustmentMechanical IPD adjustment
SensorsAccelerometer,Gyro sensor,Magnetometer,Proximity2 Windows MR cameras,IPD Sensor,G-Sensor, Gyroscope, Proximity
Tracking Technology6 DOF inside-out BW camera-based spatial tracking (stereo BW cameras)6 DOF inside-out
Integrated CameraStereo-tracking cameras: no video passthroughUnknown
AudioIntegrated headphones with AKG spatial audio, 2x array microphonesIntegrated headphones with AKG spatial audio, 2x array microphones
HMD Ports1x proprietary cable (HDMI/USB 3.0)1x proprietary cable (HDMI/USB 3.0)
HMD Cable Length13.1ft (4m)Unknown
Dimensions7.9 x 5.2 x 4.4 inches (201.9 × 131.6 x 111mm)Unknown
Weight1.4lbs (644g)1.3lbs (590g)

The HMD Odyssey+ features dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays with a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600. That's the same as its predecessor, but the new headset's displays are equipped with Anti-Screen Door Effect (Anti-SDE) technology. The so-called Screen Door Effect occurs when people can see the spaces between pixels in a headset's displays; Samsung claims Anti-SDE solves that problem "by applying a grid that diffuses light coming from each pixel and replicating the picture to areas around each pixel."

"This makes the spaces between pixels near impossible to see. As a result, your eyes perceive the diffused light as part of the visual content, with a perceived PPI of 1,233PPI, double that of the already high 616PPI of the previous generation Samsung HMD Odyssey+," Samsung said in its announcement. 

Samsung also worked to make the VR headset's hardware more comfortable. It's down to weighing 590g from the original's 644g, and Samsung says that now "everything, from the headband to the display position, to the Inter-Pupillary Distance (IPD) wheel, is easily adjustable so that anyone can find that perfect fit." That should help people who, say, want to wear their glasses while they use the headset.

Full specs for the HMD Odyssey+ aren't yet available; neither is pricing information. Samsung said it will be available starting today from its online store and the Microsoft store in the U.S., with releases in Korea, China, Hong Kong and Brazil to follow.