The product of a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, Samsung Gear VR is, at this point, the only mid-level VR solution on the market. Owing to its integrated platform, Gear VR is a cut above any other smartphone-driven headset. However, it lacks the processing power and resolution, among other things, to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
The Samsung Gear VR headset is a sturdy, plastic affair, that works with several Samsung phones (Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge+, or Galaxy S7/S7 Edge). It's a well-designed piece of hardware, with a wide field of view (96 degrees) and enough room to accommodate spectacle-wearing users. It also boasts a touchpad and back button.
None of the above is exciting on its own. The integrated platform is where this product really shines. Once you connect a compatible Samsung phone to the Gear VR's micro-USB port, you are transported to Oculus Home, a navigable virtual world which allows you purchase and play games and apps, watch VR and non-VR videos, and interact with other Oculus users.
The only real downside to the Gear VR is that it only works with select Samsung phones, which limits its customer base significantly. Still, until other phone manufacturers integrate Google's Daydream platform, and/or until Huawei VR hits the stores, Gear VR will continue to stand alone as the best smartphone-driven VR solution available today.
If you've got a compatible Samsung phone, run--don't walk--to your nearest store and pick up a Gear VR headset. They're inexpensive, and at this time, the most effective and enjoyable smartphone-driven VR solution in the world.