Samsung Effectively Confirms Its Android XR Headset Is Coming This Year

At its Galaxy Unpacked event this week Samsung appeared to give a timeline for its upcoming Android XR headset.

During the event Samsung’s President and Head of the Mobile Experience Business TM Roh said on stage that “a new XR platform is coming later this year”, and Google’s senior vice president of Platforms and Devices Rick Osterloh confirmed Google is still involved.

Back in November South Korean newspaper The JoongAng reported Samsung was planning to announce the headset at an event in the second half of 2024 then launch it in December, and UploadVR independently confirmed that Samsung told developers it plans to launch in late 2024.

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These revelations and statements didn’t come out of the blue.

In early 2023 Samsung officially announced it was working on an XR headset, with Google handling the system software via a new variant of Android, now known to be called Android XR, and Qualcomm providing the chipset.

At the start of this year Qualcomm confirmed that chip will be Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2, a higher-end variant of the base XR2 Gen 2 used in Meta Quest 3.

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At last year’s I/O Google said it would “share more” about Android XR and Samsung partnership later that year, but that didn’t end up happening. This may be because Samsung reportedly delayed and redesigned the headset in response to the reveal of Apple Vision Pro just one month after, which seemingly exceeded its expectations. It’s possible this also led Google to redesign or change the priorities of Android XR.

While Samsung will be the first hardware maker to use Android XR, The Information reported that Google has also been pitching it to other hardware makers – though there have been no reports of other companies yet accepting. Meanwhile Meta too is courting hardware partners, recently netting ASUS and Lenovo.