The Oculus Rift has been in development for a few years with development kits available to those who wanted to experience the future of motion sickness, but now the second iteration of the development hardware is out. Naturally, iFixit got one to tear apart. What they found is solid evidence of the collaboration between Oculus and Samsung. The screen in the Oculus Rift DK2 is literally the whole front panel of a Galaxy Note 3.


They kind of, sort of tried to hide the true nature of the display with a rubber case, but as soon as the panel is freed from its mounting points, the rubber comes off to reveal a Samsung logo and cutouts for the home button, camera, and speaker. We already knew the Facebook subsidiary was getting access to screen technology as part of its partnership with Samsung, but I think everyone assumed Samsung would make panels for the Oculus Rift, not just hand over a bunch of extra Note 3 screens.


In case you've forgotten, the Note 3 has a 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen. It's probably a great panel for the Oculus Rift DK2, but c'mon... this is hilarious.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Joey Heck

    This makes Google Cardboard one step closer to being an actual Oculus.

    • BetterWithRoot


      • Champion Hero

        I was just actually saying that to the Mrs (She pretended to be interested!).

        I'n not really sure what to make of this to be honest. I mean, if they are simply using a mobile phone screen there, how to the sensors in the rift differ much what what is already in a phone? It actually makes Cardboard totally legit.

        • Simplistic Explanations

          That's so ignorant I'm just going to open and close my mouth and walk away. You guys are pathetic.

          • Matt Carter

            These are dev kits, and they already stated that they will be using mobile parts from already existing industry to keep the costs down.. Or haven't any of you been paying attention? .. Samsung btw makes some of the highest end LCD and LED Panels on the market, and their mobile panels are actually quite capable of the performance requirements needed. This especially if they want to get into higher res screens. Most of the tech behind this project is not simply just the screens they use, but how they are used to which includes software development. But from what I can tell, none of you seem to comprehend what the fuck a Dev Kit is. I've also had the chance to test the Dev Kit 2 out, and it was pretty damn awesome using it in DCS A-10 Warthog. Far better than any VR Head set I have ever used or tried..., FAR BETTER!..

        • Nathaniel

          I shan't close my mouth and walk away. The rift's sensors upon consumer release will be light years ahead of any smartphone's sensors due to the fact that the sensors are an integral part of the product, whereas in a smartphone it's an 'added feature' (read: nonessential) Of course, even if the head tracking sensors are actually ripped from a phone and thrown into a plastic molded box, show me a single smartphone that uses a peripheral camera and embedded infrared lights underneath special casing that allows positional tracking of the user.

          Thank you internet, once again I see how much thought and effort people put behind their criticisms.

          • Adam

            Why are you in such a huff about his post? He wasn't claiming that what he was saying is the truth and final word on the topic. He said "what if" and "how do we know". So why not just answer the questions first before getting all bitchy on your high horse.

    • Arch9

      Oculus Thrift

    • Simplistic Explanations

      It's a Rift. Made by Oculus. It's like calling Google Cardboard "Google" instead.

  • Klunst

    I don't even

  • Valira

    lol leftovers?

  • firesoul453

    Nice lol! If it works...

  • Major Suave

    It's probably less expensive to have them coming out this way than to re-purpose the assembly line.

  • SomeGuy112

    Eh... Why not? Probably saves them both money in the end..

    • psuedonymous

      Exactly. This way, they just pull completed assemblies off the Note 3 line and pay pennies for the extra unneeded components. If they wanted just the panel and controller without the other components, they'd need to pay the up-front costs (few hundred thousand at minimum) to spool up a whole new production line.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      No specific reason. As Ryan said, it's just hilarious.

      • Simplistic Explanations

        How is it hilarious? We've known they were using these for DKs for ages. Hardly a scoop.

  • Pavel Sikun

    I hope by the day of consumer release they'll have 2k screen with decent framerate(120fps or at least 60), because when I tried dp1 - it was not super-pleasant to eyes - pixalated and blurry on headmove.

    • Kokusho

      they already have 60hz in the DK1, they're aiming at 90hz for the first consummer model.

    • Transflux

      The DK2 has a 75hz display.

    • XDAMM

      The beauty of using an AMOLED screen (besides contrast, viewing angles and uniform brightness levels) is the response time... it's so low everything looks amazingly smooth. For example, tried scrolling a website at a fast speed on an iPhone, and then doing the same on a Galaxy S, and notice how the text is still readable on the Galaxy phone but it looks blurry on the iPhone, this makes a huge difference for media and games.

  • abobobilly


    • :(

      so BRAVE!!! HA-Ha. get it? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha--

  • Kokusho

    It's still a developpement kit, so it makes sense

  • Gian Paolo Vecchi

    OMG! Super AMOLED at 1 inch from eyes?

    • Simplistic Explanations

      OMG! Eyes focused at infinity! It's irrelevant.

      • Matt Carter

        Don't talk science to science illiterates, they will never understand. O.o

  • MyTwoCentsForYou

    "Waste not"

  • Thomas
  • OniKyanAE86

    Hmmmm..... new upcoming accessory, the S-Pen Eyelash Extensions.....

  • Levi

    Wasn't the PowerMac G5 one of the first development kits for the Xbox 360? Use whatever works!

    • Michael

      I think it was the original Xbox because they both used power PC.

      • Danny Cotton

        360 was PPC, original Xbox was Intel x86.

  • Mr. Shadow

    Whats the big deal? Companies do this all the time, no need to waste money developing something special when you already have parts on hand. This keeps products cheap for the consumer.

    • WestIndiesKING

      i get where you are coming from but at least update the panel. Just seems like real lazy work to me. I know its a dev kit and all but i would think a product manager wouldnt let something like this happen. Its literally the exact same panel.

      • Jaime

        It's a business. Why update the panel if no one is going to see it? Those are cost not needed. Glad you are not a product manager.

        • WestIndiesKING

          We are seeing it and this to me is sloppy work. Its an limited amount not like they shipped 10 million dev kits. I take pride in my work, I pay attention to details and im sure im not the only person that feels this way. Did i say the company was going up in flames because of this? Definitely something i noticed. Im glad you arent a product manager because i like many would want someone who pays attention to detail.

          • Jaime

            Sure pal. Whatever you say.

          • WestIndiesKING

            great response lol.

          • Jaime

            Glad you liked it.

          • Mike Reid

            Those of us who have worked in the real world, for (some) successful/smart companies think this is normal and fine.

            "Craftsmanship" for a dev kit is "boutique". If that's what ya want, fine...

          • RajivSK

            This is of course completely irrelevant. First of all it's a dev unit, if you are not a developer you shouldn't have it at all. Secondly spending resources on the visual appearance of the INSIDE of a product is insane. I'll hire Jaime thank you.

          • WestIndiesKING

            Its a product that is representing your company, so quality and appearance matters especially in the world today. It is being talked about on how many tech blogs? Again is it the end of the world no but something that sticks out.

          • RajivSK

            Exactly, it does stick out, and for me as a developer in a positive way. It means Oculus is not throwing away resources on designing a new panel. Especially for the limited amount of units their gonna ship it would be a significant waste.

          • WestIndiesKING

            And as a developer myself it does. Difference of a opinion. Wasting resource? We are talking about a limited run here for a dev kit. Who said anything about designing a new panel? Updating a design on a production line which they are going to have to do anyways isnt the end of the world. This to me seems more like a last minute work and someone missing out on the details then cost savings.

          • RajivSK

            I hope you're not coding in some fancy font in case someone will have a look at your code haha ;) Form over function in case of the inside of a product remains insane in my point of view. And even now that the world (read: some tech enthousiasts) has seen it, the majority of comments on this site seem to agree with that tactic and are giving props to Oculus for doing so. Not only is it not a problem in my eyes, it seems to be a generally good decision even now that everyone knows.

          • WestIndiesKING

            lol yes 30-40 comments on AP represents the majority lol. There is a reason why developers arent usually involved in product design, you only strengthen that. Lol at your coding remark. I take pride in the function, form and overall quality of my code which is another thing many developers over look. When i push something into production I usually dont need to go back to it so no thanks im fine thanks thou.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            actually, updating a production line is close to the most expensive part of producing something... raw materials are cheap

          • WestIndiesKING

            An existing design, no its not.

          • Mooki

            For quality and appearance they have done almost the best they could.
            The Note3 screen is awesome and they probably cut their development time
            and costs to 1/8th of what it would be. I speak from experience here as
            I know how much time and effort a new screen takes from a dev team.
            Now they can get the bezel and other minor features worked out with
            Samsung in slow time and have dev kit out there *now* rather than in 2
            years time.

          • WhoaManWtF

            I like many would want to hire someone that thought between the lines and was able to save us hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pre-production run like we are talking about here. If the actual production run came out looking like this it could possibly be considered lazy but then on the other hand it is still saving the company a ton of money starting production on and designing a whole new display.

          • KojiroAK

            Actually, because they don't ship millions not even 10 thousands, probably not even over 9000 it makes a lot of sense to not manufacture specific for it.
            If they would ship millions it probably would be cheaper to produce specific, because on the Note 3 screen there is stuff you don't need.

            "Massproducing" low numbers is pretty expensive, in a way that the added materials on the Note 3 screen costs less, then to set up a production lane for some thousand units.

          • Deltaechoe

            Why would you spend extra money on changing the panels? No one is going to see them so you're pretty much wasting money and using the phone panels is almost certainly a cheaper way to achieve something functionally equivalent

    • KojiroAK

      And Samsung produced those anyway, they just split off a badge.
      So no need to reconfigure the production lanes.

  • Anthony Johnson

    It’s just useless. I have Galaxy Note 3 from last 6 month and don’t want to make it annoy by using this additional accessories. Instead of it I will better purchase a qi wireless charger to keep its 3200mAh battery fully charged without messing up with wires.

    • Mike Harris


    • David Margolin

      your comment was stupid... and you should feel stupid.

  • Jaime

    I'm beginning to think AP is a little biased against Samsung...
    Are they expecting Oculud to pay for the development of a screen for a development kit?
    This saves cost to both parties.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      How did you arrive at this conclusion after reading this story? Where is this supposed bias shown against Samsung?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock


      • abobobilly

        Isn't this the "leave-bieber-alone" chick?

        • Iacobus

          It's the "leave Britney alone" "chick."

          Hint: It's not a woman.

          • abobobilly

            HOLY SHIT. Agrh.

            He looks like a Woman :S

  • Free shit is fun

    Plot twist: free note 3 with oculus purchase...

  • dude

    Hey even the OnePlus reuse lower quality display from the Find 7a. Also, I need to find a UV lamp to fix the yellow in my OPO screen.

  • antifud

    this is a good if not great thing. Using a proprietary part here would simply make it harder to replace/repair things.

  • mateor

    That is so funny. Still, you can't buy John Carmack in bulk, so Oculus will have a lot to offer software-side.

  • Funem

    If it does the job, so what, its a good quality screen.

  • Marcell Lévai

    For a second I thought this is a joke and it's April 1.

  • Stanislav Drambejs

    i think, that is more important, how developers can handle technology itself, not whats written on display... btw: oculus is just half way.... unless the gogles can handle full human field of view and display images in so highress, that you will not see any pixels,... you know the rest

  • MrLockOut

    For anyone that still hasn't ordered one (waiting for mine!): http://deals.dx.com/team.php?sku=335206

  • primalxconvoy

    Does this mean that in the future, official oculus rifts will be just a glorified case for our smartphones (like other offerings have been )?

    • Crispin Swickard

      the headset that Samsung was looking into would utilize just a phone plopped in the front if I recall. That's how Google Carboard works for that matter. They seem less suspect now..

  • Ian Santopietro

    I love the video they have about making the Oculus more realistic... roflmao

  • guest

    Yup, the DK2 is future of motion sickness 2.0! Those gamer punks are like monkeys banging on keyboards. The guys that have been working on flight simulators forever are going to swoop down and snatch this market. What a joke indeed.

  • Adam Watts

    This is a dev kit. A late stage prototype. It makes sense that they'd cut costs to keep it as cheap as possible. Re-purposing a note 3 display is a smart move IMO.

  • Wolf Baginski

    Takes black-boxing a little too far; this sort of screen is almost a commodity item. But I also see better solutions in the works from other companies. This avoids the Google Glass glasshole problem, but it's the first, the defining tech. What we don't know is whether the Oculus approach to virtual/augmented reality is going to end up like John Logie Baird's electro-mechanical TV system: a dead end.

    Whatever the future, I'd expect the production hardware to have a screen mounted with a dedicated part, As a Dev kit, there are likely changes it would be foolish to make now. But if they use the piece of plastic on a later version, it looks like they don't expect significant sales.

  • Bariman43

    The eternal question burning in my mind right now is "who cares?"

  • Camon

    This is silly.
    Its a development kit, intended to provide DEVELOPERS a base to tinker with VR, the code, and basic hardware. This isn't for consumer release. It's not like people were cheated out of money. It does exactly as the DK2 was described, provides low latency 1080P on OLED at 75Mhz.