I owned a GearVR for 1 year before I got a VIVE.
I might have used my VIVE more hours in the first week, than my GearVR in all that year long.
Evenb through the Vive was not my first VR experience, I felt as if I was witness of true magic. (lol)
What totaly overwhelmed me, was the combination of Desktop PC rendered 3D worlds (S6 GPU=0.034 Teraflops, my PC (980ti)= 5.6 Teraflops = 161x as fast GPU, thats 15 years of moores law (in other words, thats the renderpower of a smartphone build in the year 2031 (if we just interpolate renderpower by moores law) ;)
ok ok, so it was the nice graphics provided by massive 3d render power.... smooth high polygon models, mapped with photorealistic textures. reflections... shadows... yummy .... BUMPmapping (scratches and stuff!) all the good things... not some untexturized shit, that not even has smooth shaded polygons.
combined with positional tracking that works in an entire room. The gearVR has no positional tracking at all (not even standing one)
The handcontrollers. they make a universe of a difference. Freaking amazing.
a GearVR is only a vague shadow of the VR.