Here are comparison photos and videos from the original Samsung Gear 360 and the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (available here; first impressions here).
Update: see also this comparison
I took some photos and videos with the original Gear 360 and the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (available here; first impressions here). The original Gear 360 photos and videos were stitched on Action Director. The 2017 Gear 360 photos and videos were stitched on a Samsung S6 with the prerelease app.
Here are the videos:
Update: see also this comparison (original files viewed on Gear VR)
Here are the comparison photos:
For the photos, here are the exposures (please note the original has an aperture of f/2 while the 2017's aperture is f/2.2):
Original: 1/125, ISO 100
2017: 1/100 ISO 160
Tree with bright leaves:
Original: 1/800, ISO 100
2017: 1/800, ISO 100
Tree with carvings:
Original: 1/400, ISO 100
2017: 1/500, ISO 100
Original: 1/3200, ISO 100
2017: 1/3200, ISO 100
Here are some of my observations:
Photo detail: at first glance, without zooming, the photos look similar. But if you look closely, the original's photos have more detail and the photos look more crisp.
|crop from 2017|
|crop from original|
Chromatic aberration: the original has very little CA. The new one has more noticeable purple fringing near the stitch line.
Flare: the original has decent flare resistance but the area around the lens can show up as a reflection. Not so with the new Gear 360.
|The 2017 has excellent flare resistance|
|The old Gear 360's concentric rings around the lens can be reflected into the lens.|
Stitching: As I mentioned before, the 2017's stitching is already very good, but is better when stitched on Action Director.
|2017 stitched with Action Director|
|2017 stitched with its app|
I think that so far, it looks like the original Gear 360 holds its own against the 2017, and if you have all the requirements to use it (compatible phone, compatible desktop, etc.), then it could be a bargain (assuming you don't need live streaming). The original Gear 360 is available on Amazon (under $200) and on B&H Photo for around $200. The 2017 Gear 360 is available on eBay for around $350.
Anyway, these are just my own observations. The photos and videos are there for you to judge for yourself and come to your own conclusions. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts and observations in the comments! Update: see also this comparison