The Oculus Quest is a standalone 6DOF headset which requires no external hardware to operate apart from the XR camera. It features four ultra wide angle sensors on the front of the headset which utilise the tracking technology of the Oculus Touch Controllers to allow for full 360 degree movement in VR. Today’s blog will explore the pros and cons of Oculus Quest 2.
What are the Pros and Cons of Oculus Quest 2
Pros of Oculus Quest 2
There are four face buttons on the right side of Quest, which can be pressed with your thumb and pointer finger, they also act as trackpad controls when held down. There is a volume rocker on the top strap that allows for a quick change in the volume of your Oculus Go or Quest.
There is an adjustable knob on the back strap which allows you to tighten and loosen the headset, so if it doesn’t fit properly, you can adjust it easily. At the bottom there is a standard headphone jack for plugging your headphones into the device for spatial sound. I would recommend using your own headphones (I used a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 pro’s) as the ones provided are fairly average and are not easily replaceable.
There is one standard USB-C port for charging on Quest, it also acts as a passthrough in case you want to use your phone while Quest is charging. Quest is also capable of passthrough for video which you will immediately notice when launching Oculus software, as it allows you to see your PC desktop on Quest while playing on Rift.
There are four cameras positioned at the front of Quest and these allow for full 360 degree tracking so there is no need to set up external sensors around your room. This is a massive improvement from the Oculus Go and utilises a technology called 6DOF tracking which sets Quest apart as the “next generation” of VR.
Quest features touch controllers that are identical to those found on Rift’s Touch Controllers (apart from the cord). They have buttons, trackpad controls and finger triggers that all function in exactly the same way to those found on Rift. The one difference is that these controllers are wireless and rechargeable which makes them much more convenient to use for VR than Oculus Go’s controllers.
Quest features a display with a resolution of 1600 x 1440 per eye, this equates to 1280 x 1440 pixels per eye which is significantly higher than the 1080p per eye found in the Oculus Go. It has built in speakers that fire sound directly into your ears rather than from a speaker at the back of the device which makes for an incredibly immersive auditory experience. The display refresh rate is 72 Hz, so content runs through Quest at approximately 20% faster than on Rift and Guetto/Piplay recommended. This makes for a smoother experience than on Rift or Oculus Go but may not be noticed by some.
The device features a “fast switch LCD display” which is made up of four panels that combine to make Quest’s screen with little to no light bleeding from the edges and this really adds to the immersion factor when using it. It has wide field of view which provides a 110 degree experience, the same as Rift S and Go. It also supports passthrough for video so you can see what’s behind the headset while using it and I believe that this will be very useful in VR cafes to allow people to walk around without bumping into each other or blocking someone’s view completely.
Quest features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor which is the same chip that’s found in the Samsung S8 smartphone and this helps to make Quest very powerful, especially for mobile VR.
Quest can be used comfortably with glasses on and there are adjustable holders for your glasses at the top of the headset which keeps them in place for you while using Quest.
Quest features an “Ultra Low Latency” (ULL) of just 18 ms which means that head tracking is super fast and responsive. This makes for an incredibly immersive experience. Quest also uses 6 Degrees Of Freedom (6DOF) to track your movements, this allows you to move around inside the virtual world without feeling restricted by the wire or by a lack of room scale tracking.
Quest can also be easily operated using the Oculus mobile app for smartphones which means that you could keep it hooked up to your PC and carry it around with you in your pocket, set it down on its little stand or even hold it like a normal smartphone while walking around, this is an incredibly convenient feature of Quest.
Quest features a “non-slip” grip on the bottom which ensures that it doesn’t slide around while you’re using it, so you don’t have to worry about it sliding out of your hands when standing or walking around in VR, I’m really looking forward to trying this myself as Oculus Go always felt a little flimsy in the hand.
Cons of Oculus Quest 2
One feature that I was disappointed to see missing on Quest is built-in headphones, Rift S has them and they can be swapped out for your own personalised set or you can even connect your existing pair of headphones if you prefer (as long as they have a 3.5mm jack).
Despite all of the positives that I have mentioned so far, Quest is not without its shortcomings.
There are no built-in cameras on the device which means that there is currently no way to see out of Quest except by using a passthrough camera or mirroring your smartphone/PC’s display which requires additional hardware and adds to setup time. So for those who were hoping to use Quest for mixed reality applications or those who want to play AR games like Pokemon Go in virtual reality, will be disappointed by this.
Quest also has a limited battery life of 2 – 2.5 hours on a single charge which is enough for most people but if you’re planning to use it for long experiences such as gaming marathons or VR cinema’s then you will find yourself needing to charge it mid-way through.
Not all of the accessories that were announced as “coming soon” with Quest are actually available at launch which is a little disappointing but hopefully Oculus have just fallen short in the supply chain, so this will change over time and I’m sure that Oculus will keep us updated when they can.
My final criticism of Quest is the price, it’s very expensive compared to the competition and this really puts it out of reach for those who were hoping to get their hands on a PCVR headset without having to spend too much money. However, although it’s expensive I do think that it offers a lot of value for money as it really is a powerful device, when you consider the fact that it doesn’t require any external devices to operate.
I hope that you have found this article on the Pros and Cons of Oculus Quest 2 helpfulo. If you have anything to add, please comment on my blog.
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