Oculus Quest 2 Review

Oculus Quest 2 is an all-in-one VR or Virtual Reality headset from Facebook. It is a battery-powered, standalone headset that allows you to freely roam a virtual world, experience immersive games, enjoy your own home theatre with cinema like experience and even productivity work by setting up multiple virtual monitors to your computer, all just in this digital space without fear of tripping over a wire!

Verdict

Comfortable, lightweight and boasting a powerful enough chip to offer incredibly immersive and detailed virtual reality experiences, the Oculus Quest 2 is one of the best value VR headsets. If you do not have the budget for a PC- based VR setup, which is expensive, has wires, requires sensors around a spacious room, then the Quest 2 is one of the most attractive options coming in at 300$ for the 64GB or 400$ for the 256GB version.

🟢 PROS 🔴 CONS
High res, 90 Hz display90 Hz isn’t unlocked yet
No cables requiredRequires a Facebook sign-in
Powerful Snapdragon XR2 ChipOnly 2-3 hours battery life
Optional PC tethering with USB C cablePreset IPD settings
Great price

Design

The Quest 2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, coming in at 503 grams and 19.15 cm x 10.2 cm x 14.25 cm with the head strap folded in. The right side houses a power button and an LED indicator while the left side holds a USB-C port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. At the bottom lies a volume rocker and two holes for the microphone. Looking at the front, we have a bare faceplate with four position tracking cameras mounted on each edge.

The chassis is a nice and smooth white plastic with a comfortable foam and plastic eye mask. The eye mask is easily pulled out to adjust the position of the lenses or to insert a glasses separator which gives some extra space inside the headset to make wearing glasses more comfortable. In fact, you can even buy prescription lenses so your VR headset can wear glasses so you do not have to when using it!

A three-point elastic strap is held firm with plastic arms that can be adjusted vertically. In fact, the plastic arms house decent sounding speakers right next to your ears to play 3D sound without headphones, although I would recommend to connect headphones as that makes you more isolated and immersed in virtual reality with better overall sound quality. Furthermore, the built in microphones are dependable and can record your voice with crisp and clear quality.

The default strap is fast and simple and will do the job of staying secure on your head but it is not the most comfortable for long sessions. Oculus does offer an Elite Strap which is a 50$ accessory with a much more comfortable ring shaped plastic that fits nicely at the back of your head.

Controls

The Quest 2 features a redesigned Oculus Touch Controller with a larger and more ergonomic feel to the hands. To elaborate, your palm grips nicely around the controller with the face (where your thumb will rest) having a much larger area compared to the Quest 1’s controllers; those with small hands might find it a bit large but it is definitely comfortable and something that you will get accustomed to. Each controller features two shoulder buttons for allowing things like firing weapons and grabbing objects and pair that with an improved haptic feedback and it makes your hands actually feel inside the game. Moreover, where your thumbs naturally rest, there is a clickable analog stick and a pair of face buttons on each controller. The ring shapes on the top of the controllers house IR lights that are invisible to our eyes but help the cameras on the front plate detect and accurately track your hand positions. My only disappointment is that the controllers run on AA batteries (one battery for each controller) and thus I would recommend investing in a pair of rechargeable battery pack. Still, Oculus delivered on their promise that the improved controllers have about 3 to 4 times more battery life on a single AA cell.

Did you know that you can even play with the Quest 2 without the controllers ? The Quest 2 offers hand tracking that allows you to navigate the menus and even play some specific games using your hands alone. Overall, I was very impressed how the software algorithms and camera can detect your individual fingers curling and it is such a surreal experience. However, only a handful of apps support hand tracking but I appreciate to have that option.

(Image credit: Oculus)

Hardware

Quest 2 Specs
ProcessorQualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 Platform
RAM6 GB
Display PanelFast-switch LCD
Resolution1832 x 1920 pixels per eye
Refresh Rate90 Hz (At launch 72 Hz, 90Hz unlocked later)
IPD AdjustmentAdjustable IPD with three settings for 58, 63 and 68mm.
Storage64 GB/ 256 GB
Battery Life2-3 hours
AudioIntegrated speakers & microphone; compatible with 3.5 mm headphones
Charge TimeAbout 2.5 hours with included USB-C power adapter
PlayspaceStationary or Roomscale (requires a minimum of 1.98m x 1.98m free space)

Housing a Snapdragon XR2 Processor and 6GB of RAM, the Quest 2 is a notable improvement from its predecessor Quest 1, which had a Snapdragon 835 CPU, and can deliver impressive performance for a standalone all-in-one VR headset. Having such a chip is impressive for the Quest 2’s starting price of 300$ as it is one of the most affordable Snapdragon 865 based device as we only see such high-end chips in the more premium phones of 2020 which sell for about 1000$. It can run games very smoothly and everything feels snappy and definitely has the horsepower to output the games at 90 Hz when the update unlocks it, of course if the game supports such a high framerate. Speaking of the display, the headset now offers 50% more pixels per eye than the original Quest 1. The Fast-switch LCD is a 1832×1920 panel which is almost 2K resolution per eye or a total of 4K combined! Given that this is an LCD panel and not the OLED panel from the Quest 1, the color black won’t be truly black as the pixels can not turn off as in the OLED panel but the colors were bright and vivid and overall a truly enjoyable display and because of the extra pixels, everything looks sharp, text is more easily readable and the screen-door effect (viewing the world through a mesh screen which is a result of black empty spaces between pixels) is almost invisible.

(Image credit: auganix.org)

Battery life is the only limitation of standalone VR headset. Oculus claims that the headset will last you between two to three hours on a full charge and from my testing, that is about 2 hours when playing intensive games or 3 hours if doing light workload such as browsing or watching media. I wish there was more battery life to spare but I found that 2 hour sessions were adequate for my free time and you can even buy the 129$ Quest 2 Elite Strap with a battery and a carrying case. That is definitely expensive, however you can even get away with using a regular power bank that meets the charging requirements and if you are feeling creative, then you can strap that power bank with Velcro straps on the back of the Quest 2’s elastic strap to give a nice counterweight to the front-heavy headset (there are great reddit communities for the Oculus Quest with great modd-ing tips and even free 3D models if you can manage to print them).

Performance

The Quest 2 has a Guardian system which lets you draw virtual boundaries for your play space which allows the headset to warn you and activate the cameras for the passthrough feature to see your real environment (not in color but in black and white) when you are about to step outside. This is truly an amazing feature as it helps you stay safe and not bump into any objects as you venture into virtual reality.

(Image credit: Oculus)

The four cameras deliver very accurate tracking; the cameras constantly scans your environment and utilizes its internal sensors to truly deliver a full 6DOF or six-degrees-of-freedom experience. Overall, it keeps you immersed and in control and surprisingly even when your hands go out of the cameras’ vision such as when you use a crossbow and you have to pull your arm back to shoot, the software algorithms can accurately predict your hand position even when out of sight.

(Image credit: Oculus)

The high resolution display and fluid 90Hz truly makes a noticeable difference. Everything is buttery smooth and sharp which not only adds immersion to the games but is significantly important when productivity apps such as Infinite Office, a virtual reality office that allows you to set up multiple monitors for your computer and collaborate with colleagues on work, requires high resolution so you can easily discern and read texts on your virtual big monitors. Additionally, you can use the headset to simulate a large cinema screen to enjoy movies and internet videos and you can even invite your oculus friends to watch with you! And again, the higher resolution makes the viewing experience very sharp and pleasant to the eyes.

(Image credit: uploadvr.com)

Additionally, you can use the headset to simulate a large cinema screen to enjoy movies and internet videos and you can even invite your oculus friends to watch with you! And again, the higher resolution makes the viewing experience very sharp and pleasant to the eyes.

Final Thoughts

If you have 300$ saved up, buy this headset. I believe this is a a truly major stepping stone to make VR accessible and more popular. The Quest 2 is not only an upgrade in every direction to the original Quest 1, being 10% lighter, having a 50% more high res display, a more fluid 90Hz compared to 72Hz display, and a faster processor but also it delivers all that at a whopping 100$ less than the Quest 1 with 300$ for the 64GB or 400$ for the 256GB version of the Quest 2.

(Image credit: Oculus)

Feel like you are missing out on PC VR gaming? Simply get an appropriate USB C cable or even wireless streaming using Virtual desktop app to enjoy all the library of Steam VR. The only major downside, that I can see for some people, can be the required Facebook account to use the headset. Other than that, the short 2-3 hours battery life, non rechargeable controller batteries and passable built-in speaker quality can be forgiven for such an attractive price point and suitable workarounds such as using a power bank and plugging in your headphones. For its price, I can safely claim that it is the best value all-in-one VR headset.

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