Hello, everyone! Today we are comparing two virtual reality headsets: the Oculus Quest and its next model, the Oculus Quest 2, which will be released in the next few days. Of course, the improved and newer version is almost always better than the old one, but is it enough to overpay for it?
- • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- • RAM: 4 GB
- • The amount of built-in memory: 64 – 128 GB
- • Controllers: Oculus Touch x 2
- • Refresh rate: 72 Hz
- • Screen resolution: 1600×1440 x 2
- • Screen technology: OLED
- • Viewing angle: 100°
- • Connectors: minijack, power supply
- • Additional technologies: OTG USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Many people know about Oculus, especially those who are interested in computer games or future technologies. Now the virtual reality system for ordinary users most often consists of just a few elements. The main ones are a helmet itself with lenses which projects an image, and, of course, the controllers, which are the main control tool. Of course, the technologies may differ depending on the manufacturer.
In general, the VR systems can be divided into two different groups: those that connect to a computer, set-top box or phone and simply use the power already available, and those that seem to be independent. Therefore, you should not be surprised when you see such indicators as RAM and processor in the technical characteristics column.
Oculus offers both options, but now we’re going to talk about the Oculus Quest. It is a virtual reality helmet, which, in combination, already has all the necessary resources and doesn’t need to be connected to any additional systems. On the one hand, it is very convenient. Firstly, it simplifies the fiddling with wires, because they simply do not exist. Secondly, it allows you to use the Oculus Quest wherever you want, which is much more mobile comparing to some traditional VR glasses.
Inside we have a solid Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which has been and is still used in the most premium smartphones. It is produced according to the 10 nm process technology and consists of two main clusters: the most efficient quad-core, which is capable of reaching a frequency of 2.45 GHz, and the energy efficient one with a frequency of 1.9 GHz. The RAM of the Oculus Quest is 4 GB, the processor is capable of working with it up to a frequency of 1866 MHz.
Of course, one should not expect some highly detailed and colorful graphics with such characteristics. Nevertheless, these glasses were not designed for this initially, but in simplified graphical projects you can fully enjoy them, since they are in bulk for VR.
However, this not just a compact computer on your face, which is capable of displaying an image in two lenses, but it is a very high-quality and thoughtful gadget equipped with different technologies. The main one, perhaps, is the four cameras for reading motion in space, which allows you to feel the full experience of using a virtual reality helmet. They are located at the four corners of the front cover plates. The controllers are also an important part. It might be confusing, but they are powered by the simplest A2 batteries that go inside. Each controller contains one piece. One could argue that this is inconvenient and you will have to constantly change the batteries, but in fact the controllers are quite energy efficient. So the battery can last for a very long time, up to a couple of months. Although, it depends more on how often you intend to use the VR headset. The Oculus Quest also supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
In general, it is a convenient and easy-to-learn gadget that can please and keep both a child and an adult entertained for a long time. There are two configurations: a standard one with 64 GB of available memory, and an extended one with 128 GB. As users note, there is no point in taking the extended version. As I said, the games used in the Oculus Quest are graphically simplified and they are most often casual projects, so they weigh a little.
Moreover, if you believe the reviews, the Oculus Quest can be used as a virtual reality helmet that we connect to a computer. It’s hard to say how well it works and if there are any lags compared to the competing models, but it’s obvious that the Oculus Quest has a ton of advantages.
As for some drawbacks, we can notice that the helmet is not that universal. Yes, the location of the lenses can be easily changed, as well as the tension of the straps, which allows the helmet to be adjusted to fit, but the front part does not change. It means that it may turn out to be slightly inconvenient or too heavy for children, since all the hardware filling is located there. What’s more, the nose cutout is large enough to allow light to shine through and interfere with the immersive experience. The users also note that the removable liner may chafe or crush, leaving red marks on your face after use.
Oculus Quest 2
- • Processor: SOC Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
- • RAM: 6 GB
- • The amount of built-in memory: 64 – 256 GB
- • Controllers: Oculus Touch x 2
- • Refresh rate: 90 Hz
- • Screen resolution: 1832×1920 x 2
What about the new Oculus Quest 2? In fact, this is the same virtual reality helmet, combining a hybrid principle of operation. You can use both the built-in hardware power without being tied to anything, or connect to a separate system, whether it is a computer or set-top box. This was quite handy for the first Oculus Quest, and even better for the second one.
The Oculus Quest 2 isn’t just an improved version. Everything is bigger here, as the VR market is developing significantly to surprise new customers. The manufacturers have switched from OLED displays to LCDs. Note that the display resolution in the first version was 1600×1440 for each eye. This is a lot, but when zooming in, you still could see a grid of pixels. This made the image too sharp, and therefore made the eyes tired faster. In the case of an LCD display, the grid is almost invisible and the pixels look smooth even at the maximum scale. However, while this is some kind of upgrade for this VR system, there is also a small disadvantage, which is a weaker display of black. Comparing OLED and LCD, it is clearly seen that in the first case the picture is more contrasting. But don’t worry, it won’t be obvious for an average user.
The refresh rate has also been upgraded. It is 72 Hz versus 90 Hz in the Oculus Quest 2. This makes the displayed image smoother and allows you to immerse yourself in virtual reality.
What is more important, the processor was significantly boosted. The Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon XR2 chip will be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the VR. According to the presentations, it is twice as powerful as the Snapdragon 835, which is the processor found in the first Oculus Quest model. One would expect a huge increase in FPS, but the reality is not that simple. The processor of the Oculus Quest is overclocked and actively cooled. As for the new version, the work will be in stock and with more modest cooling. Of course, the performance gain is inevitable, but it’s not so serious.
In terms of the cameras that track movements and help the VR navigate in space, everything remains the same. They did not change them, perhaps this does not make much sense, because it is not the cameras themselves that are more important here, but the combination of the software and the hardware that works through them.
As for the wireless connection, everything has not changed either. However, the developers are considering the introduction of Wi-Fi 6 technology in the future, which should undoubtedly reduce input lag. Now it can reach 20-50 ms, depending on the operating mode. I don’t think it’s worth explaining how much this is when it comes to rhythm games, where the most important thing is the reaction.
There are also smaller updates in the form of an increase in the RAM by 2 GB. The drive configurations have changed, now these are standard 64 GB and expanded 256 GB, although I doubt that the second option can be useful to anyone at all.
As in the case of the first Oculus Quest when the coming out updates actually expanded its functionality, we should expect the same in the case of the Oculus Quest 2, which can change a lot a year or two after its release.
Therefore, perhaps the choice is obvious. If you don’t have a VR system but want to buy one and don’t know which one to go for, the announced Oculus Quest 2 is your perfect option. Fortunately, you can already order it in advance.