After months of anticipation, the Oculus Quest has finally started shipping. We got our hands on a device and are happy to say that the Oculus Quest is an excellent VR device. In fact, it’s a game changer: the Oculus Quest is the best standalone VR headset on the market today, and it might just be the device that brings VR to the masses.
Let’s look at the specs first:
- Display: 1440 x 1600 per eye
- Refresh rate: 72 Hz
- CPU: Snapdragon 835
- RAM: 4 GB
- Tracking: inside-out, 6 DoF
Firstly, the display. It’s good. It’s particularly sharp in the middle, a bit less so on the sides. While the Oculus Quest has a higher resolution than both the Oculus Rift and the Rift S, that doesn’t mean it looks sharper, as the Oculus Rift has better screen technology and does more with the pixels it has. This being said, Oculus is known for producing good to great displays, and the Oculus Quest’s display is no different.
Secondly, the refresh rate is lower than the Rift S (80 Hz) and the Rift (90 Hz). This is somewhat noticeable in fast-paced games and applications, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Beat Saber, one of VR’s most popular games, is as wonderful with the Oculus Quest as it is with any other device.
Talking about Beat Saber: it’s so liberating to be able to play without having to worry about cables. It’s the real selling point of the Quest: no longer do you need a $1,200+ PC to have a great VR experience. Because the Quest has four inside-out tracker cameras, you don’t even need to set up outside trackers. There’s very little setup required. It’s about as portable as it gets. We tried the device in many different locations, including a 10 by 10 meter room, and it worked without problems. You put on the device and you’re ready to go.
The Quest comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 4 gigs of RAM. Although that’s what they put in smartphones back in 2017, it’s impressive how smooth everything runs. Oculus has managed to get some serious juice of out their hardware components. It ran all the applications we wanted it to run without major hiccups.
However, because the Quest is its own computer, the device is a bit heavier than previous Oculus devices. Luckily, the device doesn’t feel uncomfortable wearing it, at least not to our head shapes. Of course, the headset might start feeling heavy during longer VR sessions, but that wouldn’t be any different when compared to other VR devices.
Finally, tracking. Before the Quest, 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) was reserved for expensive VR devices hooked to a powerful desktop PC. That’s no longer the case. The Quest has 6 DoF on both the headset and its two controllers. It’s what makes this device so good: It provides immersive VR experiences at the relatively low price of $399 (for 64 GB of storage).
The two controllers have room for improvement. They still work with old-fashioned batteries. A charger would have been a better alternative. The general design of the controllers is a bit fidgety as well, and there’s still a left” and a “right” controller, which Oculus could easily have gotten rid of.
However, what is excellent about these controllers is that they’re not only 6 DoF, but they seem to work outside the field of view of the Quest’s internal cameras too. Oculus must’ve developed software to make this work, and we’re happy that they have, because it makes for a smoother VR experience.
There are already over fifty games and applications available to play with the Quest. This will only improve as developers port their games over to the Quest. Small warning: not all games will support cross-play. Beat Saber is one, for example. This means you’ll have to buy the game anew for the Oculus Quest, even if you’d already bought it for a different Oculus device.
Oculus is also scheduled to launch an Oculus Quest Enterprise Edition this fall. While significantly more expensive (around $999), this device will include software for mass device management, so administrators will be able to control and install apps and games on multiple devices at once. This is particularly interesting for companies (such as OneBonsai!) that want to train groups of people in VR.
All in all, we’re very satisfied with the Oculus Quest. It’s portable, immersive, and relatively cheap. It’s a fantastic device for people who want a great VR experience without being hooked up to an expensive PC.