Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality
Games

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. The Oculus Quest 2 was announced in September 2020. The successor to the Quest, it is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, 6 GB of RAM, and two 64 GB or 256 GB storage. It offers a maximum refresh rate of 90 Hz. It can be used wirelessly with stand-alone applications as well as for fitness goals or a virtual work tool. You can also plug it into your PC to play VR hungry games.

INTRODUCTION

After a first version released in the spring of 2019 and hailed for its autonomous proposal free of all thread, the Oculus Quest 2 arrived at the end of 2020. An identical promise, but a leap forward in terms of power and possibilities. What can become the best value for money in the sector? Our answer.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. The Oculus Quest 2 takes up the heritage of the first model and the line of virtual reality headsets from the company Oculus VR, a pioneer of its kind. But unlike the first models or the current competition, the Oculus Quest 2 is an autonomous virtual reality system, like its predecessor. This means that you can use it without having to carry around a computer to connect it or any other device (smartphone, console, etc.). Less discomfort also in moving. Is this at the expense of experience or power? We tell you everything.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET?

The first time, it’s often scary to see people, helmets on their heads, spinning around, armed with strange controllers, without really understanding what they are doing. Welcome to virtual reality! This helmet is your passport to a New World. It will offer gaming and discovery experiences, but also leisure experiences such as concerts or shows, allowing you to view your video or photo content in a universe that is all your own. Just put it on.

Admittedly then cut off from the outside world, caught in virtuality, but not entirely. Because some experiences also allow you to interact with your friends who are not next to you, through online play or to watch a movie together, chat …

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

MORE COMPACT AND LIGHTER, BUT WITH SOME REGRETS

Compared to the first version released in spring 2019, the helmet, which has become white, has been redesigned to be optimized. Even the product packaging has been shaken up … It still contains the Quest 2, two Touch controllers, a goggle spacer to attach to the headset, as well as a one-meter USB-C cable to charge the phone. apparatus.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. First of surprise, the fastening system has changed significantly. The slightly more rigid side of the first version, especially at the level of the binding around the head, has given way to a wide elastic band of three adjustable branches at the back to tighten, with the scratch on the top to manage the depth. The elastic comes from the two more rigid lateral plastic branches. This choice is not necessarily for the best.
If on the top, that does not change much, the abandonment of the side scratches makes the adjustment of the helmet less obvious in solo. It is not necessarily easy to find the right ruler settings for the head circumference and, poorly adjusted to your head, the helmet will tend to weigh a lot on the front and tire you. This is one of the changes brought about by the new design which is not for the better, even if the weight has been reduced (503 g all the same, 68 g less than the previous one). It takes several uses to do this and also for the elastic to adjust to your head.

Oculus has everything planned and, if you are embarrassed by the new attachment, you can fall back on the Elite Strap which offers a whole system to clip on the helmet, including a dial on the back that adjusts the settings much better. But with an additional cost (49 euros).

to perfectly delimit the zone thanks to the controllers (or with your hands, but it is a little less practical).

The Elite Quest 2 strap to better secure the virtual reality headset // Source: Oculus

On the exterior side, we find a similar shape and, indeed, a little more compact which also makes it more elegant, with a good finish of the materials. The Oculus Quest 2 displays 191.5 x 102 x 142.5 mm (strap folded) when the first version was 193 x 105 x 222 mm with its temples.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. There are four sensors on the front of the helmet that will constantly scan the environment and allow you to find your way while avoiding obstacles. There is also a jack for plugging in your headphones on the left side, just next to the horizontally repositioned USB-C port under the clip, which is less inconvenient to connect the Oculus Link cable (see more bottom) or recharge the headphones. On the right, we find the power button and, below, two microphones as well as the button for the volume.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

THE ACCESSORIES

The Touch controllers have been completely redesigned. They are more ergonomic and comfortable in the hand. They are similar to the design of the Rift controllers. The keys and triggers fall more intuitively under the fingers, even for small hands, with an enlarged surface and thus less tightened buttons.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

The Touch controllers are immediately recognized by the headset when it is configured, which facilitates their immediate use. They work with one AA battery each (included) and their autonomy is rather comfortable, between 20 and 30 hours. Above all, if you had taken the first versions in hand, you will appreciate the better finish of the battery cover which no longer comes off as easily while you are in the middle of virtual combat.

It is also possible to opt for controls with the hands in the menu of the headset, as well as for certain applications thanks to the Hand Tracking technology. The interactions are then done without the Touch controllers, for example by pinching the fingers to validate a choice. The pointer appearing on the screens thus follows the movement of the hand.

AUDIO

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. The Quest 2 has an improved audio system. It is directly integrated into the branches of the helmet. It is therefore possible to do without an audio headset which would put a little more weight on your head. The quality is present and we take full advantage of it during experiences such as games. You will hear the dialogue perfectly as the enemies behind your back.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

THE SCREEN ABANDONS THE OLED FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE

The Quest 2 swapped the Oled for the LCD. But the screen now displays a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye. This is a clear improvement over the Quest 1 (1440 × 1600 per eye), even if we lose quality on blacks and contrasts. For light experiences, this is not a problem. If you like horror games or experiences that provide a nighttime environment, you are going to see a difference.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

If you’ve already tested the first helmet, you won’t notice a crazy visual gap, on the contrary. The LCD has the advantage of reducing the gaps between each pixel (by adding more sub-pixels) and thus limit the grid effect that one can have with a screen so close to the eyes. Oculus announces 50% more pixels for more clarity. But what also improves the visual quality is the change of the refresh rate from 72 to 90 Hz with the update of November 2020.

The screen, let’s talk about it. The Quest 2 swapped the two screens for a single panel. It also causes a change in interpupillary adjustment. Exit the adjustment wheel, the helmet has reduced this to three fixed options (58, 63 or 68 mm). And that is not necessarily practical. Needing a gap between two positions, I had to go for one and readjust the helmet wearing accordingly.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Note that if you wear glasses, an adapter to add inside the helmet is provided for your comfort. However, Oculus has also reduced the width of the screen area slightly. If you wear glasses that are a bit wide, you might be embarrassed by the foam surround.

Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

EVEN MORE POWERFUL

It is now Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform that equips the Oculus Quest 2. It is an adapted version of a Snapdragon 865 for virtual reality and augmented reality which replaces the Snapdragon 835 of the first model. It is coupled with 6 GB of RAM. This will bring much more power to the headset (2 to 3 times, Oculus announces), allowing it to run more demanding games, but also to offer smoother navigation in the main menu and a much-improved definition. Some games gain in rendering.

The display of your arrival hub, representing your choice of a landscape or an interior, also takes advantage of this power to give a more natural feeling of movement when you turn your head to see everything, display information, launch videos, etc.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

The Oculus Quest 2 is available in two configurations: 64 or 256 GB. There is only a 100 euros difference between the two versions. While the former may be more than sufficient for the majority of users, you will have the opportunity to see more storage coming with the latter option.

VERY EASY TO USE … BUT UNDER THE AEGIS OF FACEBOOK

The Oculus Quest 2 has a big advantage: it doesn’t need detection cameras to install in order to function. All you have to do is take the helmet out of its box, put it on, turn it on and configure it to use it. And this no matter where you are.

ACCOUNT SETUP

When switching on, the interface will ask you to connect your Facebook account if you have one or to create one. This is one of the new somewhat controversial points due to the takeover of the company by the social network, which wants to maximize the interactions between its services and products. If you previously had an Oculus account, you can still use it to sign in. But after December 31, 2022, you will need to switch to your Facebook account to be able to continue using it with full technical support.

Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

It must be admitted that if you usually use your Facebook account, everything is simplified and the settings are made quickly (identifiers, last name, first name, services, apps if they exist, list of contacts, etc.). All you have to do is connect the headset to your Wi-Fi network and then go to the store to load the games, experiences and applications of your choice.

THE GUARDIAN: A PLAYGROUND TO SUIT YOU

To fully enjoy your virtual reality headset, it is better to have space around you. Oculus recommends a minimum of 2x2m, but the smaller your area, the more frustrated you may be in games that require a little movement. However, this remains sufficient for a good number of experiments.

Thanks to its system of cameras distributed on the front of the helmet, you will be able to define your play area thanks to Roomscale technologyIt will thus take into account recesses, furniture, and other objects. A real blessing to fully enjoy your Quest 2. On your screen, the sensors display your environment, and thanks to the Touch controllers, you will point the ground to perfectly delimit the area (or with your hands, but it is a little less convenient). A fence (Guardian) will then appear to display the safety limits on the screen (in red, stop!), So as not to end up hitting the table or the wall.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

The Passthrough + function, which displays your surroundings in your helmet like a surveillance camera, allows you to “return to the real world” at any time. It is used when configuring the zone, but also if you start to leave the Guardian. The sensors automatically switch back to camera mode. You can also access it with a double-tap on the side of your helmet. Ideal especially if your phone starts to ring or you feel something entering your play area.

Note that a  stationary Roomscale is also available to define a play area around you. You then find yourself in the center of a circle. This will especially apply to experiences that do not require movement or where you may even be seated.

EVEN MORE PERFECT MOVEMENT TRACKING

As on the Quest 1, the quality of motion tracking is excellent and responsive. On your screen, the Touch will indicate a pointer to validate a choice in a menu, to take a direction in a game. The joysticks and triggers come to your rescue for more intuitive and natural gestures. We hardly ever experienced a loss of connection with the controllers, or it was no more than a second before they got back in the right direction. You can be standing, crouching, sitting, turning or just bending down to grab objects and the sensors virtually echo your movements in the same timing.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality

The same goes for gesture control, which is not yet usable for everything, but quite convenient. This is perhaps the exercise that requires the most control for the sensors to capture your movements. But it is a clear improvement compared to the Quest 1. Too bad that it is used for the moment especially in the menus and to control the video playback or launch applications. Note all the same the possible use in  Elixir which uses hand tracking to compose potions.

THE COMPANION APP

To accompany his helmet and facilitate downloads or adjustments, in particular, Oculus has provided a companion application. It centralizes everything: the store, social relations, and settings.

This is where you can easily buy your games and applications from the Store to download them to your headphones, keep an eye on the programs offered by Oculus TV and the most popular of the moment.

You can also access your library and even sort your applications by Comfort Level ( Oculus Video for viewing your content on a large screen being the most comfortable proposition, while Epic Roller Coasters, a roller coaster game in VR, shines by its side mixing chills and visual effects that can cause discomfort in many users).

OCULUS HOME: YOUR HOME

Once you have everything configured, you arrive in your new home. This is where the interface will appear on the screen and direct you to the Oculus Store or your applications and games already owned, your multimedia content and make the link with Facebook (your videos, your list of friends…).

You can also from a menu accessible by pressing the Oculus button on the Touch controller, broadcast your experience on the social network, take screenshots, etc. Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality.

DISTRIBUTE ITS CONTENT

Note that the mirror function of the Oculus Quest allows you to broadcast images to your TV with Chromecast, your PC or your smartphone. You just have to start from the app and choose your broadcasting space. On the headset, you just have to validate the streaming and those around you can see what you see too.

OCULUS LINK: AND THE HEADSET BECOMES AN OCULUS RIFT

When it was launched, the Quest stood out from its sidekick, the Oculus Rift S, by its independence. It was certainly slightly less powerful than this one, but it had the advantage of being free of all cables for more autonomy. And this, while enjoying the majority of applications and even playing some games with Oculus Rift S owners.

The 5 meter Oculus Link cable sold to operate the Oculus Quest headset on a PC

The 5-meter Oculus Link cable sold to operate the Oculus Quest headset

For some time, the Oculus Quest (1 like 2) can also roll mechanics. It is now possible to connect it to a Windows 10 PC using a USB-Type C cable. Games from the Oculus Rift and SteamVR stores are yours.

Oculus obviously boasts of its Oculus Link cable. Note that this one is still sold for 100 euros for 5 meters in length. But it allows you to take advantage of the power of your PC (with a USB-C port!) To run more resource-intensive games and experiences and stream them to your headphones.

However, you can opt for any USB-C / USB-C cable that is long enough not to be in the way. This will play on the latency between the official cable and some cables from online resellers. But several tests showed that the difference was small and that in terms of flow rates, the difference was also imperceptible. All for prices up to 10 times lower.

There is a solution to do without a cable called Virtual Desktop. This is an app from the Oculus Store which will allow the image to be streamed directly into the helmet via the local network. The app works with SteamVR. Just activate headset options. It will be particularly useful when the gaming PC is not in the same room as the playing area.

AUTONOMY STILL A LITTLE LIGHT

No leap forward at this level. The battery drops quickly as soon as you start playing. Oculus advertised between 2 and 3 hours depending on the type of experience. If you play mostly, you easily fall under 2 hours. This is still the price to pay for the freedom of movement.

THE PROPOSED EXPERIENCES

So what can an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset be used for? To many things, one would be tempted to answer quite simply. Obviously, the first image that comes to mind is for video games. And in this, the product is an undeniable asset. Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality.

We cannot recommend enough the excellent  Beat Saber, an ultimate letdown in which you have to break in the right direction of the colored blocks which arrive at you, using your Touch become blue and red lightsabers. Walking Dead is aimed at lovers of thrills just like The Exorcist VR, inspired by the film of the same name and which offers a dive into a rather oppressive universe. Another game to be a little scared of,  The Climb 2 and its climbing desires, even urban ones. If you are prone to vertigo, go your way, because the sensation is very real

OrbusVR: Reborn is an MMORPG to play with friends or solo. Using Roomscale to have the impression of fully evolving in an open world and fully enjoying a real game, with more than 100 hours of content.

Shadow Point (20 euros) is a dreamlike game in the form of multiple small puzzles to be solved to progress in the story. We take full advantage of the movement tracking and possible movements to play with the virtual elements.

Shadow Point on Oculus Quest 2

Shadow Point on Oculus Quest 2

Quest 2 is also a fantastic tool for touring the world and even space. Wander takes you to the four corners of the planet, with the added bonus of explanations of the different places. The Mission: ISS app is a real eye-catcher with experience in the International Space Station and an eye on the universe.

The Mission: ISS experience on the Oculus Quest Z

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality. The Mission: ISS experience on the Oculus Quest Z

The helmet will also be the link with your colleagues. There are many productivity and collaboration applications available. They are as easy to use as those linked to social networks. The Facebook Venues app is still in beta and has some common bugs. But you will be able to meet your friends or complete strangers there to discuss, share an activity, a film… A strange experimental place to discover.

You will also be able to enjoy a fitness or relaxation experience. Follow sports programs or even concerts that are regularly offered via the Facebook Watch app. And yes, a way of reminding you that you have to give your approval to the social network to make the most of your headphones.

We appreciate the app Oculus Vid e o that offers a wide movie theater to watch its contents, alone or with friends. What is pleasant is the number of experiences and free games offered by the Oculus store, even before opting for the wired PC version with the dedicated stores. YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video also have their applications. You will have to enter your codes from the integrated keyboard to enjoy them in a recreated virtual living room environment. And you can still use browsers (and other social networks like Twitter) to access additional services.

The Oculus Video app movie theater on Quest 2

The Oculus Video app movie theater on Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality.

Oculus Quest 2 review: the ultimate advantage of virtual reality
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