Nearly seven months after its announcement back in October 2017, Oculus Go, the company’s first standalone VR headset, is finally here. The company’s thesis is that this affordably priced unit, which doesn’t rely on a docked smartphone, will make for a more seamless mobile VR experience. But does it go above and beyond Gear VR? Read on to find out.
Oculus Go Review
Oculus Go is the new take on mobile VR. Aimed for affordability and very easy to use, the headset is priced at $200 for the 32GB model and $250 for the 64GB model. The headset shares the same Oculus content store and overall software experience as Gear VR. Launching in 23 countries. For user, relying on docked smartphone like Gear VR, however with Go which has everything in it , it has an inbuilt battery meaning you don’t have to sacrifice battery, as you can easily access texts, calls, with ease using the VR.
In terms of Hardware, Go runs a less powerful chip than what you’d find on the latest Gear VR compatible phones, but Oculus says the standalone design means they can crank the performance higher than the better thermal performance, and a handful of other optimisations.
Oculus, explained that the battery life can last close to two to two and a half hours of while watching video, or one and a half to two hours of battery life while gaming. Anyone hoping to use Go as the ultimate personal media escape on long haul flights better pack an external battery. But be aware, Oculus doesn’t recommend charging the headset while using it, likely due to added heat build-up.
The Go uses a different type of lenses (Fresnel) and display technology (RGB-stripe LCD). The result is a slightly wider field of view, and generally improved overall clarity despite a few drawbacks. Unfortunately, few apps are optimized enough to truly take advantage of the lenses and display, leading many experiences to look and feel better than the kind of gaming content you’d expect to find on a smartphone. The headset also has smartphone-like technical specs. Its screen is a 5.5-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (1280 x 1440 per eye). It’s based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.
The headset comes with a spacer which increases the distance between the lenses and the user’s eyes to more comfortably fit glasses. There’s also clip-on brackets around the lenses which Oculus says will eventually be used for a prescription lens add-on.
The Go headset feels solid and well built, and is roughly the same weight as Gear VR. Go includes stereo speakers hidden in the head strap which offer decent enough audio to keep you from bothering with headphones in most cases. However a 3.5mm jack means you can plug in for more discrete listening and better audio quality any time you’d like.
The Oculus Go is one of a few big “standalone” virtual reality headsets, a category that includes the upcoming Lenovo Mirage Solo and Oculus’ own Santa Cruz prototype. It’s not the flashiest or most high-tech headset on the market. But it’s the best that simple mobile VR has ever been, and it gives fledgling VR apps and games space to stand on their own, without having to compete for space on people’s phones.