Modern Gaming always keeps evolving and goes hand-in-hand with the latest technology trends. So it isn’t a surprise that with the emergence of Virtual Reality technologies, it was the gaming industry that made the most out of it. Sure there are some very good applications of VR tech, but gaming trumps them all. At least that’s the case for now. But as exciting as it is, VR hasn’t really reached the masses yet, has it? How many people do you know who own a VR headset? So why is it that a majority of the people don’t own a headset or have never even used one? There are two reasons for that. The first reason is the hefty price tags that most VR headsets come with.
The second reason is that even if you own a VR headset, you will still need to own a high spec PC to be able to play those games. Most newcomers who are looking to have their first flavor of VR often get intimidated because of these two reasons. The Oculus Go doesn’t have any of these limitations. It is very affordable and is also a standalone headset VR. It might not be as capable as the other VR headsets, but it can still provide a great gaming experience to the newcomers. So in this review we will look at different aspects of the Oculus Go and see for ourselves if it actually provides a good VR experience.
- Personal Viewing: The littlest, big screen. Crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics make your headset feel more like a personal theater
- Viewing with Friends: Watch with friends. Meet up in VR with friends and fans from around the world to catch live sports, concerts, or just your favorite TV show
- Portable & Easy to use: Ready when you are. Experience portable, all-in-one VR. That means no PC, phone, wires or hassles
Oculus Go Review
1. Oculus Go Design
The Oculus go might be a budget VR headset but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is lacking in terms of its design. The Oculus Go has a very functional approach in its design. It can’t be considered to be as one of those premium headsets, but it isn’t ugly either. Its outer frame is made from gray colored plastic. The plastic has a matte finish. There is also an Oculus Logo printed on top of the front plate. The plate is made up of aluminum. The plate has a darker gray color. There is very little contrast in the design of the headset. In addition to its looks, the aluminum plate also functions as a heatsink. It absorbs the heat generated from the SoC and the components surrounding it. The top half-space is made up of a very soft foam. It is wrapped around with a gray-and-black-knit mesh. This mesh is made up of nylon and spandex.
2. Ocolus Go Fitting
The Oculus Go has a 3-point head strap. The straps are made from a soft, wide and stretchy fabric band. There are velcros lined up around the ends of these straps. These staps hold the headset in place and is attached to the visor. On either side of the headset there’s a strip of plastic. The head straps are looped through these plastic strips. The body of the visor has a smooth plastic finish. Inside it is a foam rubber cushion that has a snug fit. This helps in sealing off light that comes from the outside for a more immersive experience. However, a fair amount of light still manages to leak in which could have been avoided. This won’t matter to most a majority of the users but a few of the are bothered by light leakage. For them this light leakage ruins the whole immersive experience. Other users are able to ignore it after a while or are otherwise not too perturbed by it. The weight distribution isn’t balanced and is inclined more towards the front. This results in an achiness on the top once the headset has been worn for a bit longer period.
3. Ocolus Go Buttons and Indicator
The headset also has a pair of buttons that can be used to adjust the volume. Other than the volume buttons, there is also an LED indicator light. This indicator lights up when the device is powered on or when it is being charged. The headset has built-in speakers right inside the headset. So you don’t need any external headset to start experiencing VR on the headset. The Oculus Go also features a 3.5 mm audio jack so you can plug in a headset for a far better experience. On the left side is a micro USB port that can be used for charging the device. There are no embedded sensors on the Oculus Go and hence it isn’t capable of tracking spatial movements. While not including tracking sensors wasn’t the right move, it was a necessary step that had to be taken for cost-cutting purposes.
4. Ocolus Go Dimensions
The Oculus Go weighs around 16.5 ounces. This is fairly light considering that it is a standalone headset and everything is built-in. In terms of its size, the Oculus Rift has dimensions of 7.5 x 4.1 x 4.5 inches. So far as the headset is concerned, it is compact and lightweight.
5. Ocolus Go Display
As strange as it may sound, the Oculus Go has a slightly higher resolution than the Oculus Rift. While the Oculus Go features a single 2560 x 1440 pixel LCD, the Oculus Rift has a total of 2160 x 1200 pixels across dual OLED panels. That however doesn’t mean that the Oculus go has a better screen. In fact, other than the higher screen resolution the Oculus Go lags behind in every other aspect. It operates at a comparatively lower refresh rate of 60 Hz or 72 Hz. The Rift on the other hand has a 90 Hz display. This is a bit low if you consider the other VR headsets. As a result of the lower refresh rate, there’s also a chance that you might experience fatigue and sickness while using it. If you eave the refresh rate aside, the Oculus Go has a decent screen quality and it produces sharp and crisp pictures. One thing to note is that there is a little bit of light leakage in the Go. That might be a problem for some. Otherwise, its a quality screen and should be a very enjoyable VR experience for anyone.
6. Ocolus Go Battery Life
The Oculus Go comes with a 2600mAh Lithium-ion battery. It has decent battery life. On continuous gaming, the headset should easily last somewhere between 1 hour 45 mins and 2 hours 15 mins. For other regular activities like streaming videos and other non-gaming activities it lasts a little less than 3 hours. This battery life is mostly accurate to Oculus’s ratings. To charge it fully, it approximately takes around 3 hours. Given its price tag, this is more or less acceptable. You could also charge the headset while using it but that isn’t recommended.
7. Ocolus Go Controller
The Oculus Go comes with a motion controller out of the box. The touch controller weighs 2.3-ounces. It has a 4.4 x 1.5 x 2.2 inch dimension, which makes it easy to hold in one hand. The controller is constructed with a slate-gray plastic and has a matte finish. It consists of a somewhat large trigger button, a trackpad that can be controlled using the thumb, a back button and also a menu button. The touchpad is situated at the top of the controller just beside the Home button. The Back button is in the bottom part exactly beneath the controller. A curved trigger button made out of shiny plastic is present at the rear.
The Oculus Go’s controller doesn’t have depth-sensing functionality. This means that reaching into the virtual world isn’t possible as of now. The controller however has a tracking mechanism with 3-degrees of freedom, so you will be able to point in any of the directions you want. You can also recenter your view at any moment using the menu button on the controller.
The controller has a cylindrical shape and is also made of a gray-colored plastic with a matte finish. It has an ergonomic design which makes it very comfortable to hold. It fits perfectly in your hand. It also has a slight curvature around the back. This slightly curved design makes it perfect for resting the middle finger while the index finger is on the trigger button and the thumb is resting on the touchpad.
The Go controller isn’t chargeable and doesn’t have a USB port to charge it. Instead it requires a AA battery which doesn’t last that long.
8. Ocolus Go Interface
The Oculus Go has a very customizable home screen. The default view is a a tile-based system. It has big tiles for most of the common sections. These include Recent, Action and Adventure, Upcoming Events, Travel and Nature, Entertainment: Music, Movies and many more.
Below the tiles are the control panel. From there you can access the Navigation, People, Sharing, Notifications and Settings tab. Below that you will find icons for Home, Library, Store, Browser, Gallery and Search.
The Oculus Go also has Oculus’ Voice Search feature. It allows you to search for apps. From there you can also launch apps, customize your view, or cany other settings. The default voice phrase is “Hey Oculus”. You can specify the command once you have spoken the default phrase. The Voice Search was very pleasant and easy to use.
9. Ocolus Go Highlighted Features
If you visit the official product page of the Oculus Go, you can read about most of the features of the Oculus Go. These are a few of those features.
Oculus Go is an all-in-one VR headset. This means that it doesn’t require any PC to be set up. It is also wireless so there won’t be any of the inconveniences caused by wires. The Oculus Go is portable and is also very easy to use. So with the Go you can now experience VR entertainment on the go.
According to Oculus, the Go also comes with new innovative lenses. They claim that with these lenses, the Oculus Go “brings experiences to life in rich detail and vibrant color with best-in-class lenses.” The headset also has “Crystal-clear optics and optimized 3D graphics” for the highest visual clarity.
The Oculus Go comes with “Breathable fabrics and injection foam moulding” which allows the headset to feel light and comfortable. Its “soft adjustable straps” also “hold the headset gently and securely” and make sure it stays in its place.
Oculus Go features “Spatial audio drivers” that are built right into the headset. As a result they provide “cinematic, immersive sound” without requiring a pair of headphones.
10. Ocolus Go Setup
The Oculus Go is a standalone device which means it doesn’t require any other device to be able to run VR games and apps. So setting it up is a fairly easy task but you still need to connect it to a smartphone. You need to download and install the Oculus app on your smartphone. Once installed, you the app will guide you through the steps. You will need to connect the headset to the Wi-Fi. The app will also ask you to select whether you are left-handed or right-handed. You will also find tutorials on how to use Go along with your glasses. That is a good thing for people with glasses. It will also show you how the attach the bundled lanyard to the controller.
11. Ocolus Go Apps and Games
You will be surprised when it comes to the number of games and apps available in the Oculus Go. The Go boasts of a catalog with more than 1,000 games and apps. This is largely because Oculus Go shares its library with the Gear VR. So most of the known classic titles will be available. This includes games like Bazaar, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Eve Gunjack. In addition to these games, there are also 100 more titles that have been developed specifically with the Oculus Go in mind. One such game is Claro, a puzzle game where you need to adjust and manipulate the position of the sun so that you can grow a tree. There’s also Bigscreen VR which lets you watch movies with friends. You can also stream other users’ gameplay in it.
As far as the submissions are concerned, Oculus has a fairly open and less moderated submission system. So this ensures that you will have a lot of options you can try out from. This includes titles from non established and indie developers. However you should note Oculus Rift games and apps can’t be ported over to Oculus Go. The Oculus Go makes up for this by supporting cross-platform play between the Go and the Oculus Rift and Gear VR. So this means if any of your friends own either of the Oculus Rift or Gear VR, you can play these titles along with friends on your Oculus Go. While this isn’t the ideal solution, one can still live with it.
The most exciting prospect of the Oculus Go has to be the Oculus Rooms app. This is a customizable social space for you to hang out with friends and share content with each other. Using the Rooms App you can build your my own virtual space. You can customize it as much as you want, just to your liking. Once you finish building the virtual space, you can then invite your friends to it. You can then play games or stream movies or Shows from Netflix or other streaming platforms. There are many multiplayer games you can choose from. All your friends in your virtual space will have their own VR avatar. This will make it seem as if you all were present in the same room.
12. Ocolus Go Performance
The Oculus Go was launched at a relatively affordable price tag. It was targeted more towards newcomers who never owned a VR headset. The lower price tag meant it was affordable for a large number of users who wanted to get a taste of virtual reality. So expecting the Go match the performance levels of those high-end headsets isn’t fair. But all said and done, the Go still manages to deliver a good enough performance that can give the other headsets a run for their money.
The Go is a standalone headset and doesn’t require any external PCs or Consoles to be able to operate. While this helps in making it portable and available at an affordable price, it also affects the performance a bit. On other headsets you can make use of the capability of the high-end GPUs of the PC or Console it is connected to. So if you have a high specs PC tethered VR headsets can enable you to get the best gaming headset. On the other hand with the Oculus Go you are restricted to the performance of the SOC that comes bundled with the Oculus Go.
The Oculus Go comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SOC processor. While this may not be the latest or the most powerful processor, it still manages to do a decent job. Most games ran without any lags whatsoever. Oculus could have opted for a slightly updated processor as this one is more than 2 years old. The processing power of the Snapdragon 821 is good enough for now. But most games that are being developed now try and push the limits of the mobile game. They have better graphics and also require more CPU power. So we have to see if the Snapdragon 821 will be able to run those games. To conclude, the Oculus Go is pretty equipped to play most games available now, but we are not sure if it is future proof.
Another limitation of the Oculus Go is that it has an “Orientation Only” movement system. This means that you will have a 360-degree view and can turn your head around to view, but you can’t move in the virtual space. So physically walking towards any object won’t bring it any closer to you. This will be a deal-breaker for many users. However it should also be noted that the Go is mainly built and designed to be an entry point for someone who is curious about VR. So if that’s the case then chances are they might have never used a VR headset before, and therefore they may not even notice the lack of Virtual space movement. Other than this the tracking is accurate and comfortable. It also has a screen that is sharp enough to eliminate the screen-door effect. This reduces the chances of feeling unpleasant nausea or sickness.
Overall the performance of the Oculus Go was satisfactory as it was able to play almost all of the titles with little to no lag. But we would have liked it a little better if it had an upgraded SOC.
Oculus Go vs Oculus Quest
Oculus Go isn’t the only standalone headset from Oculus. Oculus series also includes an Oculus Quest a standalone headset slightly expensive than the Oculus Go. So let us see how these two fares with each other. This comparison is done by using their official website as a reference.
Oculus Go: No PC Required
The Oculus Go doesn’t require a PC and or any extra hardware. It is also wireless and once you set it up with the Oculus Mobile App you are all set to explore, watch and play in VR out of the box.
Oculus Quest: PC Optional
Just like the Oculus Go, the Oculus Quest doesn’t require a PC and or any extra hardware. It is also wireless and once you set it up with the Oculus Mobile App you are all set to explore, watch and play in VR out of the box. In addition to this you can also connect it to a gaming PC and play Rift titles using Oculus Link.
Oculus Go: Three Degrees of Freedom
When it comes to tracking, the Oculus Go comes with a 3DoF tracking. This means that it can track your head movements and then translate them into VR for a 360 viewing. It doesn’t require any external sensors for this.
Oculus Quest: Six Degrees of Freedom
Unlike the GO, the Oculus Quest comes with a 6DoF which means that it can track both your head as well as your body movements in the playing space. The headset then translates these movements into VR for a more realistic precision. It also doesn’t require any external sensors for this.
Oculus Go: Single Controller
The Oculus Go comes with a single Touch Controller. The controller is lightweight and it can recognize your hand motions, your pointing as well as your clicking for a seamless navigation in VR.
Oculus Quest: Two Touch Controllers
The Oculus Rift comes with two Touch Controllers. These controllers can transport your gestures and also your interactions with every game element. These touch controllers are very accurate and intuitive to use.
Oculus Go has the following Specs
- LCD Display
- 2560 × 1440 Resolution
- 60 Hz Refresh Rate
- Can Wear With Glasses
Oculus Quest has the following Specs
- OLED Display
- 1440 x 1600 Resolution per screen
- 72 Hz Refresh Rate
- Can Wear With Glasses
Oculus Go: Headphone-free
The Oculus Go comes with built-in speakers along with the headset. This delivers a cinematic and spatial sound. The headset also includes a 3.5 mm audio jack in case you want to plug in an extra pair of headphones.
Oculus Quest: Headphone-free
Like the Oculus Go, the Oculus Quest also comes with built-in speakers along with the headset. This delivers a cinematic and spatial sound. The headset also includes a 3.5 mm audio jack in case you want to plug in an extra pair of headphones.
Verdict: The Oculus Go is a reasonably priced device that doesn’t require having any extra hardware and can run on its own. It is wireless so no more clumsiness because of wires. It managed to do a good job in almost every aspect, from its design and build, to the controller and screen visuals, and also had a large library of apps and games. It is a bit on the heavy side considering it is a mobile headset but that’s mostly because it is a standalone headset and comes with everything bundled. It lacks spatial tracking, which would limit the VR experience for some but for new users that won’t be a problem.
Overall, the Oculus Go is a very exciting piece of tech for VR for which you don’t have to break your bank. By pricing at such an affordable rate, Oculus has managed to make VR content much easier to access. It has bought the Virtual Reality experience to the masses.
If you are someone who has already used one of the high-end VR headset then this is not the device for you. But if you are someone who is looking for an affordable VR headset to get into the Virtual Reality spectrum, then this is just the VR headset for you.
Last update on 2021-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API