Pico Neo 2 vs Oculus Quest: Which Wireless Headset is Best?

You’ve probably heard of the Oculus Quest, the Facebook backed VR headset that’s become a hit amongst gamers and VR enthusiasts. The Quest was the first ever 6DOF wireless headset and has enjoyed success in the year it’s been released. The Pick Neo 2 is the new kid on the block and one of just a few wireless VR headsets. The lesser known Neo 2 represents the Quest’s first real competition, but how good is it and can it beat the mighty Quest?

Specs

Specs Pico Neo 2 Oculus Quest
Image  
Field of View  101° 100°
Max Resolution  1920 × 2160 per eye 1600 x 1440 per eye
Screentype AMOLED OLED
Pixel Density Unknown 538
Sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope Accelerometer, gyroscope
Processor Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 835
Max Refresh Rate 75 hz 72 Hz
Tracking 6 DOF Inside Out Tracking with 2 Cameras 6DOF Inside Out Tracking with 4 Cameras
RAM 6GB 4GB
Storage 126GB 64 or 128 GB
Weight 350g 570g
Requirments None None
Price Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Oculus Quest vs Pico Neo 2

Design

You may not think the design of a VR headset is particularly important, they all look pretty similar, right? Wrong. The way a headset is designed can mean the difference between it being comfortable to wear for hours or being able to last only 5 minutes.

Probably the worst aspect of the Oculus Quest is comfort. I can only wear it for a maximum of 45 minutes before I get neck strain and have to take a break. This is because the headset is front heavy and will cause your neck and head muscles to tire. You can make improve this by adding a counter weight accessory but there’s only so much you can do.

The Neo 2 seems to have tackled this issue head on with a clever design. The batter of the Neo 2 is located at the rear of the headset where the strap at the back of your head would be. This spreads the weight of the headset move evenly around your head and should make it far more comfortable.

Another design advantage of the Pico Neo 2 is the inclusion of a MicroSD Card slot which should allow you to massively increase the storage capability of your headset. With the Quest you’ll be stuck with the storage you choose.

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Screen

While the dual OLED screens of the Quest were one of its selling points the Pico Neo 2 has it beat. The Neo 2 features a 4K display with 1920 × 2160 resolution per eye, compared to the Quests 1600 x 1440 per eye resolution. This is significant increase and means images, games and videos will look sharper and clearer on the Neo 2; you’ll also be able to spot more details and read smaller text easier.

Apart from the difference in resolution the screens are quite similar in other respects. Both feature near identical refresh rate, which impacts how smooth moving objects appear on screen. The field of view for both headsets is also nearly the same at around 100°. The larger field of view the better and both headsets are fairly average in this regard.

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Tracking

Both the Oculus Quest and Pico Neo 2 are 6DOF wireless headsets that utilise inside out tracking. This allows the user to have the full VR experience, including interacting with the envirnment and moving around, without the need for wired connections.

Wireless VR is usually slightly less advanced but far more user friendly than wired VR which requires a powerful desktop.

The Oculus Quest uses 4 cameras to track location and hand movements whereas the Pico Neo 2 only needs two. Does this mean the tracking on the Pico Neo 2 will be less accurate? Not necessarily. This headset uses technology that monitors the magnetic field of your controllers which should actually result in super accurate tracking.

Eye Tracking

A second version of the Pico Neo will feature Eye Tracking technology; only the second headset to feature this technology. Eye tracking allows the headset to display much higher frame-rates and will likely be common place in future VR headsets. The Pico Neo Eye will be $200 more expensive than the standard version.

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Power & Performance

Once again the Neo 2 takes the lead over the Quest thanks to its more powerful Snapdragon 845 processor which is a generation ahead of the 835 powering the Quest. You’ll also find 2GB more RAM in the Pico Neo which should help with smooth running of larger games.

One way the Neo will take advantage of the more powerful processor is allowing wireless streaming of PC VR games to your headset. This will allow you to play VR games that would usually require a wired connection without any wires.

It seems like the Quest has been left in the dust by this new VR headset in pretty much every way.

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VR Library

This is where things get a little complicated. While the Pico Neo 2 will feature games and other consumer VR experiences, it won’t actually be widely available to the public (yet). The company is aiming its headset at the enterprise market which means you’ll have to run some type of business that utilises VR to get your hands on one.

There are hints that this won’t be the case forever; in the release video we see someone playing VR games with the Neo 2 in their living room which doesn’t scream “business use only” to me. It might be a little bit longer before the headset is available in shops or Amazon. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

In comparison the Oculus Quest is without doubt a consumer headset and has one of the largest library’s of games and experiences available. There are a few Quest exclusive games and you’re also able to play more advanced PCVR games using Oculus Link.

The Oculus Library of games and experiences is by far its biggest asset and why I don’t regret buying the headset for a single second.

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Price

If you can find one you can get a 64GB Oculus Quest for $399 (£399) and a 128GB version for $100 more. The Pico Neo 2 is significantly more expensive at $699 for the standard version and $899 for the eye tracking version. Considering the hardware the Neo 2 is still fairly cheap considering the price of similarly advanced headsets.

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Verdict

The Pico Neo 2 is like an Oculus Quest on steroids and would make for a great alternative for people willing to spend a bit more for a more advanced VR experience. Unfortunately it fails in the one place it counts; availability.

We can only hope that the Pico Neo 2 is some day soon destined for the consumer market as it seems to be the best wireless headset option. For now the Quest still rules the roost, but this might be a sneak peak of what we can expect from a Quest 2.

 

See Also: Oculus Quest Review 2020


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Owner of threesixtycameras.com. Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express.  

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