Which is the best VR headset you can buy in 2021? Thanks to Govt, this is a question that many are asking, and your options are very limited. This led me to try the Oculus Quest 2, to see if I could find enough escape in a world far removed from the nature of this standalone VR headset provided by Facebook.
With the strap on the headset, holding the controllers in the palm of your hand, you will be taken to a new virtual world where a game area is defined and the games are at your fingertips, or in this case, the controller-tips. That is the promised magic of the virtual reality headset. A lot has been said about the possibilities of VR and how far it can go, and guides the Facebook-owned Oculus Brigade when it comes to VR gaming.
Oculus Quest 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor in terms of design. The headset features a pure white body with a black foam mask and now it has a silicone attachment. In terms of specifications and power, Oculus has made everything a climax for this headset. The screen is much better, the ecosystem is much stronger, and the headset is lighter and more comfortable than before. I have been using Quest 2 for the past few weeks and have been tying it up frequently for over an hour – it was overall comfortable and didn’t give me a headache.
Has a simple head strap that can be adjusted. The Oculus offers three manual lens spacing settings for more clear vision, which feels less restrained. Quest 2 is not cluttered with multiple buttons that maintain its simple appearance. There is a power button on the right, a volume rocker on the bottom right and a USB Type-C port and audio port on the left.
Launched in 2020, Oculus Quest 2 is not officially available in India. It can be found on some e-commerce sites at very high prices, but these are units that are unofficially sold by third party vendors. In the US, it offers your price tag of $ 299 (approximately Rs. 22,200) – about $ 100 (approximately Rs. 7,400) less than its predecessor. There is a silicone cover that can be purchased for an additional $ 39 (approximately Rs. 3,000).
Setting up Oculus Quest 2 is not as complicated as you might think. There are no external wires, cameras or sensors to place around your room. After taking the headset out of its box, it took me a few minutes to pick it up and run. You need Oculus mobile apps on your mobile to connect to the headset, and you need to log in to your Facebook account (this is required to use Quest 2). Then, just put the headset on. Once you catch the controllers, you will see them through the headset. Quest 2 will then prompt you to create a play space. Download the game, you better get gaming. Even if you tilt your head up, down or sideways you can see a clear image around you. There are many games and videos that you can watch here. Experiences include watching the New York City skyline or riding roller coasters
Quest 2 uses Oculus’ Guardian system to create a safe play area. This allows you to use the controllers to draw a virtual border around your furniture and space, which will prevent things from colliding. This is possible due to the headset’s Pastro + mode, which uses outside cameras to show you your surroundings. It is very clear though in black and white. If your Guardian goes out of bounds while using the headset, it will switch to this mode, so you can see your surroundings instantly and avoid conflicts. It was very useful in super amateur games, and it prevented it from crashing multiple times on my TV.
Oculus recommends 6.5 ‘x 6.5’ (approximately 2m x 2m) space for room-wide VR functions. If you have less space, you can stand or sit and create a fixed border.
The controllers have an orbital shape and they sit snugly in the hands. I have straps to wrap around my wrists to prevent my controllers from falling off. In the virtual world there are many buttons, including the trigger button for picking up, shooting, or selecting objects. Navigating the VR UI is somewhat familiar, but overall, the controllers work well and are snappy. Motion sensing is very accurate.
The Oculus Quest 2, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 SoC and 6GB of RAM, has been given a drastic improvement in performance compared to the previous Quest. This processor makes playing Quest games almost an PC-sized experience. The main interface of the headset is also very smooth. There is also more storage, which is useful considering that apps are starting to take up more space than ever before. The base variant now has 128GB, which was enough for me, but serious gamers will appreciate the 256GB variant.
It has a new 1832×1920 pixel-per-eye resolution, which is absolutely stunning. There is no pixelation even at the edges of the scene. Quest 2 runs at 120 Hz update rate on some games and apps.
I played War-Royal Style Population: One, Pete Saber and Eleven played table tennis. The graphical detail in these heavy-duty games was interesting. I was active, and at times I felt like I was in a science fiction movie. In the use of Epic roller coasters, I felt butterflies in my stomach as I descended steep slopes while sitting at my desk. Pete Saber made me beat the cubes to the beat of the music, my controllers were Cool Virtual Lightsabers. Population: There are many multiplayer games like one. I saw the VR documentary Surviving 9/11 about the 2001 deadly attack in New York on Quest 2, and I was taken to New York airspace floating above the city.
I can easily shoot in the population: one, and can cut colored blocks in the beat saber. The haptic feedback from the controllers is interesting. With a little vibration they made me feel the pulse, and it definitely added to the thrill of the rollercoaster going on the steep train! There are different haptic notes in different applications, even the gentle vibrations that sometimes accompany sports music.
The Oculus VR Store has some apps and games. Most of the high rated ones are not free and you have to spend anywhere from $ 5 (approximately Rs. 374) to $ 30 (approximately Rs. 2,246) for each. There are limited free apps and you can get a little repeatable with their content. Videos have a low repeat value beyond the initial novelty of VR, but not in most games.
If you want others to see what you do on VR, acting is also possible! You can send it to the Oculus app on your mobile or to your TV using the Chromecast. This way, you can show the immersive VR experience to others.
You can connect an external Bluetooth keyboard to use the Oculus web browser or Facebook Messenger. You have to sit down and the keys are a bit harder to find, especially if you have to type long URLs, the experience is not great. Oculus has recently started to support some keyboards like the Logitech K830, so it is much easier to get to its physical surface in virtual space. The actual benefit of using a Bluetooth keyboard is limited to Quest 2. You can also receive phone notifications on the virtual screen, which can be very useful.
I used Oculus Quest 2 for over an hour and found it a little embarrassing at the end. The straps were tight around my head and I started to feel the weight of the device on my nose so there was little physical discomfort. However, since the virtual screen is so clear I was not distracted even after playing for an hour. Of course, you can experience eye strain for more than 45 minutes using a VR headset.
There are speakers on the sides of the headset. The audio is crisp, though slightly thinner. The only problem I had with it was that everyone in the room could hear the sound. Unfortunately, wireless earphones cannot be connected to the headset. The headphone jack allows you to connect headphones, but hanging a wire on action-heavy games is not a good idea. The audio is a big part of the experience, and Quest 2 offers that front, especially the sound direction that the speakers allow. The built-in mic is decent and does its job.
Battery life is not the strong case of Quest 2. With more use it lasts about three hours, but after that it needs to be charged. Since gaming for over an hour was a little tiring, I found it to be adequate for my needs. One drawback is that the controllers cannot be recharged via USB. Each controller takes an AA battery, and in my experience they ran for several weeks without charging, so this is not a big limit. You can definitely get rechargeable AA batteries.
Oculus has upgraded its game with Quest 2. Virtual reality with this headset does not seem to be on the repeat stage, but it has finally taken shape. Quest 2 has a complete ecosystem with the most fantastic games in the Oculus Quest Store. It works offline, and the visual reliability, audio and content all make for a great overall experience. Oculus defines the minimum age limit for users to be 13+, and since there will be more recipients of something like this in their teens, the device may have benefited by having parental controls. I also want to have a wireless earphones connection to make this the ultimate VR experience.