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.

As usual, we’ll start with a summary and then dig into the details below.

Oculus Go Review Summary

Photo by Road to VR

Launching today in 23 countries, Oculus Go is the company’s new take on mobile VR. Aimed for affordability and ease of 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.

Rather than relying on a docked smartphone like Gear VR, however, Go has everything built right in, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice your phone’s battery (or your ability to easily access texts, calls, and the like) just to scratch your VR itch.

Hardware wise, 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 thanks to better thermal performance, and a handful of other optimizations.

Oculus says you can expect two to two and a half hours of battery life 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 buildup.

Compared to Gear VR, 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 worse than the kind of gaming content you’d expect to find on a smartphone.

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. Thankfully Go includes stereo speakers hidden in the headstrap 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 Go headset and controller offer 3DOF tracking (only rotation), which makes the headset best for seated use. Both have very little latency. The controller’s shape feels more refined than the Gear VR controller that came before it, but generally works the same—you’ll see it inside the headset where it will be used mostly for laser pointer-like interactions, as it is limited to 3DOF tracking.

A new companion app for Android and iOS devices helps to set up the Go headset, and also allows you to browse the Oculus content store and install apps without putting on the headset.

Working from the same library of apps as Gear VR—which has been around for a few years now—Oculus says Go has “more than 1,000” apps to choose from, but the number is a red herring—apps that look and play well are few and far between, and Oculus’ convoluted Home interface makes finding them a chore. There’s also a lot of traditional ‘flat’ and 360 media available, but the former doesn’t greatly benefit from being in a headset, and the latter has few truly compelling offerings which end up being spread out across various 360 content apps, many of which don’t offer pre-downloading for maximum quality.

With few standout apps, and an experience which isn’t appreciably different from what Gear VR has been offering now for several years, Oculus Go’s hardware and ease of use improvements feel like they would have been more alluring in VR’s early days—meanwhile in 2018, Go looks like a tough sell against other compelling portable entertainment devices like Nintendo Switch.

– – — – –

Oculus Go In-depth Review

Hardware

Photo by Road to VR

Compared to its Gear VR brethren, Oculus Go makes a big change in lens philosophy, moving from smooth lenses to Fresnel lenses. Oculus calls these lenses “next-gen,” and says that they’re an improvement across the board over the lenses in the Rift. Practically speaking, the shape is refined and the Fresnel ridges are more pronounced than those on the Rift.

Looking through the lenses, the field of view is a bit larger than the 2017 Gear VR, and feels comparable to the Rift. It’s clear that distortion (warping), which is easily visible with Gear VR’s lenses, has been almost entirely eliminated on Go, though it isn’t clear if this is due to the new lenses or something in software. In place of the distortion however, Go’s lenses introduce ‘god-ray’ artifacts, which look light faint streaks or glares of light that are most noticeable when looking at bright objects against a dark background. The god-ray artifacts do seem to be a bit more subtle than they are on the Rift.

Photo by Road to VR

The focus ‘sweet spot’ (the area where things appear sharp) feels adequately large on the Go. Like Gear VR, there’s no IPD adjustment, but unlike Gear VR, Go doesn’t have a focus wheel. Presumably Oculus felt the eye-box of the lenses was large enough to remove the focus wheel, and that seems to hold true for my eyes at least; things looked perfectly sharp for me (though I don’t wear glasses).

Speaking of glasses, Go comes with a glasses-spacer: a rubber gasket which can be inserted behind the headset’s facial foam, increasing the lens-to-eye distance to make room for glasses. It’s a little awkward to install, so you won’t be putting it on and taking it off for each user if you’re passing the headset around, but it’s good to have the option. The lenses now also have detachable plastic brackets which Oculus says are designed to allow perception lenses add-ons to be attached; they say partners will be making prescription lenses for Go, but haven’t offered much detail on that just yet.

Oculus Go with facial foam and lens brackets removed | Photo by Road to VR

Because I don’t wear glasses, I tested it with two pairs of sunglasses. Even without the spacer, these seem to slide nicely into the Go, whereas one of them doesn’t fit in the Rift, meaning there’s generally speaking more room for glasses overall.

Chromatic aberration (a slight separation of colors) on Go feels about the same as Gear VR—which is pretty bad compared to higher-end headsets (though it isn’t clear if either Go or Gear VR are doing any software correction for this)—and actually you’ll probably notice the chromatic aberration in your peripheral view before the focus falloff. When it comes to chromatic aberration, red appears to shift the most as it moves from one end of the lens to the other, causing large red objects to visibly shift as you move your head. Generally this isn’t an issue but may stand out in a few specific cases.

Then there’s the display, which is also a pretty big change—while both Gear VR and Rift use OLED displays with a PenTile subpixel arrangement, Oculus Go uses an LCD display with what appears to be a typical RGB-stripe subpixel layout. It’s the same 1,280 × 1,440 per-eye resolution as Gear VR, but the Go’s screen has better fill factor (less unlit space between pixels) which serves to reduce the screen door effect (the grid like pattern that’s seen when there’s a low fill factor).

Photo by Road to VR

However, even though there’s less unlit space between pixels, the RGB-stripe subpixel layout is more uniformly aligned, and that means the screen door effect takes on a more defined grid-like appearance compared to PenTile where the subpixel layout prevents perfectly continuous black lines. So while the fill-factor improvement helps reduce the screen door effect, the Go’s subpixel layout causes the improvement to be a bit less than it would be otherwise.

But, there does appear to be another slight benefit to RGB-stripe over PenTile on the Go, which comes in the form of what ultimately looks like a slight increase in sharpness. RGB-stripe tends to be a bit better for text and edge rendering in many cases. Furthermore, Go’s LCD screen has essentially zero ghosting, whereas the OLED displays on Gear VR and Rift show lots of ghosting in high contrast scenes.

Like Gear VR, the Go’s display runs at 60Hz, but can optionally be pushed to 72Hz, which can increase brightness and saturation. However, this mode is more demanding from a performance standpoint so it’s likely only to be used by highly optimized and lightweight applications. Compared to Gear VR and Rift, the Go’s display is lacking some contrast in both brightness and color.

Photo by Road to VR

Even though both Gear VR and Go run at 60Hz generally, I noticed occasional flicker on Go which I don’t generally see on Gear VR. Everyone has different levels of sensitivity to flicker, but especially in very bright white scenes, I could see and feel the flicker on my eyes with Go. This becomes more pronounced as you increase the brightness, so don’t crank it all the way up if you can help it. The more visible flicker could be due to the Go’s screen, or it could be due to the increased field of view (as your peripheral vision is more sensitive to flicker), or perhaps a combination of both.

LCD displays typically have very minimal mura (inconsistencies in color and brightness from one pixel to the next), while OLED generally has worse mura. Knowing that, I was surprised to find that Go’s display does show some notable mura, maybe even slightly worse than what’s seen on Gear VR. Thankfully, neither are glaring, but mura doesn’t influence clarity.

So between the new lenses and new display, there’s a number of tradeoffs being made. The net change is a slight improvement in overall clarity when comparing Gear VR to Go, and a slightly larger field of view too. I would prefer the view through the Go, but it isn’t a night and day difference.

Design & Ergonomics

Photo by Road to VR

Not surprisingly, considering its standalone design, Go feels more solid than Gear VR. It’s a combination of slightly more premium material feel and less moving parts. The biggest hardware differences between the two are that the Go lacks the side trackpad of Gear VR (which has largely been overshadowed by the Gear VR controller anyway), and also adds built-in stereo speakers.

Gear VR could technically play audio out of the docked phone, but as you can imagine, the quality was poor and it was mono only. Headphones were essentially required for an immersive experience. Go, on the other hand, has hidden speakers which emit sound from small slits in the headband, and sounds surprisingly good considering that the sound is resonating through a plastic chamber before reaching your ears. It’s not going to hit the spot when it comes to pristine music-quality audio, but for general gaming or media consumption, you can definitely skip out on fiddling with a pair of headphones. For movies, highly immersive games, or more private listening you can still plug in via the 3.5mm audio jack.

Photo by Road to VR

At 468 grams, the Go is slightly lighter than Gear VR’s ~500 grams (varies based on phone), but the difference feels mostly negligible. The Go uses a similar head-mount strap which goes around and over the top of the head, except the back part is split into two sections which cups the back of the head a bit more and generally helps the strap stay in place. The hard arms that connect the strap to the headset rotate completely around, making it easy to vary the weight distribution between your brow and your cheeks, or to rotate the strap out of the way for quick and easy ‘hand-held’ viewing without having to fully remove it.

Photo by Road to VR

Go is notably front heavy (as is Gear VR), but comfortable enough for me to way for long spans of an hour or more without needing to remove it. Adjusting the tilt of the display housing, the top strap, and ensuring that your side straps aren’t overly tight is key to achieving a comfortable wear. I found that the Go’s foam better fits the contours of my face compared to Gear VR, and also leaves more room for my nose to breath (literally and figuratively). The roomier nose area comes at a price—you be able to see out through a small gap, but I found it easy to ignore this (and actually found it handy to peek at my phone on more than one occasion without removing my headset).

All in all, the Go is a bit more comfortable for me (though your mileage may vary based on the shape of your head and face), and the built-in audio is a smart addition which makes the headset easier to use.

Tracking & Controller

Photo by Road to VR

Like Gear VR, Oculus Go is a 3DOF headset, which means it can only detect rotation; turning and tilting your head work fine, but if you lean forward or try to duck down, you’ll find that your perspective is fixed in space, which makes both headsets most suitable as seated devices.

Go may be 3DOF, but the tracking latency is effectively imperceptible, just like Gear VR. I didn’t have any overt issues with drift, but that’s probably because I was frequently recentering my controller anyway (which also recenters the headset).

After a few years of using the side-mounted trackpad, Gear VR eventually launched a 3DOF controller which most apps now treat as the expected input device. Go lacks the trackpad entirely, so its controller is indeed the primary (and only) input device. Just like Gear VR, Go’s controller is 3DOF, and functions almost identically, offering a trackpad on top, a trigger, and a few buttons.

Photo by Road to VR

Inside the headset you’ll see a model of the controller, and as you rotate it, it swings around in space almost as if it were 6DOF, but really its movement is just being interpolated as if it was connected to a static elbow joint. Since it isn’t truly positionally tracked, you can expect that it will regularly drift, especially if you’re moving it around a lot. Get used to recentering the controller by holding down the Oculus button, because it will become part of every experience.

Go’s controller shape feels more ergonomic to me than Gear VR’s, and the trigger actually has a little bit of trigger action (rotation around a point), rather than being a big button. It doesn’t mean anything in practice, but just adds to the overall slightly nicer feel. Unfortunately, the Go controller doesn’t have the volume buttons that the Gear VR controller does, which would have been handy. Instead, there’s volume buttons on the Go headset itself, but they’re a little awkward to push; having them on the controller would have been better.

Continued on Page 2: Experience »

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  • D Polo

    Just ordered a 64GB from Best Buy. Hope to have it in hand in an hour or so. Fingers crossed for something cool

    • Riley Prescott

      Report back if you don’t mind!
      Would be nice to hear another opinion.

      • benz145

        Yes please let us know what you think, @d_polo:disqus!

        • D Polo

          I played with the Oculus Go a little last night and came away feeling very positive about it overall with one caveat (errr… Battery Life). First thing that struck me was that the visual fidelity of the unit is really good, video (especially 360 video) is world’s better than the Rift. Game graphics are mobile level, but the overall clarity of the games make up for most of the flat mobile level graphics. I picked up a few games (Coaster Combat, Dead and Buried, Cube Puzzle) and they are all shallow mobile phone types of games, but super fun for 20-25 min play sessions. One wish I do have for games is if I bought it on the Rift (Blaze Rush, Drop Dead, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes) that I not have to repay for it on the GO, looks like my apps transferred over, but none of my games so, if I want to play them on the GO, I have to repay for them, grrrr…. Anyway, I tried out the Netflix and Plex apps and both performed really well including 3D movies that worked perfectly (WiFi feels really zippy on the GO). The only glaring flaw for me is the battery life, 2-2.5 hours is just not enough juice, that is barely enough time to watch a movie. I see myself using this thing on planes for longer trips and the battery life makes that use case a real problem, but I have a Nintendo Switch to play while it charges so, I’ll work around that limitation. Overall, I’m giving the Oculus GO a thumbs up, it’s a little bit of a shallow gaming experience, but I have a Rift, PSVR and Vive for more meaty games, but to me $249 (64GB) for a proper on the GO VR gaming experience feels like a value. That’s my 2 cents!!

      • D Polo

        See my updated thoughts below

  • Bracey Smith

    This review is a bit harsh. Getting any hardware with experience near the GearVR down to a $200 is a serious feat despite the Switch. No VR doesn’t exist in a void, but if no one gets the price down then the barrier of entry will continue to stunt the industry’s growth.

    • Mei Ling

      It’s not just about opening up VR “to the masses” with a cheap but high quality product; it’s also about retention. Is there enough solid content or rather is the quality of content good enough for the ordinary user to continue to be invested in VR as opposed to just having them buy the device and ultimately being disinterested due to lack of purpose and then storing it in the attic several weeks later.

      As it stands now VR is just a novelty. To get the masses into this technology, just like with smartphones, you have to give them a good reason to use it and to continue to keep coming back and using it.

      • Lou Wallace

        I have developer friends that feel this will poison the well. Consumers will think this is all there is, never try 6 dof VR and shelve this device. Developers tell me this device fractures the market too, being too costly for them to develop. 3 dof go, 60 hz v 72 hz, trackpad on headset v handheld controller. Gamepad v controller. 6 dof v 3 dof. Everyone told me be nice to Palmer, selling out to Facebook would bring billions to the industry. Why then is Facebook releasing 3 dof devices, poisoning the well if they have unlimited money? Why are nanostructure lenses being produced by small University teams proving facebooks billions are not causing real innovation. Confused? As to this device, I watch 4 hours of Isaac Arthur in one sitting, and 6 hours of ancient aliens, on plane flights. Dark space themed YouTube videos, where oled contrast ratios matter, but Ben says this thing might over heat if I do a 4 or 6 hour session. Facebook billions couldn’t solve this issue? Pathetic, carmacks legacy was destroyed on this device.

  • Lucidfeuer

    I think we already ordered one, but I feel like I’m going to be disappointed. This is great review and tells me everything I need to know.

    Any goddamn excuse, because it’s really for a fucking excuse or lazy savings reasons, why they didn’t implement chromatic aberration correction like on the Rift? On the GearVR it’s one of the unbearable standouts, which can be fixed with software correction, and they didn’t include it in the Go?

    My guess is that they haven’t done shit hardware wise and it’s actually the exact same as the GearVR. Otherwise, the lack of bluetooth for sound and that horrible cage strap makes it a pass, it doesn’t look practical and comfortable enough compared to a GearVR unless you don’t have a smartphone in which case it’s a great offer.

    Oh and of course, it’s made for watching movies/shows and occasional interactive shorts/comics/experiences, don’t expect more.

    • Lou Wallace

      Does Samsung have patents on the gear VR lenses? They are so damn good that Vive users are upgrading with them. It was great to have no God Ray’s, now oculus have went in reverse, God Ray’s! Wtf? Noooo! So much for Facebook money and carmack iq, pathetic.

      • Justos

        Gearvr lenses are nothing special. they just arent fresnel

        • Lou Wallace

          This industry may die, many of us are dependent on it’s survival. Palmer said we had to make a Faustian bargain with Facebook to get the bucks and innovation. While he sails around the world in his 100 million dollar yacht, the rest of us are starving to death. This device is a step in reverse to the gear VR, 60hz lcd that even carmack bitched about will be the lowest common denominator. I cannot in good faith recommend anyone use something that increases God Ray’s artifacting for a viewing device, it’s terrible. That was the one thing that made gear VR so good, beyond cv1, Vive, and wearality 150 degree lenses, no damn God Ray’s. Carmack and Luckey ballparked the rest of us, newbie consumers are going to see the godrays and say wtf? Will say The ancient Sony hmz looked better than this crap, and laugh at VR geeks :( .Carmack ruined himself letting godrays destroy this experience, Facebook had the money to not have godrays. Disgusting.

      • Lucidfeuer

        There’s a bit a distortion mostly due to the image output FOV° being slightly larger than of the lenses, and of course you get chromatic aberration, but otherwise there’s no artefact whatsoever. In fact the Vive lenses are too already better and clearer than of the Rift for some reasons.

        But yes, it’s a step-back, it wasn’t complicated for them to do a nice clean Oculus Go, but I guess those few extra cents on components cost made the final cut…

    • morfaine

      Chromatic aberration correction can be enabled by the app developer and as such is on an app by app basis. It drains battery so many developers don’t use it.

      • Lucidfeuer

        “It drains battery” so the problem is that it’s inefficient/unoptimised and we should leave it at that? Also I wasn’t aware/never found such option in the UE4 integration or SDK.

      • Trekkie

        Chromatic aberration correction does not exist from a developer standpoint. Drivers can implement it along with warping etc.

    • Konchu

      I would imagine its cheaper but I think its also a weight thing why the choose fresnel.

  • WolfB

    Almost seems like they are abandoning Rift for this. I guess I may eventually end up buying one, although the content and VR experiences are limited compared to Rift or Vive. At least it is portable, and I don’t have to buy a Samsung phone to use it. Both of those are huge plusses, and I love the price point.

    • Justos

      Oculus is huge. They just have many departments. This is the mobile dept at work.

      • Engineer_92

        ^yes

    • Engineer_92

      Abandoning rift? How do you even come to that conclusion?

      • WolfB

        Just my opinion.
        I haven’t seen a whole lot of new or exciting things come out for the Rift recently. New accessories? Revamped software? Better launch/room experience? TV/Movies? Great games from major studios?
        I’ve had Rift for over a year- and things just feel stagnant now. Granted there was a lot of rapid development in 2016 and early 2017 with the addition of roomscale, so it seemed like things were moving fast. FWIW- Vive and PSVR aren’t really any better as far as new releases go. Vive still has better roomscale, PSVR has big-name titles, but is limited to seated/standing VR, much like the Go.
        I think portable VR is going to leave higher-end systems in the dust. That’s good for mass accessibility, but bad because of factors like limited mobility/immersion.

        • brandon9271

          At least the (overpriced) Vive pro came out and knuckles and lighthouse 2.0 are in the works. Things have been quiet from Oculus regarding PC VR. Maybe they’re trying to wait and see where the market goes. Personally, with Windows mixed reality system selling for $199-249 lately and PSVR dropping in price, I think HTC and Oculus both may have a hard time selling the far inferior mobile devices. Sure, it’s a stand alone unit but I’d wager that a great many potential VR consumers already own a PS4 or gaming PC and the experience on the latter blow mobile VR away entirely

        • Engineer_92

          Ah ok. I understand what you’re saying. I’d like to hope that isn’t the case, but only time will tell.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Still no new itteration like the vive pro? Wouldn’t mind if there was an upgraded Rift with better lenses and the same resolution as the Vive Pro/Samsung..

    • benz145

      At GDC they made a point to say that they are still very committed to PC:

      https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-affirms-commitment-to-pc-vr-gdc-2018-jason-rubin/

    • Graham J ⭐️

      Wouldn’t surprise me. Facebook is an ad and data collection company – the reason they’re in VR is because they believe there’s a future in doing those things in VR. They don’t need high end VR for that, they need it to be cheap and ubiquitous.

    • Sandy Wich

      I don’t think they’re abandoning the Rift, I think they know that serious VR has hurdles, and instead of doing a measily .5 upgrade like the joke vive pro, they’re working on foveated rendering, integrated wireless, wider fov, smaller package etc etc etc.

      But maybe that’s just my hopes?

  • sfmike

    This seems like a step backwards with those damn Fresnel lens ruining every high contrast image with god rays. I’ll stick to the GearVR for on the go viewing. Also I have to agree with the statement “unless you have a speedy connection, they’ll stream in potato quality so bad that it’s likely to turn many people off of 360 videos entirely.” Horrible 360 videos will kill VR adoption faster than anything else. We live in an HD world now and being immersed in a VHS quality blurred universe just doesn’t make it.

    • VirtualRealityNation

      Agreed, I converted a bunch of 4k and 8k 360 videos when I first got the Gear VR back in 2015 and those videos actually looked fairly decent especially the 8k down-rezed. There is no sense in streaming the 360 videos unless you are looking at near original resolution.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      You can download the video first….

    • Lou Wallace

      Heaney just told me I need a cellphone for this device. I use an old style flip phone, can’t install apps on it. (Security reasons for work) Many of the vets I work with don’t have a phone at all. Wtf? So I can’t buy this device, copy over some movies/tv shows and have my friends happy? They have to have a smartphone or wifi? I work with nursing home clients, don’t have any of that, Facebook just lost a huge userbase, dumbphucks. Carmack and palmy, I am going to punch your teeth out the next time I see either of you, you fracked so many of the rest of us selling out to zuck, pathetic. Disgraceful.

      • James H.

        “Heaney just told me I need a cellphone for this device.”

        What on earth are you talking about? The Go has a built in screen. You do NOT need a separate cellphone. That’s pretty much the whole point of this device–it’s like a GearVR, but you don’t have to put your cellphone into it to use it.

        • Firestorm185

          They have said several times that you need a companion app to connect the Go to a wifi network however…

        • Lou Wallace

          I don’t have a smartphone. I work on military bases, we are only allowed a dumb phone, the old flip style phones, where you can’t install apps. Basically to keep Chinese and Russian hacking issues minimized. I can’t install apps on this phone, therefore can’t activate oculus go. I have medical clients that serve nursing homes. Old people that don’t have any phone, or any wifi at all. But if the device was able to store episodes of “golden girls” many old people could use it that way. Several markets Facebook will miss.

          • Adam

            You just need companion app on start. Later on you can connect to wifi, buy apps and whatnot without the app and smartphone. So you can use smartphone in safe place and then you should be good to go (minus how efficient is to write wifi password in VR ;-) or scroll through the store)

          • Darko

            It’s quite sad & funny how we can sit down to a meal of roasted baby water flea & coo over how amazing & tender it is then with our other hand pat the family dog….do we not see the connection here??…Why do we spare the dogs life but take the baby water flea’s? Do they not both have a nervous system? A personality? We have treated fishes as a mass term ‘fish’ and we don’t view them as individuals. We are natural-born herbivores. Our bodies are not designed to digest meat. For an animal to truly be considered a meat-eater they would first have to be able to kill for it. Why don’t you go out to Africa and try to bring down a wildebeest with no weaponary and see how it turns out.

    • Veron

      You can load up your videos and run them on the device.

      Sticking to the Gear VR makes no sense.

    • Sugga-Ponc

      Fart

  • AndyP

    More lowest common denominator hardware diluting VR?

    • WolfB

      Well, it’s better than Cardboard/Google, and at least you don’t need a mobile phone for a display.

      • Lou Wallace

        Tested norm and Jeremy said this is basically a movie viewer. You can get a wearality 150 fov for about 50 bucks, and a cheap phone for 100. Cheaper than go, YouTube VR support, and no Facebook tricks if all you want is a movie device. The wearality is much more portable too.

  • Rodgerroe

    “Compared to Gear VR, the Go uses a different type of lenses (Fresnel)”

    Stopped reading there. No way I’m putting up with those again.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Appearantly they are better than the Rift’s version with less godray artifacts.. For now, Fresnel seems the only option as none of the current VR (mainstream) companies have better non fresnel lenses..

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I think the review has been done way too much from the perspective from someone who is acustomed to much better hardware. Every review on normal techsites and gaming sites (more leisure sites so to speak, non VR community) are raving about the Go, reviewers using it daily for watching content and playing games.

    • gothicvillas

      FB spinning machine at work

    • Mei Ling

      Agreed. If the reviewer was not accustomed to VR (a first time user) the tone of this article would obviously be more positive. It’s all subjective.

    • Tyrus Gail

      So – you agree, that Oculus counts, that people are idiots, and they will pay for gear VR (2015!) with glued smartphone? I would not count on it. VR is a product only for an informed user.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        You forget it’s a complete product for $200 (and the price will drop pretty soon as streetprices are lower after a few weeks). You don’t need an expensive PC to drive the headset, you don’t need to use your phone.
        If you are accustomed to ‘real’ VR-headsets, then yes for you it’s a ridiculous product, but then you propably already have a high-end PC at home or laptop that can drive your real VR headset.. any usable GPU at the moment is still $350+ at the moment..
        This product is aimed at the casual user, not the hardcore VR enthousiasts.
        Would I buy it? I don’t think so, who knows. But then again, I’m still using the DK2 as I think the current GPU’s needed for the current VRheadsets aren’t worth $350+ (even though I can afford it without a problem).

    • True, but I want to see for how many days these people will continue using the Go. It’s easy to be hyped… the day I bought my Gear VR in 2015 I was super-happy and played with it all the time… now I barely use it. The article critics more the app ecosystem than the device itself and this is something that Oculus has to work on

  • blue5peed

    This review is absurd. It seems VR folk will seek any opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot. This is a best in class 3dof experience.

    There are people out there who are perfectly fine with 3dof and are indifferent to 6dof as they will not “deeply benefit from being in” 6dof. For them being able to watch a movie in a theater or browse the web on a larger plane in front of them is a huge deal not to mention all the other experiences that are possible.

    For those people this headset is a wet dream. Gear vr is $100 right now (on amazon) for double that you don’t need to use it with a $800 dollar phone. That’s incredible value.

    This is going to be an awesome device to gift and introduce people into VR I can’t wait to see how it does in the wild over the course of the year.

    • Firestorm185

      I totally agree dude. I already own a Rift but for watching videos, surfing the web and bringing VR with me on the go (pun intended), this will be a life-changer.
      Cannot wait to get my hands on one.

    • Jus remember that many already have the $800 phone.

    • dk

      yes it’s a neat all in one convenient gearvr and people will enjoy it
      ….but 3dof should have died with the dk1 and cardboard/plastic headsets for 3dof phones….and now it will die in 2 years with the next gen go when they update the hardware and add 2 cheap cameras …which is what other companies r doing from now

    • Darko

      I don’t believe most of the comments that say something like ‘I was a vegetarian/vegan and now I am not anymore’, because of ‘health problems’ We have treated fishes as a mass term ‘fish’ and we don’t view them as individuals. Your message is irresponsible and deconstructive.

    • Schnitzel Stone

      Ass-sucker

  • MarquisDeSang

    Waiting impatiently for my 64gig version. Hello SBK VR!

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    The only problem I have with GO is that you have to have smartphone with you at all times if you otherwise GO won’t activate. Hope someone finds a workaround.

    • Justos

      Thats not true. Its just needed for the one time setup of your account

      • Mateusz Pawluczuk

        Thx for clarifing. That was my impression after reading ArsTechnika review – but I’m glad to know that’s not the case :)

        • andywade

          You do have to have a pretty new phone for it though – Android 6.0 Marshmallow / iOS 10 or higher ONLY. So a lot of people will have to spend money on a phone (and not an Oculus) before they can even think about buying the new Oculus. Way to think things through, guys!

  • fuyou2

    What a piece of shit! In Every Respect.

  • VR Geek

    Oculus Go is not the product we want. It is not even the product FaceBook wants. It is just their beta for a device in 1 or 2 more generations will serve to collect more data on you. Facebook only wants to sell enough to collect improvements for next years device.

    • ET3D

      Oculus Go is not the product we want, it’s the product we need. It’s the way to move VR from the realm of enthusiasts to the consumer market. Hardcores will not understand it any more than they understood the Wii or the Switch, but it should have the same kind of appeal. The only problem I see is that Facebook / Oculus likely doesn’t have the content vision that Nintendo has, so we might end up without truly compelling content.

      • VR Geek

        That is what Google said about Daydream and Oculus about Gear VR. I am not sure who you are talking to, but every casual user I demo ViVe or Rift love it, but all say it needs to be much better before they will get one. A 3DOF solution, even a cheqp one, is just not appealing.

        • ET3D

          The question is, when they say ‘much better’, what do they mean? From what I’ve read, the Go has better image quality than the Rift, and it’s much better in that it’s standalone, and it has a much better price. So it’s ‘much better’ in several criteria which I’d say are way more important than DOF for usability.

          Is this enough for widespread adoption? Probably not, but I think it’s enough for much better adoption than previous solutions. The main point it will live and die on is content, and that’s something that indeed could be an issue. (And DOF has an effect on what content can be made available, but I think it’s possible to create compelling content even with 3DOF). It’s just that when third parties need to be entrusted with creating that, it can be a problem.

          That said, my kids enjoyed the VR experience even on a cheap headset with a phone, and I’m sure the Go is a better experience than that, in terms of both quality and content, so I think it would be possible to pass some enjoyable time with it already.

  • oompah

    oculus go is priced right
    and is poised to take over the world
    while HTC vive pro will kill itself with bad pricing

  • Da Mo (JFlash)

    One foot forward two steps back, why do they bother

  • Peter Hansen

    Ben, thanks a lot for this review! It is highly informative and very helpful!

  • anon

    but does it have OTG/bluetooth support; I wanna use a keyboard with it

  • Tyrus Gail

    So – basically GearVr. May 2018, and we have a Gear VR from Oculus. This is laughable (and in gear vr I have smarphone). What a pointless product.
    If in 2015, when hype on CV1 was so high, someone would say then: after 3 years of development, we will have gear vr with glued smartphone – everyone would laugh. And now…

  • ET3D

    Most of the criticism is due to the app ecosystem, and this is a chicken and egg situation which the Go will hopefully help change. As the reviewer says, the hardware is more practical for use, and that’s pretty much the point of the device: give people something that’s easily usable, priced low enough to allow trying, and thereby hopefully create a large enough market for devs to target effectively.

  • Very interesting review!

  • Trekkie

    “Unfortunately, few apps are optimized enough to truly take advantage of the lenses and display, leading many experiences to look and feel worse than the kind of gaming content you’d expect to find on a smartphone.” … I don’t see how this can be true. We don’t write for a specific lens. Most game engines properly scale the render targets to make full use of the available resolution. Even if they don’t the fix is trivial. I don’t think such a harsh critique of the fledgling VR industry helps. The polarization we see in political mainstream media has crept into the tech media as well. I have been watching you guys write rubbish articles criticizing Magic Leap and others. We are at the beginning and comparing new hardware with a Nintendo product shows how naiive and I’ll informed you writers are. Real sad.

  • Sardine

    Oculus Go is crap. Bottom line. But it’s what the market needs to properly herd the masses into using VR. Even the games that are offered by it are on par with PSP tier graphics with as much content as a standard VR gimmicky game. Facebook even said in F8 that 83% of the time spent on mobile VR was not for games, it was for watching movies and media. meaning this is just going to get people familiar with the idea that they can just watch a movies with goggles on their head. This isn’t the end game of VR but I do think it’s necessary to move forward. 3dof today, 6dof tomorrow.

    • Sugga-Ponc

      Cry Kiddo

  • Saulo Carranza

    Hi! Thanks for the extensive review. I only have 1 question… we develop 360 videos for different clients. Can we copy them directly on the Go device to play them? (360 with spatial audio), or do we have necessarily to pass by some streamer like facebook or youtube?

    I hope you can answer. Thanks!

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    “Go feels like a device that’s got ‘something for everyone’ but ends up not really fitting a target demographic—the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ if you will.”

    Everyone knows what this headset is for – VR Porn. That’s the killer app for GO. All the prudes reviewing this headset ignored the obvious.

    • Ragbone

      Amen. (‘)(‘)

    • Pablo C

      Good point, and they have a huge market there.

  • Sponge Bob

    POS

    3dof headset for cheap ? HmHm but maybe ok for the price

    3dof rotational controller – utterly useless (I do have Gear VR)

    developers don’t waste your time on this pos

  • I have been working with John Carmack the past few days with his new process of viewing high resolution (5120×5120) stereo 360 video at 60 fps with ambiX audio. Even though it is geared towards the Go, there is no reason you can’t use it with your GearVR (or other phones). In fact I just tested a sample of my “Breath of a Forest” 360 video derived from my desktop version using the Unreal Engine’s 360 capture plug-in, and I can say this is the real thing. I was hoping Google Seurat would have worked out better, but it is like smoke & mirrors and the effect can be ruined easily if you move to much from the position of capture camera. With this problem, it makes more sense to just encapsulate a stereo 360 video with ambiX audio, but until now video on a mobile device has been limited to about 2Kx2K, 3K if you are lucky. Since the process takes an existing high resolution stereo 360 and divides it into 10 slices, only rendering those in front of you (108 degrees) the quality is vastly improved. Even though I see this being used as a standalone encoder for developers, there is no reason that a duplex connection to a server could provide rotational info and stream only the portion you are viewing. Unknown if this is the direction they are going, but if so, it could really revolutionize live events; which as you know was just released this week.

  • Pablo C

    you lose me when you mention 3DOF. It´ll be a useless VR experience, except for 3D movies and porn.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Please Google Oculus Trump, before giving your money to Facebook/Oculus.

    And remember, neither Facebook or Oculus fired Palmer Luckey when he financed an alt-right group. You can work at Facebook or Oculus and finance an alt-right group. Facebook and Oculus are ok with that…