Oculus Quest 2 is Facebook’s follow-up to the original 2019 Quest, offering a higher resolution display, higher refresh rate, lower overall weight, and a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset. A teardown of Quest 2 shows most of the headset’s innards, splayed out for all to see.

Not a few hours after receiving Quest 2, Japanese Twitter user ‘GOROman’ has done a near-complete teardown of the device, showing off some interesting design choices that seem to differ from last year’s model.

The short of it: Quest 1 is starting to look (dare I say) a little primitive, what with its soldered wires, single copper heat pipe and off-the-shelf fan unit. Quest 2’s teardown reveals plenty of LEGO-snappy ribbon cables and an even more densely packed interior. Check out the teardown of Quest 1 here.

Here’s one of the first images, which shows the headset’s front shroud removed and exposing the internal fan covering. It’s already easy to tell that Oculus has shrunk just about everything to shave off the weight, taking the Quest hardware platform from 571 g (20.1 oz) down to 503 g (17.7 oz).

Image courtesy GOROman

Removing that fan covering and black plastic bracing below it reveals a fan-shaped heatsink extending upward.

Image courtesy GOROman

Here’s a beauty shot of the left side of the motherboard before GOROman removes it. That looks like an insane amount of work to teardown. It’s a shame iFixit hasn’t taken the opportunity yet to give us a detailed play-by-play in English so we can hear a summary of the process and a rating for fixability.

Image courtesy GOROman

Heatsink removed, we can now see the Snapdragon XR2 chip, replete with thermal compound for ensuring good heat transfer from the chip to the heatsink. On the left you can just make out the headset’s internal storage, built by SanDisk.

Everything here is so close together, which is probably to make better use of the fan + heatsink combo; last year’s model had a more distributed cooling solution that didn’t directly connect to a heatsink.

Image courtesy GOROman

Removing the motherboard entirely and we find more thermal compound on what appears to be an EM shield doubling as a passive cooling heatsink.

Image courtesy GOROman

Then he removes the EM shield entirely, which reveals that it’s really two sandwiched units that provide a platform for the headset’s external sensors. Those are used for positional tracking, passthrough, and hand tracking.

Image courtesy GOROman

Flipping it over you can see that the supposed EM shield is sandwiched onto the back of the display assembly, which includes the IPD switch mechanism and single near 4K LCD display, which means effectively 1,832 × 1,920 resolution served up per-eye. Remember kids: no liquid cleaners!

Image courtesy GOROman

With the main bits done (and probably a million screws removed), lets take a look at the battery. That’s a 3,640 mAh (14.0 Wh) lithium-ion pack – same capacity as last year.

Image courtesy GOROman

Interestingly enough, it’s actually one of the first pieces you’ll see when disassembling the headset, as it sandwiches between the Quest 2’s guts and the top interior of the white plastic casing. Here’s GOROman screwing back into place during reassembly. Yes, he really put it all back together.

Image courtesy GOROman

It’s nice to know you don’t need to destroy anything to get inside, and provided you had a replacement part and knew what to remove, you might actually be able to swap parts without de-soldering things. That’s coming from someone who has little hands-on experience with willfully voiding manufacturer warranties though. And if I have to say: this will void your warranty.

SEE ALSO
Oculus Quest 2 Review – The Best Standalone Headset Gets Better in (Almost) Every Way

One of the things GOROman didn’t manage was a teardown of the new Touch controllers, although we’re betting not much has changed. Also, a look inside the lens assembly would have been a treat to see just how the IPD adjuster works. Then again, it’s only been a few hours since Quest 2 landed on consumer doorsteps, so there’s plenty of time for the Internet boffins to poke around.

You can check out GOROman’s full teardown and reassembly below. It’s in Japanese, and over 2 hours long, although it’s still worth scrubbing through to give you an idea just how fiddly and tightly packed the headset’s internals are.

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  • I wonder if playing without the faceplate would run the unit even cooler and we could gain more clockspeed of the XR2….

    • dk

      or strategic holes ….and filters or cleaning it periodically

  • Ryan

    Definitely still not a cell-phone levels of packing optimization.

    • polysix

      Nor price… thankfully! ;)

  • F1ForHelp

    If someone gets the chance, can they please inform me what the latency is on the controllers of this one compared to the previous Quest? Thanks!

    I got to try out the first Quest in Beatsaber and just couldn’t because of latency. I’m still stickin’ with CV1 until I can get some better hand movement.

  • waetherman

    I can’t understand why they didn’t put the battery in the back. It would have reduced weight up front so much and balanced everything so much better. Granted the extra $$$ battery strap would have been a replacement rather than augmenting the capacity, but it would have been so much better for most users.

    • silvaring

      Because it would make lying down too uncomfortable, and cause excessive heat buildup.

      • waetherman

        I get the first argument somewhat, but if heat were a problem it seems it’s been solved with the Elite+battery strap.

        • Zaur

          the weight is non issue.

      • Cobsad

        Heat buildup? Keeping the battery outside the internals of the headset would reduce heat buildup.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      My guess is that the main issues are price, weight and complexity. To have the battery work as a counter weight you need to use a rigid head strap, so every Quest 2 would have required something like the Elite Battery Strap. We don’t know how much more it cost to manufacture, but it might add USD 50 and increase the weight compared to Quest 1.

      So far the “Quest 2 is much lighter” argument seems to work very well for PR, even though most of the weight reduction is actually due to the soft strap, not the HMD itself. There might also be issues with reliability, as power would have to be connected through the adjustable head strap. The Elite Battery Strap circumvents this by working only as an additional power source, so even if the connection to the battery in the back is lost for a few microseconds, the Quest will just run on the internal one, allowing for a simpler and cheaper strap construction.

      Facebook probably considered putting the battery in the back, but decided against it for the reasons mentioned, and instead added an option that is almost a must buy for serious users despite adding more than 40% to the base price. Heavy users will pick comfort over price, casual users price over comfort in VR and use it for watching Netflix in bed. For the sake of getting more people into VR, I’d say Facebook made the right choice here, even if it is technically inferior.

      • waetherman

        All good points. I think cost is probably the best argument; I’ve read several reviews noting just how much corner-cutting and cost-saving has been done to get the price to $300.

    • polysix

      Because Quest 2 isn’t primarily designed for heavy VR nuts like us, it’s meant to capture the mass market and to appeal to ‘non nerds’. The elite strap would put casual buyers off vs the soft strap standard, lower price etc. I’m very impressed by the Quest 2 even AS a VR Nerd who’s had multiple systems since the DK2… It’s doing the job it says on the tin and trying to bring in/appeal to “normal” people not just those already into VR.

    • JB1968

      Well, it’s safe if the battery explodes on your forehead than on your neck/spine ;)

    • Ben Bega

      Its probably mostly complexity. Carmack and a few others talked about the choice to switch the components to the front of the headset when they went from the Santa Cruz prototypes to the more complete Quest models. They said wiring from the front to the back with the moving headstrap got complex and added an extra point of failure to it. Im guessing that also ties in to being a harder design to manufacture as well.

  • Wow, 2 hours to disassembly it :O

  • Scott Thompson

    Any idea what the specs are of the fan? 12v, 5v, etc……

  • Rogue Transfer

    3664×1920 is not ‘near 4K’, it’s far from approx. 4000 pixels across, being much closer to the half-way between 3K and 4K. So, effectively ~3.5K.

    It’s misleading to use the term ‘near 4K’ for something not near it. Even worse is, that at the wide IPD setting only ~3282 pixels across are viewable(3664×86°/96°). So, effectively, the Quest 2 is more accurately described as 3~3.5K, depending on which IPD setting you need to use.

    • Karol Gasiński

      From where did you got per-eye horizontal/vertical FOV values?

    • Caven

      Most common “4K” displays aren’t 4000 pixels across either. They’re typically 3840×2160. The Oculus Quest 2 display is less than 200 pixels narrower than a typical 4K display and a bit more than 200 pixels shorter than a 4K display. The next common display down from 4K would be 2560×1440, which over 1,000 pixels narrower and almost 500 pixels shorter than the Oculus display.

      The Oculus display is far closer to 3840×2160 than it is to any other common resolution, so calling it “near 4K” seems fine to me as a way to get a general idea of pixel density, especially since 4K is just a generic term and not an actual specification.

      If someone really needs a more accurate number, that’s rather neatly covered by the actual 3664×1920 resolution of the display. There’s no need to come up with more generic terms like 3 or 3.5K that don’t even have the benefit of widescale use among industry and consumers. Otherwise, why not just use something closer like 3.6K or 3.7K?

      At any rate, actual resolution is not very useful for anything more than the crudest comparison of VR headsets. I’d rather see VR displays advertised by pixels-per-degree and FOV.

      • Ace of Spades

        How Far we came in couple years:
        HP G2: 4320 × 2160 = 9.3Mil Pixels

        Cinema 4K: 4096 × 2160 = 8.8Mil Pixels

        UHD 4K: 3840 x 2160 = 8.2Mil Pixels

        Quest 2: 3664×1920 = 7.0Mil Pixels

        Index / VIVE Pro: 2880×1600 = 4.6Mil Pixels

        Rift S 2560×1440 = 3.6Mil Pixels

        CV1 / VIVE 2160×1200 = 2.5Mil Pixels

        PSVR 1920×1080 = 2.0Mil Pixels [So far its the Only, RGB OLED VR device]

        Quest 2 has good resolution but compared to HP G2, the pixel difference is what we had in CV1/VIVE, basically G2 = Quest 2 + CV1

  • polysix

    Fair play, there’s no way Palmer Luckey would have been able to knock THIS up in his garage!

    My Quest 2 came yesterday and is very impressive even vs my past VR (DK2, Vive, PSVR and currently CV1)… getting a G2 next month also which will be mindblowing but the quest 2 for a standalone is amazing.

  • Richard

    I wonder if you could mod it by making the battery external and with some extra wires put it on top of the head so it would be less front heavy