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Pico 4 Review

  • Sep 23, 2022
  • 12 minutes
VR Expert - Pico 4
VR Expert - Pico 4
VR Expert - Pico 4 above

The Pico 4 VR headset is here and it has been tasked with being the challenger to the all conquering Meta Quest 2 VR headset. In this extensive Pico 4 review, we will analyze the key features, prices, specifications and performance of the headset to see if it has earned the title as the best all-in-one VR headset and help you decide which virtual reality headset to buy.

For this complete Pico 4 review, we will cover:

  • Pros and cons
  • Specifications
  • What is in the box
  • Design and Comfort
  • Ease of use
  • Power and Performance
  • Display
  • Tracking
  • App Store
  • Streaming
  • Sound
  • Controllers
  • Price
  • Conclusion

Pros and cons of the Pico 4

ProsCons
Cheaper than Quest 2No wired streaming function
4K+ resolutionNo headphone jack
Super comfortable for long periods
Full color passthrough with mixed reality features
105° field of view
Native Pico fitness App
Automatic IPD

Specifications of the Pico 4 all-in-one VR headset

Display4K+
Resolution2160 x 2160 pixels per eye
Refresh rate72/90 Hz
Pixels per inch1200 Pixels Per Inch
Visible Field of View105°
Lens typePancake
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Weight295 grams
Storage (ROM)128 GB / 256 GB
RAM8 GB
TrackingInside-Out 6DoF with 5 integrated cameras
Battery life3 hours
Price

€429 (128 GB)

€499 (256 GB)

Unboxing the Pico 4 for the first time

As seems to be the trend in the tech industry Pico has predominantly gone for a white box. The box has pictures of the device as well as games available on it and general information including certifications and warnings. Something different is the pearl-purple finish on the top of the box, which becomes more purple the further away one is which is quite cool. Once the box is opened a cardboard moulding can be found to ensure the device is well protected and not able to move. The cables and accessories are also nicely packaged in separate cardboard boxes within the casing. 

When the box is opened you will find the following contents:

  • Pico 4 VR Headset
  • 2x Next Generation Pico Controllers
  • 2x Lanyards for controllers
  • 4x AA batteries
  • USB-C charging cable + AC adapter
  • Face pad
  • Glasses spacer
  • Nose pad
  • Product manuals

Design and Comfort of the Pico 4

The front of the Pico 4 is much lighter compared to its predecessor, the Pico Neo 3 Link, weighing in at 295 grams versus 395 grams. A feat of engineering contributed to the new pancake lenses enabling a much slimmer and lighter form factor. The front of the Pico 4 is only ⅓ the size of the front of the Neo 3 Link. One of the issues with VR headsets using fresnel lenses in the past has been the discomfort caused by all the weight on the front of the device, however at 295 grams Pico has taken a major step in making it less noticeable and more comfortable.

VR Expert Pico 4 vs Neo 3

The Pico 4 also takes comfort further by building on the tried and tested battery on the back of the headband. By placing the battery in the back of the headband and therefore back of the device it has an exceptionally balanced weight distribution. Like its previous headsets Pico has also continued with the use of 3 part headband and a fit-wheel to easily adjust the device to to the centimetre for a snug fit. The top of the headband uses velcro and is not necessarily needed and can be removed easily, however it can give more stability to some users. 

Overall after playing a mix of games for 2-3 hours with only breaks to wipe some sweat away the headset remained comfortable with little discomfort.

In terms of looks the Pico 4 comes in a slightly grey-white tone. One of the issues with Quest 2 and Pico Neo 3 Link is that the white can easily get dirty, this may have factored into Pico’s thinking as the grey-white looks as good as new after extensive use. 

The smaller front of the device compared to the Quest 2 and Neo 3 Link also give it a much more stylish and attractive look.

VR Expert - Pico 4
VR Expert - Meta Quest 2 Review

Ease of use of the Pico 4

Like on the Neo 3 Link, you must create a Pico account to use the Pico 4. Registration is super simple and can be done on the computer before hand for a faster process. It took no more than 2 minutes to make an account for Pico and then login on my Pico 4 device. After this the account will stay on the device until you log out, making it a one time action.

Lastly, establishing the tracking zone or boundary area is also easier on Pico 4 with its 16MP RGB camera allowing for color video passthrough. This means the setup is more user-friendly as you can see your surroundings clearly to draw your play area. Compared to the Pico Neo 3 Link and Oculus Quest 2 which only support black-and-white video passthrough.

Power and Performance of the Pico 4

The Pico 4 runs on the industry leading Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor. The XR2 is powerful and energy efficient. It is also a custom built chip for XR headsets. The XR2 provides the Pico 4 with enough computing power to run titles such as “I Expect You To Die 2” and “Half-Life: Alyx” in immersive resolution on the headset.

VR Expert - Pico Immersion

Where there is a significant improvement on Pico 4 is its RAM count. In comparison the Neo 3 Link and Quest 2 have 6 GB of RAM, whereas Pico 4 has 8 GB. This means more applications can run simultaneously on the Pico 4 compared to the other two headsets as well as heavier applications can run more smoothly.

Display of the Pico 4

The Pico 4 comes with what Pico has dubbed its best display to date. The so called 4K super display offers 35% better visauls than standard 4K. The Pico 4 provides a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye. The device also provides 1200 pixels per inch making the quality of the content in the headset even better than the Pico Neo 3 Link. One of the best aspects of the Pico 4 is its ultrawide 105 degree field of view. This is far more than the Quest 2 and Neo 3 Link.

The Pico 4 has a refresh rate of 90 Hz and although the Quest 2 can offer 120 Hz, it was not a gamebreaker to us. With 90 Hz being more than sufficient for most of the applications we used.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Display
Pico 4 Pico Neo 3 Link Meta Quest 2
Resolution 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye 1832×1920 pixels per eye 1832×1920 pixels per eye
Foveated rendering Dynamic No Static
Refresh rate 72/90 Hz 90/120 Hz 90/120 Hz
Field of view 105°  98°  97° 

Tracking

Where Pico Neo 3 Link and Quest 2 only have four integrated fisheye cameras used for tracking, Pico 4 has five. Like the Quest 2 and Neo 3 Link, 2 of the cameras are attached on the top corners of the headset and two on the bottom corners.
VR Expert - Pico 4 Front Side

This extra fifth camera on the Pico 4 is a 16MP with full RGB support, enabling mixed reality features and full-color video passthrough. As the other two headsets only have tracking cameras, their video passthrough is in black-and-white, as mentioned earlier. In practice, this makes setting up the tracking zone and Guardian easier and more natural on the Pico 4.

Additionally, if your physical space allows, the tracking area on the Pico 4 is larger at 10×10 meters compared to 8×8 meters on Neo 3 Link and Quest 2. Both are sufficient play areas, but the larger tracking area on Pico 4 does invite more active movement and less restriction.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Gaming

Like other standalone, inside-out VR headsets, Pico 4 offers 6DoF positional tracking. Additionally, Pico 4 offers integrated hand tracking. After extensive testing, we found the hand tracking for the company’s first native hand tracking integration very good. Almost equalling or slightly bettering the level of the Quest 2.

App Store

The Pico 4 has access to the Pico Store. The Pico Store has come a long way and is becoming the fastest-growing VR content marketplace. Currently, the app store holds 250 VR games with new titles every week, some being first and second party exclusives. One such exclusive is the most played dance game in history: Just Dance. 

The Pico 4 will also be able to be used with SteamVR. Access to SteamVR will provide you with the ability to play over 4000+ titles.

Discover our top picks of the best games available for the Pico 4.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Games

Additionally, to compete with the Meta Store’s social VR platforms: Horizon Worlds, Pico has developed its own metaverse social VR platform called Pico World, which we are currently testing and soon will be a full-fledged comparison review.

A place where Pico shines is virtual reality fitness with the dedicated Pico Fitness app. A health platform with a calorie counter and performance tracker, gaining increasing popularity and user numbers. The Pico fitness tracker will if granted track your calories and activities for all apps during your session making it the first of its kind for VR.

VR Expert - Pico Fitness

Streaming

One of the most important design decisions by Pico was to remove the built-in-display port. This means that the Pico 4 has no dedicated wired streaming as of the moment of writing. This means that SteamVR can only be accessed on the Pico 4 wirelessly. This leaves users with two options.

The first option is through using the virtual desktop application to wirelessly stream PC VR games. 

The second option is through using the wireless dongle accessory for the Pico 4 that will allow you to connect it to the PC and with help with the Pico streaming assistant use it as a PC VR headset.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Gaming

In terms of casting the Pico has a built in casting feature, which can easily connect to all miracast enabled devices. Miracast is not to be mixed with Chrome cast. However, miracast is found in almost all Smart TVs and devices that are not owned by Google.

Sound

In most instances, virtual reality HMD’s built-in speakers leave much to be desired. However, in a pinch or if your Bluetooth headphone is lost, they will suffice.

The same can be said about the Pico 4 integrated speakers. While they are punchier with richer bass and less distortion at higher volumes than Quest 2, a good pair of Bluetooth headphones is hard to beat and is recommended for Pico 4.

Controllers

The Pico 4 has seen a major redesign of its controllers focussed on increased comfort, usability and capabilities.

The Pico 4 uses optical tracking as opposed to LiDAR; a tracking method that can cause reliability issues. These are called dead zones, where tracking stops or stutters. However, because of the slimmer design of the Pico 4 controllers and the diagonally pivoted tracking ring, these dead zones occur less often.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Controller

Similarly, in build quality, the Pico 4 controllers are a substantial improvement over its Neo 3 Link predecessor, with less give and wobble. The immersion of the controllers is also improved, with haptic feedback localized in each button and trigger.

In summary, the Pico 4 controllers are a much better edition with improved tracking, comfort, and haptics.

Price

The Pico 4 has been priced at an impressive 429 Euros for its 128GB variant and 499 Euros for its 256GB variant. At these prices the headsets are more competitively priced than the older Meta Quest 2.

VR Expert - Pico 4 Announcement

Conclusion

It has been some time, but the crown has passed from Quest 2 to Pico 4 for the best all-in-one VR headset. The only two instances we recommend Quest 2 over Pico 4 are if wired streaming is a must, or if a 120 Hz refresh rate is required.

Besides these, Pico 4 delivers a substantially better visual performance with higher pixels per inch, a wider and immersive field of view, superior comfort, and best of all, at a lower price than Oculus Quest 2 / Meta Quest 2.

In short, the new Pico 4 is ready to take the mantle from the once untouchable Meta Quest 2.

Click here to buy or discover more about the Pico 4 from VR Expert.

VR Expert - Pico 4
VR Expert - Meta Quest 2 Review
 

Pico 4

Pico Neo 3 Link

Meta Quest 2

Price

128 GB: €429


256 GB: €499

449 €

128 GB: €449


256 GB: €549

Display

4K+ LCD

4K LCD

4K LCD

Resolution

2160 x 2160 pixels per eye

1832×1920 pixels per eye

1832×1920 pixels per eye

Foveated rendering

Option for dynamic

No

Static

Refresh rate

72/90 Hz

90/120 Hz

90/120 Hz

Field of view

105° horizontal

98° horizontal

97° horizontal

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2

RAM

8 GB

6 GB

6 GB

Tracking

Inside-out tracking with 5 integrated cameras with face- and hand tracking

Inside-out tracking with 4 integrated cameras

Inside-out tracking with 4 integrated cameras with hand tracking

Weight

295 grams (586 grams with headband)

395 grams (620 grams with headband)

503 grams

 

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