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Pico 4 vs Quest 2: Which is the better headset?

VR Expert - Pico 4 vs Quest 2

With the launch of the Pico 4, many people are asking if the Oculus Quest 2 is still the best all-in-one VR headset on the market. This article compares the pros and cons as well as key differences of the Pico 4 vs Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets to find out which is the best for you. 

In this article, we will compare and analyze the following points about the Pico 4 vs Oculus Quest 2:

  • Pros and Cons
  • Specifications Comparison
  • Design and comfort
  • Display
  • Tracking
  • Controllers
  • Streaming
  • Content
  • Initial Setup
  • Price
  • Conclusion

Pros of the Pico 4 vs Oculus Quest 2

Pico 4Oculus/Meta Quest 2
Comfortable for extended periods of timeLarger content library
Ultra 4K displayBetter hand tracking
LightweightOculus Link Cable
Cheaper than Quest 2
Comes with Pico Fitness
Fastest growing app store

Cons of the Pico 4 vs Oculus Quest 2

Pico 4Oculus/Meta Quest 2
Less precise hand trackingRequires elite strap to be truly comfortable
Smaller content libraryRequires a Meta account
No wired streaming optionsMore expensive
Heavier
2 years older than Pico 4
Worse field of view

Specifications of the Pico 4 and Oculus Quest 2

A breakdown of both devices’ specifications is listed below.

Pico 4Oculus/Meta Quest 2
Display4K+4K
Resolution2160 x 2160 pixels per eye1.832 x 1.920 pixels per eye
Refresh rate72/90 Hz60/72/90 Hz
Pixels per inch1200 Pixels Per Inch770 Pixels Per Inch 
Visible Field of View105°97° horizontal

93° vertical

Lens typePancakeFresnel
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon XR2Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Weight295 grams516 grams
Storage (ROM)128 GB / 256 GB64 GB /256 GB
RAM8 GB6 GB
TrackingInside-Out 6DoF with 5 integrated camerasInside-Out 6DoF with 4 integrated cameras
Battery life3 hours2 hours
Price€429 (128 GB)

€499 (256 GB)

€449.99 (128 GB)

€549.99 (256 GB)

Design and comfort of the Quest 2 and Pico 4

The Oculus Quest 2 has one of the most recognised designs in the VR world. In 2020 it was a breakthrough with its white sleek and compact design compared to the original Oculus Quest 1. However, 2 years on from the Quest 2’s launch VR has made some incredible breakthroughs in terms of display and optics. This evolution can be clearly seen in the Pico 4 with its new sleek and super lightweight design. The front of the headset is now only ⅓ of the size of the Quest 2 thanks to the use of Pancake optics. It must be said both headsets are well finished and have clean designs making them aesthetically pleasing.

VR Expert - Quest 2 vs Pico 4

Regarding the designs, Meta uses a fabric three part velcro strap to hold the device on your head, one strap on top, one on the left and another on right. These are easily adjustable using the velcro system. The only issue is that it leaves all the weight of the device on the front of the head, which can cause discomfort after some time due to the uneven weight distribution. It must also be mentioned that since release, Oculus/Meta Quest 2 has had problems with its comfort, skin irritation, and weight distribution, prompting owners to use the Elite strap or DIY a PSVR strap onto it.

The Pico 4 design is similar to the Quest 2 in the fact it uses a 3 part system to hold the device in place, however this is where the similarities stop. The Pico 4 follows on from the previous generations by using a fit wheel on the back to adjust the fit of the device and a velcro strap on the top for a better fit. This allows for a better fit to be found much faster and easily as it can be done with the headset on your head. Furthermore the Pico has its battery mounted on the back of the headband providing a more balanced weight distribution increasing comfort dramatically. 

VR Expert - Quest 2 vs Pico 4 Above

In partnership with the smaller and lighter display and the rear battery, the Pico 4 feels more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time without causing much irritation. For short periods of time the Quest 2 is not uncomfortable, but if you plan on using the device for extended periods comfort may reduce and irritation increase.

Understand this article better with our complete breakdown of all the terms and acronyms used in virtual and augmented reality.

Display 

The Oculus Quest 2 and Pico 4 both come equipped with 4K displays so you are guaranteed high quality visuals and are also both equipped with relatively comparable refresh rates of 90 Hz meaning that the content will not feature much blur or cause motion sickness. 

There are however 2 key differences regarding the display of the Oculus Quest 2 and Pico 4. The first key difference in displays is the device’s fields of view, with the Pico 4 having a sizable advantage of 105° compared to the Quest 2’s 90°. The Field of view is of critical importance to the realism of the VR experience as it allows you to see more of the virtual world at once. 

VR Expert - Pico 4 Gaming

The second difference is more in the details when looking at both devices 4K displays. The Pico 4 offers users what could be called a 4K plus experience as users get 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye (4320 x 2160 total) compared to the Quest 2’s 1832 x 1920 per eye.  Simply put, the Pico 4 can provide a better resolution experience. Because of the higher resolution the Pico 4 has also increased the pixels per inch to 1200 compared to the Quests 770, resulting in more pixel information and creating a higher-quality, crisp image.

The larger field of view of the Pico 4 with its high resolution and refresh rate make it more immersive and crisper than the Oculus Quest 2.

Pico 4Oculus/Meta Quest 2
Resolution4K+4K
Refresh Rate72/90 Hz90 Hz
Visible FoV105°89°
Pixels Per Inch1200 PPI770 PPI

Tracking of the Pico 4 vs Quest 2

Both the VR headsets use inside-out 6DoF tracking with integrated cameras. The key difference between the devices in terms of build is that the Pico 4 is equipped with 5 cameras compared to the 4 found on the Quest 2. The headsets both feature 4 fisheye cameras located on the top and bottom corners of the devices. The final camera on the Pico 4 is a 16MP RGB Camera which allows for color passthrough in high quality. The Quest 2 also has passthrough capabilities however these are only in black and white. Both are good, it comes down more to your preference if you do not mind the passthrough being mono compared to in color.

Regarding tracking area the Oculus Quest 2’s positional tracking is smooth and fast, able to track inside even the biggest of Guardians up to 8x8m. In comparison the Pico 4’s positional tracking is also excellent and can manage and track in areas of up to 10x10m. I would say that the Quest 2 just edges out the Pico 4 in terms of the controller tracking but this was after hours of extensive testing. It must be said that one of the USP’s of the Quest over the previous generations Pico headsets was its tracking; it is no longer so clear cut. 

VR Expert Quest 2 action

When comparing the controller tracking we did notice one small nuance between the two devices, that being the tracking accuracy the closer the controllers got the device. Because both use optical tracking it can be hard to track once your controllers fall out of the FOV of the cameras, we think Pico may have found a trick here due to two factors. Firstly the slimmed down design and secondly the front facing camera not found on the Quest, thanks to this there is less deadzone on the front of the headset where tracking could be lost. Although this is minor it is worth noting.

Furthermore, the Quest 2 is equipped with some of the best hand tracking capabilities currently available on a standalone device. The hand tracking also works with the native UI of the device. In comparison the Pico 4 comes with Hand and face tracking. The hand tracking worked well and showed very little lag or latency issues, while the face tracking which can be turned off seemed to mimic your movements and gestures quite well in social VR.

VR Expert - Quest 2 hand tracking

Finally both headsets can be used in low light situations without severe issues, however, it is not recommended for the best possible performance.

Controllers of the Quest 2 compared to the Pico 4

The Oculus Quest 2 comes with its third-generation touch controllers. Overall, they feel firm in your hands and built well. The controllers use AA batteries, giving them excellent battery life. Their weight is 150 grams each (including the battery) and the haptics and feedback are still impressive considering they came out in 2020.

One of the downsides to the Oculus touch controllers is that they aren’t very intuitive, especially if you are new to VR. Many new users find it difficult to keep their fingers in the right places and press the right keys. However, this is quickly overcome after a couple hours of play.

VR Expert - Pico 4 vs Oculus touch controller

The Pico 4 comes with very different looking controllers not only to its predecessor the Neo 3 Link but also the Quest 2. The Pico 4 controllers now come with a tracking ring that starts at the top of the controller and crosses diagonally over the top to the bottom of the device. This helps improve the tracking accuracy of the controllers. I can say that the controllers on the Pico 4 feel much better in terms of build quality and comfort in your hands, than the Neo 3 Link. The newer generation controllers of Pico also have more impressive haptics and integrated feedback. The Pico controllers are also powered by AA batteries like the Quest 2 giving them extensive battery life.

Overall both controllers are comfortable and work similarly, this comes down simply to personal preference and what feels most comfortable.

Streaming

Both headsets offer wireless streaming capabilities. The Quest can be used with its Air Link Software which is a very good solution to use SteamVR on the headset wirelessly. It is possible to do this, without the Air Link option using unofficial wireless solutions like Virtual Desktop and Riftcat to name a few. These solutions can work well, however it is very dependent on your network strength. The Pico 4 is capable of wireless streaming through a Wireless dongle using WiFi 6, the dongle must then be configured through the Pico Streaming Assistant. This works well but the dongle needs to be purchased separately. However, this does allow SteamVR to be used on the device. 

One major difference between the two devices is that the Pico 4 does not come with a wired streaming option like the Oculus Quest 2 and the Pico Neo 3 Link. This can be seen as a negative of the device. Looking at the Oculus Quest 2 it offers the Oculus Link which remains one of the most effective solutions to use the device as a PC VR headset on SteamVR. If you would like to use Pico and you require Wired streaming the Pico Neo 3 Link remains a good alternative for this.

VR Expert - Neo 3 Link DP cable

However, in the end both headsets are capable of streaming 4K resolution 90 Hz content to a screen through WiFi 6, which is more than enough for a stable connection.

Content

The overall best platform for VR content is SteamVR. With over 4000+ VR titles, which both devices can access either through wired or wireless streaming. So in that regard both have a great proposition when it comes to the number of titles available. 

For those not interested in SteamVR, you must then make a choice between the Pico Store and Oculus/Meta Store. The Oculus store has a great amount of titles and exclusives like Beat Saber for example, making it more than adequate for most users. In comparison the Pico store which used to be a reason not to buy Pico over Meta is fast becoming on equal footing to the Oculus Store. The Pico Store now has over 250 games and Pico has pledged to release new titles and exclusives every week, meaning fresh content will be made readily available. 

VR Expert - Pico Fitness

Pico has also launched its in-built Pico Fitness solution that includes calories counters and performance trackers. This is something that Meta does not yet have natively built in.

One thing that Pico has done to compete with Meta is in the field of Social VR. With the launch of Pico World, there is now an alternative to Horizon Worlds. A review of these two platforms will follow in the coming weeks.

Initial Setup

Both headsets are easy to set up, both with clear instructions and steps to follow. Both devices can be setup using the respective companion apps. I would give Oculus the edge in terms of the setup process, simply due to the extra years of experience perfecting the setup process, however this is just a preference of mine. 

For both devices it is required to login using an account for the Quest a Meta Account is needed and for the Pico 4 a Pico account is needed. Although this is quite normal to create an account or login, Meta has a notoriously bad reputation with the use of data and what they collect. For more information on the data collected by Meta you can read this article.

Price

The Oculus Quest 2 is available in two versions with either 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. The first variant with 128 costs 449.99 euros, the second variant 549.99 euros. 

In comparison the Pico 4 comes in two variations as well the 128 GB version and 256 GB version. The first version with 128 costs 429 euros and the second version with 256 costs 499 euros. 

This makes the Pico 4 a newer product with a better price compared to the Quest 2, so if price is important to you the Pico wins out over the Quest 2.

VR Expert - Quest 2 vs Pico 4 Side

Conclusion

The whole goal of this comparison was to answer the question: has Pico delivered a product good enough to be crowned the best all-in-one VR headset?

The conclusion is despite the two-year release difference between Quest 2 and Pico 4, the two virtual reality headsets are definitely the most compelling options for VR gaming.  If wired streaming is a must for you then the Quest 2 remains the standout device. However, the Pico 4 is the overall better VR headset with its sleeker and lightweight design, enhanced 4K display and newer generation hardware. What the Pico 4 headset has done well is taken many of the reasons that you would purchase a Quest 2 in the past and equaled them. With the final reason being that this new generation Pico 4 hardware is offered at a lower price than the Quest 2.

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