With the launch of the Pico Neo 3, we thought it to be the right time to review the device, to see if the Chinese headset maker has taken the right steps to establish itself as the VR headset provider for business use. The Pico Neo 3 has received a number of key upgrades such as increased processing power, refresh rate and tracking capabilities, putting it on par with the Oculus Quest 2 and HTC Vive Focus 3. The question remains: is the Pico Neo 3 the new best business VR headset?
In this comprehensive review we will take a deeper look at the following points:
- Pros and Cons
- What is in the box
- Design and comfort
- Ease of use
- Power and Performance
- Operating system
Pros and cons of the Pico Neo 3
Pico Neo 3 specifications
- The Pico Neo 3 has the following specifications:
- Display: LCD
- Refresh rate: 72-90 Hz
- Resolution: 3664 x 1920 (4K)
- Field of view: 98 degrees
- CPU: Qualcomm XR2
- Memory: 256 GB
- Weight 350 grams
- Material: Plastic
- Tracking: Inside-out tracking (4 external cameras)
- Controllers: 6DoF motion controllers
What is in the Neo 3 box?
The Pico Neo 3 comes in a sleek white box. All the items are packaged in an orderly manner, with logic in mind.
The following items can be found in the box:
- Pico Neo 3 HMD
- 2x Controllers
- 2x Lanyards for controllers
- Guides and Warranty forms
- Cleaning cloth
- USB-C power adapter
- USB-C to USB-C cable
Design and comfort
Pico’s design of the Neo 3 is still based on the predecessor. Due to the increase from two to four cameras, the arrangement has been changed. The cameras are no longer on the front of the glasses, but two in the upper and two in the lower corners of the headset.
Pico has carefully thought about the placement of all components of the Neo 3, so there’s an even weight distribution between the front and back of the headset. With a weight of 620 grams, the Neo 3 is on the heavy side compared to comparable headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2 (520 grams).
By placing the relatively heavy battery in the headband, along with some other components, the weight is evenly distributed over the head, so that the headset stays comfortably on the head.
This has been one of the main issues with the Oculus Quest 2 with sessions longer than 30 minutes usually becoming uncomfortable. With the Pico Neo 3 a gear wheel has been placed on the headband, making it easy to adjust the length of the band. This ensures that the perfect fit can be found for every head type.
The face mask of the headset is made of a comfortable and soft PU material. PU stands for ”PolyUrethane” and ensures that sweat is not absorbed into the face mask. The face mask is also easy to clean, which is a great advantage over other materials in the days of Covid-19.
It is now also possible to adjust the eye relief (IPD) in the headset of the headset manually. With a range of 55mm-71mm, most users will be able to set their ideal eye relief, making the experience more comfortable and reducing motion sickness.
Ease of use of the Pico Neo 3
A hallmark of Pico devices has been the company’s focus on ease of use. You can set up the Pico Neo 3 and get started right away even without having to create an account (an account is needed if you want to download or purchase applications from the Pico Store). This is a big advantage over the Facebook competitor Oculus Quest 2, where you have to log in with a Facebook account on every device in order to use it.
When starting up the Neo 3 a boundary does not need to be manually set every time, this is especially useful with use in larger groups and when users need to be able to use the headset directly.
It is particularly important to have easy-to-use devices available in the business sector, because most users have little time and little experiences to perform these actions.
Power and performance
By using the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, the Pico Neo 3 achieves a significantly improved performance compared to its predecessor, the Neo 2, which still had the older Snapdragon 845 installed. Together with the increased refresh rate of 90 Hz, the content on the Pico Neo 3 looks even smoother and more realistic. The Oculus Quest 2 has the same processor and also supports 90 Hz, but the VR experience is not as immersive as on the Pico Neo 3 due to the smaller field of view.
Display of the Pico Neo 3
The Pico Neo 3 is equipped with a 4K LCD display that provides a resolution of 3664 x 1920 pixels. The display’s resolution has been slightly reduced compared to its predecessor. While the Pico Neo 2 still displayed 1960 x 2160 pixels per eye, the Neo 3 has a resolution of 1832 x 1920. However, the Neo 3 still provides a better viewing experience due to the improved refresh rate of 90 Hz and its 98° field of view. These two upgrades significantly improve the immersive VR experiences of the Pico Neo 3.
In comparison, the Oculus Quest 2 has the same resolution and refresh rate, but only 89° field of view. A larger field of view always means a more realistic and immersive VR experience.
Due to the high resolution of the screen, photos, videos and applications will be sharp and clear, so that many details are visible and small texts are easy to read.
The Pico Neo 3 has a refresh rate of 90Hz. The refresh rate is about how quickly the image refreshes itself. Higher refresh rates make the image run smoothly, making it more comfortable to the user. In general, it is believed that a refresh rate of 72Hz is sufficient to provide a pleasant virtual reality experience. With 90Hz, the Pico Neo 3 complies with this statement and is equal to the refresh rate on the Oculus Quest 2.
|Pico Neo 3||Oculus Quest 2|
|Resolution||1832×1920 per Eye||1832×1920 per Eye|
|Refresh Rate||90 Hz||90 Hz|
|Field of View||98°||89°|
The Pico Neo 3 is a 6DOF (Degrees Of Freedom) headset that uses inside-out tracking. This gives the user a full VR experience, including interaction with the virtual environment and freedom of movement, without the need for cables or external sensors.
One of the issues with the Pico Neo 2 was its lesser tracking quality than its competitors. Thankfully, the tracking system of the Pico Neo 3 has been completely renewed. While the Neo 2 used electromagnetic tracking, Pico’s new headset works with optical inside-out tracking. This has led to a clear improvement in the position accuracy of the headset compared to its predecessor and its competition.
With an internal memory of 256 GB, the Pico Neo 3 provides enough storage capacity for business applications on the headset. In addition, the Neo 3 has a microSD input, so that the memory can be expanded even further. The microSD input also gives the possibility to quickly load applications on the headsets, which is interesting for the business market.
Like its predecessor, the Pico Neo 3 runs on an Android operating system. This allows the headset to be easily adapted for specific applications by developers. The same operating system is also found on the Oculus Quest 2 and both devices have similar user interfaces.
Where the Pico makes the biggest difference is that on the Quest 2 the system is not accessible without first logging into Facebook.
The Pico Neo 3 has two built-in ‘Spatial Stereo Speakers’. Spatial Stereo creates the illusion as if the sound is 3D around the user. The quality of the sound is fine and the speakers do produce a powerful and loud sound. This is ideal when the headset is used in noisy environments, such as a busy office or trade show.
In addition to the speakers, the Pico Neo 3 has a 3.5 mm audio jack connection, so that the headset can be enriched with various headphones. The headset is also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 support, so that external headsets and speakers can easily be connected wirelessly.
Controllers of the Pico Neo 3
The Pico Neo 3 controllers have gone through a major design upgrade, compared to its predecessor. The Neo 3 controllers are now similar in design to those of the Oculus Quest 2 and have made the move over to the industry standard touch controllers.
The controllers each have a thumbstick, X-Y buttons, a back button, trigger and a Pico button. The Pico button is the most central button on the controller, this is important as it is the button you click the most as it allows users to return to the main menu, trigger the quick menu and recenter the headset.
The controllers use optical tracking with each controller having 32 tracking ring sensors. The use of optical tracking also enables hand tracking. This feature lets the user operate the device with just their hands even without a controller
Finally, we look at the streaming options of the headset. Standalone VR has many advantages; The headset is not connected with cables, so there is a large degree of freedom, use at different locations is simple and the headset is easy to transport and set up. However, it cannot be denied that connecting a VR headset to a PC still offers the most reliability. Fortunately, Pico has also thought of this, due to a built-in streaming application within the Neo 3 series. The streaming application is built on the Boundless XR platform, which supports both wireless and wired streaming via a USB Type-C to Type-C cable.
Pico makes streaming simple by opening the Pico VR Streaming Assistant application on a computer, followed by starting the assistant on the headset itself. From the headset, you can choose wireless or wired, and the user then automatically switches to the SteamVR interface. Although the resolution of the applications that are streamed is in most cases lower in relation to native applications, the streaming function does broaden the application possibilities of the headset. For example, the Neo 3, when connected to a powerful PC, can stream almost any application available on the extensive Steam VR platform.
Price of the Pico Neo 3
The price of the Pico Neo 3 is currently at 599 Euros, giving it a similar price to its predecessor, the Neo 2, which cost 550 Euros. For comparison: The Oculus Quest 2 is available in two variants. With 64 GB of storage, Facebook’s VR headset costs 349 Euros and with 256 GB, the device is available for 449 Euros. However, it must be said the enterprise version of the device, which means no Facebook login is required, is substantially more expensive with a cost of $799 for the 256GB version and has a recurring yearly fee.
In this Pico Neo 3 review we can conclude that Pico Interactive has brought another top device onto the market. The latest Pico headset not only scores with performance, comfort, but also offers users other practical features, such as hand tracking and WiFi streaming.
Compared to its biggest competitor, the Oculus Quest 2, the Pico Neo 3 holds more than its own, as Pico’s device has one major advantage over Facebook’s VR headset. It is accessible to everyone without requiring a Facebook account to use the device. Especially for business use, it is very important to have a VR headset that is as easily accessible as possible.
For this reason, the Pico Neo 3 is currently the new best VR headset for business use.