It is finally here! All VR enthusiasts were patiently awaiting perhaps the biggest event of the year – the release of Oculus Go VR gear.
Its makers call it the most approachable VR product on the market. This designation may actually be a fitting description — in that for many VR novices, even not-so-novices — this new arrival
could be the perfect entry point into the ever expanding world of virtual reality. Sporting a unique combination of features packed into one neat unit, with agreeable price tag — it is bound to
give the competition a run for their money.
Perhaps the main difference that stands out is that The Go has killed the smartphone! In other devices you would typically insert a mobile device into the front of the unit.
The Go’s answer is to pack everything you need to run your VR gear neatly into the headset itself. The GO’s brilliant smartphone-less design was only matched by its flawless Wi-Fi connectivity
feature. We could not be happier!
This a comfortable headset that comes with plenty of plush padding (as was claimed, the result of cooperation with the garment industry).
Although at first it may seem like there is a slight weight distribution imbalance toward the front, there is a sturdy strap down the middle to hold it firmly in place. If we wanted to be real
nitpickers, we would comment that there was a bit of light seeping in through the bottom.
VR running in no time
Setting up this VR gear was easy and simple, and took only about 5 minutes. And yes we had to reach for our smartphone, but only once as the GO requires a phone, but only for this
Once the software is loaded, you no longer need it. You can cut out the middle man (mobile device). Instead, the device’s built in Wi-Fi allows to stream or download content directly to the
device. Once you are online, running (or downloading) actual VR content on your VR gear is a breeze. Just open the browser on your device, access the desired site and enjoy one-of-a-kind VR
A peek under the hood
We cannot reiterate enough that the GO is a standalone device, meaning it has completely ditched the PC needed to run, as was the case with e.g. the Oculus Rift.
The immersive VR experience is brought to you via the 5.5-inch, 538 ppi panel (2560 x 1440 resolution). The picture quality was sharp enough to almost eliminate the notorious “screen-door”
effect, a growing pain suffered by many devices that came before it.
The GO allows for the head movements to be accurately picked up by the tracking mechanism. As for sound, the headset comes with its own built-in speakers, enhancing its compact look and
feel. And although the sound is less impressive than we expected, it was good enough – and should keep you sufficiently immersed in your experience.
In terms of battery life, according to Oculus’s specs, you should be able to get around 2.5 hours of video viewing per charge. That, more or less, checks out with our experience, although the
battery-to-charge-time ratio could use some improvement.
Great price/performance value
Oculus Go is a serious contender hitting above its weight class. The maker has achieved an impressive feat packing in all the key features – with an affordable price tag.
As of this writing, it retails for $199 / £199 for the 32GB version, and $249 / £249 for the 64 GB version. For comparison, the Oculus Rift costs $399 / £399. It’s available in 23 countries,
including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway and Sweden.